The Captive Trail is part of a six-book series about four generations of the Morgan family living, fighting, and thriving amidst a turbulent Texas history spanning from 1845 to 1896. Although a series, each book can be read on its own.
Taabe Waipu has run away from her Comanche village and is fleeing south in Texas on a horse she stole from a dowry left outside her family's teepee. The horse has an accident and she is left on foot, injured and exhausted. She staggers onto a road near Fort Chadbourne and collapses.
On one of the first runs through Texas, Butterfield Overland Mail Company driver Ned Bright carries two Ursuline nuns returning to their mission station. They come across Taabe who is nearly dead from exposure and dehydration and take her to the mission.
With some detective work, Ned discovers Taabe Waipu's identity. He plans to unite her with her family, but the Comanche have other ideas. Through Taabe and Ned we learn the true meaning of healing and restoration amid seemingly powerless situations.
About the Author
SUSAN PAGE DAVIS is an award winning author who has published more than thirty novels in the historical romance, suspense, mystery, and romance genres. She¿s a past winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers¿ Book of the Year Contest and a two time winner of the Inspirational Readers¿ Choice Contest. Susan is a longtime homeschooler and former school teacher. A Maine native, she now resides in Kentucky with her husband Jim. They have 6 children and 6 grandchildren. Visit Susan at her website: www.susanpagedavis.com.
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By SUSAN PAGE DAVIS
Moody PublishersCopyright © 2011 Susan Page Davis
All right reserved.
Chapter OnePlains Of North Central Texas, 1857
Faster. Taabe Waipu had to go faster, or she would never get down from the high plains, down to the hill country and beyond. South, ever south and east.
Clinging to the horse, she let him run. The land looked flat all around, though it was riddled with ravines and folds. She could no longer see any familiar landmarks. The moon and stars had guided her for two nights, and now the rising sun told her which way to go on her second day of flight. She'd snatched only brief periods of rest. At her urging the horse galloped on, down and up the dips and hollows of the land.
Taabe didn't know where the next water supply lay. The only thing she knew was that she must outrun the Numinu—Comanche, their enemies called them. No one traveled these plains without their permission. Those who tried didn't make it out again. She glanced over her shoulder in the gray dawn. As far as she could see, no one followed, but she couldn't stop. They were back there, somewhere. She urged the horse on toward the southeast.
South to the rolling grasslands where the white men had their ranches. Where Peca and the other men often went to raid. Where Taabe was born.
The compact paint stallion ran smoothly beneath her, but as the sun rose and cast her shadow long over the Llano Estacado, his breath became labored, his stride shorter. Where her legs hugged his sleek sides, her leggings dampened with his sweat. He was a good horse, this wiry paint that Peca had left outside her sister's tepee. Without him she wouldn't have gotten this far. But no horse could run forever.
Taabe slowed him to a trot but didn't dare rest. Not yet.
Another look behind.
Would she recognize the house she'd once lived in? She didn't think so, but she imagined a big earthen lodge, not a tepee. Or was it a cabin made of logs? That life was a shadow world in her mind now. Fences. The warriors talked about the fences built by the white men, around their gardens and their houses. She thought she recalled climbing a fence made of long poles and sitting on the top. When she saw fences, she would know she was close.
At last she came to a shallow stream, sliding between rocks and fallen trees. It burbled languidly where it split around a boulder. She let the horse wade in and bend down to drink.
Taabe stayed on his back while he drank in long, eager gulps, keeping watch over the way they'd come. She needed to find a sheltered place where the horse could graze and rest. Did she dare stop for a while? She studied the trail behind her then took her near-empty water skin from around her neck. Leaning over the paint's side, she dangled it by its thong in the water on the horse's upstream side. She wouldn't dismount to fill it properly, but she could stay in the saddle and scoop up a little. She straightened and checked the trail again. The horse took a step and continued to drink.
She stroked his withers, warm and smooth. With a wry smile, she remembered the bride price Peca had left. Six horses staked out before the tepee. A stallion and five mares—pretty mares. Healthy, strong mounts. But only six.
The stallion raised his head at last and waded across the stream without her urging. They settled into a steady trot. Tomorrow or the next day or the next, she would come to a land with many trees and rivers. And many houses of the whites.
Would she have stayed if Peca had left twenty horses? Fifty?
Not for a thousand horses would she have stayed in the village and married Peca—or any other warrior. Staying would make it impossible for her ever to go back to that other world—the world to the south.
Eagerness filled her, squeezing out her fear. She dug her heels into the stallion's ribs. Whatever awaited her, she rushed to meet it.
The paint lunged forward and down. His right front hoof sank, and he didn't stop falling. Taabe tried to brace herself, too late. The horse's body continued to fly up and around. She hurtled off to the side and tucked her head.
* * *
"Today's the day, Ned."
"Yup." Ned Bright coiled his long driver's whip and grinned at his partner in the stagecoach business, Patrillo Garza. He and "Tree" had scraped up every penny and peso they could to outfit their ranch as a stage stop, in hopes of impressing the Butterfield Overland Mail Company's division agent. Their efforts had paid off. Tree was now the station agent at the Bright-Garza Station, and Ned would earn his keep as driver between the ranch and Fort Chadbourne. "Never thought everything would go through and we'd be carrying the mail."
"Well, it did, and as of today we're delivering," Tree said. "Now, remember—the mail is important, but not at the passengers' expense."
"Sure." Ned took his hat from a peg on the wall and fitted it onto his head with the brim at precisely the angle he liked. "But if we lose the mail on our first run, we're not apt to keep the contract, are we?"
Tree scowled. "We ain't gonna lose the mail, ya hear me?"
"I hear you."
"Right. We've made this run hundreds of times."
It was true. The two had hauled freight and passengers to the forts for several years. They'd scraped by. But the contract with the Butterfield Overland would mean steady pay and good equipment. Reimbursement if they were robbed.
"Oh, and you've got some passengers," Tree said, offhand.
"Great. That's where we make a profit, right?"
"Well ..." Tree seemed unable to meet his gaze. "There were nuns, see, and—"
"None? I thought you said there were some."
"Nuns, Ned. Catholic nuns. Sisters."
Ned's jaw dropped. "You're joshing."
Tree shook his head. "Nope. There's a pack of 'em at the old Wisher place, out near Fort Chadbourne. Came out from Galveston a month ago to start a mission."
"A mission? What kind of mission?"
"A Catholic one, what do you think? They're going to start a school, like the one in Galveston."
Ned eyed him suspiciously. "You're making this up."
"Nope. Somebody gave them the land, and the convent in Galveston sent them out here. I'm surprised you didn't know." Tree ran a hand through his glossy dark hair. "That's right they came while you were off buying mules. Seriously, they intend to start a school for girls. I'm thinking of sending Quinta to them."
Ned stared at him. What would the station be like without Quinta? The nine-year-old followed her brothers around and alternately helped and got in the way. She swam like a water moccasin, rode like a Comanche, and yapped like a hungry pup. Since Quinta's mother died, Tree had pretty much given up trying to feminize her, and he let her run around in overalls and a shirt outgrown by Diego—the next child up the stairsteps.
"And I'm taking them to the fort?"
"Can't see any harm in dropping them at their place. It's right beside the road. Two of 'era caught a ride here to pick up some supplies that were donated to their cause, and I told them that if there was enough space, we could haul their stuff out to the mission without them paying extra for it."
"But freight is—"
Tree raised a hand as he turned away. "Don't start, Ned."
Esteban, Tree's third son, charged into the ranch house spouting in Spanish, "Papa, the stage is coming."
In the distance, a bugle sounded.
Tree laughed, his teeth flashing white. "Who needs a horn when you've got kids?" He tousled Esteban's hair. "You got the team ready?"
"I'll be out in a minute." Tree hurried into the next room.
Ned stared after him. Only one way to find out if his partner was exaggerating. He strode for the door. Outside in the baking heat, Benito and Marcos, the two oldest boys, had brought the team out of the barn into the dusty yard and stood holding the leaders' heads.
To the right, waiting under the overhang of the eaves, stood two women in long, black dresses. Robes. Habits. Some sort of head shawl—black again, with white showing over their foreheads—covered their hair. Ned glowered at no one in particular.
To his left, Brownie Fale, Ned's shotgun rider, leaned against an adobe wall of the station. He nodded at Ned and spit a stream of tobacco juice into the dust. They'd ridden hundreds, maybe thousands of miles together, hauling tons of freight. No need to talk now.
