Ken kills to save a friend and flees north. Ramos a powerful man puts a bounty on Ken and sends men in pursuit. Ken comes upon Janos a village of polygamous Americans. Ramos has raided Janos for blonde women. The settler’s last hope against Ramos is Larraway’s skill with a pistol, if he will fight the most skilled gunfighter in Mexico.
With a long list of stirring novels, F. M. Parker has won acclaim as a spellbinder. The Slavers has received high praise from Booklist and Publisher’s Weekly.
The time is 1877 and young Ken Larrway has come from Los Angeles to Mexico City to study under the famous dueling master, Louis Calleja. Ken is forced to turn from student to slayer while trying to save Calleja from death in a duel with the son of Ramos Zaldivar the powerful military chieftain, and the most skilled pistolero in all Mexico. Ken flees toward Texas.
Zaldivar in a blood-rage, puts a huge bounty on Ken’s head and sends a killing crew from his army after him. Ken races through the rugged deserts and mountains, fighting, killing when he is cornered.
Ken comes upon the town of Janos settled by Mormons in a secluded valley. He finds the older men with many wives and the young men with none. Blackseter, the bishop of the village has fifteen wives. Marjo, his beautiful youngest wife, begs Ken to take her to Los Angeles with him. And the even more beautiful Johanna falls in love with Ken.
Zaldivar knows of Janos and has raided it to feed his appetite for young, fair skinned, blond headed women as slaves to his desire. The settler’s last hope against Zaldivar’s rapacious reach is Ken’s skill with a pistol. They hope to bribe Ken to accept the task of fighting Zaldivar, the most feared gunfighter in the land, by giving him the most beautiful girl in Janos.
Set against a background of Mexico on the brink of civil war and revealing a little-known chapter of history in the Mormon colony of Janos, The Slavers combines non-stop action and suspense into a thrilling reading experience.
Janos truly existed--for a few short years. (1863 to 1880)
The first United States law prohibiting polygamy was passed in 1862. Men with several wives began to migrate south to settle in northern Mexico. A tougher law was passed in 1887. The number of Mormons fleeing to Mexico grew, making twenty settlements there.
The bloodiest of Mexican revolutions began in 1910. Battles were fought almost everywhere. Many marauding bands sprang into being. The Mormon settlements were prime targets for the bands. They invaded the towns and raped the women, forcing “favors” as they called it. A rapid exodus of the polygamists began, streaming north to settle in secluded valleys in the desert southwest of the United States.
To Ken, the actions of his enemies seemed to abruptly slow, their bodies moving lazily. The room seemed completely silent, as if he had become deaf. Still his eyes saw everything, the faces of the men wanting to kill him and the muzzles of their revolvers rising to point.
His hand, without a conscious command from his mind, cocked, aimed, and fired, and fired again. The soldiers shuddered under the impact of the bullets hitting them. They fell, scythed away by death. And then nobody was standing in front of Ken.
“Madre de Dios,” exclaimed Ortiz. “I draw and shoot before you, and still you kill three to my two.”
Ken said nothing. A terrible worry chilled him. Why had he lost his sense of hearing during the fight, and why had the pistol seemed to have a life of its own - to kill and kill? Worst of all, he had felt nothing, as if he had been a mere bystander at the battle.
Ortiz slapped Ken on the shoulder. “Bueno, bueno! Oh what a thing that was to see. Now my head and yours won’t be pickled in salt.”
“Ortiz has a 500 pesos reward on his head and 10,000 on the gringo’s.” Hurtado told to his squad of soldiers. “I say we take both their heads to Zaldivar.”
A hoarse whisper from the bandit Ortiz reached Ken. ”I think we’re going to die. But let’s not be the first. Help me shoot some of Zaldivar’s men. Shoot them! Now!”
The room exploded with the crash of the bandit’s six-gun. The man nearest him backed up a step at the punch of the bullet. His bones melted and he fell.
Ken was startled by Ortiz’s sudden action. Then the four soldiers were grabbing for their pistols. Ken’s hand flashed up with his revolver. His first shot struck Hurtado, collapsing him with a thud to the floor.