First Herd to Abilene: Excerpt

FIRST HERD TO ABILENE

An H. H. Lomax Western, #5
by
PRESTON LEWIS
Genre: Historical Fiction / Western / Humor
Publisher: Wolfpack Publishing
Date of Publication: February 5, 2020
Number of Pages: 449

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HISTORICALLY SOUND AND HILARIOUSLY FUNNY! H.H. Lomax meets Wild Bill Hickok in Springfield, Missouri, and is responsible for Hickok’s legendary gunfight with Davis Tutt. Fearing Hickok will hold a grudge, Lomax escapes Springfield and agrees to promote Joseph G. McCoy’s dream of building Abilene, Kansas, into a cattle town, ultimately leading the first herd to Abilene from Texas.

Along the way, he encounters Indians, rabid skunks, flash floods, a stampede, and the animosities of some fellow cowboys trying to steal profits from the drive. Lomax is saved by the timely arrival of now U.S. Marshal Hickok, but Lomax uses counterfeit wanted posters to convince Hickok his assailants are wanted felons with rewards on their heads.

Lomax and Wild Bill go their separate ways until they run into each other a decade later in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, where Hickok vows to kill Lomax for getting him fired.

First Herd to Abilene is an entertaining mix of historical and hysterical fiction.

EXCERPT FROM FIRST HERD TO ABILENE

BY PRESON LEWIS

Over the years on the frontier, I came to loathe Texans more than any creature on two legs or four. Fact is, by charting the first major cattle trail to the railheads in Kansas, I made many Texans rich, but I never got so much as a thank you from a single one of those Texas cattle kings. Even worse, I received nary a cent for all the hard work I put in and all the risks I took to chart the route to Kansas. If I’d built a toll gate along the Lomax Trail and charged a nickel a head for every steer that tromped my path to the railroads, I’d’ve lived out my life in luxury. That, however, was not to be.

Not only did wealth bypass me but also the credit for my accomplishment as the trail came to be named after Jesse Chisholm, an old coot who never traversed the route from Kansas to South Texas and back. Even Joseph G. McCoy denied me proper recognition when he wrote of the early years of the trail-driving era in his book Historic Sketches of the Cattle Trade of the West and Southwest, never once mentioning me. If I hadn’t spread word to the Lone Star State about his plans for Abilene, McCoy would’ve never seen a Texas longhorn, much less profited from one.

Besides making the acquaintance of Chisholm and McCoy, I also made an enemy of Wild Bill Hickok, who threatened to kill me over a misunderstanding after he rescued me from an impromptu lynching in Kansas. It didn’t matter that I had likely saved him from shooting himself when we first met and that I had even combed nits out of his lousy hair at one point. When I finally faced Hickok after years of running from both his threats and the despicable rumors he had started about me, the reprobate might have survived if he had been paying less attention to me and more to the unsavory characters around his Deadwood poker table. Some folks claim Calamity Jane saved me from Wild Bill, though I disagree, as she was little more than a distraction to us both. Calamity Jane did take a fancy to me, most likely to make Wild Bill jealous, but I never cared for her as I considered Calamity the homeliest woman I’d ever laid eyes on. If you could assay ugly, she’d work out to a hundred dollars per ounce in her early days and five times that in her later years. On top of that, her mouth was no prayer book because it was usually filled with whiskey or profanities so rank she could make Satan blush.

Much as I disliked those folks, it was the Texans that angered me most. They were brash and arrogant, proud that they could call theirs the biggest state in the Union. Nobody, though, called Texas the smartest of the states. If Texans’d been bright, they’d’ve found Abilene, Kansas, without me having to do it for them. All they had to do was ride north until they encountered two parallel lines of iron rails over a bed of crossties. That, however, was beyond their limited mental capacity.

Preston Lewis is the Spur Award-winning author of thirty novels. In addition to his two Western Writers of America Spurs, he received the 2018 Will Rogers Gold Medallion for Western Humor for Bluster’s Last Stand, the fourth volume in his comic western series, The Memoirs of H. H. Lomax. Two other books in that series were Spur finalists. His comic western The Fleecing of Fort Griffin received the Elmer Kelton Award from the West Texas Historical Association for best creative work on the region.

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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
1ST PRIZE: 
Signed Copies of First Herd to Abilene and Bluster’s Last Stand
2ND PRIZE: 
Signed Copy of First Herd to Abilene
APRIL 28-MAY 8, 2020
(US ONLY)

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OR GO DIRECTLY TO THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

4/28/20
Excerpt
4/28/20
BONUS Post
4/29/20
Review
4/30/20
Author Interview
5/1/20
Review
5/2/20
Scrapbook Page
5/3/20
Excerpt
5/4/20
Review
5/5/20
Author Interview
5/6/20
Review
5/7/20
Review
5/7/20
BONUS Post

 

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