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Dreams Beneath Your Feet (Rendezvous Series)
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Dreams Beneath Your Feet (Rendezvous Series)

5.0 2
by Win Blevins
 

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Eighteen years have passed since Sam Morgan came West from Pennsylvania and learned the perilous business of trapping in the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains.

Now, in 1840, he seems to face a bleak future. The fur trade has played out and he must find other means of making a living.

Sam decides to return to California with his daughter Esperanza and start a

Overview

Eighteen years have passed since Sam Morgan came West from Pennsylvania and learned the perilous business of trapping in the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains.

Now, in 1840, he seems to face a bleak future. The fur trade has played out and he must find other means of making a living.

Sam decides to return to California with his daughter Esperanza and start a new life. The great golden land represents a bitter memory — his beloved Crow Indian wife Meadowlark died there in childbirth — but friends convince him that his destiny lies on the Pacific shore.

Meadowlark's uncle, Flat Dog, his family, and Hannibal MacKye, the half-Delaware mountain man, join Sam and Esperanza for the journey west, where they hope to trade for a herd of Appaloosa horses to sell at a profit in California.

At Fort Hall on the Oregon Trail, Sam and his people encounter a terrified woman, Lei Palua, who has escaped the clutches of a psychopath called Kanaka Boy, whose gang of killers and rapists has been terrifying Indian villages in the Northwest.

Sam Morgan and his people take Lei Palua under their wing unaware that her one-time lover and now bloodthirsty nemesis dogs her trail, vowing to kill her and all who stand in his way.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This is the sixth and best in Blevins's exciting Rendezvous series (following A Long and Winding Road) featuring mountain man Sam Morgan. It's 1840 and Sam, seeing the end of his beloved fur trade, decides to head for California and a settled life with his friend, Hannibal, and Sam's daughter, Esperanza, raised on the Crow reservation since her mother died in childbirth. The three of them along with a party of friends and Indian relatives endure harsh weather and forbidding terrain on their journey from the Wyoming territory to the coast, but the situation goes from bad to worse after they find and care for a badly injured woman, Lei Palua, who has escaped from a psychopathic gang whose leader, Kanaka Boy, vows to get her back. When Sam and his group are bushwhacked, their herd of horses stolen and Esperanza kidnapped by Kanaka Boy, Sam embarks on a rage-filled orgy of bloody violence. Blevins, a masterful western storyteller, really piles on the torture, mutilation and rape, but the action is fast-paced and the details of frontier life, the fur trade and Indian lore authentic. (Dec.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780765344861
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
12/01/2009
Series:
Rendezvous , #6
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
316
Sales rank:
760,151
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 0.50(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Part One

One

SAM MORGAN HEARD his partner, Hannibal, get up and step to the dead fire. Morning by morning, they took turns rising first, using cold fingers to get a little flame going and start some coffee.

First light would come along within a few minutes. They both had an instinct for first light, and it would arrive with the first sip of coffee.

Sam savored the warmth of his buffalo robes and the pad of his folded blanket coat under his head. In the aspens the mare Paladin and the other horses chuffed from time to time, clomped, and dreamed of a country free of horse flies.

Sam inventoried these familiar camp sounds. He could tell his mare from Hannibal’s gelding Brownie and from the packhorses by her step alone. In the other direction he heard the Henry’s Fork River. He listened to the pouring of the coffee water and the ping of the pot hung on the rod above the flames. He reached out and touched the cold barrel of the Celt, the flintlock rifle he inherited from his father.

One familiar part of Sam’s world was missing. This past winter his pet coyote, Coy, aged sixteen, walked out in the snows and never came back. Walking was difficult for the old coyote, and Sam was sure that he had gone deliberately, knowing that his time had come.

Sam missed him. As a pup Coy saved Sam from a prairie fire, and they had been together day and night for a coyote lifetime.

Making the coffee, Hannibal MacKye chuckled at himself. He and Sam had traded for a few beans before they left Fort Hall on this hunt, but they’d been making brew from the same grounds for two weeks now.

Toasty in his bedroll, Sam waited for the first two words of every morning, "Coffee’s hot." Then the men would squat across the fire from each other and sip the flavored water without a word. Since they had ridden together for nearly two decades—trapped beaver, lived with Indians, rambled from the plains to the peaks to the Pacific—they had their routines. Their way was a little silence on waking, a span of time untouched by talk.

Suddenly Sam knew something. It just popped up, like a bubble from the mud bottom of a pool. He wiggled his back and bottom against the ground, and the thought was still there.

