The Walking Drum (Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures)

The Walking Drum (Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures)

by Louis L'Amour

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Overview

As part of the Louis L’Amour’s Lost Treasures series, this edition contains exclusive bonus materials!
 
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 twelfth century.
 
Warrior, lover, and scholar, Kerbouchard is a daring seeker of knowledge and fortune bound on a journey of enormous challenge, danger, and revenge. Across Europe, over the Russian steppes, and through the Byzantine wonders of Constantinople, Kerbouchard is thrust into the treacheries, passions, violence, and dazzling wonders of a magnificent time.
 
From castle to slave galley, 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 in an ancient world that you will find every bit as riveting as Louis L’Amour’s stories of the American West.

Louis L’Amour’s Lost Treasures is a project created to release some of the author’s more unconventional manuscripts from the family archives.
 
In Louis L’Amour’s Lost Treasures: Volumes 1, Beau L’Amour takes the reader on a guided tour through many of the finished and unfinished short stories, novels, and treatments that his father was never able to publish during his lifetime. L’Amour’s never-before-seen first novel, No Traveller Returns, faithfully completed for this program, is a voyage into danger and violence on the high seas. These exciting publications will be followed by Louis L’Amour’s Lost Treasures: Volume 2.
 
Additionally, many beloved classics will be rereleased with an exclusive Lost Treasures postscript featuring previously unpublished material, including outlines, plot notes, and alternate drafts. These postscripts tell the story behind the stories that millions of readers have come to know and cherish.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781984817884
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/29/2019
Series: Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures Series
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 146,818
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Our foremost storyteller of the American West, Louis L’Amour has thrilled a nation by chronicling the adventures of the brave men and woman who settled the frontier. There are more than three hundred million copies of his books in print around the world.

Date of Birth:

March 22, 1908

Date of Death:

June 10, 1988

Place of Birth:

Jamestown, North Dakota

Education:

Self-educated

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
 
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.
 
Two…three…four…five!
 
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.”
 
He reached a hand to receive it, and I swung the stone.
 
Too late, Taillefeur threw up his arm to ward off the blow. He saved himself a crushed skull, but the blow felled him in his tracks.
 
Leaping over his body, I fled to the moors, and for the second time in a few hours the moors were my saving.
 
What boy does not know the land of his boyhood? Every cave, every dolmen, every dip in the land and hole in the hedges, and all that lonely, rockbound coast for miles.
 
There I had played and imagined myself in wars, and there I could run, dodge, and elude. As I had run that afternoon to evade the men of Tournemine, so I ran now.
 
Behind me Taillefeur staggered to his feet. He got up and, groggy from my blow, staggered into the wall. I heard him curse. He must have glimpsed me running, because he gave a great shout and started after me.
 
“Dodging into a hollow choked with brush, I scrambled through a tunnellike passage known to wolves and boys, and as the storm clouds were scattering like sheep to feed on the meadow of the sky, I came again to the cove.
 
The ship was there. The crew was ashore filling casks with water, and when they saw me coming, two of them drew swords and a third nocked an arrow to his bowstring, looking beyond to see if I was accompanied.
 
It was a squat, ill-painted vessel with a slanting mast and a single bank of oars, nothing like the sleek black ships of my father, who was a corsair.
 
The two who held swords advanced, looking fiercer when they realized I was but a boy, and alone.
 
“I would speak with your captain,” I said.
 
They indicated a squat man, running somewhat to fat, in a dirty red cloak. His skin was swarthy, his eyes deep-sunk and furtive. I liked not the look of him and would have withdrawn had not the men of Tournemine been behind me, and searching.
 
“A boy!” He spoke impatiently.
 
“But a tall boy,” one of them assured him, “and a strong lad, too!”
 
“Where do you sail?” I asked.
 
“Where the wind takes us.” He eyed me with no favor, yet with a measuring quality in his glance.
 
“To Cyprus, perhaps? Or Sicily?”
 
