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BRING ME THE HEAD OF CHAZ SAVIDGE!
Or, The Bounty Poachers
Lock and load with bounty hunters Lou Prophet and the Vengeance Queen, Louisa Bonnaventure, as they ride the hardest, bloodiest trails on the western frontier, on their relentless quest to bring the baddest of the western badmen...and sometimes women...to justice.
This time out, Prophet and his comely partner and sometime-lover are on the trail of the notorious rapist and killer, Chaz Savidge. Running Savidge to ground is one thing. Holding onto the slippery killer is another thing altogether.
A knew kind of bounty hunter is infesting the west. Bounty hunters who steal the quarry of other hunters. Bounty poachers is what Lou Prophet calls them, and it’s men of this seedy, back-shooting variety who shadow Prophet and Louisa as they try to get Chaz Savidge from Dakota Territory to Denver, where they intend to turn their prisoner into the Chief U.S. Marshal and collect the bounty on his head.
Several of these men, including a ruthless Englishman and former buffalo hunter named “Squire” Chivington, who packs a Big Fifty Sporting Rifle, are out for easy meal tickets in the form of Chaz Savidge’s already-captured head.
But maybe Prophet’s and Louisa’s most formidable foe isn’t among the countless men hunting them, after all. Maybe their most dangerous enemy is a young, grief-stricken pioneer widow whose husband and lover lie dead on her cabin floor...
“Wake up, there,” Prophet said, louder, and opened the man’s blankets.
A red-haired man, Burrow, lay staring up at him. His mouth was twisted in horror. A long, wide gash shown across his throat. The man’s chest was covered with a thick blood pudding.
“Holy Christ,” Prophet raked out, stepping over the dead man to the other man on the other side of the fire.
That man lay on his side. Prophet kicked him over, and he lay staring up at Prophet with much the same expression as Burrow. His throat, too, had been cut from ear to ear and he was still trying to scream a scream that, even when new, likely hadn’t made it past his vocal chords.
Cold sweat bathed Prophet as he stared down in wonder.
Then the word snapped like a small-caliber pistol in his brain:
Before he even realized what he was doing, he was launching himself off the heels of his boots and into the darkness beyond the fire. At the same time, he heard a low screech, like the beginning of a scream issued by a very old woman.
The screech grew until it merged with the thumping roar of a high-powered rifle, and slammed loudly into a tree inches from where Prophet had been standing, spraying bark and large wood chunks in all directions.
Prophet hit the ground and rolled, wincing as the sawed-off shotgun dug into his back and then hammered the back of his head as he rolled farther away from the firelight. As he rolled, he realized with a sickening feeling that he’d lost his rifle...