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The book ?The Light in the Forest? takes place in the 1700?s in Pennsylvania and Ohio. A young white settler named John Butler was taken from his family and raised by members of the Leni Lenape Indian Tribe. The Indians took him during a raid. The Indian couple that adopted him was Cuyloga and Quequenga. Cuyloga and Quequenga had recently lost their son to a plague, that they called the ?yellow vomit?, and adopted John to replace the son that they lost. They renamed John as True Son. In the book you are introduced to John/True Son?s white family and hid Indian family. You also meet various characters in both societies along with a soldier named Del Hardy. Del Hardy is a soldier who lived with the Indians and was later reunited with his white family just like John/True Son.
John/True Son was taught by Cuyloga to fish, hunt, talk, and act like an Indian. Cuyloga and the rest of the tribe treated John/True Son as an Indian. One thing that Cuyloga deeply emphasized while teaching John/True Son was that he must hate all white people. True Son thought that was a full blooded Indian and would never have thought different until one day when Cuyloga told him he must leave the tribe and go live with his white family. His father told him that he had made a treaty with the white man that the Indians would return all white captives. Then True Son/Johnny tries to runaway but is tracked down by Cuyloga and brought back to the soldier?s camp. After being returned to his white family he has to get used to the white lifestyle. His family thinks that he should be able to just give up his beliefs and morals that he has learned over the years that he has been with the Indians. After a while of living with the whites True Son/Johnny becomes sick and is bed ridden. Instead of trying to get better he waits to die because he hates having to live his life as it is. Then his cousin Half Arrow comes to visit him and they leave the house. When they are outside they find out that there cousin Little Crane has been murdered. So to avenge his death they go and scalp True Son/Johnny?s Uncle Wilse.
True Son/ Johnny and Half Arrow then return to their tribes village where they are welcomed back and a celebration is held. Everything is going fine, but then the tribe has to go attack the whites. So, they have Johnny dress up as a young white boy and wad out into the water where the whites are supposed to be on. But right when the whites are about to come close enough so that the Indian warriors waiting on shore could hit the whites with arrows Johnny tips the whites off because he see a boy that reminds him of Gordy. The whites realize that there is an attack coming their way and moved out of range of the Indians arrows and spears. When he gets back to shore the tribe wants to kill him. That night they have a meeting to decide what to do with him. It seems like it?s all over for him but then Cuyloga comes forward and takes the blame for his actions. No one in the tribe really knows what to do after that. Then Cuyloga tells Johnny that he must leave the tribe and return to the whites. Johnny says he will never return to the whites. But, Cuyloga says that maybe not right away but eventually he will. Cuyloga takes Johnny to the place where they will leave each other. Johnny tries to say good bye but Cuyloga says that enemies don?t say good bye and that if they ever meet in battle that they must kill each other.
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