The Last Trail by Zane Grey, Paperback. Overview. The Last Trail is the third and final novel in Zane Grey's Ohio River Valley trilogy. In many ways, this concluding volume of the saga is one of perpetuation. The wilderness along the Ohio has been rapidly disappearing. Forests have been replaced by farms. Woodsmen, hunters, and frontiersmen are becoming farmers. This is true, in fact, for almost everyone except that strange and wonderful character, the border Nemesis, the .
Known by the Indians as le vent de la mort (the wind of death), Wetzel and his partner Jonathan Zane are hard on the trail of white rustlers led by Simon Girty and Bing Leggitt. One night at their campfire Helen Sheppard and her father, who have become lost in the forest on their way to Fort Henry, are approached by Wetzel and Zane. For Jonathan Zane and Helen Sheppard this accidental encounter is the beginning of a romance that will be fraught with many dangers. Betty Zane, whose dash for gunpowder in the defense of Fort Henry during the Revolutionary War is now legendary, and her brother, Colonel Ebenezer Zane, are also among the characters in The Last Trail, older now, sharing their wisdom and experiences with a younger generation. The Last Trail was first published in 1. Two years before, Zane Grey had taken his first journey to the Far West, and it would be in the regions west of the Mississippi that his subsequent Western romances would be set.
Yet his frontier trilogy made secure his reputation as a historical novelist. Her father's friend, Col.
Ebenezer Zane, met them at Fort Henry after a terrifying close encounter with Indians that ended peacefully when two bordermen, Jonathan Zane and Lew Wetzel, stepped out of the forest to rescue them. Helen is intrigued by Jonathan Zane and he with her. As the story unfolds, this love affair mingles with the tale of the early days of the Ohio Valley. Indian resentment against the encroaching white men, an obsessive lover, horse rustlers, and plain folks trying to build homesteads out of the wilderness are brought to life by Grey's fine storytelling skills.
This is a reprint of the last volume of the author's . An interesting foreword written by Grey's son, Loren, tells much about the writer. A good story that would make great historical fiction reading for an American- history assignment. Linda A. Vretos, West Springfield High School, Springfield, VA.
The robberies on Jasper Carrol's stages have been so frequent that the stage line plans to hold a stagecoach race with the winner getting the new contract. Tom foils Cal Barker's attempt to. The Last Trail by Zane Grey - book cover, description, publication history. Start: Amarane, Saskia's house, Previous: The mysterious prisoner, Next: About Saskia and the.
Product Details. ISBN- 1. Publisher: Create. Space Publishing. Publication date: 0. Pages: 2. 52. Product dimensions: 6. Read an Excerpt. The Last Trail.
By Zane Grey. Tom Doherty Associates Copyright . He had expected to reach Fort Henry with his party on this night, thus putting a welcome end to the long, rough, hazardous journey through the wilderness; but the swift, on- coming dusk made it imperative to halt. The narrow, forest- skirted trail, difficult to follow in broad daylight, apparently led into gloomy aisles in the woods. His guide had abandoned him that morning, making excuse that his services were no longer needed; his teamster was new to the frontier, and, altogether, the situation caused him much uneasiness.? I don't know this country.!
Do not alarm my daughter. Did it strike ye he left us in a hurry, kind of excited like, in spite of his offhand manner? I fancied, however, that it was simply the manner of a woodsman. The fur- trader at Fort Pitt didn't give this guide Jenks no good send off. Said he wasn't well known round Pitt, 'cept he could handle a knife some. The redskins ain't so bad as they used to be, but these white fellers are wusser'n ever. This guide Jenks might be in with them, that's all.
The way he left us looks bad. If we have come all this way without seeing either Indian or outlaw; in fact, without incident, I feel certain we can perform the remainder of the journey in safety. Sheppard raised his voice. Will, you gather some firewood, and we'll soon give this gloomy little glen a more cheerful aspect.
Sheppard turned toward the canvas- covered wagon a girl leaped lightly down beside him. She was nearly as tall as he.
How glad I am to get out of that wagon! Isn't this a lonesome, lovely spot? Steaming kettle, and savory steaks of venison cheered the hungry travelers, making them forget for the time the desertion of their guide and the fact that they might be lost. The last glow faded entirely out of the western sky. Night enveloped the forest, and the little glade was a bright spot in the gloom. The flickering light showed Mr.
Sheppard to be a well- preserved old man with gray hair and ruddy, kindly face. The nephew had a boyish, frank expression. The girl was a splendid specimen of womanhood. Her large, laughing eyes were as dark as the shadows beneath the trees. Suddenly a quick start on Helen's part interrupted the merry flow of conversation.
