Land of the free...In this unique collection of tales, Louis L'Amour captures the frontier experience as it lives forever in the American imagination.A young woman heads west to marry, only to find her intended fiancé the subject of dark rumors....
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December 31, 1980
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Excerpt from Buckskin Run by Louis L'Amour
For two days they had seen no other traveler, not even a solitary cowhand or an Indian. There had been the usual stops to change teams, and overnight layover at Weston's ranch, but no other break in the monotony of the journey.
There was no comfort in the west-bound stage. The four passengers alternately dozed or stared miserably at the unchanging desert, dancing with heat waves.
No breeze sent a shaft of coolness through the afternoon's heavy heat. Aloma Day, bound for Cordova, a tiny cowtown thirty miles farther down the trail, felt stifled and unhappy. Her heavy dress was hot, and she knew her hair "looked a fright."
The jolting of the heavy coach bouncing over the rocky, ungraded road had settled a thin mantle of dust over her clothes and skin. The handkerchief with which she occasionally touched her cheeks and brow had long since become merely a miserable wad of damp cloth.
Across from her Em Shipton, proprietor of Cordova's rooming and boarding establishment, perspired, fanned, and dozed. Occasionally she glanced with exasperation at Aloma's trim figure, for to her the girl seemed unreasonably cool and immaculate. Em Shipton resembled a barrel with ruffles.
Mark Brewer, cattle buyer, touched his moutache thoughtfully and looked again at the girl in the opposite corner of the stage. She was, he decided, almost beautiful. Possibly her mouth was a trifle wide, but her lips were lovely and she laughed easily.
"I hope," he ventured suddenly, "you decide to stay with us, Miss Day. I am sure the people of Cordova will do all they can to make your visit comfortable."
"Oh, but I shall stay! I am going to make my home there."
"Oh You have relatives there "
"No," she smiled, "I am to be married there."
The smile left his eyes, yet hovered politely abot his lips. "I see. No doubt I know the lucky fellow. Cordova is not a large town."
Loma hesitated. The assurance with which she had decided upon this trip had faded with the miles. It had been a long time since she had seen Rod Morgan, and the least she could have done was to await a reply from him. Yet there was no place in which to wait. Her aunt had died and they had no friends in Richmond. She had money now for the trip. Six weeks or a month later she might have used it all. Her decision had been instantly made, but hte closer she came to Cordova the more uncertain she felt.
She looked at Brewer. "Then you probably know him. His name is Roderick Morgan."
Em Shipton stiffened, and Mark Brewer's lips tightened. They exchanged a quick, astonished glance. Alarmed at their reaction, Loma glanced quickly from one to the other.