Discovery Tree: A Novel
Young Ben Logan, his family lost in the Civil War, sells his Texas ranch and heads west. At Fort Union in the New Mexico Territory, he meets a young widow and while traveling to Santa Fe, a strong mutual interest develops. But she returns to her Tennessee family, leaving Ben wondering if he will ever see her again. In search of copper, Ben scales Mount Baldy in Moreno Valley and finds a Ponderosa pine with the word DISCOVERY freshly carved in its bark and streambed sediment piled beside a nearby creek. Gold, he guesses, but a winter blast forces him off the mountain. Come spring, Ben and two partners return and strike gold, as did many others. E?Town springs up in the valley, thousands crowding its dusty streets and makeshift saloons. When vigilantes make a secret hit list, Ben cashes in and buys valley land from Lucien Maxwell, a wealthy rancher who owns everything in sight, yet tolerates the miners and ranchers. But when he sells out to European investors, they demand eviction of the squatters. Many refuse to leave and when their primary advocate is brutally murdered, the Colfax County War erupts. Ben's ranch is targeted, a fact he shares with Frank Springer and Clay Allison. They discover a group of territorial officials, called the Santa Fe Ring, is behind the scheme. Ben knows neither he nor his ranch is safe as long as the powerful Ring exists. Should he risk all in a fight to expose them or abandon the valley ranch he loves? The author, a Texan, enjoys the stunning beauty of New Mexico's Moreno Valley and admires the courageous men and women who persevered when success, even survival, seemed unlikely. Their story, the author believes, is worth telling. Glen Onley's first novel, BEYOND CONTENTMENT, was also published by Sunstone Press.
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ain't Apaches bedroll Ben asked Ben replied Ben's Big John blankets boys cabin camp Captain Moore cattle Chisum Clay Allison climbed corral cowboy dollars door Dresden E'Town explained eyes face feet fella fire Fort Union Frank Springer glancing gold gonna gotta grabbed gray gristmill guess hand head herd horse hundred Indian inside Jose killed Land Grant laughed Logan looking Lucien Maxwell Maxwell's Mexico Territory Moreno Valley morning mountain Myra asked night old prospector Pablo packed partner Pecos River Pluto pulled quickly rancher Raton Pass Red Feather reins replied responded ride riders river rock rode saddle saddlebags Santa Fe Ring Santa Fe Trail slipped slope slowly smiling snow soldier soon Springer Squire stared stepped stood stopped stream supplies sure tall Taos Thanks there's things town tree turned Union Vegas Vern asked vigilantes wagon master What's winter Yeah