JOHNNY OSAGE by Janice Holt Giles


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Johnny Fowler is kin to Hannah Fowler (1956) and the brother of Rebecca whose story was told in The Believers (1957), and while this third book is in no sense dependent on the earlier two it is affiliated in the sense that it is backed up solidly by one particular historical episode. In this case it is the Osage-Cherokee wars, and there are actual characters and incidents as well as Johnny Fowler, who runs a trading post and whose knowhow of the Indian country is as great as his sympathies for the Osage Indians; and Judith Lowell, a young missionary-teacher, who comes to one of their villages with the inexperienced, arbitrary Brother Chapman. During the course of events here, Major Bradford, trying to keep the peace without a properly manned fort, sends an old trapper, Nathaniel Pryor, to intercede with the intransigeant The Blade, a Cherokee. But The Blade makes his violent raid on an Osage village, murders and and mutilates their women and children, and it is Johnny- in spite of the fact that he may lose Judith in so doing- who avenges the atrocities committed and kills The Blade.... If Janice Holt Giles neglects her people for her period, she still tells a steady story, gives it a familiar slant, and is well within reach of her already established audience.

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 1959
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin