NEBRASKA: Walk The Shadow Trail MobiPocket

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By Toni V. Sweeney

To Walk the Shadow Trail means to lead a life of pain and sorrow, to be deprived and alone forever....

Many men came to America to escape the Emperor's Justice, and Baron Karl Augustus Dietrich Wilhelm von Brandt was no different, though he was fleeing his father's crimes and not his own. When the ranch he buys in Wolf Creek, Nebraska, turns out to be little more than a sand dune, Will is befriended by Johnny Moon, a half-Pawnee ne'er-do-well. Working together, the impoverished German noble and the halfbreed cowboy turn Will's property into a thriving ranch. Johnny becomes Will’s best friend, close as a brother, until Will's marriage to Silent Summer Woman, daughter of a local Pawnee chief, drives the first wedge between them

Johnny Moon has a secret, and once it's discovered, it will destroy the bond between the two friends forever…and quite possibly their lives.

Western

Sensuality rating: 2

Cover Art by Bev Haynes

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Author: Toni V. Sweeney
Description

Chapter 1

Wolf Creek, Nebraska

1915

 

In half an hour, the twelve forty-five from Lincoln and points east would be pulling into the station.

Tying his buckskin to the hitching rail behind the depot, Will Brandt slid one hand across its flank as he limped around the animal to catch the reins of the second horse and secure them also. He was a tall blond man, posture still straight in spite of his skimming the wrong edge of fifty. His blue eyes were startlingly pale in a face tanned to a leathery sheen by the harsh Nebraska sun.

Taking a deep breath, he glanced up Front Street.

Town’s looking pretty good these days, he decided. It seemed to be prospering.

From where he stood, he could see the Sheriff’s office, Painter’s Mercantile and General Emporium,now run by the original owner’s two sons, and a haberdashery shop, with the milliner’s next to it. Though they were out of his line of vision, he knew the names of all the other buildings lining the main thoroughfare…offices of the Wolf Creek Gazette, the Wells Fargo Bank, and Rosita’s Eatery. That was a great place for an after-sermon breakfast on a Sunday. Then there was the Lucky Shamrock Saloon, which had replaced the old Wagon Wheel when that establishment closed a few years before, plus a dozen other buildings on side and backstreets.

Across and a few buildings down from the Shamrock, its rival, the Daisy BelleBar, was already open for business, faint but beautiful music coming from its unlocked doorway. Something surprisingly classical, a Chopin waltz, if he wasn’t mistaken, no doubt rendered by Karl Neuschaefer. A German immigrant and former music teacher, Karl discovered pretty quick there was more money to be made playing the piano in a Western saloon and dancehall than trying to drum musical knowledge into stubborn little minds who’d rather be rolling their hoops down the dusty streets.

Good man, Karl.

He was from Will’s old home in Germany. Sometimes Will would stop by when his former countryman was taking a break and they’d share a drink and reminisce about the Old Country, taking quietly in their native language to ensure they never forgot it.

Hearing that music made Will abruptly and surprisingly homesick for the place he hadn’t seen in nearly thirty years. He sighed. He might be accustomed to the plunky banjo-rhythm Karl usually played but his love of really good music never left him.

One of those new-fangled horseless carriages clattered by and he watched it with barely concealed amusement. The motor sputtered and coughed and, with a backfire like the crack of a rifle shot, died.

     The second horse threw back its head and snorted, eyes rolling wildly. Will put a hand on its muzzle, speaking to it quietly, soothing its fright. “Shh. It’s all right, don’t let that infernal machine scare you. Quiet, liebling. Whoa, now.”

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