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Brandy Wine by John Ahern
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Brandy Wine (1988)

by John Ahern

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In the cold glare of a disinterested moon, the sway-backed prairie schooner came to a halt halfway across the lower bluff facing with a loud squeaking and sighing in a swirl of dust.
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The first thing Brand knows after he has been brutally raped and thrown off the end of the covered wagon, is that he is alive, near a stream, on the fringes of the Great Plains - and there is a large, very strong Indian standing over him.  This is a tale of the Old West, when a herd of buffalo could number thousands and stretch to the horizon.
Henri is the half-breed who finds Brand and nurses him back to health during a long snow-bound winter.  Brand soon finds how lucky he is to have Henri, for the French-Canadian is perfectly at home in this wild country.  As he experiences the Indian's gentleness, the caring, the loving, he knows that he has grown to love this strange, savage man.
The scene shifts from the Plains to a gold-rush camp, from a guarded fort to the village of San Francisco.  But Brand must travel this trail alone, finding both the best and the worst of people.
John Ahern makes those long-gone days live again, as we see them through Brand's eyes.  This is adventure in the best tradition of the West, where Brand finds he can take care of himself and needs no one.  But he remembers, always, Henri.
Under the name Allan James, John Ahern has written numerous short stories that have appeared in many of the better gay magazines.  He lives in Southern California, but is a native of the High Plains States, where much of Brandy Wine takes place.  He is also an artist and a history buff.
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