Bedford Village

by Hervey Allen
Category: "Fiction - Historical"
Year of Publication:1944
Date Added:04/09/2008
Date Read:04/09/2008
Notes:Salathiel Albine is a young man on the Pennsylvania frontier during Pontiac's rebellion. During an active year, he gets married, loses his wife, falls for and loses Phoebe Davison, joins the household of trader Pendergass, aids Captain Ecuyer, joins a band and raids Indians, joins the Masons and runs off with Frances, his new love.
My Rating: 6

Reviews for Bedford Village

Review - Bedford Village

The story takes place in Bedford, a small town on the Pennsylvania frontier during the 1760s when Pontiac’s Rebellion was underway. Salathiel Albine is a young man who was captured by Indians as a child. A fellow captive, McArdle, teaches him how to read and write. They escape with some other captives, one of which, a young girl named Jane, McArdle convinced Sal to marry to curb talk. The two are separated when they try to get into Fort Pitt.

Sal becomes the aid of Captain Ecuyer, who soon moves east to try to drum up volunteers for an attack on the Indians. On the trip, Sal becomes friends with Yates, a lawyer and also one of the many Pendergasses who run a large trading post in Bedford. There, Sal is taken into the family and even offered a position in the store. He meets Phoebe, a niece of Garret Pendergass, the patriarch of the clan and they fall in love. But Sal doesn’t tell Phoebe about Jane. He spends the winter, helping his friends in a massive brawl that takes place on pay day at the nearby fort. He also meets Captain Jack, a legendary fighter whose family was murdered by Indians several years before and who had dedicated himself to killing every Indian he meets. During the winter, Sal is introduced to and initiated into Masonry. In the spring, Jack forms a small force of men to guard the road to Fort Pitt. Sal, with his background with the Indians is an important member. Their adventures culminate in the massacre of a bunch of peaceful Indians at the Salt Kettles.

Sal returns to Bedford to discover that McAdle has shown up and told everyone about Jane. Phoebe, in disgust marries another man and moves away. Ecuyer is dying and Sal sticks around long enough to nurse him. He then takes off to meet Jane. But on the way he meets Frances, a servant girl whom he met briefly the year before. Frances is fleeing a sadistic master. The two hole up in a cave for several weeks, determine to stay together, and return to Bedford where Yates takes Sal into a surveying, town-planting partnership.

The book was slow-moving with a lot of mixed-up philosophy thrown in. Much of it reads as a tract on Masonry and an attack on Christianity. The characters were interesting but not terribly moral. It had an easy way of accepting things like the massacre of Indians and Sal’s decision to stay with Frances and forget Jane. Allen is a good writer who can make characters, scenery and atmosphere come alive, but he doesn’t have a lot to say.
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