The Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour, Volume 7: The Frontier Stories [NOOK Book]


There is no story more distinctly American than the western and no writer as great a master of the form as Louis L?Amour. In this seventh volume of L?Amour?s collected short stories, you?ll find some of his most popular characters, heroes who have become a part of our cultural legacy, as well as the ordinary men and women whose adventures are chronicled with an immediacy no reader can resist?or ever forget.

In Louis L?Amour?s frontier stories,...
See more details below
The Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour, Volume 7: The Frontier Stories

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$13.99 price


There is no story more distinctly American than the western and no writer as great a master of the form as Louis L’Amour. In this seventh volume of L’Amour’s collected short stories, you’ll find some of his most popular characters, heroes who have become a part of our cultural legacy, as well as the ordinary men and women whose adventures are chronicled with an immediacy no reader can resist–or ever forget.

In Louis L’Amour’s frontier stories, the American West is the crucible in which character is tested, reputations are won or lost, and life always hangs in the balance. Struggling to survive against the elements, hostile Indians, or outlaws who prey upon the honest and hardworking, the men and women in these tales each come face-to-face with what they’re made of–often in moments that explode with the violence of an avalanche or the speed of a drawn gun. Here L’Amour demonstrates the unerring touch for detail and keen insight into human nature that lend these stories the power to thrill, surprise, and entertain readers of every generation.

A man driven by his faith in the woman he loves survives war, Indian massacre, and near starvation only to find his homecoming delayed by one last battle–under his own roof. To stop a range war, a ranch foreman stands up to his boss, his men, and conspirators who seem to have both right and might on their side. And in a town where fourteen men have already died under suspicious circumstances, a new sheriff by the name of Utah Blaine patiently sets a trap for a frontier serial killer.

Here are stories of honest thieves and crooked lawmen, of dream chasers and treasure hunters, of men and women hoping for a second chance and others down to their last. This rich and varied cast embodies not only the spirit of the West but the timeless struggle of the best and worst in us all, on a stage as big as the frontier itself. Full of suspense, mystery, adventure, this remarkable collection has everything that’s earned Louis L’Amour his well-deserved reputation as America’s favorite storyteller.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The fourth volume of the late L'Amour's short stories takes the author out of his familiar American frontier setting and into desolate and dangerous locales around the world, from "a narrow fjord at the end of the earth" on the southern coast of Chile to a "lonely isolated spot in the Coral Sea." While the characters are not traditional L'Amour, as "men of quick wit and valor" they share similar characteristics and values; freighter captain Ponga Jim Mayo, who plies the treacherous waters of the Indian Ocean during World War II (and is featured in nine of these 45 stories), succinctly sums up their worldview: "I'll make my own rules and abide by the consequences." The stories reflect the author's own youthful wanderings-as seaman, soldier and professional boxer-and, having been mostly written for pulp adventure magazines, are predictably formulaic. L'Amour's first publication, "Death Westbound," a Depression-era hobo story, crackles with his trademark prose: "Sometimes the shacks were pretty good guys, but a railroad dick is always a louie." No L'Amour fan will want to miss this collection. Afterword by L'Amour's son, Beau L'Amour. (Nov. 7) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Workmanlike action tales from prolific author L'Amour (1908-88; Beyond the Great Snow Mountains, 1999, etc.). From the 1920s to the '40s, L'Amour wrote great numbers of magazine stories, glad to find a serial that paid on acceptance, even when the publication was a little risque. (Of one magazine he writes, "It pays rather well but is somewhat sensational. The generally illustrated by several pictures of partially undressed ladies, and they are usually rather heavily constructed ladies also.") This volume, part of an ongoing project to collect L'Amour's scattered serial publications, gathers pieces that likely otherwise would have been lost, published in long-extinct magazines such as 10 Story Book and Thrilling Adventures. As L'Amour's son Beau writes in the afterword, L'Amour worked under the influence of Jack London, Eugene O'Neill and John Steinbeck, and these tales are marked by a kind of bare-chested realism that is not without its poetry ("I'd had my share of the smell of coal smoke and cinders in the rain, the roar of a freight and the driving run-and-catch of a speeding train in the night, and then the sun coming up over the desert or going down over the sea, and the islands looming up and the taste of salt spray on my lips and the sound of bow wash about the hull"). The realism gets a touch less believable with a nicely plotted sequence of stories surrounding "pirates with wings" Steve Cowan and Turk Madden, soldiers of fortune loyal to nothing but the American way of life, with a talent for operating knife and machine gun, and with a definite dislike for the "sons of Nippon." Literary archaeologists will prize this sequence as an insight into the American mindsetat the time of World War II. L'Amour was not a consciously literary writer, not by any stretch, but with a little fine tuning, his story "The Man Who Stole Shakespeare" could pass for Borges. In all events, the stories are more than competently rendered, and fuel for a hundred old-timey Buster Crabbe serials. Potboilers, to be sure, but good fun, and just the thing for fans of L'Amour's better-known Westerns.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553907056
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/27/2009
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 120,795
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Louis L'Amour
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.
Read More Show Less
    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

