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Dance on the Wind

A Novel

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Sixteen-year-old Titus Bass fears one fate more than any other: never to experience the great wilderness or the wildness inside himself. So late one night he snatches a squirrel gun and a handful of biscuits, flees into the woods, and doesn’t look back. From Louisville past the Chickasaw bluffs and the Natchez Trace all the way to New Orleans, he plunges into the rough-and-tumble life along the banks of the Mississippi: a volatile, violent country of boatmen and river bandits, knife fights and Indian raids, strong liquor and stronger women. Yet beyond the great river stretches the vast, unexplored expanse of the Great Plains. And it is here that young Titus will seek his future, and risk everything to seize it.

From the Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Jul 31, 1995 – Fourth in Johnston's series of historicals about mountain man Titus Bass (after One-Eyed Dream), this entry goes back to Titus's youth, in the early 1800s. The opening pages, covering the future legend's years as a Kentucky farmboy, move slowly as Titus debates whether to run away from home. The story picks up speed, plot and action when, restless and hungry for adventure at age 16, he finally does, joining the jolly crew of a flatboat carrying cargo from Cincinnati to New Orleans, a dangerous 1000-mile trip down the majestic Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Handy with a long rifle, pistol and knife, Titus survives Indian attacks, barroom brawls and highway robbery, leaving few opponents upright. When not slugging, shooting and stabbing, he expends his remaining teenage energy as a randy-and not too particular-backwoods Lothario. After his successful trip downriver, Titus still dreams of going west to see the far mountains, plains and buffalo. Then, abruptly, Johnston puts the brake on the pace and rhythm of his story by having his hero languish in St. Louis as a blacksmith until he is 30. The novel's final hundred pages are as dull as the first hundred, as Titus makes horseshoes, gets drunk and listens to others tell tales of the mysterious West. Still, the historical and geographic descriptions are vivid, as are the many hearty and colorful characters. Hopefully, the next Titus Bass book will find both the mountain man and his creator busy with the action that each handles so well.
Dance on the Wind
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  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: History
  • Published: Aug 01, 1995
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 624 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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