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About humanitysdarkerside

Bibliophile, small-time activist, ASD, blogger
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Drift Fence, 1936 film

Drift Fence (my book-review): Information from IMDB

Produced by Paramount Pictures, Harold Hurley, William T. Lackey and Henry Herzbrun

Directed by Otho Lovering

Adapted by Robert Yost and Stuart Anthony

Cast:
Buster Crabbe Larry “Buster” Crabbe …Slinger Dunn

Katherine DeMille Katherine DeMille …Molly Dunn

Tom Keene Tom Keene …Jim Travis

Benny Baker Benny Baker …Jim Traft

Leif Erickson Glenn “Leif” Erickson …Curley Prentiss

Stanley Andrews Stanley Andrews …Clay Jackson

Effie Ellsler …Granny Dunn

Richard Carle Richard Carle …Sheriff Bingham

Jan Duggan Jan Duggan …Carrie Bingham

Irving Bacon Irving Bacon …Windy Watkins, Traft Foreman

Richard Alexander Richard Alexander …Henchman Seth Haverly

Budd Fine …Henchman Sam Haverly

Walter Long Walter Long …Bev Wilson

Curley Baldwin …Man at Dance

Ed Brady Ed Brady …Jackson Henchman

Charles Brinley Charles Brinley …Barfly

Jack Rube Clifford …Rodeo Announcer

Chester Gan Chester Gan …Clarence

Frank O'Connor Frank O’Connor …Bartender at Mace’s Saloon

Jack Pennick …Weary

Bob Reeves Bob Reeves …Henchman

Don Roberts …Guncheck Room Clerk

Henry Roquemore …Rodeo Judge

Tom Smith Tom Smith …Man at Dance

Cinematography by Virgil Miller

Film Editing by Everett Douglas

Art Direction by Hans Dreier and David S. Garber

Set Decoration by A.E. Freudeman

Sound recording by John Cope and Charles Hisserich

Composed by John Leipold and Ralph Rainger

Presented by Adolph Zukor

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Posted by on 2018-07-15 in Movies

 

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The Call of the Canyon, 1923 film-clip

The Call of the Canyon (1923)

Glenn Kilbourne (Richard Dix) returns from the war and travels to Arizona to regain his health. There he is nursed back to health by an Arizona girl, Flo Hutter (Marjorie Daw). Kilbourne’s fiancée, Carley Burch (Lois Wilson), arrives in Arizona but soon becomes disillusioned with life in the West and returns to New York. Sometime later, Flo is seriously injured in an accident. Wanting to repay her for restoring him back to health, Glenn asks her to marry him. On their wedding day, Carley returns to Arizona from New York looking for Glenn. When Flo sees that Glenn and Carley are still in love, she calls off her wedding to Glenn and marries another admirer, Lee Stanton (Leonard Clapham). (Wikipedia)

Directed by Victor Fleming
Written by Zane Grey, Adapted by Edfrid A. Bingham and Doris Schroeder

Produced by Paramount Pictures

Cast (in credits order) complete, awaiting verification
Richard Dix Richard Dix… Glenn Kilbourne
Lois Wilson Lois Wilson…Carley Burch
Marjorie Daw Marjorie Daw …Flo Hunter

Noah Beery Noah Beery …Haze Ruff

Ricardo Cortez Ricardo Cortez …Larry Morrison

Fred Huntley …Tom Hutter

Lillian Leighton Lillian Leighton …Mrs. Hutter

Helen Dunbar Helen Dunbar …Aunt Mary

Tom London Tom London …Lee Stanton (as Leonard Clapham)

Eddie Clayton …Tenney Jones (as Edward Clayton)

Dorothy Seastrom Dorothy Seastrom …Eleanor Harmon

Laura Anson …Beatrice Lovell

Charles Richards …Roger Newton

Ralph Yearsley …Charlie Oatmeal

Arthur Rankin Arthur Rankin …Virgil Rust

Mervyn LeRoy Mervyn LeRoy …Jack Rawlins

Cinematography by James Wong Howe

Props by Henry Hathaway

Costume and Wardrobe by Mervyn LeRoy

Presented by Jesse L. Lasky

 
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Posted by on 2018-07-02 in Movies

 

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West of the Pecos, 1945 filmadaptation

