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Josh Colton’s dream of drifting west to the far mountains did not include fighting Indians, bears, bank robbers, or land grabbers. The reality of the hardships that awaited Josh made him doubt his decision to leave Tennessee. A naïve young man had to choose between right and wrong, good and evil, and then make a stand for his choice.



THE DRIFTER

(A Man from Tennessee)

By

D.L. Hunter


Published by D.L. Hunter at Smashwords


Copyright 2012 D.L.Hunter


Cover Copyright Vencav-Fotolia.com



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CHAPTER 1


Josh Colton’s back was up against the face of the cliff, and the toes of his boots were pointing out over space as he inched along the small ledge high up on a mountain. He had lost his horse the day before to an Indian arrow, and had barely escaped with his life. He was considering throwing his saddlebag and canteen over the edge because they were about to make him too bulky, and cause him to lose his balance. Why he wanted to leave the warmth and comfort of home in the hills of Tennessee, and travel into the wild untamed west was beyond him. He must have been crazy to think it would be a great adventure. Pa tried to tell him he was better off staying home and marrying one of the Jessup girls who lived over the ridge. Those girls were always coming over and bringing jelly and pies they had made. Especially, after Ma got sick and died. Pa said they were after Josh and his brothers, but Josh thought that maybe the oldest girl had her eye on Pa. He was a right good-looking man for his age. He had been smart and hadn’t wasted money on drinking or gambling. Instead, he’d put it back into the homestead. They had a pretty place in the Tennessee hills. The house was snug and warm. Pa kept it neat, and he made the boys learn how to clean and cook. Josh could cook about as good as a woman by the time he was ‘knee high to a grasshopper’. After he became a grown man, he figured he could take care of himself well enough to strike out on his own and go west.

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