When Martha Raker is abducted and her father murdered in a robbery, her uncle, the sheriff of the town, heads out in pursuit. The only man who volunteers to help is a greenhorn— the mild-mannered schoolteacher, Will Burrows.
As the outlaws flee into Indian Territory with their captive, Sheriff Gillette is doubtful of Will’s suitability to be of any real help—but Will is insistent. Though the young man harbors his own doubts about himself—and his fears of what is sure to befall Martha at the outlaws’ hands—he loves her, and he is determined to save her.
Martha is a strong-willed young woman, and she is confident in the belief she will not be abandoned by the man she loves, or by her uncle. She steadfastly finds ways to outwit the outlaws, but when they are bested by another outlaw gang, she must try to find a way to survive.
The fight for Martha’s safe return eclipses everything else, even Sheriff Gillette’s own sense of bringing justice to the man who has first abducted her. As the lawmen follow the trail of the renegades who now hold Martha, they are joined by some very unlikely help—men they can’t afford to turn away, but can’t afford to trust.
TWELVE DAYS IN THE TERRITORY can be lifetime…
Sunday, September 4, 1887
A gunshot broke the silence of an early Sunday afternoon.
People still on their way home from church stopped, transfixed in their tracks, staring in the direction from which the sound seemed to come. Women already in their kitchens preparing dinner hurried to the nearest window. Other townspeople opened their doors and peered out.
Sheriff Isaac Gillette left the cup of coffee he'd just poured sit on his desk as he stepped out of his office. Striding to the middle of the street, Gillette spied a trio of men who rushed from the general merchandise store owned by his sister's husband. They made for their horses as Martha, the sheriff's niece, struggled with one of them in the middle of the street. Martha screamed for help as the man forced her to mount a waiting horse, then climbed up behind her. His companions sprang onto their saddles and the gang pounded off in the opposite direction, headed out of town.
Shocked by what he witnessed, Gillette drew his pistol and shouted for them to halt. He rushed after them.
They'd left nothing but a cloud of dust behind by the time he reached the hitching post where their horses and a pack mule had been tethered. No longer a young man, Gillette panted, struggling to catch his breath, bent over, hands on his knees. Feet pounded on the ground behind him, accompanied by the shouts and calls of others attracted by the ruckus.