My name is Jake. Jake Turner. I am a Deputy Sheriff in the small town of Tenbury, ND. It’s a part time job but it comes with a room above the office and I have enough free time to do other jobs when I am not finding bodies in snow banks. More about that later.
I’ve knocked around the country since I left home at 16 more than 20 years ago. In that time I’ve done a lot of things; joined the Army for a spell, been a cattle buyer, an Arizona Ranger and a railroad detective. I fought in Cuba and charged up San Juan Hill. And watched the century turn. Railroads and the telegraph are changing the country.
Progress is a good thing. People are coming to this raw land, the magnificent prairie of North Dakota looking for their opportunity for a new tomorrow. It is hard work and the people are good stock mostly. From all over the world. I’m here because it was as good a place to stop as any other. An Indian once asked me if I knew where my tomorrow was coming from. I had no answer for him.
I was born and raised on a farm. I love the feel of good soil in my hand. My hands are hard and callused from working the land. And yet I’ve been a failure every time I have stopped my wanderings to try it. So now I work as a farm hand for others in my free time. Mostly for widows who have lost their husbands. Breaking the prairie sod and building a new life is hard on man and beast. It has broken many a plow and the man behind it. I do what I can to help those in need.
As I said, I’ve been a lawman in some form in many places. I have never enjoyed using a gun but I have a reputation and a history, some of it true and some of it from a dime novel by a writer who had neither any ability to write nor any respect for the truth. I have tried to leave it behind but it always catches up.
The body I found in the melting snow bank has a history too. Beaten, stabbed and then shot with a rifle and a shotgun. His killers wanted him deader than dead. And that sentiment seems to be the consensus of all who knew him including his family. There are many who want me to let it go, but murder is murder and no matter who the victim is, justice needs to be done.
But it is going to come with a cost. The killers come close to killing me once and try again several times. But that isn’t the worst of it. My best friend is tangled up in the web of killers. His sister, the woman who captured my heart, is in danger as is Andy, an orphaned boy who has become very important to me.
Untangling the sordid web of crimes that will solve the murder could cost me more than my life. Graves will be dug at the end. Who will they be for? Will I see where my tomorrow is coming from?
Ride along with me and see.