West Is Where the Heart Is

 Jim London lay face down in the dry prairie grass, his body pressed tightly against the ground. Heat, starvation, and exhaustion had taken a toll of his lean, powerful body, and although light-headed from their accumulative effects, he still grasped the fact that to survive he must not be seen. 

Hot sun blazed upon his back, and in his nostrils was the stale, sour smell of clothes and body long unwashed. Behind him lay days of dodging Comanche war parties and sleeping on the bare ground behind rocks or under bushes. He was without weapons or food, it had been nine hours since he had tasted water, and that was only dew he had licked from leaves. 

The screams of the dying rang in his ears, amid the sounds of occasional shots and the shouts and war cries of the Indians. From a hill almost five miles away he had spotted the white canvas tops of the Conestoga wagons and had taken a course that would intercept them. And then, in the last few minutes before he could reach their help, the Comanches had hit the wagon train. 

From the way the attack went, a number of the Indians must have been bedded down in the tall grass, keeping out of sight, and then when the train was passing, they sprang for the drivers of the teams. The strategy was perfect, for there was then no chance of the wagon train making its circle. The lead wagons did swing, but two other teamsters were dead and another was fighting for his life, and their wagons could not be turned. The two lead wagons found themselves isolated from the last four and were hit hard by at least twenty Indians. The wagon whose driver was fighting turned over in the tall grass at the edge of a ditch, and the driver was killed. 

Within twenty minutes after the beginning of the attack, the fighting was over and the wagons looted, and the Indians were riding away, leaving behind them only dead and butchered oxen, the scalped and mutilated bodies of the drivers, and the women who were killed or who had killed themselves. 

Yet Jim London did not move. This was not his first crossing of the plains or his first encounter with Indians. He had fought Comanches before, as well as Kiowas, Apaches, Sioux, and Cheyenne. Born on the Oregon Trail, he had later been a teamster on the Santa Fe. He knew better than to move now. He knew that an Indian or two might come back to look for more loot. 

The smoke of the burning wagons bit at his nostrils, yet he waited. An hour had passed before he let himself creep forward, and then it was only to inch to the top of the hill, where from behind a tuft of bunch grass he surveyed the scene before him. 

NO LIVING THING stirred near the wagons. Slow tendrils of smoke lifted from blackened timbers and wheel spokes. Bodies lay scattered about, grotesque in attitudes of tortured death. For a long time he studied the scene below, and the surrounding hills. And then he crawled over the skyline and slithered downhill through the grass, making no more visible disturbance than a snake or a coyote. 

Home was still more than two hundred miles away, and the wife he had not seen in four years would be waiting for him. In his heart, he knew she would be waiting. During the war the others had scoffed at him. 

“Why, Jim, you say yourself she don’t even know where you’re at! She probably figures you’re dead! No woman can be expected to wait that long! Not for a man she never hears of and when she’s in a good country for men and a bad one for women!” 

“No,” he said stubbornly. “I’ll go home. I’ll go back to Jane. I come east after some fixings for her, after some stock for the ranch, and I’ll go home with what I set out after.” 

“You got any young’uns?” The big sergeant was skeptical. 

“Nope. I sure ain’t, but I wish I did. Only,” he added, “maybe I have. Jane, she was expecting, but had a time to go when I left. I only figured to be gone four months.” 

“And you been gone four years?” The sergeant shook his head. 

“Forget her, Jim, and come to Mexico with us. Nobody would deny she was a good woman. From what you tell of her, she sure was, but she’s been alone and no doubt figures you’re dead. She’ll be married again, maybe with a family.” 

