The Scout

Harry Combs, Author
Harry Combs, Author Delacorte Press $22.95 (602p) ISBN 978-0-385-31198-4
Reviewed on: 05/29/1995
Release date: 06/01/1995
Mass Market Paperbound - 736 pages - 978-0-440-21729-9
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-553-47280-6
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This second epic novel (after Brules) of a projected trilogy captures the majesty and turbulence of the American frontier from 1874 to 1883. Cat Brules is a mountain man, buffalo hunter, Indian fighter and Army scout who lives his western adventures boldly and without regret. Convincingly told in the first person, this portion of his tale spans the great Indian wars that ravaged the northern plains and parched Southwest as Brules's hunting and scouting carry him from Wyoming, the Dakotas and Montana to Colorado, Utah and Arizona. Brules is both kind and vicious, a ruthless killer of his enemies but a considerate and loyal friend--a rugged individualist with a strong sense of responsibility. Though a hard sort, he can be touched by the friendship of his Shoshone blood brother and by his love for a young Mormon woman. Brules rides with Generals Crook, Terry and Custer on the Little Bighorn campaign against the Sioux, fighting at the Battle of the Rosebud, barely escaping Custer's grisly fate. He later tracks the forced migration of the Nez Perce and scouts for General Crook against the Ute and Apache. Combs is a master of western narrative and dialogue, filling his story with rich descriptions of people, places and events; the Indian fights here swirl with dust and smoke, bullets and arrowheads, thudding warclubs and the crashing of rifle and pistol fire. This is a magnificent story of bravery, treachery, violence, beauty and love--sort of a white man's version of Little Big Man, and not a whit less absorbing. Simultaneous BDD Audio; audio, electronic, performance rights: Margret McBride Literary Agency. (June)
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