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Book Details

The Rainbow Trail

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See 21
1 - Red Lake
2 - The Sagi
3 - Kayenta
4 - New Friends
5 - On The Trail
6 - In The Hidden Valley
7 - Sago-Lilies
8 - The Hogan Of Nas Ta Bega
9 - In The Desert Crucible
10 - Stonebridge
11 - After The Trial
12 - The Revelation
13 - The Story Of Surprise Valley
14 - The Navajo
15 - Wild Justice
16 - Surprise Valley
17 - The Trail To Nonnezoshe
18 - At The Foot Of The Rainbow
19 - The Grand Canyon Of The Colorado
20 - Willow Springs
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 Riders of the Purple Sage*
#2 of 2
Riders of the Purple Sage*   See series as if on a bookshelf
A western dualogy by Zane Grey.

1) Riders of the Purple Sage
2) The Rainbow Trail
Shefford halted his tired horse and gazed with slowly realizing eyes.
May contain spoilers
In his heart there would never change or die memories of the wild uplands, of the great towers and walls, of the golden sunsets on the cañon ramparts, of the silent, fragrant valleys where the cedars and the sago-lilies grew, of those starlit nights when his love and faith awoke, of grand and lonely Nonnezoshe, of that red, sullen, thundering, mysterious Colorado River, of a wonderful Indian and a noble Mormon - of all that was embodied for him in the meaning of the rainbow trail.
Comments may contain spoilers
This story has was originally published in Argosy under the title of "The Desert Crucible."
Synopsis not on file
Extract (may contain spoilers)
Shefford ended his narrative out of breath, pale, and dripping with sweat. Withers sat leaning forward with an expression of intense interest. Nas Ta Bega's easy, graceful pose had succeeded to one of strained rigidity. He seemed a statue of bronze. Could a few intelligible words, Shefford wondered, have created that strange, listening posture?

"Venters got out of Utah, of course, as you know," went on Shefford. "He got out, knowing - as I feel I would have known - that Jane, Lassiter, and little Fay Larkin were shut up, walled up in Surprise Valley. For years Venters considered it would not have been safe for him to venture to rescue them. He had no fears for their lives. They could live in Surprise Valley. But Venters always intended to come back with Bess and find the valley and his friends. No wonder he and Bess were haunted. However, when his wife had the baby that made a difference. It meant he had to go alone. And he was thinking seriously of starting when - when there were developments that made it desirable for me to leave Beaumont. Venters's story haunted me as he had been haunted. I dreamed of that wild valley - of little Fay Larkin grown to womanhood - such a woman as Bess Venters was. And the longing to come was great.... And, Withers - here I am."

The trader reached out and gave Shefford the grip of a man in whom emotion was powerful, but deep and difficult to express.

"Listen to this.... I wish I could help you. Life is a queer deal. ... Shefford, I've got to trust you. Over here in the wild cañon country there's a village of Mormons' sealed wives. It's in Arizona, perhaps twenty miles from here, and near the Utah line. When the United States government began to persecute, or prosecute, the Mormons for polygamy, the Mormons over here in Stonebridge took their sealed wives and moved them out of Utah, just across the line. They built houses, established a village there. I'm the only Gentile who knows about it. And I pack supplies every few weeks in to these women. There are perhaps fifty women, mostly young - second or third or fourth wives of Mormons - sealed wives. And I want you to understand that sealed means SEALED in all that religion or loyalty can get out of the word. There are also some old women and old men in the village, but they hardly count. And there's a flock of the finest children you ever saw in your life.

"The idea of the Mormons must have been to escape prosecution. The law of the government is one wife for each man - no more. All over Utah polygamists have been arrested. The Mormons are deeply concerned. I believe they are a good, law-abiding people. But this law is a direct blow at their religion. In my opinion they can't obey both. And therefore they have not altogether given up plural wives. Perhaps they will some day. I have no proof, but I believe the Mormons of Stonebridge pay secret night visits to their sealed wives across the line in the lonely, hidden village.

"Now once over in Stonebridge I overheard some Mormons talking about a girl who was named Fay Larkin. I never forgot the name. Later I heard the name in this sealed-wife village. But, as I told you, I never heard of Lassiter or Jane Withersteen. Still, if Mormons had found them I would never have heard of it. And Deception Pass - that might be the Sagi.... I'm not surprised at your rainbow-chasing adventure. It's a great story.... This Fay Larkin I've heard of MIGHT be your Fay Larkin - I almost believe so. Shefford, I'll help you find out."

"Yes, yes - I must know," replied Shefford. "Oh, I hope, I pray we can find her! But - I'd rather she was dead - if she's not still hidden in the valley."

"Naturally. You've dreamed yourself into rescuing this lost Fay Larkin.... But, Shefford, you're old enough to know life doesn't work out as you want it to. One way or another I fear you're in for a bitter disappointment."

"Withers, take me to the village."

"Shefford, you're liable to get in bad out here," said the trader, gravely.

"I couldn't be any more ruined than I am now," replied Shefford, passionately.

"But there's risk in this - risk such as you never had," persisted Withers.

"I'll risk anything."


Added: 25-Jul-2022
Last Updated: 14-Oct-2022


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11 hrs 13 min (230 pages)
1)   25 Aug 2022 - 30 Aug 2022
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The Rainbow Trail is a sequel to The Riders of the Purple Sage. Both novels are notable for their protagonists' mild opposition to Mormon polygamy, but in The Rainbow Trail this theme is treated more explicitly. The plots of both books revolve around the victimization of women in the Mormon culture: events in Riders of the Purple Sage are centered on the struggle of a Mormon woman who sacrifices her wealth and social status to avoid becoming a junior wife of the head of a local church, while The Rainbow Trail contrasts the older Mormons with the rising generation of Mormon women who will not tolerate polygamy and Mormon men who do not seek it.
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 Zane Grey
Birth: 31 Jan 1872 Zanesville, Ohio, US
Death: 23 Oct 1939 Altadena, California, US


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  • I try to maintain page numbers for audiobooks even though obviously there aren't any. I do this to keep track of pages read and I try to use the Kindle version page numbers for this.
  • Synopses marked with an asterisk (*) were generated by an AI. There aren't a lot since this is an iffy way to do it - AI seems to make stuff up.
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