Pecker's Revenge and Other Stories from the Frontier's Edge
"I buried Pecker in his favorite place. I'd seen him come to pray here sometimes early of a morning when the sun was just coming over the eastern mountains. He'd kneel down by this very clump of sage, take off his hat, and be still for several minutes. I envied him that peace. So, it was natural for me to bury him here. And the right thing, the decent thing for me to do, as I'd done the killing."--fromPecker's Revenge
Pecker's Revengeis a collection of fourteen historical short stories featuring a variety of characters including miners, rodeo riders, railroad construction workers, young settlers, and others struggling with the conflicts and hazards of the nineteenth-century frontier. These short stories focus on change, and Lori Van Pelt takes advantage of the West to provide an apropos setting for examining transformations.
Many of the stories depict characters on the edge, emotionally and geographically. Their explorations of new lands and their dreams often don't turn out as imagined. The stories examine how our ancestors' decisions often affect our lives in ways we can't entirely comprehend. Van Pelt seamlessly incorporates stories passed down from her family, her husband's family, and from favorite legends of her childhood to shape a collection that blends the themes of the 1880s with the present.