A Trapper’s Battle Hymn (Preview)

Chapter One

The sun dipped below the horizon, casting a golden glow over the vast and untamed wilderness of the West. Long shadows stretched across the land, intermingling with the rich hues of red rock and sagebrush. Duncan Reid moved silently through the rugged landscape, his every step in harmony with the rhythm of nature. Keen eyes scanned the terrain, searching for tracks left by elusive prey. A seasoned hunter, he possessed an intimate understanding of the world around him, one forged through years of solitude and survival.

“Daniel,” he whispered, the name of his younger brother escaping his lips like a mournful prayer. Pain laced through his chest as memories of their time together filled his mind. It had been two long years since Daniel’s passing, yet the wound remained fresh, gnawing at him from within. The loss had driven Duncan further into the wilderness, seeking solace in its unforgiving embrace.

As the sun slipped even lower, Duncan paused to rest and started a small campfire. Its flickering light cast dancing shadows upon the surrounding dirt as he stared into the flames, pondering the whispered rumors that had begun to circulate among the scattered settlements. Word had it that Elias Kane, the notorious outlaw who was responsible for his brother’s death, was planning a daring escape from prison. The thought sent a shiver down his spine. Elias was a force to be reckoned with, and few men dared to stand against him. His brother never stood a chance.

“Can’t let that snake slither out of his cage,” Duncan muttered to himself, his thoughts heavy with unease. He knew all too well the damage Elias could cause, having seen firsthand the destruction left in the outlaw’s wake.

As the darkness of night slowly enveloped the landscape, Duncan watched the fire, his resolve hardening. If the rumors were true and Elias was indeed planning an escape, then it fell to him to put an end to the outlaw’s reign of terror. For the sake of his brother, and for all those who had suffered at Elias’s hand, he would not back down.

“Rest easy, Daniel,” Duncan whispered, his voice barely audible above the crackling flames. “I’ll make things right. I promise.”

With that solemn vow, he steeled himself for the challenges ahead, knowing his journey would take him to the very edge of darkness—and perhaps beyond.

***

Duncan stood tall and imposing against the backdrop of the untamed West. His face, weathered by countless suns and storms, told the tale of a life spent battling nature’s harshest elements. Piercing blue eyes, set deep beneath a furrowed brow, scanned the landscape with unwavering vigilance—eyes that had witnessed both beauty and horror in equal measure. Muscles rippled beneath his tanned skin as he moved with purpose, his long, unkempt hair and beard adding to his rugged appearance.

“Somethin’ ain’t right,” Duncan muttered under his breath, his words carried away by the wind. The signs were subtle, but unmistakable to one so attuned to the intricacies of the wild: disturbed foliage, branches snapped at unnatural angles, and most alarmingly, the heavy tracks of a bear meandering through the dirt.

Could be an ambush, he thought, his heart quickening at the prospect of danger. He knew better than most that the wilderness was a place where life hung precariously in the balance, where every decision could mean the difference between survival and demise. Years spent navigating this landscape had honed his instincts, transforming him into a formidable hunter and trapper.

“Alright, easy now,” he murmured, voice barely audible as he crouched low, fingers tracing the edges of the tracks. Studying the signs, Duncan considered his options, weighing the potential risks and rewards. “These tracks are fresh,” he mused, “but I don’t like the look of ‘em. Somethin’s off.”

His mind raced with possibilities even as his body tensed, coiled like a spring ready to snap into action. All around him, the wilderness thrummed with life, its beauty and danger intertwined like the limbs of the massive oaks that dotted the landscape. This was his world, a place where each new sunrise brought with it the promise of another adventure—and another chance to face down the demons that haunted his past.

“Either I walk into this blind,” he whispered, steeling himself for what lay ahead, “or I turn tail and run.”

But Duncan Reid was not a man who ran from danger, even when faced with the unknown. With quiet determination, he chose to press on, following the tracks deeper into the heart of the wild, unsure of what awaited him but resolved to confront it head-on.

