20613745Robert Bausch gives us a novel that sprawls across the west, covering from a few years after the Civil War until the Custer massacre in 1876.

We follow young Bobby Hale, a Virginian and a veteran, that headed west to find out what lay out there. Hale is not his real name, just the latest.

The story covers Hale’s time with a wagon train, his five year partnership with the Crow Big Tree where he learns trapping and how to live to hooking up with a pair of women, sisters, headed west. He serves as scout sent out looking for Indians, hooks up with Ink, the young half breed Nez Perce woman, shooting her then nursing her back to health, and finally ending up stuck in the middle of the Big Horm battle.

Told in the first person, author Robert Bausch is consistent in his depiction of Hale as a man with little formal education, his use of the wrong tense quite regular, his unfamiliarity with how to deal with common things, and his quick reaction, oftentimes wrong.

Quite enjoyed this one.