The Drop Edge of Yonder starts out with a page from Mary's diary.Pages from her diary are dispersed throughout the book and is important to how the story unwinds.
It was a hot August evening in the year 1914, just outside of the small town of Boynton, Oklahoma. Widower, Calvin Ross lived on a farm near Alafair and Shaw Tucker and their ten children. Mr. Ross' widowed sister came to be housekeeper and take care of Ross' three pretty daughters. The girls were growing much too fast to suit him, especially when fellows came around to see them. But when his eldest daughter, Laura told him that she was in love with Bill McBride, he was pleased. Bill is the young step-brother of Shaw Tucker and the son of Peter McBride, one of the more influential clans of Muskogee County, Oklahoma.
When Bill came calling on Laura to go horse back riding, bringing his twenty-one-year-old niece, Mary Tucker and Mary's fifteen-year-old sister, Ruth along to chaperon the betrothed couple, Ross gladly gave his permission. Little did any of them know the events that would change their lives forever.
The little group rode unhurriedly, enjoying the dusky evening, the sisters riding a little ahead and behind to give the couple a little privacy, when Ruth spotted a swarm of bees heading for an old oak tree. Encouraged by the promise of honey and the with urging of his nieces and Laura, Bill climbed the tree to retrieve the hive. The outing is disturbed by gunfire. At first it was thought to be a stray bullet from a careless hunter, but soon more bullets hailed down upon them. Laura was trying to calm her horse when Bill yelped and dropped from the tree. Bill tried to stand, but fell to his knees. He yelled to the girls to get on their horses and ride "like the devil".
More bullets pinged around them, one hit Laura's horse and it reared and through her to the ground. a fourth shot went into the ground at Bill's feet. He yelled, "Ride, you girls, ride. Get help." Mary started toward her uncle, but he waved her off. She assessed the situation and asked Bill if he could get to his horse. She never heard the answer. She heard the crack, felt hot pain over her left ear, then everything went dark.
This is a heart wrenching story that will grip you from the first page to the end. I think this is the first story that had me crying before the first chapter started good.
Donis Casey proves once again to be a master story teller.