Cold Glory

Cold Glory

4.6 9
by B. Kent Anderson
     
 

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Cold Glory is the exciting start to a brand-new thriller series by B. Kent Anderson.

When the first page of a shocking Civil War-era document is unearthed in Oklahoma, history professor Nick Journey is called in to evaluate the find--and is promptly attacked by two men armed with Special Forces weapons.

Federal agent Meg Tolman's investigation

Overview

Cold Glory is the exciting start to a brand-new thriller series by B. Kent Anderson.

When the first page of a shocking Civil War-era document is unearthed in Oklahoma, history professor Nick Journey is called in to evaluate the find--and is promptly attacked by two men armed with Special Forces weapons.

Federal agent Meg Tolman's investigation into Journey's attack uncovers more troubling questions than answers. She soon finds herself joining Journey's cross-country quest to recover and protect the missing pages.

A shadowy group, the Glory Warriors, have been desperately searching for this explosive document to legitimize what is nothing less than a military coup. After their first attempt to steal it from Journey fails, they follow him, knowing that he holds the key to uncovering the long-lost papers.

They also set their plan into motion and begin assassinating key political figures. As the country plunges into chaos, Journey and Tolman search frantically for the remaining pages. And the Glory Warrior operatives are hot on their trail….

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Civil War buffs have often wondered what Lee and Grant said and did in the few minutes they spent alone at Appomattox Court House before the surrender ceremony. According to Anderson, in this clever first in a new series, the two commanders signed documents that authorized the use of a secret fighting force, the Glory Warriors, who are prepared to take over the U.S. government, if needed, after the war. The Glory Warriors, who’ve continued in the shadows ever since, are ready in the present to seize control of what they see as an enfeebled and inept government. History professor Nick Journey becomes involved after a large cache of Civil War weapons, plus a curious document, are discovered in Oklahoma. In Washington, D.C., government researcher Meg Tolman looks into the case after Nick is attacked. The two are soon chasing down clues and codes that lead them to the conspirators. Anderson’s original if unlikely premise should appeal to fans of historical conspiracy thrillers. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

“This clever first in a new series…should appeal to fans of historical conspiracythrillers.” —Publishers Weekly

“In a tale rife with intrigue and suspicion, this debut novel from Anderson has something for conspiracy theorists, history buffs, Civil War aficionados, and mystery readers alike, and is a fast-paced page-turner down to the final twist.” —Suspense Magazine

Cold Glory kept me engaged, actually totally absorbed, from page one. Nicely drawn characters with real personal issues, a truckload of action, a goodly number of surprises, and a satisfying ending that made you hope that all things in real life could work out this well.” —David Hagberg, New York Times bestselling author of The Cabal

“A genuinely unique take on the tectonic and dangerous forces that lie beneath the American landscape, written by a man in full command of the page. Never vulgar, always poised, often intellectually and historically surprising, Cold Glory is a deeply satisfying read.” —David Stone, New York Times bestselling author of The Echelon Vendetta

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429985581
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
10/11/2011
Series:
Nick Journey and Meg Tolman , #1
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
376,148
File size:
1 MB

Read an Excerpt

Cold Glory


By B. Kent Anderson

Tom Doherty Associates

Copyright © 2011 B. Kent Anderson
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-8558-1


CHAPTER 1

Present Day


They first found out about the discovery at the same time and in the same manner as the rest of the world — via television. The Judge was watching one of his own networks, Heritage News Channel, in the middle of the afternoon, when the cable network inserted one of its fluff "feature stories." It was something the Judge might have missed, as he usually ignored such nonsense. Then again, even if he had missed it the first time, he was certain he would have been informed in fairly short order. One of the others would have picked up the significance and relayed it to him.

The graphic at the bottom of the screen read HISTORICAL FIND IN OKLAHOMA. The video was of an earthmover breaking ground in an open field. The reporter, male and young, spoke in voice-over. "I'm Dan Manning at the Fort Washita Historical Site, between Madill and Durant in far southern Oklahoma. A huge cache of Civil War–era weapons was found buried here, as ground was being broken for a new museum dedicated to the 1840s-era frontier fort."

