Mysterious supernatural killings plague small town. New Orleans voodoo priest clashes with Native American sorcerer. Love triumphs over evil.
"There is something out in those hills, reverend, something that all men fear when they close their eyes at night, and it is primal. It's not so much the idea of meeting the Grim Reaper they worry about, but the context in which he appears. A man can get used to the fact he is slowly dying because of overdrinking, or the pox or any number of other maladies. Or, he may meet with an accident that is swift and sure.
Those dying in their sleep have the greatest of luxuries. We were not all meant to die in great luxury. Some of us were meant to meet our untimely demise by facing down evil and feeling the final excruciating pain before oblivion. In my experience, reverend, spitting in the devil's face doesn't take a lot of practice-just a lot of patience."
His traps were choked with beaver, badger and rabbit. Ben Jordan knew it was going to be a good year. His traps weren't always full, but he managed to make a good living with what he could catch; enough to build his own house of hewn logs and acquire a pack mule.
He'd been leasing a large section of dense woodland that skirted the Missouri River. The land near the river was bordered on the other side by Roy's Branch Creek. The creek was a slow moving and muddy tributary that meandered its way north and then east before dumping its dark waters into the deep and swift Missouri.
The woods have been good to me, he thought, as he pried open the heavy iron jaws of a trap. The beaver never knew what hit him The animal's neck had been snapped almost in two with the force; a perfect place that left the pelt intact and unblemished. It was a young beaver, too. His pelt would fetch high dollar. He was pleased with himself.
As he started to pull the carcass from the trap, he felt the earth shift slightly and then begin to vibrate beneath his knees. He became aware of a low humming sound that grew louder by the second. The air became stale, unmoving and scarce. He began to gasp for air after feeling all the oxygen being sucked from his lungs. He heard the crack of a twig snapping behind him. The heavy and labored breathing on the back of his neck smelled of fetid decay and all things dead. The last thing Ben Jordan felt was a deep cut through his jugular.