Originally published as an Avalon hardback called McHenry's
I revised and enhanced
Rancher Jason McHenry struggled against Apaches, bandits, disease, drought, and hardship in Arizona for five years and finally gave up. He sells his ranch and heads for Chicago to work in the stockyards. The first leg of his journey is in a stagecoach with five other passengers: a fellow rancher heading for Flagstaff, a railroad executive from San Francisco with his pretty young daughter exploring the area for business opportunity, a mining salesman, and a young cavalry officer heading for Washington. These six people, along with the stagecoach driver and the shotgun guard, are thrown into a desperate fight for survival when they discover their next stage station has been burned by Apaches and the station manager killed.
That would have been frightening enough, but then bandits attack them while they are still at the burnt-out stage station, and the stagecoach is run off. Now afoot in the harsh desert country the small group of people would have been at deadly risk even if they weren’t continually threatened by bandits and Apaches from then on; both the bandits and the Apaches see McHenry and his party as choice targets. It is a battle of wits as well as bullets that will determine their fate.
They are all tested. McHenry learns much about people. And he finds something he wasn’t looking for. But he doubts he’ll be able to get any of them out of their ordeal alive.