"Coffee’s hot," said Hannibal.

Sam shifted around, scrambled to the fire, and held his cup out for the pale brew. The silence was amiable, as always, but Sam was holding back.

He waited until they’d finished the first cup of coffee, his tongue dissatisfied with the taste, his belly grateful for the warmth. He looked at his partner and had thoughts that hadn’t occurred to him in years. They were a truly strange pair, an Indian and a white man partnered. Who would guess, looking at them, that Sam, the white man with white hair and blue eyes, had been taught to read by the Indian? And that Hannibal, half Delaware and educated by his classics professor father, was fluent in Greek, Latin, and the philosophies of the world? Who would guess, really, what they had in common?

Sam couldn’t have named it, himself, and Hannibal wouldn’t. They loved the myriad and intricate ways of these mountains, here a spring, lower down a beaver pond, beyond that a wide meadow with a solitary bull elk feeding at its edge. Above the meadow a green reach of lodgepole pine, leading to a low divide, which framed the intense blue unique to the mountain West. From there a sighting of a hundred miles of lava plains, ending in a horizon of sawtooth peaks. They also loved the exhilaration of running buffalo and the heart-in-throat glimpse of a huge salmon leaping up a waterfall.

They were intrigued by Indian people and all the subtle byways of meeting them with proper ceremony, trading with them, being guests in their villages for days or weeks. Avoiding another tribe, even fighting against some. Sam had married into the Crow tribe and lived the tangle of having a red family.

Maybe the biggest attraction, the single, great, mind-blinding opiate, was the way that beauty and danger teeter-tottered. Every mile ridden, every trap set, every buffalo hunted, every stretch of desert crossed, every river forded was a dazzling diamond—and the facets of these jewels were wonder, hazard, miracle, excitement, and death. However hot, cold, or tired a mountain man felt, no matter how full-bellied, well-loved, or ready to hoot and holler, no matter how hungry, thirsty, or bowel-running scared, he always felt alive.

As Sam and Hannibal sipped their coffee, they knew such stuff, but they didn’t talk about it. They were too busy living it.

Sam looked at his friend and his mount—his hunting trail family. He pushed his eyes over to the single pack of beaver they had, a pitiful taking for their entire spring hunt. Up and down the west side of the Yellowstone Mountains they’d trekked, up and down the valley of the Henry’s Fork. Other trappers stayed away from this country, because of the danger of coming face-to-face with Blackfeet. After so many years Sam and Hannibal would have missed the danger if they didn’t smell it, and they were glad to have this country to trap alone. Once it was prime. Now it was paltry, but the best of what was left.

The irony was that the scarcity of beaver didn’t matter. They started hunting the creature for its fur, which made the best hats. Except that over the last few years, silk hats became the style. A way of life done in by a whim of fashion.

Sam swallowed the dregs and chewed the grounds. Even that way, the coffee had no taste.

The way Hannibal was grinning at him, Sam knew his friend had the same experience.

It was time. "I got a thought," said Sam.

This thought of his would change their plans. Last night they’d agreed that today was the time to start downriver toward Fort Hall.

"I want to go to the Smokes," he said.

They went to the Smokes each year, but at the end of the fall hunt, not the spring hunt.

Hannibal said, "Why not?"

So the Smokes it was. Just that easy.

Excerpted from Dreams Beneath Your Feet by Win Blevins.

Copyright © 2008 by Win Blevins.

Published in December 2009 by Tom Doherty Associates.

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

Meet the Author

Win Blevins, an authority on the Plains Indians and fur-trade era of the West, is author of Give Your Heart to the Hawks, Charbonneau, Rock Child, RavenShadow, and Stone Song, his prize-winning novel of Crazy Horse, as well as the Rendezvous novels. He lives in Utah with his wife Meredith, also a novelist.

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Dreams Beneath Your Feet 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
reececo331 More than 1 year ago
The last in a series that I have to read, great story of sacrifice and love. As a young man Sam Morgan set out on the advice of a friend, Hannibal to follow his dreams, in the previous volumes he became trader, a traper, an adventure, he has done a sundance to make up for a mistake, and fought in a war for his new people. Only to loose his wife in childbirth and his daughter to her family, in this volume I have come to love this strong character, and want to learn more of the story. During this story Sam has reconnected with his daughter now a young woman of 15, and finding that the trapper industry dieing out he is going to Monteray bay and beginning a new life in horse trading. Learn about your american history, about fur trappers, trades men and native plains americas in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago