White Clam: A Pacific Northwest Adventure
Author(s): Gary K. Cowart
Synopsis: When young Chet Palmer joined the crew of the coastal schooner Exact in the frontier city of Portland in Oregon Territory in the year 1851, he had no intention of losing his freedom. But a routine trading voyage to the Indian west coast of Vancouver Island, with a stop in Puget Sound to offload a group of pioneers who planned to build a city there, has left him in the alien world of the Nootka Indians as a slave and triggered an adventure of survival and enlightenment beyond his wildest imagination.
Given the degrading name of White Clam by the tribe who captured him, Chet must face up to the fact that he’s been left for dead by the crew of the Exact.
Buoyed by thoughts of Lucy Hill, a young girl who captured his heart on the voyage, Chet realizes survival is up to him, a stranger in a strange land. He immerses himself in the ways of the Indians, constantly aware that his life hangs by a thread and danger lurks everywhere. In time, Chet’s acquaintance with a fellow slave, a young Salish boy from the Washington Territory, turns to friendship and to partnership as they plot an escape to the freedom of the Puget Sound country to the south.
Only the unscrupulous renegade leader Two Skins, the Indian who captured him to begin with, and who has sworn to kill him, stands between Chet and freedom.