Finished May 7
Road to Reckoning by Robert Lautner, read by Holter Graham
This novel is told by a man looking back at the experiences of just a few days, experiences that changed his life forever.
The year is 1837. Thomas Walker is twelve and has lived in New York all his life. He has been homeschooled by his aunt who lives with him and his father. His father has often taken him with him as he went door-to-door selling spectacles. But his father has now decided to try selling Samuel Colt's new invention, the Improved Revolving Gun, and again he wants Thomas with him.
After visiting Colt's business in New Jersey, the two set off across Pennsylvania with their horse and wagon, sample merchandise, an order book, and supplies.
By chance, they come across a group of men looking for trouble, looking hard enough to follow the two travellers when they try to avoid such trouble, and Thomas' father is murdered, and most of his their belongings stolen.
Thomas goes back to the last two that they visited, to the shopkeeper they sold their last order to, and where they first met the men that attacked them. There, Thomas finds an older man, one with a long history of defying trouble, one who was once an Indiana Ranger. His name is Henry Stands, and he refuses the request to escort Thomas back east, to a town that has law that can take on Thomas' problem. But Thomas sees his chance, and takes matters into his own hands.
As the two go along, they find that it isn't just a matter of travelling back to the town with county lawmen, but they must also evade the thieves that have had second thoughts about letting Thomas go, and about other unsavory characters, some obvious, some not, that lie along their route.
This is a beautifully told tale, one of a boy forced into dealing with adult issues too soon, and dealing with a devastating loss. It is a tale of the history of the revolver, and the changes it brought to America. It is the tale of a man looking back, with the knowledge of the life lived since.