Thursday, October 13, 2016

Not really about trains

     Louis L’Amour. North to the Rails (1971) Tom Chantry comes West to buy cattle for his future father-in-law. His father was killed many years ago, after which his mother moved East, and raised him as an anti-gun pacifist. First thing: Tom fights a guy and wins: he’s trained as a boxer. He buys the cattle and starts north with French Williams as his trail boss. But meanie outlaws, just plain mean men, and sneaky thieves of one kind or another interfere. There’s also a cousin of Williams who wants the money; she teams up with two especially nasty types. Tom fights a Kiowa, but doesn’t kill him, and later his father’s history with the Kiowa adds to his winning hand. Anyhow, the tale ends with a gunfight, and great gobs of poetic justice.
     Not L’Amour’s best work, but a well crafted entertainment that any fan of Westerns will like. Chantry drives his herd to the railhead, which has moved further west, which will improve his profits **½

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