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The Rainbow Trail

by Zane Grey

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From AudioFile
In the hands of reader Ian Esmo, this introspective early Western involving Utah and the Mormons is slow and methodical. D.W. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

Book Description
These days, we remember Zane Grey for his ninety novels set in America's West, including Lone Star Rangers and Riders of the Purple Sage. We may know that he was an inductee to the Hall of Great Westerners of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

But the thing you really need to know about The Rainbow Trail is that it's the sequel to Riders of the Purple Sage, which may well be Grey's most-remembered work. Here John Sheppard is a preacher who becomes good friends with the Venters -- who always seemed haunted. Eventually, Mr. Venters reveals that he was once a horse rider for a woman named Jane Withersteen -- a rich Mormon -- and her adopted daughter Fay Larkin. However, Jane's churchmen were displeased with her association with non-Mormons -- and the evil Mormons drove them into a narrow valley, and trapped them there.

Venters had always intended on returning to the valley to search for the Jane and Fay, circumstances have prevented him from doing it. John Sheppard is fascinated by this story and wants to what he can to relieve the haunted look he sees in the eyes of Mr. and Mrs. Venters -- so he attempts to discover what happened to Jane and Fay. He discovers that Fay Larkin may still be alive -- and that her life has become the stuff of adventure, including kidnapping! And that somehow she has the strength to survive the most terrible of circumstances. . . .

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John Shefford studied for the ministry in Beaumont, Illinois, but traveled west to the Utah-Arizona border where the red desert valley between the jagged line of black mesa and yellow range included a wild canyon that held a troubling secret. Shefford's fiance, Fay Larkin, was imprisoned in this undiscovered canyon with two others who had fled harassment from the Mormons. The mystery of this place was hidden in an unnamed village of "sealed" wives. The road to the village was blocked by a formidable crew of murderous half-breeds whose punishment for trespassing was death. Shefford learned of this place from Venters, a man he knew in Beaumont, who had lived in that beautiful hidden valley whose location was unknown and the entrance to it closed forever when a rock balanced above the entry was sent crashing down purposely, calamitously loosening the precarious walls underneath. Now Shefford's dangerous attempt to rescue Fay is no easy accomplishment for someone who knew his efforts might end in a savage massacre.



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