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I'd like to dedicate this book to Laura Shinn who

continually is available for assistance and comes up

with the most beautiful covers. Without people like Laura,

our jobs as writers wouldn't get done. Thanks and God Bless.

To view more of Rita Hestand’s work,



Somewhere in northern Arkansas


“Get out of the way kid, unless you want to be filled with lead,” Lee hollered as the boy jumped down from the tree tops, the branches creaking as it swung away from him.

The bullet whizzed through the air like a locomotive gone wild, acrid smoke blazed the nostrils as the bullet blew the rope in two. Lee holstered his gun and the rope broke. The thud of the body hitting the ground seemed to startle the little boy kneeling, with crocodile tears rolling down his cheeks. Not more than five or six, with clothes too big for him, and a flop hat that covered his face from view, as he laid his head against the stillness of the body on the ground.

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