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Fredrick W. Boling -- Writing Western

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Wakan Man
Fredrick W. Boling
Bighorn Publishing
ISBN 0-9722808-0-4


Joel Leslie, a Presbyterian missionary, and his twin brother, Joshua, an army surgeon, travel into Wyoming Territory in 1866, the time of Red Cloud's War. Joel continues on to Montana when he is captured by the Lakota Sioux who torture and blind him despite the fact that he is a holy man. But a Lakota shaman whose mother was Crow rescues him and the two join the Crows. Joel swears vengeance against the Lone Wolf, the man who blinded him. He also begins to hate his brother Joshua for not rescuing him. During a fight between Crow and Lakota warriors Joel kills Lone Wolf and takes his scalp. Now he is Joel no longer, but Sees Plenty, a Crow warrior.

Unknown to Joel, Joshua has deserted the army in order to find him. During his search he meets Hooker and his Indian woman, Lucy, and Joshua catches gold fever after seeing a nugget that Hooker has given Lucy. Joshua and Lucy escape together, believing that Joshua has killed Hooker. But Hooker still lives and murders Lucy when Joshua's growing obsession with gold leads him to leave her alone in their cabin while he works in his mine. After killing Hooker in retribution he continually drinks himself insensible, forgetting about rescuing Joel until his cousin finds him and sobers him up. But it is too late. His brother Joel Leslie is dead. Now he is Sees Plenty and he has no desire to be rescued. They part as men who once were brothers but no longer are. Wonderful characterization and a poignant ending lift this book out of the ordinary. Reviewed byDoris Meredith, Books Editor, ROUNDUP MAGAZINE.


Joshua and Joel Leslie are two Scottish brothers. Joshua, a major in the U.S. Army and Joel, a reverend heading to Montana to be a missionary, have a strong bond until unforeseen events test the limits of brotherly love.

Joel, known as Wakan man to the Indians, is captured and tortured by the Lakotas. Medicine Hawk, who is half Lakota and half Crow rescues Joel and takes him to the Crow tribe. Here Joel finds healing and adopts the Crow tribe as his family. He learns their ways and seeks revenge on Lone Wolf, the Lakota Indian who blinded him.

The day he takes Lone Wolf's scalp is the day Joel Leslie dies and Sees Plenty is born. Joshua, after learning about his brother's capture, deserts the military in search of Joel. He becomes weak with pneumonia and is near death when Jack Hooker, 'Hook', and his Shoshone squaw, Lucy, find him. He gains strength under Lucy's care but becomes consumed with the gold nugget hanging around her neck.

Lucy confides in Joshua about Hook's temper and Joshua realizes they must escape before Hook kills them both. WAKAN MAN weaves history throughout its pages in a fascinating tale of one man's greed costing him everything he loves and another man's rebirth where he finds a new life and love. Reviewed by Audra Silva for SCRIBESWORLD.