The Judge leaned across his huge walnut desk, eyes riveted to the plasma screen TV. The video shifted to a long table, on which were piled rusting long rifles, their wooden stocks weathered, barrels encrusted with nearly a century and a half of grit. "This is only a portion of the weapons found. The Oklahoma Historical Society, which owns Fort Washita and the property adjacent to it, has turned the artifacts over to historian Nick Journey at nearby South Central College of Oklahoma. He estimates more than five thousand rifles" — the reporter came down hard on the word thousand — "were buried here. And that doesn't take into account dozens of disassembled artillery weapons. Some still bear the insignia of Civil War regiments. Interestingly enough, the heavier weapons seem to have come from both Northern and Southern units, yet they were buried here together."

The Judge grabbed a pen and pad and began to write, his heart pounding. The video cut to a middle-aged white man whose dark reddish brown hair was shot through with gray. He was of average height, slightly thick around the middle, lined face and calm brown eyes, thoughtful demeanor. He was wearing a blue denim shirt. The graphic identified him as NICK JOURNEY, PH.D., CIVIL WAR HISTORIAN.

"We're just starting the process of analyzing the artifacts," Journey said into the microphone. "It'll take a while to sort it all out."

"Any theories?" the reporter asked.

The Judge held his breath. "No," Journey said. The historian dropped his eyes away from the camera. "No theories. Not yet."

The video ran to an exterior shot of the Fort Washita guardhouse as it overlooked a narrow two-lane highway, then back to another table, on which rested a rusting metal strongbox, the kind that had once been made to transport gold and other valuables. The camera zoomed in for a tight shot of a gold pin that rested beside the box. The reporter, blond and fair-skinned with the well-scrubbed but unremarkable looks that permeated TV news, stepped into the shot and picked up the pin. "Adding further to the intrigue, this metal box was found buried at one end of the pit that held the weapons. Professor Journey tells us some documents were also in the box, but they haven't been released to the public as of yet."

The shot returned to Nick Journey. "The Oklahoma Historical Society has granted me custody of all these materials, and I'll be working to determine just how they came to be here at Fort Washita."

"What can you tell us about the papers that were found in the box?"

"Nothing at this time. But the documents will be secure."

"What is the condition of the papers?"

"Very good, from what we can tell. The box is made of tin and coated with copper. Someone was very serious about preserving the contents of this box. Our document conservators at the college are working on the papers now, to make sure we are physically able to handle them. After that, I'll start analyzing them for content to see if we can figure out where they came from and who buried them here. Believe me these items aren't going to be very far away from me for the foreseeable future. We have very specific chain of custody procedures for historic artifacts."

"Do you think you'll get to the bottom of this?"

"That's my job, Dan."

The camera cut back to the reporter, who walked to the table and picked up the gold pin. "This little bit of jewelry has been cleaned up, and it appears to be made of solid gold." He turned it toward the camera and ran his fingers over the letters. "Who was G.W.? Perhaps when we know that, we'll know more about this very curious discovery at this off-the-beaten-path historical site. Historian Nick Journey will be trying to find out just what all of this means. For now, though, it's a bona fide historical mystery. I'm Dan Manning for HNC, in Bryan County, Oklahoma."

The piece ended and the anchors in Washington were back on screen. The Judge muted the TV's sound and sat back in his leather chair. He folded his hands together as if praying, then unfolded them several times. He swiveled in his chair, facing the picture window that looked across the green West Virginia hills. The Judge had come here years ago, settling in this state that had been born out of the Civil War. It was a symbol of his commitment to the cause. He had spent most of his life searching, looking for what a random construction project had just turned up in Oklahoma, of all places. Not the old weapons, of course. But the "documents" buried with them — he needed the documents.

He and the others had waited. The names and faces came and went. The old ones died off and young ones were carefully recruited. Thousands of them waited now, in secret bases across the country — they came from the military, the intelligence services, law enforcement, even from the business, technology, and academia sectors. All waited for their opportunity to move into action. For many of them, their trails were obscured, their lives reshaped, just as he had reshaped his own life. The media, even his own employees, liked to call him "reclusive." And he was, since he had turned the day-to-day operation of his companies over to subordinates, MBA types who knew nothing of his real purpose. To them, he was just a rich old man who had once been well known and was now content to sit back at his home in the hills and make his money. Newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations, cable networks, Internet portals ... he owned them all, but they were only the means for achieving his true life's work — work that was closer to reality today than it had ever been. The Judge turned back to his desk. He had scrawled Nick Journey, South Central College of Oklahoma on the legal pad. He picked up his phone, waited a moment, then said, "Have you heard?"