Daniel, he thought, his brother’s memory a constant companion, I hope you’re watchin’ over me now. ‘Cause I got a feelin’ I’m about to need all the help I can get.

“Somethin’s been through here,” Duncan muttered to himself. “Could be anythin’, though,” he reasoned, crouching down to examine the earth beneath his feet. “Gotta keep my wits about me.”

He pressed on, noticing claw marks etched into the bark of a nearby tree, evidence of a bear’s presence. He paused, considering the implications with a hint of concern.

“Is it you I’m trackin’?” he whispered, one hand resting on the butt of his revolver. “Or somethin’ else entirely? Either way,” he continued, his tone resolute, “I’ll be ready for whatever comes.”

With each step, the wilderness seemed to close in around him, its secrets shrouded in shadow and mystery. The air grew heavy with the scent of damp earth and decay, a testament to the cycle of life and death that played out daily in this untamed world.

“Got to stay sharp,” Duncan reminded himself as he navigated the thick brush, his senses straining to detect even the slightest anomaly. “One wrong move could mean the end. Where are you leadin’ me?” he wondered aloud, his words swallowed by the vast expanse of the wild. “What do you want? Guess there’s only one way to find out,” he concluded, steeling himself for the challenges that lay ahead.

As he crept through the undergrowth, his muscular frame coiled like a snake prepared to strike, Duncan pieced together the puzzle of the potential ambush. The signs were all there, but something didn’t sit right with him.

“Careful now,” he said to himself, his fingers tightening around the grip of his revolver as he followed the trail of destruction left by the unseen predator. “Stay alert. Stay alive.”

With a final, determined step, Duncan breached the threshold of the ambush site, his eyes locked on the source of the disturbance. As the realization washed over him, a cold shiver ran down his spine—for what awaited him was far more dangerous than any bear he had ever encountered.

His heart raced as he approached the edge of the clearing, adrenaline coursing through his veins. The sounds of the forest fell away, replaced by an eerie silence that set his nerves on edge.

“Show yourself!” he called out, his voice echoing through the stillness. “I know you’re here!”

“Quiet, fool,” came a disembodied voice, sending a shiver down Duncan’s spine. “If you want to live, keep your mouth shut.”

“Who’s there?” he demanded, his revolver at the ready.

“Patience, hunter,” the voice taunted, its tone dripping with malice. “All will be revealed in time.”

Can’t wait any longer, he thought, his frustration mounting. Got to end this now.

“Alright then,” Duncan said aloud, drawing a deep breath as he prepared himself for what was to come. “Let’s finish this.”

With a final surge of determination, he stepped into the clearing. The sight that greeted him sent his heart plummeting to his boots, and the world came crashing down around him.

“Welcome to hell,” the voice sneered as chaos erupted all around, and darkness swallowed everything.

Chapter Two

Night’s darkness cloaked the landscape, with only the soft glimmer of starlight to pierce the blackness. Duncan Reid’s keen senses were on high alert as he crept through the underbrush, his eyes darting back and forth, searching for the source of the muffled voices he had heard moments before.

“Who’s there?” came a strained voice, barely above a whisper. “Show yourself!”

Duncan stepped out from behind a gnarled oak tree, his hands raised in a gesture of peace. He saw a man before him, stocky and stern-faced, with short-cropped gray hair that spoke of years of experience. The man held a trembling pistol in one hand, his other arm wrapped protectively around a young woman with delicate features and long, wavy dark hair.

“Easy, stranger,” Duncan said calmly, his deep voice resonating in the quiet night. “I mean you no harm.”

The man eyed him warily. “I’m Samuel Hawkins,” he replied cautiously, not lowering the weapon. “This here’s Mira Thompson.”

“Name’s Duncan Reid,” he responded, his gaze flickering briefly to Mira. Her deep brown eyes met his but quickly darted away, an unspoken fear evident within them.

“Listen,” Samuel said, his voice tense, “we’ve got ourselves a problem. There’s a huge bear stalking us. We need to move, now.”

“Alright.” He nodded, his hunter instincts kicking in. “Follow me, and stay low.”