“He gave me quick attention, for such places were known to few but wandering merchants or Crusaders. But we upon this coast of Brittany were born to the sea. We were descendants of the Veneti, those Celtic seafaring men who, with their Druid priests, refused tribute to Rome and defied the legions of Julius Caesar.
 
“What do you know of Cyprus?” he sneered.
 
“My father may be there. I seek him.”
 
“It is a far place. What would a father of yours be doing there?”
 
“My father,” I said proudly, “is Kerbouchard!”
 
They were astonished, as I expected, for the ships of Kerbouchard harried the coasts; attacking the ships of many nations, trading beyond the farthest seas. My father’s name was legend.
 
“Your voyage would be useless. By the time you came to Cyprus, he would have sailed.”
 
“There were lessons I had yet to learn, and one was not to talk too much. “His ship has been sunk, and my father has been killed or sold into slavery. I must find him.”
 
The captain seemed relieved, for no man wishes to incur the displeasure of Kerbouchard, and he knew what he planned to do. Tall I was, and broader of shoulder than all but two of his crew.
 
“Ah? If you sail, will you work or pay?”
 
“If the price be not too great, I will pay.”
 
The men of the crew edged nearer, and I wished for a sword. Yet what choice remained? I must escape with them or face the dogs of Tournemine.
 
“I could offer a piece of gold,” I suggested.
 
“You would eat that much!” he said contemptuously, but his hard little eyes sharpened.
 
“Two pieces?”
 
“Where would a boy lay his hands upon gold?”
 
His sudden gesture took me by surprise, and before I could move to resist, I had been seized and thrown to the ground. Despite my struggles, the box was torn from my shirt and broken open. Bright gold spilled upon the sand, and some of the coins rolled, setting off a greedy scramble.
 
The captain took the gold from their reluctant fingers to be divided among the crew. “Take him aboard,” he commanded. “He has paid his way, but he shall work also or taste the whip.”
 
“My knife was jerked from its sheath by a moonfaced man with unkempt hair, who belted it. Him I would not forget. Damascus blades were hard to come by, and this was a gift from my father.
 
“You’ve learned something,” the captain said, maliciously. “Never show your money before strangers. But do your work, and you shall live to see Sicily. I know a Turk there who will pay a pretty price for such a handsome lad.” He grinned at me. “Although you may not long be a lad after he lays hands upon you.”
 
Bruised and battered I was, but when my foot touched the deck a thrill went along my spine. Yet when taken to my place at the slaves’ bench, and seeing the filth in which I must work, I tried to fight. That men could exist in such evil conditions seemed impossible, although there was little cleanliness in the houses along our coast, other than in my father’s house.
 
“He had traveled in Moslem lands in Africa and Spain, and brought to our house not only their rich fabrics but their way of living and their love of hot baths.
 
Shackled to my oar, I looked about me with distaste. How long I could endure this I had no idea, yet a time would come when I would learn how much a man can endure and yet survive. The condition of these galley slaves was abject, and I pitied them, and myself as well. Their backs bore evidence of what happened when their overseer walked along the benches with his whip.
 

