A Stagecoach Rescue Mission (Preview)

Prologue

May 17, 1866

Forty miles west of Tucson, Arizona

Willie Chapman shifted on the bench in an ultimately futile attempt to find a comfortable seat. He sighed, resigning himself to a sore backside, and turned to his left to complain to Jack Holbrook, the driver. “You’d think they’d find a way to build a better seat cushion for these things seeing as how people need to sit in ‘em for days on end.”

“They put a cushion on this bench and people’ll fall asleep instead of looking out where they’re supposed to be going,” the ever-practical Jack replied. “Besides, Overland is paying a dollar a day. That’s twice what you were making back when you worked on a ranch.”

Willie frowned and stuck his lip out in a pout. “At least I could get out and stretch my legs once in a while.”

Jack chuckled. “We’ll rest the horses in a few hours. You can get out and walk then. Unless you want to jog alongside the stage. Might do you some good to get some exercise.”

Willie looked down at his protruding belly and frowned. “Ain’t my fault I’ve filled out. Mary insists on stuffing me with queen cakes every time I’m home. I can’t rightly say no when she puts so much effort into ‘em.”

“You poor man,” Jack said drily.

Willie gave up on complaining and turned to his right to gaze out at the countryside. That didn’t offer him any solace, either. The first few times he had ridden this route, he had been entranced by the vast emptiness of the Sonoran Desert, with its hundreds of miles of scrub brush, cacti, and creosote bushes. Now, he found it as drab and boring as the coach ride itself. When the most exciting thing a man had to look forward to was the occasional coyote chasing a roadrunner, life was monotonous indeed.

One of the passengers—a haughty middle-aged woman with a purple velvet dress and an honest-to-God feather pin in her hair—stuck her head out of the window and asked in a shrill voice, “Do we plan on stopping for dinner anytime soon?”

Willie looked up at the sun, which still hung several inches above the western horizon. He looked at Jack, but the driver kept his eyes fixed stoically ahead at the road.

Willie rolled his eyes. Once more, it fell to him to deal with the riffraff. “We’ll reach the Home Stage in about five hours, Miss Holloway.”

“Five hours? You can’t expect me to go that long without some sort of food!”

Willie reached into his pocket and pulled out a half-eaten strip of dried beef. He leaned back and held it out to the passenger. “You’re welcome to the rest of my lunch if you’d like.”

Miss Holloway’s lip curled in disgust. She scoffed and pulled her head back into the cabin. Willie chuckled and bit a piece of the beef off. It was as tough as boot leather and probably just about as nutritious, but at least chewing it gave him something to focus on other than the numbness in his backside and the endless sea of creosote and sand.

Jack chuckled. “Believe it or not, she’s one of the less irritating passengers. The week before you started, I transported a Kentucky gentleman who insisted on stopping every hour so he could perform his ‘limbering exercises.’ Funniest thing you’ve ever seen, watching a grown man in a tweed suit squatting down like he was relieving himself and then twisting his hips with his arms stretched out like he was rowing a boat.”

He looked over at Willie, who frowned at him in confusion. Jack shrugged. “Guess you had to be there.”

“You sure the sun ain’t baked your head a little too much?” Willie asked.

Jack shrugged again. “Could be. At least I ain’t spending the whole ride complaining.” He looked sideways at Willie. “Say, Miss Holloway’s about the same age as you, ain’t she? Maybe you should ask her if she’s planning on meeting anyone down in Yuma.”

Willie gave Jack a look that he imagined matched Holloway’s expression at being offered the jerky. Jack laughed again, then the two fell silent.

The sun continued its slow march to the horizon. Willie squinted and pulled his cap low over his head. This was always the worst part of the day. In addition to the soreness in his backside, he now had to contend with the sun in his eyes. It was a good thing nothing ever happened on this route. In conditions like this, a bandit could ride right up next to him, and he’d never—

A gunshot rang out, and Willie leaped off of the bench with a shout. Another gunshot rang out, and the horses reared and began to run. The stagecoach—not designed for this kind of speed—bumped and jostled and shook. Willie gripped the edge of the bench and struggled to stay upright, at the same time struggling to pump the lever of his shotgun and find whatever threat was now upon them.

“Blast it, Jack, can you slow the coach down? I can’t fire back when we’re tearing ourselves to pieces over these ruts!”

Jack didn’t respond.

“Jack?”

Willie looked over at his friend, and his smile vanished. Jack Holbrook slumped over in his seat, his eyes lolling in his head.

Eye, that was. The left one had been punched clean through the back of his skull, leaving only a bloody, ragged hole in its place.

Willie swore and reached for the reins. He caught them and pulled, slowing the coach to a near halt. He heard the passengers screaming at him to keep going and what was he doing, you fool, but he ignored them and turned around on the bench, scanning the landscape for the bandit that had shot his friend. The gunshot had come from close range or it wouldn’t have sounded so loud, but he couldn’t see anyone.

He heard a gun cock next to him and a passenger screamed. He pressed his lips together and prepared to meet his fate, but instead of a gunshot, he heard a cold voice say, “Lower the shotgun and turn around with your hands up. I have no desire to kill you, but I won’t hesitate if you give me reason.”

***

Jed “Rattlesnake” Rourke had seen too much death to be affected by it. As a boy fighting for Sam Houston’s army in the Texan War of Independence, he had been horrified by the sight of bodies torn asunder and the sound of men screaming like women as the blood drained out of them. As a young man clearing the Indians out of the newly established State of Texas, he had taken a certain delight in dealing death, considering each killing a symbol of his innate superiority over the lesser men opposing him.

Now, as a seasoned outlaw whose notches would have whittled away the handle of his Colt revolver had he bothered to cut them, death failed to evoke anything more than the briefest breath of emotion. He had seen it too many times for it to feel novel anymore.

So the sight of the driver first slumping, then falling into the dirt did nothing for him. But the wails of fear from the passengers, the terror and trembling in their eyes, that did plenty.

Oddly, it was the shotgun rider’s expression that pleased him even more than the passengers. The older man—Jed guessed he was a few years older than his own forty-six years of age—showed no sign of fear. The grim expression he wore instead told Jed that he, like Jed, had seen his fair share of death and was no longer bent out of shape one way or the other by it.

But he hated losing, and the impotent rage in his eyes as he glared at Jed tickled the outlaw to no end. That was the true spice of life. Power over others. It was no wonder that every tale written by man had to do either with conquering or overcoming a conqueror.

Jed had little interest in conquering. Conquerors quickly became slaves to the people they conquered, a fact Sam Houston had soon found out after freeing Texas from the Mexican Empire. Jed had no desire to become a slave of any kind.

But he enjoyed taking things from people.

He smiled at the shotgun rider. “I know you have mail in this coach, and I’m not interested in that. I also know you have one hundred pounds of gold bullion in a chest underneath the cabin. I’m very much interested in that, along with every weapon and valuable everyone in this coach possesses. I assume you can see the men behind me prepared to assist should you choose to resist?”

“I see them,” the shotgun rider replied, his voice betraying the same impotent rage as his eyes.

“Wonderful. Then I assume I can expect no resistance from you?”

The shotgun rider’s lip curled upward in contempt, but he replied, “No resistance.”

Jed couldn’t resist twisting the knife a little. “No resistance, Mr. Rourke.”

The shotgun rider’s lip curled even farther upward, and there was venom in his voice when he said, “No resistance, Mr. Rourke.”

“Excellent. Harlow?”

A massive, broad-shouldered man with a flat nose and dark, beady eyes dropped off of an equally massive, blunt-nosed horse and approached the stage carrying a canvas sack. He grinned, revealing a mouth full of crooked yellow teeth, and said in a coarse English accent, “If the ladies would please remove their jewelry and place it in this bag, I’d be much obliged. Don’t worry. I won’t bite.” His grin widened. “‘Less you ask real nicely.”

Jed grinned when a middle-aged woman in a ridiculous velvet dress shuddered and gasped. The other ladies—a younger woman in a far more sensible cotton dress traveling with an elderly woman whose weeping face was covered by a shawl—dropped their bracelets and necklaces into the sack with trembling hands.

“Cash too, ladies,” Harlow asked with another grin.

The women reached wordlessly into their bags and dropped their coin purses into the sack.

“You too, miss,” Harlow said, staring at the woman in the velvet dress.

The woman reached a hand up to her pearl necklace, but hesitated, her lips trembling. The lone male passenger, a boy of maybe twenty, decided to be brave. He placed a hand over the woman’s and said to Harlow, “There’s no need to rob women and children, sir. Where’s your class?”

Jed’s smile widened. He knew what was to come.

Harlow turned his grin to the boy. “My class? Hmm. Let me see.” He drew his handgun and aimed it at the young man’s head. “Here it is.”