As they moved silently through the foliage, Duncan couldn’t help but notice the way Mira clung to Samuel’s side, her knuckles white from gripping his arm so tightly. He had to act fast, not just for their sake but for his own peace of mind.

“Stay here,” he whispered to them when they reached a small clearing. “I’ll draw the bear away.”

“Are you mad?” Samuel hissed, his eyes wide with alarm. “That thing will tear you apart!”

“Trust me,” Duncan replied, steady and resolute. “I’ve dealt with bears before.”

With that, he disappeared into the shadows, circling around to find the looming threat. Once he spotted the massive creature, its fur catching the faint moonlight like a dark specter, he knew he had to be swift and precise.

Drawing a long knife from his belt, Duncan lunged at the bear, aiming for its vulnerable throat. The beast roared in anger and pain as the blade bit deep, thrashing wildly in an attempt to dislodge its attacker. Duncan held on with every ounce of strength he possessed, knowing his life—and the lives of Mira and Samuel—hung in the balance.

Finally, the bear staggered and fell, its once-mighty frame now limp and still. Duncan wiped the sweat from his brow, his heart pounding with adrenaline and relief.

“Is it… dead?” came Mira’s trembling voice from behind him.

Duncan nodded, sheathing his knife. “It won’t harm anyone else.”

“Thank you,” she whispered, her eyes brimming with gratitude and newfound respect.

“Let’s get you both to safety,” Duncan said, leading them away from the fallen beast and the darkness that had threatened to consume them all.

***

In the dim moonlight, Duncan studied Mira and Samuel as they caught their breath. Mira’s chest heaved beneath her tattered shawl, her cheeks flushed with a mix of fear and relief. Samuel leaned heavily on his walking stick, sweat dripping from his furrowed brow.

“Thank you,” Samuel managed between gasps. “I don’t know what we would’ve done without you.”

“Neither do I,” Mira murmured quietly, her voice still shaking.

Duncan gave them a curt nod. He could see the exhaustion in their eyes and remembered all too well the dangers that lurked in the veil of the night. “We need to make camp,” he said, glancing at the sky. “It’s dangerous to be out here after dark.”

“Make camp?” Samuel asked, eyeing Duncan warily. “Are you sure it’s safe?”

“Safer than wandering around in the dark,” Duncan told him, keeping his blue eyes steady and reassuring. “Trust me.”

Samuel hesitated for a moment before acquiescing. “Very well. We’ll put our faith in you.”

“Good.” Duncan nodded. He turned to Mira and saw the uncertainty etched on her face. “Don’t worry, ma’am. I’ll keep watch tonight. Nothin’ will get past me.”

Mira offered a tentative smile, her fingers twisting nervously in the fabric of her skirt. “Thank you, Mr. Reid.”

“Call me Duncan,” he said gruffly, turning away to gather firewood. As he walked through the trees, he couldn’t help but think about the responsibility he had taken on—two strangers, depending on him for their survival. It was a burden he hadn’t anticipated, but one he wouldn’t ignore.

This is my duty, he thought, stacking the wood in a small circle. And I’m gonna see it through.

The fire crackled and danced as Duncan fed it with dry branches, the warmth creating a flickering glow on Mira and Samuel’s faces. They sat on opposite sides of the fire, seeking solace in its light against the encroaching darkness. Duncan took a seat on a fallen log, taking a swig from his canteen before addressing them.

“Y’all are a long way from anywhere,” he said, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. “What brings you out here?”

Mira glanced at Samuel before speaking up, her voice soft but steady. “I’m to be married. My betrothed is a cattle baron out West named Garrett Blackwell. Samuel was hired to escort me there.”

Duncan raised an eyebrow, impressed by the young woman’s resolve. “That’s quite the journey, miss. And a dangerous one, too.”

“Indeed,” Samuel interjected, his face stony. “We’ve already had our share of trouble.”

“Trouble?” Duncan felt a flicker of concern as he leaned forward.

