Author

Louis L’Amour

Louis L’Amour
  • This collection of six exciting Western stories from early in Louis L’Amour’s career begins with “Fork Your Own Broncs,” in which Mac Marcy, who had saved for seven years to run his own small cattle ranch, sees his dream come true, only to have it threatened by Jingle Bob Kenyon.

    In “Keep Travelin’, Rider,” Tack Gentry returns to Sunbonnet and his uncle’s G Bar Ranch only to find that his uncle, a Quaker, has been killed in a gunfight. A faction has moved in and run roughshod over the town and the ranches, including the G Bar.

    In “McQueen of the Tumbling K,” ranch foreman Ward McQueen looks out for his boss, Ruth Kermitt. When Jim Yount shows up at the Tumbling K looking to buy cattle to stock worthless land he won in a poker game, McQueen can’t help but question his true intentions.

    In “Four Card Draw,” Allen Ring wins the Red Rock Ranch in a poker game, but he soon finds that he has stepped into a hotbed of fear and danger; several years back, Sam Hazlitt was killed on the Red Rock, and his record book—which could discredit many of the ranchers—went missing.

    In “Mistakes Can Kill You,” Johnny O’Day had accounted for six dead men by the time he turned seventeen. Close to death from pneumonia, he’s taken in by the Redlins. O’Day pays the family back by staying on and working, but now he must decide whether to leave or risk his life to save their biological son, Sam.

    In “Showdown on the Tumbling T,” after two years in Mexico, Wat Bell runs into his cousin, whom he considers his best friend, only to learn he’s been blamed for the death of their uncle. Although his cousin offers to help, a series of events makes Bell suspect something much more sinister is going on.

  • A trio of Western stories by Louis L’Amour

    In “Black Rock,” Jim Gatlin, a Texas trail driver, arrives in the town of Tucker where he finds himself quickly drawn into the middle of an all-out battle for the XY Ranch when, due to a case of mistaken identity, he kills the segundo of Wing Cary’s Flying C Ranch. Gatlin is a dead-ringer for Jim Walker, who, like Cary, wants control of the XY. Gatlin is thrown into a situation in which all he can do but fight for his life.

    Seventeen-year-old Shandy Gamble in “Gamble of the KT” is in Perigord with plans to buy a new saddle and bridle with the $500 in reward money he had received for catching two horse thieves, but instead he gets conned out of the money. He returns to the KT Ranch never mentioning what happened. But when he learns the con man is back and hanging out with the June gang, he decides it’s time to get his money back and even the score.

    Always a fighting man, both for the US Army and in battles across the ocean, Tom Kedrick in “Showdown Trail” has been hired to help run off the squatters and outlaws occupying a strip of land claimed to be unusable swamp. When he learns that he is being misled by his new bosses and that the squatters are honest and hardworking settlers, including one of his father’s old friends, he has to determine which side he will fight for.

    Louis L’Amour is the most decorated author in the history of American letters, and his stories are loved the world over.

  • “Ride, You Tonto Raiders”

    Matt Sabre is a young and experienced gunfighter—but not a trouble seeker. But when Billy Curtin calls him a liar and goes for his gun, Matt has no choice but to draw and fire. To his surprise, the dying man gives him $5,000 and begs him to take the money to his wife, who is alone in defending the family ranch in the Mogollons. A combination of guilt, regret, and wanting to do the right thing leads Sabre to make that ride.

    “Riders of the Dawn”

    A young gunslinger is changed for the better by meeting a beautiful woman. A classic range-war Western, this novel features that powerful, romantic, strangely compelling vision of the American West for which L’Amour’s fiction is known. In the author’s words, “It was a land where nothing was small, nothing was simple. Everything, the lives of men and the stories they told, ran to extremes.”

    This story is one of Louis L’Amour’s early creations that have long been a source of speculation and curiosity among his fans. Early in his career, L’Amour wrote a number of novel-length stories for the pulps. Long after they were out of print, the characters of these early stories still haunted him. It was by revising and expanding these stories that L’Amour would create his first novels.

  • Louis L’Amour is now one of the most iconic Western writers of all time, but once upon a time he was Jim Mayo, a regular writer for the pulps. Some of the tales he wrote in those days stuck with him enough that he later revised and expanded them into novels. But there was a special magic to the originals, and after research and restoration, these stories appear here now in their original form.

    In “The Trail to Peach Meadow Cañon,” Mike Bastian, taken in by the legendary outlaw Ben Curry as an orphaned child and raised to one day take over his empire of crime, finds that day has come. As he prepares for his first criminal job, a gold-train robbery, Mike must decide whether to follow the path laid out before him or to carve out a destiny of his own.

    In the title story, Charles Rodney, shanghaied and forced into labor on a merchant vessel, eventually dies from repeated beatings—but not before deeding part of his ranch to Rafe Caradec, whom he hopes will protect his family.

  • Rock Bannon, wounded in an Indian attack, is rescued by a wagon train heading to Oregon. He has fully recovered when the train pulls into a fort to stock up on supplies. It is there that the leaders of the train meet Morton Harper, a smooth-talking man who persuades them to take an easier trail that will allow them to escape an attack by Indians. Bannon knows that there will be no escape from attack on that route and that it will lead the train directly onto Hardy Bishop’s vast ranching domain. Either way, and probably both, it will mean war—a war the pioneers will undoubtedly lose.

    Bannon first appeared in Giant Western (Winter 1948) under the title Showdown Trail. L’Amour subsequently reworked and expanded this story into The Tall Stranger, published as an original paperback in 1957. The expanded story was filmed as The Tall Stranger (Allied Artists, 1957), directed by Thomas Carr and starring Joel McCrea and Virginia Mayo.

  • Louis L’Amour was the most decorated author in the history of American letters and a recipient of the Medal of Freedom.

    Now collected here in a single book are several of Louis L’Amour’s finest Western stories the way Mr. L’Amour wrote them. At the time Louis L’Amour was writing, it was common practice for editors to rewrite the manuscript to fit certain publishing criteria. The text of The Strong Land has been restored, and the stories within it appear as Mr. L’Amour intended for them to be read.

    Whether you’re new to the thrilling frontier fiction of Louis L’Amour or one of his legions of fans, these six short stories will assure you that you are in the hands of a master storyteller.

    Included here are:

    • “The One for the Mohave Kid,”
    • “His Brother’s Debt,”
    • “A Strong Land Growing,”
    • “Lit a Shuck for Texas,”
    • “The Nester and the Paiute,” and
    • “Barney Takes a Hand.”