The women screamed at the sound of the shot, and Harlow chuckled. “Now, miss. May I please have your pearl necklace so I don’t have to rip it off of your throat?”

The weeping woman fumbled with the clasp while Harlow waited patiently. Finally, she dropped the necklace into the sack.

The shotgun rider continued to glare hatefully at Jed. Jed waited for Harlow to finish collecting from the passengers, then took the offered sack. Harlow rummaged under the cabin for a moment and, grunting with effort, lifted the heavy oak box with its equally heavy cargo from its place amid the leather springs of the coach.

“Might we get the key?” Harlow asked the shotgun rider pleasantly.

“It’s in the pocket of the driver you shot,” the shotgun rider replied.

“In point of fact,” Harlow said, “it was Mr. Rourke what shot the driver. I shot the young prince who tried to be noble to impress the ladies.”

The shotgun rider’s lip curled into a sneer again, and he didn’t reply. Jed’s assembled riders chuckled, and Jed maintained the same pleasant grin while Harlow walked around the coach and fished in the dead man’s pockets for the key.

When he found it, he said, “Right,” and walked back around to the other side. He handed the key to Jed and picked up the box of gold, then tied it carefully on top of his horse before mounting behind it. The massive animal sidestepped slightly but was otherwise unaffected by the heavy load.

Jed tipped his hat to the shotgun rider and said, “I wish you a pleasant journey, Mister…” The man only glared at him. Jed chuckled. “Well, I wish you a pleasant journey all the same.”

He tipped his hat to the women, then turned his horse and rode off. His men followed him, and Jed bared his teeth to the wind, filled with elation at his latest theft.

Life was good.

Chapter One

June 8, 1866

Twenty miles east of Tucson, Arizona

Caleb Hart considered himself a lucky man. He had suffered great tragedy in his life, but he had always risen above that tragedy.

When he was twelve years old, his parents had been killed by a raiding band of Omaha Indians, and Caleb had been forced to flee his home. Despite having nothing but the clothes on his back and the musket and knife his father had given him, he’d made his way south to Texas, eventually finding work as a ranch hand for one of the big cattle concerns in the new state.

After the war started, Caleb had left the ranch to join the Union Army, where he’d fought in nearly every major engagement. He had been wounded seven times and left for dead twice but survived through a combination of wit and willpower. And now, a year after the war ended, he enjoyed a wonderful job with the Butterfield Overland Mail Company as a stage driver.

Caleb liked stage driving. The past year had taught him that he appreciated life much more when he could spend each night in a different place, and since he had spent most of his life without family or close friends, he didn’t mind the solitude.

Not that it was really solitude. He saw as many new people as he did new places, and he loved that as well. He never got to know anyone well enough to be attached to them, but he could have conversation when he wanted and silence when he wanted.

That didn’t always work out, of course. Right now, he wanted silence, but his shotgun rider—a ferrety, nervous man named Hoster Poole—kept up an endless stream of conversation the entire four-day ride from Franklin to Tucson. Caleb answered politely and kept his demeanor pleasant, but he couldn’t resist urging the horses to slightly greater speed as they approached the last leg of their journey to Tucson.

“So I told him,” Hoster said in his tremulous, nasal voice, “James, if you ain’t gonna talk to her, then I will. And you know what I did?”

“You talked to her?” Caleb offered drily.

“I talked to her,” Hoster confirmed. “And it was wonderful.”

“Did she offer you her hand?”

Hoster laughed. “No, she didn’t offer me her hand. I wasn’t looking for her hand anyway, if you know what I mean.”

“I think I understand,” Caleb said with a wry smile.

“‘Course, she didn’t offer me that, neither,” Hoster continued. “Turned out to be real uppity, she did. But the point is, you never know until you try, am I right?”

“You’re right.”

“‘Course I am. I ain’t managed to survive twenty-four years on this Earth without knowing a thing or two.”

Caleb looked sideways at the gray-haired, balding Hoster. “Twenty-four years?”

“Sure,” Hoster replied. “Not a day more.”

Caleb decided to let the subject go.

“Anyway, James ended up marrying her. I guess she’d been waiting for him to talk to her, and when I finally did, she got all ornery with him, shouting that if he didn’t get off his backside and court her like a man, she’d marry me and parade me all over town to embarrass him. Well, I told her that I’d be happy to marry her, and she told me to go away and leave her alone. Like I said, real uppity.”

