Cover image for The collected short stories of Louis L'Amour unabridged selections from The frontier stories, volume one
The collected short stories of Louis L'Amour unabridged selections from The frontier stories, volume one
L'Amour, Louis, 1908-1988.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Random House Audio, [2003]

Physical Description:
3 audio discs (approximately 3.5 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Gift of Cochise: A single mother faces down an Apache war party. Desperate men: Four escaped convicts run a gauntlet of double and triple crosses in a hunt for gold. The skull and the arrow: A beaten man finds the strength to confront his enemies. Marshal of Canyon Gap: A new face in town means trouble for Marshal McLane and the town of Canyon Gap. The defense of Sentinel: A whiskey-soaked drunk wakes to find he's the only hope for a town surrounded by outlaws. Let the cards decide: A woman's future hangs on the outcome of a card game. Home is the hunter: A little girl changes the life of a hardened gunfighter.
General Note:
Unabridged selections.
The Gift of Cochise -- Desperate men -- The skull and the arrow -- Marshall of Canyon Gap -- The defense of Sentinel -- Let the cards decide -- Home is the hunter.
Added Author:
Format :
Audiobook on CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
XX(1247638.43) Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
XX(1247638.36) Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
XX(1247638.50) Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
XX(1247638.58) Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
XX(1247638.34) Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

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No one more vividly captures the rugged majesty and enduring spirit of the American West than Louis L'Amour. Now, collected for the very first time, here are seven unabridged frontier tales from a legendary master of the genre. Volume One celebrates this remarkable voice in American fiction with a captivating blend of some of his best-beloved work.

Listeners are brought face-to-face with heroism in a most unexpected place in The Gift of Cochise , as a single mother faces down an Apache war party. Desperate Men follows four escaped convicts running a gauntlet of double and triple crosses in a hunt for gold that will leave only one of them alive. In Skull and the Arrow , a beaten man finds the strength to confront his enemies in the discovery of a simple arrowhead. In Marshal of Canyon Gap , a new face in town means nothing but trouble to Marshal McLane--not only for Canyon Cap, but for the secret he's kept for too many years. In The Defense of Sentinel , a whiskey-soaked drunk wakes to find that he's only hope for a town surrounded by marauders. Let the Cards Decide is the story of a woman whose future hangs on the outcome of a card game, and the adventures continue with Home is the Hunte r, the tale of a hardened gunfighter and the little who changes his rough way of life.

Brimming with history, unforgettable characters, and the pride of place that his listeners have come to expect, this first volume of The Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour is a lasting tribute to one of the greatest short-story writers of all time.

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)

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

After making a quick detour in volume 4 for L'Amour's nonwestern adventure stories, volume 5 falls right back into the staggeringly prolific author's strongest suit. The bottomless well of L'Amour's mastery of the genre is evident here, as even five thick volumes of his stories don't suffer much drop-off in quality. L'Amour is well loved for heroes who never shirk a challenge or a well-defined moral structure, but his champion trait is the swift, punchy action that punctuates almost every page. Although his more memorable serial characters have already been featured, this volume closes with six stories starring a low-level L'Amour repeater, the dapper and diminutive Cactus Kid. While far from the author's finest creations, these stories still exemplify what readers are looking for when they go for traditional westerns: swift guns, easy charm, and a pretty lady in the end. Essential purchases for casual western collections as well as for completists; go ahead and plan on buying volume 6 if and when it comes out, too.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2007 Booklist



