Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sackett - Louis L'Amour (Bantam - May 1961)

Series: Sacketts (Book 9)


"Oldest brother to Orrin Sackett, the lawmaker, and Tye Sackett, the Mora gunfighter . . . I had to kill a man in Texas so I've drifted. Came upon a vein of pure gold in high, lonesome country. All I wanted was enough to buy me a ranch . . . but gold has ways of its own with men!"

William Tell Sackett had followed a different path from his younger brothers, but his name, like theirs, was spoken with respect and just a little fear. Where Orrin had brought law and order from New Mexico to the plains of Montana, backed up by the gunfighting talents of his brother Tye, Tell Sackett's destiny drew him to Texas and further after he had to kill a man. There, in the high, lonesome country, he came upon a vein of pure gold. All he'd wanted was enough to buy a ranch, but he soon learned that gold had ways of its own with men. 

Another excellent story by L'Amour about the type of men who settled the west.  After the Civil War he drifted west working anything from cattle drives to riverboats.  After killing a man who tried to kill him he decided it was time to try to improve his life.  On his way down to New Mexico to visit his brothers (see Daybreakers) he stumbles on a rich vein of gold.  After talking to his brothers he and Cap Rountree get the supplies together to mine that gold.  With gold being one of those things that tends to draw unwanted attention they ran into trouble almost from the beginning.  Also in the valley where he found the gold he found a young woman whose grandfather had found the gold first.  He rescued her and faced the trouble that found them.  Tell is another one of L'Amour's quiet heroes.  He doesn't go looking for trouble but he doesn't run from it either.  He has a strict code of honor and believes in the difference between right and wrong.  One of the things he was determined to do was to improve his reading which he did by reading a book about law which gave him a lot to think about.  I also liked the way that he tried to resolve issues without shooting if it was possible.  Besides the intense drama of some of the events, there were also some funny times.  I really enjoyed the shaving scene at the beginning and also his dealing with the interlopers of the town near the end.

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