Jim London had shaken his head. “I never took up with no other woman, and Jane wouldn’t take up with any other man. I’m going home.” 

He made a good start. He had saved nearly every dime of pay, and he did some shrewd buying and trading when the war was over. He started west with two wagons with six head of mules to the wagon, knowing the mules would sell better in New Mexico than would oxen. He had six cows and a yearling bull, some pigs, chickens, and utensils. He was a proud man when he looked over his outfit, and he hired two boys to help him with the extra wagon and the stock. 

Comanches hit them before they were well started. They killed two men, and one woman and stampeded some stock. The wagon train continued, and at forks of Little Creek they were hit again, in force this time, and only Jim London came out of it alive. All his outfit was gone, and he escaped without weapons, food, or water. 

He lay flat in the grass at the edge of the burned spot. Again he studied the hills, and then he eased forward and got to his feet. The nearest wagon was upright, and smoke was still rising from it. The wheels were partly burned, the box badly charred, and the interior smoking. It was still too hot to touch. 

He crouched near the front wheel and studied the situation, avoiding the bodies. No weapons were in sight, but he had scarcely expected any. There had been nine wagons. The lead wagons were thirty or forty yards off, and the three wagons whose drivers had been attacked were bunched in the middle with one overturned. The last four had burned further than the others. 

He saw a dead horse lying at one side with a canteen tied to the saddle. He crossed to it at once, and tearing the canteen loose, he rinsed his mouth with water. Gripping himself tight against further drinking, he rinsed his mouth again and moistened his cracked lips. Only then did he let a mere swallow trickle down his parched throat. 

Resolutely he put the canteen down in the shade and went through the saddle pockets. It was a treasure trove. He found a good-sized chunk of almost iron-hard brown sugar, a half dozen biscuits, a chunk of jerky wrapped in paper, and a new plug of chewing tobacco. Putting these things with the canteen, he unfastened the slicker from behind the saddle and added that to the pile. 

Wagon by wagon he searched, always alert to the surrounding country and at times leaving the wagons to observe the plain from a hilltop. It was quite dark before he was finished. Then he took his first good drink, for he had allowed himself only nips during the remainder of the day. He took his drink and then ate a biscuit, and chewed a piece of the jerky. With his hunting knife he shaved a little of the plug tobacco and made a cigarette by rolling it in paper, the way the Mexicans did. Every instinct warned him to be away from the place by daylight, and as much as he disliked leaving the bodies as they were, he knew it would be folly to bury them. If the Indians passed that way again, they would find them buried and would immediately be on his trail. Crawling along the edge of the taller grass near the depression where the wagon had tipped over, he stopped suddenly. Here in the ground near the edge of the grass was a boot print! 

His fingers found it, and then felt carefully. It had been made by a running man, either large or heavily laden. Feeling his way along the tracks, London stopped again, for this time his hand had come in contact with a boot. He shook it, but there was no move or response. Crawling nearer he touched the man’s hand. It was cold as marble in the damp night air. 

Moving his hand again, he struck canvas. Feeling along it he found it was a long canvas sack. Evidently the dead man had grabbed this sack from the wagon and dashed for the shelter of the ditch or hollow. Apparently he had been struck by a bullet and killed, but feeling the body again, London’s hand came in contact with a belt gun. So the Comanches had not found him! Stripping the belt and gun from the dead man, London swung it around his own hips, and then checked the gun. It was fully loaded, and so were the cartridge loops in the belt. Something stirred in the grass, and instantly he froze, sliding out his hunting knife. He waited for several minutes, and then he heard it again. Something alive lay here in the grass with him! 

A Comanche? No Indian likes to fight at night, and he had seen no Indians anywhere near when darkness fell. No, if anything lived near him now it must be something, man or animal, from the wagon train. For a long time he lay still, thinking it over, and then he took a chance. Yet from his experience the chance was not a long one. 

“If there is someone there, speak up.” 

There was no sound, and he waited, listening. Five minutes passed—ten—twenty. Carefully, then, he slid through the grass, changing his position, and then froze in place. Something was moving, quite near! 

His hand shot out, and he was shocked to find himself grasping a small hand with a ruffle of cloth at the wrist! The child struggled violently, and he whispered hoarsely, “Be still! I’m a friend! If you run, the Indians might come!” 

