RSS
 

Posts Tagged ‘Rio Pecos Compound’

Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 10.

23 Jul
Cover for Rio Pecos Compound, Book Six of The Clint Mason Series by William F. Martin.

Rio Pecos Compound

Learn more about Rio Pecos Compound: Book Six of The Clint Mason Series

Copyright William F. Martin. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 10.

Client knew that the surveyor that had falsified those papers for Claude Johnson against the Rio Pecos Compound must be found or this problem could rise up again. The railroad had set up a field office in Santa Fe, but their main front line office was up near the Raton Pass and another one was in a trail town called Las Vegas. It only took a couple of days of observing the Santa Fe office to identify some railroad workers and join them at cards. Clint soon learned that the chief surveyor was named Charlie Atkinson. His office was in the big, new hotel that had just been completed in Las Vegas. It became rather clear that these field survey workers did not trust or care for their top man. Atkinson never went into the field himself. He often changed the field notes and then the field crews would be sent back out to change their placement of survey monuments. Atkinson spent lots of money, too much for the salary that a railroad or government surveyor could earn. His lavish lifestyle and association with the rich landholders was not missed by these hardworking field crews. Clint learned that Atkinson frequently came to Santa Fe to meet with Claude Johnson. The field surveyors were sure that Atkinson and Johnson were long-time friends from back east, maybe St. Louis.

The construction of the westward rail lines had reached Abilene, Kansas. Stockyards were being built there near the rail head. Train service from St. Louis and Chicago to Abilene was anticipated by next year. Clint had heard a rumor from one of the Bond Ranch workers Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 10.

Posted in Tales

 

Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 9.

11 Jun
Cover for Rio Pecos Compound, Book Six of The Clint Mason Series by William F. Martin.

Rio Pecos Compound

Learn more about Rio Pecos Compound: Book Six of The Clint Mason Series

Copyright William F. Martin. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 9.

Joe Black was aptly named. He was a blacksmith, as big as a barn and of African descent. His family had been transported from Spain to Mexico City by the Spanish Army when he was a very small boy. His life in Mexico had mirrored his father’s. The skills of the forge seemed to come naturally. Although his family had been slaves to the Spanish Army and later the Mexican Army, the skillset of a blacksmith provided them a certain independence. When the Mexican Army moved up the Rio Grande Valley to Santa Fe, Joe Black’s family was taken along to care for the horses, wagons and guns. When the Mexican Army pulled back out of New Mexico Territory, many of the Mexican and Spanish families stayed.

The fairly rapid retreat of the Mexican Army had left a lot behind. This included this blacksmith family and their whole set up and tools. Since ownership was mostly determined by force and grit, for several years Joe’s dad ran an independent stable. However, within a few years, one of the powerful families took over their stable and blacksmith holdings and they were once again working for a landholder. This new master had become more and more cruel and demanding. Joe’s nights were constantly interrupted with orders to repair wagons, saddle horses and even deliver mounts before sun up.

After three of the most abusive gun hands were found with their throats cut, gossip had it that these men had harassed the wrong people. Since Joe was in an ideal position to observe the comings and goings of most people in Santa Fe, he began to see a pattern developing with the Pecos River compound people. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 9.

Posted in Tales

 

Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 8.

30 Apr
Cover for Rio Pecos Compound, Book Six of The Clint Mason Series by William F. Martin.

Rio Pecos Compound

Learn more about Rio Pecos Compound: Book Six of The Clint Mason Series

Copyright William F. Martin. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 8.

Spring came with a sudden burst of flowers, new green growth and noisy children playing outside. The new lamb crop was even better than expected. The push would be on come fall for another major drive to get the sheep to market.

While Clint did not want to over-graze his range, he also wanted to constantly improve his herd. Culling out the worst of the sheep each year would gradually lead to a superior herd.

The winter’s weaving had produced some beautiful blankets. Even though the Basque and the Navajos did not socialize, the woven designs were beginning to combine the best of both. The much finer wool of the Basque sheep was finding its way into the course weaving patterns of Navajo blankets. Natural dyes that each culture had developed over the years were varied. As they shared these dye secrets, colors were produced that had not been seen before in the markets around the Santa Fe square. The Rio Pecos blankets as they were beginning to be known drew top-dollar bids.

After the winter, the trading post and storage rooms became rather bare. The finished products of blankets and jewelry were starting to accumulate. A major trading trip to Santa Fe was needed as soon as the weather and roads permitted.

The lead preacher had convinced two of the settler families to join him in his move to Santa Fe. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 8.

Posted in Tales

 

Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 7.

11 Mar
Cover for Rio Pecos Compound, Book Six of The Clint Mason Series by William F. Martin.

Rio Pecos Compound

Learn more about Rio Pecos Compound: Book Six of The Clint Mason Series

Copyright William F. Martin. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 7.

The small Rio Pecos village gradually settled into a comfortable routine, and the trading post became the common meeting place. It provided a place to work out the rough edges between the various groups. Sometimes it even served more like a court where grievances were aired, disputes were settled and community rules explained or amended. One of the benefits of this neutral meeting place was the presentation of both sides of an issue to silence wild rumors.

