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U.S. Marshal Shorty Thompson had his hand on the back Melanie Bishop’s head, shoving her low in the reeds growing along the banks of the San Juan River. He had jerked and pulled her from the slow moving train four miles northeast of the town of Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

Twelve gunmen had boarded the train looking for Melanie. She was the last of five witnesses they must kill to keep their very rich boss from being strung up by the neck. Five people had witnessed the murder of Sheriff Grimes and the town judge, Marcum Ames and several more men.

Del Norte, Colorado was the supply center for hundreds of mines in the San Juan Mountains. Blatant killers with orders from their boss, when a small mine order came in fill that order then follow the wagons, or pack donkeys to that mine killing the owner and every miner.

Sheriff Grimes had somehow found out and went to Judge Ames. After laying everything out, they sent for U.S. Marshals. The telegraph operator was on Mandel Blackmon’s payroll and never sent the wire, but gave names getting four of the five witnesses killed. Melanie’s father, on the sly got her out of town after the other witnesses started coming up dead.

Months later Shorty had gone to Durango to bring Melanie back as a witness for trial, but that operator had gotten word to Blackmon’s men. They had worked up a plan and jumped the train, now Shorty and Melanie were in hiding, miles and miles from Del Norte








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