Instantly, the struggling stopped. “There!” he breathed. “That’s better.” He searched his mind for something reassuring to say, and finally said, “Damp here, isn’t it? Don’t you have a coat?” 

There was a momentary silence, and then a small voice said, “It was in the wagon.” 

“We’ll look for it pretty soon,” London said. “My name’s Jim. What’s yours?” 

“Betty Jane Jones. I’m five years old and my papa’s name is Daniel Jones and he is forty-six. Are you forty-six?” 

London grinned. “No, I’m just twenty-nine, Betty Jane.” He hesitated a minute and then said, “Betty Jane, you strike me as a mighty brave little girl. There when I first heard you, you made no more noise than a rabbit. Now do you think you can keep that up?” 

“Yes.” It was a very small voice but it sounded sure. 

“Good. Now listen, Betty Jane.” Quietly, he told her where he had come from and where he was going. He did not mention her parents, and she did not ask about them. From that he decided she knew only too well what had happened to them and the others from the wagon train. 

“There’s a canvas sack here, and I’ve got to look into it. Maybe there’s something we can use. We’re going to need food, Betty Jane, and a rifle. Later, we’re going to have to find horses and money.” 

The sound of his voice, low though it was, seemed to give her confidence. She crawled nearer to him, and when she felt the sack, she said, “That is Daddy’s bag. He keeps his carbine in it and his best clothes.” 

“Carbine?” London fumbled open the sack. 

“Is a carbine like a rifle?” 

He told her it was, and then found the gun. It was carefully wrapped, and by the feel of it London could tell the weapon was new or almost new. There was ammunition, another pistol, and a small canvas sack that chinked softly with gold coins. He stuffed this in his pocket. A careful check of the remaining wagons netted him nothing more, but he was not disturbed. The guns he had were good ones, and he had a little food and the canteen. Gravely, he took Betty Jane’s hand and they started. 

They walked for an hour before her steps began to drag, and then he picked her up and carried her. By the time the sky had grown gray he figured they had come six or seven miles from the burned wagons. He found some solid ground among some reeds on the edge of a slough, and they settled down there for the day. 

After making coffee with a handful found in one of the only partly burned wagons, London gave Betty Jane some of the jerky and a biscuit. Then for the first time he examined his carbine. His eyes brightened as he sized it up. It was a Ball & Lamson Repeating Carbine, a gun just on the market and of which this must have been one of the first sold. It was a seven-shot weapon carrying a .56-50 cartridge. It was only thirtyeight inches in length and weighed a bit over seven pounds. 

The pistols were also new, both Prescott Navy six-shooters, caliber .38 with rosewood grips. Betty Jane looked at them and tears welled into her eyes. He took her hand quickly. 

“Don’t cry, honey. Your dad would want me to use the guns to take care of his girl. You’ve been mighty brave. Now keep it up.” She looked up at him with woebegone eyes, but the tears stopped, and after a while she fell asleep. 

There was little shade, and as the reeds were not tall, he did not dare stand up. They kept close to the edge of the reeds and lay perfectly still. Once he heard a horse walking not far away and heard low, guttural voices and a hacking cough. He caught only a fleeting glimpse of one rider and hoped the Indians would not find their tracks. 

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

The Gift of Cochise

Tense, and white to the lips, Angie Lowe stood in the door of her cabin with a double-barreled shotgun in her hands. Beside the door was a Winchester '73, and on the table inside the house were two Walker Colts.

Facing the cabin were twelve Apaches on ragged calico ponies, and one of the Indians had lifted his hand, palm outward. The Apache sitting the white-splashed bay pony was Cochise.

Beside Angie were her seven-year-old son Jimmy and her five-year-old daughter Jane.

Cochise sat his pony in silence; his black, unreadable eyes studied the woman, the children, the cabin, and the small garden. He looked at the two ponies in the corral and the three cows. His eyes strayed to the small stack of hay cut from the meadow, and to the few steers farther up the canyon.

Three times the warriors of Cochise had attacked this solitary cabin and three times they had been turned back. In all, they had lost seven men, and three had been wounded. Four ponies had been killed. His braves reported that there was no man in the house, only a woman and two children, so Cochise had come to see for himself this woman who was so certain a shot with a rifle and who killed his fighting men.

These were some of the same fighting men who had outfought, outguessed and outrun the finest American army on record, an army outnumbering the Apaches by a hundred to one. Yet a lone woman with two small children had fought them off, and the woman was scarcely more than a girl. And she was prepared to fight now. There was a glint of admiration in the old eyes that appraised her. The Apache was a fighting man, and he respected fighting blood.

"Where is yourman?"

"He has gone to El Paso." Angie's voice was steady, but she was frightened as she had never been before. She recognized Cochise from descriptions, and she knew that if he decided to kill or capture her it would be done. Until now, the sporadic attacks she had fought off had been those of casual bands of warriors who raided her in passing.

"He has been gone a long time. How long?"

Angie hesitated, but it was not in her to lie. "He has been gone four months."

Cochise considered that. No one but a fool would leave such a woman, or such fine children. Only one thing could have prevented his return. "Your man is dead," he said.

Angie waited, her heart pounding with heavy, measured beats. She had guessed long ago that Ed had been killed but the way Cochise spoke did not imply that Apaches had killed him, only that he must be dead or he would have returned.

"You fight well," Cochise said. "You have killed my young men."

"Your young men attacked me." She hesitated, then added, "They stole my horses."

"Your man is gone. Why do you not leave?"

Angie looked at him with surprise. "Leave? Why, this is my home. This land is mine. This spring is mine. I shall not leave."

"This was an Apache spring," Cochise reminded her reasonably.

"The Apache lives in the mountains," Angie replied. "He does not need this spring. I have two children, and I do need it."

"But when the Apache comes this way, where shall he drink? His throat is dry and you keep him from water."

The very fact that Cochise was willing to talk raised her hopes. There had been a time when the Apache made no war on the white man. "Cochise speaks with a forked tongue," she said. "There is water yonder." She gestured toward the hills, where Ed had told her there were springs. "But if the people of Cochise come in peace they may drink at this spring."

The Apache leader smiled faintly. Such a woman would rear a nation of warriors. He nodded at Jimmy. "The small one—does he also shoot?"

"He does," Angie said proudly, "and well, too!" She pointed to an upthrust leaf of prickly pear. "Show them, Jimmy."

The prickly pear was an easy two hundred yards away, and the Winchester was long and heavy, but he lifted it eagerly and steadied it against the doorjamb as his father had taught him, held his sight an instant, then fired. The bud on top of the prickly pear disintegrated.

There were grunts of appreciation from the dark-faced warriors. Cochise chuckled. "The little warrior shoots well. It is well you have no man. You might raise an army of little warriors to fight my people."

"I have no wish to fight your people," Angie said quietly. "Your people have your ways, and I have mine. I live in peace when I am left in peace. I did not think," she added with dignity, "that the great Cochise made war on women!"

The Apache looked at her, then turned his pony away. "My people will trouble you no longer," he said. "You are the mother of a strong son."

"What about my two ponies?" she called after him. "Your young men took them from me."

Cochise did not turn or look back, and the little cavalcade of riders followed him away. Angie stepped back into the cabin and closed the door. Then she sat down abruptly, her face white, the muscles in her legs trembling.

When morning came, she went cautiously to the spring for water. Her ponies were back in the corral. They had been returned during the night.

Slowly, the days drew on. Angie broke a small piece of the meadow and planted it. Alone, she cut hay in the meadow and built another stack. She saw Indians several times, but they did not bother her. One morning, when she opened her door, a quarter of antelope lay on the step, but no Indian was in sight. Several times, during the weeks that followed, she saw moccasin tracks near the spring.

Once, going out at daybreak, she saw an Indian girl dipping water from the spring. Angie called to her, and the girl turned quickly, facing her. Angie walked toward her, offering a bright red silk ribbon. Pleased, the Apache girl left.

And the following morning there was another quarter of antelope on her step—but she saw no Indian.

Ed Lowe had built the cabin in West Dog Canyon in the spring of 1871, but it was Angie who chose the spot, not Ed. In Santa Fe they would have told you that Ed Lowe was good-looking, shiftless, and agreeable. He was, also, unfortunately handy with a pistol.

Angie's father had come from County Mayo to New York and from New York to the Mississippi, where he became a tough, brawling river boatman. In New Orleans, he met a beautiful Cajun girl and married her. Together, they started west for Santa Fe, and Angie was born en route. Both parents died of cholera when Angie was fourteen. She lived with an Irish family for the following three years, then married Ed Lowe when she was seventeen.