One of the rumors brought back by the supply train concerned a sheep drive from Española north to the Colorado mines. One of the big sheep ranches north of Santa Fe, the Bond Ranch, was organizing the drive. People could join the drive with their own herders or they could sell their sheep at a discount. The Bond Ranch was offering three cents per head now. The current estimated price up near Durango was five to seven cents per head. It appeared that the Bond Ranch drive was an annual event.

The community decision was to sell this first cull herd at Española for the three cents. Next year the Navajos would help herd their share of sheep to Durango. This would put them close to their native land. After considerable additional discussion, it was decided that two Mexican guards and two Navajos would make the trip to Durango to sell the herd.

The two young Mexican guards were hoping for some adventure. Durango might be just the place with its gold and silver mines and lots of hustle and bustle. The two Navajos would be scouting out the area for their own people and a possible new future. A new supply of silver would be very helpful if it could be purchased reasonably at the mines. If all four of them decided to stay, a message would be sent back with the Bond Ranch herders. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 7.

Posted in Tales

 

Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 6.

05 Feb
Cover for Rio Pecos Compound, Book Six of The Clint Mason Series by William F. Martin.

Rio Pecos Compound

Learn more about Rio Pecos Compound: Book Six of The Clint Mason Series

Copyright William F. Martin. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 6.

The arrival of the settlers in Rio Pecos Compound caused quite a stir. The Navajos expressed some concern that they might get pushed out. The Basque wanted to keep their nomadic way of life. Setting up a permanent village with houses was not their way. However, they would appreciate a trading post or supply store being available to them. The new settlers from the east wanted to build wood houses and a church. These settlers only knew wood frame construction with wood floors. Their first impression of the adobe buildings was not positive.

The settlers were assigned an area near the ranch house and within walking distance to the community well. Each group would be self-sufficient and separate. Clint’s idea of community may have to wait awhile.

The settlers set up a tent city using both wagons and extra tents. If they decided to stay through the winter, then shelters would have to be built. Logs and lumber were in short supply down in this valley. Lumber-size trees only grew much higher in the mountains where the rain fall was sufficient. The available building material was clay for adobe bricks and there were two excellent clay pits near the compound. Retraining the eastern carpenters and masons to use adobe was proving to be a challenge. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 6.

Posted in Tales

 

Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 5.

23 Dec
Cover for Rio Pecos Compound, Book Six of The Clint Mason Series by William F. Martin.

Rio Pecos Compound

Learn more about Rio Pecos Compound: Book Six of The Clint Mason Series

Copyright William F. Martin. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 5.

The gun battle at the Silver Spur Saloon that had left two men dead also brought way too much attention to Clint, even though he kept repeating an image of himself as hiding under the table. The death of a lawman focused more attention than was usual for a gambling dispute. It did help that no one had liked the fancy, arrogant gambler and besides the deputy sheriff had been involved too many times with this gambler in previous shootings. It was time to get out of Santa Fe for a while.

Clint was awakened that night by some loud talking coming from below him in the stable. It was Joe Black’s voice, but the other commanding voice was new to Clint. Although the exchange of words could not be fully understood, Joe Black was being chewed-out and threatened with eviction. This surprised Clint, who had always assumed that Joe was the owner. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 5.

Posted in Tales

 

Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 4.

13 Nov
Cover for Rio Pecos Compound, Book Six of The Clint Mason Series by William F. Martin.

Rio Pecos Compound

Learn more about Rio Pecos Compound: Book Six of The Clint Mason Series

Copyright William F. Martin. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 4.

The four Mexican guards that were staying at the ranch were given the task of hunting down the coyotes. This gave them a chance to practice their rifle skills and put them in a place to scout the outer edges of the range. The Navajos requested the coyote skins for tanning. The thin, soft hides of the coyote were a useful item for trading, plus they could be made into clothing. After almost two weeks, the Mexican guards were ready to join their friends in Santa Fe. The Basque and Navajos had their hides, wool, blankets and jewelry packed and ready for travel with horses and wagons. The sale of any livestock would be made another time.

The trip to Santa Fe went without any problems. Clint had separated himself from the group so he could keep his secret identity separated from the people from the Rio Pecos compound. By riding some distance from the wagons, he could serve as the scout and no one in his trading party would even know that he was looking over them.

The Rio Pecos wagons pulled into the Santa Fe traders’ camp near sunset and set up for the night. Clint snuck into his loft room in the stable without notice. The stabling of his horse made some noise, but Joe Black never came out of his quarters. A quick change of identity and Clint reemerged into the back alley as an unkempt hide-trading Mexican.

Information was his goal and saloons were the best source. It did not take long for Clint to spot his young Mexican guards, or at least three of them. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 4.

Posted in Tales

 

Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 3.

13 Oct
Cover for Rio Pecos Compound, Book Six of The Clint Mason Series by William F. Martin.

Rio Pecos Compound

Learn more about Rio Pecos Compound: Book Six of The Clint Mason Series

Copyright William F. Martin. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 3.

