The Walking Drum [Secure eReader (recommended)/Microsoft Reader/Adobe PDF]
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by Louis L'Amour
Description: Here is an historic adventure of extraordinary power waiting to sweep you away to exotic lands as one of the most popular writers of our time conquers new storytelling worlds. Louis L'Amour has been best known for his ability to capture the spirit and drama of the authentic American West. Now he guides his readers to an even more distant frontier--the enthralling lands of the 12th century. At the center of The Walking Drum is Kerbouchard, one of L'Amour's greatest heroes. Warrior, lover, scholar, Kerbouchard is a daring seeker of knowledge and fortune bound on a journey of enormous challenge, danger and revenge. Across the Europe, the Russian steppes and through the Byzantine wonder of Constantinople, gateway to Asia, Kerbouchard is thrust into the heart of the treacheries, passions, violence and dazzling wonders of a magnificent time. From castle to slave gallery, from sword-racked battlefields to a princess's secret chamber, and ultimately, to the impregnable fortress of the Valley of Assassins, The Walking Drum is a powerful adventure of an ancient world you will find every bit as riveting as Louis L'Amour's stories of the American West.
eBook Publisher: Random House, Inc./Bantam,
EPIC eBookstore Release Date: May 2005
18 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats [Secure eReader (recommended)/Microsoft Reader/Adobe PDF - What's this?]: SECURE MICROSOFT READER FORMAT [1.5 MB] - Requires Microsoft Reader 2.1.1 for PCs, SECURE EREADER (RECOMMENDED) FORMAT [521 KB], SECURE ADOBE PDF FORMAT [1.8 MB]
All formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
GEOGRAPHIC RESTRICTIONS: Available to customers in: US, PR, VI, UM What's this
NOTHING MOVED BUT the wind and only a few last, lingering drops of rain, only a blowing of water off the ruined wall. Listening, I heard no other sound. My imagination was creating foes where none existed.
Only hours ago death had visited this place. This heap of charred ruins had been my home, and a night ago I had lain staring into the darkness of the ceiling, dreaming as always of lands beyond the sea.
Now my mother lay in a shallow grave, dug by my own hands, and my home was a ruin where rainwater gathered in the hollows of the ancient stone floor, a floor put down by my ancestors before memory began.
Already dawn was suggesting itself to the sky. Waiting an instant longer, my knife held low in my fist, I told myself, "I will have that gold or kill any who comes between it and me."
Fire no longer smoldered among the fallen roof beams, for rain had damped it out, leaving the smell of charred wood when it has become wet, and the smell of death.
Darting from the shadows to the well coping, I ran my hand down inside the mouth of the well, counting down the cold stones.
With the point of my fine Damascus dagger, I worked at the mortar. Despite the damp chill, perspiration beaded my brow. At any time the men of Tournemine might return.
The stone loosened. Working it free with my fingers, I lifted it to the well coping. Sheathing my knife, I ran my fingers into the hole, feeling for the box my father had hidden there. They touched wood. Gently, carefully, I drew it from the hole, a small box of strange-smelling wood. Then from behind me, a soft footfall!
Turning, I saw that a dark figure loomed before me. So large a man could only be Taillefeur, lieutenant to the Baron de Tournemine, a veteran of mercenary wars.
"So!" Taillefeur was pleased. "I was right! The old wolf hid treasure, and the cub has returned for it."
"It is nothing," I lied, "some trifles my father left me."
"Let me have those trifles"—Taillefeur extended his hand—"and you can be on your way. Let Tournemine hunt his own children."
The night was cold. The wind chilled my body beneath the rain-soaked clothing. Nearby a large drop fell into a puddle with a faint plop.
Among those who stopped at the house of my father over the years had been a lean and savage man with a knife-scarred, pockmarked skin. Grasping my arm with fingers that bit into my flesh like claws, he grinned a lopsided grin and advised, "Trust to your wits, boy, and to your good right hand."
He had emptied his glass, leering. "And if you've a good left and some gold, that helps, too!"
My left—my left hand rested upon the stone I had removed from the well coping.
Boy I might be, but I was tall and strong as a man, dark as an Arab from the sun, for I was not long from the fishing banks beyond Iceland where I had gone with men from the isle of Brehat.
"If I give you the box," I said as I gripped the stone tighter, "you will let me go?"
"You are nothing to me. Give me the box."
Copyright © 1984 by Louis L'Amour Enterprises, Inc.