printed copy

Revenge Of Eagles #10

William W. Johnstone

ISBN 9780786025770
Publish Date 12/6/2011
Format Paperback
Categories Pinnacle, Western, Eagles

The Greatest Western Writer Of The 21st Century

Frontier Justice Runs in the Family

Falcon MacCallister couldn’t duck his father’s legacy as a shootist in the Wild West—and he’s never tried to. A man who lives between two worlds, Falcon has a reputation of his own—and it’s about to plunge him into a different kind of war.

On a stagecoach in southern Arizona, Falcon is ambushed. But the only people who die are the shotgun guard and a beautiful young Indian woman returning from school in the East. While Falcon has a choice to walk away, a violent conflict is erupting among the natives. The dead woman was the daughter of a powerful chief with links to Geronimo and Cochise—and a tinderbox has been ignited. Falcon knows that the innocent will die with the guilty if the murderers aren’t caught soon. And in a land where nothing is quite what it seems, Falcon MacCallister is the one man who has the courage, the gun, and the bloodline to bring justice to a wounded and violent land...

Chapter One

Falcon MacCallister stood on the depot platform at Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Behind him, the train popped and snapped as the bearings and gearboxes cooled. The relief valve vented steam in puffs that made it sound as if the mighty engine was trying to recover its breath after a difficult run.

Standing slightly over six feet tall, Falcon had shoulders so wide and muscular, and a waist so flat and thin, that his suits had to be custom-made for him. His eyes were pale blue, staring out from a chiseled face. He had wheat-colored hair, which he wore short and neat under a black hat decorated with a turquoise-encrusted silver band. Right now he was wearing a black suit with a crisp white shirt and a black string tie.

He had come to Glenwood Springs because an old friend was here. Walking across the depot platform, he threw his grip in the back of a hack.

“The Glenwood Springs Hotel,” he said.

The driver snapped the reins over his horse and the Light Brett carriage pulled away.

“You moving to our fair city, or are you just here for a visit?” the driver asked over the clip-clop of the horses’ hooves.

“Visiting.”

“Ah. And will you be taking our waters? The sulphur springs are good for what ails you.”

“No.”

“Well, you certainly picked a good time to visit us. We are having a beautiful spring,” the driver said. Realizing then that his passenger wasn’t much of a talker, the driver stopped trying to make conversation, and concentrated on his driving.

The Hotel Glenwood sat in such a way as to allow its front door to open onto the corner of Fifth Street and Colorado Avenue. It was a large, imposing edifice that could compete with just about any hotel Falcon had ever seen, including those in New York. It was three stories high, with dormer windows in the roof that made the attic usable as well. A roofed balcony wrapped around the second floor, providing an arched roof for the ground-level porch.

Falcon paid the fare, then stepped into the hotel. The lobby was large, with overstuffed sofas and chairs, highly polished brass spittoons, and a few potted plants. The carpet was light brown, decorated with a pattern of roses.

“Yes, sir,” the clerk behind the desk said brightly. “Come to take the waters?”

“No. I need a room.”

The clerk turned the registration book toward him, and Falcon signed in.

By the time Falcon finished signing, the clerk was holding a room key. “Very good, sir, you’ll be in Room 307, Mister. . . .” He looked at the registration; then his eyes grew wide and he swallowed. “MacCallister? You are Falcon MacCallister?”

“I am.”

“Oh, uh, Mr. MacCallister, I beg your pardon,” he said. Turning, he hung the key back up on the board, then got another one. “Three-oh-seven would not be an appropriate room for you. I’m sure you will find this one much more to your liking. It is three-oh-one, it’s our corner room, and as you’ll see when you go up there, it has cupola windows, which will provide you with an excellent view of our fair city.”

“Thanks.”

“Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“Yes. I believe John Henry Holliday is staying in this hotel.”

“John Henry?”

“Dr. Holliday.”

“Doctor . . .” The hotel clerk gasped. “Good Lord, sir, do you mean Doc Holliday?”

“Yes.”

“Well, yes, yes, as a matter of fact he is a guest in our hotel. He is here in Glenwood Springs, taking the cure for his tuberculosis.”

“What room?”

The clerk smiled. “He is in three-oh-three, which, as it turns out, is right next to your own room. But you won’t find him there now. He is down at the springs. He generally returns to the hotel around suppertime, though.”

“Thanks.”

Falcon went to his room. His name often elicited the kind of response he got from the hotel clerk. There were those who said that he was one of the most accomplished men with a six-gun to ever roam the West. Stories about him were told and retold until they reached legendary proportions, and Falcon MacCallister seemed larger than life.

But the truth was, and Falcon understood and accepted this . . . many of the stories told about him had actually happened to his father, Jamie Ian MacCallister.

From the War for Texas Independence to the Colorado Rockies, to the goldfields of California, to the battlefields of the Civil War, Jamie MacCallister had made a name for himself, raised a family, and amassed a fortune. If some of

Jamie’s exploits were confused with some of Falcon’s, it was understandable. On the other hand, Falcon’s own exploits had put his name in the history books, alongside that of his storied father.

The corner of Falcon’s hotel room was circular and surrounded by bay windows that, as the clerk had promised, afforded excellent views of both streets. A settee and an easy chair converted the corner into a sitting area. Falcon stepped up to the windows and looked out over the town, and into the mountains beyond. He recalled his first meeting with Doc Holliday.

