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Pursuit. Maim.

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Vern Harrison

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A preacher father sold his son. The boy escapes — barely. The chase was on, from the Appalachian Mountains to the wild Western lands.

An itinerant preacher sold his own son.

His preacher father sold him when he was about 10 years old. The buyer was a 16 year old female who paid for the boy with a month of full body submission to the father.

The agreement was for his itinerant preacher father to use him a few years before delivering him to the buyer — to maintain the camp, hunt animals and gather plants for sustenance, run errands, and be available when the father got drunk (often). The boy did not know he was sold.

Custody was to be delivered on the day of the boy's 13th birthday.

During the three years the father had custody, at the suggestion of the buyer, Maude, the father instilled a morbid fear of killing a human person, even by accident. Maude assumed the boy would be upset with her and his father. The block was to prevent him from killing his nemeses. Years of repetitive demonstration of the pain of heat and admonishment of the for-sure hell destination of any person who kills another did its work.

But the boy could maim.

He suddenly got fed up with his mistreatment and did exactly that. He shot and destroyed most of his fathers joints — elbows, knees, …. He and his horse disappeared from camp to never return.

Maude did not take kindly to her property disappearing just when she was ready to collect. She had paid dearly for that boy, the worst month of her life she later declared.

Maude took out after him.

The boy soon found out he was sold. But he did not get caught. Not then.

To escape, he went West. Sometimes he had human company, but mostly not.

He survived, not by killing but by so thoroughly maiming opponents that they would be unable to follow up for revenge.

This book talks about the first part of the ten years he avoided Maude.

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