Ride A Lonely Wind: Ed Stowers
Sometimes situations warrant behaviors that are needed to protect yourself and others. Matt Brannigan finds himself in a tenuous situation when faced with Comanche Indians ready to hill him, protecting someone else from harm and hopefully finding his way to a new life. No longer wanting to be part of the army, nor being part of a cattle drive with no hope for making money or any career in the future, he takes hi money, his weapons and heads out for the Panhandle with the hope of joining an outfit and starting over. But, when approached by Comanches with murder on their minds, meeting Christina Murie and her injured uncle thinks take on a different turn. Bonding with her at first and realizing that they were both in the same position each one had to defend themselves and if killing the enemy was the only way, then so be it. Meeting Christina would change his life as her foreman was gone, he is injured when attacked by the Indians and she nurses him back to health. Wanting to help her get back on her feet, showing his appreciation for the help she gave him, he insists on accompanying her to Fort Griffin when her uncle succumbs to his injured. Not all women are frail and meek as we learn about Christina who is determined to revamp her uncle’s ranch, rebuild it and hopefully run a successful business. But, first we meet some colorful characters in a bar that become her crew along with Matt hired as her foreman.
Running the Murie Ranch made him and the other thrive. From Choker, to Sammy Butters each of these men worked as one and strove to create the best ranch and protect Christina. But, prejudice, hate, fear, betrayals and death reigned during this time period as it does now. Indians against Indians, white against white and each out for their own special purpose. Everyone wanting a piece of the land, the best buffalo and cattle and not caring for human dignity or anyone else. When faced with adversity and blindsided, Matt Brannigan takes matters into his own hands, gets seriously wounded, defends himself to those running The Flat or Fort Griffin and finds himself on the receiving end of a death threat. Just who hired a man named Slade to take him out and why will definitely create some ire within the Murie ranch when the truth about one man comes out. Confrontations run high, saving a young girl from certain torture by the Comanches, gamblers, gunfighters, a non-structured lawless world filled with gunfights, verbal wars and each man out for himself.
The tension rises when Matt comes to town to inform those in charge about several incidents and murders. Those present decide he is guilty and what happens next will cost a dear friend his life, prove that loyalties are not to be taken fore granted and someone on the other side provides Matt with much needed information that sends the events in a downward spiral. Ranch hands, Indians that are dangerous, buffalo hunters, neighbors getting killed letting readers know from the vivid descriptions, the history of the Indians, the author’s bio of the main character that this is a highly volatile time and that what we are experiencing in many countries in the present mirrors much of what happened in the past during this time period.
Watching the Indians do their worst as the author vividly describes the battles, the encounters and you hear the voices of so many trying to figure out how to deal with ambushes, saving their cattle and finding a way to combat what the man running the Cripple T has in mind for not only Matt but his real motive for befriending Christina, loaning her money for her ranch and the end result he has mapped out.
Listen to the inner most thoughts of Matt and learn about his special feelings for Christina, the ranch and the bond he formed with his fellow workers. Since his childhood he states he never had a place where he felt he belonged, was a part of and those that were more like family. Learning from his past and his mistakes he realizes that something in his life needed to change before it was too late. Working with these men on a daily basis, although their boss, set his mind on a different path hoping to prevent those that were charged with destroying him somewhere else if not hoping to take them out before they get to him.
Returning home after being injured and facing the wrath of those in town, Matt learns the fate of the members of his ranch, where Christina is right now and needs to derive a plan to get her back safely. When Slade and several men from the Cripple T you might say got the drop on Choker and his crew, Christina made the ultimate sacrifice to save their lives. But, not before Christina reminded them and the men of the Cripple T that she is no slouch, tolerates no manhandling and can defend herself against any man. So, Choker, Hooknose Bill, Matt, Tart and their good old Henry’s and Winchesters would take action. A face off like you have never seen or had described before as Choker, Matt and the rest fight to defend what belongs to them, take down the Cripple T men, the Tin Hat Brigade. Two men holding their pride in their hands and only one would take it with him. Who will get the final bullet? Whose honor will be avenged? What happens when a paid killer decides his credibility as a gunfighter and hire killer come before his life?
An old western ending with a special twist that author Ed Stowers provides. A fast paces storyline that draws you in from the start, keeps you saddled on your horse until the final shot is fired and the last man standing rides the trail. Ride A Lonely Wind: meet Matt Brannigan a strong male character whose personality will win you over and whose integrity rides high. Meet Christina and find out if they will ride the Lonely Wind Together.
Fran Lewis: reviewer