Wednesday, December 27, 2017

There is No Rest with Vengeance

"I'm sorry to tell this, girls," says she, but there is no rest with
vengeance.  It doesn't make you feel any better, it doesn't
relieve the pain. There is only the slight satisfaction of retribution..."

These words were spoken by Molly McGill, who knows what she is talking about, for she killed her husband, who had killed their daughter.  There wasn't sweet revenge.  There was no satisfaction to speak.  The hurt remained.  The emptiness continued to dig deeper into her soul.  And for killing her husband, she was sentenced to Sing Sing Prison for life. 

That was Molly McGill's life until she was offered to be part of a government program.  "The Brides for Indians Program," in 1873, offered one thousand white women in exchange for three hundred horses.  Molly McGill jumped at the chance.  She wasn't alone.  There were other women who saw this program as a chance to freedom and adventure.  The Vengeance of Mothers by Jim Fergus is a book about the consequences of this program.  It is told through the diaries of two of the women.  Molly, I already introduced. The other lady is Margaret Kelly.  Margaret Kelly and her twin sister, Susie, are major characters in this book.  Margaret Kelly's diary speaks for the two of them. Together, the two diaries speak for all the white women.

These women may have come from unfortunate circumstances and their lives with the Cheyenne may have seemed worse, but their lives were now what they chose.  They had loved both their Cheyenne husbands and the Indian life.  They were willing to fight and kill for their new lives.

That's the basic storyline. The author, Jim Fergus, cleverly wove the two diaries together to tell the continuum story.  He tells an interesting tale.  I might say, a page-turner.  I know I stayed up too late many a night thinking I'd stop at the end of the chapter, but couldn't. 

The Vengeance of Mothers is actually a sequel to another book.  Jim Fergus also wrote One Thousand White Women.  I enjoyed The Vengeance of Mothers so much I plan on purchasing One Thousand White Women.

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