So out of curiosity, I googled all book covers that were used for The Last of the Mohicans. None of the covers were the one that I remembered, but when I googled all novels that had anything to do with the French and Indian War, I found it! I recognized it immediately. It turned out to be the cover to a book called Rogers' Rangers and the French & Indian War, by Bradford Smith.
So who would remember that? Not an eight-year-old boy. But the cover? I never forgot it. Here it is, and as you can see, it's just as I described it, and I hadn't seen it for over forty years. There's the Frenchman, not dressed in a military uniform, just as I remembered him, and there's the Indian, and sure enough, he's the kind of Indian that could be Mohawk Indian, (the telling Mohawk hairdo is plainly depicted,) and it sure is a battle scene, and those two featured figures sure are attacking each other, just as I described.
|Painting by John C. Wonsetler|
Btw, let me say that since I didn't read the book, I realized that the guy I keep calling the Frenchman might actually be an Englishman, or maybe even an American. So I just googled Rogers' Rangers and found out that the men in Roger's Rangers were indeed Americans. According to Wikipedia, Roger's Rangers was "...a provincial company from the colony of New Hampshire, attached to the British Army."
But whatever. The bottom line is that this was a cover that made an impression. So much of an impression that it stood out in my memory, lasting the course of forty plus years. Now that's an impression. And most importantly, it made me pick it up off the shelves and take it home. I remember that I didn't get it read, but I loved the cover, and I still do.
The point is that making a lasting impression is what a book cover should do, and it's what I believe Killer of Killers does, and even The Vase. For Killer Eyes, I would like to see a similar cover to Killer of Killers, since it's the sequel, and for John Dunn, I'm thinking a painting influenced by this Roger's Rangers cover would be appropriate. Of course, instead of a Mohawk Indian, it will be a Zulu Impi, and instead of the Rogers' Ranger American, it would be John Dunn, who fought in, not just one, but two Zulu wars.
One thing that will be the same is the British soldiers. Just as it was the British fighting in the French and Indian War, it was the British fighting the Zulus, too. The Union Jack flag is plain in this painting, and I'll make it plain in the John Dunn cover, too, just like the red-coated soldiers.