Rhuddlan

Rhuddlan

Nancy Gebel

Nancy Gebel

William Longsword, illegitimate son of Henry II of England, has been sent into exile in northern Wales. His nemesis, Earl Hugh of Chester, has retreated to a manor in Wales after a disastrous defeat at Henry's hands. The two resume their rivalry on this foreign ground, a conflict which expands to involve wives, lovers, local chiefs and a neighboring abbey.Burned out of their cabin, his father murdered and every friend they had turning cold backs to the youngster, Essex Dorner fled Ohio for the west vowing to never help another without pay. Bounty hunter, hired gun for men no less brutal than those who killed his Pa, Essex worked across the frontier while all hope for the future withered and his innate goodness shriveled.Hungry and on the run, he knew there was no life for him worth living, no purpose to any that he had done and nothing to do but wait until he was the body being carved by buzzards and coyotes out amid dry prairie grasses. Looking for no more than a chance to swap eating for chores needed doing, he rode up to her house and heard a defiant voice that called from his depths a spirit he no longer recognized, a wish he had forgotten existed and a determination to do one good deed before he died.Facing a land hungry rancher willing to kill for water, Essex knew he could not let her be run off or murdered as his own father had been and so chambered a shell in his rifle and stepped from shadows hiding his body from them and his soul from himself. Second Helping is a Western Settler Saga short story featuring Marshall Adam Pike, a youngster first dispatched to find ranch land for his kin who grows into a man capable of taming the frontier whose exploits are chronicled beginning in Sand Hills Sioux.
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