“Outlaws,” Samuel spat, his grip on his wounded arm tightening. “They ambushed us a few days back, tried to take Mira. We managed to escape, but they’ve been on our trail ever since.”

“Damn scavengers,” Duncan muttered, his mind racing with possible scenarios. The wilderness could be unforgiving, but the thought of outlaws preying on innocent folk like Mira and Samuel made his blood boil.

“Perhaps they wanted a ransom,” Mira suggested, her eyes downcast. “My betrothed is a wealthy man.”

“Could be,” Duncan agreed, though he sensed there was more to the story. Outlaws were opportunistic, but something about this situation felt deliberate, personal even. He shook off the thought, focusing on the task at hand.

“Either way, we’ll need to be extra vigilant,” he said, his gaze shifting between Mira and Samuel. “I’ve got your backs, but you’ll need to keep your wits about you.”

“Understood.” Samuel nodded, his expression somber. Mira simply bit her lip, the weight of their situation clearly settling on her delicate shoulders.

In that moment, Duncan felt a connection to these two strangers, bound together by fate and circumstance. Their lives had become entwined with his own, and he would do everything in his power to see them safely through this perilous journey.

The fire crackled and hissed. Duncan poked at the glowing embers with a stick, sending a shower of sparks into the night sky. The tension in the air was palpable, like the charged atmosphere before a thunderstorm. He glanced over at Mira and Samuel, whose fear and exhaustion was etched on their faces.

“I’m sorry for what you’ve been through,” Duncan said with genuine empathy, his voice rough from years of solitude. “The wilderness can be a cruel place, but know that you’re not alone out here. I’ll do my best to keep you both safe.”

Mira looked up at him, her eyes shimmering with unshed tears. “Thank you, Duncan. We owe you our lives already.”

“Indeed, we do,” Samuel added, his gratitude evident in his tired smile.

Duncan shifted uneasily, unused to such praise. He stared into the fire, lost in thought. “I know how it feels to lose someone out here,” he began slowly, his voice barely more than a whisper. “My younger brother… he was killed by an outlaw some years back.”

Mira gasped softly, her hand instinctively reaching for her heart. “I’m so sorry, Duncan.”

“Me too,” Samuel echoed, his voice heavy with shared grief.

“Thank you,” Duncan murmured, his jaw clenched as memories threatened to overwhelm him. He forced himself to continue, letting the words flow like water over a jagged rock. “We were close, my brother and I. After he was gone, I couldn’t bear the thought of facing the world without him. So I retreated into the wilderness, finding solace in its emptiness.”

He paused, gazing distantly into the fire’s depths.

“But the memory of his loss has never left me. It’s a reminder of the dangers that lurk in these lands, and the importance of protecting those who can’t protect themselves.”

Mira nodded solemnly, her gaze locked on Duncan’s face as if she could see the pain etched upon his soul. “I admit, I’m scared,” she confessed, her voice trembling like a leaf in the wind. “This journey has tested me in ways I never imagined, and now, with the threat of outlaws… it feels like the world is closing in around us.”

“Your fear is understandable, Mira,” Duncan said gently, his heart aching for the young woman caught up in circumstances beyond her control. “But you’re stronger than you realize. You’ve made it this far, and I have faith that you’ll see this journey through to its end.”

“Thank you, Duncan. Your words mean more to me than you know,” Mira replied, her voice wavering with emotion.

Duncan studied the two, their expressions reflecting the trials they had faced thus far. He made a silent vow to protect them from further harm.

“Rest easy tonight,” he said firmly, his eyes meeting Mira’s. “I’ll do everything in my power to keep you safe and fulfill Samuel’s promise to deliver you to your betrothed.”

Her eyes shone with gratitude as her lips curved into a small smile. “Thank you, Duncan. That means more to me than I can say.”

Samuel nodded his agreement, his gruff voice softened by exhaustion. “We’re lucky to have you with us, Reid. I’ll sleep easier knowing you’re standing watch.”

