Book Review: Louis L’Amour’s Fallon
This is a western story of a drifter, con-man and gambler who is surviving, but just barely. In spite of himself, he helps create a new town, Red Horse. The new town will rise from the fraud infested desert ghost town of Buell’s Bluff, which was designed to swindle miners and eastern businessmen. Macon Fallon was way down on his luck, having barely escaped from Seven Pines. He spotted two wagons and travelers. The beginning of a plan to produce a stake flashes in his mind. One wagon had a busted wheel and the travelers looked warn and deflated. They had some water but not enough to just sit around and mope about the trouble they were in.
Looking at the wagons, Fallon put on his selling face. With a positive spirit and enthusiasm on the outside, he approached the “sheep” he was going to fleece. On the inside he had to bury his feelings of sympathy towards the travelers. He needed his formulated plan of deception to work. Talking with confidence and optimism, Fallon extolled the advantages of revitalizing this old town he owned and how they could survive and prosper in it.
There is one person in the small group who visibly doubts him and his story, Gina Blane. This attractive, independent thinking woman was causing Fallon some doubt as to the potential success of his plan. Driving straight ahead, Fallon tried to keep his mind on the goal of a life of leisure in San Francisco.
Red Horse is threatened by the Bellows gang, Indians, anyone who knew of Buell’s Bluff and someone from Seven Pines. Pushing these problems to the back, Fallon continues to extol the town and the potential it has. Picking and culling new arrivals he builds a new town of strong and enterprising people pushing to make his plan work.
All of the problems and inner workings of this story weave an interesting tale. Written around a man, Fallon, who is good but has lost his way. He is probably going to find his new path, without him even knowing it. I enjoyed this book again after rereading it. It is a wholesome story that draws the reader into the position of wondering how you would react faced with the same circumstances.
Louis L’Amour was a great storyteller and I am among many who read and reread his stories with enthusiasm.