A hen pecked at something in the street, a dog rolled in the warm dust. Several horses were hitched to the rail. One by one he checked off the things he saw, glancing once, sharply, at the bank from under his hat brim, then he tilted it back on his head once more so they could see his face. He wanted to be recognized... they must all know he was in town.
He is Considine, and he and his wild bunch intend to rob the bank in the town of Obaro where Pete Runyon is sheriff and married to the woman Considine once loved. The plan is simple: Considine will create a distraction by challenging Runyon to a fistfight while the rest of the gang robs the bank. It goes off without a hitch. Considine and company escape, heading for Mexico. Along the way, they discover that an old acquaintance, Dave Spanyer, and his beautiful daughter, Lennie, have wandered into Apache territory. They decide to do the right thing by going to the top of High Lonesome to save them. L'Amour writes:
Nor were they free of the images their own minds held of themselves. The man on horseback, the lone-riding man, the lone-thinking man, possessed an image of himself that was in part his own, in part a piece of all the dime novels he had read, for no man is free of the image his literature imposes upon him.
And the dime novel made the western hero a knight-errant, a man on horseback rescuing the weak and the helpless. Never consciously in their thoughts, to these men without words the image was there-and more. For Lennie was the sweetheart, the sister, the wife, each one of them would have… if only in daytime dreams.
Wonderful writing style. You don't need to be a fan of the western genre to know the name L'Amour is synonymous with excellence. I have always been aware of his status and didn’t realize what I had been missing until I read this book. After reading High Lonesome, I won't pass up a chance to read another L’Amour classic.
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