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Ride the Dark Trail
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Ride the Dark Trail [Format Kindle]

Louis L'Amour
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit


Chapter One

The old house stood on the crest of a knoll and it was three hundred yards to the main gate. No shrubbery or trees obscured the view, nor was there any cover for a half mile beyond.

The house was old, weather-beaten, wind-harried, and long unpainted. By night no light shone from any window, and by day no movement could be seen, but the watchers from the hill a half mile away were not fooled.

"She's there, all right. You lay a hand on that gate and you'll damned soon know she's there. She's setting up there in that old house and she can shoot."

Behind the house, the mountains lifted abruptly, steep, ragged slopes broken by ledges and dikes, covered with rough growth and dead-fall timber. Directly behind the house, only the top spread of its walls visible, lay the mouth of a canyon opening into the mountains beyond.

"Old Man Talon built that house to last, and when he built it, it was the finest house between New Orleans and Frisco. He had thirty tough hands then . . . a reg'lar army."

"How many's she got now?" Matthew asked.

"Not more'n two or three. The best of her land and the sources of all her water lie back of the house, and there's no way to get at it except right through the ranch yard. And that ol' devil ain't about to let anybody get by."

"She's got to sleep, ain't she?" Brewer asked.

"She sleeps, I suppose, but nobody ain't figured out when. Lay a finger on that gate and she'll part your brisket with a fifty-caliber bullet.

"The way folks tell it Old Man Talon figured someday they'd have to stand siege so he laid by enough ammunition and grub, too, to supply an army."

The three men eyed the house, irritation mixed with admiration, then turned to the coffeepot on their small fire.

"Flanner's right. The on'y way is to keep at her, every hour of every day and night. Sooner or later she's got to sleep, and then we'll get in. Behind that house in those canyons there's some of the finest land anywhere, watered by mountain streams and walled by mountains. No ol' woman's got the right to keep that land to herself, to say nothin' of the hundred thousand acres out here on the plains that they lay claim to."

"How come they got so much?"

"Talon was the first white man to settle in this country. When he and his partner came out here there was nothing but Indians and wild game. His partner was after fur, but not Talon. He seen this place and latched onto it, knowing that a hundred thousand acres out here was no good without water from the mountains.

"Talon and his partner built a cabin and wintered here, the partner taking all the fur, Talon keeping house and land. Come spring, the partner pulled his stakes, but Talon stayed on, fit Injuns, hunted buffalo, trapped a mite, and caught himself some wild horses.

"A few years passed by and the wagon trains started coming through. Talon had grub. He had raised him some corn, and he had jerked venison by the ton, and he swapped with the travelers for their wore-out cattle.

"He held his stock back in the canyons where he had no need for hands, and on that rich grass with plenty of water he built himself some herds. Somewhere along the line he taken off for the east and married up with this Tennessee hill woman. The way I hear it she was some kin to his old partner."

"Talon's dead?"

"Dry-gulched, they say. Nobody knows who done it."

"Is it true? Did she bust Flanner's knees?"

"Uh-huh. Flanner figured when her old man died that Em Talon would pull for the States, but she never done it. Moreover, she had her an idea Flanner had killed Talon.

"Flanner came out to run her off, and she let him come right on in. When he was maybe a hundred yards off she stopped him with a bullet to his feet and then she told him for what he was . . . or what she figured him to be.

"She said she wasn't going to kill him, she wanted him to live a hundred years, regrettin' ever' day of his life what he'd done. Then she cut down on him with that big fifty and busted both knees. Jake Flanner ain't walked a step since, not without them crutches."

The wind picked up, slapping their slickers against their chaps, and the three men began rigging their tarp to hold against the wind. It was going to be a bad night.

From time to time they turned to look at the great, gloomy old house, far away on its wind-swept knoll, bleak, lonely and harsh, like the woman who waited within.

Emily Talon leaned the Sharps against the doorjamb and peered through the shutters. Cold rain slanted from a darkening sky. Served them right, she reflected grimly, they'd have them a miserable night out there. She walked back to kindle a fire and put on water for tea.

From time to time she returned to peer through the shutters. It wouldn't be so bad if she had somebody to spell her, but the last of them died, and she'd buried him with her own hands, and now she was alone.

She was old now, old and tired. If only the boys would come home! She wanted both of them to come, but she told herself she was an evil old woman to want Milo most of all, Milo because he was a fast hand with a gun and mean. She needed a mean man now, to handle that bunch, and Milo could do it.

Milo taken after her kin. No Talon was ever that mean. The Talons were strong men, hard-working men and smarter than most. They were fighters, too, game as they came--those she'd met or heard tell of--but Milo was mean.

Any man who crossed Milo Talon was taking a risk. He was her youngest and a good boy, but he'd take water for no man. If you wished for trouble with Milo you'd best come a-shootin'.

Em Talon was tall and gaunt. Her one regret as a girl was that she fell just short of six feet. Her brothers had all been six-footers, and she'd wished to be at least that tall, but she'd fallen short by a quarter of an inch.

Her dress was old, gray, and nondescript. Her shoes had belonged to pa, but big as they were they were comfortable on her feet. Em Talon was sixty-seven years old and she had lived on the MT ranch for forty-seven of those years.

She'd been living alone in a cabin in the Cumberlands when pa came riding up to the door. A fine, handsome man he was, in store-bought clothes, shining boots, and riding a blood-bay gelding that stepped like a dancer.

