cover image One Eyed Dream

One Eyed Dream

Terry C. Johnston. Jameson Books (IL), $19.95 (432pp) ISBN 978-0-915463-38-1

Although identified as the third book in a trilogy (after Carry the Wind and Borderloris), the final line in this volume reads: ""This ain't the last you've heard of Titus Bass!'' Bass is the hard-bitten, one-eyed ``old'' (40) trapper and mountain man who's befriended orphan Josiah Paddock. In 1833 they and their Indian wives, and Josiah's infant son, make their way to an idyllic spot in northern New Mexico, later moving on to Taos for the winter. Titus discovers that two ex-friends who stole his catch 10 years before are still alive and he sets out to wreak his revenge. Josiah travels with him to St. Louis where old M. LeClerc has plotted for years to avenge his son's death at Josiah's hands. The LeClerc tale has nice gothic possibilities but ends in soggy sentimentality. Despite much gory detail about skinning game, killing Indians (about three dozen of various tribes are dispatched) and minute descriptions of life in old St. Louis and on the frontier, the book founders under writing that is repetitious, fatuous and occasionally just bad: `` . . . the annual affair came but once a year.'' Paperback rights to Bantam; Preferred Choice Book Plan alternate. (April)