North to the Rails

( 8 )

Overview

When Tom Chantry comes west to buy cattle, he quickly runs into trouble. During a drunken scuffle in a bar, Dutch Akin challenges Chantry to a gunfight. Leaving town rather than face Akin, Chantry is quickly branded a coward.

Later, when hiring men to take his herd to the railroad, Chantry faces a dilemma: No one wants to make the long, dangerous ride with a leader of questionable courage. So when French Williams, a shrewd and ruthless cattleman, makes Chantry an offer, Tom ...

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North to the Rails

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Overview

When Tom Chantry comes west to buy cattle, he quickly runs into trouble. During a drunken scuffle in a bar, Dutch Akin challenges Chantry to a gunfight. Leaving town rather than face Akin, Chantry is quickly branded a coward.

Later, when hiring men to take his herd to the railroad, Chantry faces a dilemma: No one wants to make the long, dangerous ride with a leader of questionable courage. So when French Williams, a shrewd and ruthless cattleman, makes Chantry an offer, Tom reluctantly accepts his unusual terms: Tom must remain with the drive from start to finish. If he fails to do so, the entire herd will belong to French.

Tom quickly learns that life is not going to be made easy for him. The first man French hires is Dutch Akin.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553280869
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/28/1982
  • Series: Chantry Family Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 412,166
  • Product dimensions: 4.19 (w) x 6.87 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Louis L'Amour is the only American-born novelist in history to receive both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. He published ninety novels, thirty short-story collections, two works of nonfiction, a memoir, Education of a Wandering Man, and a volume of poetry, Smoke from This Altar. There are more than 300 million copies of his books in print.

Biography

Our foremost storyteller of the authentic West, Louis L'Amour has thrilled a nation by chronicling the adventures of the brave men and women who settled the American frontier. There are more than 260 million copies of his books in print around the world.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Louis Dearborn LaMoore (real name); Tex Burns and Jim Mayo
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 22, 1908
    2. Place of Birth:
      Jamestown, North Dakota
    1. Date of Death:
      June 10, 1988

Read an Excerpt

They could call it running away if they wanted to, but it made no sense to kill a man, or risk being killed over something so trivial. He had never used a gun against a man and did not intend to begin now.

He glanced back, but the town lay far behind him, and there seemed to be no reason for pursuit.

Dawn would be breaking soon, and they would be expecting him on the street to face Dutch Akin, and Dutch would certainly be there, right in the middle of that Las Vegas street, a gun ready to his hand.

It was a savage custom, a ridiculous custom. His mother had been right to take him away from it, back to the eastern city where her family lived. She had never loved the West ... not really.

He had been a fool to come West, even on business. But how could he have imagined he would run into trouble? Though he rarely took a drink and was not inclined to argue, he had taken a drink while wating for either Pearsall or Sparrow, and had gotten into an argument. All right ... he had made a mistake, but how was he to know they would make so much out of so little?

To hell with Dutch Akin, and with Las Vegas! He would be damned if he'd get himself killed over a few careless words in a saloon. It made no sense — no sense at all.

What would they say when they realized he was gone? When he failed to appear? At the thought, his ears reddened and he felt uncomfortable.

To hell with them! It was beter to be a live coward then a dead hero.

Coward ... the word rankled. Was he a coward? Had he been afraid? He searched himself for an answer, and found none. He did not believe he was a coward. He had come away from a ridiculous situation ... or was he just telling himself that? Was he not actually afraid?

He seemed to feel his father's eyes upon him — those cool, thoughtful eyes that knew so well how to measure a man and judge what he had in him.

He remembered his father, the day they brought him home on a shutter, still alive, but badly shot up. There had been three men. One of them had taken a drink, waved a bottle, and staggered, but when Borden Chantry had come ot arrest him the man suddenly dropped his bottle ad two other men stepped from ambush, and his father had gone down in a wicked crossfire. He got off one shot, that was all. The three men had fled the town.

His father had lived for two days in considerable pain before the doctor arrived from the fort; by the time he got there his father was dead.

It was as his mother had told him: if you lived by the gun you died by the gun.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    North to the Rails

    After reading North to the Rails, I now understand perfectly why Louis L'Amour is so beloved. His portrait of life in the West has such richness, filled with casual, familiar detail about the land---its rivers, stands of timber and scrub, how the cycles of seasons and weather change it. The people populating that land are just as vivid: hard and rough, loyal or treacherous, quick to kindness or cruelty, standing on principles of courage and determination. And the story that takes place in this West has a kind of grandeur. L'Amour doesn't ignore the dangers, but his hero, Tom Chantry, meets them with spirit, and the obstacles Chantry encounters allow the reader to share his growing understanding of what a frontier, with all its attendant lawlessness, requires of a settler.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2001

    A good western

    I would read this again. It talks about a cattle drive. How Tom Chantry lives through.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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