Santa Anna's Peak
, Leona Bruce
"The two little mesas, the Santa Anna Mountains, stand lonely, not near any other hills. They are a landmark today, as they have been since white men first came near them and must have been for eons before that, for whatever human beings dwelt here or crossed this way. The seas receded, maybe a million years ago, and left countless little marine shells which may be picked up in the grass; from the cap rock you can look fifty miles to the Salt Gap in the Brady Mountains, or forty to the Caddo Peaks. The Salt Mountains show the trail to Comanche and if it's night, one can see the lights of Abilene.
We will tell what we know of their story and who can undertake this labor with more spirit than this author, born half a mile from them, living there nearly every year of her life? This house we built in a cave on the southwest side, where never before had a white man's house stood; from the front windows is visible Cow Gap and Salt Gap, forty and fifty miles away. And if the stories are true that Santa Anna, the Comanche dwelt there, his tepees may have been on this knoll, his squaws may have dipped water from the spring a hundred feet down a gentle slope.
Santa Anna's Peak! That's what the map makers called this rise, a hundred and sixy years ago. There's more to this book than the Santa Anna Peak. Familiar names, history of early ranch families, and much more. I enjoyed this one very much.
From the Texas bookshelves.
The Orchid Affair
, a novel, Lauren Willig
Laura Grey has had enough of governessing. After sixteen grim years spent schooling the children of England's elite aristocracy, Laura sheds her domestic shackles and heads to the Selwick Spy School, expecting an exciting new world of elaborate disquises and thrilling exploits. With the code name "The Silver Orchid", Laura sets off for France in service of the master spy known as The Pink Carnation. There's just one hitch. The Pink Carnation wants her to infiltrate the household of Andre´ Jaouen, right hand man to Bonaparte's minister of police, as a governess.
Andre´ Jaouen has enough on his plate with rumors of a Royalist rising sweeping Paris, causing intrigue, unrest, and a lot of overtime at his office in the Prefecture. The arrival of his children formerly tucked away in safety in Nantes with their grandfather, causes a whole new level of complication, especially with his sinister colleague, Gaston Delaroche, who is determined to one up him in whatever way he can, even if it means threats to those Andre´ holds dear. Hiring a governess is meant to be the solution to the problem and Laura, with references as impeccable as her drab grey dress, seems like the perfect candidate. But from her first day in his household, Andre´ finds he's hired far more than he's bargained for --
The Man From Yesterday
, A Western Story, Wayne D. Overholser
It had happened while Neal Clark was still the Ramrod of the Circle C. Ranch. He had ridden into Cascade City to consult the gun smith about the sighting of his rifle. While he was in the gunsmith's shop, the Shelly gang attempted to hold up the bank. Neal rushed out of the shop with his rifle and fired repeatedly, killing Buck Shelly and his son Luke. He may also have wounded Ed Shelly, the younger son, who was holding the horses. Ed Shelly escaped but was believed to be mortally wounded. Then Neal received a letter from him, declaring that he would be back someday to settle the score. Eight years later, Neal is married with a young daughter and has taken over the town bank. Cascade City is in the midst of a crisis brought about by Ben Darley and Tuck Shelton, promoters of an irrigation project that is an obvious scam, though it isn't obvious to most people in town or in the surrounding community. There is even a talk of lynching Neal for his adamant rejection of investment in the project. It is at this point that the letters from Ed Shelly start coming again, this time vowing revenge not on Neal himself, but on his wife and daughter. There seems to be nothing Sheriff Joe Rolfe can do about it because there are no strangers in town except for the two promoters, both too old to be Ed Shelly --
See you at Rylander!