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Book Details

North to the Rails

64.3% complete
Never (or unknown...)
23 chapters
Book Cover
Has a genre Has an extract In my library In a series 
 Chantry Series*
#5 of 5
Chantry Series*   See series as if on a bookshelf
A series of western written by Louis L'Amour.

1) Fair Blows the Wind
2) The Ferguson Rifle
3) Over on the Dry Side
4) Borden Chantry
5) North to the Rails
Copyright © 1971 by Bantam Books, Inc.
To all the pioneers whose
   journals and letters have done
     so much to provide me with material
They could call it running away if they wanted to, but it made no sense to kill a man, or risk being killed over something so trivial.
May contain spoilers
The wind stirred, and a little dust drifted over the whitened bones, and then lay still.
No comments on file
Synopsis not on file
Extract (may contain spoilers)
Tom Chantry rode up to Clifton House and left his roan at the hitching rail.  He glanced at the other horses... six saddled horses, and a buckboard.  He had not yet acquired the westerners' habit of noting brands.

He went up the steps to the first-floor porch, and entered the door.  Several men standing at the bar turned to glance at him, but none offered a greeting or comment.  What his business was remained his business, no matter how curious they might be.

Chantry ordered a beer, then turned to the man beside him.  "Join me?"


He was a long-geared man in shotgun chaps and denim jacket, a faded blue shirt, and a tied-down gun.  "It's a dry country," the man added.

"I'm heading north.  Do you know the country along the Picketwire?"

"Some.  I just come overit."

"Water up there?"

"Enough.  But no more than enough.  The range is dryin' up."  He lifted the beer.  "Salud."

"Cheers."  Chantry drank, then said, "I'm Tom Chanty.  Driving north with a trail herd."

"Bone McCarthy.  I'm driftin'."

They talked in a desultory fashion, but with half his attention Chantry was listening for mention of the railroad.

"Seems a shame," McCarthy was saying.


"Them Injuns.  Takin' the country off 'em.  In good times it must've been a fine life they had, huntin' and fishin', or driftin' down the country on the trail of the buffalo.  I ain't sure what we'll do to the country will be any better."

"Have you lived among them?"

"Brought up around 'em.  I've fought 'em off an' on since I was a kid, and they're good fighters.  Maybe the best."

"But we've whipped them.  The army has, I mean."

"Lucked out, I'd say.  Mighty few Injuns have rifles and never enough ammunition to last out a fight, but you never seen their like for creepin', crawlin', bein' where they ain't expected.

"It won't be at war that the white man whips 'em.  He'll beat them with his store-bought things.  When the Injun made all he needed he had no troubles to speak of, but the white man showed him all sorts of things he was greedy for, and now he wants 'em.  He has to get 'em by war or by trade."


"That's the least of it, believe me.  Knives, guns, pots, pans, and such.  The Indian was whipped the first time a white trader came amongst them to trade with things the Injun couldn't make with his own hands."

"I hadn't looked at it that way."

Bone McCarthy took a swallow of his beer. "You're ridin' with a herd?  Whose?"

"Mine... if I can stay with it to the railhead.  French Williams is trail boss."

"Williams?  You got you a live one, amigo.  He's hell on wheels with a gun."

"Do you know him?"


Added: 28-Feb-2024
Last Updated: 08-Mar-2024


Bantam Books
Mass Market Paperback
In my libraryOrder from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Jan-1981
Mass Market Paperback
Cover Price:
Catalog ID:
Cover Link(s):
Internal ID:
United States
John Hamilton - Photographer

He came from the East to buy cattle, to the untamed land where there was no law but a man's courage.  He came to get his steers to the railroad, not to kill.  He was a peaceable man, but when French Williams and the local outlaws mistook him for a victim, there was lead to pay.



Our foremost storyteller of the authentic West, L'Amour has thrilled a nation by bringing to vivid life the brave men and women who settled the American frontier.  There are now over 100 million of his books in print around the world.
Book CoverBook Back CoverBook Spine
Notes and Comments:
A Bantam Book / February 1971
2nd printing ... March 1971
3rd printing ... April 1971
4th printing ... September 1971
5th printing ... December 1971
6th printing ... June 1972
7th printing ... April 1973
8th printing ... September 1973
9th printing ... October 1973
10th printing ... August 1974
11th printing ... April 1975
12th printing ... October 1975
13th printing ... February 1977
14th printing ... July 1977
15th printing ... May 1978
16th printing ... March 1979
17th printing ... July 1979
18th printing ... March 1980
19th printing ... January 1981
Twentieth printing based on the number line



Louis L'Amour  
Birth: 22 Mar 1908 Jamestown, North Dakota, USA
Death: 10 Jun 1988 Los Angeles, California, USA


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  • I try to maintain page numbers for audiobooks even though obviously there aren't any. I do this to keep track of pages read and I try to use the Kindle version page numbers for this.
  • Synopses marked with an asterisk (*) were generated by an AI. There aren't a lot since this is an iffy way to do it - AI seems to make stuff up.
  • When specific publication dates are unknown (ie prefixed with a "Cir"), I try to get the publication date that is closest to the specific printing that I can.
  • When listing chapters, I only list chapters relevant to the story. I will usually leave off Author Notes, Indices, Acknowledgements, etc unless they are relevant to the story or the book is non-fiction.
  • Page numbers on this site are for the end of the main story. I normally do not include appendices, extra material, and other miscellaneous stuff at the end of the book in the page count.

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Presented: 27-May-2024 03:54:16

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