reviewed by Cy Wyss
Hontas by V.M. Sawh is the story of Hontas (Pocahontas) and John, bounty hunters extraordinaire in Wyoming 1880, the real wild west. They are assigned a job which consists of disrupting the laying of train track by a magnate known as Smythe. Their first attempt doesn’t go so well and ends up with a wounded Hontas careening through a rushing river, sliced and expelled. The non-linear story timeline and non-stop action means this is a hard short to put down.
The second confrontation with Smythe goes more to Hontas’s way of liking. I found it a very satisfying sequence, with a surprise twist. The larger themes of the story are equally satisfying, both that, as Hontas says, “Red. White. We all bleed the same,” as well as the idea that progress (such as the laying of train track over the west) inevitably destroys traditional ways of life. Craft wise, there is some repetition of words and some minor omissions but nothing that seriously detracts from your enjoyment of this fast-moving piece. There are several evocative descriptions of authentic scenery, although I wished there might have been even more, since this is one of the things people love about Westerns, the vast and exhilarating landscape. All in all a fun read over lunch or with a cold drink in hand.