THE SWEETWATER by Jean Rikhoff


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Further in the Buttes Landing (1973) and One of the Raymonds chronology with more one suspects to come--it comes so easily. Miss Rikhoff is a prolix writer with no particular leasehold on originality, but she keeps this panel moving westward with John Buttes, his first cousin Mason Raymond, the ""nigger"" Pepper Tom who smokes cigarettes (and uses the word ""overreactin',"" yet) and a girl Benjie Klomp (yes) who had spent fifteen years as an Indian squaw only to be far more maltreated by some whites. The central inner problem to be resolved is Mason's--too gentle to hurt a flea, he had had to put a man out of his misery seven years ago and he's still flogging his guilt. But before the long crossing on the Oregon trail is over he's gained the necessary ""courage and conviction""; they've had to face Indians, frenzied horses, and all the elements you will anticipate--dust storm and prairie fire and dangerous river waters. The itinerary is wellprovisioned with just this kind of actuality and it is midwestern and western in its primary appeal. Those who enjoy a familiar wilderness saga will ""axe"" for it.

Pub Date: June 28th, 1976
ISBN: 0595155049
Publisher: Dial