Herons Poynte

Herons Poynte

by George Callaghan

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Overview

Inspired by the stories of Grandfather Two Tongues, a young Indian man named David Waterfield leaves his small village in the Oklahoma panhandle and returns to the Chesapeake in search of the stolen lands of his ancestors. His only clues to their whereabouts are the image of a great tree woven into a belt of shell beads, a marsh full of bullet-riddled bog mummies, and a mysterious phonetic parchment written by a Jesuit priest in the lost language of his Choptank ancestors.

Eventually, David locates his ancient homeland on a peninsula dominated by a gigantic white oak. He is dismayed, however, to discover that the sacred land around the tree has been transformed into a vast plantation occupied by Caecilius Blackburn VII, a direct descendant of the English lord who claimed ownership of the site in 1635 by virtue of a royal land grant from King Charles I.

According to Grandfather Two Tongues, the Choptank people refused to abandon the land they had lived on for ten thousand years. But Lord Blackburn turned a deaf ear to their entreaties. He ordered his men to murder the tribe's chief, Great Standing Bear, and most of his warriors, disposing of their bodies in a peat bog. Those who survived the massacre were forced to flee halfway across the continent and take refuge on a piece of land so desolate that no white man wanted it—a place called "No Man's Land."

For centuries the tribe lived in utter poverty while the descendants of Lord Blackburn became extremely wealthy, first by selling tobacco harvested by African slaves and later from a steel mill they had built on a second royal land grant across the Bay, a place Lord Blackburn had called "the poynte of the herons."

Filled with outrage, David comes into conflict with the Blackburn family. Crashing a lawn party at their estate, he confronts them in front of their guests and lays claim to his ancestral lands. Greatly disturbed by this, the Blackburns become determined to kill David and destroy his mysterious Choptank parchment.

Soon David meets a kindred soul in the beautiful Liz Mancini, a whistle blower who works in the steel mill's office. David is appalled to learn from her that the foundry at Herons Point is a notorious polluter of the environment and is thought to be responsible for the growing number of lung cancer deaths in surrounding communities, including Liz's father.

David and Liz decide to join forces against their common enemy. The Blackburns, using their enormous resources, rebuff them at every turn. Their efforts seem futile until an unexpected discovery sends David halfway across the world and into the dark splendor of the Pope's Secret Archives in Vatican City.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940149617593
Publisher: Cashel & Kells Publishing Company
Publication date: 06/02/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 483
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

A long time resident of Annapolis, Maryland, the author is an avid sailor and environmentalist. His work as a documentary and commercial filmmaker has won him many national awards. His feature film script, The Last Foxhunt, was honored by a Gold Medal at the Houston International Film Festival. Mr. Callaghan graduated from Kenyon College with a BA in English Literature and received a MA in the same subject from Northwestern University. He can be reached through his website at www.heronspoynte.com

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