Tag Archives: treasure hunt

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

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“What do you seek in these shelves?” ¬†Clay Jannon walks into Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore and isMr-Penumbras-24-hr-Bookstore greeted with just this question. What he’s looking for is a job. What he finds is an adventure. Marked by strange customers, tall bookshelves and lots of hours leftover to think and plan.

I loved this book. I was a bit worried when Jannon breaks one of the rules laid out for him by Penumbra, but instead of being in trouble for the indiscretion, he is rewarded for his curiosity. Once that happened, I was able to relax and enjoy the adventure without the fear that our beloved hero would disappoint his mentor.

This is a fun book. It takes you on an adventure that melds the generations gone before with the technology of today. It challenges you to see the extraordinary in your ordinary life. Instead of always looking for something greater that has been left to you by someone else, look around at what you have. Appreciate it. Life your life fully. Don’t waste your days stuck trying to figure out someone else’s journey. Live your own. And be aware of what you are doing.

“I pushed the bookstore’s glass door. It made a bell tinkle brightly up above, and I stepped slowly through. I did not realize at the time what an important threshold I had just crossed.”

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Treasure Mountain by Louis L’Amour

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In Treasure Mountain, some of the boys go in search of the final resting place of their Pa. He acted as guide for a group of treasure hunters when the boys were little. Now, however, their Ma is getting along in years and wants to know why he never made it back to her. So, Tell and Orrin set out to find and follow Pa’s final trail.

The Tinker shows up in the beginning of the book and decides to ride along with them. And a man named Judas Priest who tells them, “I look for a grave as well as you. I also look for the reason why there needs to be a grave.” His father Angus Priest had accompanied the group that Pa led.

Treasure Mountain is another book with a lot of familiar as well as semi-familiar characters. Tell, Orrin, Tyrell and the Tinker all feature in here, Logan and Nolan are mentioned in stories. We catch up with Nell, one of the Trelawney girls from back home, as well as a whole group of baddies who give chase to the Sacketts, up into the mountains where they feel most at home. Books with more than one Sackett are some of my favorites, and when they sit around a fire at night telling stories, well that’s just icing on the cake. One of my favorite stories comes from this book. I’ll share it with you here. If you like it, and I know you will, then come on back and read the book that is written all around it and I can tell you you’ll enjoy it too.

“Nolan was forted up down in the Panhandle country with some Comanches yonder a-shootin’ at him.. One of them got lead into him. He nailed that one right through the ears as he turned his head to speak to the other one, and then he wounded the last one. Nolan walked in on him, kicked the gun out of his hand, and stood there looking down at him, gun in his fist, and that Comanche glared right back at him, dared him to shoot, and tried to spit at him.

Nolan laughed, picked that Injun up by the hair and dragged him to his horse. He loaded that Indian on, tied him in place, then mounted his own horse and rode right to that Comanche village.

He walked his horse right in among the lodges and stopped.

The Comanches were fighters. No braver men ever lived, and they wanted Nolan’s hair, but they came out and gathered around to see what he had on his mind.

Nolan sat up there in the middle of his mustang, and he told them what a brave man this warrior was, how he had fought him until he was wounded, his gun empty, and then had cussed him and tried to fight him with his hands.

“I did not kill him. He is a brave man. You should be proud to have such a warrior. I brought him back to you to get well from his wounds. Maybe some day we can fight again.”

And then he dropped the lead rope and rode right out of that village, walking his horse and never looking back.

Any one of them could have shot him. He knew that. But Indians, of any persuasion, have always respected bravery, and he had given them back one of their on and had promised to fight him again when he had his strength.

So they let Nolan ride away, and to this day in Comanche villages they tell the story. And the Indian he brought back tells it best.”

Mustang Man by Louis L’Amour

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“When a man travelled in Indian country he sort of sifted through, gentle-like and taking up no more room than need be. He kept out of sight, and slept without a fire at night unless he could hide it well. And on top of that he prayed, if he was a praying man, and the deeper you got into Indian country the more of a praying man you got to be.” -Nolan Sackett

You’ve probably guessed that Nolan Sackett is the Mustang Man. Near the beginning of the book, he encounters a group heading cross country. He’s having some dinner and the owner of the establishment he’s in suggests that he should escort them. His initial reaction is strongly in the negative, but his mind is changed in the end, mostly because one of them is a woman and, “She was beautiful…taller than most girls… and shaped like music.” When Pio, the owner of the cantina, finally convinces him to take them through the rough country beyond, we hear this: “‘Bueno!’ Pio smiled at me. ‘I knew this was what you would do. I tell them so. I tell them just to wait, that you’re a good man.’

Me? It was the first time in a long while anybody had said that about Nolan Sackett. Oh, they say, ‘He’s a good man with a gun,’ or ‘He’s a fair hand with a rope.’ or ‘He can ride anything wears hair,’ but nobody just out and said I was a good man.

A man had to avoid that sort of thing. First thing a man knows he’s tryin’ to live up to it. And then what kind of an outlaw is he?”

Oh I loved Nolan Sackett. As you might expect from a Sackett, he is not as good an outlaw as can be. He’s more of a wrong place at the wrong time kind of guy. He faced down the wrong man, a man who had friends to back him up, and was unfortunately a faster, better shot. So, when the chips are down, and the lady’s in trouble, he can do nothing but come to her rescue again and again.

Lando by Louis L’Amour

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“There was pride and courage there, and something that told me that when trouble came, this man would stand.

This I respected, for of myself I was not sure. Every man wishes to believe that when trouble appears he will stand up to it, yet no man knows it indeed before it happens.” -Lando Sackett

This book took more effort for me to get into, but by the end, I loved Lando Sackett. Lando’s father left him in the care of an ill-advised man who stole the money left to him and didn’t care for young Lando. As a result, Lando ran away and raised himself in the cabin he and his father had occupied when the former was still around. Since he was not raised by his father, he doesn’t have the same skills and knowledge that most Sacketts possess. What he does have is the ability to think and plan and the courage that seems to be bred into the Sackett line.

Not having tested his abilities, Lando is hesitant to get into a fight, especially a gun fight. At one point, he and his travel companions are set upon by bandits, and he convinces them, through a bit of honest trickery, to leave instead of fight. I love what is said after, “Did you ever see the like? Looks right down a gun barrel and talks them out of it.” There is so much I admire about Lando. This is the decision he makes when he begins to see men who can use a gun quickly, “The first shot must score, and I must shape my mind to accept the fact that I must fire looking into a blazing gun. I must return that fire even though I was hit.” Again, I think that this is a good mentality, because we can’t all be great at everything. Some of us aren’t even going to be good at many things. But, we can fashion our minds to think that we will use what we have to the best of our ability. Also, to be realistic in what we can do. Don’t expect to win if you’re fighting/playing/racing someone with better talent or size than you. But, know how you’ll do, and plan from there.

But, my favorite thought of Lando’s is one that I have had so many times, but have never heard anybody else say. I loved to hear it, especially from a Sackett. If for no other reason than this, I will always have a special place in my heart for one Lando Sackett:

“Trouble with me was, I was a mighty poor hater. There was satisfaction in winning, but winning would have been better if nobody had to lose. That’s the way I’ve always felt, I guess.”