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The Last Trail (Ohio River III) (1909)

11 Jul

Helen being captured by Indians - By J Watson Davis

A.L. Burt, New York 1909
Double-Action Western Nov, Dec 1936, Jan, Feb 1937 (Galactic Central)

The Last Trail is the last of the Ohio River stories. It is the last novel in which we will meet Lewis Wetzel and the Zane family of yon times. Outing Publishing were the publishers.

“In 1762 two brothers, Isaac and Jonathan Zane, aged 9 and 11, were kidnapped by Indians while returning home from school” (Myeerah)

Jonathan Zane and Lewis WetzelHelen Sheppard is traveling with her father to Fort Henry. Their guide is leading them straight into a trap but something goes wrong and the trap does not close. Instead they meet Jonathan Zane and Lewis Wetzel. The Sheppard’s were incredibly glad to have gotten away from trouble scot-free and thanked Colonel Ebenezer Zane when they arrived at Fort Henry.

Sheppard Sr. has come to Fort Henry for land. What he does not seem to have realised yet is the extent to which the place gets attacked. Colonel Zane tells them more about what to expect when it comes to attacks and the two men who rescued them.

Earnestly, as a man who loves his subject, Colonel Zane told his listeners of these two most prominent characters of the border. Sixteen years previously, when but boys in years, they had cast in their lot with his, and journeyed over the Virginian Mountains, Wetzel to devote his life to the vengeful calling he had chosen, and Jonathan to give rein to an adventurous spirit and love of the wilds. By some wonderful chance, by cunning, woodcraft, or daring, both men had lived through the years of border warfare which had brought to a close the careers of all their contemporaries.

One of the younger women in the area is kidnapped by one of the tribes in the area. Jonathan suspects that if the Girtys see Helen that she will be next.

Once again we meet Betty Zane. The Zane sister has become a widow. We also meet the third Zane brother, Isaac and his wife.

Jonathan and Helen carry the romantic element of the story with all of the complications that would become part and parcel of Zane Grey’s romantic stories of the West. Both of them are real life people along with most of the other characters of the story of the settling of Ohio by Anglos and the removal of the Native Americans in the area.

Blue Jacket (1740s-1810s);

Blue Jacket (1740s-1810s);

… the name “Ohio” is an Iroquoian Indian word? It came from the Seneca name for the Ohio River, Ohiyo, which means “it is beautiful”.

Most Native Americans were forced to leave Ohio during the Indian Removals of the 1800’s. These tribes are not extinct, but except for the descendants of Ohio Indians who escaped from Removal, they do not live in Ohio anymore. They were moved to Indian reservations in Oklahoma instead. (Native American tribes of Ohio)

Blue Jacket led Native Americans at the Battle of Fallen Timbers on August 20, 1794 against General Anthony Wayne’s forces. It was a major defeat for Blue Jacket, resulting, ultimately, in the Treaty of Greenville (1795) which turned over half of Ohio to the Americans. (Ohio Biographies)

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The Last Trail available on Gutenberg

The Last Trail available as audiobook on YouTube

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Posted by on 2014-07-11 in Books

 

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