GOLDEN FEATHER PRESS
Legend of the Golden Feather Series
Gay Western Series
by Dave Brown
I’m very sorry I haven’t gotten this new website up and running sooner. My computer skills, other than just typing the book are in the dark ages. I was eight in 1951 when we got our first black and white TV. My grandfather would visit our home and sit beside the TV, refusing to look at the new fangled invention. That’s me and computers. I’m working on the website slowly. I’m also having to get used to my new computer. I’d rather be riding in a hot air balloon, and I’m terrified of heights.
The other reasons why this website is so late in coming are two-fold. Jim and I had a series of surgeries and bouts with having to take strong pain meds. Some of that is over and we are doing much better. The other thing is, I edited this message to death and finally decided to start over.
First, I’ll bring you up to date with Jim’s health.
Jim, my partner of 42, years had been bent over for a year because his scoliosis operation in 2012 was faulty and the hardware in his back began breaking. On Tuesday, February 11, 2014, Jim underwent a 10-hour surgery. He was kept on life support over night. The following morning, he underwent another 4-hour surgery. The surgeon removed all the broken hardware in Jim’s back. He took part of Jim’s lowest rib to reinforce where the screws had pulled out at the top of his back. He replaced all the hardware with “new and improved titanium.” Not even his doctors truly believed Jim would survive the long surgeries since Jim had suffered a heart attack July, 2013. At 73, Jim insisted on the surgery and he came through it even though it was touch and go for many months afterward. He’s still the tough ol’ bird I’ve known and loved for over forty years. Jim is still slowly healing and finally realizes he’s not seventeen anymore. Or does he? He never stops.
And now me.
I’ve been dealing with severe sciatic pain in my left ankle and foot from a back surgery in 2008 that permanently damaged my sciatic nerve. I know how it feels to keep my left foot ankle-deep in a bucket of ice water. If I forget to take my meds because the frozen-pain isn’t as bad, I’d pay for it an hour later when I couldn’t walk. I was implanted with a stimulator in my back. At the reprogramming of the stimulator, they couldn’t get the stimulation past the left knee to my foot and ankle. The purpose is that the brain processes the tingling and not the pain, but the tingling was not going to my foot. I had another surgery to adjust the lead wires against my spine, but it didn’t work either. Since I was awake during the procedure, I told the doctor to totally remove the device, which he did. Dr. Paul, my primary care physician, is trying new and non-addictive pain relievers. We’re having some success with Nortriptyline. If anything, it’s reducing the intensity of the pain, which is wonderful.
Our good friend, Dan Conroy, traveled from upstate New York to help Jim and me during our surgeries. Gladly he is now living with us in our basement apartment. Last October, 2014, he drove us to Santa Fe, New Mexico. I love Santa Fe. I went to school at St. Michaels’ College in the mid 1960s. Jim and I went there to get married.
We happily got married. We even brought Dosie and later we all posed in front of St. Francis of Assisi cathedral.
Dosie is the only one who isn’t slovenly in that picture. Dosie is a Bouvier. We think he looks more regal with his natural ears. Dosie is an astounding dog. He constantly reads our minds about walks and trips in the car. He was a people stopper everywhere we went in Santa Fe. Dosie keeps us all in line.
Ok-ok! What about Book Six?
I can honestly say, after many long years, I am again writing. It took 10 years to write the first 9 chapters of Book Six. I wasn’t into the book at all because something seemed askew. Since early 2014, however, I’m again able to discern what Jake and Wiley are telling me.
I just finished Chapter 37 and it’s going well again. Jake and Wiley’s story is once again like a TV series, and I’m trying to write it down as fast as it comes rather than contrive it like I’d been doing for some reason. Book 6 has taken years too long and you readers have probably become disillusioned. I totally understand. So was I for all these years without knowing why. For the past year, however, I figured out why I was not able to write freely. I’m now able to continue writing this story as it comes to me. The weird thing is, I never can “think up” anything in the story until my fingers are on the keyboard. Then it again comes loud and clear. Even the character’s names are always there when I need them.
Book Six is going to be the longest of the books and may have two parts, I haven’t decided..
Most likely Book Six will be sold only in e-book form. Jim and I are totally dependent on Social Security and do not have the money to even hire my cousin to do a cover (she did the covers for Home to Kentucky and Pinkerton Partners), or even have the book edited and printed. I don’t like it, because readers, who have a set of paperbacks and want to add to it, won’t be able to. Another volume will also make our bookends work better. Let’s see what transpires in the future. Book Six is filled with Jake and Wiley’s ongoing adventures.
