The Flames of Time Author:Baynard Kendrick This story has not been told before-the story of Florida under bandits, Indians, escaped slaves, gougers from Georgia, and the corruption of decadent Spain. That was a hundred and fifty years ago; the United States was setting the fires of revolt against Spain, which flamed into the East Florida Republic and finally welded Florida into the Unti... more »ed States.
Baynard Kendrick's central character is Artillery Armes, an orphan reared by a swaggering bandit named Dan McKetch and his right-hand man Doctor Ezekiel Buckhart, an extraordinary combination of scholar, religious patriarch, and hard-riding outlaw. Mr. Kendrick makes a fascinating tale of Artillery's boyhood; in McKetch's armed stronghold the boy receives as rigorous a training in religion and languages as in shooting, riding, and the craft of the wilderness. When young Artillery rescued the Indian prince, Hasse Micco, from death in the swamps, he entered another phase of his frontier education: he lived for months in the Indian village of the half-white chief Cheti Haiola; and there, as blood brother of Hasse Micco, Artillery learned to wrestle, to run, to hunt, to throw the hatchet with deadly precision.
It was when Dan McKetch was betrayed into the hands of the Spaniard and his plantation seized that Artillery Armes plunged into the explosive events of the day. He had been a boy without a country, for Dan McKetch recognized no allegience; but now Artillery became a special agent for John Houston McIntosh-and therefore the United States. In Fernandina and St. Augustine Artillery tested his wits and his fighting skill against the Spanish. He took part in the Indian battles, notably that terrible campaign against the great Seminole chief King Payne, which Mr. Kendrick recounts magnificently. Two beautiful and very different women profoundly affected Artillery's life: Beth Hulbert, lovely, gay, the daughter of a wealthy and cultivated American; and Dauna, the slave girl raised in Cheti Haiola's Indian village, whom Artillery ransomed with all his fortune from the slave market in St. Augustine.
Based on exhaustive research, The Flames of Time is an authentic recreation of a little-known chapter of American history. It is made vivid by Mr. Kendrick's knowledge and love of the Florida country. But most important of all, The Flame of Time is a wonderful story which sweeps ahead, rich in colorful characters and in the excitement of the time.« less