Richard S. Wheeler
The First Dance takes beloved mountain man Barnaby Skye's family to its third generation in North America.
Miles City, Montana. 1885. Barnaby Skye's mixed-blood son, Dirk, has just married a beautiful Metis girl, Therese. But Dirk’s position as a civilian translator for the U.S. army threatens to shatter their union.
Montana ranchers wrestling with livestock theft and the incursion of settlers into their range have persuaded the army to send the Metis people back to Canada. The military enlists Dirk to translate between the two sides in the brutal campaign.
Unable to reconcile her love for Dirk with the pain he is inflicting on her people, Therese flees on their wedding night. Heartbroken, Dirk rides off with the army.
Therese has a powerful vision. She is inspired to build a church that will be a gathering place for her people and a symbol of their resistance to deportation.
The suffering refugees--driven into the wilderness by Yankee soldiers and cruel ranch vigilante gangs--find a friend in Dirk and an inspiration in Therese. In their common cause, the lovers are reunited
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“Wheeler’s Westerns just keep getting better and better.”
“One of the best Western writers around today. He doesn’t rely on epic battles or gunfights to tell his stories, relying instead on fascinating characters, vivid imagery, subtle action, and carefully drawn historical detail.”
“Wheeler is a writer’s writer, whose prose has the authority of hand-set type but sparkles like horseshoes on flint rock.”
“No one writes Montana better than Richard S. Wheeler.”
“[Wheeler] instills the story with his usual vividly drawn characters and crisply written action scenes. Another winner from a genre stalwart.”
--Booklist on The Owl Hunt
“Wheeler has done for the Western what C.S. Forester did for the sea story. Skye is the Horatio Hornblower of the Rockies!”
--Rocky Mountain News on The Far Tribes