WAIT FOR ME, WATCH FOR ME, EULA BEE by Patricia Beatty

WAIT FOR ME, WATCH FOR ME, EULA BEE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A slightly offbeat, carefully tempered story of Indian captivity that pits 13-year-old Lewallen Collier against the Comanches for the allegiance of his little sister Eula Bee. Left unprotected when Pa and big brother Johnny join the Confederates, the two are captured in an Indian raid which also wipes out the rest of the family. Advised to ""show bravery"" by fellow-captive Tomás Cabral, his once-slighted ten-year-old ""Mexican"" neighbor, Lewallen stands up to a vicious Kiowa (whereas, apparently, no Comanche is all bad) and, for dauntlessly singing Eula Bee's favorite song, wins the sobriquet Sings His War Song. Then, tipped off by Tomás, Lewallen escapes; but at the nearest Confederate fort he finds that only Tomás' father, away when the raid occurred, is ready to act. And Mr. Cabral is suspect as a Comanchero, one who trades with Comanches. How, at Lewallen's insistence, the two team up; Tomás and Mr. Cabral are wantonly killed in a Union attack on the Comanches (a deliberate balancing of wrongs); and Lewallen, latching onto Cabral's Comanchero relatives, eventually frees Eula Bee--all this makes for a tense, twisting tale that may have over-many historical facets (like the Comanchero encouragement of Indian drinking) but doesn't strain credulity until the snap rescue (ostensibly because the Indians are drunk). Then, with Lewallen, we watch to see if Eula Bee has in a year become, as he was warned, ""more Comanche than Collier."" Though West Texas in the Civil War serves as something of a sociocultural microcosm, on the whole the plotting is strong enough to sustain the interlinked messages.

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 1978
Publisher: Morrow