Small Fires in The Sun The Story of St. Denis, The Natchez, and The African Slave By Herbert R. Metoyer, Jr. ~ ~ ~ A Cane River Colony Series Prologue Small Fires in The Sun is a wholly fictional, historical saga based strongly on actual events and, in part, on the lives of some of the persons who actually existed during that time.... ______ The Strangers: each from a different world, each bearing a different cross, each in the service of a different God. All seeking, in their own way, the things craved by men of all creeds love, respect, peace of mind, and a small measure of prosperity. But finding instead — hardship, deceit, and sometimes... death. The French: an ill-prepared, disgruntled group of disillusioned settlers using their wits and sometimes treachery to gain a foothold on foreign soil. Louis Juchereau de St. Denis: A fearless adventurer, explorer, and founder of Natchitoches, the oldest city in Louisiana. Although he seeks material gain like most men of his day, he is a man of high ideals who has earned the respect of Indians and slaves alike. He believes in the church and family. But despite his salient character and good intentions, he is often plagued by many untimely setbacks. Emanuelle de St. Denis: The compassionate, Spanish wife of St. Denis. Usually level headed, she can be very outspoken when prompted. Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville: Governor of Louisiana. Related to St. Denis through the marriage of his brother, Iberville, to St. Denis' sister. Haughty and egotistical, he rules with an iron hand. He is wise in some matters, ignorant in others. Prone to be spiteful if offended. Etienne: A young French trapper who has fallen in love with the Natchez princess, Morning Sun. His allegiance is divided. Claudette: A former prostitute, condemned to plying her trade despite the fact that she yearns only for a husband and a family. She finally achieves her aspirations in the arms of a Natchez warrior. --- The Natchez: the most socially advanced tribe on the North American Continent. A matrilineal, complex society of head-hunting, sun-worshipers who believe that their chief, the Great Sun, is a God. Morning Sun: A princess of the ruling Sun Class, and mother of the youth chosen to be the next chief of their tribe. She is haughty and high strung, and although she has a husband, she has fallen in love with a young Frenchman named Etienne. Her gravest concern is the preservation of her tribe. Tattooed Serpent: Morning Sun's brother and the Great War Chief of the Natchez nation. He is shrewd and cunning. Yet, despite all his wisdom, he is unable to protect his tribe from the wrath of the French and their eventual annihilation at a small lake in North Central Louisiana known today as Lake Sang Pour Sang (Blood for Blood). Two Dog: A teenage boy and one of several guardians responsible for maintaining the Perpetual Fire of his nation. He commits the one unpardonable sin lets the fire go out. This act sets the stage of impending disaster for his tribe. Black Hawk: Morning Sun's son, and the boy who would become the next chief. Fani Mingo (Squirrel Chief) Coutee: A Choctaw War Chief who hires out to assist the French in their wars. The Slaves: Uprooted from their homeland and forced into servitude. Each dancing a different rhythm to the same music, the same drum. Kiokera: Christian name Francois. A young boy brought to Louisiana in chains aboard the slave ship, Marianne. A favored slave living in the care of his protector, St. Denis. Although he is loyal and devoted, he yearns for freedom even if it means the death of his beloved master. Zolare: An older female slave in the service of St. Denis. She fell in love with Francois the moment he arrived from the dark Continent. She, however, is rebuked by Francois. Mukta: Kiokera's former black slave-master aboard the slave ship, the Marianne. Unexpectantly, he is sold into slavery. He escapes through a peculiar chain of events.