Vincent Bayonne’s luck may have run out at last. The former plantation owner must find William, the freed slave who placed the zombie curse on him, if he wants to avoid the unholy fate of a living death. To reach William in New Orleans, he makes his perilous way across the untamed American frontier while escaping from US Army patrols, dodging lawmen and railroad detectives after the reward on his head, and trying not to get killed by those who hate him because of his cruel rule over Dark Oaks Plantation.
Bayonne's quest for revenge is now a fight for sheer survival. The medicine he needs to hold back the slow coarsening of his body and mind, turning him into a zombie, is long gone. His only hope is to find William, and to do that he must first get Marie Laveau, Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, to befriend him. His only allies are a beautiful woman from his past and his own incredible strength while under the curse. With the choice of becoming totally undead or begging those he hates most for aid, Bayonne plunges into the darkest recesses of black magic, hoping for a cure—and redemption.
Vincent Bayonne turned his bloodshot eyes upward to the sky. First, the gallows blocked his view and then the noose slowly swinging in the hot Kansas sun took its turn. The US Army conducted their hangings at Fort Riley all day long. From his cell in the stockade, he had seen a steady progression, one an hour since sunrise. From the sound of men crying and cursing in the other metal cages, and even a sorry looking man held in the stocks set beside the parade ground, more would dance at the end of the rope before sundown.
More than him. It was a busy late summer day.
"Step lively." A soldier shoved him, but he stood rock solid and even less movable.
"Hey, Corporal, you sure this is the right one? He don't look much like the wanted poster."
"He's the one, Sergeant. See?"
The man with two stripes on his sleeve held up the wanted poster, not for the other soldier but to taunt his prisoner. He shoved it within a few inches of Bayonne's face. The likeness showed a gaunt man who, five years earlier, had his wife and family taken from him, his plantation burned to the ground by freed slaves and then hanged from the limb of an oak tree within sight of the conflagration destroying his hopes and dreams.
"Don't show no recognition," the corporal said. "Don't show much of anything. Just like one of them cigar store Injuns. All wooden. Let me make certain sure he's the one."The non-com pressed the wanted poster against Bayonne's chest, then cruelly drove a ten-penny nail through it so it penetrated six inches of torso. Bayonne never flinched. He turned his dull eyes from the noose to the corporal. The man backed off at the look.
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