Bravery in the Face of Danger (Preview)

Chapter One

Logan Hardwick sat on a boulder surrounded by manzanitas in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, watching the goings-on surrounding a small cabin hidden up against a tall crag. He had been in that position for the better part of two hours, having ridden in before Rory Callahan and his men rode out that morning.

They left one man behind, Del Cowart. Del was going in and out of the tiny structure, cleaning up from breakfast, tending the extra horses and, from time to time, just squatting on his haunches near the low fire or sitting on a stump, his elbows propped on his knees, dozing. 

Apparently, the last thing he expected was an ambush.

Logan was cleaning his pistols and his rifle. Not that this was going to take anywhere near that amount of firepower, if any. His plan was to knock Del out, enough that he’d stay out for an hour or so before coming ‘round again. But he was ready for anything.

The circumstances amused him. Guess they never thought I’d have the balls to try something like this. That kind o’ thinkin’ will be their undoing, Logan thought to himself. As he’d laid out under the stars the night before, he had remembered the verse that the infamous Black Bart had penned the night before one of his stage robberies a few years ago.

Here I lay me down to sleep
To wait the coming morrow,
Perhaps success, perhaps defeat,
And everlasting sorrow.
Let come what will, I’ll try it on,
My condition can’t be worse;
And if there’s money in that box
‘Tis munny in my purse.

It had made him chuckle. The difference for Logan, though, was that there was no doubt about the payload—there would be money in his purse after this. 

He almost admired Black Bart. Compared to Rory Callahan, Black Bart was a gentleman, or so he had heard. Since they traversed some of the same territory, in fact, Logan had often thought he’d like to meet the man. Unlike Logan’s boss, Bart had never been known to kill anyone.

Rory Callahan was the self-styled gang-leader. When Logan first joined up with Callahan, they were robbing trains, but with the advent of the Pinkertons on the railroad bank cars, pickings had gotten slim. They had gone for more stationary targets, like banks, but they’d had some close calls, even though they had gotten some good hauls.

Logan had been the outside man, holding the horses for getaway and keeping an eye on anyone approaching. Some of the men sneered at him, particularly one of them who’d accused him of being “yellah” because he didn’t take the risk that they did in the bank. Logan failed to see their logic. He was more exposed than any of them out in the street, especially if any shooting started, alerting people to what was happening in the bank.

With their opportunities narrowed, it didn’t take long for Callahan to decide on robbing stagecoaches, instead. They were mobile, but not fast like a train, and out of the public eye. Occasionally, they would make a good strike if there was a bank transfer being made. But Logan didn’t like it. It had somehow seemed anonymous to knock a railroad guard in the head and take a strongbox or two, but when they started robbing the stagecoaches, everything changed. 

Callahan seemed to get more violent. Logan vividly remembered the robbery that had been the last straw for him. They had roughed people up and left them stranded before, but on this particular day, Callahan seemed surlier than usual.

When they had come out onto the road from either side, the fella riding shotgun had stood up and took a couple of close shots at their men. Callahan had retaliated with a slug to the chest. The driver, terrified, had thrown down the strongbox at Callahan’s insistence and got a shoulder shot in return that flung him down from his seat with his legs under the wheels. The wheels weren’t moving at that moment, but Logan was afraid it wouldn’t take much to bolt the skittish team.

“Ritter, Jenkins, get those passengers out,” Callahan had demanded of two of his men.

They’d pulled a man, two women, and a child from the coach. The dark-haired woman with the child was comely, but the other woman, with her honey-blond hair, was beautiful and poised despite the rough treatment. She has to be terrified, Logan thought.

“All right,” Ritter had said. “Let’s have your cash, right here.” He held up a small box. 

The man pulled a money clip from his jacket and, giving Ritter a scathing look, tossed it into the box. 

“What else? A watch? Rings? C’mon,” Ritter said. “Anybody with that kind of cash has got a whole lot more than that on him.”

“I was wise enough to leave all of it in a safe deposit box before I started my journey. What I gave you is what I have.”

