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Jesse

By Barbara Goss

Copyright © 2020 Barbara Goss

All rights reserved.

Cover by V. McKevitt

Editor: Elise Sherman Abram

All Scripture is quoted from the King James version of the Holy Bible.

All the characters described in this story are fictional. They are not based on any real persons, past or present. Any resemblance to real persons, living or deceased, is coincidental and unintended.

Table of Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Epilogue

The next book in the series is book #3....  Morgan:

Chapter One

Jesse Morgan studied himself in the mirror.  Why did all the women in town shy away from him?  Some would rather walk across the street than pass him on the wooden walkway.

Was it his looks?  Or was it because word had gotten around that he was a bounty hunter?

He ran his fingers through his hair. He thought perhaps a close shave and a haircut might help, but how could he erase the lines of anger and stress from his face?  He’d been a bounty hunter for ten years, tracking down criminals and sometimes having to kill them to bring them in for the bounty.

He couldn’t erase the hard lines on his face.  Was he a damaged man with an unredeemable soul?

He’d once been the most handsome man in Hays City, Kansas.  The few eligible women there had followed him around like puppy dogs.  Now, just ten years later, he looked much older than his thirty years.  His hair was still blond, but his face was now hard.  No wonder the women in Sunset Creek, Wyoming shied away from him.

Jesse locked his new home, mounted his horse, Pal, and trotted in the direction of town which was just a mile away.  He loved his new home, but he often felt lonely.  Once a month, he met his new friends at the saloon. Though he didn’t drink, he did enjoy a cool sarsaparilla and friendly conversation.

Jesse’s friends waved him over to their table as soon as he walked into the Rusty Spur Saloon, and Sean McMullen, Mac Kingsley, and Roy Barkley greeted him.  Mac ordered him a soft drink.

They usually told stories about things that happened in their lives, and Sean was telling them about how a bear had nearly attacked him while he camped in the woods.  Everyone laughed. Sean was a born storyteller.

 Sean turned to Jesse. “What about you?  You’re always so quiet, and you seldom tell us any stories. Having been a bounty hunter, you must have grand stories to tell.”

“Yeah,” Roy said, “tell us a few.”

Jesse shook his head slowly. “No, I’m done with bounty hunting, and I'd prefer to forget my adventures.”

The men exchanged looks, causing a pause in the conversation. Finally, Mac said, “Fair enough.”

“Then tell us how you came to settle on four thousand acres in Sunset Creek?  I didn’t think bounty hunting paid quite that much,” Roy said.

“It pays pretty well,” Jesse told them, “but not enough to buy that land.”

“How’d you get it then?” Roy asked. “If you don’t mind me askin’.”

“An old gambler friend in Cheyenne left it to me and my five friends in his will.”

“What?” all three men said in unison.

“Five of us bounty hunters were hunting the same man who had killed a judge, and we met this gambler, Rex Larson, playing cards in a saloon. We thought he could help us locate our prey.  We never caught the hunted man, but we made fast friends with each other and the gambler.”

“And?” Mac asked.

“Rex was dying, and he knew they would auction off his land. He had an enemy who he knew would grab it up, so he left it in his will to the six of us to share.

“We have our own land acres apart from each other.  We live our separate lives, but we meet up now and then.”

“Did all six of you come from Kansas?” Roy asked.

“No, we come from different places.  It was a surreal occurrence.”

Roy asked, “Did the gambler leave you guys money, too?”

Fortunately, Jesse didn’t have to tell Roy that it was too personal a question because Mac interrupted them.

“Will you look at that?” Mac nodded toward the bar.

The men turned in that direction.

“Who is she?” Sean asked.  “Wow.”

Jesse couldn’t take his eyes off the woman.  She was petite with curly auburn hair and the biggest green eyes he had ever seen.  She appeared to be flirting with an older man at the bar.

 “She must be the new saloon woman,” Roy said. “Horace mentioned he was hiring a new woman.”

“Is this her first night?” Jesse asked no one in particular, his eyes still on the saloon woman.

“Yes,” Roy said.  “I was here last night to pay my rent, and she wasn’t here.”

“Isn’t it noisy living in a flat behind the saloon?” Jesse asked.

“You get used to it.”  Roy winked.  “It’s cheap, too.  A dollar a month isn’t bad.”

“I think we should initiate the new saloon woman,” Sean said with a chuckle.

The men pushed their empty beer glasses in front of Jesse, and Roy waved the new saloon woman over to their table.

She walked over and gave them a smile.  “What can I get you, fellas?”

“Three glasses of milk, please,” Sean said without smiling.

The saloon women stood there, speechless.  “M-milk?”

Jesse felt sorry for her.  On her first night, his friends had ordered something the saloon probably didn’t even have.  He pushed the beer glasses back in front of each

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