“I can see that.”

Hoster continued to regale Caleb with tales of his many adventures, and Caleb paid just enough attention to offer the occasional brief response as he gazed out over the vast desert. He always preferred this part of his route to the plains of Texas and New Mexico. Something about the harshness of this landscape appealed to him. Things here were tough and sturdy, like he was. The plants were thick-hulled and thorny, and the animals were gritty and relentless. Some called it a wasteland, but it had a wild beauty that no other place on Earth could offer.

Well, no other place in America, anyway. One of these days, Caleb hoped to travel on a sailing ship to a faraway land and see what new wonders awaited there. But that was for another time. For now, he was perfectly happy to drive the stage across the untamed wilderness of the American West and fancy himself as free and wild as the desert.

One of the passengers—a mild-mannered gentleman of about fifty with a head just as bald as Hoster’s and a voice far deeper and more pleasant—leaned out of the window and asked, “Excuse me, Mr. Hart, do you know when we’ll reach Tucson?”

“Shouldn’t be more than an hour and a half, Mr. Beede,” Caleb replied.

“Thank you kindly, young man,” the older gentleman said.

The passengers were among the more pleasant companions Caleb had enjoyed in his brief career as a stage driver. That could have been just because they were content to leave him alone save for brief questions about time or distance like the one Mr. Beede had just asked.

Some passengers weren’t so polite. A few weeks back, Caleb had transported a thoroughly unpleasant woman named Holloway, and the resulting journey had been the worst of his tenure so far. She had spent the entire drive complaining and making demands that, when refused, would send her into a fit of rage more befitting a toddler than a grown woman. Caleb had been grateful to leave her in Tucson where she could become Jack Holbrook’s problem.

His smile faded as he thought of Holbrook. Holbrook wasn’t exactly Caleb’s friend. The two of them interacted only occasionally. Still, Caleb respected the serious, hardworking man.

The terrain grew rougher and more hilly and Caleb looked around carefully for any sign of trouble. The route he drove had so far been spared the scourge of bandits and rustlers—a good thing, since he doubted the twitchy Hoster Poole would be of any use in a firefight—but many coaches on other routes had been robbed. It was only a matter of time before the bandits worked their way over to the Butterfield line.

“And another thing about goats,” Hoster said.

Caleb frowned. “Hold on.”

“Hold on? What? Did you see a goat?”

Caleb rolled his eyes. “No, I didn’t see a goat. Just be quiet for a moment.”

Hoster miraculously followed Caleb’s instruction, clamping his mouth shut and listening as intently as Caleb. Caleb pulled the horses to a stop and focused on the sounds of the land around him.

Or rather the lack of sound. That was the problem. The desert usually teemed with scurrying, chirping, hissing, and rustling as animals flitted from cactus to rock to burrow and back again. Now, everything was silent.

“What is it?” Hoster asked. “I don’t hear nothing.”

“Shh.”

Hoster frowned and hmphed, pooching his lip out like a child. Caleb concentrated and heard a soft slipping sound, like cloth being drawn over parchment.

He recognized that sound. So did the horses. They whimpered and shifted uneasily, looking left and right at the nearly silent landscape.

“What the hell is it?” Hoster blurted out. “Christ, Caleb, you’re making me nervous.”

“Wildcat,” Caleb said. “A big one.”

“You mean a cougar?”

“Yes,” Caleb replied. He pulled his revolver from his holster and set it across his lap. “Get your shotgun ready.”

Hoster immediately lifted the weapon and began to cock the lever. Caleb grabbed the lever.

“I said get it ready, not fire it.”

“Well, it’ll be ready to fire if I cock it, won’t it?”

“Just hold it for now,” Caleb said, “and try not to do anything foolish.”

“Well, there’s no need to be rude,” Hoster said pettily.

“Quiet.”

Caleb listened. One of the passengers—a younger man with an unruly mop of curly blonde hair and a cherubic face—leaned out of the window, but his question died on his lips when Caleb chopped his hand for quiet.

He listened for several minutes, but he didn’t hear the cloth-over-parchment noise again. The horses shifted their feet, but they seemed far less nervous than a moment ago. The cat must have moved on.

He snapped the reins and the coach continued. Caleb allowed himself to relax, but he kept his ears open.

And of course, Hoster filled them.

