Waldron Baily. The Homeward Trail. New York: W. J. Watt & Co., 1916.

David Simmons and Ruth Swaim were childhood playmates, growing up on adjacent farms by the Yadkin River. Their parents assumed that the young people would some day wed, but when David bungles a sale of Mr. Swaim’s apples, he leaves the area. David’s plan is to earn the money to repay Mr. Swaim. Thus begin a picaresque tale in which David encounters an escaped Union prisoner and an Indian princess. David enjoys his time among the Croatan Indians (Lumbees) and comes to love the Princess Elizabeth. That in itself is a complicated situation, but the plot thickens when the Union soldier turns up where Ruth is staying and tells her about David’s new love. Ruth goes to David, and overhears David confess to Elizabeth his prior relationship with Ruth. Ruth and David recognize that their future is together, but leaving the Croatan settlement proves difficult.

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Filed under 1910-1919, 1916, Baily, Waldron, Novels to Read Online, Piedmont

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