The Marks of the Bear Claws

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By Rev. Henry S. Spalding, S.J.

Paul Guibeau has spent the winter at the Mission of Saint Ignace and now is anxious to set out with Father Marquette and Sieur Joliet on their voyage of discovery.  More than anything, though, he wants his friend Red Bear to accompany them—not only to help protect them, but in the hopes that by spending the months ahead with the great Missionary, Red Bear may finally consent to become a Christian.  But Red Bear fears Marquette and instead heads east with his people.  Who, then, is encircling the camp each night with the marks of bear claws?  Mystery and danger abound on this journey into the unknown…

The story of Père Marquette and his participation in the discovery of the Mississippi River was one that was dear to Father Spalding, for he had done much of his own research on the life of this great Jesuit.  He used details from Volume 59 of the Jesuit Relations (which includes the actual journals kept by Marquette during his travels) to construct this story (though of course he added fictional elements as well).  The result is a riveting tale of courage and faith valuable as much for itself as for its historic significance.


5.5" x 8.5"       paperback         164 pages

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