Sometime around 2006, on the Today Show, I saw Katy Couric interviewing author Elmore Leonard. Elmore Leonard is my favorite western writer who recently changed his genre to science-fiction. Katy asked Elmore about the complaints that his new book had no plot. Elmore smiled into the camera and said, “Real life has no plot.” Maybe real life has no plot or script, but it can still be exciting. Elmore Leonard is my hero for saying that to the world. I’m writing Book Six as a continuous action series of events in the lives of Jake and Wiley.
I have to admit I was way off about the prices of beer and booze, even food in restaurants in all the books. There’s always some area where I forget to do something. I’m correcting the pricing of food and supplies in Book Six.
How about a few short scenes from the new Book Six? You certainly deserve them. Keep in mind, however, these selections have not been edited. They are written prior to any additional changes made in the book by me and there may be many errors.
* * *
Wiley realized the six different horses’ tracks they followed kept going, but he suddenly veered Buddy to his left and into the trees.
Jake glanced around and headed Mac into the lush growth, following the path Buddy made through tall grasses and wildflowers. In silence, he tagged along for thirty yards before sidling up to Wiley. Jake leaned over, grabbed Wiley’s arm and whispered, “What’s happenin’?”
Wiley gently pulled Buddy to a stop. He grinned at Jake and said in a soft voice, “You just got an A for today’s lesson, that’s what’s happenin’.” He leaned way over and kissed Jake on the shoulder. “You’re getting to be a top-notch Pinkerton.”
Jake shoved Wiley away. “Damn, Wiley! You scared the shit out’a me pullin’ off the road like that!”
Wiley put his finger to his lips. In a much-lower voice, he said, “I did it on purpose. And, you responded quickly and in silence.” Wiley’s countenance changed. “I heard wood chopping.”
Jake glanced around. “Where? I didn’t hear nothin’ but them jays.”
“I heard it far to the right and down the road where we turned off.”
“You think it’s Ruskin?”
“No, but whoever it is might have seen him.”
Jake squinted. “It could be Ruskin makin’ his cook-fire.”
“Jake, I doubt someone like Ruskin would bring an ax with him. He’d be breaking up dry branches or using a knife.”
Jake looked at his pommel. “Hell, I don’t know nothin’.”
Ignoring Jake’s mood, Wiley gestured behind him. “You have to cover me while I go investigate.”
“I always have to cover you,” Jake snapped. “Why can’t you ever do the coverin’?”
“Okay,” Wiley said. “I’ll cover you this time.”
Jake looked at Wiley. “You will?”
“You got an A today, I don’t see why not.”
Jake patted Mac’s neck. “See, Mac, I ain’t dummer’n hog...” Jake looked at Wiley, grinned sheepishly and shrugged. “Thanks, Wiley!”
“You’re welcome. Now, tell me your plans so I can cover you in the best location.”
“Plans? Hell, I ain’t got no plans.”
Wiley suppressed even the hint of a smile. “Jake…you have to know what you’re going to do so you don’t get killed. We’re only trying to investigate if Ruskin is around. That might be a homesteader out there. He may not know anything about Ruskin, but we can’t alarm him or he might start shooting.”
Jake had already perked up. “A homesteader?” He grinned. “Hell, Wiley, I know what to do.” Jake turned Mac and trotted him toward the road.
* * *
Jake opened their cabin door and tossed a basin of soapy water into his bed of orange wallflowers. Jake dropped to his knees when he saw a chickadee lying dead from flying into their window. Just above Jake’s back, a bullet plowed into the cabin logs with the gun-blast a split-second later.
“Damn!” Jake rushed inside and slammed the door. He turned to Wiley. “Somebody’s shootin’ at me!”
Wiley had already strapped on his right holster and was buckling the other one. He snatched up several rawhide cords hanging on the cabinet knob and rushed to the window. Standing in the shadows while looking out, he carefully shoved the cords into his back pocket so the ends stuck out. “Where did the shot come from?”
As Jake strapped on his gun, he said. “Same place Winder an’ Clint shot at us.” He pointed west toward the rock outcropping on the next ridge.
“I don’t see anyone,” Wiley said, “but those rocks are a perfect place to conceal someone.” Wiley stayed where he was for several minutes studying the rocks for any sign of movement. Soon, a man shifted to a closer rock.
Wiley turned to Jake. “I saw him. Keep him pinned down by shooting at him. I’m going outside and climb the rock wall. I’ll try to get behind him. Can you keep him busy so he doesn’t notice me?”