“What about yer woman? What’s she got?” Ritter asked.

“She left her valuables behind, as well,” the man replied.

“Yer lyin’,” Jenkins said, backhanding the man across the mouth hard enough to draw blood.

“Let’s just see fer ourselves,” Ritter spoke up. He grabbed the woman’s sleeves by the shoulders and ripped them, then followed with her bodice. He felt along the outside of her undergarments. “Just as I thought,” he said. “She’s got a wad of cash, too.”

Ritter reached inside her camisole to get the money. Ritter, Jenkins, Cowart, and another man named Dawson all started to laugh. The man who had given them the money clip lashed out at Ritter in anger, knocking him down. In his rage, he drew a derringer and took a bullet square between the eyes from Callahan. The woman went from poised to hysterical, and Callahan threatened her, too. She was wearing a locket, which Ritter yanked from around her neck. 

Logan felt sick. Suddenly, they had gone from just thieves to murdering thieves. And he would be wanted for his complicity.

The other woman swept her child behind her and threw her purse into Ritter’s hands. 

“Atta girl,” Ritter said. “You’re the smart one, I see.”

“Hardwick,” Callahan shouted. “Cut the team loose and all you men push the stage over into the ravine.”

Logan reluctantly complied with Callahan’s order. As soon as the team bolted out of their harnesses, he and the men toppled the coach, which left the driver free but unconscious. 

Two men dead, another injured, one woman practically violated, and the other woman and her child terrorized. That’s when Logan had wanted out.

“With the men dead, whaddya want us to do with the women and the kid?”

Callahan eyed them for a minute. “I’d tell ya to have your way with ‘em, but we don’t have time. They’ll just have to take their chances with whoever comes along next.”

“Hey,” protested Ritter. “Her husband knocked me down and drew on me.”

“And he got his recompense,” Callahan said.

“But she owes me,” Ritter said, grabbing the woman’s arm.

“Aw, c’mon, Callahan. We could take ‘em with us.”

“And then they’ll know where we are, unless you plan to shoot them afterwards.”

“But we could sure have fun in the meantime.”

“He said to leave ‘em alone,” Logan said. He rode up alongside Ritter. “The boss said to stop. You got her locket. Isn’t that enough? She’s had enough grief for one day.” And who knows how much more to come, Logan wondered. “Get on your horses, you fools. We need to get out of here.”

He could see Callahan’s set jaw. Apparently, he didn’t think he needed help enforcing, but he let it go.

As they left, Logan remembered looking back on the women. The one woman was sobbing over her dead husband, still hysterical, and the other was kneeling and clutching her child. Her body trembled.

When they got back to camp, Callahan had confronted him. “What made you think you could issue orders on my behalf?”

“I was just backing you up.”

“I don’t need your help,” Callahan said. “What made you think you needed to?”

Logan hesitated. He didn’t want to defend his actions to Callahan.

“I asked you…”

“Ritter…”

“That’s all I need to hear. After this, you need to keep your nose out of things.” 

Ritter started to laugh. 

“I can take care of the men myself,” Callahan said, and then, looking at Ritter, “even if it means a shot to the back.”

The snigger disappeared from Ritter’s face. Callahan looked back toward Logan. “You get me?”

“I get ya,” Logan said in a low, resigned voice. 

That night around the fire, the men had taunted him.

“Did ya get a stiff one for that little blonde, Hardwick?” one asked.

“She was real cute until she started all that screamin’ and carryin’ on,” said another.

“I’d a showed her a thing or two,” Ritter said. “Then she’d a been screamin’ out my name.”

Logan had gotten up and thrown his coffee on the fire, walking away from the circle. He could still hear them joking and guffawing.

Logan had come to grips with things that day. Just what kind of an outlaw was he, anyway? Up to then, he’d just considered that he was stealing from rich folks who would never miss it. But that had put a whole new face on things, one he didn’t want to see on himself.

