Blood Feud has come to the mountain and a showdown is coming…who will survive the Showdown in Shadow Creek?
It’s been a long bloody trail for J.R. Bell. His father died in his arms, Missouri raiders killed his mother and brother, leaving him with nothing but vengeance and a pistol. Now he has a home and a family…but still his past pursues him. This time it’s all or nothing. It has come to a fight for survival on the streets of Shadow Creek…who will walk away…who will die in the name of Blood Justice?
He found dead and nearly dead family members, under the willow tree beside the pond. His mother, as was her wont, reclined in her rocking chair, her torso now draped over the arm, her blood soaking into the weathered, dry wood. In her lap lay the worn, much used Bible given her on the day of her wedding.
Sixteen year old Caleb lay near her in a fetal position, the back of his head a mass of clotting blood. William Jr. was lucky to be still among the living. He sat cradling a shattered left arm. Tears streamed down his twelve year-old face.
Celeste, pretty Celeste, youngest of the Bell family, wandered aimlessly across the yard toward the water. She made no sound at all as she stepped into the cool liquid, one step, then another, and another. John pulled her from the water and she fought to return. Even at this young age, she longed to join her dead parents and brother. Her screams were silent. She had gone mute.
J. R. Bell was born that day. He strapped on his father’s Colt pistol and rode west. He assumed the life of a gambler, and followed the Army camps earning a living from the bad luck of hapless soldiers on rare nights they could receive furlough.
Every gunfight improved his skill and his reputation grew, leading him to this time and this place. Now he would lift his gun to protect the ones he loved. He would never again walk the unbidden path of his youth and suffer the loss of everything and everybody dear to him. He made a silent vow that he would not let the hatred of others rob him of the life he had now gained.
As if to reinforce his thoughts, small, nothing sounds came from the crib of his daughter. He stood and went to her. Lifting the swaddled baby from the bedding, he cradled her close against his chest to look into her clear blue eyes. She was so lovely, so trusting, and so very fragile. No—he would not lose another family. He smiled; it seemed, for the first time in days.
“John?” Eve asked softly.
“It’s nothing. I was just thinking about Kansas.” He wiped the moisture from his eyes with rough, calloused fingers and brought his little Angelica to her mother.