Cross of Gold
In 1885, mine owner Ezra Pitney hires Marc Charvein, a part time lawman, to find his stolen gold. Marc finds the gold, a hundred pounds of it, buried in the ghost town of Lodestar, Nevada. After reporting the location of the gold to Pitney, and thinking his job is over, Marc heads south for better weather because winter is coming. Meanwhile, Lucy Barkley, who was held hostage by three convicts at Lodestar and rescued by Marc when they discovered the location of the gold, decides to return to the ghost town. With the help of a local gambler she met, they dig up the gold and head for San Francisco. When Pitney finally arrives at Lodestar to retrieve his gold, he is unable to find it because Lucy arrived there first. Suspecting he was duped, he sends his hired man, a gun fighter, after Marc. The pursuit of the gold, the getaway, and the travels of Lucy and the gambler, ending with the final showdown between the parties, result in a wild, page-turning story. Almost every chapter ends with a cliffhanger. Champlin knows his Western lore and how to keep the reader interested in the characters and the story, which is plot driven and suspenseful from the first page. Highly recommended.