Captain Sean Mulkerin comes home from the sea to find his family’s Malibu ranch in jeopardy. The death of Sean’s father has pushed his mother to the edge of financial ruin, and now it’s up to Sean to find a way out. The rumor is that the elder Mulkerin found gold in the wild and haunted California hills, but the only clue to its whereabouts lies with an ancient, enigmatic Indian.
When Sean and his brother set forth to retrace their father’s footsteps, they know they are in search of a questionable treasure—with creditors, greedy neighbors, and ruthless gunmen watching every move they make. Before they reach their destination, the Mulkerins will test both the limits of their faith and the laws of nature as they seek salvation in a landscape where reality can blur like sand and sky in a desert mirage.
From the Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Californios|
|Release Date: 11-23-2004|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||The Californios|
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The ranch house on Malibu was a low-roofed adobe with a porch across the front from corner to corner. A door and two windows opened on the porch, both windows showing evidence of being enlarged at some time in the past.
The two large ollas that hung from the porch beams contained water kept cool by wind and shade. A gourd dipper was next to them.
To the left of the house, about a hundred and fifty feet away, was a pole corral. Near the corral there was a long watering trough made of rough planks and a lean-to stable.
Shading part of the dooryard was a valley syca-more, a huge old tree with mottled bark, and nearby stood several cottonwoods and another sycamore. Behind the house were several pin oaks. Cottonwoods grew near the door.
The hills around were brush-covered and scattered with huge boulders or sandstone outcroppings. From the porch there was a good view down the winding trail and a glimpse of the blue sea beyond.
Eileen Mulkerin came to the door. The mother of two grown sons, she looked young enough to be their sister, a strikingly beautiful woman, as Irish as her name. "Are they coming, Michael?"
"They'll not be long, you can be sure of that. It's the day Zeke Wooston has been waiting for ever since your father gave him that whipping for beating his horse."
"He's shrewd . . . and dangerous."
"He is that. It was the Valdez note that surprised me. When he bought it I knew we were in trouble," she said.
"You must not blame Valdez. He did not know Wooston as we know him, and times are hard. He needed the money."
"I do no