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The Walking Drum 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 120 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Walking Drum by Louis Lamour is a very interesting story, one I haven't seen the like of yet. I really enjoyed it though, because it showed so much in the space of so little pages. The story takes you, and I say you because the entire book is written in first person, as in "I took the road" and it really draws you in, from the devastating loss of everything a boy knows to his quest for vengance, slavery aboard a ship, freedom and intellectual growth, to classic damsel in distress scenarios and daring swordfights, and countless brushes with death, all while showing a deeply philosophical side of how the people thought during these times. I know I am somewhat rambling, but it is hard to explain this book. Being that Im currently in AP World History and have learned much of the information here, I felt very comfortable with the story and surprised when things that I recognized from our AP textbook and even other information I had read or glanced over appeared right alongside Kerbouchard as he traveled from a pirate community to an intellectual powerhouse of Cordoba, and then to Europe, arriving in Paris, then to Keiv in the russian steppes and on to Constantinople. Watching him grow as the story progresses, and it does rather quickly, was very interesting and I was surprised when I finished the book that he had come all the way from a boy who didnt know what to do with himself. One of the interesting quirks I enjoyed in this book was that previous knowledge of history during this time isnt nessecarily needed; while you may recognize a few terms thrown around, like the Ummayyed and Abbasid Caliphates, or maybe that Cathay is another word for the Chinese, the author spends paragraphs on historical information that is revelant to what is happening in the story. For example, when Kerbouchard visited Paris the author went on about the history of learning in paris and how it had evolved, how students teneded to be poor, etc, and once you read it you had a better understanding of the situation and enviornment that Kerbouchard was in. These historical anecdotes really helped set the stage for Kerbouchard's travels. All of this simply goes to show how amazing this book was, I thouroughly enjoyed reading it and if you have the time (a day or two, at most) I would defintely recommend it. There was supposed to be an continuation of this story. Sadly, the author Louis died before he could wrtie the next books, so that makes this book doubly special.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book, it has every walks of life in it, love, adventure, education, you name it. I read this book about every 15 months!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of his best novels. The research that he does makes the story almost come alive. He was truly one of the best writers ever, and the greatest storyteller of the modern age
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book numerous times and every time I discover something I had not seen before.
Bill_Newman More than 1 year ago
I've read, and re-read, this book at least 3 times now. Each time I find something new. I wish Louis had written more about this era as well. I love his cowboy Westerns but I find even more interest in his historical fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Louis Lamour has been one of my favorite authors for a long time, and after I have read many of his books I noticed that almost all of his main characters are the same! Take the Sackett series for example, all his character say somthing similar to "I have a strong back and wide shoulders, I am tall for my age. And my father taught me use a sword." While the main character did say pretty much the same thing, he had a different personality than the Sackett's. Different to the point where I disliked the character for most of the story, but strangly I still wanted him to succeed... I thought the character was very arrogant, the way he assumed that every one would eventually do his will. The way he talked to some of the women he met should have given him a slap in the face. And the book would probably only be a few pages long if he didn't insult half the people he met. What I loved about the book is that you saw the character change, no other book i have read was like this in that sense. His personality changes similar to this Naive -> Heroic -> Eager to learn -> Arrogant -> Womenizer -> Humbled slightly -> Slightly arrogant -> Kind to a women (one) -> Heroic -> Than near the end he probably deserved to be slaped by this girl he was talking to but miraculously didnt, I guess women didnt get offended by perverts back then... Louis Lamour died before he could write the rest of the series. So we will never know hoe Mathurin's personality would have been in the end. But despite all I have said about the Mathurin having a bad personality I loved the book in most areas. I loved the time period it was set in, and like all Louis Lamour books it was fictional, but realistic. Although it was strange that pirates, bandits, and murderers were somwhat glorified in the book. And that Mathurin believed he could see the future. All in all it is one of my favorite books in my collection. Although the series wasnt complete it ended in a way that makes that okay. At least in my opinion, for the sake of not spoiling the story you will just have to read it yourself!
Bealsey More than 1 year ago
Loius L'Amour is a master storyteller and The Walking Drum is one of his best books.
Sam Titus More than 1 year ago
Different than louis usual work but his excellent story telling skills show through
