The Orchardist’s Secret — 140 pages

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In 1847 California, Orchardist, Sean Kerry, believes his fruits are ‘gold’ – until the Maidu Indian boys who help him with his harvests, promise him real gold nuggets.

Afraid he will start a gold rush if he displays even one gold nuggets, Sean hides the bags of gold.

Before he can tell his family where the gold is hidden, he is killed by two white men bent on the rape of a Maidu Indian girl when he intervenes to save her.

Intent on avenging his father’s murder, Sean’s son, Finn must learn to shoot a gun before he can hunt down Jed Polk, his father’s killer.

To learn about gun-handing, he hires old Indian-fighter, Wild Bill Mackey, who turns Finn into a highly adept shootist.

During the California Gold Rush which started in January, 1848, the Kerry Orchards become lucrative, but then decline along with the Gold Rush, and eventually the orchards are going broke.

Can Finn survive a duel with a deadly killer and find his father’s gold in time to save the Kerry family orchards?