The stage barreled into the yard in a cloud of dust and pulled up short. Ned looked over the high, curved body of the coach and pulled in a deep breath. Mighty fine rig. Driving it would be a pleasure, if it wasn't too top heavy. Putting some passengers and freight inside would help.
"Howdy, boys," he called to the two men on the box. He stepped forward and opened the coach door. No one was inside, but three sacks of mail lay on the floor between the front and middle benches.
The driver and shotgun rider jumped down.
"How do, Ned," said Sam Tunney. He and the shotgun rider headed out back to the privy while Tree's boys began to change out the teams. Benito held the incoming mules' heads, Diego and Esteban scrambled to unhitch them from the eveners, and Marcos stood by with the fresh team.
Ned turned and went back inside. Tree sauntered toward him carrying a bulging sack on his shoulder. On the side was stenciled "U.S. Mail."
"There's three sacks already in the stage," Ned said.
"Bueno. This'll make four." Tree pushed past him, out into the unrelenting sun. Ned followed. The nuns hadn't moved. Tree plunked the sack of mail into the coach then leaned in and set it over, arranging it just so with the other three. He straightened and nodded. "All right, passengers can load." He looked at the nuns. "All aboard, Sisters."
His second-oldest son, Marcos, waved from the rear of the coach's roof and hopped down.
As the nuns stepped forward, Tree said, "We've put your stuff in the boot. When you get to your place, the shotgun messenger will unload it for you."
"Thank you, Señor Garza," said the nearer of the two.
The women glided forward and, with a hand from Tree, mounted the step and disappeared inside the coach. Even with the mail sacks, they'd have plenty of room. Brownie sauntered over and climbed onto the driver's box.
"What do I call them?" Ned whispered as Tree turned back toward the station.
"What you mean? You don't have to call them anything."
Ned stepped into the shade of the eaves with him. "If we have an emergency or something."
Ned felt like slugging him. He'd never seen a nun before. Just knowing they would be sitting back there in the coach made him nervous. "I'm just saying, Tree."
The station agent sighed. "Call them sisters, then."
Ned shook his head. "I can't."
"They're not—I mean—I'm not—"
"You're not Catholic."
"So call them ma'am, or ladies. Whatever polite names you'd call any woman in that situation."
Tree nodded. "You know the place? It's about five miles this side of the fort. No one's lived there since Wisher left last fall. You've got no other passengers. If you make good time, you can swing in and set their boxes down for them. Won't take you five minutes."
"But we don't—"
"Ned. They're women." Tree shook his head and walked away.
Ned gulped and strode to the front of the stage. He swung up into the driver's seat and smiled. This was something. Much better than a freight wagon, even if he was driving mules. He'd hoped for horses, but the Butterfield had invested heavily in mules. He'd take it.
He gathered the reins of the four-in-hand team, released the brake, and nodded to Benito. The young man let go of the leaders' heads and stepped to the side. Ned gave his whip three pops, and the mules surged forward.
The team settled into a steady road trot. Ned glanced over at the shotgun messenger.
Brownie grinned. "Feels different from a wagon, don't it?"
"Not too hot today, neither." Brownie cradled his shotgun in his arms.
Ned started to disagree, but held his tongue. Up here, they caught a pleasant breeze. With his hat and the wind of their speed, it wasn't bad. He held the reins and enjoyed the gentle swaying of the stage, the creak of the leathers, and the clop of shod hooves on the packed trail. The only thing that could make it better would be horses in the harness—and paying passengers.
Chapter TwoTaabe opened her eyes She lay on the ground between two clumps of buffalo grass, staring into the blue sky. The sun hung off to one side. She tried to sit up and moaned. Her head hurt and her arms ached.
The stallion. His fall came back to her. He must have stepped in a hole. She'd flown off to the side, and that was all she remembered. She forced herself to a sitting position. Sharp pains stabbed her right ankle.
She looked around, expecting to see the paint horse thrashing in the dirt, but she couldn't spot him. How far away could he be? She tried to stand and sank back with a grimace. Bruises she could deal with, but the ankle was bad. Had the bones broken? She didn't think so, but they might as well have. She was just as helpless.
She listened, hearing nothing but the wind over the plain.
Holding her right foot up behind her and using her knee and her left foot to push against the slippery grass, Taabe tried to rise. If the horse had survived the fall, maybe he was grazing nearby. But if not ... She would have to leave as quickly as possible. If the horse lay dead or dying, Peca would soon see the vultures. And if the paint had headed back toward the Comanche village, the warriors would find him even quicker and swoop down on her.
