Originally published as an Avalon hardback.
Hank Weatherstone is the young, ambitious, and proud founder of a new one-vehicle stage line in southeastern Wyoming. He thinks he has only two passengers for his upcoming two-day run to Laramie from Fort Laramie and he expects an uneventful trip. But it gets complicated.
First he is tricked into accepting a very large shipment of gold, and the shipment’s notoriety makes him sure that it will attract bandits like buzzards to a fresh carcass. And the trigger-happy and lovesick young man he consequently hires as a shotgun messenger may prove more of a problem than an assistance.
And Weatherstone is a little nervous about the marshal who announces he wants to escort a prisoner to Laramie in his stagecoach. Does the outlaw have friends who might want to interfere?
And then there is the attractive young woman running away from home. She too turns out to be a magnet for complications, from a heartbroken cowboy and, separately, her father who wants to retrieve her.
And why didn’t the gambler he picks up outside Fort Laramie get onboard back in the fort like the other passengers? And what is he carrying in the valise he won’t let go of?
And then there are the mother and daughter he picks up as passengers at a way station.
So Weatherstone winds up with a stage full of people—and trouble. Is this trip going to be his last stage to Laramie?