Moccasin Game Summary

Summary (Comprehensive Guide to Short Stories, Critical Edition)

In the opening scene, Stone Columbus and other residents of the new sovereign nation, Point Assinika, wait at the marina for the floatplane carrying Pellegrine Treves, bearer of the moccasins worn by Felipa Flowers when she was murdered. Treves is also transporting the purported remains of the long-dead Algonquian princess, Pocahontas, to be interred alongside the remains of Felipa Flowers.

Treves’s arrival initiates a series of unusual scenes, during which details of the murder are disclosed. Treves also reveals that federal agents (presumably of the United States government) have deliberately spread believable disinformation about Point Assinika and some of its citizens. One lie in particular, concerning a Jewish Holocaust survivor working as a scientist and healer among the people, emphasizes the disturbingly accurate parallels between the fate of European Jews during World War II and the fate of Native Americans at the hands of European immigrants to America.

Stone Columbus knows, however, that his people thrive on opposition—the more, the merrier. Fully aware of the opposition such an act will generate, Stone and his people are considering a plan to annex the United States—an example of reverse assimilation—if the federal government refuses to meet their demands. Opposition indeed intensifies, as federal agents unthaw and thus release the evil wiindigoo, who returns to Point Assinika to resume the deadly moccasin game that he was about to win many years ago. To combat the wiindigoo, Stone deploys a war herb so powerful that even when unused it shows up on satellite radar as a radiant shadow. In the end, the mutually assured destructive power of the terrible soldier weed war herb creates a Dr. Strangelove kind of scene within the ultimate contest that the moccasin game has become. The fate of the entire human race now lies in the balance.