BOOK DETAILS

The Lady Who Loved Bones

The Lady Who Loved Bones

by Jack Hazen

ASIN: B01N3782LS

Publisher Jack Hazen

Published in Literature & Fiction/Historical, Mystery & Thrillers/Mystery, Mystery & Thrillers, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description

$2.99

Beautiful paleontologist Hannah Monroe ventures into the Montana Territory in the late spring of 1867. Her expedition is massacred by Cheyenne on the warpath along the Bozeman Trail. She is captured but is rescued by the enigmatic Hex Hawkins, mountain man, former spy during the war, and owner of a secret gold mine. Lady Monroe seduces Hex into financing a new expedition, and their party searches for the fossils of terrible lizards and other ancient creatures. Along the way, they encounter not only Indians bent on murder and mayhem, but sadistic outlaws and deadly animals.

Sample Chapter

HANNAH SHOOK HER head to chase the flies from her face. She couldn’t very well swat them with her hands. The flies had begun to swarm around the bloody bodies and the vultures circled overhead. She shivered uncontrollably, and not because it was cold. No indeed, it was a hot sunny day in the late spring of 1867 in that remote part of the Montana Territory along the Bozeman Trail. Maybe I should have married the good doctor, she thought. But no, I just had to go off on an expedition searching for dinosaur bones.

“Damn,” Hex muttered, “I think I just beat Sgt. Grace’s record by several hundred yards.”

The Cheyenne warrior, a fatal wound in the middle of his back, fell across the naked woman restrained to the tree. Hex reflected on the shot the Confederate sniper Grace made that killed Union General John Sedgwick at the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse. After reloading via the muzzle and adjusting the four-power telescopic sight mounted to the stock, a second shot blasted out from Hex’s Whitfield. This time he caught a painted brave in the forehead, again reminiscent of Grace’s phenomenal feat.

The remaining dozen Cheyenne scurried into the nearby brush for cover. They were armed mostly with bows, the range of which was far less than Hex’s Whitfield. A few had old rifles, likewise ineffective to return his fire. Hex fired a shot at them every couple minutes. He was willing to play a waiting game until the hunters who had become the hunted tired of being mostly sitting ducks. Not that he had clear aim, but he came close. After a half hour of this, the savages made a dash for their horses, mounted them, and quickly rode out of the Whitfield’s range.

Hex left the Whitfield, jumped on his own horse, pulled out the Henry, and rode fast toward the woman. He jumped down off his horse, Gideon, pulled out his Bowie knife, and quickly cut the woman free. Her first inclination was to cover herself with her hands as best she could.

One of the braves did not flee with the others as Hex had first thought they all had. A crazed Cheyenne wielding a war club and knife now charged out from behind a smoldering toppled wagon. When Hex pointed the Henry at him, the brave stopped in his tracks about six feet away. Hex tossed the rifle to the ground, making it appear to be a battle between war club and smaller knife against Bowie knife.

For some peculiar reason, Hex liked to give his adversaries in face-to-face mortal combat names. Perhaps it made the killing more personal. This one had a deep scar along the jaw line from right ear to the middle of his chin. Scarface it would be, Hex decided. Scarface wasn’t as tall as Hex, but he was stockier, although not with the same muscle definition.

Scarface circled warily, gesturing and chanting, attempting to intimidate Hex. He then rushed Hex, but paused and appeared taken back when Hex then also flipped the Bowie knife to the ground next to the rifle. The attacker regained his composure and charged again. Hex sidestepped the lunge and hit Scarface with a crippling shot with his right fist to his opponent’s left side, and the stunned warrior dropped the war club and knife, held his side with both hands, and fell to his knees. Hex lifted up the painted face and lashed out viciously with a left hook. Scarface fell on his back, writhing in pain. He rolled over, struggled to all fours, and attempted to rise. Hex jumped on his back and snapped his neck, making a sound like breaking a carrot in two.

Hex cut the naked woman free, lifted her across Gideon’s saddle, mounted the horse, and took off back to the location behind the rocks a little over a thousand yards away where he had left the Whitfield. The woman slid off his horse when they stopped and crumpled to the ground, sobbing. Hex comforted her briefly as best he could and gave her a drink from his canteen.

