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The Prairie

A Tale

by James Fenimore Cooper


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The Prairie: A Tale (1827) is a novel by James Fenimore Cooper, the 3rd novel written by him featuring Natty Bumppo. Civilization drives old hunter Natty Bumppo (Leatherstocking) west of the Mississippi to the prairies, where he becomes a trapper and helps a band of emigrants in their conflicts with Indians, miscreants, and the harsh environment. We find Hawkeye removed to the uncharted territory which would become Wyoming and the Dakotas. Having fled the relentless sound of axes hewing down his beloved forests in the east, the Leatherstocking is now in his eighties and has isolated himself in the land of the Pawnee, the Sioux and countless herds of buffalo. Culminating in a magnificently written death scene, The Prairie brings the old hunter full circle with images of his youth and reminiscences of the remarkable life which made him the prototype of the American Hero.

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The Prairie
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