With that, the trio set about preparing for the night. Mira and Samuel laid out their bedrolls near the dying fire, seeking comfort in its warmth, while Duncan ensured their horses were secured and settled. With keen senses, he scanned the surrounding darkness, ever-vigilant for any hidden dangers that might encroach upon their makeshift camp.

Tendrils of smoke rose from the dying fire, twisting and dancing in a phantom ballet before disappearing into the night. The dark grew bigger, the world around them descending into an uneasy silence disturbed only by Samuel’s rhythmic breathing. Yet Duncan remained steadfast, the unyielding guardian of those who had unexpectedly come to rely on his strength and skill.

As the first fingers of dawn began to stretch across the sky, the promise of a new day loomed on the horizon. But for now, they rested, secure in the knowledge that Duncan Reid would watch over them through the darkest hours of the night.

Chapter Three

The first light of dawn crept over the horizon, a pale glow illuminating the campsite where Mira, Samuel, and Duncan lay in restless slumber. Shadows still clung to the corners of their makeshift camp, reluctant to be chased away by the encroaching daylight. But the silence was shattered by the sudden sound of gunshots echoing through the crisp morning air.

Duncan’s eyes snapped open, every muscle in his body tensing at once. Instinctively, he reached for his revolver as his eyes scanned the area, searching for the source of the danger. He had lived long enough in the untamed wilderness to know that gunfire meant trouble, and his gut told him that this was no exception.

“Samuel!” he barked, hoarse from hours spent sleeping on the hard ground. “Wake up; we’re under attack!”

Samuel stirred groggily, his gray hair disheveled and his stocky form slow to react. As the older man reached for his weapon, Duncan’s gaze fell upon Mira. She, too, had been awakened by the noise, her eyes wide with fear as she struggled to comprehend what was happening.

Duncan’s urgent whisper came as he pressed a finger to his lips. “Stay low, Mira, don’t move.”

The young woman nodded, her eyes locked on Duncan’s.

He swiftly took in the situation. There, just beyond the edge of the camp, three outlaws in ragged clothes emerged from their hiding places among the trees, guns drawn and faces set with grim determination. Their shifty eyes marked them as men who would kill without hesitation for whatever they wanted—whether it be money, horses, or something far more sinister.

“Damn,” Duncan muttered under his breath, mind racing as he calculated their odds. He had to act quickly, not only to protect Mira from the outlaws but also to ensure Samuel’s safety. And yet, with each second that passed, the danger drew nearer.

“Samuel, cover Mira,” he ordered, his voice low and steady despite the fear coiling in his gut, “and help me take care of these bastards.”

With a sudden burst of adrenaline, Duncan sprang into action, reaching for the revolver holstered at his side. His fingers wrapped around the leather grip like it was an extension of his own body, honed by years of experience in situations just like this one. Samuel took shots while making sure that Mira stayed low and protected.

“Get down, Mira!” Duncan barked, his words sharp and commanding as he leveled the gun at the closest outlaw. Her eyes widened in fear, but she didn’t hesitate to obey him, dropping to the ground behind a fallen log that offered some semblance of cover.

“Nice day for a shootout, don’t you think?” sneered the outlaw leader, his voice carrying a twisted sense of glee. He was a tall man with an unkempt beard and a cruel glint in his eye that spoke volumes about his intentions. “I hope you’re ready to die, friends.”

“Only a coward would call me a friend while holding a gun,” Duncan retorted, his voice steady despite the pounding of his heart. Demonstrating fear would only embolden these outlaws further.

As if on cue, the outlaw fired his pistol, the bullet whizzing through the air mere inches from Duncan’s face. But the seasoned hunter was quicker; he squeezed the trigger of his own weapon, sending a well-aimed shot straight into the man’s shoulder. The outlaw cried out in pain, stumbling back as blood soaked through his filthy shirt.

“Damn you!” he snarled, clutching at the wound even as his two cohorts took up their positions, weapons drawn and pointed directly at Duncan. They were just as ragged and dangerous-looking as their leader, with cold, ruthless stares that promised no mercy.

“Ya got lucky once,” one of the henchmen growled, his finger twitching against the trigger. “But luck ain’t gonna save ya from us.”

