Orphaned at the age of 10, when his parents and sister are killed in a botched bank robbery, Charlie is taken in by his father’s best friends.
After being deceived by his fiancé, Charlie sets out on his own. He encounters an abandoned dog and the two become close companions as they travel over the mountain range in search of a new home.
After being shot at and thrown from his horse, he suffers a life threatening head injury. Josephine Platt takes responsibility for his care, after all, it was her crazy Grandmother who shot the poor stranger.
Will Charlie recover and lose his heart to the feisty girl or will past experiences leave him unforgiving and bitter?
The following two days passed without incident and Charlie found himself on the other side of the mountain range shortly after lunch.
“I think it’s another day or so before we reach Stillwater so we might just ride a ways further and camp for the night. We should reach town about lunchtime tomorrow.” Charlie said to Chance.
The dog gave a little woof as if confirming he understood every word his new master had spoken
The afternoon shadows lengthened and the air was developing a frosty chill when Charlie noticed smoke coming from a chimney just up ahead. “Looks like a ranch house up ahead. I think we might go and ask the owner if we can bed down in his barn for the night.”
He urged Shadow into a trot and headed for the source of the smoke.
He was less than fifty feet from the large rambling house when the crack of a gunshot pierced the air. Charlie felt his chest sting and burn. Shadow reared and Charlie toppled to the ground taking Chance with him. As his surroundings faded out to black, he hoped someone would take care of his animals.
“Gran, how did you get a gun and what are you shooting….” Josephine’s words died on her lips as her shocked eyes were drawn to a man crumpled on the ground, his horse and dog milling close by. She lifted her skirts and began running. “MA! LINCOLN! COME QUICK!” she screamed out over her shoulder.
Linda-May Jenkins stood on the front porch with a smoking shotgun in her gnarled hands.
Jean Platt and her son Lincoln, burst through the front door. “Josephine, what’s going on?”
“Granny has shot someone,” she yelled as she knelt by Charlie’s side. His face was pale, his breathing shallow and raspy.
Chance began growling. “It’s okay, I just want to check your owner,” she cooed while holding her hand forward.
Chance sniffed at the outstretched hand and allowed Josephine to scratch at his ears. “This is all well and good but it’s not helping your owner.”
“Mother, what have you done?” Jean wrestled the gun from her elderly mother.
“He was tresspassin’ so I shot him. You know those no good soldiers will stop at nothin’ to get their filthy hands on a pretty girl like you. Go and tell your father to come and bury him.”
“Go inside, mother.” Jean sighed. Her mother was living in the days of the war, again. No matter how many times the family explained to her, the war had been over for nigh on thirty years, she still had days where she was convinced it was still going.
Her mother disappeared through the front door and Jean dashed out to help her daughter.
Lincoln held Shadow’s reins and squatted to look at the stranger. Josephine ripped Charlie’s shirt open. A shotgun bullet had pierced the left side of his chest. The wound was the size of a small apple. The man struggled to breathe.
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