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a fourteen year old girl and this was my first Louis L'amour book. I read it over the fourth of July weekend and realy enjoyed it. The story was great and verry well written, you really get into the characters. Not only did I love the story but there was a lot of history in it too, I learned more about the time period from this book than you could probably lean anywhere else. An exelent book for all teens and adults.
DragonFreak on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the times of the Dark Ages, a man named Kerbouchard travels from his Druid land in search for his long lost father, presumably dead.Soon, Kerbouchard realizes that his quest is a most dangerous one. He makes counltess friends, but several deadly enemies and meets women of all kinds. He becomes many things including a scholar and a merchant. But what lies ahead will push him to the limits in this epic tale from Louis L'Amour.
Literate.Ninja on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although (or maybe because) I grew up in the west, I have never been a great fan of L'Amour. So when my grandfather gave me this book, I was a little skeptical, even though he and I usually have similar tastes. But as I started to read it, I found that I really enjoyed it. The setting was 12th century Europe/Central Asia rather than 19th century America, and the characters were engaging. I couldn't wait to see what the the protagonist, Mathurin Kerbouchard, did next. That said, some of the scholarship was a tad wonky. You could tell that Mr. L'Amour had done research, but he'd done it out of outdated books. And Mathurin comes off as a bit unbelievable... Sort of a medieval James Bond. He travels from one end of the known world to the other, he defeats all challengers, romances all ladies, is a born leader, natural scholar, brilliant orator, etc, etc... after a while you start hoping he'll fail at something, just to see if he CAN. Still, I like the book quite a lot, and every so often I get the urge to re-read it, which is a good sign. Recommended for armchair historians, L'Amour fans, and people who like engaging narratives about super-humans. ^_~
PatBrooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the finest books I've ever read! Adventure in 12th century Europe with plenty of educational facts thrown in and an epic story with a larger-than-life hero. I've read it at least 6 times and will read it many more times before I die. You genuinely feel the story. A must for your go-to reading list.
nathanm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As a Louis L'Amour fan and medieval history buff, this novel disappointed me. I love reading his westerns, and his mysteries are just as good. Going into them, I know they're going to be formulaic, cliched, with predictable characters. But they're a great escape from my academic reading.It's obvious he did a lot of research and reading for the novel, and he clearly must've visited most of the locations where the story takes place. However, many of the facts in the book are based on outdated scholarship, even during the time he wrote it. I don't blame him for not being able to keep abreast of new developments in Crusade and medieval history. Many current college textbooks have the same problem.The protagonist is simply too great for one human being. Not only is he a matchless warrior and a scholar, everybody can't help but be impressed by him¿especially the ladies. His athletic ability, skill with weapons, ease of learning languages, good looks, and yes, Druid-trained photographic memory, allow him to go from rags to riches¿several times. In situation after situation, he somehow loses everything, only to slowly rise up again to hobnob with the rich and powerful.One of the most annoying aspects of this book is the constant, often pretentious, name-dropping of ancient and medieval writers. He describes several well-known and less popular works, but many times, he does no more than list their titles. The only saving grace of this novel is L'Amour's masterful storytelling ability. For all its flaws, it was still a fun read.
mashcan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is not a western, it's about medieval middle east. Ali Baba and the forty thieves kind of thing. Interesting. L'Amour did his research. Also filled with more idiotic testosterone than one book should be able to hold.
lorenelambert on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this book! I've read it at least 10 times. One of the best main characters in historical fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved learning such unknown history while enjoying a great adventure story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well worth the read!!
Angie_Lisle More than 1 year ago
The story structure is a roller coaster - after Mathurin Kerbouchard's mother is killed, he begins the quest to find his father who is rumored to have been captured or killed in battle. Sounds easy but it ain't - his inquisitiveness sets him up against multiple foes that enable him to rescue several pretty ladies, all of whom help him reach his goal of finding out what happened to his dad. The writing style is reminiscent of the 60s and 70s (lack of punctuation, missing the word that, etc), with a strong masculine flavor. Historical information packs this novel but the story doesn't always seam up with it well; the information sometimes feels out of place and, at times, lengthy (though L'Amour fails to challenge Tolkien's lengthy descriptions). Would have been interesting to see L'Amour tackle this time period in a nonfiction piece.
Royzee More than 1 year ago
This is the most boring Lois L'Amour book I have ever read. He describes in detail every book mentioned to be copied/translated or whatever. Sort of like reading the phone book.
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