Indian Territory in 1887 is the setting for Twelve
Days in the Territory, my latest novel.
Outlaws take Martha Raker hostage and flee with her
into the territory after a botched robbery. Martha is the niece of Isaac
Gillette, the local sheriff, who is determined to track them down and bring her
home. Martha is also the sweetheart of Will Burrows, a school teacher, and he
is the only person willing to join the sheriff on his mission.
thrilled to find the school teacher as the only person willing to accompany him
on this dangerous enterprise. Still, it didn't entirely surprise him. Much as
it irked him to admit it, Will Burrows had as much reason to pursue the killers
as he did.
"But did the lad
have the sand to see the job through? Gillette didn't know. Aside from
observing the boy in Martha's company, he knew little about him. He'd never
seen Will with a gun, nor did he recall ever hearing of him in a fistfight or
even a shouting match with another person. Cole had personified the boy as a
sissy in a few remarks, but then Cole and Will had been in competition for
Martha's attention. And Cole had lost that battle; naturally he would be bitter
and not apt to portray his rival in a good light."
Indian Territory was the government's dumping ground
for the tens of thousands of Native Americans uprooted from their homelands
coveted by settlers and greedy entrepreneurs. It didn't matter to officialdom
that many of these people forced into juxtaposition with one another were
mortal enemies. And, though the area was supposed to be a home for the tribes,
by 1887 the territory had also become a refuge for outlaws and renegades.
Cattle trails and railroads were crossing in response to eastern market demands
and rich mineral, timber and land resources were drawing the attention which
would soon lead to land rushes opening expanses of the territory to non-Indian
Indian Territory covered some 74,000 square miles.
Gillette and Will have a big area to cover. Complicating their mission,
Gillette has no jurisdiction in the territory; he's an intruder despite his
badge. There were Indian courts and tribal police, but they had no authority
over cases involving non-Indians. Normally, deputy marshals would have been
dispatched from Fort Smith in pursuit of the outlaws holding Martha.
Gillette isn't inclined to wait for someone else to
do the job, and neither is Will.
Martha is certain her uncle and Will are on their
trail. Meanwhile, she's also doing something about her situation. She's leaving
a trail for Will and her uncle to follow, she's paying close attention to the
conversations of her captors, and she's taking advantages of opportunities for
You can grab a copy of the book in print or
electronic format here https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0929FBTKP/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i6