Captain Courageous first chapter!

Here’s a taste of what’s going to happen in book two of the Marla Mesconti Mysteries! If you haven’t bought the first one (Ritzforg 127) don’t miss out! They are available on,, and many other fine e-version web sites. You can buy the paperback right here:

Here ya go!

Chapter 1


“Whoa…whoa…WHOA!” Officer Daniels cried out as he desperately tried to control 2000 pounds of pissed-off Percheron. Already de-seated and slipping off the side, the officer flailed at the reins and grips of the saddle just before the prancing black gelding did an electric slide to the right and dumped him on his backside. The horse gleefully trotted off to a patch of grass in the middle of Military Park and nibbled while giving the un-mounted police officer the evil eye.

          Officer Pete Daniels lay out on the grass like a bum on a three-day drunk, a stark contrast to his usual six-foot-one, tall, dark, and handsome visage. He rolled slowly to his side and stared over at the black menace he’d been trying to ride.

          “You miserable prick,” he seethed.

His partner Jake Colby rode up to his fallen buddy and climbed down off his own Percheron gelding, Maximillian.

          “Are you OK?” he enquired.

          Pete groaned as he rolled onto his back again, “Ugghh….no, not really. I think I hurt my hip. What do you suppose is wrong with that bonehead?”

          Jake stared at the black beast as if expecting the answer to come straight from the horse’s mouth.

          “I don’t know, Pete. I think we got taken on this guy. He’s nowhere near as quiet as the guy said he was. What got him going? I was standing over at the sidewalk with the group of girls and didn’t see what happened.”

          “The truck went by with the landscape trailer on it and hit a pot hole. That big metallic clunk you heard? I think that’s what he doesn’t like because he came right off the ground and started bucking. I wasn’t really paying attention enough and he came right out from under me,” Pete replied.

Jake approached Duke slowly and gathered the reins. “Can you walk?” he tossed over his shoulder at Pete.

Pete rolled to his knees and crab-walked his way up to his feet. He couldn’t put weight on it so there was no way for him to ride back to the police stables more than a mile away.

“I don’t think I can get back on him. My hip really hurts,” Pete replied while checking out all the body parts to see what was missing.

“Stay over there on that bench. I’ll lead him back and call for a cruiser to pick you up and get you to the hospital. Will you be OK, or do you want me to call for an ambulance?”  

“NO! No ambulance ride for me, just call for back up and I’ll ride in with the Unit 12, they aren’t that far from here. I landed on my damn radio when I fell,” Pete dangled what was left of his microphone for the portable radio.

Jake smiled a little out of the corner of his mouth, “Nice job, numb nuts, you couldn’t just land on your feet. Not just breaking the radio but probably broke your ass, too. Take it easy and Unit 12 will be along in a minute. I’ll get Duke back to the stable. I’ll take care of putting him up too, you owe me!”

Pete just groaned and hobbled toward the park bench at the edge of Military Park, a beautiful green oasis in the middle of one of New Hampshire’s biggest city. As he made his way out of the park he couldn’t help but wonder what he was doing wrong with this horse. Why does he always bolt when he hears a loud noise? Not just any noise, but it seemed like certain noises. The Manchester Police Department purchased the horse a month ago and Duke was painted as the perfect candidate for crowd control. Pete couldn’t imagine what would happen if Duke bolted in the middle of a parade crowd. He shuddered at the visual.

Unit 12’s black and white sedan rolled into view and stopped in front of the bench. The driver rolled the window down and said, “You need help, Granny, or can you get in the car by yourself?”

Pete just shook his head as he creaked up slowly off the bench. No sympathy from these guys. It was well known that most of the police crew thought the mounted unit was all rainbows and chocolates.

Meanwhile, Jake rode back to the stables at a brisk walk with Duke in tow. His own horse, Max for short, was a tried-and-true veteran of riding the city streets, schmoozing with people, being a goodwill ambassador to thousands of school kids, and a formidable presence during crowd control situations. Max seemed to resent Duke tagging along at his hip and occasionally did a “look back” to make sure Duke stayed where he was.

Jake hooked the two horses to separate cross ties and began the un-tacking process. Each horse had bridle and saddle removed then, vigorously rubbed down with a curry comb. Once the post-ride massage was finished, each horse was wiped down with a fluffy towel and then turned out into a pasture for the rest of the day. Jake locked the gate behind him after he turned out both horses and stopped to watch them roll in the dirt. He also wondered what was wrong with the horse and why he was such a miserable brat. Finding no answers, he got into his car and headed for the hospital to check on his best friend and PD partner.


What will happen when Marla Mesconti mixes it up? Find out soon! Captain Courageous will be in print very soon!


About hossjudge

Author - mystery novels that include horses with the 4th in the series going Audible! Tack shop owner 40+ years of judging pleasure shows Clinician, coach, 4-H leader for 43 years. All around horse nut!
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2 Responses to Captain Courageous first chapter!

  1. Eileen Clifford says:

    Looks good!!

  2. Christine Downes says:

    I can relate to 2000 lbs of horse flesh doing the Irish Jig under you !!

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