The Checker Board, Book Seven: Journey's End
A severe head injury causes loss of memory, with no name, Dave responds to an internal compass to guide him in search for his old life. Without recall of another life, now known as Dave Larson, he finds work as a ranch-hand in 1887 Montana Territory. Significant troubles plague the ranch owned by Buff Dugan; malicious destruction of fences, attempted cattle rustling, and a midnight ambush of the foreman. Dave takes on the foreman duties of the beleaguered ranch operation, but functions less ably due to overwork and the disabling head injury. Rancher Curly Watson is suspected of provocations to disrupt the peace of the valley, but his motives are hidden. Dugan’s niece, Lucy Smith, arrives in search of her missing husband, only to discover he is already working on the ranch. Learning his amnesia is selective, a sense of guilt pervades because eighty thousand in gold bars is missing, and Dave is sought by the authorities as the thief. Guilty is guilty does: a warrant for his arrest impels Jim Bowen, his old partner, to go after Dave. Mistrust and guilt, deprivation and pain, perseverance and courage achieve journey’s end.