Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Traitor of the Natchez Trace


“It was 500 miles through these Indian Nations on the winding Natchez Trace—500 miles through swamp and canebrake and wilderness desolation. Here no law had penetrated, and no religion. Renegade white men, crowded from more ordered lands, found the territory a pirate’s paradise.”

That is the fascinating setting of this Ryerson Johnson tale. Johnson seemed to specialize in well-researched tales of not your usual Western settings and not your usual protagonist occupations—here we have a courageous mail-carrier.

His descriptions of the terrain and the climate of lawlessness are endlessly interesting here, but I must admit the narrative itself didn’t match the background for this reader.

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