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Lake in the clouds, p.1
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       Lake in the Clouds, p.1

           Sara Donati
Lake in the Clouds

  High Praise for the Novels of Sara Donati



  —Daily American

  “AS GOOD AS IT GETS … Donati writes eloquently about frontier life.”—Tampa Tribune

  “A sweeping, highly enjoyable historical adventure-love story.”


  “A truly complete, exquisite detailed universe with so many wonderful characters and the stories of their lives.”

  —Romance Reviews Today


  “The likable protagonists, a multitude of amusing secondary characters and exciting escapades make this a compelling read.”

  —Publishers Weekly

  “Donati’s skillfully told and captivating romantic historical saga brings a tumultuous era and dashing characters to life in what promises to be a very popular and rewarding series.”—Booklist

  “Donati masterfully weaves the evocative history of the founding of America with the powerful challenges faced by those, like the Bonners, who settled the new world. The strengths they find in themselves provide a timely reminder that this melting pot nation is a rich fabric, woven by the lives of ordinary people who rise to extraordinary challenges.”


  “Like Into the Wilderness, Dawn on a Distant Shore will keep readers up into the wee hours. We can only hope Donati has her supply of midnight oil that she is using to write the third installment of this worthy and satisfying series.”

  —The Orlando Sentinel

  “Set in the wilderness of 1794 New-York … [Dawn on a Distant Shore] features an imaginative plot that interconnects characters without straining credibility or leaving loose ends. It’s a balanced blend of bravery, treachery, romance, suffering and hope.”—The Tampa Tribune Times

  “This novel is a sequel to the earlier epic, Into the Wilderness, but although there’s a strong sense of the characters’ past, it’s perfectly enjoyable on its own terms. If you haven’t read the earlier book, however, you’re likely to make immediate tracks in your own quest to acquireit.”—The Seattle Times

  “Sara Donati has created a worthy historical epic here, enriched by solid intrigues and a compelling cast of characters.”

  —The Bellingham Herald

  “Remarkably written. Outstanding.”—Rendezvous

  “The story line is impressive as the plot fully entertains the audience. Sara Donati creates an American epic that will receive much acclaim from fans and critics.”

  —The Midwest Book Review


  “The author builds a powerful adventure story, animating everyone—German villagers, slaves, and Scottish trappers alike—in a gorgeous, vividly described American landscape. The erotic passages aren’t bad either.“—People

  “Donati’s captivating saga is much like the books in Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling Outlander series, and it is definitely the romance of the year when it comes to transcending genre boundaries and appealing to readers who love lush historical epics or thrilling backwoods adventures.”—Booklist

  “A lushly written novel … Donati, a skillful storyteller, easily weaves historical fact with romantic ambience to create a dense, complex design…. Exemplary historical fiction, boasting a heroine with a real and tangible presence.”

  —Kirkus Reviews

  “Remarkable … a vibrant tapestry … Sara Donati is a skilled storyteller who weaves historical facts into a grand adventure of love, mystery, and intrigue. She takes us to an unfamiliar place and allows us to breathe in the air of another time. This is exemplary historical fiction…. From page one, the action is nonstop. The more you read, the better it gets.“—Tulsa World

  “An elegant, eloquent word journey … The author has [a] gift for capturing the history and the lives of the people of that time and place.”—The Tampa Tribune

  “Epic in scope, emotionally intense … an enrapturing, grand adventure.“—BookPage

  “Memorable … draws the reader into the story from page one … a powerfully good read.“—Toronto Sun

  “A splendid read … Wonderful reading, suited for a cold winter’s night.”—Rocky Mountain News

  “Better buy some midnight oil, for this hugely satisfying novel is a page-turner.”—The Orlando Sentinela

  “A rich, involving, fully textured tale. Each time you open a book, you hope to discover a story that will make your spirit of adventure and romance sing. This book delivers on that promise.“—Amanda Quick

  “A beautiful tale of both romance and survival … Here is the beauty as well as the savagery of the wilderness and, at the core of it all, the compelling story of the love of a man and a woman, both for the untamed land and for one another.

