Rosa's Land: Western Justice - book 1

BOOK: Rosa's Land: Western Justice - book 1
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© 2013 by Gilbert Morris

Print ISBN 978-1-61626-758-2

eBook Edition:
Adobe Digital Edition (.epub) 978-1-62029-696-7
Kindle and MobiPocket Edition (.prc) 978-1-62029-695-0

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes, except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without written permission of the publisher.

All scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any similarity to actual people, organizations, and/or events is purely coincidental.

Cover design: Kirk DouPonce, DogEared Design

Published by Barbour Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 719, Uhrichsville, Ohio 44683,
www.barbourbooks.com

Our mission is to publish and distribute inspirational products offering exceptional value and biblical encouragement to the masses
.

Printed in the United States of America.

Table of Contents
 

Part 1

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Part 2

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Part 3

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Part 4

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

About the Author

PART ONE
 
CHAPTER 1
 
New York City, 1886
 

“I
wish Faye would hurry up and get home. I’m starved.”

Caleb Riordan was a massive individual, large and strongly built, with salt-and-pepper hair and penetrating brown eyes. He had an air of aggression about him, and his enemies had long since learned that he did not know the meaning of the word
quit
… or
mercy
. At the age of fifty, Caleb was indeed a successful man by anyone’s standards—at least those who counted money, power, and possessions as marks of that quality.

He was seated now in the parlor of his home, and as he pulled a cigar from his inner pocket then lit a match, he looked around the room with a sense of displeasure. The parlor was decorated in cream and a muted tone the color of dry sand, with touches of cool liquid green and one splash of pale coral provided by a single chair. On one wall was a fireplace with a painting of Bosphorus looking down from a palace. Fleets of small boats plied the blue-green waters, and in the distance blurred by the haze of heat loomed a distant scene. Caleb had always disliked the picture but had said little since his wife loved it.

Eileen Riordan was almost a perfect example of opposites attracting, at least to the eye. Whereas Caleb was massive and aggressive, Eileen, at the age of forty-six, was far more gentle than her husband. She had classic features, a wealth of auburn hair, and light blue eyes. Her skin was fair, and there was a grace in her movements. Next to her husband she looked diminutive, although she was larger than the average woman.

She watched as Caleb puffed on his cigar, sending purple clouds upward toward the ceiling. Caleb knew she yearned to tell him not to smoke in the parlor. She did not speak, however. Instead, her eyes went over to the two large young men seated on the horsehide-covered sofa.

Leo, their oldest son, was strongly built. He had Caleb’s size and strength, his brown hair and eyes, and some of the same aggressive qualities. Maxwell, at the age of twenty-seven, looked much like Leo. As a matter of fact, they were often taken for twins. They had the same sturdy frame, height, and coloring. Father and sons together made a picture of power that, at times, overwhelmed those they met.

“You know, Dad, I think pulling this deal with Herron was a smart move.”

Caleb nodded at Leo, and a look of satisfaction scored his features. He looked at the cigar, knocked the ashes off, and then said, “He’s probably sorry he ever got involved with the Riordans.”

Maxwell leaned back, locked his large hands behind his head, and studied his father. “We gave him quite a going over. I think he’ll go down.”

The three men continued to talk about the business deal.

Eileen finally interrupted, saying, “Is this Edward Herron you’re talking about?”

“Yes, it is, Eileen,” Caleb said. A smile curled his lips at the intense pleasure he felt. “We had a real struggle, but in the end the three of us managed to put him down.”

“What do you mean, dear, you ‘put him down’?”

“Why, I mean we put him out of business. We’ve been trying to buy his foundry, and he wouldn’t sell, so we had to put pressure on him.”

Eileen was silent for a moment then asked, “What kind of pressure?”

“Oh, you wouldn’t be interested, dear. Nothing personal. Just a matter of business. We did some manipulating and some maneuvering, and poor Herron got into a spot where he didn’t have any choice but to sell his business to us.”

“And at a cheap price, too.” Leo smiled. “It was a steal.”

Eileen considered the three men and finally asked, “What’s going to happen to him?”