“You . . . saved my life,” she moaned, looking at him strangely.

“It ain’t over yet, ma’am. Those savages will be back real soon. They may have lost you, at least for now, but they want the guns and the whiskey. They already have the horses. They crave horses even more than guns and whiskey . . . and women. Well, maybe not a woman like you, not that there are many of those.”

“You are staring at my breasts,” she stated matter-of-factly.

“Uh . . . sorry, ma’am. We best do something about that.” He removed his buckskin shirt and draped it over her shoulders. She stood, slipped it on, and buttoned the front. It barely covered her private parts.

“What do you suppose those Indians were going to do to me?” she asked, sniffling. “They slaughtered my friends and cohorts and those soldiers. What would they have done to me?” she inquired again. “Besides the obvious. Obviously the first one you shot had intentions of doing something to me with his . . . penis.”

“Yup,” Hex agreed, “I couldn’t see him from the front, but I did notice he had dropped his breechcloth. You are a white woman, a very beautiful white woman with blonde hair and blue eyes. A great prize for the Cheyenne. Worth many horses.”

“Is that a compliment?” she snapped.

“Ma’am, you sure talk a lot for somebody who should be in shock. I’m going back. Can you shoot?”

“Shoot what?”

“This Henry?”

“Yes, I can shoot that Henry. My husband taught me.”

“Is he . . . down there . . . with the dead?”

“No, he died in battle just before the war ended.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.”

“Better in the war than down there, being scalped and mutilated, some while still alive,” she said softly.

“You might want to save a bullet for yourself if I don’t make it back, but that’s up to you.”

Hex mounted up and rode back to the scene of the massacre. On second thought, he didn’t smash the whiskey in the crates that had been removed from the wagons before they were burned. He took several bottles and put them in his saddlebags. He then gathered all the guns and ammunition and threw them in a pile with a stick of dynamite, lighting the fuse he strung once far enough away. No sign of the Cheyenne, but he knew they would still be in the vicinity.

Back to the woman, she blurted, “You carry dynamite around with you?”

“What, are you writing a book?” he responded glibly.

“As a matter fact, yes I am.”

“What’s your book about?”

“Paleontology.”

“I don’t know what that is, but don’t tell me now. Tell me later about the . . . whatever you said your book is about, and I’ll tell you about the dynamite. Right now, we have to ride to where my camp is. I have food, other supplies, another horse, and a mule. My name is Hex, incidentally.”

“And mine is Hannah. Pleased to meet you, Hex. Very pleased, under the circumstances. I owe you big time for saving my life, and don’t you forget. I won’t.”

Hex secured the Whitfield and Henry and then pulled Hannah up on his horse in front of him. “It’s not going to be about what those Cheyenne are going to do to you, it’s going to be about what we are going to do to them.”

“That works for me,” she replied, nodding. “My friends and those soldiers are . . . all . . . dead.”

“Hush now, Hannah,” he demanded, holding her a little tighter.

Continues...

Excerpted from "The Lady Who Loved Bones" by Jack Hazen. Copyright © 2017 by Jack Hazen. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Jack Hazen

Jack Hazen

Jack Hazen is an amateur paleontologist and gynecologist. He spends his time near Pittsburgh rooting for the Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins or Austin rooting for cowgirls but not Cowboys. He served in the 173d Airborne Brigade in Vietnam and later the war between the sexes. Jack graduated from a Catholic university where his greatest achievements were an "A" in Philosophy of Communism and a "F" in a New Testament course taught by a priest. He was employed as an executive with a Fortune 500 company for many years. An ordained minister, he is fascinated by the conflict promulgated by Young Earth Creationists between religion and science. Favorite Kent (Dr. Dino) Hovind quotation: "I believe that dinosaurs are not only in the Bible, but they have lived with man all through his six thousand year history." (Kent Hovind PhD dissertation.) Jack's partner in mischief is a big tomcat named Boob.

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