"Mountain Wild"
A Historical Romance
By Judith Bronte

Table of Contents and Feedback from Readers eReader Wallpaper Mountain Wild's PDF

Plot Summary

Josiah Brown is a half-breed Blackfoot mountain man, trapping the Rocky Mountain streams for beaver and fur. In the process of saving the daughter of an immigrant from raiding Blackfoot Indians, Josiah decides to take the white woman as his wife. Hardened by the wilderness and his own past, the trapper wrestles against change and the gentle ways of a woman who threatens to tame his heart.

Through circumstances beyond her control, Emma Perkins suddenly finds herself the wife of a wild and leathery mountain man. His rough and tumble temperament go against her upbringing, and Emma struggles to keep her faith and survive in a land where the animals, and the people, are mountain wild.
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Introduction

In the year "Mountain Wild" begins, the American frontier was still in its infancy. The exploits of Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett were fresh in the hearts and minds of Americans, for their legends were still relatively new. These famous frontiersmen led the way for a nation expanding ever westward, and those who followed in their footsteps were eager to prove themselves equal to the challenge.

A certain breed of men picked up where America's early frontiersmen left off. They were the mountain men. Rocky Mountain trappers hunted the streams in search of beaver, and explored lands that had never before seen white men.

From about 1824 to 1840, mountain men hired by fur companies formed brigades that trekked deep into the wilderness in pursuit of pelts. The furs they caught were later shipped back to "polite society" and turned into hats and all manner of goods.

The few who did not work for fur companies were called free trappers. These mountain men answered to none but themselves, and like their company counterparts, often became as wild and untamed as the Rocky Mountain wilderness in which they lived and died.

This story begins with a free trapper.


Chapter One
Into the Wild

1836, near Jackson Hole, in what would later become the State of Wyoming.

"He will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him."
~ Genesis 16:12 ~

The day was looking to be a bust, even though beaver signs were evident along the banks of the stream. Beaver were getting scarce in most places, but Josiah Brown knew this small area of the stream was not well-known to trappers, and still had beaver to be found. Even so, this knowledge would do him little good, if he couldn't catch his elusive quarry.

Josiah sighed as the last of his traps came up empty. "They ain't coming to medicine," he muttered dully. Josiah's bait usually proved successful, but today the furry animals were staying away, and it only added to the trapper's consternation. Nothing seemed to be going right, and by the way things were transpiring, the rest of his day would probably be filled with the same bad luck.

The surface of the water broke nearby and Josiah's eye caught sight of a brown animal quickly diving back to the underwater entrance of its lodge.

"I'll git you yet," he promised the beaver, as he waded out of the water and headed for his pants. Pulling on the last of his buckskins, the unexpected sound of a gunshot cracked through the air, jerking Josiah's head up in attention. Instinctively, he grabbed his Hawken rifle, and scanned the line of timber on both sides of the stream.

Josiah frowned. The wildlife had gone quiet, and he had been too busy with the beaver to even notice it until now. It was dangerous for a man to be caught off guard, and Josiah silently scolded himself for being taken by surprise. The gunshot had been nearby, and the sound of it carried easily against the Rocky Mountains flanking him on either side. Lightly tensing his muscles in readiness, Josiah placed his rifle in the crook of his arm and gathered the last of his gear. Even though he was expecting his companions any day now, until Josiah knew who had fired the shot, he would not rest easy.

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