DARK HILLS TO WESTWARD: The Saga of Jennie Wylie by Harry Caudill

DARK HILLS TO WESTWARD: The Saga of Jennie Wylie

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Out of the hand-me-down hearsay history of early America, a tremendous, horrendous story which proceeds from the same region as Mr. Caudill's more modern tragedy, Night Comes to the Cumberlands (1963). In sheer savagery capable of diminishing the Whitman massacre, this took place in 1779? 1787? 1789? in the genuine wilds of West Virginia where Jennie Wiley, the wife of a man who quietly loved his farm and family, witnessed the tomahawking of her brother and her four children. Jennie herself, an alert, competent, magnetic woman, was taken captive by the Cherokee Dull Knife, a pathological killer, and although very pregnant, made the long wet march to have her baby alone during the one year captivity. It too was scalped and Jennie herself was about to be killed when Dull Knife spared her--""This squaw is too brave to die."" So she was, escaping finally, almost betrayed by her only friend--a little dog--and finally reaching the settlement where, during the inevitable Indian raid to follow, she was the one to shoot Dull Knife down...Mr. Caudill's a writer of sufficient power to do his subject justice and this is an inexorable ordeal of courage.

Pub Date: July 14th, 1969
Publisher: Little, Brown-A.M.P.