“Well, I don’t know what the hell that was, Caleb, but there weren’t no cougar around. If there were, you’d know. They make this awful wailing noise like you’d never heard. Like a woman’s scream mixed with the hiss of an alley-gator. Y’ever seen an alley-gator? Like big lizards that swim in the water. They make this awful hissing noise if you stumble across ‘em, but it’s worse when they’re quiet. I knowed people who went swimming in ponds back in Leesy-anna and get pulled under the water and never come up. People ain’t even find their bones after that. You ever been to Leesy-anna?”

“Once or twice.”

“Well, it’s an odd sort of folk that live there, but s’long as you’re polite to them, they’re friendly enough. Ain’t until you—”

Hoster Poole, the lovable fool that he was, managed to drown out the sound around Caleb to the point that he was surprised when the wildcat—every bit as big as Caleb suspected—leaped from behind a boulder right at the lead horse.

Caleb pulled his handgun and fired while the wildcat was in the air. The bullet struck the cat squarely between the eyes. It died instantly, but its momentum carried it into the horse’s body. The horse, frightened beyond its ability to reason, reared into the air and bolted. The other horse, unprepared for the sudden change in speed, stumbled and lurched, and the stagecoach skidded sideways.

Caleb cursed and deftly holstered his weapon, grabbing the reins with his other hand and yanking backward. The horse was too frightened to realize it was Caleb pulling the reins that slowed it and not a cat seeking to drag it to the ground. It reared again and pulled forward once more, but the delay had allowed Caleb to urge its companion forward, and the two horses pulled at equal speeds. The coach bumped and jostled, bouncing roughly over the ruts along the road.

The passengers cried out, and one of the women shrieked, an ear-splitting scream that ripped the air. Caleb grimaced. “Hoster, can you calm the passengers, please?”

Another scream pierced the air, and Caleb cried, “Hoster!”

He looked to his right to see Hoster, white as a sheet, gripping the edge of the bench and trembling like a piglet. He drew in a breath and shrieked, and Caleb realized it was he who was screaming.

“Oh, for the love of…” Caleb began.

With a sigh, he decided he’d just have to endure Hoster’s shrieking while he navigated the careening coach.

“Calm the horses down!” Hoster shrieked. “Stop them!”

“Can’t,” Caleb said patiently. “They’re afraid for their lives. We just need to let them run themselves out. They’ll tire soon enough!”

“Oh god! We’re going to die!”

“We’re not going to die,” Caleb said. “For heaven’s sake, Hoster, get a hold of yourself.”

“Help! Help!”

“Or not.”

Hoster continued to wail, and Caleb focused his attention on the horses instead. He looked ahead, anticipating the ruts and bends in the road, alternately pulling and snapping the reins to keep the coach balanced. When the road dipped, he pulled back, releasing the reins just after the horses reached the bottom. The coach bumped and swung, but the horses avoided tripping—a disaster that would undoubtedly result in the entire coach overturning, possibly with injuries.

Hoster stopped screaming, and Caleb had to suppress a chuckle when he looked right and saw the man’s eyes closed in prayer, his lips moving rapidly as he silently pleaded for God to spare him from whatever horrible fate awaited him if and when the wagon overturned.

The road grew rougher as the horses continued their sprint, and Caleb’s hands moved swiftly, pulling, snapping, turning, and occasionally holding, ensuring the horses ran in a way that kept the vehicle planted on the ground. Caleb was grateful for the leather springs of the Concord coach. The steel springs of a less sophisticated coach would provide little dampening for the rapid movements and increase the risk of a rollover.

“Please!” Hoster cried. “Use the brakes!”

“If I do that, the coach will skid out of control,” Caleb said. “I can only brake the wheels, not the horses.”

“Then cut the reins! Let them go! Save us!”

“Oh for…” Further argument was pointless. The damned fool was making more trouble than the horses.

The silver lining to this cloud made itself apparent when the city of Tucson came into view just ahead, at the bottom of a long, shallow descent. The descent was risky since the coach could outpace the horses and trip them. It looked Caleb would have to use the brakes after all.

He rested his right foot lightly over the brake lever, and when he felt the coach slide forward faster than the horses’ pace, he tapped it. The brake blocks pressed against the rear tires, and the coach slowed quickly. He kept his taps light and fast, allowing the coach to slow, but never fast enough to pull on the horses.