No Man's Man CHAPTER I He came to a dirty cantina on a fading afternoon. He stood, looking around with a curious eye. And he saw me there in the corner, my back to the wall and a gun on the table, and my left hand pouring tequila into a glass. He crossed the room to my table, a man with a scholar's face and a quiet eye, but with lines of slender strength. "When I told them I wanted a man big enough and tough enough to tackle a grizzly," he said, "they sent me to you." "How much?" I said. "And where's the grizzly?" "His name is Henry Wetterling, and he's the boss of Battle Basin. And I'll give you a thousand dollars." "What do I do?" "There's a girl up there, and her name is Nana Maduro. She owns a ranch on Cherry Creek. Wetterling wants the girl, and he wants the ranch. I don't want him to have either." "You want him dead?" "I want him out of there. Use your own judgment. When I hire a man for a job, I don't tell him how to do it." This man with the scholar's face was more than a quiet man; he could be a hard man. "All right," I said. "One thing more"--he smiled a little, quietly, as though enjoying what he was about to say--"Wetterling is top dog and he walks a wide path, but he has two men to back him." He smiled again. "Their names are Clevenger and Mack." The bartender brought a lemon and salt, and I drank my tequila. "The answer is still the same," I told him, then, "but the price is higher. I want five thousand dollars." His expression did not change, but he reached in his pocket and drew out a wallet and counted green bills on the dirty table. He counted two thousand dollars. "I like a man who puts the proper estimate on a job," he said. "The rest when you're finished." He pushed back his chair and got up, and I looked at the green bills and thought of the long months of punching cows I'd have to put in to earn that much--if anybody, anywhere, would give me a job. "Where do you fit in?" I asked. "Do you want the girl or the ranch or Wetterling's hide?" "You're paid," he said pointedly, "for a job. Not for questions. . . ." THERE WAS SUNLIGHT on the trail, and cloud shadows on the hills, and there was a time of riding, and a time of resting, and an afternoon, hot and still like cyclone weather when I walked my big red horse down the dusty street of the town of Battle Basin. They looked at me, the men along the street, and well they could look. I weighed two hundred and forty pounds, but looked twenty-five pounds lighter. I was three inches over six feet, with black hair curling around my ears under a black flat-brimmed, flat-crowned hat, and the brim was dusty and the crown was torn. The shirt I wore was dark red, under a black horsehide vest, and there was a scar on my left cheek where a knife blade had bit to the bone. The man who had owned that knife left his bones in a pack rat's nest down Sonora way. My boots were run-down at the heels and my jeans were worn under the chaps stained almost black. And when I swung down, men gathered around to look at my horse. Big Red is seventeen hands high and weighs thirteen hundred pounds--a blood bay with black mane, tail, and forelock. "That's a lot of horse," a man in a white apron said. "It takes a man to ride a stallion." "I ride him," I said, and walked past them into the bar. The man in the white apron followed me. "I drink tequila," I said. He brought out a bottle and opened it, then found lemon and salt. So I had a drink there, and another, and looked around the room, and it all looked familiar. For there had been a time-- "I'm looking for a ranch," I said, "on Cherry Creek. It's owned by Nana Maduro." The bartender's face changed before my eyes and he mopped the bar. "See Wetterling," he said. "He hires for them." "I'll see the owner," I said, and put down my glass. A girl was coming up the street, walking fast. She had flame-red hair and brown eyes. When she saw Big Red she stopped dead still. And I stood under the awning and rolled a cigarette and watched her, and knew what she was feeling. She looked around at the men. "I want to buy that horse," she said. "Who owns him?" A man jerked a thumb at me, and she looked at me and took a step closer. I saw her lips part a little and her eyes widen. She was all woman, that one, and she had it where it showed. And she wore her sex like a badge, a flaunting and a challenge--the way I liked it. "You own this horse?" One step took me out of the shade and into the sun, a cigarette in my lips. I'm a swarthy man, and her skin was golden and smooth, despite the desert sun. "Hello, Lou," she said. "Hello, Lou Morgan." "This is a long way from Mazatlán," I said. "You were lovely then, too." "You were on the island," she said, "a prisoner. I thought you were still there." "I was remembering you, and no walls could hold me," I said, smiling a little, "so I found a way out and away. The prison will recover in time." "How did you know I was here?" "I didn't," I said. "Remember? I killed a man for you and you left me, with never a word or a line. You left me like dirt in the street." And when that was said I walked by her and stepped into the saddle. I looked down at her and said, "You haven't changed. Under that fine-lady manner you're still a tramp." A big young man who stood on the walk, filled with the pride of his youth, thought he should speak. So I jumped the stallion toward him, and when we swept abreast I grabbed him by his shirtfront. I swung him from his feet and muscled him up, half strangling, and held him there at eye level, my arm bent to hold him, my knuckles under his chin. "That was a private conversation," I said. "The lady and I understand each other." Then I slapped him, booming slaps that left his face white and the mark of my hand there, and I let him drop. My horse walked away and took a trail out of town. But those slaps had been good for my soul, venting some of the fury I was feeling for her! Not the fury of anger, although there was that, too, but the fury of man-feeling rising within me, the great physical need I had for that woman that stirred me and gripped me and made my jaws clench and my teeth grind. Nana Maduro! And that thin-faced man in the cantina hiring me to come and get you away from this--what was his name?