Louis L'Amour,
(Bantam, 1962)

In previous novels, we met William Tell, Tyrel and Orrin Sackett, brothers from the Tennessee hills. Now it's Lando's turn -- a cousin, he grew up alone after his ma died, his pa went drifting and never returned, and his guardian stole the money his pa left for Lando's care and put him to work in the fields.

Now he's decided to go west, with the Tinker, a mysterious pack trader and fix-it man, at his side and a pregnant mare -- hopefully carrying a fast-running mule in her belly -- to carry his ambitions.

But troubles dog his heels, including a trio of uncles who want him dead. Then he's drawn astray by stories of long-lost pirate gold once sought by his father, down south of the Mexico border, and Lando's life grows even more complicated.

Tyrel is the fastest gun in the family, Tell is the best with a rifle, and Orrin is the orator, an eloquent politician. Lando hasn't had much experience with guns, but his gift is in his fists, his broad shoulders and his thickly muscled arms. Lando is a fighter, and he'll need that skill before the story is done.

Six years in a Mexican prison only hardens Lando's resolve -- and beefs up his muscles even more than before. I can only imagine those punches hurt.

book review by
Tom Knapp

8 October 2016

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