Well, my dear, I had no idea he was so handsome.
Those intense brows knitted together, his mind somewhere else, flitting amongst the scientific conundrums and administrative puzzlement; the Welsh hills deep in his eyes.
I fancy Lewis would have liked the longbow featured in the previous post. Hewn from a tree stem, smoothed by flint; Lewis had no formal education until he was 13, but educated himself in the wild. He was an outdoorsman. Utterly self-sufficient. Even at such a tender age he would disappear out hunting at the dead of night with his dog.
Unafraid? Or just captivated, fascinated with Out There?
It is some credit to him – or was it the tutors they hired for him – that he still managed to graduate from Liberty University at the correct age. And then, he joined the Militia.
What a waste, I hear the women cry, whilst the men sit quietly weighing up his decision. Nature boy: a strange candidate for the Killing Game. Yet he prospered and did well. And before long he was playing aide to Thomas Jefferson himself, and a resident beneath the gracious roof of the White House.
Jefferson sent him and a colleague on a groundbreaking expedition across land, over those magnificent terrifying Rockies and at last to the Pacific Ocean. He was rewarded with vast traces of land and appointed governor of Louisiana territory.
It was whilst he was governor that he met an untimely end which has been shrouded, for centuries, in controversy and mystery. He was due to journey to Washington, and made a change to his travel plans. No, he would not take a boat from New Orleans.
He would journey along the Natchez Trace: an ancient pioneer road between Natchez, Missisipi and Nashville.
And at an old inn on the Natchez Trace, it is generally accepted that Meriwether Lewis shot himself. There are three accounts of the matter, and none of them can agree; and though he seemed agitated beforehand nobody knew why; and there I shall leave this tale.
For a very good reason. Because Andra Watkins has just taken it up, and woven it into the most wonderful page-turner. And it has just been published.
It is a token of just how much Merry Lewis has swept the Charleston writer off her feet that as the book sales soar on Amazon, she is pounding the Natchez Trace itself. He has taken her in completely. I hope that, sharing his afterlife as they do, he does right by her.
Anyhow: point is this. the book is showered with reviews on the US Amazon site. But this side of the pond is dragging its feet. Want a gripping page turner you can’t put down? This is it.
It has everything. Loathesome villains, defenceless young victims, characterisation to draw you in and make you pound the Trace yourself though you live in sheltered old Blighty.
It’s transformational, and everything we were waiting for from this fresh, driven author.
Go download a copy. It is most reasonable, and these days one can buy in one click, now, can’t one?
You can find it here: and if you like it, help us keep our British end up by leaving a decent review for an author who is, quite clearly, One To Watch.
I thank you.