This is creative non-fiction and is a true historical event that happened in the Canadian Northwest. Cougar is a loud, brash, irreverent logger who emigrated from Wisconsin to find land for himself and his family.
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Most of the characters actually existed and helped to carve out a homestead for themselves in Canada's Northwest. Cougar, who inherited his name from his temperament when he got into a fight, builds and operates the first ferry crossing on the Pembina River. He and his family's dance with destiny would shake their lives to the foundation.
Odilon Gusal and his family emigrated from Oklahoma looking for a cheap homestead and a chance to help tame the wilderness. Their lives become entangled with Cougar's with disastrous results.
Billy Jarvis arrived in the Northwest having come from Chicago and then ran from the criminal intrigue that revolved around Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan. His life becomes entangled with the Cougar Wright family in Northern Alberta in the early homestead days in the North and would never be the same.
"We've invested a lot in this location and now they're yanking the railroad away from us."
"You think I'M reckless! You're the reckless one in this marriage. And may I remind you ... your ARE married!"
"I don't know if I want to use up my flour and sugar sacks on frillies," Louise said, "I need them for underwear. It takes five flour sacks to make a sheet; so it takes a while to save up."
"It was no use. The spicy vernacular was such a part of Bessie. It was like trying to tie her tongue behind her."
Corrine McConchie, Librarian Vancouver
To read a book by Lillian Ross is to travel to another time and place with characters who quickly become family. Read this true-to-life novel to feel the essence of the rugged era on the Canadian Prairies .... raw, messy, inspired by hope and motivated by grit. Ross weaves a poignant drama of wounded love, jealousy and human emotion."
Eric J.Brown Magnolia Press
A superb work. It not only offers a graphic description of the early settlers of west central Alberta, but is also a tale of mystery, sprinkled with a flavour of humour."
Don M. McKay Black Hat Publishing
An excellent story by Lillian Ross that strips away the varnish and gives us a realistic portrayal of life in pioneer times.
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