Excerpts from the Novel

From Prologue:

The young Seneca warrior who had been denied Thomas Boyd’s scalp as a trophy, pillaged the victim for other items of value. He came away with the American’s belt buckle, hunting knife, powder horn, and a small leather booklet. The youngster fanned the English language pages in the book and frowned. He had no idea it was Boyd’s personal campaign journal. He stuffed the booklet into his pouch thinking he could barter with it later. He then kicked Boyd several times in the ribs to awaken him for the march back to their village. The Seneca warrior still felt the American’s scalp was rightfully his and that he would not be denied taking it again.

He did not have to wait long.

His trophy would come the very next day.


From Chapter 8 at Old Fort Niagara:

Nero flicked his head and the thug behind Jake grunted to catch his attention. Clown Face opened his coat to reveal the handle of a black pistol in his waistband. The driver, having already walked around the back of the vehicle, also showed off his weapon.

Jake’s blood boiled as he sized up the situation. An escape plan started to develop but quickly fizzled as Nero displayed a Glock 9 mm and pointed it at Jake’s chest.

“Give me the camera and you get to live another day of being an Army of one,” said Nero with a slight grin. “Try anything funny and I’ll tie a concrete block around your neck and dump your body in the Niagara River.”

Jake’s eyes locked with Nero’s and he knew in an instant this guy meant what he said. Nero’s eyes seemed a window to his soul — and what stood on the other side rattled him.


From Chapter 13 at the Tonawanda Indian Reservation:

“There is a prophecy that we fear the most,” Lizzie quietly announced. “That an evil will resurface once again and destroy our lands, and all that reside on them. This is an evil that corrupts, that does not show mercy on any physical human being, be it a child or an elder. The discoveries that have revealed themselves to you today and the fact that Atotarho’s spirit lives in Alex Nero is evidence that this evil no longer lies dormant.” She looked into Jake’s brown eyes. “The crown has awakened and seeks its master. It calls Nero. He now has the keys to unlock its whereabouts. And you were chosen to stop him!”

Jake stood up, shaking his head. “Me? What are you talking about? I’m not involved in any of this.” He glared down at his uncle and the old witch. Were they drinking something funny in their tea? The notion that all of a sudden, as of today, Jake Tununda was supposed to stop the elected head of the Iroquois Confederacy from finding some ancient evil crown he had never heard even existed, was absurd. And besides, the events of today happened by sheer luck.

Or did they?


From Chapter 23 South of Conesus Lake:

“Are all three of you listening?” asked Nero in a calmer voice. He received two replies and a grunt back.

“I’m going to tell you the story of how Thomas Boyd, the owner of that keg, died back in 1779. Listen very carefully and learn from your mistakes.”

The three men sat up.

“After the Iroquois captured Thomas Boyd they stripped him bare and found he had been shot in the side. So they whipped him with thorns, right on that wound. Then they tied him to a small tree and practiced throwing tomahawks around his head to get him in the right frame of mind. After that, they pulled out his nails, cut off his nose, plucked out one of his eyeballs, cut out his tongue, stabbed him with spears, and sliced off his shoulder. All the while they deliberately kept him conscious as they enacted their revenge. They even cut off his cock and balls. Finally, they opened his gut and pulled out his small intestine. They nailed it to a tree and forced him to walk around the tree until all of his guts unwound around the trunk. Then they scalped him. And then cut off his head for good measure. I swear, on my mother’s grave, if you three fucking idiots don’t get that keg back, I promise to use every technique our forefathers used on Boyd. There is a great secret in that keg that belongs to me. Do not come back without it.” The phone clicked dead.

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