“Oh, don’t worry about it, Eileen. He’ll be all right.”

“No, I want to know. I like his wife very much, and they have three young children.”

“Well, he’s pretty well broke now. He had to pay off the mortgage on the factory. But don’t worry. If he can’t find anything else, I’ll put him to work at some kind of minor job at the foundry. He knows the business. We can get him cheap.”

The three glanced at each other, and finally Leo said, “Mother, you must understand. The business world isn’t like your life. You’ve got a nice, easy way here with everything you want. But out there in the real world that Dad and Max and I have to live in, it’s a matter of survival.”

The brothers began trying to persuade Eileen that their dealings with Edward Herron were not immoral, but Caleb saw that she was displeased. For a moment longer, Caleb sat silent, but his mind was racing. Finally he said, “I don’t want to bring it up again, but this is the sort of thing that I hate to see Faye unable to face.”

“We settled that when he was one year old, Caleb.”

Indeed, there had been almost a warlike attitude over their youngest son. Caleb was accustomed to his wife agreeing to anything he said, but when their third son was born, Eileen showed a streak of steel in her backbone. She had come to him and said, “Caleb, you are raising Leo and Max to be hard men. I think that’s a mistake. I think a man needs some gentleness.”

“There’s no place for gentleness in the world,” Caleb had answered.

“Well, there’s going to be gentleness in Lafayette.”

“Lafayette! What a ridiculous name for a boy!”

“One of my ancestors served with Marquis de Lafayette in the Revolutionary War, and my father had his name.”

“Well, you should have named him
Tom
or
James
or something sensible, but in any case I disagree with you.”

“You may disagree all you please, Caleb,” Eileen had said firmly, and her gaze had not wavered. “But this son is going to be mine. I’ll make all the decisions about his school, his clothes. I’ll raise him to be a gentleman. You got our two other sons, and you’ve made them hard, callous men.”

Caleb Riordan had stared at his wife. “You think I’m callous?”

“Of course I do! If you listen to what people said about you, you would know that.”

The argument had gone on for some time, but in the end Eileen had insisted on her way. Since that time she had thrown herself into making a different kind of man out of her son Faye, as she called him. She had chosen different friends for him, and she had talked to him from the time he could understand about the necessity for a man to be honest and gentle and not be cruel to anybody.

Caleb was thinking about that, and he wanted to plunge into the argument again, but he had learned that on this one item his wife was not to be reckoned with.

Leo said, “Mother, you’re making a weakling out of him! And all this painting of pictures—what good does that do?”

“He’s going to be a great painter. He has real talent.”

“How many pictures has he sold?” Max asked sardonically. “Not even one.”

“He’s learning, and his teachers all say he’s going to produce great work.”

They kept trying to pressure Eileen, until finally Caleb saw that his wife was upset. Despite his rough ways with others, he had a soft and gentle spot for this woman. On this one thing she had displeased him, but otherwise she had been a good wife. He rose from his chair, went over, and pulled her to her feet. He hugged her and said, “We won’t argue about this anymore.”

“Thank you, Caleb.” Eileen looked up at him and touched his cheek, then she turned and left the room.

“You’ll never win that argument, Dad,” Leo shook his head.

“No, I never will, but I’ve got two out of three sons that’ll make their ways in the world. You two will have to help me with your brother because Faye will never make it. You boys watch out and take care of him.”

“Well, I wish he’d hurry up and get home. I’m starved,” Max said. He stretched hugely then leaned back into the sofa and closed his eyes.

 

The afternoon sun was fading, but Faye wanted to catch exactly that light in the painting. He had set up his easel with a canvas before him and the paints on the collapsible stool. The scene he was painting was difficult, for the vista in New York at this particular spot stretched out in a way that was hard to catch.

“My, that is pretty! I don’t see how you do it.”

Faye came to himself and, holding the brush poised over the canvas, turned to see that a very pretty young woman with blond hair and large blue eyes was smiling at him. “Thank you, miss. I hope to catch some of the beauty of that scene.”

BOOK: Rosa's Land: Western Justice - book 1
10.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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