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Wednesday, 5 January 2011

The Black Horse eBooks - exclusive preview 1

Black Horse westerns have provided The Tained Archive with the blurb and first five pages of each of the titles that make up the Black Horse eBook Bundle 1. This information was originally supposed to be a part of Wild West eMonday but the holiday period got in the way, however we are delighted to finally present this material.

The eBook bundle will be on sale very soon and we hope this taster gets you all in the mood.

Keep an eye on the Archive for details of when you can buy the eBook bundle.

Today on The Archive we are pleased to present an exclusive peek at each of the titles in the bundle.

First up we have Land of the Lost by Dean Edwards.






Land of the Lost by Dean Edwards
Exclusive preview


Young drifter Hal Harper rides into the remote town of
Senora when he finds himself looking down the barrels of the
law. What Harper does not realize is that the ruthless outlaw
Tate Talbot and his gang have managed to get themselves
elected as sheriff and deputies. Talbot has discovered that
there is a wanted poster on his own head worth a small
fortune so he has the ingenious idea of collecting his own
bounty by killing the innocent Harper and claiming the
drifter is the outlaw known as Diamond Bob Casey.
Harper manages to escape to the remote uncharted desert
south of Senora but can he survive in the Land of the Lost?

PROLOGUE
There was little else but sand, sagebrush and
cactus on the land just south of Fort Myers. It had
been deemed suitable for an Indian reservation by
faceless people more than 1,000 miles away. In
truth, there were other reservations even worse.
Had it been intended for the more peaceful tribes
it would have worked. But someone had not
known that Apaches were not to be regarded as
peaceful Indians. They were a proud nation who
had seen their once vast kingdom taken from
them and were expected to accept the theft as
progress. The older Apaches did just that. They
had lost their stomach for fighting. They had lost
too many of their young braves. Now they were
reduced to little better than livestock, to be kept
within the confines of the reservation in the same
way as farmers herded their cattle on the range.

The promise of regular supplies of food might
have convinced even the younger Apaches but
corruption was rife in the dealings between the
distant Eastern government and those who were
meant to ration out the provisions.
Within a matter of only months the supplies
started to arrive either late or not at all. The government
had paid for the food and other basic provisions
but the men in charge of distributing these to
the Apaches could not resist the huge profits to be
made by selling them on to settlers, or anyone else
for that matter. It all boiled down to money and
greed.
Soon the younger Apache braves with hot blood
still in their veins started to talk about escaping
from their enforced confinement.
So it was the night of 18 July.
The sun had gone down at around eight and a
large moon hung over the vast wasteland of sand.
Twenty of the young warriors who had already
proved their manhood before being brought like
mustangs to this desolate land gathered in an
arranged meeting. They had already worked out
what they were going to do. Now they had to make
their plans reality.
Although not the oldest of the braves, one of
them acted as though he had lived twice as long as
he actually had. His was an old head on young
shoulders. He had no equal with either a knife or a

gun. Yet all their weapons had been taken from
them when they had been herded into the barren
land.
Nazimo knew that it was pointless simply escaping.
For it to work they required rifles and ammunition
to survive and fight off those who would be
sent to bring them back.
Apaches were survivors.
They could also fight.
Since the first outsiders had encountered them
they had become known as a nation which seemed
to be able to fight better than almost all other
North American tribes. Apaches had a ferocity like
the land in which they lived. It was said that the
Devil himself had created this place. For hundreds
of miles in almost every direction it was as if the sun
was as hot as Hell itself.
Little wonder that Apaches knew how to fight. It
was defiance which had allowed them to survive at
all. Few other men who ventured into their land
managed the feat.
Nazimo led the nineteen braves away from the
rest of the small settlement along the desert canyon.
All they had was their courage to defend them. But
they knew that the trading post and the fort beyond
had plenty of rifles.
Both were situated at the mouth of the canyon.
The young men with paint on their faces and
torsos led their ponies slowly towards the first of

their objectives. Nazimo had been watching and
listening to those who worked and traded in the
trading-post building. He had sat motionless on the
wooden boardwalk for over a week, absorbing every
word, watching every transaction. None of those
inside the long wooden building had any idea that
this was one Apache who actually understood their
language.
The moonlight was against them but Nazimo
refused to allow it to change his well-conceived
plans. The braves moved across the sand until they
reached the very mouth of the canyon. A barbedwire
fence had been erected across the fifty feet of
expanse between two rockfaces. It was always locked
at night and two cavalrymen were meant to guard it.
Yet for months the confined Apaches had not
even tried to escape. They had remained quietly in
the place that had been designated to them.
Nazimo had noticed that for the previous week the
soldiers who were meant to be sentries had stayed
inside the long wooden building instead. Through
the open windows he had seen them and the men
who worked at the trading post playing cards and
drinking throughout the long cool nights.
Nazimo reached the barbed-wire gates first. A
hefty brass padlock hung on a sturdy chain
between the two gates. Yet for all the lock-andchain’s
strength the fence itself was made of weathered
lumber poles. The barbed wire was loosely

tacked to the uprights.
Nazimo tossed his rope rein to one of his followers
and then placed a hand on both sides of the lock
and chain. As quietly as he could the Apache
warrior pushed and pulled the tall fence gates. His
strong hands gripped the poles as he moved further
forward and then backward. He knew that the fence
posts would eventually give.
He was right.
On the third push the gatepost in his left hand
snapped like kindling. The heavy chain fell. Nazimo
opened the gates, then signalled his followers.
They moved as all Apaches moved: silently and
fast. Even the unshod ponies knew how to be as
quiet as their masters. Nazimo waved half his braves
to one side of the trading post. They held on to the
reins of all the ponies as Nazimo himself led the
others to the open window.
Cigar smoke drifted out into the evening air.
Nazimo knew that none of his braves was armed.
They would have to enter swiftly through the
window one after another and somehow manage to
overcome the men inside. They would have to kill
or be killed. Then, if they achieved their mission
without any of the men or soldiers firing a weapon
at them, they would have to steal as many rifles,
guns and ammunition as they could. Nazimo knew
that it was vital that no shots were fired if the fort
was not to be alerted.

NEXT MCGUIRE, MANHUNTER BY SCOTT CONNER

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