The Pipestone Quest

Written by Don Coldsmith
Review by Juliet Waldron

This is the latest volume of the Spanish Bit Saga, by a multi-published and much honored Western author. The story tells of a young man named Beaver and his coming-of-age quest: a search for the source of the power he senses in a redstone pipe. The sacred object is displayed by an Arapaho trader, and soon Beaver knows that he must seek the place of its origin, a single quarry in what is now Minnesota. So begins the journey, in company with the trader, his wife and baby. Originally, the trader had a privilege; every tribe welcomed him. However, times are changing. The European invaders are now forcing their way to the Mississippi and driving the First People before them. Relations among all tribes are in flux. Time-honored customs are disregarded, particularly by the brutalized refugees pouring in from the east. Beaver’s quest will not proceed without danger. The Pipestone Quest is a mostly low-key but always engaging psychological foray into a lost aboriginal world of spirits and portents, the story of a young seeker on the verge of manhood.