THE WHITE PERIL by Cliff Faulknor


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This is a follow-up to The White Calf (1965, p. 499-J169), and it starts after an interval of five years. Eagle Child is now old enough to take on tribal responsibilities, and the albino calf he tended now runs with the wild buffalo, dangerous to everyone but his former protector. The Blackfoot territory is no longer a private domain--the white man is gradually encroaching. Eagle Child is included in a scouting party to spy out the situation and strength of the rumored infiltrators, and they leave with the exciting hope of war. The inexperienced group is often incompetent, however, and the superior strength of their opponents becomes increasingly evident. Eagle Child is separated from the others, but is rescued by the crew of a steamboat, and there he confirms his suspicions of his tribe's military inferiority. He returns to discover his people dying of small pox, and finds himself forced to kill the white buffalo. Its death symbolizes ""a future empty as the prairie around him."" The theme of the disintegration of the tribe is stronger than the story can support, and like the earlier book, this lacks a dominant, sympathetic figure. The descriptions are solid, but the results are more depressing than moving.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1966
Publisher: Little, Brown