They were were strange bedfellows: Mississippi riverboat captain
Luke Williamson had commanded a Yankee gunboat; Masey Baldridge was
a wounded Confederate soldier with a taste for whiskey and a
hair-trigger temper. Thrown together by the rapidly shifting tides
of the Reconstruction, the two men were beginning to trust each
other. Soon they would have to. Baldridge had hoped to be hired as
a Pinkerton operative; instead, he was asked to guide two other
Pinkertons into the hidden backwaters along the Mississippi in
search of a gang of robbers. He wasn't even told what had been
stolen. But a job was a job. Williamson's job was to prepare his
new steam packet, the Edward Smythe, for her maiden voyage. Things
were still unsettled along the Mississippi in 1873, and the news of
another riverboat captain's murder, while unsettling, wasn't
particularly newsworthy. Discovering who was going to be traveling
with them, however, was another matter.
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