He drew up outside the fence near where she was cutting flowers. "My name is Talon," he said, "and I'm looking for Em Sackett."

"What do you want with her?"

"I've come courting, and I've come a long way. I was partner to a cousin of hers out in the shining mountains."

She studied him with thoughtful eyes. "I am Emily Sackett," she said, "and you won't do much courtin' a-settin' up on that horse. Get down and come in."

She was twenty years old that summer, by mountain standards an old maid, but two weeks later they were married and had a fine honeymoon down New Orleans way.

Then she rode west beside Talon into a land of buffalo and Indians. When she rode up to the ranch house she could not believe what she saw. The house was there, larger than any other she had ever seen, even in New Orleans . . . and there wasn't even a cabin or dugout within a hundred miles, nor a town within two hundred or more.

She was called Em and Talon's name began with a T, so they took MT for a brand, now known far and wide as the Empty.

Pa was gone now, but it was many a fine year they'd had together. Pa was dead, and the man who'd killed him sat yonder in the town with two broken knees and a heart eaten with hatred for the woman who crippled him.

Flanner had hated Talon from the moment he saw him. Hated and envied him, for Talon already had what Flanner wanted. Jake Flanner decided the easiest way to come by what he wanted was to take what Talon had.

At first he tried to frighten the grim-jawed old man, but there was no fright in him that anybody ever located, so he had killed him or had him killed, sure that Em would pull out when her husband was dead. No woman could ever stand in his way . . . but there she stood.

It was cold in the big old house, and the rooms were dark and shadowed. A little of the last light of evening filtered through the heavy shutters. The house was dusty, and the air was stale and old. When a woman had to stand guard all day little time was left for housekeeping. She who had kept the neatest house in the Cumberland hills now had only a kitchen in which she dared live.

Talon had been a builder, as his family had been. He had come down from French Canada to build a steamboat for river traffic. The first of his line to live west of the Atlantic had been a ship-wright, and since then they had all been ship-wrights, mill-wrights, bridge-builders and workers with timber.

Pa had built keel boats, several steamboats, a dozen mills and bridges, and finally this house. He built with his own hands and he built to last. He had felled the timber, seasoned it, and shaped each piece with cunning hands. He dug the cellar himself and walled it with native stone, and he had prepared for every eventuality he could think of.

Looking out now Em saw the men huddled under their tarp, lashed by wind and rain. In each flash of lightning she could see something else. Every rock--a dozen at least--was painted white with black numerals on the side facing the house. The numerals represented the range, the number of yards from the door to that particular rock. Pa was a thoughtful man, and he preferred his shooting to be accurate.

Yet now pa was gone and she was alone, and her sons did not know how desperately she needed them.

She was exhausted. Her bones ached, and when she sat down she only managed to get up with an effort. Even making tea was a struggle, and sometimes when she eased her tired body into a chair...

Présentation de l'éditeur

In Ride the Dark Trail, Louis L’Amour tells the story of Logan Sackett, a cynical drifter who changes his ways to help a widow keep her land.

Logan Sackett is wild and rootless, riding west in search of easy living. Then he meets Emily Talon, a fiery old widow who is even wilder than he is. Tall and lean, Em is determined to defend herself against the jealous locals who are trying to take her home. Logan doesn’t want to get involved—until he finds out that Em was born a Sackett. Em is bucking overwhelming odds, but Logan won’t let her stand alone. For even the rebellious drifter knows that part of being a Sackett is backing up your family when they need you.

From the Paperback edition.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 3913 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 167 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0553276824
  • Editeur : Bantam; Édition : Reprint (30 septembre 2003)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Non activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°15.348 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 L'épopée des Sackets 26 février 2007
Fraternité de la famille Sacket. Quand l'un des membres est menacé, toute la fratrie se déplace pour lui venir en aide. Beau.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.8 étoiles sur 5  65 commentaires
21 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This is when Jake Flanner is trying to take Em Talons land. 28 avril 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur
This book is about a man named Jake Flanner that wants to take Em Talons land. But before he takes it Logan Sackett comes to help her. Logan is her relation.After Logan comes he and makes these guys know that he means business. He takes them out one by one until they begin to leave alone. I like this book because the it has alot of action in it.
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Logan Sackett 15 mai 2009
Par C. Travis - Publié sur
Logan Sackett, part-time outlaw, fast with a gun,and as tough as raw hide, is drifting along and runs into Emily Talon, an equally tough old widow who is defending her land against a bunch of no-good gunslingers. When Logan finds out Emily was born a Clinch Mountain Sackett, he decides to help and it is down hill from there for the gun-slingers, but not without Logan being shot full of holes and nearly being killed several times. The story is full of interesting characters and colorful language. It will keep your interest.
8 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent Balance 17 avril 2005
Par Michael D. Blatt - Publié sur
I am new to this author. He is a very good story teller. But what struck me most was his ability to have us look through a self-absorbed character's eyes without flinching. The character's self-awareness strikes the delicate balance between over-reaching and true self-assesment.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Lamour is the greatest 12 septembre 2009
Par FreddyB - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Like all the other Lamour books this is totally entertaining
and very cleverly written with so many fascinating insights
into life in the old west. Highly recommended.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great book 13 février 2013
Par Noreen Parrish - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Haven't found a book I don't like by this author he knows how the west was run and how to write
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