“In this life, you choose to do right, or you choose different.”

Enjoy this excerpt from D.W. Ulsterman’s upcoming novel, THE IRISH COWBOY 

































The sheriff now stood no more than ten feet from the rancher.  Hap looked tired, disheveled, his unshaved face speckled with hard, grey stubble. The walk down the long drive had clearly taken a toll as the rancher’s breath whistled roughly between pursed lips, his body, especially the lame foot, aching from the effort.


“Mr. Wilkes, these people are just doing a job.  How about you and me wait inside your house, let them get to it, and then it’ll all be over.”


The rancher dipped his head slightly to the right, his hard, sun dried stare peeking out from just under the brim of his ancient cowboy hat.


“I thought I made it clear to you yesterday sheriff.  I said to tell these Feds they’re not to come on my land.  That seems clear enough to me, so why are they here? You taking their side in this?  Is that what’s going on?”


A warning siren sounded within the sheriff’s mind as he realized how close Hap’s rage was to turning deadly.


“No, I’m not Mr. Wilkes.  I’m doing a job here too, same as them.”


The rancher sneered back at the younger man who stood before him.


“Don’t go hiding behind that badge Dillon Potts. In this life, you choose to do what is right, or you choose to do different.  So stop talking, and make your choice – choose which side of this line you’re to be standing on, and then get the hell out of my way.”


The sheriff’s right hand instinctively moved toward his side arm while he continued to hold Hap’s stare.


“You know it’s more complicated than that Mr. Wilkes. I have an obligation to follow the law, and the law says these Feds have a right to do a site check of your property to determine if there’s an endangered species on it.  Just let them do their job, and then it’ll be over.”


Hap Wilkes’ eyes glanced down at the sheriff’s creeping right hand.


“You really think that Sheriff?  That after today, this will be over?  No, you lied to me right then, and you know it.  The Feds, they’ll keep coming and coming, taking and taking, it’s what they do.  It’s what they always do, and I’ve had it.  No more. Not this time.  If they want to take from me, well, this time they are gonna have to really take it, ‘cause I ain’t just gonna give it to them.  They want to mess with that herd of horses, who I know been living just fine with all those little lizards out there, then they’re gonna have to mess with me first.  Now you look at me Sheriff, you look real good, and know I’m not just talking here.  I’ll take this thing all the way, you understand me?”


The rancher moved himself toward Sheriff Potts until his face was no more than a couple feet from the sheriff’s, Hap’s words hissing from between clenched teeth.


“Look at me Dillon Potts, and know I am serious business right now.  Take those Feds away from my home, or there’s gonna be blood spilled.  There’s nothing left for me to lose in this life but my pride, and my pride won’t allow me to watch these people trample over my land, and harm those horses.”




He gave his word, refused to break a vow, and lost his one chance at true love.

Now they’ve come for his land.

Hap Wilkes is a man facing a painful past, an increasingly uncertain future, and is now fighting with everything left in a broken and failing body, to keep the one thing still left to him – his pride. 

The Irish Cowboy is a story of loss, secrets, redemption, and the always present human yearning for love and forgiveness, and marks the most personal novel to date for bestselling author D.W. Ulsterman.