She sat bolt upright with half averted face. Helen remained motionless. Then distinct footfalls broke the silence.
The tired teamster raised his shaggy head and glanced fearfully around the glade. Sheppard and Will gazed doubtfully toward the foliage; but Helen did not change her position. The travelers appeared stricken by the silence and solitude of the place.
The faint hum of insects, and the low moan of the night wind, seemed accentuated by the almost painful stillness. Perhaps I fancied it — there! They were Indians, and the brandishing of their tomahawks proclaimed that they were hostile. Fierce lineaments, all the more so because of bars of paint, the hideous, shaven heads adorned with tufts of hair holding a single feather, sinewy, copper- colored limbs suggestive of action and endurance, the general aspect of untamed ferocity, appalled the travelers and chilled their blood. Grunts and chuckles manifested the satisfaction with which the Indians fell upon the half- finished supper. They caused it to vanish with astonishing celerity, and resembled wolves rather than human beings in their greediness.
Helen looked timidly around as if hoping to see those who would aid, and the savages regarded her with ill humor. A movement on the part of any member of the group caused muscular hands to steal toward the tomahawks. Suddenly the larger savage clutched his companion's knee. Then lifting his hatchet, shook it with a significant gesture in Sheppard's face, at the same time putting a finger on his lips to enjoin silence. Both Indians became statuesque in their immobility.
They crouched in an attitude of listening, with heads bent on one side, nostrils dilated, and mouths open. One, two, three moments passed. The silence of the forest appeared to be unbroken; but ears as keen as those of a deer had detected some sound. The larger savage dropped noiselessly to the ground, where he lay stretched out with his ear to the ground. The other remained immovable; only his beady eyes gave signs of life, and these covered every point.
Finally the big savage rose silently, pointed down the dark trail, and strode out of the circle of light. His companion followed close at his heels. The two disappeared in the black shadows like specters, as silently as they had come.
If they ain't, it's because they got switched off by some signs or tokens, skeered, perhaps, by the scent of the wind.! Here comes the skulkin' varmints. A deep, calm voice spoke the single word: . One approached the travelers; the other remained in the background, leaning upon a long, black rifle. Thus exposed to the glare of the flames, the foremost woodsman presented a singularly picturesque figure.
His costume was the fringed buckskins of the border. Fully six feet tall, this lithe- limbed young giant had something of the wild, free grace of the Indian in his posture.
He surveyed the wondering travelers with dark, grave eyes. But, indeed, sir, we are mighty glad to see you. He left us suddenly this morning.
A big man, with black beard and bushy eyebrows. A bit of his ear had been shot or cut out. And who may Bing Leggett be? Jenks has been tryin' to lead you into a trap.
Likely he expected those Injuns to show up a day or two ago. Somethin' went wrong with the plan, I reckon. Mebbe he was waitin' for five Shawnees, an' mebbe he'll never see three of 'em again. It is indeed fortunate that you found us.
I take it you are from Fort Henry, and will guide us there? I am an old friend of Colonel Zane's. He will appreciate any kindness you may show us.
Of course you know him? In Revolutionary times Zane's fame had extended even to the far Atlantic Colonies.
He guessed what might be told. Border lore coupled Jonathan Zane with a strange and terrible character, a border Nemesis, a mysterious, shadowy, elusive man, whom few pioneers ever saw, but of whom all knew. In the dim background of the glow cast by the fire, he stood a gigantic figure, dark, quiet, and yet with something intangible in his shadowy outline. Suddenly he appeared to merge into the gloom as if he really were a phantom.
They could hear nothing save the beating of their own hearts; they could not even see each other. At its close a genial smile twinkled in his fine dark eyes. How on earth did you know I was on the border? I counted much on the surprise I should give you. I am sorry I did not take the fur- trader's advice in regard to the guide.
But I was in such a hurry to come, and didn't feel able to bear the expense of a raft or boat that we might come by river. My nephew brought considerable gold, and I all my earthly possessions. I'm not likely to forget those fierce savages. How they slipped off into the darkness! I wonder if Wetzel pursued them? He disappeared last night, and we did not see him again. In fact we hardly had a fair look at him.
I question if I should recognize him now, unless by his great stature. In times of danger he is seldom seen, yet is always near. But come, let us go out and look around. I am running up a log cabin which will come in handy for you.
A winding path led down a gentle slope. On the hillside under a spreading tree a throng of bearded pioneers, clad in faded buckskins and wearing white- ringed coonskin caps, were erecting a log cabin.