Slim and Sly
CROSSROADS AT DESCANSO
A story of tragedy, heartache, revenge and redemption—that was Nathan Hunt’s life, a young Newspaper Reporter robbed of all he held dear. His cherished wife Ruthie, late with child, and in-laws he loved, ruthlessly murdered in a retaliatory act against his probes into government corruption.
Nathan blames himself for working too aggressively, and not protecting his family. He’s young, and sure he’s invincible, never taking into account the vulnerability of his loved ones.
As he holds the body of his wife and unborn child in his lap, he swears revenge; unconditional revenge, however long, whatever the cost, he will never surrender to defeat. His only goal in life will be to pursue the murderer or murderers, and exact the price he deems just.
The only clues are a man with a scar, and a suspect who disappeared at the time of the murders. Are they the same man? It will take Nathan three years to find out.
Leaving a large inheritance and a life of ease, his pursuit will take him across the American continent from Philadelphia to San Diego. Alone in a one-horse buggy he follows a trail of eyewitnesses down the eastern seaboard. Then as the trail turns west, he moves from steamboat to steamboat, and town to town, but always a few weeks behind his suspect. His pursuit halts when he learns a scar faced man and two others joined the last Wagon train out for the winter over the Oregon Trail.
Nathan arrives too late to follow, so he turns south to a warmer climate, and takes a job in West Texas on a cattle ranch. He hires on and agrees to stay through the spring roundup, but not for the pay. Rather he realizes that he grew up a city boy and there was more to surviving in the west than being well educated and rich.
The lessons come fast at the Circle C, and he doesn’t win every fight, but in the end, he wins the respect of all the other cowpunchers, as well as the ranch’s owner, Mister Curry. He also meets Blacky Hazard at the ranch, and makes friends quickly. Blacky teaches him the ways of the west. Moreover, he teaches him how to handle his fists, a pair of six shooters, and more importantly, how to be the one that walks away when the dust settles.
It is here, in Prickly Pear, Texas, that Nathan and Sylvester Wheeler meet under strange circumstances, and become the best of friends. Together they migrate to California, taking the most southern route. At the end of the trail stands San Diego, paradise found it seemed—but Nathan’s fate lies somewhere ahead in the unknown.
Nathan and Sylvester fall in love with San Diego at first sight. There they meet banker, Ezra Forsyth, and his niece, Penelope Maxwell. Nathan, quickly taken by Penelope’s beauty and demeanor, is so reminded of his Ruthie that it makes his quest for her killer even more urgent.
The first week in San Diego, Nathan and Sylvester are inadvertently involved in apprehending two bank robbers. A third member of the outlaw gang stalks, and shoots Sylvester. Knowing that his friend could be dying, Nathan, along with Eye of the Eagle, a half-breed tracker, pursue the outlaw into Mexico.
Unknown to Nathan, the jailed bank robbers, and the outlaw he tracked into Mexico, are part of a larger ring. The outlaw gang is planning a huge heist of Government money once it arrives at the local bank in preparation of Statehood. Without his knowledge, fate puts Nathan exactly where he needs to be, at precisely the right time. Eventually his path will cross that of the scarred man. Then and only then is he able to exact his revenge, and be released of his debt to Ruthie, and begin a new life.