Duncan’s mind raced, trying to find a way out of this deadly standoff. He couldn’t afford to let these men get the upper hand; not with Mira depending on him. But charging into the fray would be foolish and reckless. He had to play it smart, biding his time until the perfect moment.

“Maybe luck ain’t got nothin’ to do with it,” he shot back coolly, doing his best to keep their attention focused on him and away from the others. “Maybe I’m just better than y’all.”

The second henchman sneered, his finger tightening on the trigger as he prepared to fire. But Duncan was ready for him; in one fluid motion, he ducked behind a nearby tree, sending a bullet flying through the space he’d just occupied.

“Get him! Don’t let him get away!” the injured leader commanded, his voice a mix of anger and desperation.

The two remaining outlaws split up, each circling around the campsite in an attempt to flank Duncan. They moved cautiously, clearly suspecting he wouldn’t go down without a fight.

But Duncan wasn’t about to let them win.

“Over here, you sons of bitches!” he yelled, drawing the outlaws’ attention toward him and away from where Mira lay hidden. As they turned to face him, he let loose another volley of gunfire, forcing them to take cover in the chaos.

“Stay down, Mira!” he shouted, his voice rough with urgency.

She ducked behind the overturned wagon, her hands trembling as she clung to the wooden debris for dear life. Her eyes darted back and forth, watching for any sign of danger. She couldn’t see the outlaws, but she could hear their taunts and jeers echoing in the distance.

“Show yourself, coward!” one of them barked, punctuating his words with a gunshot that whistled past Duncan’s ear.

“Reckon you’re too scared, ain’t you?” another sneered, his laughter harsh and mocking as it rang through the air.

Duncan’s jaw clenched and his eyes narrowed into slits. They were trying to goad him into the open, but he refused to take the bait. Instead, he pressed himself against the rough bark of a nearby tree, using its cover to shield Mira from their view.

“Samuel,” he muttered under his breath, “get ready to move.”

Samuel, crouched just a few feet away from Mira, nodded grimly. His hair was matted with sweat, and his eyes held a pained determination that seemed at odds with the stooped curve of his shoulders. Still, he pushed himself up, gripping the handle of his revolver tightly in his good hand.

“Alright, Duncan,” he replied, his voice barely audible above the din of gunfire. “On your signal.”

“Three… two… one… Now!” Duncan cried, and with a burst of speed, he dashed from the tree, firing off several shots in rapid succession. The outlaws scattered, cursing and hollering as they dove for cover, leaving Samuel just enough time to stumble forward and collapse beside Mira.

“Samuel!” she gasped, her eyes wide with fear when she caught sight of the blood seeping through his bandages. “You shouldn’t have—“

“Never mind that,” he cut her off gruffly, his gaze fixed on Duncan. “We need to get outta here.”

“Yer gonna die today, you hear me?” one of the outlaws screamed, his voice filled with rage. “This ain’t over!”

“Neither am I,” Duncan growled, his chest heaving as he readied himself for another volley of gunfire. “Not until every last one of you is dead or gone.”

And then, without warning, a single gunshot rang out, its echo chillingly clear amidst the abrupt silence. It was followed by a cry of pain, and Mira turned just in time to see Samuel crumple to the ground, his face twisted in agony as his hand flew to his side.

“Samuel!” she screamed, her voice raw and desperate as she scrambled to his side. But even as she did so, she knew that it was too late—the bullet had found its mark, and there was no saving him now.

“Get… Mira… out…” Samuel gasped, his breath coming in short, wheezing bursts. “Promise… me…”

Duncan’s heart clenched at the sight of his new friend’s suffering, but he forced himself to focus on the task at hand. He would see this through, no matter the cost. For Samuel. For Mira. And for himself.

“Stay down,” he whispered fiercely, reloading his gun as he prepared to make his stand. “I won’t let them harm you. I swear it.”

Samuel’s breaths came in ragged gasps, each more labored than the last. Their time was running out, and he could feel the weight of his responsibility pressing down on him like a heavy saddlebag.

