Although I had saved a little money during the war, I knew it would not last long. To write was imperative, and not only to write but to sell.
The western pioneers were select people, selected by themselves. They chose to break the mold, to leave all they knew behind and venture into new country, with new problems, new standards. Each one was expected to stand on his own two feet. He was moving of his own volition, on his own support system. Nobody was paying hos way or showing him the way; nobody had told him to go, or where to go. He simply packed what goods he could carry and headed west, looking for what chance might offer.
Man seeks a means to exist; then he strives to improve that situation. At first he wants something to eat; then he tries to store food against times of famine. He tries to find warmer furs, a better cave, a more secure life. He creates better weapons with which to defend himself, to form alliances that will assist in his protection. It is a normal, natural thing and has existed forever.
Success often means security, safety in your home, safety in your possessions. To me success has meant just two things: a good life for my family, and the money to buy books and continue the education of this wondering man, who has ceased to wander except in his memory, his thoughts, and the books he writes.
Books are precious things, bit more than that, they are the strong backbone of a civilization. They are the thread upon which it all hangs, and they can save us when all else is lost.
He opened a door for me that has never closed.
It was never part of my nature to focus on one area to the detriment of others. I wished to understand it all, and to have a clear picture in my mind of what was happening in all parts of the world. And wherever I could, I listened to all the stories of along the caravan trails, in bars, in coffee-or tea-houses, and wherever they might be heard.
Much of my life has been spent in deserts and mountains; much of what I have seen I remember. Sitting here now, I can close my eyes and see the desert in all its many aspects. There is no need to see it again, although I often shall, nor is there any need to go to the mountains, for the mountains are always with me. I have walked the high country; I have breathed its air, bedded down under its trees, watched the white clouds drift and the storm clouds gather. Far away, I have seen dust-devils do their weird dance and I have heard the pelting rain on the trees above me.