* * *
“A dog! I gotta see.” Jake set down his plate and sprang to his feet. “Damn! He’s a nice dog. Wonder who he belongs to?” Jake took a few fast steps toward the dog then he halted when it ran away a short distance. The dog stopped, turned its head and looked back at him. Jake knew the medium-size dog was starving. Plus, its three-inch long fur was matted and covered with painful-looking burrs.
Holding out his hand to the dog, Jake whispered over his shoulder, “Wiley, cut up my steak. I don’t want him chokin’ when he eats it fast.”
Jake took a careful step toward the dog, and cheerfully said, “You need a bath an’ Wiley’s getting you some food.”
Cautiously, the dog turned to face Jake. His curved-up tail gave a hint of movement.
“I saw that wag,” Jake said. “We’re gonna be friends.”
When Wiley stood up with a plate of cut-up meat, Jake went back to where Wiley stood. The dog turned and trotted a few steps farther away, but stopped and looked back.
Jake slid his arm around Wiley and hugged him. “Thanks for cuttin’ up my meat.”
“Jake, we need a dog, and he might be it.”
Jake looked at Wiley. “Really? We can keep him?”
“Only if you can convince him to come and eat this meat.”
“Hell, I’ll try. I ain’t had me no dog since I was little.” Jake grabbed a piece of steak from the plate, held it out to the dog and took a few slow steps forward. “I got meat for you. You gotta eat. You’re skinny.”
Holding the plate of meat, Wiley watched Jake cautiously advance. Without realizing it he lowered the plate and a few pieces of steak slid to the ground.
The dog suddenly ran toward them and snapped up the pieces of steak on the ground. Then it wagged its tail, sat with one paw up and begged for the rest.
* * *
A shot rang out from the direction Arf had come. The bullet whined off the outside of the rock pinnacle Jake hid behind. Another shot from a different direction dislodged a branch in the thick roof of the rock hut and zinged back out close to Wiley’s head.
Wiley shot twice, once at each location the gunshots had come from.
Then, a volley of shots came from three places in the brush. The bullets ricocheted off the rocks and some came close to hitting the men inside.
“Being in here will get us all maimed or killed,” Wiley growled. “I’m going out there.” He removed his hat and tossed it, then he swept his hands through the long-dead fire ashes near the entrance of the rock hut. He finger-smeared his face with war signs. Wiley grabbed all his rawhide straps that he’d hung on a rock wall and carefully slipped them into his back pocket. He dumped some extra bullets from a can into his hand and slid them into the front pocket of his Levis. Wiley looked at the other men and said, “Cover me.” He clenched his hunting knife between his teeth and shoved his way into the gap.
Wiley slid his body partway through the entrance slot and scanned the forest where the shots had come from. However, the best hideout was to their right. Was a man there and not shooting? With his left pistol, he shot once at the three attackers, even though he still couldn’t see them. They all shot back. The men inside flooded those areas with bullets. Many ricocheted off the brush-hidden rocks the attackers were hiding behind. Wiley shot once at the best hideout position with no response.
Wiley then slipped out the gap and ran the opposite way into the forest north of their camp. Arf ran after him.
Still mesmerized by Wiley’s actions, Jake said. “I ain’t never seen Wiley do that before. Them men’re dead!”
* * *
Jake, Wiley, Bill, Harry, Wes and Burt, sat at a round table in the Silver Heels Bar drinking beer. A man came in the door and instantly cased the bar. Sheriff Cline and Wiley looked him over. They glanced at each other then back at the newcomer. The man finally zeroed in on Wiley. He walked toward their table and held his left hand above his gun. The men at the table suddenly realized the man’s right hand was missing.
“Are you William Deluce?” the man asked Wiley.
“Who wants to know?” Wiley asked.
“I’m Morgan Stanley an’ if you’re Deluce, I’m gonna kill you.” The heavy set man lifted up his right arm and showed a stump where a right hand should be. “You did this to me on a train to San Francisco.”
“I remember that,” Wiley said. “As I remember, you were robbing the passengers with your gun and your hat.”
“That’s right,” the man snapped. “I’ve practiced with my left hand all these years to be a faster left-hand drawer’en you. I challenge you to a duel an’ your right hand is off limits. You have to draw with you left hand.”
“Why?” Wiley asked. “It seems pointless. You could be killed and for what? Why have you lived all these past years wanting to kill me? Why couldn’t you have married or found a partner and lived happily?”
“Because you shot my hand off!” the man yelled.
“Because you were robbing the passengers on the train, and you shot at me,” Wiley snapped. “I have a right to defend myself. The whole thing was your fault.”