  “—Allan W. Eckert

  Also by Sara Donati



  For Jill Grinberg

  Primary Characters

  Elizabeth Middleton Bonner (also known as Bone-in-Her-Back), a schoolteacher

  Nathaniel Bonner (also known as Wolf-Running-Fast or Between-Two-Lives), a hunter and trapper; Elizabeth’s husband

  Dan’l Bonner (known also as Hawkeye), Nathaniel’s father

  Luke or Luc (Nathaniel’s first son by an early alliance), resident in Scotland

  Hannah (also known as Walks-Ahead), Nathaniel’s daughter by his first wife

  Mathilde (or Lily, called Two-Sparrows by the Kahnyen’kehàka)

  and Daniel (called Little-Fox by the Kahnyen’kehàka), Elizabeth and Nathaniel’s twins

  Selah Voyager, an escaped slave

  Many-Doves, a Mohawk woman who lives at Lake in the Clouds; Nathaniel’s sister-in-law by his first marriage

  Runs-from-Bears, of the Mohawk Turtle clan; the husband of Many-Doves

  Blue-Jay, their eldest son; Kateri, their daughter; and Sawatis, their youngest son

  Strong-Words, once known as Otter, brother of Many-Doves, living to the west where he has married into a Seneca longhouse

  Strikes-the-Sky, Seneca, friend of Strong-Words

  Curiosity Freeman, a freed slave, Richard Todd’s housekeeper

  Galileo Freeman, a freed slave, the manager of Todd’s holdings, and Curiosity’s husband

  Daisy, their daughter, and her husband, Joshua Hench, blacksmith, living in Paradise; their four children, Sarah, Solange, Lucy, Emmanuel

  Almanzo, their son, living in New-York City, employed at the African Free School

  Richard Todd, a physician and landholder Katherine (Kitty) Witherspoon Middleton Todd, his wife

  Ethan Middleton, Kitty Todd’s son by her first husband

  The widow Kuick, born Lucy Simple, originally of Boston. Owner of the mill and the land around it, bordering on Hidden Wolf

  Isaiah Kuick, her unmarried son and heir

  Ambrose Dye, her overseer The slaves at the mill: Ezekiel, Levi, Shadrach, Malachi, Moses, Reuben, and Cookie

  Jemima Southern, a servant to the widow Kuick along with Becca Kaes and Dolly Smythe

  Mr. George Gathercole, minister; Rose, his wife;Mary, their daughter

  Anna Hauptmann McGarrity, owner and proprietor of the trading post

  Axel Metzler, her father and proprietor of the tavern

  Jed McGarrity, hunter, trapper, and village constable

  Liam Kirby, a bounty hunter from New-York City, formerly of Paradise

  Cornelius Bump, assistant to Dr. Todd

  Gabriel Oak, formerly village clerk

  Grievous Mudge, a schooner captain on Lake Champlain

  Sary Emory, his widowed sister and housekeeper

  Baldwin O’Brien,
circuit judge, formerly tax collector

  In New-York City

  Elizabeth’s cousin Amanda Spencer and her husband, William Spencer, Viscount Durbeyfield, resident in New-York City; their son, Peter

  Mrs. Douglas, their housekeeper

  Harold Bly, innkeeper of the Bull’s Head, and his wife, Virginia Bly

  Meriwether Lewis, President Thomas Jefferson’s secretary

  DeWitt Clinton, senator Dr. Valentine Simon, founder of the Kine-Pox Institution and his colleagues and assistants: Dr. Paul Savard,

  Dr. Karl Scofield

  At Red Rock

  Splitting Moon, daughter of Made-of-Bones of the Wolf longhouse of the Kahnyen’kehàka at Good Pasture

  Elijah, escaped from slavery July 1794

  Renhahserotha’ (New-Light), their son

  The Runaways at Red Rock

  New-York Daily Advertiser

  April 6, 1802

  RUN AWAY FOR THE SECOND TIME a slight built, dark-skinned Negro named DEMETRIUS, the property of the Honourable Henry Cook, Esquire. A very likely young fellow, about 20 years old, has a remarkable swing in his walk, with a surprising knack of gaining the good graces of almost every body who will listen to his bewitching and deceitful tongue, which seldom speaks the truth. From his ingenuity he is capable of doing almost any sort of business and for some years past has been chiefly employed as a cobbler, a stone mason, and a miller as occasion required, one of which trades, I imagine, he will, in the character of a free man, profess. Whoever delivers said valuable Negro to his rightful owner shall receive a reward, besides all reasonable charges.

