When Luke Catlin arrives in Arizona Territory to search for gold with his cousin, he doesn’t know the Apache are on the warpath. It doesn’t take him long to find out. After the murder of his cousin, all he wants is enough money to get back to Pennsylvania. He wants nothing to do with the gold he found. It has caused enough grief.
A Lipan Apache Indian and a pretty girl have other ideas about Catlin’s future. They each have a reason why they think he should buy a ranch with the gold and stay in Arizona. When he decides to work at a ranch for enough money to buy a ticket back home, he discovers the truth about the death of his cousin. Can he right a wrong?
HSL #: 1003WFG0296
24,062 words, 92 pages
A Western Novella
by L. L. Rigsbee
“Fool’s Gold” is a fast-paced western novella about a young man who joins his cousin in Arizona to search for gold. Instead, the two greenhorns discover the futility of revenge. When his cousin is killed and Catlin is severely wounded, Catlin is convinced that the love of gold is the root of his problem. He will not use the gold he found because he feels it would dishonor his cousin. He takes a job at a ranch to earn enough money for a ticket back to Pennsylvania.
As he gains friends and experience, he discovers mysterious circumstances surrounding his cousin’s death. He must know the truth before he leaves – if he is going to leave.
There is a lot of historical background in this short novel that makes it both entertaining and educational.
Revenge perpetuates. Young Luke Catlin wasn’t interested in revenge after his cousin was killed by Apache raiders. To him, Arizona Territory was an uncivilized furnace where everything had thorns and stingers. He planned on going back to Pennsylvania as soon as he could earn enough money for a ticket. He refused to go back for the gold he had found in the Arizona desert.
Catlin was attracted to the doctor’s granddaughter, but he figured she was interested in him for one reason – the gold. When a Lipan Apache befriended him, Catlin was mystified about his purpose. Catlin had never given a thought to the plight of the Apache; only what the Apache had done to the white man. He was about to learn some first hand history and discover how he could make a difference. In the process, he would learn the truth about why his cousin was killed. Finally, he must do something because revenge perpetuates.
"This was a wonderful story and I enjoyed it very much. I am retired and like to read western stories. Thanks, you did a great job."
"Very good read, real people , not just heroes."
"Very good! Obviously well researched and knowledgeable about the cultures and issues of the time, and also well thought attitudes and preconceptions of others, which still apply today. A 'can't put down' read, with realistic and humanly fallible characters, and thought provoking long after. Great job!"
"I loved your style of writing. You kept me on the edge of my seat and that's rare. Loved the flow of the story and the detailed accounts of your characters. I cant wait to read more. Thank you."
"Good book. I use to live to watch westerns; now I enjoy reading them!"
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The Arizona desert had a deadly lesson for two green miners. One survivor has the opportunity to learn more.