Book Description (382 pp; 3 illustrations;
low gloss cover; paperback)
destruction of the Plains Horse Culture of the nomadic Native Americans is not the first incidence of
ethnic cleansing in the sweep of human history, nor the last. That ruination of something of value, a way
of life, was as tragic as any 20th century horror. It was also inevitable. It was a 'manifest destiny'. The depiction
of Cowboys and Indians or the clash of Cavalry and Savages on the big screen or television does not touch the horror or the
beauty, neither the courage nor the pain. This book attempts to catch truth by taking fact and etching it in fiction. No reader
will be unmoved. No reader will fail to be carried on his or her own mind's eye into those days and feel the prairie wind
on their faces, or be astonished by the whoosh of a passing arrow. The novel sees events from the viewpoint of fanatic would-be
killers of Indians, courageous troopers, and warriors who find fear entwined in their courage. There is an even balance and
an ending which is sheer shock - do NOT read the last page first.
From the Author
The extraordinary thing is that I knew little more about the Plains Culture and the Indian
Wars than that gleaned from watching John Wayne and films like Dances With Wolves. It was a joking bet with an American professor
at Wichita State University, which served to conceive this book. I wrote a chapter that very evening and thought it wonderful,
and from that moment discovered I knew nothing whatsoever. Curiously the bulk of that first chapter still exists towards the
end of the book, but greatly altered and corrected - the youth White Hawk waking to the sound of passing cavalry. Though there
is a wealth of material on the subject - particularly Custer and the Little Big Horn - much of it is in the United States.
Fortunately, through contacts there I have been able to build up a library of several hundred books and documents as part
of the necessary research. The bulk of my hard information, however, surrounds the Little Big Horn fight. That topic was to
be the centrepiece of the book. However I quickly realised, from my own initial lack of knowledge, that there was so much
to place before a lay reader on the subject that it was necessary to back-track a couple of decades and
provide the reader with a kind of lead into the main event. Having done that I found I had written a 130,000-word
book anyway and rather than produce a much larger volume I felt two shorter ones would be the right approach.
This was rather cunning because it has brought me into print earlier. I am currently researching for the
second book. I am haunted my many images and hope that I will again be able to catch the thing entire
and make some sense of these sad occasions, more awful than the death of kings, for we witness the end
of a whole people's way of life.