Almost three weeks had passed since Clint had purchased the sheep herd from Sr. Juan Martinez. The Basque herders had made excellent time moving the 100,000 head of sheep. He noticed that the trail was getting very fresh, so the herd could not be very far in front of him.

Then he saw one of his horses he had left with the Mexican guards lying dead in a wash. The alarm shot through his body; instant keen alertness. He used the spyglass to scan the trail. He noticed a few white clumps in the distance and soon learned that they were dead sheep. Reading the tracks told the story of five or six bandits that had raided the Basque camp. However, the Basque carts and sheep trail continued. It would appear the bandits pulled out without success and had headed south. Clint knew that the trail they’d taken led toward the town of Tucumcari.

Within a few hours of hard riding, Clint came upon the sheep herd. The Mexican guards met him at the rear of the herd. Once they recognized him, he was waved on in. The Basque had already set up camp for the night, but everyone was on high alert for another attack. They were sure glad to see a friendly face and another gun hand.

The story they told about the raid was short. The only person hurt was one of the young Mexican guards. The bandits apparently had not realized the sheepherders had an armed guard unit with them. The bandits had ridden into their camp last night demanding money, food and horses while the Mexican guards had been out front of the herd scouting the next day’s drive. When they came back into camp, the surprised bandits started shooting wildly. The bandits had then dropped everything and rode at a dead run back down the riverbed. A stray bullet had hit one of the guard’s horses. The tumble had killed the horse Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 3.

Posted in Tales

 

Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 2.

11 Sep
Cover for Rio Pecos Compound, Book Six of The Clint Mason Series by William F. Martin.

Rio Pecos Compound

Learn more about Rio Pecos Compound: Book Six of The Clint Mason Series

Copyright William F. Martin. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 2.

The last trip to Santa Fe had been quite rewarding. His Navajo herders were well supplied with favorable trades for their jewelry, wool, blankets and mutton. Clint was able to reactivate his financial ties to Mr. Jenson, the Santa Fe banker. Also, a surprising piece of information that Clint had picked up at the card tables involved a possible source for a large sheep herd.

Clint had returned to the Santa Fe gambling tables after having escorted the Navajos back to his Rio Pecos Compound. Clint’s finances were in great shape, but extra cash was always useful. He enjoyed matching wits with gamblers, but mostly he was gathering information. Clint’s Mexican hide-trader image proved to be an excellent cover. The gamblers could accept that this hide-trader would have money, and was a reasonably smart trader, but their confidence was high that they were smarter than any lowly Mexican.

The tale gradually developed that cattlemen were moving their herds on to the high plains of northern Texas. The Spanish and Mexican land holders of that region were no match for the gunmen that the cattle owners were hiring from Texas and the East. A range war was brewing. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 2.

Posted in Tales

 

Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 1.

14 Aug

Author’s Note: The sixth book published in the Clint Mason series, Rio Pecos Compound is being published here serially beginning in July, 2016. Please consider picking up a copy of Rio Pecos Compound and all the other Clint Mason books for yourself and a friend, and also look for the contents of these books on this site. Thank you very much for your interest.

Cover for Rio Pecos Compound, Book Six of The Clint Mason Series by William F. Martin.

Rio Pecos Compound

Learn more about Rio Pecos Compound: Book Six of The Clint Mason Series

Copyright William F. Martin. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 1.

Several years had passed since Clint Mason had first ridden into the wide, spreading, grassy valley several days’ ride east of Santa Fe. Here the Pecos River, better known as the Rio Pecos, flowed between two steep mountainsides. The mountains formed a natural fence on both sides of the river.

Clint had joined a government survey crew almost five years earlier. The surveyor had been charged with the task of identifying the old Spanish land grants, their boundaries and set markers. The Mexican War had just ended and the United States Government had reached a settlement that gave them ownership of the New Mexico Territory. The U.S. Congress passed various legislation and rulings about the opening of this and other pathways to the West Coast.

The surveyor that Clint was working for back then was a crook, a bully and a lousy gambler. Clint’s excellent math and geometry skills advanced him into the confidence of the master surveyor. It also put Clint in a position to see the rip-off the surveyor was pulling on the U.S. Government and land grant holders.

When Clint went to work for this U.S. Government surveyor, Charles Norton, Clint had just turned 20. His six-foot frame was outfitted with a sharp mind, olive skin, dark eyes, wide shoulders and tough as rawhide muscles. It had only been five or six years since he had been driven from his home by a murder frame-up. If anyone had thought Clint was a fast-draw gunman at 15, they would not believe the speed and accuracy that he had developed since. These skills with a gun, even though exceptional, were second rate when compared to his abilities at card playing.

Clint’s mathematical mind was tops, and when combined with his ability to read people, he was a gambler without equal. In fact, these exceptional card skills had necessitated the development of the gun skills. During the past five to six years, Clint had been in over 20 gunfights, with only a few scratches or minor holes to show for them. The near-misses had convinced Clint that skill alone was not a guarantee of survival. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 1.

Posted in Tales