In fact, he continued to ask, what kind of a man am I? He had been at war with the world, and at war with himself. He’d done his best not to feel anything. He’d thought he was successful at it, until the stage robbery and killings.

Trouble is, Logan thought, in this business, you don’t just get out. He knew too much; he’d seen too much, and Callahan wasn’t about to let him go. 

He’d escaped one night when it was his turn for night watch. Each of the men had his own particular sleep sound, and he’d heard every one of them. Although he’d thought about it before, he hadn’t planned it out. He wanted out in the worst way, so he’d saddled up his horse, took some extra supplies from a couple of saddlebags left up against a tree, and skedaddled.

It had been his intention to “get outta Dodge” then, putting as much distance as possible between himself and Rory Callahan, but then he’d paused to think. He was going to need money. There was a bounty on his head, and he’d best get out of California all together. He wanted to head down to Stockton, and from there to San Francisco. From there, he would take a boat up the coast—maybe all the way to Canada.

But that was going to take money, and he knew where he could find a whole lot of it. He’d been promised a cut of it, and, by god, he was going to take it.

Logan had observed Callahan and the boys from the bush for a few days now. They had gone out and come back with bags of cash and jewelry a couple of times, one bigger stash and one smaller. They were gone longer and longer each time because they had to find new routes and be careful not to hit the same ones close together. 

He wasn’t sure what had happened directly after he had left. Apparently, since he hadn’t taken any money with him, just a few supplies, they didn’t care. He kept expecting someone to come looking for him, so he kept circling the camp, wider and wider, then coming in close again. 

Why, he wondered, did they leave their whole stash under just one man’s protection? He almost felt like he was being set up, but with all his careful observation he didn’t see how.

Finally, Cowart dozed for the third time in the space of an hour. Logan climbed down from his boulder, walking as quickly and silently as he could up behind the man, but he froze halfway, wondering if Cowart knew he was there and was trying to sucker him. 

He waited and then made a decision. A well-placed blow to the back of his head, and Cowart was on the ground, out cold.

Logan ran inside the cabin and pulled up the loose floorboards but, to his dismay, they had moved the hoard. That was why they had thought Cowart was enough. Now, it all made sense. But what had they done with those bags he had seen them bring in of late?

He replaced the floorboards and stood. He looked out at Cowart, cursing himself. He should have kept him awake so he could question him. Uncertainty was making him sweat, and he wiped the back of his neck with his bandana. Unsure now how much time he had before Callahan and the others returned, he agonized over his next move. 

He thought about how to rouse Cowart, immobilize him, and make him talk, but he’d always been more of a thinker. Where the heck would they put that stash?

He looked around, scrutinizing every bit of the ground in and out of the camp boundaries. Finally, he saw it—the disturbed earth around the base of a rock in the shadow of the west face of the crag. He sized up the rock and wondered how he could move it himself. Three or four men together could probably do it, but he couldn’t manage on his own.

He went to the rock and examined it to be sure it was being disturbed on a regular basis. It was. He could see drag marks that wouldn’t be obvious if anyone had just come upon the camp. The rock had kind of a spire shape on the top of it. If he could have gotten behind it, he could have pressed himself between the rock and the crag and used his legs to move it. But in its present position up against the crag, there was just no way. 

Logan was getting nervous. Cowart was going to wake up and alert the countryside, or Callahan himself would ride in. But necessity was the mother of invention.

He whistled for Cinnamon, his roan mare. She came trotting to where he was and he got his rope, dropped it over the spire, and pushed it down lower on the rock, cinching it tight. He was confident that Cinnamon could do it if two or three men could. He attached the rope to his saddle and walked up to her, urging her to pull slowly so as not to strain herself.

She only pulled it aside about four inches, but it was enough. He retrieved the rope, strapping it to the horse. 

He grabbed a sack and filled it with as much cash and gold as he could carry. He didn’t touch the personal valuables, since those represented people—that was, until he found the gold locket the widowed woman from the stage robbery had been wearing. He stood and looked at it for a few seconds, then pocketed it. It would be a continuous reminder of what he had done, had allowed himself to be part of. Logan never wanted to forget.

