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The Lords of the Wild

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A Story of the Old New York Border.

(1919)




I first read these books sixty years ago. I have never forgotten them. My father read them as well. In age, he was a near contemporary of Joseph Altsheler; having been born in 1884, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Some of his youth was spent in Kaintuckee; which translates as, "Dark and Bloody Ground". The very same wilderness, filled with forests, swamps, salt licks and dreams.... and the very same trails, as were once walked in truth, and in tale. My own youth was spent in a forest of streams and mountains; not unlike Henry Ware. The 'Dove Tail' of Davey Crockett on television, mated perfectly with these stories of the, then, Western frontier; and, my personal theater was reliving these wonderful stories, and acting them out. In some unusual, and quite gifted manner, Altsheler was able to create accurate accountings of wilderness life. Unlike others, who lived in the East, he was atuned to the smell and sounds; and, lack thereof, in the dangerous world he, both created and reported, as if he were the invisible eyes of the forest. You see? Even my memory, after so many years, the characters and events are as fresh in my eye, as if I held the volume in my hands, here, by the fire, in my Library. One character, who stands alone in my regard, is the man known as Black Rifle. While I lived these stories in the deerskins and moccasins of Henry Ware, my father melded into that stranger, who dominated the education in life; for both Henry Ware, and for me. I heartily endorse and recommend these books to readers of any age or gender. They are pages filled with adventure, to be sure; yet also, they contain an education of what life was like two centuries ago. I offer but one admonition. For your own pleasure, be certain to ensure a secluded and undisturbed environment. Prepare to be drawn in; to be welcomed to a place and time, in which you just might wish to be. For myself, it is with great anticipation that I look forward to reading these books again. For me, it shall be a real volume, with a true spine, and pages of paper, which will whisper to me, as the tip of a finger slowly reveals the mystery to come. Good Reading, to one and all.--Submitted by Tomas Steel.






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