KING OF THE GUN TRAIL
A Frontier G-Man Novel
Franklin D. Lincoln
King of the Gun Trail- Frontier G-Man No. 1
Copyright © 2012 by Franklin D. Lincoln
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
In the days following the Civil War, unrest and violence prevailed. Outlaws, Jayhawkers, Bushwhackers, and gunfighters wreaked havoc on a torn nation struggling to recover from its mortal wounds. Along with these threats, new and even more sinister dangers emerged as evil organizations appeared to take advantage of a nation in tears.
Ruthless men, hungry for power and wealth, concerned only with the satisfaction of their own greed preyed on the lowly, the poor, the disillusioned. Often these were men of power who sprang up from the ranks of military and government. The days of Reconstruction, Carpetbaggers and Military rule brought opportunities for these despots to plunder and pillage. Coalitions of these men engaging the help of already terrorizing outlaws strengthened their stranglehold on the Citizenry. There was new wealth to grab in the West and powerful empires to build.
Wagon trains of settlers were preyed upon. Indian uprisings were stimulated and gunrunners supplied modern weapons to them. Farmers and ranchers were evicted from their lands. Unfair taxation and martial law ran rampant. Shootings, robberies and murder were the order of the day. Stage coach lines and freight wagons were held up and robbed. Gold shipments, payrolls and U.S. Mails were hijacked. Currencies were counterfeited, banks were robbed and the nation’s economy was threatened. International relations with Mexico were threatened as smuggling of illegal contraband flourished. Gun runners provided guns to Mexican and French revolutionaries. Into this melee of terror and crime were sent agents of the U.S. Government, commissioned to fight this crime and to protect citizens from all criminals, including those of the Government’s own ranks, the most heinous villains of all.
The Butterfield Stage driver whipped up the team as it approached the next bend and upturn in the trail. The crack of the bullwhip and the "Heaaah!" of the driver were hardly heard over the roar of the stage wheels. Hot dust billowed over driver and guard. Inside, rocking with the bounce of the stage’s springs were three trail weary travelers. On the back bench facing forward was a tall, stout, gray haired man. The cut of his gray suit and his neat appearance added to the air of distinction he exuded. With his neatly trimmed gray mustache, he looked like a Senator. In fact he was a Senator. Senator Joshua P. Ballard from Missouri. Next to him sat his young blond haired daughter Sally, who was trying to not show her discomfort with the rollicking ride. The Senator sensing her discomfort said. "Just hold on a while longer, dear. We should be in Denver soon and you can relax with a nice soft bed."
"A bath would work nicely too, " she added. Then to the man sitting opposite, "How much longer do you think it will be, Mr. Blaine?" The young man smiled from beneath his black, flat crowned hat, and adjusted the lapels of his brown suit coat. "I’d like to encourage you miss, but it will be a while longer. It’s about two miles to Vinegar Wells where we’ll layover awhile, before pushing on to Denver. "Dan Blaine was a government agent assigned to accompany and protect the Senator and his daughter. Before he could add more, the stage jerked to a sudden stop; the steep incline forcing the Senator and Sally into a backward reclining position. "What the---?" Blaine muttered. Pushing the door open and trying to lean out he shouted to the driver. "What’s the problem?"
"Tree across the trail, "He spatted tobacco juice to the ground in disgust. "Ethan will clear it and we’ll be on our way." The guard was already climbing from the box, when the shot rang out. The guard already swinging down from the box felt the hot sear of a sharp’s rifle bullet tear into his chest. He stiffened and fell heavily to the ground. The lead horses reared and thrashed, their shrill whinnies a ghastly screech. The driver fought to control them and the coach rocked back and forth on the steep incline. Dan Blaine practically fell from the stage as he pushed himself though the doorway. He landed on his shoulder, simultaneously grabbing his pistol from beneath his coat. Another shot rang out and the driver pitched sideways from the box, landing in the stone covered road, a dark black red hole gaping between his eyes. A stocky black bearded man astride a bay horse was pulling at the lead horse’s reins preventing the stage from rolling further back. Another man loomed before Blaine’s eyes. His mount reared as the man’s pistol flamed. Blaine barely heard the blast as a bullet caught him midsection. He rolled in the dirt, bringing his six gun up and firing with one last breath. The outlaw whirled his mount, careening from Dan’s bullet as it caught him in his left arm. Bringing the horse back around, the outlaw could see Blaine’s bent body folded into a fetal position, blood pooling beneath him. With a guttural oath, the bandit fired twice more into the body of Dan Blaine and grinned. "Take that you dirty polecat!" Screams came from inside the coach. The senator tried to restrain the hysterical Sally, but the precarious position of the incline restricted them both. He held her tight as the door was pulled wide open. A tall, swarthy man filled the open space. His pistol loomed before him, the menacing black bore threatening. "Good afternoon, Senator," the man chided, a smirking, twisted grin on his narrow face. The menacing eyes mocking,
"You are now my guest."