Ninety years ago the Toomey brothers, along with twenty-five other men and four thousand head of cattle, vanished en route to Arizona. When writer and historian Dan Sheridan is invited to the missing brothers' ranch by its current owner, he jumps at the chance. The visit fits right in with his plan to solve the century-old mystery-but it turns out that his host isn't a fan of books, writers, or people who don't mind their own business. Soon Dan is living the dangers of the Old West firsthand-tracked through the savage wilderness by vicious killers straight out of the most violent pages of his stories. However, his enemies have made one serious mistake: Sheridan is no pencil-pushing greenhorn, and killing him won't be as easy as they think.Our foremost storyteller of the authentic West, L'Amour has thrilled a nation by chronicling the adventures of the brave men and women who settled the American frontier. There are more than 300 million copies of his books in print around the world.From the Paperback edition.
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October 25, 2004
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Excerpt from The Broken Gun by Louis L'Amour
He lay sprawled upon the concrete pavement of the alley in the darkening stain of his own blood, a man I had never seen before, a man with the face of an Apache warrior, struck down from behind and stabbed repeatedly in the back as he lay there.
Two police cars with flashing lights stood nearby, and a dozen shirt-sleeved or uniformed men stood about, waiting for the ambulance to come. But it was much too late for an ambulance.
"Sorry to get you out of bed at this time of night, Mr. Sheridan."
Detective Sergeant Tom Riley had introduced himself at the door of my motel room a few minutes before. He spoke politely, but I had a feeling he could not have cared less about awakening me. He was a man doing a hard, unpleasant job in the best way he knew how, and my own hunch was that he was pretty good at it.
"We thought you might know something about him."
Riley showed me the newspaper clipping and I recognized it as one that had appeared in the local paper the previous morning. It mentioned the fact that I, Dan Sheridan, author of a dozen volumes of western fiction and history, was in the city doing research.
What it neglected to mention was the slip I'd made during a moment of exuberance on a television interview when I said, "Among other things I want to find out what happened to the Toomey brothers."
The interviewer, with less alertness than usual with his kind, ignored the remark and went on to other things.