Short Novel Author: Gerald Brence
Screenwriters: Erik H. Bernard & Lyndon Tait
Logline: A disgraced Texas ranger pursues a ruthless outlaw during the 1850s California Gold Rush in a battle that could define the future of the West.
“If your Ox falls into the culvert on the Sabbath, you’ve got to push him out!” Luke 14:5
Set in the rich, dangerous, and unknown past of the California Gold Rush, this story follows a series of characters on a collision course to San Francisco. The outcome will define the future of justice and salvation in the West.
This story begins with James Marshall’s historic discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill. The shiny metal’s bright luster presents the perfect opportunity for lawlessness to gain a foothold during America’s great expansion west.
At the same time on the other side of the Pacific, cold-blooded murderer Cyrus Welch takes voyage with a ship of exiled prisoners—the first of hundreds of vessels to drop off Australia’s undesirables to the ports of San Francisco. Once in San Francisco, these convicts take over a small section of the city, creating crime-infested “Aussie Town.”
Meanwhile, across the West, 100 miles outside of Austin, Texas ranger Captain Ray Andrews leads a squad of experienced Texas rangers into a deadly ambush. The mastermind of this ambush is the lethal Mexican-Comanche half-breed Sores Aguilar, or “Empty Heart.” The deadly encounter ends with disgrace and forced retirement for Ray Andrews and thousands of dollars worth of gold for Empty Heart.
Ray Andrews’ future receives some much-needed clarity when he runs across a preacher and his daughter who are on their way to San Francisco. The preacher has a plan to take on the viciousness of Aussie Town armed with the Holy Bible. He plans to build the city’s only church to quell the violence and offer the promise of salvation.
Ray Andrews must pave the way through rugged terrain, hostile Indians, gangs of robbers, and the infamous Empty Heart to regain his honor and give this brave preacher a fighting chance.