Welcome to Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures. Within this site we hope to present a truly unique view of the private world of a working writer. Although we will be presenting completed articles, treatments and a few finished short stories, most of what we offer are documents that were never intended to be seen; unfinished stories, mistakes, dead ends, and planning notes; a behind the scenes look inside a career that lasted nearly sixty years.

It will be an on going process, although we have some idea of what we will be putting up in each edition, there is a certain amount of research that must be done in order to explain the meaning (or mystery) of each piece. So far as we can tell there is nothing like this site anywhere else; author's "papers" are usually locked up in university libraries or museums, contained and controlled by archivists for the sole use of academics.

Presenting these fragments is an odd

process, as frustrating as it is intriguing.

More than half of the documents we are posting here are unfinished and the reader who enters this site will discover their imagination challenged in many different ways. It takes a certain kind of approach to appreciate this sort of material, a fascination with the possibilities, with the potential, that the work might have had.


Stories will end at their most exciting moment and you will often see great ideas unfulfilled. This is how we want it to be. The unresolved nature of this material is part of the story of Louis's life; he pursued certain ideas until they became the novels and short stories that he completed and published yet others fell by the wayside. The decisions he made in choosing which stories to complete, must ultimately tell us something about the creative process

...... Beau L'Amour

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Sackett, Talon & 

Chantry Family Notes
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by Louis L'Amour
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An Unfinished Novel

Borden Chantry II - Chapter 1
Here we present in serialized form, Louis LíAmourís last, unfinished novel. Several chapters of the exciting sequel to the Louis L'Amour classic Borden Chantry.

He frowned, watching a distant buzzard against the sky. Something was wrong in his town, something he should know about but did not. He was a sensitive man, and he felt an uneasiness that should not be there. He shook his head, irritated with himself. He was becoming a fool, imagining things that were not there.

Continued . . .


Story Fragment

Carlan's Gold - is a good example of the way Louis would get a fundamental situation down before going on to work on another story.

"Walsh," Kavanaugh said, "if the girl says one word she shouldn't, kill the boy."

Mary's quieting hand was on her son's knee and she felt it tremble ever so slightly.

Continued . . .

Story Fragment

Kilkenny in Whetstone - Many years prior to the Sacketts, Louis wrote several series about Western heros. However, Kilkenny was the first reoccurring character to appear in novel form. Here is what must have been the first chapter in the seventh story about gunfighter Lance Kilkenny.

Gibson turned back to the stranger. "You stay away from my herd. I've no cattle but my own and my herd is not being cut. I don't care what authority you have." He had not bothered to examine the papers. "You stay away, do you hear?"

"I'll be out, Gibson." The stranger picked up a biscuit and began to butter it. "While I'm there I'll want to ask questions. I'll want to know what happened to young Art Collins, who drove that herd."

Continued . . .

Story Fragment

The Freeze - Given his interest in science and various phenomena it is actually kind of surprising that Louis didnít try to create more stories like this one which seems a perfect melding of his love for wilderness survival and the great mysteries of pre-history.

We should have known, all of us. It had happened before and there was nothing to prevent it happening again. We had the evidence...a dozen times mammoths or bison had been found frozen and completely preserved, even with green grass in their stomachs. The last time it had happened, a chap from Columbia University had established the time by carbon-dating...28,000 years before.

Continued . . .

Complete Story Treatment

Investment in Character - Although Dad liked to write a story out end to end without knowing exactly what was going to happen, occasionally he would write a treatment in order to explore where a story might go or to try to convince someone to buy it before it was written.

He has been cheated!

Then it all adds up, the old man on the train, his own free talk about what he was going to do, his plans, ect.. The arrival in town, introduction, and the game. He is enraged, but suddenly, he has a plan.

Continued . . .

Louis' Notes on the Novel

To the Far Blue Mountains - Dadís hand written notes where he set down some of his ideas for the second Sackett novel.

Continued . . .

Adventure Travel Article

The Lost Golden City of Manos - Lands of Romance was a competitor to National Geographic that lasted only a few years. The Lost Golden City of Manos was one of a series of travel articles that Dad wrote for Lands of Romance.

Somewhere, in a vast, lonely region of Brazilian jungle, in a curious blend of beauty and sudden death, is a ruined city. The fabulous Golden City of Manos, the lost religious capital of a vanished civilization.

Continued . . .

A Word About Louis'
Work Habits

To understand what the materials in this site mean and to understand what role they played in Louis's creative process you must know a bit about how he worked and what his methods were.

First and foremost, Louis L'Amour's talents were shaped by the economic realities of the 1930s. In those days there was a tremendous market for short stories. They were mostly published in magazines and they were broken up into roughly three categories; the quality or literary magazines, which ran the more cutting edge or "arty" stories; the "slick" (so called because of the glossy paper they used) magazines, which ran all the best stories written by the most popular authors; and the "pulps" (using rough pulp paper like a newspaper or paperback book) which ran the widest variety of material to a more man-on-the-street type of audience.

Because the quality publications rarely paid anything at all and the slick magazines didn't pay until the story actually came out, Louis wrote mostly for the pulps. The rates were low, often very low, but if they accepted your story they would pay right away and, for a man living on the edge of poverty, right away was important.

Continued . . . .


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