This first title in The Long Rifle Series is set in the year 1832, when Oregon is still disputed territory, claimed both by English and American settlers. Using real historical characters such as President Andrew Jackson, who was determined that America should become a “two ocean country,” and Captain Benjamin Bonneville, soldier, fur trader and explorer, the author creates an exciting tale based on Bonneville’s famous expedition that purposed to reconnoitre a possible trail for wagons all the way from Fort Osage on the Missouri River to Oregon. Pierre, a 16-year-old youth of mysterious birth, joins Bonneville’s mission along with his faithful dog, Guess, both for adventure and to seek the murderers of his grandfather and of his tutor. These two refined Frenchmen had raised the boy on a remote farm on the Mississippi River and painstakingly trained him in gentlemanly arts—he is a proficient swordsman and scholar —as well as in those of farmer, hunter and woodsman. He and another young man his own age, Henry Chatillon, also an experienced marksman, are appointed hunters and scouts for the Bonneville party. Many difficulties face the pioneering wagon train: harsh weather, lame cattle, lack of water and an unforgiving terrain. Alongside this there is the rivalry between Bonneville’s trappers and those employed by the Hudson Bay Company, as the American trappers determine to claim Oregon for the new country.
All the author’s skills as a story-teller combine with his historical knowledge in this fast-moving tale.
Original Book: 353 pages