Spring 1832 at the edge of the Little Island Mountains, the country
From our place of concealment, we silently watched the tribesman ease cautiously out of the draw and press up a steep slope littered with broken boulders and sparse-leafed mountain scrub, exposing himself to two warriors on sturdy Indian ponies methodically working the rims of the coulee below. One threw up a long gun and shattered a stone near the fleeing man’s shoulder. A third brave, nearer his quarry, loosed a wild yell and wheeled his pony, raising a tomahawk as the pinto churned awkwardly across the sharply pitched ground. His prey evaded the hatchet and snagged its wicked head, bringing down both man and mount.
The two adversaries tumbled in a dog-fall over the cruel, stony ground. Only one, the fugitive, staggered to his feet, swiped a bloody knife on his slain foe’s leggings, and broke for the scrambling pinto. A second shot roared; the pony screamed in pain and flopped to the ground, sliding in the loose scree.
The runner dropped behind the downed beast and clawed a weapon from beneath the heavy body. Easing the barrel over the horse’s side, he pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. Abandoning the useless musket atop the dead horse, the brave slithered on his belly to the sanctuary of a narrow fold of rock and began a slow climb up the escarpment. The other two Indians, most likely believing their prey now armed, dismounted and carefully approached the fallen pony.
Hidden by a thin, serrated outcrop of granite crowning the ridge, we witnessed the deadly drama unfold below us. The lone Indian, clad only in breechcloth and moccasins, slipped through the thin cover of the slope, gaining significant advantage over his cautious pursuers in this ghastly game of hide-and-seek with human lives in the forfeit. I hold strongly to the view red Indians are human even though this brings me into conflict with much of society. I have the same opinion of black slaves. Neither conviction is often voiced aloud.
Beyond the promontory we occupied, the high plains stretched below puffy thunderheads to the northern horizon broken only by a distant, barren mamelle. These broad, short-grass champains cut a swath through the country four hundred miles wide from Canada to Tejas, interrupted by occasional ranges such as the Little Islands at our backs and the Great Shining Mountains rising well to the west.
Cut Hand, Mark Wildyr’s romantic adventure set in the 1800s, is the story of a white youth on an Indian frontier and the young Indian warrior he falls in love with. Billy’s world is completely turned upside down when Cut Hand, the handsome warrior that he and his friends take captive, steals his heart and convinces him to live among his people.
Billy is plunged into a strange culture in which his lust for another man isn’t regarded as even remotely disgraceful. Their sexuality becomes a mere footnote in the struggle of the Plains tribes to preserve their way of life. Partly told in Colonial English, the novel follows the lives of these lovers from 1832 to 1861, thirty tumultuous years on young America’s frontier.
Softcover Book : 288 pages
Publisher: Starbooks ( May 01, 2010 )
Item #: 13-111282
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.65inches
Product Weight: 10.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
This is my second reading of CUT HAND before passing it along to an interested reader.
Excellant book, as is authors other two books. You The Reader Will NOT be disappointed,,,enjoy this book.
Reviewer: Paul C
Unrelated to my attraction to the story line, I was very impressed by the use of language and terms from that time, and the sensitivity to the complex relationships between tribes and different groups of White immigrants, similar in nature to the epic film "Little Big Man". The overall understanding of human nature in general is clearly the work of a very very smart person. I would recommend this book to anyone of high school age and up.
Reviewer: Sam M
Really enjoyed this, as others said, didn't want to put it down, or for it to end. Very well done.
Loved this book...beautifully written, beautiful characters and what a story!
This book is so well written and the period so well researched, you'd swear you're reading an actual, true historical love story from that period. And I agree, it was a tough one to put down. Someday, I'll read this one again.
Reviewer: Frank G