This is my Lone Star Ranger novel, continuing the saga of Nate Stewart as he grows from an insecure boy of fourteen to a confident, capable, valued member of the Texas Rangers.
From my own perspective, this is my favorite story of Nate's adventures yet. For the first time, not only is he separated from the company of Rangers commanded by Captain Dave Quincy, he also has to take command of a Range patrol when he and his partners are pinned down by renegade Mescalero Apaches. Will Nate be able to take charge, and if so, how will he think through the situation, and save himself and his comrades?. What happens makes compelling reading for young and old, as the still a boy Nate fights inner struggles with the Nate on the cusp of full-grown manhood.
With renegade Apaches and deadly gangs of outlaws running rampant in the Texas badlands, Texas Ranger Captain Quincy has no choice but to divide his band of Rangers and take on some new recruits. This mission is the most dangerous yet for Nate Stewart, who, at fifteen, is the youngest Ranger in the company. Now serving under Lieutenant Jeb Rollins, Nate and his best friend, Hoot Harrison, must face the fact that this may very well be their last mission—ever. The odds are stacked against them from the outset, with prairie fires, roaming bands of dangerous desperadoes, and the harsh conditions of the land they’re traveling. Pinned down by a party of Mescalero Apaches, it falls to Nate to lead—will he be up to the task? Getting himself and his fellow Rangers out alive is a job for A RANGER GROWN…
It was about four o’clock the next afternoon when Jeb ordered his Rangers to stop for a moment, on one of the low hills to the northwest of the capital city.
“There she is down below, for you boys who haven’t seen her before… Austin,” he said. “The heart of Texas.”
“Well, what d’ya think, pard?” Hoot asked Nate. “Ain’t Austin just about the biggest town you’ve ever seen in your whole life?”
“Well, I hate to disappoint you, Hoot, but everythin’ ain’t bigger in Texas, despite what you might think,” Nate answered. “I’ll grant you Austin’s the biggest town I’ve seen since I got to Texas, but it’s nowhere near as big as Wilmington. And Wilmington ain’t nowhere near as big as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I’ve never been to New York City, but I understand that’s bigger’n any of ’em. I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but Austin’s probably not even in the top twenty or thirty. Mebbe not even in the top hundred.”
“You’re tellin’ whoppers again, Nate, ya idjit,” Hoot objected, using his favorite nickname for his friend. “There can’t be any towns hardly much bigger than Austin.”
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