"Just now," said the man on the other end of the line. "Did you see it?"

"Yes," the Judge said. "What this man has found will fill in all the holes. It's the actual document. Did you see the pin?"

"Of course."

"Yes. We must have the document in our hands. Start working on the man, this college professor, Journey."

His mind shifting, racing, turning like an undammed river, the plans that had consumed him for so long — just as they had ruled the lives of his father and grandfather before him — began to come into focus. After hanging up the phone, the Judge unlocked his desk drawer and withdrew the ancient pages. He read the ornate writing, ran his hands across the words. Then he pulled out another page and felt the raised seal: two swords, crossed at their points, with USA and CSA on their respective hilts, a single silver star occupying the space between the two points, and below that, between the hilts of the swords, a bloodred American eagle. This was all they knew for so many years. Now the other pieces would fit together. Now they would be complete.

The Judge turned the lapel of his jacket inside out and touched the gold pin there, a round piece of jewelry with the letters G.W. engraved on it.

CHAPTER 2

On any given day, tired was the only word Nick Journey could think of to describe his life. One of his colleagues in South Central College of Oklahoma's Department of History was on sabbatical, so he'd had an extra undergraduate course added to his teaching load. His manuscript for a journal article had lain untouched since the spring semester ended, and his coauthor was constantly on his case about it. Then there was Andrew, whose needs were changing, seemingly by the day, and caring for a twelve-year-old with a profound disability was by definition a case study in exhaustion.

Then there was "the gun thing," as his students were calling it, and dealing with the aftermath of the Fort Washita discovery simply added another layer. Journey had little interest in the guns themselves, and having secured a couple of them for the tiny SCCO history museum, gave the rest of them back to the Oklahoma Historical Society. They'd sent three trucks from Oklahoma City to pick up the old ordnance. But Journey held on to the little strongbox and its contents.

So he put in his time as SCCO's resident celebrity. The college sat along the edge of Lake Texoma, the huge man-made lake that was fed by the Red River and divided Oklahoma from Texas. The town of Carpenter Center, with a year-round population of ten thousand, was equal parts lakeside resort and small college town, infused with the quintessential Oklahoma elements of Old West cattle culture, the oil industry, and Native American influence.

His office in Cullen Hall was cramped. With a decade on the faculty, he was a tenured associate professor, but office space at SCCO was notoriously tiny. The office was disorganized, the books and journals and student works piled around his laptop. The only adornment on the wall was his doctorate from the University of Virginia. A few pictures of Andrew fanned out on the desk. Physically, the boy was a carbon copy of his mother, with the pecan-colored hair and the gray-green eyes and high cheekbones. Andrew smiled in only one of the pictures, the one from when he was three years old, before his autism had become clear. In the others, his look ranged from frightened to completely vacant.

With his morning class over and no office hours scheduled today, Journey opened his window — the best thing about the office was that it looked out onto the tree-lined common — and unlocked his desk drawer.

He'd received the papers back from the document conservators, who had applied a humidification process to make the paper less brittle. Still, they'd encased the pages in a plastic sleeve for handling. Journey took out the sleeve and centered it on his laptop — it was the only place on the desk he could put it. He tapped a fingernail on the desk three times. It was a gesture that never failed to irritate students, colleagues, and his ex-wife — always the left index finger, always three times.

He looked at the thick, somewhat yellowed parchment, feeling the embossed seal of swords, star, and eagle through the plastic. The handwriting beneath the seal was flowing yet masculine. An educated man had written the words.


Whereas the late War Between the States has been ended, on this date and in this place; And whereas the conditions of the American continent in the conflict's aftermath bring to bear great uncertainty; And whereas Americans, both North and South, possess an interest in the general order and well-being of the continent; This clause is added to the terms ending the aforementioned conflict. As such, it possesses the power of treaty and the import of law, to supersede all others, in accordance with General Order No. 100, "Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field," Section I, Article 3.

