Penguin Group USA
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014
ISBN: 0451218760, $5.99, 292 pp.
The year is 1865. Around the town of Umberton, the Kansas Border Militia are part of the reason the area is called Bloody Kansas. At the farm of Harvey Shawler, Captain Ruddell Plantz and his so called militia soldiers take what they want from the dirt farmer. All the family are killed except young Jed who witnessed the whole bloody affair. Plantz can not allow the boy to escape to tell the regular army what took place on the farmstead.
In Umberton, Colonel Bertrim Wilder, his former sergeant Shepherd Watson and the colonel's daughter Julie bring in a string of horses to sell. The colonel does this in defiance of the captain's request that all pay a tribute. The three riders are spotted by two of Plantz's gunmen who are stationed in Umberton to keep an eye on the town. The two men ride out to the captain to report their finding. Plantz sends one of his men out to follow Jed's tracks. The boy is found by Wilder and his riders. The colonel refuses to turn Jed over to the militia man and instead, takes him to the Wilder Ranch. Leaving Julie to watch over the boy, the colonel and Shep ride out.
Along the trail, Wilder and Watson are surrounded by the captain and his men who gun the two down. The...