Santa Fe was not good for Ed, and Angie kept after him until they started south. It was Apache country, but they kept on until they reached the old Spanish ruin in West Dog. Here there were grass, water, and shelter from the wind.

There was fuel, and there were piñons and game. And Angie, with an Irish eye for the land, saw that it would grow crops.

The house itself was built on the ruins of the old Spanish building, using the thick walls and the floor.

The location had been admirably chosen for defense. The house was built in a corner of the cliff, under the sheltering overhang, so that approach was possible from only two directions, both covered by an easy field of fire from the door and windows.

For seven months, Ed worked hard and steadily. He put in the first crop, he built the house, and proved himself a handy man with tools. He repaired the old plow they had bought, cleaned out the spring, and paved and walled it with slabs of stone. If he was lonely for the carefree companions of Santa Fe, he gave no indication of it. Provisions were low, and when he finally started off to the south, Angie watched him go with an ache in her heart.

She did not know whether she loved Ed. The first flush of enthusiasm had passed, and Ed Lowe had proved something less than she had believed. But he had tried, she admitted. And it had not been easy for him. He was an amiable soul, given to whittling and idle talk, all of which he missed in the loneliness of the Apache country. And when he rode away, she had no idea whether she would ever see him again. She never did.

Santa Fe was far and away to the north, but the growing village of El Paso was less than a hundred miles to the west, and it was there Ed Lowe rode for supplies and seed.

He had several drinks—his first in months—in one of the saloons. As the liquor warmed his stomach, Ed Lowe looked around agreeably. For a moment, his eyes clouded with worry as he thought of his wife and children back in Apache country, but it was not in Ed Lowe to worry for long. He had another drink and leaned on the bar, talking to the bartender. All Ed had ever asked of life was enough to eat, a horse to ride, an occasional drink, and companions to talk with. Not that he had anything important to say. He just liked to talk.

Suddenly a chair grated on the floor, and Ed turned. A lean, powerful man with a shock of uncut black hair and a torn, weather-faded shirt stood at bay. Facing him across the table were three hard-faced young men, obviously brothers.

Ches Lane did not notice Ed Lowe watching from the bar. He had eyes only for the men facing him. "You done that deliberate!" The statement was a challenge.

The broad-chested man on the left grinned through broken teeth. "That's right, Ches. I done it deliberate. You killed Dan Tolliver on the Brazos."

"He made the quarrel." Comprehension came to Ches. He was boxed, and by three of the fighting, blood-hungry Tollivers.

"Don't make no difference," the broad-chested Tolliver said. " ‘Who sheds a Tolliver's blood, by a Tolliver's hand must die!' "

Ed Lowe moved suddenly from the bar. "Three to one is long odds," he said, his voice low and friendly. "If the gent in the corner is willin', I'll side him."

Two Tollivers turned toward him. Ed Lowe was smiling easily, his hand hovering near his gun. "You stay out of this!" one of the brothers said harshly.

"I'm in," Ed replied. "Why don't you boys light a shuck?"

"No, by—!" The man's hand dropped for his gun, and the room thundered with sound.

Ed was smiling easily, unworried as always. His gun flashed up. He felt it leap in his hand, saw the nearest Tolliver smashed back, and he shot him again as he dropped. He had only time to see Ches Lane with two guns out and another Tolliver down when something struck him through the stomach and he stepped back against the bar, suddenly sick.

The sound stopped, and the room was quiet, and there was the acrid smell of powder smoke. Three Tollivers were down and dead, and Ed Lowe was dying. Ches Lane crossed to him.

"We got 'em," Ed said, "we sure did. But they got me."

Suddenly his face changed. "Oh, Lord in heaven, what'll Angie do?" And then he crumpled over on the floor and lay still, the blood staining his shirt and mingling with the sawdust.

Stiff-faced, Ches looked up. "Who was Angie?" he asked.

"His wife," the bartender told him. "She's up northeast somewhere, in Apache country. He was tellin' me about her. Two kids, too."

Ches Lane stared down at the crumpled, used-up body of Ed Lowe. The man had saved his life.

One he could have beaten, two he might have beaten; three would have killed him. Ed Lowe, stepping in when he did, had saved the life of Ches Lane.

"He didn't say where?"


Ches Lane shoved his hat back on his head. "What's northeast of here?"

The bartender rested his hands on the bar. "Cochise," he said. . . .