He checked on Cowart to make sure he was still breathing. Then, strapping his sack onto his saddle, took off without looking back.

Chapter Two

Once outside the camp, Logan looked around, listening for sounds apart from the natural. Hearing nothing but birds and the occasional gust of wind through the trees, he set out. His plan was to hightail it downriver and cross over to Stockton. That should put him out of Callahan’s reach for a while.

As he galloped down the trail, he saw a dust cloud just on the other side of another crag. He quickly moved off the path, deep into forest cover. He could hear their voices, but not their words. It sounded like usual, though. Nothing seemed amiss. But when a blood-curdling yell came from the direction of the camp, Callahan and the other men bolted toward it, and Logan lurched away to the south as fast as he could.

His heart was in his throat. Once they discovered the breach, even if they didn’t know for sure who it was that had done it, they would be after him, and not very far behind. He flew. His original plan had been to take the main roads through towns; now, he was forced to be more surreptitious.

Instead of following the wider Mountain Ranch road, he decided to travel along Murray Creek, but the undergrowth was dense, and because of the occasional schist formations, the mare picked her way more carefully so as not to stumble. When he stopped to water Cinnamon, he split the takings into two bags, securing them in the bottom of his saddle bags.

It took him nearly five hours to make what should have been a three-hour trip. But maybe that was good, he thought. Perhaps they would be ahead of him. He stopped at a blacksmith shop just outside of Mountain Ranch. 

“Howdy,” Logan greeted the blacksmith. He bent and lifted Cinnamon’s foot and looked at it, then he stood and watched the man work for a little bit. 

“Help you?” the blacksmith asked.

“Just passin’ through,” Logan said. “My horse stumbled over a schist, and I’m worried it did something to her shoe or her hoof.”

The blacksmith looked askance at him. “Did you look at it?”

“I don’t see anything, but she’s limping a little.”

“She may have just bruised it,” the man said. “Let me take a look.” 

The blacksmith examined the hoof, pulling the shoe to detect whether it was loose, and pressed the sole and the frog to see if there was any tenderness. 

“It seems all right. Maybe she just took a burr or something and has since walked it out.”

Logan nodded. The blacksmith returned to his work. Logan stood and watched.

“You need something else?” the man asked.

“Well, actually, I was wondering if you saw…?”

“Four men come through here, ridin’ hell or high water, looking for you?”

A shock went through Logan, but he tried not to react. 

“They described you really well—slick, clean, baby-faced, hair parted in the middle. Can’t think of anyone that description would fit any more. Have you even started shaving yet?”

Logan didn’t answer that.

“They were mighty upset with you. In fact, the one fella had murder in his eye. They said you robbed them.”

Logan began to laugh. “I suppose you could say that,” he said, “but they robbed somebody else to get it in the first place.”

The blacksmith eyed him closely. “You got lots of gold, huh?”

A nod from Logan said it all.

“I like you,” the blacksmith said. “Robbin’ the robbers. That’s rich! So’s how about you and me strike a deal? You give me a few gold pieces to fix up this barn and get some new equipment, and I’ll pretend I never saw you, should these guys come back.”

“Or should anyone else, like a bounty hunter or a Pinkerton or whoever come by. You never saw me, right?”

“I’ll forget all about you as soon as those coins cross my palm.”

Logan pondered the proposition for a minute, but he decided that everything the man had said was likely true, and this guy seemed more like a jolly baker than a fire-breathing iron man. Looking around, Logan could see that the barn would soon be beyond repair if the man didn’t jump on it soon. He may have been an opportunist, but he seemed like an honest man with a sincere need.

“One minute,” Logan said. He took Cinnamon around the side of the shop where the man couldn’t see him and dug out some bills. He also pocketed a bit of money so he wouldn’t have to get into the saddlebag again.

“Will this do it?” Logan asked, coming back to the front of the shop and handing him the bills.

