The big grizzly, searching for food, smelled blood in the wet, dark night. He picked his way purposefully down the rocky mountain.
Squatting by the stream, Rose was startled by a small noise. A flash of lightning revealed a giant grizzly bear who had now found the source of the blood scent.
Rose's scream died in her throat as the bear attacked. The night darkened and a steady, hard rain began.
Rose McClendon was with a horse company of the United States Cavalry as paramour of the son of the president of the U.S., Fred Grant ... but ... she had just had a lover's tryst that afternoon with scout Jim Early.
A horrified Early discovers the death scene of his lover the following morning and swears vengeance on the killer bear. Desire for revenge propels Early, and the reader's interest, through many ordeals and over many obstacles to final satisfaction at the end of the story. Revenge is the thread that winds through the story from beginning to end.
Major players in this story were a tribe of four hundred Cheyenne dog soldiers. The indians greatly outnumbered the cavalry here in battle. Also, there is a lot of interesting description of the indian life of the time. Their side story contributes greatly to the authenticity of the tale. The cavalry here were encroaching on sacred lands that were also given to the indians by treaty. The Cheyennes had every reason to drive the whites out or to kill them all if they could.
In the Black Hills, Dakota Territory in 1873, budding romance ends in tragedy resulting in Jim Early's obsessive pursuit of a giant grizzly to the ultimate bloody finale. Some real characters and the frontier locale, frequent encounters with other deadly wild animals and the hornet's nest Cheyennes create a cinematic period set through which the action drama moves from caught breath to heart stop. The fabric of relationships is torn by racial conflict and persisting Civil War passions. Underlying governmental intrigue, the lure of gold, and the panorama of Custer's 7th U.S. Cavalry in garrison and in battle contribute texture. Revenge smolders like a smoky hot coal throughout
A sample of intense action depicted in BEAR!:
The bear's great jaws clamped down on his buttock. The enraged
grizzly was growling, shaking Jim's body like a rag doll, and
biting. Pain raged through Early's body and he was nearly
unconscious. He fought to revive. ... Early passed out. The
bear pulled away. ... Jim was covered with blood and the grizzly
was biting him again and again. He got the Colt in his right hand
and passed out.
Check out this captivating story wherever books are sold.
Vel Orr, author