--Wetterling! Nana Maduro, who was Irish and Spanish and whom I had loved and wanted when I was seventeen, and for whom I had killed a man and been sentenced to hang. Only the man I killed had been a dangerous man, a powerful man in Mexico, and feared, and not all were sorry that he had died. These had helped me, had got my sentence commuted to life imprisonment, and after two years I broke out and fled to the hills, and after two more years word had come that the records had been lost and that I was a free man. At fifteen Nana Maduro had been a woman in body and feeling, but untried yet and restless because of it. And at seventeen I had been raw and powerful, a seasoned Indian fighter knowing mining, hunting, and riding, but a boy in emotion and temper. It was different now that seven years had passed. Nana now was full-flowered and gorgeous. But they had been seven hard, lean years for me, a man who rode with a gun and rode alone, a man who fought for pay, with a gun for hire. Three days I rode the hills and saw no man, but looked upon the country through eyes and field glasses. And I saw much, and understood much. Cherry Creek range was dream range, knee-deep to a tall steer with waving grass and flowers of the prairie. Even on the more barren stretches there were miles of antelope bush and sheep fat, the dry-looking desert plants rich in food for cattle. There was water there, so the cattle need walk but little and could keep their flesh, and there was shade from the midday sun. And this belonged to Nana Maduro, to Nana, whom I'd loved as a boy, and desired as a man. And did I love as a man? Who could say? She had cattle by the thousand on her rolling hills, and a ranch house like none I had ever seen, low and lovely and shaded, a place for a man to live. And a brand, N M, and a neighbor named Wetterling. The Wetterling ranch was north and west of hers, but fenced by a range of hills, high-ridged and not to be crossed by cattle, and beyond the ridge the grass was sparse and there were few trees. A good ranch as such ranches go, but not the rolling, grass-waving beauty of Cherry Creek. Then I saw them together. He was a huge man, bigger than I was, blond and mighty. At least two inches taller than I, and heavier, but solid. He moved light on his feet and quickly, and he could handle a horse. Other things I saw. Nana was without friends. She was hemmed in by this man, surrounded by him. People avoided her through fear of him, until she was trapped, isolated. It could be a plan to win her finally, or to take her ranch if the winning failed. But they laughed together and raced together, and they rode upon the hills together. And on the night of the dance in Battle Basin, they came to it together. For that night I was shaved clean and dusted, my boots were polished, and though I went to the dance and looked at the girls, there was only one woman in that room for me. She stood there with her big man, and I started toward her across the floor, my big California spurs jingling. I saw her face go white to the lips and saw her start to speak, and then I walked by her and asked the daughter of a rancher named Greenway for a dance. As the Greenway girl and I turned away in the waltz I saw Nana's face again, flaming red, then white, her fine eyes blazing. So I danced with Ann Greenway, and I danced with Rosa McQueen, and I danced with the girls of the village and from the ranches, but I did not dance with Nana Maduro. CHAPTER II Nana watched me. That I saw. She was angry, too, and that I had expected, for when does the hunter like for the deer to escape? Especially the wounded deer? Two men came in when the evening was half gone, one of them a thin man with a sickly face and a head from which half the hair was gone, and in its place a scar. This was Clevenger. His partner Mack was stocky and bowlegged and red of face. Both wore their guns tied down, and both were dangerous. They were known along the border for the men they had killed. They were feared men who had not acquired their reputations without reason. They were there when I stopped not far away from where Wetterling was talking to Nana. I saw Wetterling move toward her as if to take her for a dance, and I moved quickly, saying, "Will you dance?" and wheeled her away as I spoke. Wetterling's face was dark and ugly, and I saw the eyes of his two killers upon me, but I held Nana close, and good she felt in my arms. And she looked up at me, her lips red and soft and wet, and her eyes blazing. "Let me go, you fool! They'll kill you for this!" "Will they now?" I smiled at her, but my heart was pounding and my lips were dry, and my being was filled with the need of her. "You'll remember that was tried once, long ago." Then I held her closer, her breasts tight against me, my arm about her slim waist, our bodies moving in the dance. "To die for this," I said, "would not be to die in vain." It was my mother's family that spoke, I think, for poetic as the Welsh may be, and my father was Welsh, it is the Spanish who speak of dying for love, though they are never so impractical. My mother's name was Ibañez. When the dance was finished, Nana pulled away from me. "Leave me here," she said, and then when I took her arm to return her to Wetterling, she begged, "Please, Lou!" My ears were deaf. So I took her to him and stopped before him, and, with his two trained dogs close by, I said, "She dances beautifully, my friend, and better with me than with you--and what are you trying to do with that fresh-cut trail through the woods? Get your cattle onto her grass?" Then I turned my back and walked away and the devil within me feeling the glory of having stirred the man to fury, wanting that, yet desolate to be leaving her. For now I knew I loved Nana Maduro. Not prison nor time nor years nor her coldness had killed it. I still loved her. At the door as I left, a red-faced man with bowed legs who stood there said, "You've a fine horse and it's a nice night to ride. Cross the Territory line before you stop." "See you tomorrow," I said. "Have a gun in your hand, if you do," he said to me, and went back inside. Mack, a brave man. In the morning I rode the hills again, doing a sight of thinking. Wetterling wanted both the ranch and the girl, and no doubt one as much as the other. Another man wanted the place, too, and maybe the girl. But why that particular ranch? Lovely, yes. Rich with grass, yes. But considering the obstacles and the expense--why? Hatred? It could be. A man can hate enough. But my employer was not a hating man, to my thinking. He just knew what he wanted, and how to get it. Small ranchers and riders with whom I talked could give me no clue. I did not ask outright if they knew my employer, but I could tell they must know the man. The trail I had found through the woods was guarded now. Two men loafed near the N M side of it, both with rifles across their knees. Through my glasses I studied that trail. It was wide, and it was well cut. When I got into my saddle I saw something else--a gleam of sunlight reflecting on a distant mountainside. Distant, but still on Maduro range. Excerpted from The Collected Short Stories of Louis l'Amour, Volume 5: Frontier Stories 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.