“Listen, Duncan,” Samuel rasped, his voice soft as the outlaws noisily reloaded their weapons, “I ain’t got long left. You gotta promise me something.”

Duncan’s blue eyes met Samuel’s, and he nodded solemnly. “Anything, Samuel. Just say it.”

“Promise… Promise me you’ll protect Mira,” Samuel wheezed, his hand clutching at his side where the bullet had struck. “Get her… to her husband.”

The words seemed to cost Samuel dearly, as if each syllable drained away more of his life. Duncan felt the walls around his heart crack under the strain. He had tried so hard to avoid this kind of pain again, but fate clearly had other plans for him.

“I swear it, Samuel,” Duncan said, his voice thick with emotion. “I’ll protect her with my life if need be. I won’t let anything happen to her.”

“Good man…” Samuel whispered, his face etched with relief despite the agony coursing through him. “I knew… I could trust you.”

Duncan’s determination surged within him, every fiber of his being now committed to fulfilling Samuel’s dying wish. He turned his attention back to where the outlaws had taken cover, sharpshooter instincts taking over as he scanned the area for any signs of movement.

“Stay close to me, Mira,” Duncan ordered softly, his gaze never leaving the makeshift barricades the outlaws had erected. “We’re going to get out of this, and I’m going to see you safely to your fiancé. That’s a promise.”

Mira’s eyes shimmered with unshed tears, but she nodded, her jaw set in a determined line. She had come so far since the beginning of their journey, and Duncan knew she would do whatever it took to see it through to the end.

The acrid scent of gunpowder filled the air as Duncan steadied his aim, the sharp crack of his rifle echoing through the campsite. The outlaws were relentless in their pursuit of Mira, but he had one goal in mind: protect her at all costs.

“Get down!” Duncan shouted to Mira, keeping his voice steady despite the chaos around them. She dropped to the ground, her eyes wide but trusting as she glanced up at him. Her safety was his priority now.

“Damn you!” one of the outlaws yelled, his voice edged with fear and rage. “You’re not getting out of this alive!”

Duncan didn’t bother responding, focusing instead on scanning the area for any signs of movement. The outlaws wouldn’t give up easily, but neither would he.

I’ve faced worse than this before, he thought, his jaw clenched with determination.

As bullets whizzed past his ear, Duncan caught sight of one outlaw darting from behind a boulder, aiming his pistol at Mira’s prone form. With lightning-fast reflexes, Duncan fired, the bullet connecting with the outlaw’s shoulder and sending him sprawling to the ground.

“Nice shot!” Mira called out, her voice wavering but strong, as she looked over at Duncan with admiration shining in her eyes.

“Stay down!” he warned her again. He couldn’t afford to lose focus for even a moment, not with their lives hanging in the balance.


“A Trapper’s Battle Hymn” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!

In the untamed wilds of the American West, Duncan Reid, a solitary wilderness hunter fueled by a deep-seated vendetta, roams alone. His life, forever altered by the cruel murder of his younger brother at the hands of the notorious outlaw Elias Kane, is shrouded in solitude, a shield against further pain. But as rumors of Elias’s escape stir, Duncan’s life is upended by an unforeseen encounter.

Will a twist of fate divert him from his path of revenge?

Amidst the dangers of the wilderness, Duncan crosses paths with Mira Everhart, a tenacious and outspoken woman, and her loyal companion, Samuel. As they journey through the perilous wilds, fleeing from relentless outlaws, Mira’s indomitable spirit is tested. Secrets she harbors start to surface, making their situation even more dangerous…

Will she find trust in him, or will her past drive a wedge between them?

In this lawless land, the destinies of Duncan and Mira become entwined in a high-stakes ordeal, a balancing act between past demons and future hopes. As the shadows of their past loom over them, will they discover redemption, or will they be consumed by the very darkness they seek to defeat?

“A Trapper’s Battle Hymn” is a historical adventure novel of approximately 45,000 words. No cliffhangers, only pure unadulterated action.

Get your copy from Amazon!

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