Chenneville: A Novel of Murder, Loss, and Vengeance
“He found himself lying under white sheets with very little idea of how he had gotten there. It was the morning he woke up . . . He seemed to have been there for some time.”
Why? What happened to Lieutenant John Chenneville?
His nurse is a man named Lem. You will meet him again, later, much later. You might be surprised when their paths cross.
This is late September 1865 in City Point, Virginia. Whatever happened to him occurred during the Civil War. Other than being wounded, all we know about him is his name. Was he Blue or Gray?
It takes him a year or so to recover before he can go home to St. Louis, Missouri. Being from Missouri he might be a rebel, but he could be a Yank instead. Lieutenant John Chenneville receives terrible news that sends him down the path of revenge.
It is a long trip home. War has taken its toll on his property and its surroundings. But that is not the worst of it. Something much worse happened during his four-year absence.
As the book states he was “consumed by grief. Driven by vengeance. And he was a man who undertook an unrelenting odyssey across the lawless post-Civil War frontier.”
That trek pushes his endurance to the max. His dangerous undertaking almost breaks him. Weather takes its toll. He endures all sorts—unimaginable heat, bad thunderstorms, and even a historic snowstorm.
He meets all sorts of people to include two beautiful women; a lawman who threatens to arrest him for murder if he succeeds in his mission; and, among other things, his adversary has paid assassins to take him out. However, he turns the tables.
His enemy, who apparently is a Blue Belly, is pure evil. He steals, he kills the innocent, and he rides many horses so hard they perish under him, literally. He has to be stopped. Does Lieutenant John Chenneville get his man?
Human desires do not always pan out the way we want. In the end Chenneville is totally rundown, absolutely exhausted. He has little left to offer anyone. “So he went toward the old Choctaw house that he knew was far up in the San Bois and thought no further than the day ahead and then the day after that.”
Perhaps you will see this on the big screen or Netflix. Chenneville is that good.