AMBUSH

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In the fall of 1861, 18-year-old Pony Express rider Jedidiah Burns saddles up and leaves the Maverick Springs Station headed east toward the Butte Station twelve miles away. Though he does not know it, his mochila contains $20,000 in Comstock Silver Mine bearer bonds and $5000 in Pony Express stamps.

Outlaw Jesse Nedlander and his gang, aware of Jed’s cargo, ambush him at the Butte Mountains pass. With a bullet in his chest, Jed rides a mile before he stops his horse, takes his mochila and canteen, and hurries into a narrow gulch to stop the blood pumping from his wound. When he is found nearly dead two days later, he does not have his mochila.

103-year-old Virgil Burns, Jed’s great grandson, tells Jed’s story to a dozen men including Dan Ballantine’s senior friend, Horatio, and a younger visitor, Sonny Lemley. Soon Horatio calls Dan and suggests they take their dual-purpose motorcycles to a lonely part of the Nevada desert to ride the Pony Express Trail and search for Jed’s mochila.

Sonny, a week out of Nevada state prison after serving four years for burglary, steals a motorhome and collects his former cellmate, Norman Badham, who recently completed a 15-year sentence for second degree murder. They kidnap a young woman for cooking and sex duties and take her with them to Butte Valley near the Pony Express trail.

Careless target shooting results in a confrontation between the motorcyclists and the ex-convicts during which the young woman secretly sends Dan a signal for help. Unable to contact law enforcement and fearing for the woman’s safety, Horatio and Dan plan a rescue which puts everyone’s life in jeopardy.

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