Shipwrecked on the coast of North Carolina, his companions killed, Tatton Chantry is alone-and ready for action. In the old world he fought wars, skirmishes, duels. Now, in the wilderness of America, this swashbuckling hero takes up against pirates, Spanish fortune seekers, savage Indians. Aided by a beautiful Peruvian woman, he braves the fierce challenges of the New World-always, like a true Chantry, with his expert hand on the hilt on his faithful silver sword.
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March 28, 2005
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Excerpt from Fair Blows the Wind by Louis L'Amour
My name is Tatton Chantry and unless the gods are kind to rogues, I shall die within minutes.
My two companions are dead, and those who came to this shore with us have fled, believing me already killed. Their boat bobs upon a gray sea flecked with the white of foam and soon they shall be alongside the Good Catherine.
I am alone. I am left without food, without a musket, with naught but the clothes in which I stand . . . and a sword. I also have its small companion, a knife.
But what man can claim to be alone when he holds a sword? A man with a sword can bring a kingdom down! Many a man has a fortune who began with no less and no more. I stand upon the outer edge of a continent, and who is to say that continent cannot be mine?
But first, I must live . . . and to stay alive I must be brave, but more than brave, I must be wary.
Crouched at the base of a gnarled and wind-racked tree, I wait with pounding heart. For they will come now, for me. My two companions are dead, and they must know that I am alone. One against many.
My lips are dry, and my tongue keeps seeking them. Am I, then, a coward? Death hangs over me like a cloud. Am I, whose blade has sent so many others to their deaths, afraid to die?
How easy to be brave when others stand round! How many a brave man is brave because he is watched, because he is seen. But none can see me now. I am alone. I can be a coward.
I can flee. I can hie myself down the beach, running until they bring me down like a frightened hare.
A Chantry flee? True, the name is not mine. I have but claimed it, used it, found it helpful. Dare I dishonor it? Dare I be less than the name deserves? I have carried it proudly. Therefore if die I must,
I shall die proudly, even though the name is not mine and I die unheralded at the hands of savages.
Need this be the end of all my dreams, my struggles, my boasts? Am I, the son of kings who reached the heights and descended to the depths, about to die upon this lonely, far-off shore?
They have killed some of those who came with me, but was I seen? Is it possible that I escaped notice? Do they know that I am here? Do they delay killing me only to despoil those already slain?
If they know I live they will stalk and find me, and surely, then, they will kill me. Nor can they fail to discover me if they but look, for the belt of brush and dwarfed trees that borders the shore is sparse indeed. Beyond me lies the open sand and then the sea.