Nigel’s easy life crumbled with the plunk of a painted arrow into his father’s chest.
Alone on the prairie, his choice is work or starve—apprentice on a mule-train or an orphanage. Which is worse?
When his family falls victim of a brutal Comanche attack, Nigel’s life changed forever. While he escaped the slaughter, the rest of his loved ones didn’t. Plump, spoiled, and lazy, the preacher’s son finds himself alone, struggling to survive on the wild frontier.
When Pascal, leader of a mule train, stumbles upon the smoking wagons, he offers Nigel a ride in exchange for hard labor. With little choice, Nigel accepts the promise of food and shelter for work. At 13, he believes cooking is a woman’s work—it’s his sisters’ job. Pascal, a defrocked priest, solves the problem, and makes Nigel the cook’s helper. Spurred onward by his desire to avenge his murdered family, he endures grueling days and countless painful lessons.
One lesson is to learn to understand another man’s life. Pascal leaves Nigel with the Cheyenne people to learn their ways and become a man. Can Nigel survive long enough to find justice for his lost family or will the Wild West claim yet another victim?
The Apprenticeship of Nigel Blackthorn is the first dramatic story in the Apprentice series of coming-of-age westerns. If you like rich descriptions, multidimensional characters, and tales bringing history to life, you’ll love Frank Kelso’s coming-of-age novel set in 1853 Texas .