She got a quick look around then fell back to earth and lay panting, fending off nausea from the pain. She'd seen no sign of the horse. He was a good horse, doing everything she'd asked—until she'd fallen off and left him to run free.
Taking stock of her possessions, so few now, she patted her torso. Her water skin still hung about her neck, but it had ruptured in the fall. Taabe pulled it off over her head. Her forearms stung where she'd smacked the ground. They bore red marks, but that was nothing. As she probed the skin beneath her right eye, she winced. The tissue was swollen and sore, but no blood came away on her fingertips. Her only serious injury seemed to be her ankle. Crushed for an instant as the horse fell and rolled? If that had happened, she ought to see him lying nearby. But he seemed to have gone on without her.
She untied the thong from the useless water skin and tucked it into her parfleche—the soft deerskin bag she'd made to hold her few personal items. The split water skin, fashioned from a buffalo's bladder, she dropped on the ground. It would do her no good.
After a second's thought, she grabbed it again. If Peca found it, he'd know she was nearby and desperate. She reached inside the parfleche, thankful she still had it, and felt the items, one by one. She hadn't brought much. Miraculously, her small wooden flute was still in one piece.
Only a handful of parched corn and a small bundle of pemmican remained. Enough for a day in ordinary times. It would have to last until she found another source of food. As to water, Taabe wouldn't need as much without the horse to care for. But she would need some. The rest of her burden consisted of a knife, a small pouch of beads her adopted sister had given her, a piece of paper too wilted and worn to crackle any more, and an extra pair of moccasins. She debated whether to drop any of it and decided to keep everything. If Peca got to this spot and hadn't found her horse, he would find no other clues to her desperation.
She looked at the sun and squinted against the pain brought on by its brightness, trying to orient herself. On the horse's back she'd sometimes seen distant landmarks—undulations in the land, small ponds where water collected, rock formations. Down here in the grass, her view was restricted. She needed to keep going southeast.
The sun was still climbing in the sky. She must have been unconscious only a short while. With clenched teeth, she rose on her knees and looked toward the north, the way she'd come, but couldn't see enough. With great effort, she stood on her left foot, holding the right at an angle, the way horses rested one foot while they stood.
Excerpted from CAPTIVE TRAIL by SUSAN PAGE DAVIS Copyright © 2011 by Susan Page Davis. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book was captivating. I've never read a book on this subject and I think the author did a wonderful job of capturing the emotions and depth of the issues the characters had to face! Taabe Waipu remembers the live she was taken from. She remembers that her place is not with the Comanche people with whom she resides, but she doesn't remember anything else. I loved her character. I felt like I was watching her struggle to remember the old way of life. I felt her joy and frustration at learning "white man ways" again. Susan May Warren did an excellent job on Taabe's character. Ned Bright was a simple man. I liked him because he wasn't trying to be tough or macho. He was just a normal guy who falls in love with a girl. He was certainly protective and "manly," but I think he more closely represents real life men. The story was fantastic. Again, I've never read a story with this subject before and as also stated previously, Susan May Warren did a fantastic job of capturing the depth of emotions and issues these characters had to face. While the story was predictable (in that I knew Taabe and Ned would be together), it was very enjoyable. There were facets of the story that I absolutely loved, like Ned's devotion and dedication to Taabe and her best interests. The interaction with the Comanche at the end kept me rooted to my seat with my eyes reading and furiously scanning the pages! The message of the book was to trust in God to take care of you and all your needs. I wished this theme was communicated more clearly in the book, but that's what I got out of the story. Overall, I absolutely loved this book and would definitely read it again!
Around the year 1845, Taabe Waipu was taken captive by the Comanche when she was a mere child. She was their slave at first. Not allowed to speak her own language and was made to learn the female role within the Comanche tribe. Once she learned that role she was taken in as a family member of the ones she worked and lived with. But she knew she did not belong and was determined to find her way to the home she could not remember. She fled the Comanche camp and the warrior who wanted her as his bride. Taabe knew he would track her and bring her back. She was found for dead by a stagecoach driver and taken to a missionary of Nuns where she was taught the ways of her English childhood. Yet she still desired to search for the family she no longer remembered. Ned Bright, the driver who found her was more than willing to help her search for her family. The author picked right up from where book one left off. She pulled me into the book as if I were a part of story. She made me see how horrendous it must have been for Taabe to be held captive at such a young age. The character was given such fortitude to seek what she knew was her roots. By the author putting Taabe in the care of the Nuns, they not only nurtured her back to health but also to the God she remember from her childhood. This was a outstanding story and I would highly recommend you read this book. I rate this book 5 out of 5. Disclosure: I won a copy this book. I was not compensated in anyway for this review.
In April, 1857, a young white woman flees her Comanche captors, running from the warrior, Peca, who would have her as his bride. A captive for twelve years, Taabe Waipu (Sun Woman), as the Comanche call her, remembers nothing of her white family. Fragments of memories and a tattered piece of paper are all that remain. And she can no longer read English. Ned Bright, stagecoach driver for the Overland Stage Company, finds Taabe on the side of the road, injured and disoriented. He takes her to a school newly established by nuns to educate children from the surrounding ranches. Taabe begins an adventure of discovery as pieces of her past come to mind along with the more pleasant memories of her Comanche family but the dark cloud of Peca haunts her. She believes he is seeking her and her presence places the nuns, the children at the mission, and her new friend, Ned Bright, in danger. White families visit the mission wondering if she is their missing child or if she knows anything about other missing children. This wears on her emotionally as she sees the disappointment in their eyes as they walk away. Slowly, Taabe begins to adjust to her new surroundings as the nuns and a young child, Quinta, engage her and develop relationships with her. Snippets of her past surface through familiar songs, through the crucifix on the wall, through the prayers of the nuns. Ned Bright protects her when families visit. He seeks her birth family through letters. A family many miles away believes Taabe belongs to them. The circumstances seem to fit. Taabe's real name is Billie. She is torn between excitement about finding her family and leaving her new friends, especially Ned. Disaster threatens when Peca locates her and attacks the mission, setting fire to some of the buildings and demanding she come with him. In a bold and daring move, Taabe/Billie is able to knock him off his horse. In the Indian culture, this "counting coup" shames him. He withdraws leaving Taabe/Billie with dilemma of returning to her birth family while acknowledging she has fallen in love with Ned Bright. This is an excellent read. The author subtly weaves her research and knowledge of the time period, the history and the cultures of both whites and Native Americans without any author intrusion. She naturally weaves facts of the story world through her dialogue and descriptions. She is especially poignant when she depicts white families seeking their loved ones who had been taken. My only minor disappointment is that I would have like to see more of the contrast between Christianity and the Comanche spiritual beliefs as Taabe/Billie recovered memories of her faith prior to her capture. Her minor characters add just the right touch of cultural issues to move plot along, bring out the personalities of the major characters and humor. The plot is fast-paced and keeps the pages turning. Lots of twists and turns as Taabe/Billie faces challenges from cultural adjustment to dealing with Peca's continued searching and the threat this presents to the people who have taken her in and cared for her. Taabe/Billie's final confrontation with Peca is well-written and entirely believable yet with enough of a twist that the reader doesn't see it coming. The publisher gave me a copy of the book to review but in no way influenced the opinions expressed in this review.
The only thing worse from being taken from your family is trying to find a way back to them when you don't know where to begin. For Taabe Waipu, she has spent her young childhood forgetting the language of her family, English, when she winds up in a Comanche village. It's either learn the language of the Numinu or starve and continue to be treated as an outside. So as a way to survive, she forgets the family she was remembers raising her until she finally grows old enough to find a way back home. Now years later she escapes her tribe and tries to locate her family again. Remember little details from distant memories and a faded piece of paper she has kept hidden may hold the clues towards reclaiming her identity and finding home again. So when she winds up injured and alone on a wagon train road, it seems fate has smiled upon her in the form of Ned Bright, the Butterfield Overland Mail driver who finds her lying in the road along with a group of nuns he is transporting to open a school for girls. Fearing that she may be a child taken by the Comanche Indians and has now escaped, Ned feels that her best place for healing may be with the Ursuline nuns while he works with the fort to try and find out who Taabe Waipu really is and try to reunite her with her family, if only the Comanche's didn't have other plans. I received, Captive Trail by Susan Paige Davis compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and feel in love with the sincerity of this storyline. Historically speaking there were hundreds of children taken by Indians but many never were able to return home to the families that never gave up searching for them. With the Comanche tribe, they have never had someone escape and they will stop at nothing to bring a runaway back. This one rates a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and love the duality the title insists, not only in being a captive in the Comanche tribe but also losing her heart to the man who will stop at nothing to help her.
