Thursday, October 26, 2017

On To Virginia City by Gordon Landsborough

Drew has been a cowpuncher for a while but when he gets close to Virginia City, he has to go in and wipe the dust out of his throat.  While he's there, he gets caught up in the gold/silver fever that lives in the town.  If he's going to stay here, though, he needs to make some money.  When a man offers him $10 to go keep the Indians away from the train coming in, he heads out with the other men.

Pioneering Press sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published.

Drew finds the Indian outnumber the cowboys by a substantial amount.  The cowboys don't want to take them on.  They watch as the Indians attack and see them be rebuffed by the train riders.  Gunfire is exchanged but only the Indians are getting hurt.  So they decide to burn them out.  Drew gets disgusted with the men with him and goes down under the cover of smoke to remove the stumps from the tracks blocking the train.  He almost gets it done and then the wind changes.  Luckily, the train is moving and grabs him on the way by.

Since he's the hero of the hour, the man who hired him decides to take him on as a permanent hand.  It sounds good but he's seen the foreman kill a man in the bar for talking against Shannon (the mine owner).  He also finds out this is not the first time men have invested in stock that Shannon was selling and found themselves penniless afterward.  It appears the mine owner is using his inside knowledge to make a profit.  That makes Drew less than charmed with him.

Add in Shannon's beautiful daughter who flirts with Drew and he almost agrees.  But he's met the dead man's wife and daughter and she attracts him, too.  What to do?

Before the end of the story, he and Shannon's men face off and you're not sure who's going to win.

This a good western where the men with the money always want to make more.  It's not so very different from how things in the world go today.

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