Cover image for To the far blue mountains
Title:
To the far blue mountains
Author:
L'Amour, Louis, 1908-1988.
Personal Author:
Physical Description:
287 pages ; 18 cm.
General Note:
"The Sacketts."--Cover.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
900 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.8 15.0 7094.

Reading Counts RC High School 7.5 19 Quiz: 11608 Guided reading level: NR.
ISBN:
9780553276886
Format :
Book

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Central Library X Adult Mass Market Paperback Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

TO THE FAR BLUE MOUNTAINS
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In To the Far Blue Mountains , Louis L'Amour weaves the unforgettable tale of a man who, after returning to his homeland, discovers that finding his way back to America may be impossible.

Barnabas Sackett was leaving England to make his fortune in the New World. But as he settled his affairs, he learned that a royal warrant had been sworn out against him and that men were searching for him in every port. At issue were some rare gold coins Sackett had sold to finance his first trip to the Americas--coins believed to be part of a great treasure lost by King John years before.

Believing that Sackett possesses the rest of the treasure, Queen Bess will stop at nothing to find him. If he's caught, not only will his dream of a life in America be lost, but he will be brutally tortured and put to death on the gallows.


Author Notes

Born in Jamestown, North Dakota on March 22, 1908, Louis L'Amour's adventurous life could have been the subject of one of his novels. Striking out on his own in 1923, at age 15, L'Amour began a peripatetic existence, taking whatever jobs were available, from skinning dead cattle to being a sailor. L'Amour knew early in life that he wanted to be a writer, and the experiences of those years serve as background for some of his later fiction. During the 1930s he published short stories and poetry; his career was interrupted by army service in World War II. After the war, L'Amour began writing for western pulp magazines and wrote several books in the Hopalong Cassidy series using the pseudonym Tex Burns.

His first novel, Westward the Tide (1950), serves as an example of L'Amour's frontier fiction, for it is an action-packed adventure story containing the themes and motifs that he uses throughout his career. His fascination with history and his belief in the inevitability of manifest destiny are clear. Also present and typical of L'Amour's work are the strong, capable, beautiful heroine who is immediately attracted to the equally capable hero; a clear moral split between good and evil; reflections on the Native Americans, whose land and ways of life are being disrupted; and a happy ending. Although his work is somewhat less violent than that of other western writers, L'Amour's novels all contain their fair share of action, usually in the form of gunfights or fistfights.

L'Amour's major contribution to the western genre is his attempt to create, in 40 or more books, the stories of three families whose histories intertwine as the generations advance across the American frontier. The novels of the Irish Chantry, English Sackett, and French Talon families are L'Amour's most ambitious project, and sadly were left unfinished at his death. Although L'Amour did not complete all of the novels, enough of the series exists to demonstrate his vision.

L'Amour's strongest attribute is his ability to tell a compelling story; readers do not mind if the story is similar to one they have read before, for in the telling, L'Amour adds enough small twists of plot and detail to make it worth the reader's while. L'Amour fans also enjoy the bits of information he includes about everything from wilderness survival skills to finding the right person to marry. These lessons give readers the sense that they are getting their money's worth, that there is more to a L'Amour novel than sheer escapism. With over 200 million copies of his books in print worldwide, L'Amour must be counted as one of the most influential writers of westerns in this century. He died from lung cancer on June 10, 1988.

(Bowker Author Biography) Louis L'Amour, truly America's favorite storyteller, was the first fiction writer ever to receive the Congressional Gold Medal from the United States Congress in honor of his life's work, & was also awarded the Medal of Freedom. There are over 260 million copies of his books in print worldwide.

(Publisher Provided)


Excerpts

Excerpts

Chapter One My horse, good beast that he was, stood steady, ears pricked to listen, as were mine. When a man has enemies he had best beware, and I, Barnabas Sackett, born of the fenland and but lately returned from the sea, had enemies I knew not of. The blackness of my plumed hat and cloak fed themselves into the blackness of the forest, leaving no shape for the eye to catch. There was only the shine of captured light from my naked blade as I waited, listening. Something or somebody was in the forest near me, what or who it might be I knew not, nor was I a believer in the devils and demons thought to haunt these forests. Devils and demons worried me not, but there were men abroad, with blades as keen as mine, highwaymen and creatures of the night who lay waiting for any chance traveler who might come riding alone... to his death, if they but had their will. Yet the fens had trained me well, for we of the fens learned to be aware of all that was happening about us. Hunters and fishers we were, and some of us smugglers as well, although of these I was not one. Yet we moved upon our hidden ways, in darkness or in light, knowing each small sound for what it was. Nor had wandering in the forests of Raleigh's land among the red Indians allowed my senses to grow dull. Something lurked, but so did I. My point lifted a little, expecting attack. Yet those who might be waiting to come at me were but men who bled, even as I. It was not attack that came from the darkness, but a voice. "Ah, you are a wary one, lad, and I like that in a man. Stand steady, Barnabas, I'll not cross your blade. It is words I'll have, not blood." "Speak then, and be damned to you. If words are not enough, the blade is here. You spoke my name?" "Aye, Barnabas, I know your name and your table, as well. I've eaten a time or two in your fen cottage from which you've been absent these many months." "You've shared meat with me? Who are you, then? Speak up, man!" "I'd no choice. It is the steps and the string for me if caught. I need a bit of a hand, as the saying is, and the chance to serve you, if permitted." "Serve me how?" He was hidden still, used as were my eyes to darkness, yet now my ears caught some familiar note, some sound that started memory rising. "Ah!" It came to me suddenly. "Black Tom Watkins!" "Aye." He came now from the shadows. "Black Tom it is, and a tired and hungry man, too." "How did you know me then? It is a time since last I traveled this road." "Don't I know that? Yet it is not only I who know of your coming, nor your friend William, who farms your land. There are others waiting, Barnabas, and that is why I am here, in the damp and darkness of the forest, hoping to catch you before you ride unwitting into their company." "Who? Who waits?" "I am a wanted man, Barnabas, and the gallows waits for me, but I got free and was in the tavern yonder studying upon what to do when I heard your name spoken. Oh, they kept their voices low, but when one has lived in the fens as you and I... well, I heard them. They wait to lay you by the heels and into Newgate Prison." He came a step nearer. "You've enemies, lad. I know naught of them nor their reasons, but guilty or not they've a Queen's warrant for you, and there's a bit in it for them if they take you." A Queen's warrant? Well, it might be. There had been a warrant. Yet who would know of that and be out to take me? We were a far cry from London town, and it was an unlikely thing. "They are at the cottage?" I asked. "Not them. There's a bit of a tavern only a few minutes down the road, and they do themselves well there while waiting. From time to time Excerpted from To the Far Blue Mountains by Louis L'Amour All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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