The Empty Land, A Novel, by Louis L'Amour


A trapper found a chunk of gold, and in six days Confusion, a new gold-mining boom town near todays Ely, Nevada, appeared where there had been nothing for thousands of years. New discoveries always attracted honest men who came to work the mines, but along with them came thieves, gamblers and outlaws. In just a few days several thousand men and some women came.

Dick Felton was committed to digging his fortune out of a muddy hillside but the town itself was his biggest challenge. Matt Coburn found himself in the new town and his reputation for being a hardened realist and a man that had cleaned up tough towns before had followed him.  The town lacked law and order and the mines themselves became the target of a violent plot. Matt Coburn wanted no part of Confusion because too many of his enemies knew he was there, but he found himself with only one way out with honor, but it could cost him his life.

On one side are those who understand only brute force. On the other are men who want law and order but are ready to use a noose to achieve their ends.  Matt Coburn and Dick Felton are the only thing separating these two sides, outnumbered and outgunned, they can’t afford to be outmaneuvered. For as the two unlikely allies confront corruption, betrayal, and murder to tame a town where the discovery of gold can mean either the fortune of a lifetime or a sentence of death, they realize that any move could be their last.

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Quotes by Louis L'Amour

“If you’re going to have peace rather than violence, both sides have got to want it. One side alone can’t make peace.”