For more than three months, whenever he could rustle the grub, Ches Lane quartered the country over and back. The trouble was, he had no lead to the location of Ed Lowe's homestead. An examination of Ed's horse revealed nothing. Lowe had bought seed and ammunition, and the seed indicated a good water supply, and the ammunition implied trouble. But in that country there was always trouble.

A man had died to save his life, and Ches Lane had a deep sense of obligation. Somewhere that wife waited, if she was still alive, and it was up to him to find her and look out for her. He rode northeast, cutting for sign, but found none. Sandstorms had wiped out any hope of back-trailing Lowe. Actually, West Dog Canyon was more east than north, but this he had no way of knowing.

North he went, skirting the rugged San Andreas Mountains. Heat baked him hot, dry winds parched his skin. His hair grew dry and stiff and alkali-whitened. He rode north, and soon the Apaches knew of him. He fought them at a lonely water hole, and he fought them on the run. They killed his horse, and he switched his saddle to the spare and rode on. They cornered him in the rocks, and he killed two of them and escaped by night.

They trailed him through the White Sands, and he left two more for dead. He fought fiercely and bitterly, and would not be turned from his quest. He turned east through the lava beds and still more east to the Pecos. He saw only two white men, and neither knew of a white woman.

The bearded man laughed harshly. "A woman alone? She wouldn't last a month! By now the Apaches got her, or she's dead. Don't be a fool! Leave this country before you die here."

Lean, wind-whipped, and savage, Ches Lane pushed on. The Mescaleros cornered him in Rawhide Draw and he fought them to a standstill. Grimly, the Apaches clung to his trail.

The sheer determination of the man fascinated them. Bred and born in a rugged and lonely land, the Apaches knew the difficulties of survival; they knew how a man could live, how he must live. Even as they tried to kill this man, they loved him, for he was one of their own.

Lane's jeans grew ragged. Two bullet holes were added to the old black hat. The slicker was torn; the saddle, so carefully kept until now, was scratched by gravel and brush. At night he cleaned his guns and by day he scouted the trails. Three times he found lonely ranch houses burned to the ground, the buzzard- and coyote-stripped bones of their owners lying nearby.

Once he found a covered wagon, its canvas flopping in the wind, a man lying sprawled on the seat with a pistol near his hand. He was dead and his wife was dead, and their canteens rattled like empty skulls.

Leaner every day, Ches Lane pushed on. He camped one night in a canyon near some white oaks. He heard a hoof click on stone and he backed away from his tiny fire, gun in hand.

The riders were white men, and there were two of them. Joe Tompkins and Wiley Lynn were headed west, and Ches Lane could have guessed why. They were men he had known before, and he told them what he was doing.

Lynn chuckled. He was a thin-faced man with lank yellow hair and dirty fingers. "Seems a mighty strange way to get a woman. There's some as comes easier."

"This ain't for fun," Ches replied shortly. "I got to find her."
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 17, 2010

    Escape to the reality of our past.

    I have all seven volumes of the collected short stories of Louis L'Amour. I hope there will be more coming. I don't have much down time, but I can escape to another time with these short sagas. I had mainly read non-fiction over the years but I became hooked after a friend suggested my reading "Education of a Wandering Man." Excellent read. I would have loved to have met Louis L'Amour. His autobiography was astounding. I hope his family/publishers keeps the short stories coming. I have always loved western movies so I imagine that's why I was drawn to his western stories. His writing style is so vivid that I feel that I am right in the story watching all the characters in-person! I am so surprised that I found much interest in the private eye and asian stories that center around the early 1900's, but I did.
    I am an employed 55 year old housewife and mother, and I thank you for "taking me away from time to time!"

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2010

    More Lamoure

    Great adventurous western writings! By my favorite author of wesrern verse!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 8, 2012

    Louis L'Amour

    At one point I had all of the Louis L'Amour books in paperback. Once I got my Nook, I donated the paperback books to the local library. I am in the process of redoing my personal library on my Nook.

    All of his books are what I call "easy / light reading". They are enjoyable and give insight into how once we were able to do business with just a word or a handshake.

    While his more modern books don't appeal to me a great deal, all of his westerns have great appeal and are well documented.

    I would recommend any of his westerns, the full books as well as the short stories.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2012

    Louis L'Amour book

    My husband really enjoys these books

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2013



    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)