Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Daybreakers - Louis L'Amour (Bantam - Feb 1960)

Series: Sacketts (Book 6)


I killed a man in Tennessee, fair and square, but me and my brother Orrin hit the trail west. Those were the years when decent men and women went in fear of Indians, rustlers and killers, but we made the West a land where folks could raise their young 'uns. Orrin brought law and order from Santa Fe to Montana, and I backed him all the way. Because, till the day I hung it up, I was the fastest gun alive!

It has been a long time since I read any of the Sackett books but I have to say that I still enjoyed it as much as I ever did.  I started reading L'Amour because he was a favorite of my dad and grandfather, but I kept reading them because they are such good stories.  L'Amour has a gift of being able to describe a place or event so that you feel that you are there.  This book is told in the first person by Tyrel Sackett, who at the beginning is eighteen years old.  When he killed a man who was trying to kill his brother he decided it was time to go west and start a new life.  His brother caught up with him and they got a job as cowboys.  From there they decided to earn the money to start a ranch of their own that they can then bring their mom and younger brothers to.  They have to deal with many things they had never experienced before, but they were quick learners and did quite well.  Both realized that they needed an education. At that time many people were self taught, so once they learned to read they read everything they could get their hands on.  I loved the way that L'Amour showed the reverence people had for books and how important reading became to them.  I also loved the interactions among the various people and how it showed a terrific picture of the way life was in the old west.  I really enjoyed Tyrel's shyness at first when he was getting to know Drusilla and how he was eventually able to overcome it.  There was also plenty of action as he had to contend with rustlers, Indians, various outlaws and land grabbers.  I really liked Tyrel's way of keeping his view of right and wrong and the way that he tried to come out on the good side.  One of my favorite lines in the book is when Tyrel is talking about dealing with the folks who are causing trouble in town:  "People have a greater tolerance for evil than for violence. If crooked gambling, thieving and robbing are covered over folks will tolerate it longer than outright violence, even when the violence may be cleansing."

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