Memories of a Weather-bitten Mountain Man

The first impression that Coker Owen Ford had of Trissy Renn was a pair of big, blue eyes that stared at him without flinching. That intense gaze of Trissy is to stay etched in his memory for the rest of his life. When Trissy followed him to his mule, asked for his name, and told him straight to his face, “Well, Coker Owen Ford, I’m a goin’ to marry you”, he knew right there and then that he was lost. The heart of the hard, weather-bitten mountain man had melted and turned to butter in the blink of an eye.

When Coker went back for Trissy in her aunt’s Denver home, rode off with her, and brought her to Misty Valley, he had no inkling that it would be the start of a complicated future for him, Trissy, and Bonnie, the daughter that he had with Trissy. Life at Misty Valley with her, though, was filled with happy moments. It became even more fulfilling when they had Bonnie. The wheel of life turned when Trissy died while Bonnie was still eight years old. It crushed him under it when Trissy’s aunt took Bonnie away from him.

The logical cowhand, Randy Stevens, whom Coker met on his way to Oklahoma and whom he took under his wing, would never have believed that any sane person would even attempt to trample Coker. His father had regaled him with tales of Coker and his partner, Rufe’s, feats of derring-do. One involved Coker and Rufe’s conquest of ten men who had stolen their horses. They were said to have followed them to a bar and beat them to an inch of their lives. Then there was another incident in Poudre Canyon where Coker and Rufe were reputed to have fought fifty men who wanted to take the gold dust they had panned. Legend has it that they killed them all. To Randy’s mind, it is very clear that Coker is a badass man.              

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