KELLY BLUE by Peter Bowen


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 The amusing adventures of Luther ``Yellowstone'' Kelly continue (Yellowstone Kelly-not reviewed), bringing him a Native American marriage and pitting him against a Native American church. Reminiscing at the uproarious deathbed of his friend Buffalo Bill Cody, the extremely likable Kelly recalls the youthful encounter with a curious bishop's daughter that led to his flight westward from New York and the beginning of his career as a Famous Frontiersman. Kelly's brief, underage enlistment in the Union army at the end of the Civil War leads to an assignment at a frontier post in Minnesota-from which he wanders into the world of the Sioux, who give him a taste for the Indian life and then pass him into the care of mountain man Jim Bridger. Profane and stupendously smart, Bridger, along with Kelly's future Indian father-in-law Washakie, teaches him enough survival skills to make a career as western guide, largely through the hair-raising but pretty effective practical-joke method. Kelly's war with the Mormons begins when he wanders into Utah and is captured by Brigham Young, who sends him in search of the daughter he married off to a villainous polygamist whom she fled, taking with her letters that could prove most embarrassing to her father. Once that business is squared away, Kelly goes off on a disastrous search for a missing load of gold and becomes witness to the beginning of the end of the Plains Indians of whom he is so fond. Very, very funny, and because the Indians are people who make jokes and war rather than saints who make epic movies, their fate is genuinely bitter.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-517-58286-4
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1991


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