It's been a long time since I've read a historical fiction book describing the life of white hostages in an Indian camp. I found Captive Trail by Susan Page Davis to be a delightful read. It tells the story of Taabe Waipu who was taken captive as a young child. She lived in a Comanche village for over twelve years, but had never fully forgotten her former life. When the opportunity arises, Taabe escapes, trying to find her family. A fall from her horse causes grave injuries. Her life begins a whirlwind of changes when stagecoach driver Ned Bright discovers her, along with nuns from the Ursuline Mission. They work together to for clues to her families whereabouts - only problem is Taabe doesn't remember English. This was a wonderful book in the Texas Trails series about the Morgan Family. I highly recommend it and am looking forward to reading the others in this series. This book was provided free for review by Moody Publishers.
Captive Trail by Susan Page Davis ISBN-978-0-8024-0584-5 The second book in the Texas Trail - Morgan Family Series continues in the excellence of the first book. In Lone Star Trail we know that Billie Morgan and her horse were gone, Comanche's. They continued searching for her but assumed she may be dead. She was nine years old at the time. Taabe Waipu is escaping the Comanche camp. She had an opening for escape and took it. She would not marry Peca and be tied down to the Numinu for the rest of her life. Pia had been her sister since she was taken all those years ago and she loved her and the baby but Chano, Pia's husband, thought she should marry Peca, a warrior who enjoyed raiding. Taabe took one of the fastest horses from the six Peca had left at their home as a way of asking for marriage and left with all the speed she could. Several days later the horse fell into a hole and Taabe was thrown off. She awoke in pain and the horse was gone. Ned Bright and his partner, Patrillo Garza who went by Tree, live on a ranch with run a stagecoach from it. Tree is a widower with four rambunctious sons and Quinta, the nine year old daughter, was already a wild cat and a spoiled one at that. Tree is now the station agent at the Bright-Garza Station and Ned was the driver of the stagecoach from their ranch to Fort Chadbourne, delivering mail and any paying customers. It was his first day. Their passengers were not ones who would pay though, two Sister's going to open a girls school. When Ned and Brownie, the shotgun rider, seen a body in the road they were concerned it was a trap. When Sister Natalie jumps out of the coach and heads for it Ned makes quick work of getting there first. It is a woman. The Sister's insist she stay at the Mission house. The Fort's Captain sends out feelers for missing girls to see if they can discover who Taabe really is. She no longer speaks or understands English. She was punished in the early days of her capture if she spoke English. Many people go to the Fort and then are taken to the Mission to see if Taabe is their daughter, even if the description did not match these people were desperate to find their missing children. A really good historical adventure with a touch or romance. The threat of Indian raids, not always knowing who you could trust, Taabe's struggle with the language and adjusting between the Indiana and white world. Looking forward to the next four books in this series. The first two are excellent even as they are written by two different authors. Book received through NetGalley for review
She was a little girl when the Comanches stole her from her white family. She has lived with the Comanches for years but a deep part of her has vague memories of her white family that her soul clings to. When a Comanche warrior, she doesn't wish to marry, leaves a dowry of six horses at her family's teepee, she uses one of those horses to run away from her village back to the white world she was taken from. When her horse has an accident, she's left with an injured foot, no horse and complete exhaustion. Ned Bright is a driver for the Butterfield Overland Mail Company. Along with the mail they carry a few passengers. On one of the first runs they make, they take two nuns to their mission station. While in route they come upon a woman who's practically deal. She appears white but dressed in Comanche clothing. The nuns take her to the mission station to heal. Ned searches for the true identity of Taabe Waipu and finally finds out who she is and wants to bring her family together again. Her Comanche warrior, however, wants her back and will stop at nothing to get her. Will he be successful? I enjoyed Captive Trail. It was one of those stories that grows on you as you read it. I enjoyed meeting all the characters. Taabe Waipu is a woman of great strength and as I was reading I was wondering if I would have been as strong she. I wasn't sure I was going to like Ned in the beginning but he really was a great guy. I would say this story is more of a historical than a romance although there is a touch of romance in it along with a bit of mystery. It's not what I would consider a fast paced story but toward the very end it became pretty intense and the ending was great! How the Lord can get us through impossible situations if we trust Him was the message I walked away with. I did feel the characters were well drawn and that the story was true to it's time period. This is book 2 in the Morgan Family Series but can be read as a stand-alone. A thank you goes to the publisher for providing this complimentary copy for my review through Netgalley. Publisher: Moody Publishers (September 1, 2011) ISBN-10: 0802405843 ISBN-13: 978-0802405845
