PILLAR OF CLOUD by Jackson Burgess

PILLAR OF CLOUD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

1858, and a journey westward from Whitaker in the Kansas Territory is undertaken by an ill-assorted and ill-prepared handful of men- and one woman- who hope that the promise of a new country will erase the fears and failures of the past. Under the guidance of wagon master Ned Drum are Garvin Cooper, a lawyer- Bob McVey, a Quaker couple, an easterner, and the runaway apprentice Jim Pierce. As the wagon wheels turn west- there is the vigilance against the Indians- although those they meet are peaceable; McVey's mistrust of Drum which mounts to manic violence, and his unprovoked shooting of an old Indian who is harmless and alone; a brush fire spooks their horses and mules; and finally the end of the journey brings further tragedy when Drum takes his own life..... As the bright expectations of a new world give way to the stress of this journey through bare country, the narrative achieves a subdued tension and offers a superior and more substantial type of western.

Pub Date: July 19th, 1957
ISBN: 0548384711
Publisher: Putnam