  THE BOUNTY HUNTER MICAH COBB has tracked, captured, and brought to Justice many escaped Negroes, among them Virginia’s violent and savage Captain of the Swamp and his band of maroon Thieves and Murderers. Likewise can he return to you runaway or stolen property. “Both thy bondmen and thy bondmaids shall be of the heathen that are round about you … And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever.” Lev.25 Rates upon inquiry at the Bull’s Head on the Bowery.

  RUNAWAY from the Subscriber. William Braun, an indented apprentice, uncommon tall and fair, speaks a broken English. All persons, especially masters of vessels bound for German-speaking ports, are forbid harboring said William upon penalty of law. Whoever will return the runaway to the Subscriber will have Five Dollars Reward. James Burroway, printer, Beaver Street.

  FOR SALE a Negro woman, in every respect suitable for a farmer—she is 25 years old, and will be sold with or without a girl four years old and a boy two. Jas. Minthorn, Park Ave.

  RUN AWAY a middle-sized high yellow Negro woman, named CONNY. She is about 35 years of age, has some scars on her back, and has a very impertinent countenance. She is fond of liquor, and is apt to sing indecent and sailor songs when so taken. With her a MULATTO man named MOSES, about 40 years old, near 6 feet high, has lost an eyetooth, has a scar or two on some part of his face, and plays on the violin. As I have whipped him twice for his bad behaviour, scars may be seen upon his body. He may try to earn his living as a cooper, having learned that trade on my farm. Reward. Albert vanderPoole, Long-Island.

  RUNAWAY from the merchant Hubert Vaark of Pearl Street, a house slave named RUTH, a dark-complexioned wench of loose morals, far gone with child. Artful in her ways, quiet spoken and cunning. Took with her when she left a silver salt box and a carving knife with an ivory handle. It is supposed she may be endeavoring to get to Canada where she and her child might pass for Free. Whoever takes up said Negress, and delivers her to her owner shall receive a bountiful prize, besides all reasonable charges; and if any persons harbour her from just rewards for such wicked behavior as she has shewn, they may expect to be prosecuted to the full extent of the laws of God and man. “Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour’s house, his field, or his bondman, or his bondwoman, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” Deut. 5:21.

  HEREBY BE IT KNOWN that Meg Mather, lawful wife of the subscriber, has eloped from her husband in the company of a Frenchman known as Andre Seville. She took with her the subscriber’s infant son, a French Negro slave girl called Marie, and a mantel clock. A reward will be paid for return of the boy, the slave, and the clock, but a husband so maligned by such shameless and sinful behavior is glad to be free, and will give no reward, nor will he allow the wanton back into his home. He therefore warns all persons from trusting her on his account. He will pay no debts of her contracting. Jonah Mather, Butcher. Boston Post Road.

  NEGROES TAKEN UP. Committed as runaway to the gaol of this county, two African negro men. They have told so many different stories in what part of the state or continent their owner lives, and speak such broken language, it is impossible to say where they belong. One of them says his name is JAMES, about 40 years old, 5 feet in height, well made, holes in his ears, and has lost one of his fore teeth. The other is called PETER, about 30, 5 feet 4 inches. Both have remarkable small feet. The above negroes were taken up about the first of March, and are now hired out according to law. James Lewis, Sheriff.

  A WARNING to all Free and Manumitted Negroes. Captain Matthew Tinker has again brought his ship MARIA to the North River. Captain Tinker has three times been charged with the kidnapping of Free Blacks from the city streets. His custom is to remove them from this State to the South, where they are sold into Slavery never to be seen again. Captain Tinker operates in malicious and knowing violation of the Gradual Manumission Act of 1799. BEWARE. Libertas.

