Hangman — A Western Novella

Eighteen-year-old Clay Holcomb is headed into the town of Medicine Bend, hoping he can buy enough supplies to keep his mother’s ranch going for another month, when a snake spooks the horse pulling his wagon. The horse bolts, the harness decouples from the wagon and Clay finds himself aboard a runaway buckboard.

The wagon strikes and mortally injures a tethered horse belonging to Judge Simon Woolsey, the hanging judge of Wyoming Territory. Woolsey is anything but a forgiving man. The only thing that saves Clay is that the judge’s hangman, an eccentric named Crow, is dying. So Clay is given a choice: Face the noose himself or let Crow train him to become Woolsey’s new hangman.

Clay saves his own neck but shudders at what lies ahead, especially when Crow starts instructing him in the finer points of ending a life with a rope. Clay also learns how justice can be corrupted. And he comes to see that Woolsey fears the vengeance of a killer who escaped his gallows.

What worries Clay most is whether he will escape the moment when he has to hang a man.

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“Grabs your attention from the start and keeps you hooked with lots of surprises.” — Robert Jackson, amazon.com
 “Joseph Flynn has again taken me on a flight of fancy.” — Charles F. Clark, amazon.com
“Joseph Flynn—a seriously entertaining author!” — Susan S., amazon.com

Published 2013 by Stray Dog Press, Inc.
ISBN: 978-0-9887868-5-1 [ebook]