In 1988, a crumbling personal journal was unearthed near the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in North Dakota.  The moldy pages revealed disturbing insights into its author’s guilt-ridden mind.

    The journal, written by James Johansen in 1966, details his brief stay on the desolate Reservation.  James is a middle-aged psychologist recruited from East Los Angeles who becomes too intrigued with the disjointed stories of a young Indian woman who appears at the door of his primitive two-room Counseling Center. 

    The young woman, Mara, draws him into her stories about the native spirits and offers to reveal the source of here troubling dreams.  She leads him to the Rugaroo, the terrifying spirit that promises power and control.

    “Bonne Homme”, an old Chippewa gentlemen, uses the insight of his many stories to urge James to change the direction of his journey before it become impossible.

    The earth-stained pages of the journal also allow the reader to share the touching relationship between the desperate psychologist and a warm and trusting nurse from the Public Health Service.  Barbara Lonepine is a beautiful Sioux who gently tries to pull James away from his compulsion with the spirit that fills his tormented dreams and his tortured waking hours. 

    The moldering document lays bare a journey that James Johansen begins with innocent fascination.  His childlike captivation becomes a consuming obsession that compells him toward the most terrifying path of all.. his own madness.

The book
The Journal
The cover of the journal found several miles from the Reservation...