Boone Caudill, a young mountain man, strong, reticent, moody, quick to anger, and savage when crossed. Like an Indian, he wears his long hair braided. He loves the open country and the independent life of a hunter, and he resents the settlement of the West by eastern immigrants. Stubborn and brave, he is less a thinker than a doer. Having set his mind on marrying Teal Eye, he is unceasing in his search until he finds her. Once the suspicion about the source of his son’s red hair has been put into his mind, he broods on it until he finds the suspicion apparently confirmed, and he kills innocent Jim Deakins, whom he had once saved. After learning that his son could have inherited his red hair through Boone himself, he is deeply troubled. Yet he appears to regard the shooting of Jim not as a crime but only as a grave injustice to his best friend.
Teal Eye, his Indian wife, the young daughter of a Blackfoot chief. As a child she was captured by Crows, escaped, was rescued, and was taken to St. Louis. While being returned to her people so that she may be used as a basis for a friendship to be established between Jourdonnais and the Blackfoot Indians, she escapes in Blackfoot territory. Found long afterward with her people by Boone, she happily accepts him as her husband, and she bears his son. Though he deserts her when he suspects the baby’s paternity, he is at the story’s end on his way back to Teal Eye, in whose faithful love he...
(The entire section is 615 words.)