Out on the Pampas was written by G.A. Henty, and it is one of the best books that I have read in a while. It had a nice simple story and still had many good adventures.
It starts with the Hardy Family in England. Mr. Hardy and his wife were having a conversation, and decided that moving to South America would give a better chance of career success for their sons. Specifically, on the Pampas in Argentina. An area that would be high risk of Indians. In the months before moving Mr. Hardy prepared all of the children. Their eldest child was named Charley. The second Herbert. First girl Maud. Last Ethel. All of the kids were very outgoing, and charismatic.
Charley and Herbert were both very excited thinking they would be able to fight the Indians. Their father Frank Hardy said that would be unlikely, but later in the story, it became mostly about their battles with the Indians. Charley was 15, Herbert was 14 Maud was 12 and Ethel was 11. Then, because of the recommendation from their father, the two brothers started working at many skills. Carpentry, shooting, farming, horseback riding, and other skills they might need out on the Pampas. The Girls also had much to learn. They were taught to cook, and clean, as well as all of their previous studies unlike the boys. This was because their mother said that as young women they needed to be educated. All of them started to learn Spanish as well. Mr. Hardy would take the boys out for them to practice shooting, and soon they got very good at it. However, the girls surpassed the boys in Spanish probably because of the many outdoor activities the boys had to do each day.
It was mentioned in the book that Charley preferred Carpentering and Herbert liked the gardening. These daily tasks made them quite tanned and muscular.
Four or five months of this work made a visible difference in the boys’
appearance. They both widened out across the shoulders, their arms
became strong and muscular, and they looked altogether more healthy
They bought twenty-five thousand acres of land that they could have for fields, pastures, hunting, and their house. They left for Argentina bringing a lot of Items like farming equipment and supplies that couldn’t be bought in Argentina. When they got there they stayed with some friends of Mr. Hardy’s, the Thompsons.
The girls, Mrs. Hardy and their maid Sarah stayed with them as the boys and Mr. Hardy went to prepare their estancia. An estancia is a South American Ranch. They worked on a garden and started building their house and the workers’ shacks. They continued to build up the land and buildings. After quite some time they were able to have the rest of the family come and live there. They named their estancia Mount Pleasant. They also bought some cattle and other stock.
As their estancia became more established it happened that the Indians attacked. The family went up into their lookout tower. As the Indians started climbing the wire fence they yelled terrifying war cries and charged the house. Mr. Hardy gave the signal and every one began to fire at them. The Indians began to get overwhelmed so much that they turned and ran. Mr. Hardy sent Charley and Herbert down to the cattle because he heard other Indians there as well.
My favourite aspect of all of the fights was the secret weapon that Mr. Hardy had brought. Fireworks. Indians would have never seen a or heard of a firework before. They took one and aimed it right over the cattle which sent the Indians screaming and fleeing. After that they chased the Indians into the woods and ended up defeating them there.
They lived in peace for quite a time and their property became quite profitable. But one time when Ethel was as some friends house, the Indians attacked them. Nobody was left alive except Ethel. They carried her off because the Indians did not like killing young women.
Her father brother servants and friends left to follow them. They followed for a long time then found her handkerchief attached to an arrow that belonged to one of the Indians they saved from their first encounter. So they knew she was alive.
I won’t spoil the ending because I think it is a very good book. I left out many adventures, so don’t think that you know all about it. Finally, I would highly recommend this book to anyone, It is a pretty easy read for a fifteen year old, but I think one could read it when a little younger even though were a few difficult parts.
Here is the link if you don’t have the book.