A Cowboy of Legend - Linda Broday

Dear Reader,

I’m off on exciting adventures with a new series called Lone Star Legends. This series features some of the adult children of Sam, Houston, and Luke Legend, so you’ll still get glimpses of them and the Lone Star Ranch.

It’s also a new time period. All of these will take place around the turn of the century. Things are a lot different. The country is changing so fast. Automobiles, electric lights, and reform issues pose challenges. Industrialization brings economic growth. Women are fighting for the right to vote and stand up against inequality and the sale of alcohol.

Grace Legend, the daughter of Houston Legend, is right in the thick of things. She’s joined the temperance movement and is bound and determined to shut down as many saloons as she can because she’s seen firsthand how liquor destroys marriages and families.

Owner of the Three Deuces Deacon Brannock has spent every waking moment trying to make his saloon pay off but fears the worst when he finds himself in the crosshairs of the temperance women. This is a war he has to win. Lose the saloon, and his dream of buying some land and returning to the life he loves is dead.

I’m sure you have ideas about this. I can see both sides. I’ve lived with alcohol all my life and have seen how it can sometimes change a person. Yet I also know what it’s like to be dirt poor and have a dream I couldn’t reach.

I hope you enjoy this story and the rest of the series. Next up is A Cowboy Christmas Legend with Sam Legend Jr.

Happy Reading,

Linda Broday

One

Fort Worth, Texas

Spring 1899

“Destroyer of men’s souls! Beware the pitfalls of the devil’s brew!” Grace Legend held up her sign and directed her loud yells into the murky interior of the Three Deuces saloon.

A gust of wind delivered the stench of the nearby stockyards up her nose and a swirl of dirt into her eyes. She blinked several times to clear the grit as the two dozen temperance women behind her took up the chant, banging drums and shaking tambourines. They sounded impressive.

A surly individual went around her and reached for the batwing doors. Grace swatted him with her sign. “Get back! Back, I say. This den of iniquity is closed to the likes of you.”

Built like a bull and smelling like the south end of a northbound steer, the man narrowed his gaze and raised a meaty fist. “This here’s a free country, and I can go anywhere I like.”

Gunfire rang out down the street, and a woman screamed. Grace was glad she’d stuck a derringer in her pocket. This section of town saw killings every day, even though the citizens cried for someone to clean it up and make it safe.

She wanted to take a step back from the surly man more than anything. She really did. He had meanness rolling off him like rancid, thick snake oil. But giving ground wasn’t in her makeup. Not today and not as long as she was alive. She had a job to do.

Grace sucked in a quick breath, shot him a piercing glare, and parked herself across the doorway. “I bet your wife would like to know where you spend your time when you should be working. Shame on you wasting your money on whiskey.”

“I earn it, and I’ll spend it however I see fit. Now step aside.” He snarled and raised a fist.

“Or else what?” A voice in Grace’s head warned that this course of action could be dangerous, but she never listened to that boring bit of reason. No, she saw it as her right and duty to make a difference in the world, and make it she would. She couldn’t do that sitting on her hands like some timid toad, afraid to utter a sound.

At least a half dozen gunshots nearby rent the air, and people ducked.

A crowd had begun to gather and pressed close, as though sensing a free show. Some of the men got into a heated shouting match with her ladies.

Before she could move, the quarrelsome fellow barreled into her, knocking her sideways. Grace launched onto his back and began whopping him with the sign. However, the handle was too long for close fighting, and none of her blows landed. Hell and damnation!

She released a frustrated cry and wrapped both arms around his head.

“Get off me!” he roared.

“When hell freezes over, fool.” She heard a door bang and the footsteps of someone new.

Masculine hands yanked the