Vividly painted upon the canvas of Shannon’s mind were the events of that one night when bushwhackers turned the joys of his father’s home coming from the Civil War into a nightmare of death and destruction.
Leaving behind the graves of his mother and father, the smoldering ruins of his birthing cabin and Cherokee friends, Shannon, a maturing youth, strikes out for the West. With him he carries a trilogy of dreams; to build a ranch in a high mountain valley in the land of the Northern Cheyenne only heard of in the yarning of Mountain Men, to honor the memory of his parent’s death, and ultimately by strong belief in the “here” and the “hereafter” bring six gun justice to the man who hired the bushwhackers to murder his family.
The making of Shannon, a full-grown man to be reckoned with, occurred rapidly, for one matured quickly or not at all in the West. He survived treacherous events as a keel boater, an attack on a freighting train, torturous days as a Cheyenne slave, herd cutter attacks along the Missouri border, loss of the great love of his life and ultimately the building of his own spread before bracing his arch-enemy in a deadly gun battle.
An amazing array of unique players walk across the stage of Shannon’s becoming of age, each contributing to the making of the man who becomes a part of the making of the West.
The story of Shannon is a blend of fact and fiction with prudent attention given to historical accuracy. The routes taken in the trek from the Smokys to Kentucky, the keel boating trip to New Orleans, the foods eaten such as fresh oysters and Cajun gumbo, cost of laundry for soldiers of the Western Command and the diverse background of Shannon’s associates are well attested to in Western history. Shannon is a composite of what the West was all about.
What would seem to be the inevitable climax of Shannon’s saga comes when he confronts his arch-enemy who ordered not only the death of his parents, but also his death. But, is it the real climax? Read and see!