Yondering, by Louis L'amour


Yondering is a collection of short stories by Louis L'Amour, published in 1980. Unlike his traditional Old West subject matter, Yondering contains a mix of adventure and character studies, primarily set in the first half of the 20th century.

The best way to understand why L’Amour would write the type of stories in Yondering is to read his book The Education of a Wandering Man that starts with him dropping out of school at age 15 becoming a wandering young man. He first became a hobo on the Southern Pacific Railroad, then a Cattle Skinner in Texas. He even became a world traveler, merchant seaman, based in Singapore. He made a living anyway he could. He worked as a hired hand, cowboy, and even as a prize fighter. He traveled the rails, lived in hobo camps, and learned while listening to men around the fires in the evening teaching him to be a natural storyteller.

Yondering tells stories that likely had there setting in early travels before L’Amour settled on western plots. It contains two stories that are set in the World War 11 time period and others in oceans and cities and mountains throughout the world

L’Amour said about the stories: “I have collected some of these in Yondering. They are glimpses of what my own life was like during the early years. Those were the rough years; often I was hungry, out of work and facing situations such as I have since written about.”

The stories are interesting. They bring the time and places into real focus and represent some of his best work. Your left wishing, he had written an entire book rather than just a short story.

Quote by Louis L’Amour

"When I die, remember that what you knew of me is with you always. What is buried is only the shell of what was. Do not regret the shell, but remember the man. Remember the father."

"Up to a point a person’s life is shaped by environment, heredity, and changes in the world about them. Then there comes a time when it lies within their grasp to shape the clay of their life into the sort of thing they wish it to be. Only the weak blame parents, their race, their times, lack of good fortune or the quirks of fate. Everyone has the power to say, "This I am today. That I shall be tomorrow."

"There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning."

"There are good men everywhere. I only wish they had louder voices."

"The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast, and you miss all you are traveling for."

"Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more."