WAY TO THE GOLD by Wilbur Daniel Steele


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Here is a Steele novel that comes off. He has a good story to tell, and he has told it with skillful plotting and execution, and with more directness in the telling than in some of his previous tales. An ancient train robbery has remained unsolved through a generation, while the sole surviving robber shuts the secret of the cache behind an impenetrable silence. His cellmate, Joe Mundy, whose very naivete has resulted in his being railroaded first to reform school, then to jail, is made the fall guy. When his pardon comes through, old Ned teaches him the litany of his secret memory of the road to the gold- and dies just as Joe is released. Here is the story of Joe's bumbling progress to his dream of wealth. Distrustful of friendship when offered, afraid of accepting any normal offers of jobs, Joe still manages to lay his plans, and by circuitous routes to launch out on the journey to the gold. But meantime, his emotions have trapped him into romance. His spontaneous instincts have involved him in the doings of the town- even to becoming a bit of a hero. His suspicions have been lulled often enough so that he gets into difficulties with one after another of the descendants of the gangsters who had died for the gold. And the surprise ending- as Joe and his girl spend their honeymoon on the ""way to the gold"" -- reveals unsuspected identities of the principals and a satisfying solution for those concerned....Here is that unique sort of western adventure (the setting is our Northwest) that made books like The Track of the Cat and Ox Box Incident and Shane stand out from the standard brand westerns. Character, plotting and background combine to make this holding drama.

Pub Date: July 28th, 1955
Publisher: Doubleday