Two Bulls by. D.W. Boyd.
Two Bulls is a novella about an Indian named Two Bulls who seeks restitution for the rape of his granddaughter, Feather. His target is John Piver, a stubborn man who mistreats everyone for his own warped sense of self-reliance and pride. The story is basically a battle of wills between Two Bulls and John Piver. Two Bulls spends most of his time just watching John, an action that makes the man uneasy. He does strike John tice with his lance, once by thumping him on the shoulder and the second time he actually stabs the man. But John doesn’t die. Instead, as the weight of his actions sinks in, he slowly spirals down into madness and guilt.
John’s wife and daughter, Mary and Elizabeth, are two innocents caught up in this game of cat and mouse. Having no idea why Two Bulls in taunting her husband, Mary demands the truth from John. Their marriage is a loveless one, and she desperately wishes to leave, but doesn’t out of fear and a feeling of failure if she does. For seven years John had kept them on a failed farm in the cold Northern Plains; not because he cared about their well-being but because he wanted to prove something to himself. Eventually, Mary coxes the truth out of John, knowing that Two Bulls is there for a reason, since his actions are not that of a standard Indian raid. When John tells her about the rape, she finally packs up and leaves with her daughter.
The story is an interesting one and I think most will enjoy it. I liked the development of the characters: John the stubborn selfish man who thinks only of his needs; Mary and Elizabeth, the innocents forced to waste valuable years in a hostile area who finally manage to break away; ad Two Bulls, a man who simply wants justice for all the mistreatment that his people had suffered at the hands of whites, but who especially wants justice for the rape of his granddaughter. The reader feels for each of the characters, though I found myself loathing John Piver and I was overjoyed when Mary finally left him.
I liked the ending. It was simple, but had a manner of depth to it. And it was good the author showed how Mary and Elizabeth fared after leaving John.
But there was one problem I had with this story. Despite it being short, there were many instances where I thought it was drawn out. Mostly, these instances were when the author delved into the personal thoughts of each character. After a while these got a bit repetitive and I found myself skimming them.
All in all, Two Bulls is a good story and one I think others might enjoy.
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