Tyrel Sackett was born to trouble, but vowed to justice. After having to kill a man in Tennessee, he hit the trail west with his brother Orrin. Those were the years when decent men and women lived in fear of Indians, rustlers, and killers, but the Sackett brothers worked to make the West a place where people could raise their children in peace. Orrin brought law and order from Santa Fe to Montana, and his brother Tye backed him up every step of the way. Till the day the job was done, Tye Sackett was the fastest gun alive. From the Paperback edition.
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December 31, 1959
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Excerpt from The Daybreakers by Louis LAmour
MY BROTHER, ORRIN Sackett, was big enough to fight bears with a switch. Me, I was the skinny one, tall as Orrin, but no meat to my bones except around the shoulders and arms. Orrin could sing like an angel, or like a true Welshman which was better than any angel. Far away back and on three sides of the family, we were Welsh. Orrin was a strapping big man, but for such a big man he was surprising quick.
Folks said I was the quiet one, and in the high-up hills where we grew up as boys, folks fought shy of me come fighting time. Orrin was bigger than me, fit to wrassle a bull, but he lacked a streak of something I had.
Maybe you recall the Sackett ' Higgins feud Time I tell about, we Sacketts were just fresh out of Higginses.
Long Higgins, the mean one, was also the last one. He came hunting Sackett hide with an old squirrel rifle. It was Orrin he was hunting, being mighty brave because he knew Orrin wouldn't be packing anything in the way of sidearms at a wedding.
Orrin was doing no thinking about Higginses this day with Mary Tripp there to greet him and his mind set on marrying, so I figured it was my place to meet Long Higgins down there in the road. Just as I was fixing to call him to a stand, Preacher Myrick drove his rig between us, and by the time I got around it Long Higgins was standing spraddlelegged in the road with a bead on Orrin.
Folks started to scream and Long Higgins shot and Mary who saw him first pushed Orrin to save him. Only she fell off balance and fell right into the bullet intended for Orrin.
He turned sharp around, knowing my voice, and he had that rifle waist-high and aimed for me, his lips drawed down hard.
Long Higgins was a good hip shot with a rifle and he shot quick... maybe too quick.
That old hog-leg of mine went back into the holster and Long Higgins lay there in the dust and when I turned around, that walk up into the trees was the longest I ever did take except one I took a long time later.
Ollie Shaddock might have been down there and I knew if Ollie called I'd have to turn around, for Ollie was the Law in those mountains and away back somewheres we were kin.
When Ma saw me cutting up through the woods she knew something was cross-ways. Took me only a minute to tell her. She sat in that old rocker and looked me right in the eye while I told it. "Tye," she was almighty stern, "was Long Higgins looking at you when you fetched him "
"Right in the eye."
"Take the dapple," Ma said, "he's the runningest horse on the mountain. You go west, and when you find a place with deep, rich soil and a mite of game in the hills, you get somebody to write a letter and we'll come down there, the boys an' me."
She looked around at the place, which was mighty rundown. Work as we would, and us Sacketts were workers, we still hadn't anything extra, and scarcely a poor living, so Ma had been talking up the west ever since Pa died.
Most of it she got from Pa, for he was a wandering and a knowing man, never to home long, but Ma loved him for all of that, and so did we younguns. He had a Welshman's tongue, Pa did, a tongue that could twist a fine sound from a word and he could bring a singing to your blood so you could just see that far land yonder, waiting for folks to come and crop it.
Those old blue eyes of Ma's were harder to face than was Long Higgins, and him with a gun to hand. "Tye, do you reckon you could kill Ollie "
To nobody else would I have said it, but to Ma I told the truth. "I'd never want to, Ma, because we're kin but I could fetch him. I think maybe I can draw a gun faster and shoot straighter than anybody, anywhere."