Austin applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Lone Warrior: Once Upon A Time In the West, and reported the following:
Page 69--The Lone Warrior:Learn more about the book and author at Lori Austin's website.
Her lips parted as if she would pursue that; then she glanced at the horizon and didn’t.Page 69 is representative of the rest of The Lone Warrior in that it discusses the hero's time as a Cheyenne Dog Man and some of the atrocities he witnessed then. These incidents shaped both his life and the heroine's.
“Rose, what did they—”
“No,” she said. “I can’t talk about it. About them or my husband. I...” She took a deep breath, which shook. “No.”
He understood the inability to talk about pain, death, the loss of those you held dear. Why did he think she would be any different?
He wasn’t certain what to say, so he said nothing. After a few moments, in a voice grown strong again, she continued with the original topic. “If the Cheyenne were angry about the allotments, why didn’t they protest when they started? Why wait?”
Luke swallowed; his throat was so dry he had to cough and swallow again before he could speak. “There were massacres. The Cheyenne lost a lot of people. Women.” He coughed again. “Children. If they don’t replace them, they won’t survive.”
“Replace?” she repeated. “They’re as bad as—” She stopped. “Why don’t the Cheyenne ever steal men? After Summit Springs, aren’t they in need of more Dog Men? Or did they replace some after the Washita?”
Luke’s hands tightened on the reins, and his horse slowed in response. Rose twisted, glancing over her shoulder to keep him in sight.
“The Dog Men weren’t at the Washita.” He clucked to his mount, which huffed in disgust at his indecision, but, nevertheless, followed the command and increased its speed. As Luke drew even with Rose, he murmured, “Which was why it became a massacre.”
I would hope a reader would be inclined to read on and learn more about the Cheyenne in the early 1870s, as well as the American West.
This period was a time of great upheaval for the Native Americans, who were losing their land to encroaching settlements. Many settlers were pushing past the Mississippi, leaving behind the horrors of the Civil War. The clash between them went on for over a decade.
The Sioux and Cheyenne Dog Men were a warrior society and some of the best horsemen to ever ride the plains. The Lone Warrior takes a look at this society, the Cheyenne, the war, westward expansion and how all of these things affected people on both sides of the conflict.