  RAN-AWAY from Nathan Pierson, on Long-Island a negro man named TITE, about 5 feet high, thick set, about 20 years old, very likely; had on when he went away a light-coloured homespun coat, spotted calico trowsers, large smooth plated Buckles. He plays on the fife. Whoever will take up said negro and confine in the gaol in New-London, shall have TEN DOLLARS reward, and all necessary charges, paid by NEZER SLOO, Gaoler.

  FOR SALE. The TIME of two indented girls, one MULATTO, one IRISH, strong, upwards of three years left to serve, who can do any kind of house or dairy work, brought up in this family. Inquire of Isaac Whetstone, Park Street.

  Hereby let it be known that the New-York City Almshouse currently houses more orphaned infants than can be adequately cared for. Honest and God fearing couples with room enough to take on a foster child may apply to MR THOMAS EDDY. Compensation as determined by the City Council is fifty cents per month per infant less than two years of age.

  City of New-York

  in the State of, New-York



  You are hereby notified, pursuant to a 2d Pluribus Subpoena directed to you, and now in the hands of the Sheriff, that you be and appear before the honorable Justices of the Supreme Court in this city to be held at the Tweed Street Court House on the first Monday in July next, to answer the libel of your husband, Tiberius Maximus Huron du Rocher, praying for a divorce from the bonds of matrimony. James Lewis, Sheriff.

  RAN AWAY from the Subscriber, Annie Fletcher, an indented servant. She is about five foot tall, dark hair, uncommon light eyes, missing the second finger on her left hand. All persons, especially masters of vessels, are forbid harboring said Annie upon penalty of law. Whoever will return the slovenly and ungrateful wretch to the Subscriber will have one cent reward. Elisha Hunt, Sailmaker

  Two Dollars Reward. Lost, a young half-grown female DOG of the Newfoundland breed. Yellow and white, with curly hair. Whoever returns said DOG to the Subscriber shall have the above named reward. Francis Loud, Orange Street.

  TEN DOLLARS REWARD. Deserted on the night of 3d inst. from the Rendezvous at Fort Gandervoort, Charles Hook, a soldier in the Infantry of the United States. He is 27 years of age, five foot six inches tall, blue eyes, black hair, dark complexion. Wearing a plain green coat and blue nankeen trowsers edged with red and a round hat in which he wears a pidgeon feather dyed blue. Whoever
may apprehend and return said Deserter to this Rendezvous or any military post in these United States shall receive the above reward and reasonable costs paid. A. L. Hayes, Lieutenant

  THE NEW-YORK DISPENSARY hereby makes it known that public donations have made it possible to offer KINE POX Vaccinations against the dreaded Small-Pox to the City’s Poor, at no cost. A SAFE and PAINLESS procedure recommended especially for children. Inquiries to Dr. Valentine SIMON at the Dispensary or Almshouse


  Spring 1802

  Chapter 1

  In the spring of Elizabeth Middleton Bonner’s thirty-eighth year, when she believed herself to be settled, secure, and well beyond adventure, Selah Voyager came to Paradise.

  It was the screaming of the osprey that brought the women face to face, just past dawn on a Sunday morning. Elizabeth and her stepdaughter Hannah were skirting the marsh at the far end of Half-Moon Lake when the birds started up, making so much noise chasing each other in great diving swoops that the two of them stopped right there to watch. Weary as she was, Elizabeth was glad of the excuse to rest.

  On the edge of New-York’s endless forests the winter gave way reluctantly to warm weather, but when the osprey came back to the lake it was a certainty that the last of the ice would soon be gone. And there were other signs as well, all around them: a red-winged blackbird perched on a cattail; wood frogs hidden among the rushes, their queer duck-clack call echoing over the water; reeds flushed with new green. Elizabeth was looking over the lake and taking comfort in what the day had to offer when Hannah caught sight of a clutch of small white flowers in first blossom. Bloodroot gave up a deep scarlet dye, and it was highly prized.

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