Under the Sweetwater Rim Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Under the Sweetwater Rim

Two childhood friends must face each other as adults as they fight for $60,000 in gold in the old west. Ten Brian and Reuben Kelsey were the only survivors of an indian attack on their wagon train. Both being 16 years old, they became friends as they struggled to get back to civilization.
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Years passed as the two boys took very different roads…Ten became a soldier, serving in the Foreign Legion as well as here in the States. He traveled the world and spoke several languages. He also became the perfect soldier, respected by his men and enemies alike.

Reuben Kelsey became an Outlaw.

Kelsey and his men had been attacking wagon trains dressed as Indians. They would kill everyone, leaving no witnesses and then take all they could find. The Indians would be blamed for the massacres and no one would even think Kelsey was involved.

A wagon train secretly carrying $60,000 in gold, the army payroll, was traveling thru Kelsey's area. Along with the wagon train was Belle Renick and Mary Devereaux, daughter of Major Mark Devereaux.

Ten Brian had heard that the wagon train was to be robbed and left his post to take warn the train and make sure that the women were safe. Upon arriving at the train, he found that his warning was not accepted by the wagon master as he refused to stop. Brian , using his rank took charge of the four military personnel that were unknowingly guarding the gold and the two women, Belle and Mary.

Mary was in love with Brian tho he didn't feel worthy . Major Devereaux also felt that Brian wasn't worthy although he did respect his abilities.

Brian, the women and his small command left the wagon train with the small ambulance wagon the contained the gold.

The wagon train continued on only to be massacred by Kelsey and his men.

Major Devereaux and his troops come across the remains and realize that this was not the work of Indians but of Kelsey. Also knowing that Kelsey and Brian were one time friends he fears that they had joined together and taken not only the gold but his daughter as well.

Knowing the territory, Brian is able to hide and out run Kelsey for awhile before their paths finally cross. In a skirmish, Brian is wounded as Kelsey and his men take the gold and the women.

Being greedy, Kelsey had no plan to sure the gold with his men as he sent them out looking for Brian he took the gold and women and headed for a hideout that he had prepared in advance. As he came across his men , he began to kill them off. In one such encounter he loses the women but still keeps possession of the gold and goes to his hidden cabin.

Brian rescues the women and starts to make his way back to the fort .

Indians that have come across Kelsey's trail follow him to his cabin and steal his horses. Knowing that he can't survive and escape without horses , Kelsey heads out on foot only to across Brian and the women.

The two "one time friends" finally have to face each other. Brian ends up killing Kelsey and is then found by Devereaux's troops. He is arrested and brought back to the fort with the gold and women safe.

When the Major hears the whole story, Brian is released and the Major thanks him for saving the payroll and his daughter. Brian has also earned the respect and blessing of Devereaux for Mary's hand.
Best part of story, including ending: I really like the conflict between Brian and Kelsey….on one hand they had saved each others lives and were fast friends…on the other, they were on two very opposite sides and felt bad about what must happen...

Best scene in story: When Brian and Kelsey finally meet up for the final showdown, it's obvious that they are still friends and neither wants what's going to happen to happen.

Opinion about the main character: Ten Brian knows his duty. He is a good soldier and does what has to be done…….. even if it means killing his friend.

The review of this Book prepared by S.Morrison a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of Under the Sweetwater Rim

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 50%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 10%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   1600-1899 Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Western    -   Yes Story primarily about    -   fighting outlaws

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   infantry soldier Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


Mountains/Cliffs    -   Yes Mountains:    -   climbing on trails    -   falling off

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Louis L'Amour Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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