This clause shall be enacted into law if three provisions of the American Federal Government are present. If the leaders of the three branches of Government are removed in short order from their offices — to wit, the Speaker of the Legislative Branch, the chief justice of the Judicial Branch, and the president of the Executive Branch — and if said removal is accomplished by conspiratorial means to destabilize the American Federal Government, this clause shall be activated, and will supersede all other areas of law and treaty until such time as the Government may once again become stabilized. This clause shall not be enacted unless all portions of this document may be authenticated, inclusive of our signatures following.


A long black line of ink stretched across the page, and at the bottom, in a slightly more hurried hand, was written: The Poet's Penn makes the waters fall and causes the strong to bend.

Journey had read the page at least fifty times by now, putting himself into the time when it was written. The Civil War era, Reconstruction, and the Gilded Age that followed were rife with conspiracies, most of which turned out to be nothing more than a fanatic or two planning here or there to do something to promote their cause.

Never, to Journey's knowledge, had there ever been a plot to remove the highest officials of all three branches of the government. That would have meant widespread panic, a descent into chaos, anarchy. In the 1860s, perhaps even a resumption of hostilities between North and South. But such a thing could never have been accomplished. The planning would have to be too precise. A thousand things would go wrong. They always did.

Journey tapped his finger again. But someone was thinking about such a conspiracy in the war years. Clearly referring to Lee's surrender at Appomattox, the writer of this page had envisioned just such a conspiracy, and a "clause" to deal with its aftermath. The writing didn't belong to either Lee or Grant — both men had left enough writings behind to be preserved in many different archives. It had taken Journey all of fifteen minutes online to see that neither man wrote the words on this page.

He went back to his computer and typed General Order No. 100 in the search engine. When the results settled onto the screen, he nodded to himself. He'd run across it in his research before, but usually under its more common name, the Lieber Code, after the law professor who drafted most of it. General Order No. 100 was an executive order issued by President Lincoln in 1863 to direct the conduct of the armies during the war. It was often cited as one of the precursors to the Hague Conventions that still governed modern warfare.

Journey scrolled down to Article 3 of the first section and read:

Martial law in a hostile country consists in the suspension by the occupying military authority of the criminal and civil law, and of the domestic administration and government in the occupied place or territory, and in the substitution of military rule and force for the same, as well as in the dictation of general laws, as far as military necessity requires this suspension, substitution, or dictation.

A chill went down Journey's spine.

Hostile country.

Martial law.

What did the Lieber Code have to do with Fort Washita? What "conspiratorial means" was the author of this page talking about?

Journey returned to the old paper. There was no second page, no signatures as referenced in the writing. And the cryptic note at the end made no sense. The document was so precise in its language, so deliberate — the misspelling of penn leapt off the page.

The Poet's Penn makes the waters fall and causes the strong to bend.

"What is this?" Journey said, not realizing he'd said it aloud.

"Nick?"

Journey jumped and knocked papers off the desk.

"Sorry, didn't mean to startle you." The voice belonged to Sandra Kelly, one of the new young assistant professors, in her third year and not yet tenured. Her specialty was the history of third-party political movements and extremism in American politics. She was fully six feet tall with a mane of brilliant red hair and blazing Irish green eyes. She was fond of wearing loose-fitting tie-dye dresses. A small, simple silver cross hung around her neck. "Working on the gun thing?"


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Cold Glory by B. Kent Anderson. Copyright © 2011 B. Kent Anderson. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

B. Kent Anderson is a journalist and broadcaster. He lives with his three sons in Oklahoma City.


B. KENT ANDERSON is a journalist and broadcaster. He lives with his three sons in Oklahoma City. He is the author of Silver Cross and Cold Glory.

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Cold Glory 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lots of action. Great start for a new author. Pugs a new spin on the Civil War.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very interesting historical novel with a "what if" type of plot. I look forward to more from this author.
jeffro53 More than 1 year ago
A great read, that might teach you a little history along the way--the real history, not what you learned in school. Of course, it is fiction as well, but only small pieces of it. You decide.
okiereader More than 1 year ago
This book captures your interest from the very first page. The characters are well formed and you immediately care about them. Mr. Anderson has done an amazing research job into some of the most interesting aspects of the Civil War and as the story unfolded I could hardly wait to get back to it. Very well done, especially for a first novel. I look forward to future adventures with Nick Journey.
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