Savage Sam - Fred Gipson

Savage Sam. By Fred Gipson.

NY: Harper, originally 1962. Pbk. With a serialization in Colliers Magazine. Still in print after decades. http://www.harpercollins.com/

You remember Old Yeller. Well, Savage Sam is his son. I found an old, clean copy of Sam at St. Vincent de Paul’s Resale, and wondered; I’d never read it. Gipson’s simple eloquence picks up the now 16-year-old Travis and Little Arlis in Central Texas in the 1870s. After a brief introduction to Savage Sam, the boys and Lisabeth, a neighbor’s daughter, get captured by Apaches and a lone Comanche. And the chase is on. It’s a quick read and well written. Troubles and hardships are mixed with learning and character development (Travis comes to respect and even admire the Indians).
Travis even knifes one of their captors to protect Lisabeth and joins the final battle. Sam, of course, tracks down the band and young trio. Travis is shown on the edge of manhood in the rough times. Shelves are better with a little sentimentality mixed with realism. How’s your shelf? Recommended by Kay Caruthers. - WH

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