CROW KILLER

It is a story with a quite unexpected twist. The story’s character ? He is nick-named Jeremiah -Liver Eating -Johnson.

Why ? How? Give me a second. I’m just getting through the book, CROW KILLER, now. I wouldn’t want to leak details that would compromise your reading of it.

Some words of general nature wouldn’t do that.

In the lore of American mountain men, Jeremiah is quite noted. As a young, strapping man he ventured west to the Rockies to seek his way as a trapper. This was in the mid-1800s. The West, indeed, still wild.

In short, the woman who Jeremiah had taken as his bride was murdered and scalped by a band of Crow Indians. As a one man militia, Jeremiah individually set upon the Crows and did some scalping of his own, wreaking untold havoc among them for an extended time. Sweet vengeance!

Are you sitting down? As part of his ritual, Johnson cut the liver out of his Crow victims and ate the delicacy while it was still warm.

Now comes the unexpected. I was seated on the porch of a stately old farm house right here in Alexandria Township, Hunterdon County, N.J. The owner/orchardist was celebrating his superb vintage of hard cider. Our conversation flitted back and forth between subjects when he mentioned that this house was the childhood home of a one Jeremiah Liver-Eating Johnson !

Whoa. If ever an incongruous juxtaposition of details ! How did a Jersey kid wind up in the annals of Rocky Mountain lore ?

I suppose stranger things have happened; I’m just not sure when. I’ll keep reading and get back to you later.

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