It began with a handful of bedraggled pioneer survivors. It took root because of the courage of one young man. In William W. Johnstone's new blockbuster Western series, a town called Fury rises up in the midst of a hostile Arizona Territory--and lives every day as if it were its last...
Between newcomers and original settlers, the few hundred people who inhabit Fury, Arizona, know about survival. After all, if man or nature had their way, the godforsaken Fury would be yet one more ghost town. But Jason Fury, whose father's name graces the town, can see that this ramshackle place called home is now facing its darkest day: Crippled by a draught, devastated by an unrelenting, blood-red dust storm, Fury is also under attack by Apaches who can smell the settlers' blood and fear. For some people in Fury, it's time to cut and run. For Jason Fury, it's time to find a few good men--and women--to a fight a battle like no other before...
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March 31, 2007
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Excerpt from A Town Called Fury by William W. Johnstone
The town of Fury sat on a large, open plain in the southwest of the territory. The land about it was mostly flat, although slightly rolling. And it was cut, north to south, by a creek--wide and deep in winter, and barely a trickle in summer. The settlers called it Fury Creek.
They had come west from Kansas City, those first settlers, and it was there that they had run across the legendary wagon master Jedediah Fury: the man for whom they had named their town, and the man who had died at the hands of the Comanche along the way.
His son carried on his legacy, however. Jason was little more than a boy when they left Kansas City, but he had taken hold like a man, shepherding the members of the train nearly to California. And once they elected him sheriff--behind his back, while he lay wounded--he had to stay, despite the strong call of higher education back East, and the promise of a career that did not include making himself the favorite target for every Apache or bandit that happened by.
And things were about to get much, much worse.
Outside the temporary Apache camp
Three hours south of Fury
Lone Wolf rode at the head of a long line of braves, each one stripped, greased, and painted: battle-ready. They were great in number. Soaring Hawk had sent all the men he could muster on Lone Wolf's promise that this time, they could not, would not fail.
And Lone Wolf was a man of his word.
They had come up the pass yesterday, ridden all through the day, and camped south and east of Fiery Hair's house. Not so close that they could be detected, but not so far away that they hadn't taken two of Fiery Hair's cattle and cooked them for an evening meal. Fiery Hair had good cattle even if he was white, and even if he was a fool.
The whites had done nothing to them. But just the fact that they existed was a thorn in Soaring Hawk's-- and Lone Wolf's--side.
They would take Fiery Hair and his woman after they took the town. And they would return with many tales to tell, and many cattle and many ponies.
They would return to Soaring Hawk in honor.
Fury, Arizona Territory
Jason ducked just in time to avoid catching a slug with his face. As he scurried backward, deeper into the alley, he wiped at his cheek. His hand came away bloody and bearing ragged splinters.
"Damn it, Saul, you nearly got me!" he shouted before he jumped behind a stack of packing crates. For the fourth time, his hand slid toward his holstered gun; for the fourth time, he stopped himself before his fingers could curl around its butt. Saul might have temporarily gone peach-orchard crazy, but he didn't have to.
For a while anyway.
But if Saul took one more shot at him . . .
"Saul!" A new voice. Doc? "Saul, it's Dr. Morelli!"
Jason heaved a small sigh of relief despite himself. He'd thought everybody had taken to the hills--or at least the wagons outside the wall--a while back. At least, he'd figured the smart ones had.
"Jason? Jason, are you all right?" Morelli called. He was inside the stable and across the square, so far as Jason could figure.
"Been better," Jason called back. He touched his cheek again and pulled back, fingers dripping with fresh blood. He added, "Might be bleeding to death." That part, he added for Saul's benefit.
It seemed to have no effect, though. Another shot rang out immediately, followed by Morelli's shout: "Saul! Stop it!"
As deadly as the situation might seem, Jason had more important things on his mind, and Saul's momentary descent into madness was just one more thing to take care of. After all, Saul couldn't help it, Jason supposed. A man could scarcely be expected to deal with two children being born full-term dead inside two years. If he were Saul, Jason reasoned, he'd probably shoot up a town or two as well.
The street was quiet again, and Jason ventured forward to the alley's mouth, a few tentative feet at a time. He showed his face at the corner, then stepped into full view.
No slugs sang past his ears or pierced his flesh.
Saul's wilding time was over.
Jason shouted, "Doc? I reckon he's finished."
Dr. Morelli stepped forward through the door of the livery and held up his hand to Jason, waving it. After a moment, he turned to his left and began to walk up the street while calling, "Saul? Saul, where are you, old man?"
Saul must have answered, although too softly for Jason to hear across the street, because Doc Morelli stopped, shook his head, then opened the door of the mercantile and disappeared inside.