- Louis L'Amour -
This one started out good, but, then kind of fell apart at the end.
It starts with Flagan Sackett escaping from a tribe of natives who were torturing him and about to kill him. He has the challenge of evading capture from the pursuing natives and surviving the desert...with only the loin cloth he is wearing. He manages to make fire, scratch up some food, and cloth himself all the while staying clear of the Apaches.
At this point I was into the book. It was a good mix of informative (about the desert plants and such) and suspenseful (would he manage to hide out). I was only hoping nobody would ask what I was reading - a book about this naked guy running through the desert with some natives tracking him and this strange wolf following him too.
After a run in with a guy named Curly, Flagan finds himself back in civilization, being nursed back to health by a nice looking young lady named Meg.Then the story loses its composure. A lot of things happen in the blink of an eye; Flagan decides he wants to start a ranch in town, Flagan makes some enemies with the local land grabbers, Flagan sends letters to his Sackett kinfolk asking for help, there is a brawl, there is some shootin'...it only took about 100 pages and we have a dozen characters and a few different story lines. The depth of the book was lost at that point. It was still entertaining, especially the brawl. It was classic; the white hat cowboy, being the gentleman, throws the instigating black hat out of the store to save the store owner from having this store messed up...then he beat him to a pulp. How nice of him.
By the end of the book the bad guys have been shot up and are leaving town except for one who has one last bullet for Flagan. Instead of the fastest draw type shoot out they have a cat and mouse sniper fest up in the mountains. The last few pages were very riveting...who was going to live and who was going to die?