When Hawthorne found the Lakota village, everyone was dead. Thirty men, women, and children. He thought army at first until he examined the bodies. All were withered husks and spider webs were everywhere. Certainly not the army then.
A rustle behind reveals a survivor, a sixteen year old boy, who, leads him to a cave where his cousin, a young woman, and an older one, grandmother. There he learns what happened.
The Iktomi were an ancient evil that thrived on fear, spider-like demons that thrived when blood ran freely. With the coming of the white man into the Black Hills, they were emerging once again. They had been defeated a hundred years before by the young woman’s great grandfather, though it took his life. His ash bow was revered and had been passed down the generations as a guard against the Spider tribe’s return. It was said only a person full of hate for evil could wield the bow effectively.
Hawthorne would soon find out if he was than person.
I’ve become increasingly fond of this weird western series with each new edition. Heath Lowrance writes convincingly of the mysterious gunman Hawthorne, a fine character, and I look forward to the tale that tells the story of the cross-shaped scar on his face. It seems the key to what made our hero the man he is today, a relentless enemy of the demonic evils of the west in this weird west series. We’ll get that story some day, but until then, I will enjoy the ride with each new edition.
Highly recommended. The latest from David Cranmer’s Beat To a Pulp press can be found here on Kindle.