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Trail of the Red Butterfly

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'A celebration of storytelling' - N. Scott Momaday. While ascending the Missouri in 1804, Lewis and Clark met trader Jean Valle, who had wintered in Cheyenne camps near the Black Hills and who recounted extensive horse-raiding upon Spanish settlements. ""Trail of the Red Butterfly"" is the first novel to depict such a raid through Cheyenne eyes. Cheyenne Kit Fox headman Stone learns that his twin, Whirlwind, has gone missing on an 1807 foray into northeastern New Spain. Gathering an eclectic party of Cheyenne, Kiowa, and Gataka warriors, women and children, and a wolf dog, Stone sets out from his camp on the Upper Republican River, present-day eastern Colorado. Stones relentless search takes his party across the High Plains of Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas; through the Davis and Chisos mountains; into the Bolsn de Mapim; and, past the great laguna to the Nazas River, where finally he picks up his brothers trail. With the help of Maria, a Hiaqui woman whose freedom they buy, the party doggedly follows the trail in hostile country, through towns and ranches to dramatic conclusion on the Camino Real. Relying on Juan Pedro Walkers 1805 map and a distinguished career in anthropological research, Karl Schlesier conjures a convincing journey into the unknown, driven in part by the lure of plunder and distant places, but ultimately sustained by a brothers determination to recover his other half.
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About the Author

Karl H. Schlesier taught anthropology at the universities of Wichita State and Kansas for thirty years. His fieldwork has taken him from the central Pyrenees of France to the arctic slopes of northern Alaska and twice into federal court as an expert witness for the Cheyenne Nation. Among his other books are Plains Indians, A.D. 500 1500: The Archaeological Past of Historic Groups and the novel Josanie s War."


Trail of the Red Butterfly, by Karl H. Schlesier, took a silver medal in the category of historical/military fiction in the Independent Publisher Book Awards competition. The awards presentation ceremony was held on May 30 during the annual BookExpo America Convention in Los Angeles. Telling of a Cheyenne Kit Fox headman's 1807 expedition to recover his captured twin, Schlesier takes readers from the high plains of Colorado across unforgiving terrain to dramatic conclusion on the Camino Real. Pulitzer winner N. Scott Momaday calls Trail of the Red Butterfly "clear, precise, and fluent ... a celebration of storytelling." (from TechAnnounce 7/8/08) "... a different kind of Indian story, a time when Indians roamed the Southwest for wild horses and buffalo, before the Americans moved into their territory and took away their huntnig grounds and food sources... not just for those who enjoy a good Western tale." --Jeff Westerhoff, Historical Novels Review, May 2008 "... a very satisfying experience ... highly recommended." Editors' Choice, Review of Texas Books, Spring 2008

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