From Chapter 25 The Sweat Lodge
(Paul Bacardi, Iroquois, as a child, for his safety, was moved to Minnesota to the Embrace Lake Reservation. He grew up to enter college, change his name upon graduation and became a lawyer with rich white clients. The appearance of Princess Tongowari begins to change his attitude; he later reinstates his Indian name, John Running Light.)
“Now we go down,” Buffalo Walker went on, “There is still time to construct the sweat lodge. We will sweat and fast tonight, and fast tomorrow, and bathe in the cool water.”
“It will seal a bond between the three of us,” Tongowari added, looking first at the Apache, then at John, “And no matter what will happen tomorrow or next year, we will have this night together.”
Buffalo Walker started down. Tongowari glanced at John once more, then followed. John stood for a moment. In Tongowari’s eyes he had seen perennial love, a love withheld but present nonetheless, and waxing. All his life before then, his work as a white man’s lawyer, his time with Roanna, his years in the white schools, all, he would leave there on the jutting rock and follow the two before him to an ancient ceremony, one to be carried out in the most primitive of method that would relieve him of all the pressures and heartaches of ten thousand yesterdays, and prepare him for all the pressures and heartaches and happiness of ten thousand more tomorrows.
His feet picked out the easiest, safest, most noiseless of path. His eyes took in the patriarchal pines, the sunlight filtering through them and bouncing and splashing among the shadows. His ears heard birdsong, buzzing insects, the foliage-subdued sound of falling water ahead of them. His nose sensed the tang of decay, the zestiness of pine sap, the piquancy of wildflowers. And his hands felt the texture of tree bark as he passed, the literal feel of the air around him.
John Running Light felt at last like a real Indian, and alive.
From Chapter 30 The End of Boyhood
(We’ve all known women like Vivian, sweet, innocent, trusting; she has five children all from different men, and all abandoned her when she wouldn’t agree to an abortion.)
Vivian kept her lip bit. She felt alone, painfully alone and cold, even with the van’s heater going. Her whimsical picnic had turned into a nightmare, and how to explain to the children why the food was barely touched. Why had she let her emotional and physical desires override everything, and how could she ever, ever, explain that she had let another man take advantage of her—oh!
There wouldn’t be any need for explaining anything really. Her face would tell them
everything. Jock and Brenna would know for sure—oh!
She shut her eyes and realized she was worried only about the petty things. The most urgent thing wouldn’t be known for days, maybe a full month. She knew how irregular her periods were—she knew!
I can’t be pregnant again, oh, God! I can’t be!
She clenched her fists in the darkness. She was aware from the moment of saying ‘yes’ to a date the predicament that could arise from it. But she had flung reason to the wind, just as she had five times before. How could Aaron have been so deceitful? So completely sweet and innocent—oh! Oh! OH!
But not his fault any more than hers. She had craved his loving attention just as he obviously had craved hers. But she had been so sure that more dates, the meeting of her children, and marriage would eventually be the next steps. It should have been a natural, wonderful, wanted thing! Oh, God—Oh!
And after knowing the warm, loving, sweetness, of Aaron Hodges how could she ever, ever, ever, let Anson Helm touch her ever again? How could she ever allow herself to touch him again? How could she ever, ever, ever, do that awful thing he demanded of her again? Nearly every, every, every, day! God! No!
Tears almost came. She bit her lip harder and felt the skin break, and tasted blood. She snatched her hanky and blew her nose, gasped and snuffed a sob, choked the tears back and swallowed them.
(You now know the 2 main characters and the 4 main secondary characters.)
Just 2 posts left. Soon look for a Kindle Countdown Deal beginning at $0.99, regularly $3.99 for this 700-page, 220,000-word book.
One more song for the Native American part of this novel. so that when the reader gets to the Sweat Lodge chapter it will mean more, and then the words by Vernon Foster about the dangers of Sweat Lodges by those who don’t understand and truly respect.
Finally, the song “Fallen” from the beautiful Sarah Mclachlan, for the long-suffering Vivian.