CAST out of her husband’s home at the age of 17 and labelled a witch, Ada Magnusson is a wanted woman with a bounty on her head.
Her crime? Failing to conceive in her first year of marriage. In 1894 in Fairchild, Wyoming, baby-making is a young bride’s primary role.
Ada should by all accounts be good breeding stock. Her own mother has four healthy offspring and as the respected local midwife assists at all of Fairchild’s births.
Ada hasn’t been similarly blessed, however, and her in-laws’ patience has expired.
Even though Ada knows enough about infertility to be confident that it’s not witchcraft that’s cursed her, there’s nothing she can do or say to defend herself.
No amount of arguing her innocence will save her if Sheriff Branch can track her down – because not only is Ada barren but now it seems she has cost four of her neighbours their unborn children as well. According to the Fairchild elders it’s Ada’s sorcery that has caused a recent string of miscarriages, not the plague of German measles that has swept through the district.
If she’s caught, in all likelihood she’ll be hanged.
Assuming she manages to flee Fairchild she might find safe haven – for a while, at least – with the sisters at a convent that’s known to shelter exiled women.
Long term, though, Ada’s only hope of surviving lies in making her way deep into the mountains and linking up with a band of desperados beyond the reach of the law: the infamous Hole in the Wall Gang, led by a mythical being referred to as ‘the Kid’.
In order to reach the stronghold at Hole in the Wall, Ada must buy passage with a trader willing to smuggle her in the back of his wagon. It’s risky: perhaps he will turn her in instead and collect his reward.