friendship, good guys, and baddies as it's predecessor. Take a look at this action packed excerpt, and then find out what happens when you buy the book!
He smoothly placed his hat over his heart and executed a courtly bow. “Marshal Leon Smith at your service, little lady. Folks just call me Marshal. Whom do I have the honor of addressing?”
He talked like nobility, or at least how she guessed a rail baron might sound. She would’ve forgotten the company he kept if it weren’t for the pearl-handled pistol shoved into a holster below the Marshal’s vest. Maybe he needed it to keep them under control. “I’m…R-Red,” she stammered.
“Isn’t that a fine name.” He swept the ends of his fingers along the bowler’s brim to fix the hat atop a high forehead. He inclined his head toward the other dour faces. “Don’t you mind my deputies, honey. We’re Pinkertons. The good guys.”
“They’re yegg,” she said with a shake of her head. “I can tell.”
“Firm hands on the tiller of justice,” he assured with a smile. Marshal pulled a yellow paper from inside his vest and unfolded it. “Rare to find one of your kind out by herself. That train over there yours, Red?”
She nodded. “Circus train. Tommy Tricks is the engine.” She gave Law Keeper a sidelong glance. “Tommy’s nicer than yours.”
“Well, this fellow we’re after likes circuses too. Heard he ran off with one.” The marshal spread the paper out before her. “This is a very bad man, sweetheart. A wanted killer. Look familiar to you?”
The breath squeezed from her. Red stared at the inked likeness, her jaw sagging. Big Mike.
The marshal regarded his deputies, his voice lowering as he said, “I’d say we found our man, gentlemen.”
Yelping, she raced back down the tracks as fast as she could. She broke into the caboose on a gust of wind, sending cards fluttering about the room. “Big Mike!” She gasped over Max’s surprised shout. “A man’s coming after you with a bunch of yegg. He’s right behind me. Got a pearly gun and snake boots.”
Surprisingly, the conductor knew whom she talked about. “Massasauga Smith,” Max spat. He rummaged in his desk. “ BM, you gotta get out of here. I’ve got some money in the drawer—”
“No,” the yegg interrupted, slamming a fist on the table hard enough to scatter the bottle caps they used as poker chips. “Ain’t gonna leave. Ain’t gonna join’ em likes they wanted Big Mike to do.”
Red whined in exasperation. “You didn’t really kill anyone, did you?”
The roustabout hitched up his suspenders and grinned at her. “Didn’t mean to. Big Mike just thumped too hard. Don’t want no badge.”
“Those men asked you to join them?”
“Wouldn’t really call it asking.” Max rubbed the back of his neck. “You can’t make a stand, Big Mike. Not against pistols. Not against the likes of Massasauga Smith.”
The large man pulled a red fire ax from hooks over the rear door. Dark smoky tendrils oozed from his eyes. “Big Mike gots Red.”
“What am I supposed to do?” she cried, following him out the front door.
He kicked at the ballast and swung the axe as if it were a marching baton. “You gonna let’ em take Big Mike away, Red?”
The question dragged itself over the red coals of hurtful memories. The seething black fog enveloping Big Mike’s body reached deep within her. Rage lifted Red into the sky in front of him. An unrelenting anger brought bright flashes to her eyes and transformed her hair in a crackling blue nimbus.
“They’re not taking you from me,” she thundered. Nobody’s going to do that to me again. Ever.
~Find out what happens next in Storm Child~