June 20, 3:54pm PDT (today in the States, for those of you in NZ!)
“The mail just left Lingle,WY at 4:45 pm, mountain time, headed towards Ft Laramie.”
- Patrick Hearty & Joseph Hatch
- The Pony Express Stations in Utah
Well done to all of you out there riding! You might get a bit tired, but it’s not quite as dangerous as it was ‘back in the day’.
There were quite a few deaths (few riders, fortunately) amongst the Pony Express riders, but it was not for want to trying!
Hold on to that mochila!
Here’s an excerpt from my novel… Only Patrick Hearty and I have seen it so far, so hope some of you like it! They’ll be going through Lookout Pass soon!!!
A little taste of “Express Desire“:
“Lookout Pass,” Aleksandra reminded herself as she passed the summit, looking north to see the distant white tops of the Onaqui Mountains and thought again of her papa and the fossil he’d fossicked for her from one of its rocky ledges. Beginning her mile-long descent at a trot on the handy little horse, she was absentmindedly fingering the fossil inside the medicine bag hung about her neck when she felt the first arrow whizz past her head from her right.
She felt her heart stop.
Aleksandra dropped to the left side of the Palouse’s neck into a Cossack hang, lying flat against his side.
She threw the reins at him and shouted to him.’Yah! Yah! Let’s go, Scout!’
He needed little urging to run full tilt down the steep and treacherously rocky trail as the yells of Indian warriors filled the narrow valley. The arrows came hard and fast from the southwest, like a mad bunch of hornets.
Smart, she thought, with a hint of a wry grin. The Indians had placed themselves between the trail and the setting sun, so Aleksandra could see little of her attackers in the glimpses she stole from beneath Scout’s neck of the world whizzing past. With the ground only three feet from her head, the scent of sage filled Aleksandra’s nostrils as the horse crashed through a clump of brush.
Briefly considering climbing back into the saddle to pull a gun from her saddlebag, she knew it would be akin to suicide; though she knew her full weight hanging off to one side had to put the stallion off his best, she trusted far more in the pony’s speed and ability. She just tried to stay out of his way and not hinder him needlessly, keeping as still as she could, tucked down on the side of the skidding and leaping beast. Praying the cinch would hold, she sent fervent thanks in the direction of the company selectors for choosing fast and handy local ponies. How I would love to have my bow and arrows, she thought, but it might just be better just to get Scout and I through alive to Doc Faust at Rush—
The Palouse interrupted her musings as he threw up his head and reared, angrily trumpeting and shaking his head for a moment, nearly dropping Aleksandra, then resumed his headlong rush down the hill. When he carried on, she heard whistling sounds with every breath and turned her head forward to see where the noise was coming from.Then she saw the arrow.She felt herself break into a cold sweat…
Aleksandra, trained in the Cossack arts from infancy by her father, finds herself alone and running to prevent her Pa’s killer from obtaining a secret which could allow world domination by the Czar. Disguised to most as a boy rider in 1860′s Utah Territory for the Pony Express, she finds in her “Californio” boss a strength to match her own and together they create a team that can overcome the odds.
I hope you liked the excerpt of “Express Desire,” soon to be completed!
To follow the mochila on its way West, see the XPHome Site: