Jon Wilson Bridger's Run (Cracker Western)

ISBN 13: 9781561641741

Bridger's Run (Cracker Western)

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9781561641741: Bridger's Run (Cracker Western)
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Cracker Westerns are rip-roarin, action-packed, can't-put-'em-down tales set in the frontier days of Florida. They are full of adventure, real heroes, and vivid, authentic details that bring Florida's history to life.

Tom Bridger, the handsome, cocky son of a wealthy New York businessman, has come down in 1885 to find his long-lost uncle and a hidden treasure. When he arrives in Jacksonville, he finds a rough-and-ready port town where he quickly learns a man is only as good as his fists. Though he's a city slicker who loves a game of chess and looks like an easy mark for the desperate men lurking in the shadows, Tom's also a trained boxer, lightning quick with his hands and afraid of no one. He heads west across Florida's wild frontier on the trail of the treasure, first on a riverboat to Palatka, then on a train to Ocala and Brooksville. His quick temper brings several brushes with death, including gator-filled swamps and a footrace with a stagecoach. There are villains aplenty: the wooden-legged Elijah Dicken, the slick but mysterious Mr. Satin, and the rough DeBell clan. But Bridger also finds friends in Cheese Joseph, Archie Hankins, and the lovely and feisty Miss Lily. And he finds much more than he bargained for on the deserted peninsula west of Tampa. Back in New York, his uncle Mike had trained young Tom in the art of boxing, and it all comes down to a match (London rules, i.e., no gloves) at the Point of Pines between young Tom Bridger and Bongo Jones, the Key West Slasher. The story opens with a spectacular shipwreck, and the ending tops that with the big fistfight, a riot, a death, and a surprise.

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About the Author:

Born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, Jon Wilson has lived in Florida since 1956. Beginning in 1971, he was a reporter, editor, and editorial writer for the St. Petersburg Times. He won various national and state newspaper awards for his writing and is the author of “Days of Fear: A Lynching in St. Petersburg,” published in Tampa Bay History.

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from Chapter One:

Tom Bridger struggled. He wanted the whiskey, as he usually did, but he had promised himself: nothing until he was off the ship. The trouble was, he felt like having a drink just to keep up with life. It had been an endless bon voyage party since he began packing for Florida two weeks ago. He was on the steam packet Lucy Lee, lurching into the Jacksonville harbor on a rolling sea. He had come from New York by way of Charleston—or Chahhllston, as pronounced by the two syrupy Southerners with whom he had engaged in small talk. He wondered if all them were like these two—this pleasant father and daughter, who seemed so unassuming. If so, he'd have the whole company of them for breakfast.

"You must keep your wits about you brother," Amy had teased. "One of those Southern belles will have you wrapped around her finger."

"Not very likely," Bridger had told his sister with conviction. "I'm a hard man. I grew up with our father, you know."

A thought of the hard-edged Josiah Bridger flashed through Tom's mind, though it didn't chase away his wish for a drink. Josiah Bridger was one of the new industrialists. His unrelenting work and domineering will had built the finest foundry in Troy, New York. The Civil War had made him rich manufacturing military supplies—particularly horseshoes. Twenty years later, he was perhaps the wealthiest man in the city, and one of the wealthiest in the state outside New York City.

Bridger thought men like his father were the reason these Southerners never could have won. But he despised his father's unsmiling, stern, and distant ways. He had thrown over his chance to follow his lead and probably amass a fortune of his own. Money, by itself, didn't excite him. There had to be an interesting way to acquire it. So he had decided to follow what his father had called "this brainless, nonsensical quest in Florida."

Bridger felt for the flask in his pocket and almost drew it out. But he knew he ought to start in Jacksonville feeling fresh. He had a long way to go in a strange land—even if it did turn out to be a tropical paradise as advertised.

The ship began maneuvering into the harbor, its engines laboring. Bridger thought they sounded ragged and it made him nervous. He had never cared much for the water, anyway. "I am a land mammal," he had always told his more aquatic chums when they teased him to go for a summer swim.

Hoping he didn't look ill at ease to the other passengers, he gazed over the railing, straining to spy land. In fact, he didn't look nervous at all—at the moment. Other passengers saw a giant of a young fellow, near six feet four inches tall, slender enough to be called lean, but hardly skinny. Nor would anyone have called him gangly. His broad shoulders suggested strength; his carriage and every casual movement suggested an athletic grace. Most bully-boys would think twice before taking him on.

He was twenty-five, but on most days looked even younger. ("My baby-faced baby," his mother had called him until he was nearly twenty.) Today his eyes, usually an unnerving ice blue, were tired and bloodshot from days of carousing and innumerable toasts (both publicly and privately) to his self-declared freedom from home and hearth. Still he cut a striking figure. Ginger hair flared from under a rakish, broad-rimmed hat, matched by a flowing, reddish-blonde mustache. He wore a hunting jacket, twill shirt, and heavy trousers tucked into calf-high brown boots. Over his right shoulder was slung his prize possession: a Sharps carbine given him by his uncle Mike McGinnis.

It was a bright February day, cool with a crisp wind. Bridger could see other ships going in and out of the harbor: some low-slung steamers like his own, a pair of smoke-puffing river tugs, a sidewheeler, and a couple of tall-masted schooners. There seemed to be as much activity here as at Charleston, and Bridger relished the prospect of lively entertainment ashore.

Then things went awry. A jolt nearly knocked Bridger down, followed by a grinding, splintering sound below him. The boat lurched. A section of it where Bridger was standing cracked and tore partly away, knocking loose the railing and dumping overboard the four passengers trying to hold steady.