Stanley held his left hand above his gun as he walked closer to Wiley. “I’m calling you out!” he shouted. “I’ll prove to the world I can draw my left hand gun faster’n you can!”
Wiley sighed and tossed down his fork. He looked at everyone at the table. “I hate this.”
“You’re gonna be hatin’ this more when you’re dead,” Stanley said.
Wiley stood up and placed his right gun on the table. He looked at Stanley. “Satisfied?”
“No! Get out the door. I want the whole world t’see me killin’ you.”
Wiley faced Morgan Stanley. “What are you going to do if I shoot your left hand off? You won’t have any hands.”
The man looked at Wiley for a few seconds, then sneered, “I’m so fast a draw, you won’t be able to do it before I kill you!”
Wiley shrugged. “I’ll never understand some people,” he said under his breath.
Outside, Sheriff Cline and Burt tried to clear the street. When people became aware of Wiley standing in the middle of the street facing a man, the street cleared it at once.
* * *
There will be more excerpts later. You deserve them after all these years.
After a cheerful phone call from a reader friend, I’ve been encouraged about the series. Our friend came to visit for a few days during the Gay Rodeo here in Denver on July 11, 2014. Jim and I took him on a tour to Jake and Wiley’s and also Jim and Dave’s cabins. The current owners of the land were there and welcomed us with hugs. This was our first visit since we sold the property to them in 2006. Our cabin looks almost the same since we sold all the furniture with the cabin. We had a wonderful visit. The new owners told us we can use the cabin any time we want. We might someday. We also visited Bailey, Jefferson, Como, Fairplay and Alma. It wasn’t pouring rain like the last time we took folks from Milwaukee on this tour. We will gladly take any reader on the book tour if they are ever in Denver.
Until I get my busy attorney cousin to help make sense of how to sell my hard copy books to Amazon, I am the only one in the country who has the printed Books One through Five to sell.
All five books of the Legend of the Golden Feather, plus Emerald Valley (different characters, but Jake and Wiley make a cameo appearance) are available on Amazon e-books. Please let me know if there are problems with the e-books.
Currently, the autographed books are $12 each or $60 for the set of five. That includes postage, but only in the U.S. I do not yet have PayPal set up, but I’m working on it. Bank rules, I can only accept checks from U.S. banks or U.S. postal money orders. Send the order for a single book or a set and payment to: David Brown , 236 So. Gilpin St., Denver, CO 80209.
For orders outside the U.S. or to just chat about whatever, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me at 720 308-3694.
A very sad note. Muriel Olson (Mo), my beloved editor, passed away on June 20, 2014, the day before her 86th birthday. She never smoked, but had cancer in her mouth and throat and had to have part of her tongue removed. She couldn’t physically tolerate the chemical or radiation treatments, and wasn’t able to have the cancer totally eliminated. Her brother called me on her birthday and told me the sad news. Mo’s passing is an enormous loss of a close friend. It is also the loss of a huge library. Mo was a brilliant editor. May she rest in peace. Mo will be hugely missed. I’m sure she’s arguing with God about Republicans. Mo considered Republicans the American Taliban.
Jake Brady, a farmer from Kentucky, fleeing for his life from his neighbor and four of his sons who have tracked him a thousand miles, ended up in the mining town of Alma, high in the Colorado Rockies. Wiley Deluce, one of the fastest and deadliest draws alive, arrived in Alma to carry out a job he was paid to do. Jake and Wiley met, became partners and blood brothers in the crowded Silver Heels Bar and that’s when their love and adventures began.
Jake Brady and Wiley Deluce find themselves in the strange Time of 1993 without the golden feather that sent them there. Three factions begin searching for them: the first out of lust, another out of greed and the third from burning hatred. The police are also hunting them. How will the Protectors help Jake and Wiley? And can they ever get back to 1886?
Jake and Wiley return to 1886 with three men and a dog from 1993. After learning Wiley’s true identity and a jolting secret about him, Jake flees. Captured by the murderous Harrises, Jake becomes their prisoner on a train to Kentucky. Two days behind Jake, Wiley races after him, fearing what he’ll find as he travels east. Will Jake even arrive in Kentucky alive?
Wiley is training Jake to be his Pinkerton partner when they’re sent to New Orleans on a dangerous case. Trouble arises on the riverboat before they even get there. A hired killer is on board. Is he stalking someone? Is it one of them?
A man has been asking around Alma, Colorado about Wiley Deluce. Alone while he sends a telegraph message in Alma, Wiley disappears without a trace. Did that man kidnap Wiley and kill him, or did Wiley willingly leave Jake for the unknown man?