The Eagle and the Raven by James Michener...
Michener wrote concerning "The Eagle and the Raven" that "it is not primarily a book about Texas but, rather, it is the last work in a spurt of unusual effort. To explain how this burst of energy came about we must go back nearly eighty years to when I was a country lad. The farmer at the end of our lane had an aging apple tree which had once produced good fruit but had now lost its energy and ability to give us apples. The farmer, on an early spring day I still remember, found eight nails, long and rusty, which he hammered into the trunk of the reluctant tree. ....That autumn a miracle happened. The tired old tree, having been goaded back to life, produced a bumper crop of red, juicy apples. ....the farmer explained, 'Hammerin' in the rusty nails gave it a shock to remind it that its job is to produce apples.' A substantial jolt lasts about ten years.'"
Cameron's Indian Wife
4 hours ago