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In the latter days of the Civil War, the lifeline of the South was made up of wagon trains loaded with cotton bound for the neutral ports of Mexico to avoid the Union blockade. This cotton, traded for gold or hard foreign currency, fueled the hungry looms of Europe, kept the Confederacy solvent, and enriched the diligent merchants of Matamoros, known as...
In the latter days of the Civil War, the lifeline of the South was made up of wagon trains loaded with cotton bound for the neutral ports of Mexico to avoid the Union blockade. This cotton, traded for gold or hard foreign currency, fueled the hungry looms of Europe, kept the Confederacy solvent, and enriched the diligent merchants of Matamoros, known as the "Baghdad on the Gulf." These merchants were Mexicans, Rebels, Yankees and Europeans, all drawn there by the promise of easy, bountiful, and devious profits. Mexican outlaws attack and decimate one of the wagon trains, leaving the responsibility for delivering the gold to Confederate headquarters to three enlisted men. The war ends before they accomplish their mission, and the gold they hide becomes a magnet attracting dangerous men from all sides. They take refuge in la brasada, a crescent of brushland wilderness between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande. It is here that Lance Morgan is determined to build an empire of land and cattle, fighting off thieves, killers, and crooked officials. George Gibson is a fellow trooper, a Tennessee backwoodsman who is normally content to follow Lance's lead but can have a hard head of his own when it involves right and wrong. Santiago, a vicious bandit chief, becomes a powerful force in the region. He has sworn eternal hatred for Lance and his family. Mike, the former Morgan family slave, adjusts to life as a free man, learning to make his own decisions and teaching Lance that loyalty can be freely given but never forced. Arabela, beautiful and talented owner of a Mexican cantina, gives Lance his first taste of tender and passionate love. Scotty MacDuff, a Scottish immigrant who fought at San Jacinto, offers Lance and his friends a refuge when it is a matter of life and death. Erin MacDuff is Scotty's wife. She is a woman of culture and refinement with a backbone of steel who finds her pacifist sentiments sorely tested by the events of place and time. Colleen MacDuff is the pretty and vivacious daughter, having her own goals and priorities. Bain MacDuff is Colleen's brother who longs for adventure and a chance to serve his country whether in army uniform or behind a badge. Stir them all together in a hard and unforgiving land and they become the windstorm of action that sweeps across the BRASADA.
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