Thursday, January 18, 2018

Slow John by C. J. Petit

Slow John by C. J. Petit is a fine story, somewhat long, but well told. It starts with a Prologue that sets up the whole thing, in which John Flynn (Slow John) is fighting in the Civil War, but the Army sends his Ma and Pa a telegram that he had been killed unbeknownst to John. John continues fighting and is transferred to the frontier to fight the Indians in Nebraska and the Dakotas. There is a girl, Kate, who gets defiled by John's brother, Jack, introduced in the Prologue.

The story gets underway as John is ready to get mustered out of the Army in Omaha, not far from his home in Bellevue, which he hadn't visited in the years of the War. He makes a short visit to his old hometown where most of the people he had known are now gone including his family. He was hoping he might get a clue to where they had moved by talking to anyone he used to know. "They went west" was about all he could glean. At the hardware store, he runs into an old acquaintance Melissa and scares her husband to death, literally.

He heads west to find his family and makes a camp on the south side of the Platte River where he runs across a sod house sitting by itself. In the house is a girl, Kate, the one defiled by his brother. She is being kept captive by three men (father and two sons) for their own gratification. Slow John kills them and leaves with Kate.

You can see where this is going, I think, as John falls in love with Kate and has a couple more run-ins with bad "hombres".  I won't belabor you with the ending, which you may find exciting because I want you, the reader, to discover what happens. I would give the story four stars, but the book itself, I would have to give it three stars for the misspelled words and words left out, which another proofreading would probably clear up.