River of Souls: A Novel of the American Myth
Ivon B. Blum
Sunstone Press, 2000 - Fiction - 317 pages
Lyrically written, dramatically told, and historically based, RIVER OF SOULS is the epic saga of Pedro Cortez, an 1840s Taos boy, who struggles to manhood during the bloody Pueblo revolt where he confronts betrayal, his father's murder, and cruel Black Hess who saber-cuts Pedro's mother and escapes.Pedro sets out in pursuit, partnered by majestic mountain man, Long John Hatcher, and daring trapper, Louy Simonds. They out-yarn the devil and teach Pedro the true measure of friendship. In California they find gold and mystery; lynchings and scurvy in one of the first placer mines before the rush that changes history forever; and meet Black Hess in fiery revenge. On the way back home, Pedro rescues an abandoned Becky Goddard from scalping knives amid the rumble of wagons and gun-thunder along the Santa Fe Trail. He also discovers black man, Dibble, and fights the evil of Missouri slave catchers.Pedro and Becky, Hatcher and Louy, Black Hess and a host of Indians, freighters, whores and hellions propel this exciting first novel down a madly churning river of souls.***Ivon B. Blum is a retired Los Angeles lawyer who has been researching and writing about the American Southwest and California for more than ten years. As a boy he worked on a cattle ranch and panned gold in the Kern River and, later, in Alaska's Nome. He's traveled the Santa Fe trail from Kansas to Taos, New Mexico, looking for the old wagon wheel ruts; visited with the Tewa and the Navajo in their home towns and flyfished the San Juan, Rio Grande and Pecos. Blum is at home on the California gold trail of Highway 49 and has fished and walked much of the High Sierra. When he writes about Fort Union, Wagon Mound, the Bear River ora smoky horse, he's no stranger.
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notes page 235... she felt the impact of an arrow....she felt the rape..the indians laughed "horse cathcer grabbed a hank of hi sown hair an gave a tug and laughed... two pines th eother indian pulled the scalping knife from hi sheath at his belt and grinned.....the indians started down the knoll...he wondered how it would feel to carry the scalp of long, red hair into camp that night... the indian gave a cry of triumph and reached for a hunk of becky's faming scalp-hair... the indian parted the white girl from her hair