THE BELLS OF AUTUMN
A Western Novel
By James Hufferd
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In 1903, a small western town—Newcastle, Wyoming—struggles to overcome its remembered violent past of Indian wars and fighting outlaws and enter the new, modern 20th century. Arrayed against this good intent is the fresh reality of vigilante action and a lynching triggered by a gruesome murder and a distrust of civil justice, and ultimately, the final consequential Battle of Lightning Creek. That lesser-known skirmish flared in November of that fateful year as a surprising encore on Wyoming soil pitting townspeople stirred up by a hectoring town father against young Sioux from the Pine Ridge Reservation on a sanctioned fall hunt. Based largely on real incidents, the events in this book are viewed through the eyes of a precocious adolescent and his adoptive father who, the son of the army’s contracted storekeeper at Fort Laramie before the destruction of the buffalo, and partly raised and acculturated by Indians, is the local pariah.
Longtime Wyomingite and sometime Westerner, JAMES HUFFERD is a versatile author, activist, humorist, explorer, novelist, historian, and retired college teacher with roots in the Midwest (Iowa). He has worked, studied, and found inspiration in seven states and abroad and traveled widely from Canada’s Arctic Islands in winter to Patagonia to Morocco and twice been a Pesquisador (Researcher) Visitante at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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