During the year of 1948 David as a young boy got caught up in all the drama of his Uncle’s sins molesting Indian women, when David eaves drops and hears about what his uncle had done is the major turning point for him, he is no longer a little kid but now after his opinions of his family had changed he had lost all his innocence and was left in the middle of the situation.
After finding out about his Uncles assaults on Indian women, David see’s his uncle leaving the house whilst in the neighbours outhouse through a peep hole, that day when arriving home he finds that Marie Little Soldier had been murdered, Marie is an Indian that works in his home and had made the accusations on his uncle, David loved Marie in a young boy sort of way as there was only one kind of love for a 12 year old boy, She was young and beautiful and understood David.
After David’s father had imprisoned his uncle in his basement, four men that worked for David’s Grandfather arrived at his home willing to jail break his Uncle, David’s mother shot a warning fire in order to scare them away from the house but they didn’t budge so Len Mcauley, David’s neighbour whom David thought was in love with his mother came over and pointed his gun at them ordering them away from the home and scared them off. David’s mother then hugged him thankfully and asked for David to join them, but for David it looked unfaithful so he stood there with his fathers gun so it didn’t look bad if his father emerged.
After this scene David’s mother ordered her brother in law to be freed for the safety of her family and home, that night David heard his uncle smashing glasses from the cellar and awoke the next day to find later in the morning his father hugging his dead brother with gashes on both his wrists in a pool of blood, after this situation David was relieved for the fact that there would be no trial, no more women molested, no bad name put to his family and no more trouble, he was thankful to his uncle but that was not the end of it.
David’s Grandfather practically disowned the family making in unbearable to live in Bentrock no longer than a few months after his uncle’s death David’s family moved away.
Wesley Hayden is David Hayden’s father, was born in 1910 in mercer county, when he was a teenager a horse kicked his leg, breaking it giving him a permanent limp in the shape of a V so we know that he is disabled, in the early twenties Wesley and his family moved to Bentrock and lived on a cattle ranch just outside on Bentrock, Wesley graduated from the university of north Dakota law school, and he was a member of both the North Dakota and Montana state bar association his wife believed that the family would be better if he had a career as an attorney but his father Julian Hayden wanted to keep the family name and popularity going on in the family and passed his job as Sheriff down to his eldest son Wesley.
I see Wesley Hayden as a pushover, he pushed a rewarding career away because his father had told him to and he went to law school because his wife told him to as well. In the novel Wesley is put in a very, very difficult situation by having to convict his own brother for the assaults on Indian woman during his appointments at the reserve- at first Wesley believes the accusations but tries to cover up the situation by making up excuses for his brother, but is then pushed by his wife to take action, if Wesley hadn’t been pushed to take action he never would have. This is a major turning point for Wesley as well as David because it’s a big thing and he knows that it’s wrong and has no choice not to do anything because he is the sheriff and his wife is very strong on her beliefs.
Another turning point in the novel for Wesley is when his son tells him that he had seen his brother leaving the house the afternoon that Marie had died; this is a huge turning point because now Wesley has to do something major about the situation because it’s not something that you can just brush off, Wesley has to find Indian women to testify against his brother, but has then run out of options and decides to imprison his brother in the basement to save the embarrassment of his brother.
When Wesley’s father finds out that his son is being imprisoned in his other sons home he demands for him to be freed but when he is refused, he sounds 4 men that work on his ranch to break him free. After Wesley’s brother commits suicide in his basement, Wesley’s father disowns him as a son and loses contact with him. Wesley, his wife and his son move to Fargo when Wesley’s wife decides that she wants to move out of Bentrock. Dies from cancer. Gail Hayden Wesley Hayden’s wife and David Hayden’s mother, from Eastern ND in the Red River Valley, Wanted her husband to be himself and not a Hayden.
Wanted to move back to North Dakota Concerned about David's values, Wished for a larger community to raise David in, one not so easily escapable, Worked as a sceretary in the Register Deeds Office at the courthouse across the street from the Hayden home. Gail Hayden is a very stern and faithful woman, she is very well mannered and has one son (David), David’s birth was very difficult for her so she had only decided to have one son. The turning point for Gail is also the same turning point as her son and husbands, even though she doesn’t know what her son knows, she tries to keep it as much as a secret from him because he is only twelve years old. One problem that Gail is faced with is protecting her home from her father-in-laws men, she is forced to fire warning shots, this is very weird for Gail because she is very well mannered and a lady so it’s very unexpected.
At the end of the novel when Gail asks to move away from Bentrock we know its because 2 people had died in her own home and it would be a great way to start fresh without people talking about them in Bentrock. Gail dies from a heart attack Frank hayden David's uncle, war hero, doctor, witty, charismatic, charming, rapist, two- faced. He had been a star athlete in high school and college, During WWII on a Pacific Island, he carried three soldiers to safety. He is a killer and committed suicide. In the beginning of the novel frank is the bigger person compared to Wesley, he is more handsome, charming and he is a war hero with a very rewarding profession besides the fact that he uses it for the wrong reasons.