The man’s jaw dropped. “Buddy,” he said, “you are either a hardened criminal with half of the U.S. law enforcement looking for you, or you’re a really nice guy. I’m guessing it’s the latter.”

Logan gave him a crooked smile and plucked a piece of straw from a fresh hay bale sitting next to the door, sticking it in his mouth to chew on. “Pleasure doin’ business with you, Mister,” he said.

“Likewise.”

As Logan remounted, the man came out to his side and looked up at him. “I’m guessin’ from the direction they headed, they’re preceding you to San Andreas. For your sake, hopefully they’ll keep on goin’. But keep an eye out. You can skirt the town. How’d you come down?”

“Murray Creek.”

“Keep to it, then. Murray Creek will lead you right around San Andreas.”

“Thanks for the advice, pardner,” Logan said, tipping his hat to the blacksmith.

***

Another five-hour trip, Logan thought to himself. He’d have to camp somewhere near San Andreas because it would be dark by the time he got close. But he was still in Callahan’s territory. If he had any sense, he’d go completely the opposite way, over the Sierra Nevadas, up to Arnold, and across the hunting grounds. But for the first time in his life, he had a plan, and nobody was going to buffalo him out of it.

Logan had been a drifter before he joined up with Callahan. He’d been a restless boy as it was, but when his parents died ten years ago, he lit out on his own. His entire goal at that time was to get away from feeling anything. He stuffed down his grief and shied away from everybody by keeping to himself. 

He had never developed any skills. His father had been an accountant, so it was just assumed at some point that he would learn that trade or some other profession. He’d never learned to do farm or ranch work, or to build anything. Or to build a life, apparently, he told himself. After his parents died, the idea of a profession was just beyond him without the support of his father.

He had fallen in with Callahan when they were downing whisky one night in a bar. It had sounded like easy money to him, so he was in. He had little trouble adapting, and he got pretty good at being the one to slow the train. It took more than just him, of course, but he was the one who was always out front. Somebody else did the dirty work of knocking out the men in the mail car, and of getting the goods down from the train. Then he helped gather the haul after the fact. But he didn’t think that those were skills that could be applied to anything else, work-wise.

He thought about the blacksmith. He was real simpatico. Logan hadn’t encountered many souls like that. He was glad to give him the money just to see him happy. But he couldn’t do that again if he wanted to survive. That money was going to have to last him a long, long time.

It was dark by the time he got to San Andreas, but it was only another hour to Valley Springs by the main road, so he decided to keep going.

He had only ridden for another twenty minutes or so when he had an idea. He knew that somewhere along there, near a ghost town named North Branch, there was a cemetery. He decided to camp there since the superstitious nature of Callahan’s yahoos meant they wouldn’t be compelled to look for him there. 

He had a little trouble finding it as there wasn’t much of a trail to it anymore, but all the better to cover his route. He probably should have taken Cinnamon to water her along the Calaveras Creek, but, for now, he couldn’t think of a safer place to camp. He would water her first thing in the morning.

He stretched out under the stars, having secured Cinnamon in the shade of an ages-old piñon tree. As he lay down, he felt free, free of a life he had come to abhor, but not without anxiety. When would he be able to lay his head down without fear, he wondered? Once the Callahan gang had given up, there were still the bounty hunters. That was when he thought about changing his appearance for the first time. But that would neither be quick or easy.

As easily as the blacksmith had identified him, he needed something radically different. He would have to grow a mustache and beard and let his hair grow out. Dammit, he had just gotten a haircut not too long ago. Hopefully, in a couple of weeks it would be long enough that he could comb it differently. 

How would he ever be able to stop looking behind him for Callahan and the others? Maybe once he got on that steamboat up the coast, he could breathe easier. He lay there listening to the night sounds—the snuffle of a nearby bear, the cry of a wildcat somewhere. He’d rather take his chance with them than run into Callahan’s crew again. Finally, he fell into a fitful sleep.

