Faith Blum

A Mighty Fortress

Two teens, one outlaw, alone in the wilderness

Joshua and Ruth Brookings are traveling by stagecoach to finally join their parents in Montana. Attacked by murderous outlaws, the teens barely escape with their lives and must survive in the barren Wyoming and Montana territories and escape the man who’s hunting them.

Seven years ago, Jed Stuart ran away from home and joined Tom’s gang. Jed is tired of the lawlessness and wants out. The only problem? He is the boss’s right-hand man and will never be able to leave. And what’s one more stagecoach robbery, anyway?

Can Joshua lean on God’s strength to keep himself and his sister alive until they find a town?   Will Jed be able to face his anger or will it consume him completely? All three are running—the hunter and hunted. What will happen when they meet again?


Chapter 1

Robert ran out the back door of the house and into the barn. “Daddy, Uncle Joshua! There’s a letter from Grandpa and Grandma!” He stood in the doorway and pointed toward the house. “Mommy said it’s probably about their ranch.”

Joshua exchanged a glance with his older brother, Matthew. Could it really be true? Have Pa and Ma finally found their ranch? His parents had left him and his younger sister, Ruth, in Matthew’s care while they went West to find a ranch in the Wyoming or Montana Territories.

Joshua’s brown eyes danced as he jogged a few steps toward the house. He looked back toward the field and noticed that Matthew followed at a slower, almost reluctant, pace. Joshua came to an abrupt halt halfway between the barn and the house as he realized that Matthew had been resistant to their parents’ plan to move West ever since his pa had mentioned his dream of owning a horse or cattle ranch. Matthew loved having all his family around him. He had grown up with three sisters and one brother and had always been around his family, even after he had married Leslie. Even now, two of their sisters were married but still lived nearby, and Matthew visited with them often. Joshua decided to tamp down his excitement so he wouldn’t rile Matthew too much. At least he would try.

Unlike Matthew, Joshua had been in complete agreement with his pa. Going out West had always been a dream of Joshua’s almost as much as his pa’s. Joshua’s feet nearly jumped onto the porch steps as he hurried into the house. He glanced back again for a quick look at Matthew and noticed that Matthew was still following, very slowly.

Joshua rushed through the door and saw his nephew and niece hovering excitedly around their mother. With a quick glance he noticed Ruth quietly scrubbing the rest of the flour off the table, her brown hair still neatly in a bun. The smell of fresh bread dough still hung in the air, tempting Joshua’s already empty stomach.

Matthew’s wife, Leslie, looked up as Matthew walked through the door, his wide shoulders brushing the edges of the doorframe. She smiled as he nodded at her to read the letter.

Leslie’s voice was sweet and clear as she read.


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