In 1872, young Nate Henderson travels from Texas with his family, dreaming of gold in the Black Hills. But on the way, tragedy strikes in Nebraska, and for the next four years his life, as well as his dreams, are transformed. As Nate grows into manhood, he develops a strong relationship with both the largest Lakota Sioux tribe and with their sacred Black Hills. He eventually moves to the frontier town of Stonewall where he discovers first-hand the might of the Seventh Cavalry and the intentions of its leader, George Armstrong Custer, to remove all Indians from the Dakota Territory.
Books by the Author:
What Every (New) Author Should Know: A Survey of American Readers (no information for this book was available)
Sample Chapter of book
“Nathaniel! Get your sister. Your father has something to discuss with us.”
The only times Nate Henderson’s mother had addressed him by his given name were when there was a serious issue. So it was natural that Nate felt anxious as he rushed through the hotel looking for Becky. He couldn’t think of any chores he hadn’t completed, and he was sure his father didn’t know about the kiss he gave Maggie last week after church.
He found his younger sister in the kitchen, and said, “Hey, Becky, father wants to see us. Do you know why?”
Becky had sweat streaming from her brow from bending over the hot water where she’d been laundering bed linens for the past hour. Her blond hair and the front of her blouse were soaked, and she wiped her forehead, looked at Nate and shook her head.
In a calm voice, Nate said, “Mom called me, ‘Nathaniel’.”
Becky said, “Uh oh.”
Together they walked upstairs to the office where they would find out what the serious issue was.
As they walked, Becky asked, “How’s Maggie?” Then she giggled.
Nate looked at his sister, blushed, and said, “Don’t tell. Promise?”
She gave him a wink as they arrived at the office, where they stopped outside the door, waiting for the invitation to enter.
Joseph Henderson was sitting behind his desk, and his wife was sitting beside him on the same side of the desk, indicating she was supporting her husband on what was to be discussed. No matter what the circumstance, and with no regard for her own personal feelings, Ruth Henderson always supported her husband. The scene added to the anxiety of the younger Hendersons.
The patriarch of the family was a large man with gentle features. He still had most of his dark brown hair with some gray around his temples, and warm brown eyes behind his spectacles. Years ago, he was a jovial sort, with a joke and a laugh for every friend or stranger he encountered. Since the war, he hadn’t smiled or laughed much, and hadn’t told a joke since Savannah. But he was a loving father, and was determined to provide his family with everything he’d once been able to provide before the war. It was a promise he made when they headed west, and was the glue he believed that maintained the strength of the Henderson family. It was a promise that now dominated his life.<
The father looked up from a large map he was poring over and said, “Come in, children. Please sit down.”
Ruth Henderson reached out and grabbed her husband’s hand. Nate and Becky noticed, and they glanced at each other. This was serious.
Conversations in the hotel office were a rarity, but when there were conversations with the hotel’s owner behind the desk, they were always one-sided.
Joseph began his soliloquy.
For ten minutes, he talked of the memories before the war when he’d been one of the richest men in Savannah. How his hotel was the largest in the South, with over a hundred rooms, a restaurant, and the livery stable. There was sorrow in his eyes as he spoke about how General Sherman and his Union soldiers had destroyed the railroad, torched crops, and burned down many businesses in Savannah including his. He glanced at his wife as he talked about the friends and family who’d been killed in the war, including both of her brothers, and he closed his eyes momentarily as he talked about his fellow businessmen who’d lost as much or more than he had. Joseph spoke their names. There was anger in his voice as he recalled the carpetbaggers who “swooped down like buzzards” after the war to take advantage of the misfortunes which had befallen many of the great cities of the Confederacy.
Nate and Becky had no idea where the conversation was going, and had heard these words before from their father, but they remained silent. They knew their father always took his time when he had something important to share with them, and the length of this preamble was an indication that something monumental was about to occur.