After Falcon’s wife, Mary, was killed by renegade Indians, Falcon started moving. He had no particular place to go, and nothing he had to do when he got there. But somehow moving around seemed to help him get over the pain of his loss.

He found himself in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, during one such sojourn, and as he stood at the bar in the Oriental Café, two star-packers stepped up beside him. One of the deputies was very short, but with a prominent belly rise. The other, who was younger, was reed-thin and gawky.

“Mister, Your name wouldn’t be Falcon MacCallister now, would it?” the short, fat one asked.

“It is.”

“You’re under arrest.”

“For what?”

“For murder, or so the wanted posters say.”

“Deputy, if you’ve got paper on me, it’s no good,” Falcon said. “All the dodgers have been recalled.”

“I don’t remember no recall notice,” the short one said, his hand moving toward his pistol. “I’m Deputy Stillwell, and I’m puttin’ you under arrest.”

“I told you, the papers have been recalled. Check with the sheriff.”

Stillwell shook his head. “Can’t do that,” he said. “Seein’ as how Sheriff Behan’s outta town, why, that makes me’n Jimmy here in charge.”

By now the confrontation between Falcon and the deputies had caught the attention of everyone in the saloon, and all other conversation came to a halt. Over in the corner, Falcon saw a well-dressed man sitting by himself. He had a deck of cards spread out in front of him, and was playing solitaire. He continued to play, but it was clear that he was monitoring everything that was going on.

“All right, if you insist, I’ll go to the sheriff’s office with you, and find the recall notices,” Falcon said.

“We ain’t goin’ nowhere till your hands is up and your holsters is empty,” Stillwell said, starting for his gun.

As quick as thought, Falcon drew both guns. He had them cocked and aimed before either of the deputies could clear leather.

The two deputies slowly raised their hands, their eyes wide with naked fear.

“What . . . what’re you goin’ to do with us, mister?” the one named Jimmy asked.

Falcon let out a long sigh. “Well, I’ll be damned if I know,” he said. “I just came into town for a drink, meal, and bath. I guess we can go on over to the jail, like we were going to, and I’ll prove to you that I’m not a wanted man.”

At that moment, Falcon noticed that the man in the dark suit, the one who had been playing cards, got up from his corner table and approached them.

“Good afternoon, Mr. MacCallister. My name’s John Henry Holliday.”

“Holliday?” Falcon asked. Then something about the man matched a description he had heard once. “Would you be Doc Holliday?”

“That’s what they call me,” Doc Holliday replied.

Falcon had heard of Doc Holliday, and he wondered why he was stepping in to take a hand in the situation.

“Perhaps I can be of some assistance here,” Doc said, answering Falcon’s unasked question. He nodded toward the two deputies. “These two misguided gentlemen lack the intelligence of a cow turd. But I’m sure they thought they were just doing their job.”

Falcon nodded. “As slow as they are, maybe they should start thinking about some other form of employment.”

Doc chuckled. “I imagine that thought is going through their little pea-sized minds right now.”

Doc turned toward Deputy Stillwell. “Suppose I take Mr. MacCallister over to the city marshal’s office and have Wyatt check him out. Would that satisfy you boys?”

Both nodded their heads. “Yes, sir, Doc,” Stillwell answered.

Doc glanced back toward Falcon.

“That all right with you?”

“Sure, fine, just so I get something to eat before much longer.” Falcon holstered his pistols, but so quickly had he drawn them that Stillwell and Jimmy knew they were in as much danger from him now as they had been when he had the guns in his hands. They kept their hands up.

Oh, for cryin’ out loud, will you two idiots put your hands down?” Doc said to them. Then, turning back to Falcon, he said, “It is all right for them to put their hands down, isn’t it?”

“Yes, of course,” Falcon replied.

With a sigh of relief, both Stillwell and Jimmy lowered their hands.

“I tell you what, Mr. MacCallister,” Doc began.

“Falcon,” Falcon corrected.

“All right, Falcon it is. Right after we see Wyatt and get this straightened out, we’ll go to Campbell and Hatch’s saloon. They’ve got the best food, and what’s more important, the best whiskey in town.”

Falcon’s reverie was interrupted by the sudden outbreak of a deep hacking cough, coming from the hall just outside his room. Falcon moved to his door and opened it, just as Doc Holliday was using the key to his own room.

“Damn. I’m going to have to write a letter to the governor,” Falcon said. “It appears that they will let just anyone into the state now.”

About William W. Johnstone:

Just to give you a brief rundown on who William W. Johnstone is, here are the basic facts. He was born in Southern Missouri, the youngest of four kids. His father was a minister and his mother was a schoolteacher.

He quit school when he was fifteen and joined a carnival after getting kicked out of the FFL (for being underage), but he went back and finished high school in 1957. After that he worked as a deputy sheriff, did a hitch in the army, came back and went into radio broadcasting, where he worked for sixteen years.

Johnstone started writing in 1970, but he didn't get published until late 1979. He has written almost a hundred books including the best-selling Ashes series and the Mountain Man series. He began writing full-time in the early 1980s and hasn't stopped since. His first published book was THE DEVIL'S KISS and his favorite, so far, is THE LAST OF THE DOG TEAM.


Ashes
Blood Bond
Code Name
Dog Team
Eagles
Family Jensen
First Mountain Man
Last Gunfighter
Last Mountain Man
Loner
Luke Jensen, Bounty Hunter
MacCallister
Matt Jensen
Phoenix Rising
Savage Texas
Sidewinders
Town Called Fury
Trail West


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