The Checker Board, Book Ten: Face the Wind
‘Face the Wind’ is a term used by Native American men to demonstrate their prowess in battle, at winning against odds, and succeeding in their endeavor. The term carries succinct relevance to the Smith twins and their resolute spirits.
In this Tenth historical fiction novel of The Checker Board Series, in 1898, Dave Smith moves his family into Sheridan, Wyoming in order to take over the district court judgeship. It requires a period of adjustment, particularly as his old partner, Jim Bowen shows up to open new objectives in quelling the criminal element that inhabits a large part of the very district in which Dave Smith is a judge. Old law business resurfaces in which specific objectives are set as well as locating more information in order to capture wrongdoers.
Even Butch Cassidy, notorious outlaw, confounds Dave to the point Wyoming’s Governor threatens to remove Dave from his judge’s position.
This novel is historical as it describes the early build-out of Sheridan, including the railroads, coal mining, and the early stages of the local water treatment plant.
Even a remote dinosaur dig creates a momentous find while at the same time evades an outlaw gang on their own home turf of the Hole in the Wall hideout.
This book is a ‘Coming of Age' story that includes the separate lives of the Smith twin’s, Seth and Seamus, and how their courses diverge, each with his own approach to life.
Seamus endeavors to learn about water control while working as an apprentice for the Sheridan water works engineer. His studies include engineering school in Boston.
Seth attempts to shine at polo only to learn how disastrous is the sport. After a catastrophic riding accident, Seth meets Willow, a lovely Cheyenne girl trained as an herbalist and horse healer. Willow captures Seth’s heart and must state her intents to Dave Smith in order to be accepted. Remaining on the ranch, Seth and Willow learn more about horse breeding and training.
Cheyenne Indian Sam Eagle Feather, Dave’s old partner, maintains a delicate tightrope strung between being free or relegated to the reservation. Sam confronts rustlers who attack his small ranch which start a cascade of adversity for all concerned.