This exciting wilderness adventure was inspired by true accounts of the near fatal adoption of Kentucky pioneer Daniel Boone by Chief Blackfish, War Chief of the Shawnee Indian Nation, on the periphery of the American Revolution. It follows the capture, adoption and escape of Boone and the siege of Fort Boonesborough by the Shawnee that came thereafter.
During the severe Kentucky winter of 1777-78 frontier legend Daniel Boone was captured by a Shawnee war party who were on their way to annihilate the fort at Boonesborough under direction of their British allies. In order to protect the settlers and save the fort, Boone surrendered himself and 28 men to Chief Blackfish.
Boone was considered perhaps the most prized trophy an Indian could attain at that time. Chief Blackfish was more interested in flaunting his prize before the British and the other Indian tribes of the region, so he offered Boone the opportunity of proving himself worthy to be a chief’s son. In a series of grueling tests of manhood, Boone was pitted against the top braves of the tribe.
After successfully passing the rites, Boone was adopted as the son of Chief Blackfish and given the Shawnee name of Sheltowee. This brought him to another near death situation. He had saved the men, escaped death by the British as well as the Indians, but was now considered a traitor by several of the pioneers.
To fulfill his mission, Boone had to escape from the Indians, make his way through the wilderness with a war party hot on his trail; warn the fort, and prepare for a siege by 600 warring savages, who had been provided weapons and incentive by the conniving British Governor, “Hair-buyer” Hamilton.
The story plays out at the historic siege on Fort Boonesborough.
Targeted Age Group:: For All Ages
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Daniel Boone is one of the primary forces in the development of Kentucky, and ultimately the creation of America. I have always been fascinated with the exciting wilderness adventures of the early pioneers but felt there must be so much missing between the lines. I was inspired to create my own idea of how the adventure of one of my favorite tales would have actually played out in full detail.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Since this is historical fiction, I borrowed real characters from Kentucky history and actually visualize their adventure in the timeline and setting it occurred. I have attempted to breathe life into these players that will portray them as they actually were and not deviate from the image already documented but to enhance those bits and pieces that have been left to our imagination.
The time had come that Boone never thought would actually happen. He had played along, thinking he would be long gone well before ever being officially adopted. He looked around at the massive hoard of Indians and reality quickly set in.
Boone had been captured by Indians before, and he had been in some very difficult situations; many times. However, he had always managed to get away, and had felt confident this would be no different.
Chief Blackfish stood before the council of chiefs, and the conglomeration of Indians with Boone at his side. His arm was draped proudly around Boone’s shoulder as he turned to the medicine man and spoke in his native Shawnee tongue, “Prepare the novice for his initiation to manhood.”
“Into Manhood.” Boone understood the Shawnee speech, and was quite curious about this initiation into manhood. As he pondered the notion, three young Indian maidens came forward. They motioned for him to stand, then proceeded to strip him naked.
This getting naked in front of all these Indians was beginning to wear on Boone.
Once he was totally vulnerable, they sat him on a nearby stump and began to pluck out his hair. They left only a tuft of hair on the crown of his head about four inches in diameter.
Another young maiden came forward to trim his scalp lock and dress it with ribbons and feathers. When she was satisfied, they all stood back for Blackfish’s evaluation. He nodded and gave his approval.
The maidens walked off to the exultant cheering of the crowd. Four beautiful young maidens come forth and stood before Boone and the Council.
Blackfish rose to his feet and faced Boone. “Captain Boone.”
Boone faced the chief. “Yes, great Chief Blackfish.”
Blackfish extended his hand toward the beauties. “These are the most virtuous of all our maidens. They will take you to the river and cleanse you of all the white man’s treachery. These virgins will wash out the evil of the white man’s blood to make you pure.”
A maiden stepped up on each side of Boone. He looked from one to the other as they locked arms with him. One then stood in front of him and the other close behind. He moved with them as they headed for the river. A parade of excited Indians jumped and danced about. They followed Boone and the maidens to the cold murky water.
The onlookers stopped at the riverbank. The four maidens slipped gracefully out of their simple rawhide dresses. The au naturel damsels led Boone into the icy water up to their waists.
His earlier thoughts of freezing to death were now far from his mind. Not once, since these lovely lasses came for him, did Boone feel even the slightest chill.
The giggling girls wet him down with playful splashes. Indians gathered along both shores watched this entertaining activity with notable amusement.
Once Boone was thoroughly soaked by the frigid water from the river, the girls gently covered his body with lather from soapstone.
Next to their beautiful bronzed skin Boone looked like a pale ghost of a being. Compared to most of the pioneers he looked like a tanned beach bunny.
Boone was obviously not in his comfort zone, but he stood obediently statuesque as the soft sensuous rubbing from eight lively sets of delicate probing fingers created a warming sensation throughout his entire body; in the icy cold water.
Without a doubt the girls distinctly enjoyed this exercise. They giggled to each other, made gestures and pointed continuously as they scrubbed the white man’s treachery from their pawn.
One girl took a rough sticker brush and held it clearly in Boone’s view. She swung it briskly toward his most sensitive area, but Boone didn’t flinch. They were impressed. The spectators cheered and laughed.
The young girl looked at Boone with a pleasant smile. She turned and threw the thistle to the shore. They splashed Boone thoroughly to make sure all the soap was rinsed away.
With two young maidens on each side of him, they dunked Boone entirely under the water several times like a river baptism.
Boone was then led to shore and blotted dry. They ushered him back to the council house, with the parade of jubilant followers close behind.
Two squaws entered the chamber with clay pots of liquid and placed them on the ground beside Boone, who was still unclothed.
The Medicine Man evidently did not speak English and did not attempt to use sign language, but Boone could understand bits of his gibberish Shawnee. He told Boone the maidens were going to rub him with a special lotion of herbs and berries to heal, soothe and darken his skin, now that he had been purified of all the white man’s evil.
The maidens began to dip the liquid from the large bowls and carefully covered every inch of Boone’s body liberally with berry lotion.
They continued to rub it in with the sensitive touch of a professional masseuse. Every part of his body was thoroughly saturated with the strange concoction.
The wife of Chief Blackfish was an attractive young squaw in her early 30s. Yes, Boone’s new mother was younger than him. She stepped forward and presented her son with a pair of rawhide trousers.
Boone bowed to show proper respect, and replied, “Thank you, mother.”
She smiled, took his shoulders in her hands and whispered into his ear. “Take heed, my son. Shawnee warriors do not like to be bested by a paleface. Prove yourself worthy, but don't be a braggart. Pride can easily be misplaced.”
Boone was genuinely perplexed by this bit of philosophy. His new mother stepped back, and without further questions, Boone slipped into his trousers.
Blackfish beamed with pride. The ceremony had gone well to this point. He motioned for Boone to sit.
Two braves came forward with war paint, and proceeded to paint Boone’s face in a fashion fit for a true Shawnee warrior.
Three braves entered the chamber and stood before Chief Blackfish. He looked them over from head to toe and motioned for Boone to join them.
“My son, you'll now prove yourself worthy to be a chief's son. You'll race against our swiftest brave; fight our most proficient warrior; and compete against our best marksman.” He then repeated virtually the same speech in the Shawnee tongue.
Boone glanced at his new mother. She smiled. He started to understand what she was trying to tell him.
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