He awoke with a start, realizing he’d been dreaming about the robbery and the passengers, almost reliving it. He had awakened when he’d dreamed of Ritter tearing off the woman’s locket. He reached over and fished it out of his pocket. He hadn’t looked at it since he had taken it. Now, he opened it, and he saw a photograph of her husband and of an older couple—her parents, perhaps. He could feel his heart constrict as he held it, looking at it in the moonlight. This belonged to a real person with real feelings and real wounds. At least one, if not all of her people were dead now.

He returned it to his pocket and lay down again. He was wide awake, but by the color of the sky and position of the moon, it was nowhere near daylight. He felt uneasy, though. He got up and re-packed his bags, strapping them to the saddle, and led Cinnamon down to where the north fork of the Calaveras River thinned out and crossed the trail. She drank, and he filled the canteen that he had drained yesterday. 

When Cinnamon stepped back from the edge, she whipped her head to the side and stamped once. Logan strained his ears to hear whatever had alerted her, but it was hard to hear over the sound of the burbling river. Straining, he heard the muffled thud of horse hooves along the trail. They were approaching slowly, cautiously, it seemed. 

What the hell? Logan wondered. He didn’t know who was coming, and it might not have anything to do with him at all, but he wasn’t taking a chance.

He didn’t hesitate another second. He jumped into the saddle and lurched forward, hunched and driving Cinnamon west of the crossing and up onto the road where he could make quicker progress. Cinnamon’s hooves sounded thunderous to him, but he knew they weren’t any louder than those behind him, and he was only one horse while they had several. Hopefully, the sound of their own hooves plus the noise from the river was enough to muffle his.

It wasn’t long until he heard hooves on the hard-packed ground behind him. It didn’t sound like they were gaining on him, but he had no idea how long that would last. He whispered into Cinnamon’s ear, and she opened up into a full gallop. 

He managed to stay ahead of them for another ten minutes, but he finally realized it was who he was afraid it was. The light of a false dawn glowed, and he looked back. Rory Callahan’s stallion was gaining on him. There was a curve in the road ahead, and, as soon as Logan started to take the bend, a shot struck him in the thigh a split second later. He kept going, making it around the bend while the others were still out of sight. He plunged off the side of the trail. 

It was a steeper drop than he anticipated, but Cinnamon landed on her feet after a little scramble. The good thing was that he sat there and watched as the gang shot on ahead, apparently unmindful of his disappearance.

He wondered which direction he should go. When he looked behind him, his heart nearly gave out. Another foot from where they had landed was a huge drop off. It may have just been a gulch, but at the moment, it looked like a canyon. 

Cinnamon stood stiffly, apparently unwilling to take another step until she knew what Logan intended to do. He needed to wrap his leg to stanch the blood, but there was little room to maneuver. He needed to get out of sight in case they came back. They would be like sitting ducks. 

He carefully dismounted, which was a little easier said than done with an injured leg. He backed Cinnamon up the embankment a bit until he could turn her around and pull her along the ledge, rendering them out of sight from the road. He looped her reins over the branch of a slender mesquite tree, one he wasn’t even sure was deeply rooted enough to hold him, should he try to grab it for balance. He was going to have to be a proverbial tortoise in his movements.

The wound was in an awkward place. He hoped that tying a bandana beneath it would be enough until he could find a better place to look at it.

He tied the bandana, and then pulled the reins and got back on the horse. He begged her to hold steady while he flung himself across the saddle, then pulled himself up and settled his right leg into the stirrup. He had to manhandle the left leg into place. 

The pain from the exertion nearly made him nauseous, so he stood still and cleared his head a bit. He was going to have to back Cinnamon along the ridge until they were once again where they could get up the embankment to the road. The slightest misstep on her part would send them both tumbling into the abyss. 

It turned out to be shorter than he remembered, then he turned her toward the trail. He urged her upward, loose dirt and rocks falling around her feet. He gritted his teeth and gave her her head. She scrambled faster then, and they were soon at the top.

Once they got back to the road, he found himself dizzy and sweating. When he looked down, he found that his leg had not stopped bleeding at all. Instead of pressing on, he went back to the cemetery.

