Dutchman’s Flat: A Western Sextet
By Louis L’Amour
From the master of Western storytelling comes a collection of six action-packed tales sure to please Louis L’Amour’s legion of fans.
In “Trap of Gold,” Wetherton has been three months out of Horsehead when he finds his first color in a crumbling granite upthrust that resembles a fantastic ruin. The granite is slashed with a vein of quartz that is literally laced with gold! The problem is that the granite upthrust is unstable, and taking out the quartz might just bring the whole thing tumbling down. But Wetherton could really use the money for his family. Should he chance trying to mine that gold?
In “Keep Travelin’, Rider,” Tack Gentry has been away for a year when he returns to the familiar buildings of his uncle John Gentry’s G Bar ranch. To his amazement, the ranch has a new owner, who is unimpressed when Tack explains that his uncle was a Quaker, didn’t believe in violence, and never carried a gun. His advice to Tack is to make tracks—but Tack has other plans.
In “Big Medicine,” old Billy Dunbar has discovered the best gold-bearing gravel he’s seen in a year, but now he is down flat on his face in a dry wash, hiding because a small band of Apaches has shown up. It will be just too bad for him if they catch sight of his burros or notice any of the prospect holes. He’s going to have to figure out a pretty good strategy to get out of this one alive.
In “Trail to Pie Town,” Dusty Barron rides his steel-dust stallion at full gallop out of town. Behind him a man lies bleeding on the floor of a saloon. Dan Hickman had called him yellow and gone for a gun, but Dan was a mite slow. Maybe if Emmett Fisk and Gus Mattis hadn’t appeared just as he was making a break from the saloon, he could have explained himself. But they reached for their guns when they saw him, and Dusty had hit the desert road. The dead man has relatives in the area, and now it looks like Dusty is going to be facing a clan war.
In “McQueen of the Tumbling K,” Ward McQueen is foreman for Ruth Kermitt, owner of the Tumbling K Ranch. He finds traces of a man, apparently wounded, who has sought shelter in the hinterlands of the Tumbling K, but he is unable to locate him. When McQueen rides into town, he is shot down by gunmen and left for dead. But they made a critical mistake, because McQueen is not dead—and he’s looking to get even.
In “Dutchman’s Flat,” it all seemed a simple matter to the six men in the posse. A squatter named Lock gunned down Johnny Webb in the Bon Ton, shooting him in the back. Now, once they catch him, there isn’t going to be any trial. However, as the posse heads out after him, it becomes only too clear that Lock knows the desert better than they do, and he knows how to pick them off one by one.