Finally, the horses began to tire. They dropped from a run to a gallop, then a canter, then a trot. They kept up the trot, breathing heavily, until they reached the outskirts of town. When they knew they were safe, they slowed to a walk that was barely a crawl. They headed to the stage stop near the post office, and Caleb dismounted and unhooked the reins so the poor animals could walk ahead to the watering trough.

They did so gratefully, and Caleb helped the passengers down. A few seemed shaken up, though none so bad as Hoster, but a few others seemed exhilarated by the ride. One—the young man with curly hair—even asked if he could do it again sometime.

Caleb laughed. “Well, I’d rather not if I can avoid it, but I understand they have cart races in New England. If you’re ever out that way, you might think about attending one.”

“You should be a cart racer,” the youngster gushed. “I bet you’d be the best that ever was.”

“Well, I don’t know about that, but I’m glad you enjoyed yourself.”

Hoster, surprisingly, managed to get a hold of himself in time to help unload the luggage and mail. They had three bags of mail today, and the extra weight was probably what allowed the coach to remain upright during some of the rougher parts of the road.

“Boy howdy,” a genial baritone voice said behind Caleb. “You sure have a flair for the dramatic.”

Caleb turned to see his boss, Butterfield Overland Mail stage manager Seymour Humphrey, approaching with a smile. Caleb grinned at the man. “Anything to impress the ladies, sir.”

Seymour Humphrey planted both hands on his considerable belly and laughed, a full-bodied, resonant sound. Seymour dressed like a railroad baron with a gold-rimmed monocle and a silver pocket watch with a crystal face nestled in the pocket of a silk suit coat that probably cost more than the coach Caleb had just parked. Despite this, he was one of the most genuinely kind men Caleb had ever known, and he could often be seen handing out sweets to the town’s schoolchildren or spending afternoons talking with various other residents of the booming town of Tucson.

Caleb often wished he had Humphrey’s personability. The man made friends as easily as his wife, the equally genial Linda Humphrey, made the best damned apple pies Caleb had ever tasted.

Seymour clapped a hand on Caleb’s shoulder. “That’s why you’re my favorite driver, Caleb. Don’t tell the others I said that, though. They get jealous enough as it is.”

“I’ll keep it between us, sir.”

“Wonderful. Say, how’d you like to join me at the Old Corner for a pint? I have a question I need to ask you.”

“I’ll join you for a pint, question or no,” Caleb replied. “I could use a drink after riding with Hoster Poole the past four days.”

Seymour laughed. “Yes, he’s a talkative one, for sure. I think we’ll see about moving him to the mail room and take him off of shotgun duties.” His smile faded abruptly, and he said in a more serious voice than Caleb had ever heard him use, “That’s actually something I need to talk to you about.”

Caleb frowned. “About Hoster?”

“We’ll talk at the saloon.”

Caleb’s sunny attitude grayed considerably. Seymour’s expression had turned grim, and there were few things Caleb could think of that could make the habitually cheerful Seymour look this way.

Some of Seymour’s joviality had returned when they reached the saloon, and he laughed and traded jokes with Matt Rooney, the proprietor, while he ordered a shot of whiskey for himself and Caleb. The grim expression returned once they received their shots, though.

“There’s been a death on our line,” he said, keeping his voice soft so he wouldn’t be overheard.


“A Stagecoach Rescue Mission” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!

Caleb Hart, a seasoned stagecoach driver, roams the vast Arizona desert, his life a journey of relentless change and adventure. Known for his unwavering determination and skill, he’s the embodiment of the rugged, restless spirit that defines the Wild West. When tasked to replace a fallen driver after a brutal ambush, Caleb stumbles upon a chance encounter that could anchor his wandering heart.

Will he embrace the call to settle, or will the thrill of the untamed land keep him in its grasp?

After rebuilding her life in Arizona, Molly Bennett’s determination is put to the ultimate test when her brother, Tommy, is kidnapped. Thrust into turmoil, her dreams of a tranquil life at the Home Stage Inn are shattered. Faced with her worst nightmare, Molly must muster all her strength and courage.

But will her strength and courage be enough to save her flesh and blood?

The fates of Caleb and Molly intertwine as they face a perilous mission to rescue what’s most dear to them. As they confront their adversaries and their doubts, a question looms large: Can they forge a future together in the unforgiving wilderness, or will their hopes be dashed by the very adventure that brought them together?

“A Stagecoach Rescue Mission” is a historical adventure novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cliffhangers, only pure unadulterated action.

Get your copy from Amazon!

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