The Call of the Hawk is based on a true story of the captivity of Margaret Paulee and her son, John, who was born soon after she was captured by the Shawnee. At the age of six, John was reluctant to leave his Indian village when his mother was repatriated. These were the only people he knew; Tecumseh, the war chief Blue Jacket, and his French-Indian wife Monette especially. The transition was not made easier when, after their return, they lived with his Uncle John Handley, whose hatred for the Shawnee was unbounded. Another problem arose with the return of Hugh Caperton from Kentucky after his father had been killed by Indians. John finally returned to his Indian friends and then went to Missouri to join a fur trading company. Margaret lived to be 91, and in the final days, she reveals her true feelings about her captivity.

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