Bantam, Feb 2001, 24.95, 480 pp.
The world is dramatically changing from what mountain man Titus Bass first saw when he climbed, fished, hunted and fought against Indians and Whites in the Rocky Mountains. Three decades ago, hardly anyone not native could be found, but not in the late 1840s – early 1850s, Titus knows not only is he old, his fond world is history as settlers head west.
Titus takes his family north to live his final days with the family of his Crow wife, hoping that some vestige of his independent, solitary elbow room life style could be found. However, though it is the waning years for him, the adventures continue as Titus battles to free a daughter, battle Mormons and nature, and help a desperate wagon train containing his greatest enemy (the dreaded settler). Titus wonders whether he will find the peace he seeks amidst the Crow or will their way of life teeter towards extinction also?
The final novel in the Titus Bass saga shows why Terry C. Johnston is a western writer who has transcended the genre. The story line will please historical buffs and relationship fans as the hero struggles to retain his way of life even as the outside world crushes it. This concluding tale works on multiple levels due to the deep characterization of Titus, friends and family, and many secondary players that keep the cast fresh for long time friends and introduces the key ensemble to newcomers so that they are fully understood. This ability is what makes Mr. Johnston a great chronicler of the first half of the nineteenth century America.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner