Monday, 18 October 2010

The Sacketts: The First Family of the West part two

Continuing the Archive’s look at Louis L’amour’s Sackett saga

William Tell Sackett is back to narrate Mojave Crossing (1964) with this novel set during the latter half of the 1870’s. Nolan Sackett also appears, a direct descendent of Yance Sackett who settled in the Clinch Mountains and coming from the branch of the family tree known as the outlaw Sacketts. What will happen when Sackett faces off against Sackett?  The following novel, Mustang Man (1966) takes up Nolan’s story. Indeed Nolan is the narrator of this story. It all starts with Nolan Sackett running for his life when he comes across two stranded travellers. One a beautiful lady named Sylvie who was no sooner rescued by Nolan than she tried to kill him. It turns out that she was meaner than most of the hard western cowboys that he was use to dealing with. Nolan soon meets another pretty girl named Penelope who has a sad story and needs his help. Little did he realize that helping Penelope would put him right back in conflict with Sylvie and her gang of outlaws.

The Lonely Men (1969) brings back William Tell Sackett and again the book is set in the mid to late 1870’s. The story sees Tell riding into Mexico to rescue his nephew Orry, son of Orrin from the Apaches. Tell Sackett had fought his share of Indians and managed to take something of value from his battles: a deep and abiding respect. But that respect is lost when Apache braves kidnap his nephew, forcing Tell to cross the border into the Sierra Madres to bring the boy back. What troubles Tell more, though, is the boy’s mother: Could she possibly be inventing a rescue mission to deliver her husband’s brother into an ambush?

"West of Yuma, Arizona I had occassion to look for and find a desert water hole called Sackett's Well. This was my introduction to the Sackett name." Louis L'amour.

Galloway (1970) is narrated by Flagan Sackett who together with his brother Galloway are drifting around looking for somewhere to start up a ranch. Logan Sackett and Parmalee Sackett also feature in this story. Trouble was following Flagan Sackett with a vengeance. Captured and tortured by a band of Apaches, he escaped into the rugged San Juan country, where he managed to stay alive until his brother Galloway could find him. But the brothers were about to encounter worse trouble ahead. Their plan to establish a ranch angered the Dunn clan, who had decided that the vast range would be theirs alone. Now Galloway and Flagan would face an enemy who killed for sport—but as long as other Sacketts lived, they would not fight alone.
"The story of Treasure Mountain is well known in Colorado and the location of the mountain itself is certainly no secret. Wolf Creek Pass, famous in song and story, covers one side of the mountain, and it is there for anybody to see. As it is 13,442 feet in altitude, Treasure Mountain is hard to miss." Louis L'amour.     

Treasure Mountain (1972) is another William Tell Sackett story - Orrin and Tell Sackett had come to exotic New Orleans looking for answers to their father’s disappearance twenty years before. To uncover the truth, the brothers enlisted the aid of a trail wise gypsy and a mysterious voodoo priest as they sought to re-create their father’s last trek. But Louisiana is a dangerous land, and with one misstep the brothers could disappear in the bayous before they even set foot on the trail that led to whatever legacy their father had left behind ... and a secret worth killing for.

Next we cover the final novels in the Sackett saga - Lonely on the Mountain to The Skyliners, we will also cover the short stories to feature members of the Sackett clan and speculate on what Lamour had in line for the most famous Western family in all literature.

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