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On the northern Arkansas border of 1804, an Osage warrior and a young trapper pit wits and strength in a deadly battle only one can win. When the dust settles, who will hold the prize…
When Matt Crane left home to travel the far western lands, he didn’t intend to be gone long. Four years later he returned home to find his family dead, his home destroyed and his sweetheart taken captive by a vicious renegade Osage warrior.
Shunned by his own people, Quick Killer is out for revenge against the man who he believes shamed him. Kidnapping Matt’s girl is only the beginning. What he doesn’t realize, is that what Matt Crane doesn’t know about fighting hasn’t been invented.
A fast paced frontier adventure, Osage Dawn blends friendship, love and raw adventure on the wild frontier where hearts were broken and history was made by men fighting for survival.
The forest around Dolan’s Crossing echoed with the sound of axes biting into the trees, and men swearing and cursing as they labored in the heat. The walls of the frontier station had been built in record time, and now the homes within must be as quickly done. A need for shelter and a healthy fear of marauding Delaware Indians drove the men mercilessly to finish their job. The hardwood forest along the northern Arkansas border was an easy place to die in the spring of 1804.
Matt Crane paused to wipe the sweat from his brow. The afternoon sun pressed hot on his shoulders, and his glance at the canopy of leaves above him didn’t turn up so much as a quiver of a breeze. With a sigh of relief, he watched the last pine tree, needed to finish the north wall of their log cabin, fall with a muffled crash into the surrounding brush. The sharp sounds of other settlers sinking their broad-bladed axes deep into the oak and sycamore echoed around them.
As Matt glanced toward the half-finished station, his eyes caught the fleeting figure of a tall, young girl in a print dress running toward the river. She moved gracefully as a deer through the high grass, and bounding into the forest, her long black braids bounced with every step.
“Jed?” Matt called.
Jed Crane rose from the other end of the log they were trimming, stretching to relieve the tightening muscles in his back.
“What is it, Matt?”
Matt inclined his head toward the river. “I just saw a pair of pigtails heading for the river.”
“Abby?” Jed asked, although he already knew the answer.
“Like a bear to a honey tree,” Matt replied.
“Running fast, was she?” Jed chuckled.
The inane conversation flowed in a timeworn pattern, fitting them like the smooth stock of a Kentucky rifle fit their hands; well used and comfortable.
As he looked off toward the forest, Jed Crane gave a long exasperated sigh.
“You better go see to her, Matt. I swear I don’t know what gets into that girl. Every chance she gets, she heads straight for the forest. Too much Cherokee blood in her, I guess. If we don’t watch her, she’ll wind up a slave to some Delaware.”
“What about the log trimmin’?” Matt asked.
“I’ll finish up. You’ve already done twice the work of any man here. When you catch her, get her headed back this way.” Jed grinned at his adopted son. “Just don’t let her ma know.”
Matt picked up his rifle and powder horn, anxious to be gone. Truth to tell, he would rather be in the forest himself, though he had no Indian blood in him at all. At least, none that he knew of. Any chance at getting out of the sweltering heat and the cutting and trimming of trees, seemed worth the trouble. Lately though, he had not been thinking about Abby being a lot of trouble.
Matt looked back over his shoulder, grinning as he said, “We’ll be back before dark.”
* * * *
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 232
Paper Weight (lb): 10.0
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