She's aground!" someone shouted. "Man overboard! In the water!"

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ISBN 10:  1561641707 ISBN 13:  9781561641703
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Book Description ROWMAN & LITTLEFIELD, United States, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised Edition. Language: English. Brand new Book. Cracker Westerns are rip-roarin, action-packed, can't-put-'em-down tales set in the frontier days of Florida. They are full of adventure, real heroes, and vivid, authentic details that bring Florida's history to life.Tom Bridger, the handsome, cocky son of a wealthy New York businessman, has come down in 1885 to find his long-lost uncle and a hidden treasure. When he arrives in Jacksonville, he finds a rough-and-ready port town where he quickly learns a man is only as good as his fists. Though he's a city slicker who loves a game of chess and looks like an easy mark for the desperate men lurking in the shadows, Tom's also a trained boxer, lightning quick with his hands and afraid of no one. He heads west across Florida's wild frontier on the trail of the treasure, first on a riverboat to Palatka, then on a train to Ocala and Brooksville. His quick temper brings several brushes with death, including gator-filled swamps and a footrace with a stagecoach. There are villains aplenty: the wooden-legged Elijah Dicken, the slick but mysterious Mr. Satin, and the rough DeBell clan. But Bridger also finds friends in Cheese Joseph, Archie Hankins, and the lovely and feisty Miss Lily. And he finds much more than he bargained for on the deserted peninsula west of Tampa. Back in New York, his uncle Mike had trained young Tom in the art of boxing, and it all comes down to a match (London rules, i.e., no gloves) at the Point of Pines between young Tom Bridger and Bongo Jones, the Key West Slasher. The story opens with a spectacular shipwreck, and the ending tops that with the big fistfight, a riot, a death, and a surprise.Next in series > >See all of the books in this series. Seller Inventory # AAC9781561641741

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Book Description ROWMAN & LITTLEFIELD, United States, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised Edition. Language: English. Brand new Book. Cracker Westerns are rip-roarin, action-packed, can't-put-'em-down tales set in the frontier days of Florida. They are full of adventure, real heroes, and vivid, authentic details that bring Florida's history to life.Tom Bridger, the handsome, cocky son of a wealthy New York businessman, has come down in 1885 to find his long-lost uncle and a hidden treasure. When he arrives in Jacksonville, he finds a rough-and-ready port town where he quickly learns a man is only as good as his fists. Though he's a city slicker who loves a game of chess and looks like an easy mark for the desperate men lurking in the shadows, Tom's also a trained boxer, lightning quick with his hands and afraid of no one. He heads west across Florida's wild frontier on the trail of the treasure, first on a riverboat to Palatka, then on a train to Ocala and Brooksville. His quick temper brings several brushes with death, including gator-filled swamps and a footrace with a stagecoach. There are villains aplenty: the wooden-legged Elijah Dicken, the slick but mysterious Mr. Satin, and the rough DeBell clan. But Bridger also finds friends in Cheese Joseph, Archie Hankins, and the lovely and feisty Miss Lily. And he finds much more than he bargained for on the deserted peninsula west of Tampa. Back in New York, his uncle Mike had trained young Tom in the art of boxing, and it all comes down to a match (London rules, i.e., no gloves) at the Point of Pines between young Tom Bridger and Bongo Jones, the Key West Slasher. The story opens with a spectacular shipwreck, and the ending tops that with the big fistfight, a riot, a death, and a surprise.Next in series > >See all of the books in this series. Seller Inventory # BTE9781561641741

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Book Description ROWMAN & LITTLEFIELD, United States, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised Edition. Language: English. Brand new Book. Cracker Westerns are rip-roarin, action-packed, can't-put-'em-down tales set in the frontier days of Florida. They are full of adventure, real heroes, and vivid, authentic details that bring Florida's history to life.Tom Bridger, the handsome, cocky son of a wealthy New York businessman, has come down in 1885 to find his long-lost uncle and a hidden treasure. When he arrives in Jacksonville, he finds a rough-and-ready port town where he quickly learns a man is only as good as his fists. Though he's a city slicker who loves a game of chess and looks like an easy mark for the desperate men lurking in the shadows, Tom's also a trained boxer, lightning quick with his hands and afraid of no one. He heads west across Florida's wild frontier on the trail of the treasure, first on a riverboat to Palatka, then on a train to Ocala and Brooksville. His quick temper brings several brushes with death, including gator-filled swamps and a footrace with a stagecoach. There are villains aplenty: the wooden-legged Elijah Dicken, the slick but mysterious Mr. Satin, and the rough DeBell clan. But Bridger also finds friends in Cheese Joseph, Archie Hankins, and the lovely and feisty Miss Lily. And he finds much more than he bargained for on the deserted peninsula west of Tampa. Back in New York, his uncle Mike had trained young Tom in the art of boxing, and it all comes down to a match (London rules, i.e., no gloves) at the Point of Pines between young Tom Bridger and Bongo Jones, the Key West Slasher. The story opens with a spectacular shipwreck, and the ending tops that with the big fistfight, a riot, a death, and a surprise.Next in series > >See all of the books in this series. Seller Inventory # AAC9781561641741

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Book Description Pineapple Press. Paperback. Condition: New. 256 pages. Dimensions: 6.8in. x 4.9in. x 0.7in.Tom Bridger has come to Florida in 1885 to find his long-lost uncle and a hidden treasure. He arrives in Jacksonville and heads west across Floridas wild frontier, his quick temper bringing several brushes with death, including gator-filled swamps and a footrace with a stagecoach. It all comes down to a boxing match between Young Tom Bridger and Bongo Jones, the Key West Slasher. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9781561641741

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