Judgment Rendered.

Two brothers rode out of West Texas looking for lost souls....
Zachariah Priest, a Methodist circuit rider, roamed from town to town, preaching the gospel whenever the opportunity presented itself. Apaches, bandits, and rattlesnakes made travel through Arizona Territory hazardous. Even more dangerous were the mining camps where men tried to claw a fortune from the earth, and shootings were far more common than striking the mother lode. Small communities across the mining region planned weddings and baptisms around the arrival of saddlebag preachers. Funerals weren’t as well planned, but Zachariah would say a few words if he were in town!


Bounty hunter John Priest scoured the Missouri Breaks of Montana searching for outlaws. As soon as he received word that his brother was killed in the mining town of Gillett, he made a beeline for Arizona Territory. Unlike Zachariah, John Priest wasn’t the type to turn the other cheek. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and a life for a life—John Priest swore he would find whoever was responsible for his brother’s death. The guilty would face judgment; he’d see to it personally.

The Grave

Zachariah Priest’s marker was a plain wooden affair. The marshal stared at it for a moment. It looked different than he remembered. The gravesite appeared to have been swept clean, the marker straightened. A shadow falling across the grave warned him he wasn’t alone. Marshal Newsome turned quickly one hand on the butt of his Colt. A stranger stood, eyeing him and cradling a short-barreled shotgun.

“Judging by the badge, you’d be the law in this town.” The barrel of the shotgun tilted slightly as if pointing at the badge pinned to Newsome’s shirt.

Newsome nodded, “Marshal Tom Newsome. And who might you be?” Curiously, he studied the stranger. Travel-stained and dirty, the man was hard to type. He wasn’t a miner, or freighter—cowboy, maybe but not like the ones on the local cattle ranches.

For a moment the stranger studied him. “I am just a fellow, looking for answers. I was hoping you could supply a few—like what happened to my brother. My name is John Priest.”


Judgment Rendered
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The cover art is an image of a pistol in a hand-tooled leather gunbelt. The image is from a photograph I took at the Booth Museum of Western Art in Cartersville, Georgia. Click on one of the buttons to order a copy for your your Kindle, or a print edition of the novel. - Thanks!

For more tales of the west, try the novel Anasazi Trail or The Resurrection of Cain. Happy reading! - SC