By Russ Towne
Sam and Joe met in Saint Louis when they were both on their way to gold country. Sam was headed west to help a brother build a ranch on land they’d just bought, and Joe was off to seek his fortune. They became fast friends.
The trip was as long and arduous as they’d heard. Two thousand miles of hardship and danger: Indian attacks, snakes (human and reptilian), sleeping in the rain, fording swollen rivers, slogging through mud and early snowstorms, and running low on water and food. Through every challenge they had each other’s back and saved each other more times than they could count.
When, at last, they reached San Francisco, they got married.
Joe Johnston had found his treasure long before reaching the rowdy young gold town, and Samantha “Sam” Burdock had known from the start she’d found a man worth fighting for.