As a little child she was abducted from her family and forced to become a Numinu Comanche or starve. Years later in 1857 North Central Texas, Peca offers the insultingly low six horses to her adopted parents to make Taabe Waipu his squaw. Taabe fears Peca so instead flees hoping to find her white family. Instead she falls when her horse stepped into a hole. Butterfield Overland Mail Company owner driver Ned Bright sees the body of a Comanche female who is clearly white. With two Sisters on board, he still stops to pick her up and take her to Fort Chadbourne. The two nuns take Taabe to their mission where she heals from dehydration and a broken ankle. As she relearns to speak English, Taabe and Ned fall in love, but he feels he owes her finding out who her family is even as the Comanche attack the Ursuline Mission. The second Morgan family Americana tale (see Darlene Franklin's opener, The Lone Star Trail) is a wonderful romantic suspense starring a strong cast that brings to life Antebellum Texas. Character driven, still the story line is loaded with action. However, although Ned is too heroic, the heroine owns the tale as her struggles to readapt are skillfully described as a key element in a warm Texas romance. Harriet Klausner
I've read some fictional accounts before of captives escaping from Indian tribes, and while this story is not as gritty, raw, or descriptive as others, it still shares the reality of how turbulent and violent the interactions between settlers and natives were at the time. Taabe's story is revealed in layers throughout the book as she looks back on her time among the Comanche, struggles to remember her life before that, and learns to live in the white world again. She befriends the man who rescued her, and Ned's patience and kindness to her was endearing. He both wishes for and dreads the day when she will discover her true family and be reunited with them. I enjoyed the nuns with whom she lives at the mission, each having their own personality and idiosyncrasies. Taabe's point of view shows us the difficulty she has understanding and communicating, but she quickly learns with the help of the nuns and their young ward and her perspective shifts along with her growing knowledge. I felt tense anticipation throughout novel waiting for the inevitable Indian attack from her pursuers, and the climactic battle scene is both harrowing and inspiring. (Thank you to Moody Publishers for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
An escaped Comanche captive looking for her true family. An Ursaline mission run by the Sisters who nurse and protect Taabe Waipu. A stagecoach driver who will stop at nothing to reunite Taabe with her family. And a band of Comanche warriors who want their prisoner back. The second book in the Morgan Family Series takes place about 12 years after the first book Lone Star Trail, and it does stand alone if you choose not to read the first book. Beginning in 1857, we follow the story Taabe Waipu in her journey to discovering her true identity. She has been with the Comanche for so long that she has forgotten almost everything, even English, except for the fact that she does not belong with the Comanche. She finds a safe haven with the Nuns at the mission and a friend in Ned Bright, the stagecoach driver. As her affections for Ned grow, so does her doubt. Will he accept her once he knows the secrets of her past? As time progresses, Taabe relearns English and can communicate more about who she is and inquires are sent from families in Texas that have lost children to the Indians. Will she ever find her family? Will she be protected from her captors, or will they find her and force her return? I thoroughly enjoyed reading Captive Trail. The “Old West” is one of my favorite time periods to read. I was skeptical at first because each book in this series is written by a different author. But because it stands alone, there were no real comparisons to make regarding changes in characters. Susan Page Davis does an excellent job of continuing the story of the Morgan family. This book was a pretty laid back easy read. The first 18 chapters (there are 24 chapter in all) were mostly building to the climax, that I knew was coming, but wasn’t sure how it would all come about. But it wasn’t boring. We learn a lot about Taabe’s character and learn more about her life with the Comanche and the heartache and sorrow she had to endure as their captive. I highly recommend this book for a quick read if you enjoy learning about the perils and danger of life in the time of Cowboys and Indians. I received a free copy of Captive Trail from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review
Great read.....gentle romance...222 pages
Very good read.
Never a dull moment. This is a good clean book that has a setting at a mission run by nuns. It' s a great read at 213 pages.