He went back to the same spot where he’d camped the night before, threw Cinnamon’s rein over an oak branch, and lay down. All he wanted to do was sleep, but the thoughts racing around in his mind were how on earth they had tracked him clear to the river. He had been so careful and gone so far out of his way to keep that from happening. But his pain would not allow him to think.

Logan had been shot a couple of times, but this seemed different. He didn’t understand that, either. He passed out for a little while but was roused by Cinnamon nudging him and nibbling his hair. He tried to sit up but could barely do so. When he tried to get up, his leg was stiff. He tore his Levis around the bullet hole. It looked swollen and was hot to the touch. He had to get someplace where he could dig out that bullet and treat it.

If he could manage it, he would go back to San Andreas. He had to hang on to Cinnamon to get up. There would be no flinging himself up into the saddle this time, so he made sure she watched him go around to her right side so that he could put his good foot into the stirrup, and then use his weight to pull himself up. The stiff leg presented a problem, but he managed to swing it over. Feeling like he was going to pass out again, he got Cinnamon moving.

He headed her down the back way, away from the road, and followed Murray Creek back to San Andreas, which was only a mile or so away. 

When he was at the edge of town, he looked up to get his bearings and discovered a church at the top of a hill. It looked so peaceful, so unbusy compared to the bustle of the town below, that he moved down a lane behind a string of miner’s sheds and shanties. He could see the back side of the church across a long expanse of green grass. Oh, yes, Logan thought. If I’m going to die, let it be there.

Once Cinnamon sensed the direction, he loosened the reins, and she walked quickly and steadily up toward the church. The last hurdle was a picket fence between them and the building, and he urged her to leap it. He hadn’t realized, though, that he was just barely holding the reins, and, as unstable as he was in the saddle, he fell off just as she leapt across. His last thought was that he was glad he didn’t come down on the pointy fence.


“Bravery in the Face of Danger” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!

After losing both of his parents, Logan Hardwick joins a gang of stagecoach robbers. It starts off as a lark, but as things become more violent Logan escapes from the group. He wants nothing more than a quiet, invisible life, far away from the bad decisions of his past. Then, his life takes an ugly turn, when his old gang members finally catch up to him and attempt to kill him. Fortunately, he survives and finds shelter at a church where he has an awakening, guiding him to turn his life around completely. The bounty on his head, however, will force him to change his name and appearance. Under his new identity, will Logan manage to redeem himself for all the harm he caused?

At the church, Logan will meet Regina, the woman who is caring for his wounds. He spends months at the parish where he finds salvation and soon, he realizes he can’t pretend around her anymore. While his secrets are putting his dreams of stability and creating a family at risk, his old life catches up with him again. When he doesn’t seek trouble, trouble finds him… Logan must leave to protect the people who saved him from danger. Yet, his past will once again ruin his plans, forcing him to fulfill a long-held dream. Can he defeat evil without risking the life of the woman he loves or is it too late for him to go back?

Logan’s faith and courage are tested severely when he is confronted and chased by everyone who knows his true identity. Will his old gang finally satisfy their thirst for revenge? Most important of all, will Regina accept him for who he truly is if they ever meet again?

“Bravery in the Face of Danger” is a historical adventure novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cliffhangers, only pure unadulterated action.

Get your copy from Amazon!

5 thoughts on “Bravery in the Face of Danger (Preview)”

  1. Howdy Henry McConley (The Great Author)!
    This new story “Bravery in the Face of Danger” (Preview) reads (ALWAYS AS YOUR STORIES READ) FANTASTIC, GREAT, EXCITING & WORTH MY TIME TO READ & ENJOY!
    Thank You For The Preview! It Has Given Me Something, From You, For Me To Look Forward To Read!
    Have A Great Day & Please Keep Up Your Great Stories!
    Mystic Wolf

  2. Hey there,
    I always look forward to seeing something from you in my in box, each one a gift for sure. This one looks like another roller coaster ride so I’ll buckle up and wait to get swept away on another great and gritty adventure

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