The Everywhere Spirit by Nicholas Applin

In early Nineteenth Century America, slaves are merely animals born to serve, and Sebastian Fleet, a slave with a scandalous secret, is no exception.  As a good slave should be, Sebastian is obedient, humble, and beneath dignity.  He sleeps at his master’s feet, obeys his every command, however insane, and even risks his very soul to do his masters bidding.

It is 1818, the frontier town of St. Louis and Sebastian’s master, the wicked patriarch of the Laroque clan is found dead in a back alley, his body riddled with stab wounds and his faithful slave nowhere to be found.  Suddenly masterless, and thrust into a wide world of freedoms he has never known, Sebastian escapes to the undiscovered west and a world beyond his imagining, a world of Indians, traders and fur trappers, where every man decides his own destiny and is punished by Mother Nature for his own mistakes. It is also here that a chance meeting with a shy youth named Benjamin Zook changes Sebastian’s life.

Benny Zook is a lost and benighted youth in a desperate search for his manhood. Hailing from the budding Illinois territory, he is disregarded and ridiculed by his own family and is ever the whipping boy of his tyrannical father, who rules the household as a bungling monarch.  Benny lives his life in the shadow of his brothers, Daniel and Elijah.  He is the least favored son, given little respect and little expectation. But when his father packs Benjamin and his brother Daniel off on a wild money-making scheme with a gang of rowdy fur trappers, a new world opens up.

A manhunt story, an American history story, a love story, a life story, an anti-slavery story, a story of race relations, a story of human relations, and a testament to the towering power of friendship, The Everywhere spirit is all these things and more. Enjoy.