The Law

“The law – ”

“Ma’am, I respect the law. We need it, but we don’t have any more protection than we can give ourselves. There ain’t an officer of any kind within a hundred miles, and even if they were around, they can’t act until after the fact, ma’am. After your horse is stole or you’re dead, they can hunt down those who done it, but you’re just as dead as if there was no law. Any man who steals my horse has bought hisself a ticket.” – The Cherokee Trail by Louis L’Amour

The Cherokee Trail

Before the war, she knew of this only as a vague place called the West. It was where people went and so few returned. The East she knew was a place of established families, businesses that had been in operation for many years, children whose great-grandparents had been young together, and it had been a good world in so many ways, a safe world.

That was not true here. Everything was new; everything was building. It was rough, hard, and unpolished. The law was around but never in the way. Men were expected to handle their own difficulties, and courage was the most respected virtue, with integrity a close second. Many a man whom you might call a thief with impunity would shoot you if you called him a liar or a coward. – The Cherokee Trail by Louis L’Amour

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