“Don’t…please don’t,” I pleaded to him.
He appeared calm, unlike the scared and terrified image that I must have
presented to him. He continued to raise his arm and it all seemed to be happening
in slow motion. I knew I should shoot, but I was frozen in a state of fear. He could
see it. He could read my reluctance to kill and he was willing to test my fear with his
I don’t know how I did it – I don’t remember making a conscious decision to shoot.
The gun jerked in my hand. There was a blinding flash and a loud explosion as the
gun discharged. The man’s face twisted in pain, his body was pushed backwards
and his arms were thrown both up and forward. His gun went spinning to the floor.
He stumbled back against the wall and his hands came down to his chest in a
natural reflex to cover a wound. His wild eyes stared at me in disbelief.
I watched his eyes roll upwards as he turned sideways, his weight pressing hard
against the wall. He stayed that way for a moment, his face continuing to contort
with the pain. After a few moments, his weight began to shift as he went crashing
down to the floor without the normal reaction of reaching out to break one’s fall.
When his body hit the ground his head and legs bounced off the stone flagged
floor before falling back down. He lay still and a red stream of blood began to flow
outwards from beneath his body.
I had killed a man, but there was no time to think about or dwell on my actions.
Ingrid had gotten to her feet and was stepping out the door. Her arms were waving
in confusion and she was wailing with despair, or maybe it was shock.
“Ingrid, no!” I yelled as I ran to stop her.
I reached out to grab her arm, but she was too fast. She ran out into the open and
made straight for the body of her husband. As I showed myself in the doorway a
volley of gunfire rang out. I fell back and rolled to the side and out of view. Bullets
came tearing through the open door, speeding across the room in search of
human flesh. The gunfire from the hill ceased as Larsen’s covering fire forced
them to crouch down again.
I got to my feet and looked out the window. Ingrid’s body was slumped across Olaf.
She was not moving and I could see two red blotches on her back, the blood
standing out sharply against the pale yellow of her dress.
“Tom, come on, Tom, while I have them pinned down!” Larsen was yelling from the
I stumbled out the door and ran in a confused daze back to the barn.
“You alright? You ain’t shot, are you?” he said as he looked me up and down.
“No…no, I don’t think…” I couldn’t get a proper sentence out, I was in shock.
Larsen hurried to the stalls and led our horses out.
“Let’s get goin’,” he said.
I didn’t answer, I couldn’t move.
“Come on, Kid.”
He lifted my leg, pushing my foot into a stirrup and then heaved me up onto
Eclipse. Larsen grabbed his saddle and swung himself up onto his horse in one
swift movement. He reached out and held Eclipse by his reins.
“Yehah!” He let out a roar and prodded his horse with the heel of his boots.
Eclipse followed, being pulled for the first few feet.
Leaving the barn, we turned and rode around the side, putting the building
between us and the hill. We galloped out of the yard and into a wheat field. The
horses cut through the sea of sheaves leaving a trampled trail leading away from
the house. We emerged from the golden wheat forest into the open, about fifteen
strides from the outer fence. Larsen led – he leaned forward, urging his horse on.
They rose into the air before me. Every muscle in the black stallion was taut and
working in unison as it lifted its giant frame off the ground. Its front legs found
purchase on the other side as its back legs curled to clear the top rung of the
I closed my eyes and hunched down, putting my trust in Eclipse. I felt my stomach
heave as we went up, seemingly pausing for a moment before the motion of
coming down was felt. We landed hard and I was almost thrown off, but I clung on,
throwing my arms around his neck. Eclipse instantly regained his balance and
quickened his stride to a gallop as he chased Larsen’s horse.
We fled across a green valley and away from the farm, leaving Wilson’s men to
search for their scattered horses.
Boston 1878. Tom Anderson, a mild mannered office clerk, is
content with his mundane life. But following the death of his
mother, his peaceful existence rapidly disintegrates as he is
sucked into a world of violence and apathy. Forced to flee the
city, he strikes out for the vast wildernesses of Western Canada
to recover the proceeds of his late father’s mine.
And so begins an epic journey; not just in distance, but also one
Circumstances force Tom to change as the journey progresses.
Under the guidance of his father’s old partner, he learns how to
survive, how to read men, and how to kill. He also finds love. But
at journeys end, will he still be the same man that captured
"Stephen O'Sullivan was able to show me a
believable every day life of those past and
often hard times. Anderson's Gold may be
more a Western than a Romance, I - as a
woman - have enjoyed every word of it. I'm
looking forward to Stephen's next book!"
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