NEBRASKA Vengeance From Eden MobiPocket

By Toni V. Sweeney

In the little Texas border town of Rosarita, saloon owner Race Jago is killed by a stranger who has just ridden into town. Arrested and tried for the crime, Luke Brennan refuses to give a motive or defend himself. Because there were twenty-seven witnesses, the judge has no choice but to sentence him to hang.

While Brennan awaits execution, deputy Kipling Wakefield tries to convince his prisoner to tell him the reason he shot Jago in cold blood. Finally, in the late night hours before his sentence is to be carried out, Brennan reluctantly tells Kip his story…of a man's love for his wife, a father's desire for revenge, of a hatred destroying two lives…the story of a man who believes there is nothing left for him to do but die, and learns, almost too late, there is always something to live for.

Western Romance, Historical Romance

Sensuality rating: 2

Cover Art by Bev Haynes

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Author: Toni V. Sweeney

Chapter 1

It was 1897, a warm spring evening a little before sunset, when the red-headed stranger rode into the little town of Rosarita, Texas, tied his horse to the hitching-post in front of the Little Nugget Saloon, then walked inside and shot the owner, Race Jago, dead.

While everyone was still startled into immobility, he calmly placed his pistola upon the bartop, looked around and asked, “Well? Ain’t nobody gonna call th’ sheriff?” and waited while someone did so.

It took a while for Walt Jessup to arrive, puffing with the exertion of running the two blocks from his office and buckling his gunbelt around his big belly as he trotted across the street. At sight of the sheriff, the stranger surrendered the gun, admitted he’d shot Jago in cold blood, and then fell silent. He went docilely with the sheriff to the jail, leaving the townspeople with Jago’s dead body and a thousand questions.

In the space of fifteen minutes more, some enterprising citizen with an eye to the publicity this would bring to the little town, raced to the local newspaper office. Perhaps another ten after that, the same someone sent a messenger to the telegraph office, dispatching a notice to the Weekly Statesman, a key newspaper in the state capitol at Austin.

Rosarita was the kind of place the dime novel writers described as a sleepy little border town. This was the most exciting, albeit disturbing, thing happening there in nearly two dozen years, so exciting, in fact, that it gained the pueblo more than a little notoriety across the state.

While shoot-outs and violent deaths were still an expected occurrence in the smaller towns scattered throughout the remote reaches of the Panhandle, the gunning down of an unarmed citizen in front of so many witnesses was not. The Dallas Morning News sent a reporter to cover the trial. Straight on his heels arrived another from the Statesman, complete with a photographer loaded with tripod, camera, and chemicals.

The Austin reporter, thinking he had the scoop of the decade, set to interviewing the prisoner. His expectations were dashed immediately. The stranger was uncooperative. Giving the newspaperman a stony look, he turned his back on his questioner, staring out the tiny jailhouse window as if something fascinating lurked outside the bars.

Undaunted, the newspaper’s representative spoke to some of the witnesses to the murder. Surely with so many available, he reasoned, there’d be numerous stories on which he could build a series of articles on the lawlessness still existing in the state in spite of the country’s nearing its emergence into the Twentieth Century. His editor might think his enterprise merited him an outstanding pay raise.

To his surprise, everyone told the same story with little variation and few details:

The stranger walked into the saloon, seeing the deceased standing at the bar talking to an acquaintance.

“Jago!” It was called out so softly those standing around barely heard.



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