Stewart Edward White’s The Silent Places is breathtaking tale of two men’s efforts to catch a frontier-era embezzler.
An Indian to whom the the Hudson’s Bay Company paid in advance for pelts has disappeared without delivering the goods. The company wants Jingloss quietly caught and returned alive as an example to others.
Sam Bolton, an experienced woodsman, and handsome young Dick Herron volunteer.
What [Herron] lacked in experience and the power to synthesise, he more than made up in the perfection of his senses and a certain natural instinct of the woods. …Had he only possessed, as did Bolton, a keen brain as well as keen higher instincts, he would have been marvellous. [chapter 9]
The pair are hardly started when Dick’s careless notice of a pretty Ojibway girl gets them into trouble.
May-may-gwán deserts her people and attaches herself to Sam and Dick when they are too far from headquarters to turn back. Sam’s not pleased, but Dick turns all teen-sullen.
May-may-gwán proves her value when Sam continues searching for Jingloss while Dick’s laid up with a badly broken leg.
The trio aren’t able to move again until nearly winter.
Jingoss turns north into the barren country.
Freezing and starving are both very likely for him and his pursuers.
The Silent Places tells a very masculine story with a gender-free touch. White sets up and shatters clichés. The result is a strong, slender novel that turns plain facts into strong emotion.The Silent Places By Stewart Edward White Illustrated by Philip R. Goodwin 1904 bestseller #10 Project Gutenberg ebook #14960 My grade: B+
© 2014 Linda Gorton Aragoni