West of the Pecos, 1945. Information from IMDB

“Heading west for his health, Colonel Lambeth takes his daughter Rill along. Lost on the desert they are saved by Pecos and Chito. The Colonel hires the two and the Lambeths soon find themselves mixed up in Pecos’ trouble. Pecos has killed Sawtelle’s brother and Sawtelle as head of the vigilantes is after him.” (Maurice VanAuken)

Produced by RKO Radio Pictures

  • Executive producer Sid Rogell
  • Producer Herman Schlom

Directed by Edward Killy

  • Assistant director Harry Mancke

Adapted by Norman Houston

Robert Mitchum Robert Mitchum …Pecos Smith

Barbara Hale Barbara Hale …Rill Lambeth

Richard Martin Richard Martin …Chito Rafferty

Thurston Hall Thurston Hall …Colonel Lambeth

Rita Corday Rita Corday …Suzanne

Russell Hopton Russell Hopton …Jeff Slinger

Bill Williams Bill Williams …Stage Guard Tex

Bruce Edwards Bruce Edwards …Clyde Corbin

Harry Woods Harry Woods …Brad Sawtelle

Perc Launders …Sam Sawtelle

Bryant Washburn Bryant Washburn …Doc Howard

Philip Morris …U.S. Marshal

Martin Garralaga Martin Garralaga …Don Manuel

Robert Andersen Robert Andersen …Gambler

Alfredo Berumen …Alfredo

Eumenio Blanco …Party Guest

Sammy Blum …Gambler

Archie Butler …Vigilante

Italia DeNubila …Dancer

John Eberts …Party Guest

Jack Gargan …Ed – The Bartender

Edmund Glover Edmund Glover …Undetermined

Carmen Grenada …Spanish Girl

Herman Hack Herman Hack …Gambler

Carl Kent Carl Kent …Undetermined

Ethan Laidlaw Ethan Laidlaw …Vigilante Henchman

Allan Lee …Four-Up Driver

Frank O'Connor Frank O’Connor …Vigilante

Cliff Parkinson …Vigilante

Jose Portugal …Party Guest

Paul Ravel …Party Guest

Joe Rickson …Joe – Townsman

Jason Robards Sr. Jason Robards Sr. …Undetermined

Robert Robinson …Townsman

Ariel Sherry …Mexican Girl

Jack Tornek Jack Tornek …Townsman

Virginia Wave …Mexican Girl

Larry Wheat Larry Wheat …Butler

Henry Wills Henry Wills …Vigilante

Art by Lucius O. Croxton and Albert S. D’Agostino

  • Set decoration by Darrell Silvera and William Stevens

Cinematography by Harry J. Wild

  • On second camera Charles Straumer

Music composed by Paul Sawtell

  • Music directed by C. Bakaleinikoff
  • Mixed by Earl B. Mounce
  • Sounds created by John E. Tribby
  • Sound recordings by Terry Kellum

Costume Design by Renié (Irene Brouillet)

Film Editing by Roland Gross

Stunts by Henry Wills


Dubbed foreign editions:

  • Brazilian Portugese: A Oeste de Pecos
  • French: A l’Ouest du Pecos
  • Italian: Bella Aventura
  • Spanish: La gran aventura
 
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Posted by on 2018-06-28 in Movies

 

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The Arizona Raiders, 1936 film adaptation

The Arizona Raiders, 1936

Laramie Nelson (Buster Crabbe) falsely accused of horse-stealing, is about to be strung up by a posse when a sudden lurch of his horse knocks down his would-be executioners, and he makes his escape. He soon comes upon another hanging posse and saves “Honest” Tracks Williams (Raymond Hatton), accused of a long, long list of minor crimes, and the two ride off together. They come to a small Arizona town, and their first encounter is with attorney Monroe Adams (Grant Withers) and his client, Harriet Lindsay (Marsha Hunt), owner of the large, prosperous Spanish Peaks ranch. Harriet and Adams have come to town to stop the marriage of her young sister, Lenta (Betty Jane Rhodes), to shy young Alonzo “Lonesome” Mulhall (Johnny Downs). They are successful, and Alonzo is jailed, along with Tracks, following his attempt to shoot up the town. Tracks offers to arrange an elopement for Alonzo as soon as they are out of jail. Laramie gets them out of jail ahead of schedule by stampeding a herd of … Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Directed by James P. Hogan

Adapted from Zane Grey’s “Raiders of Spanish Peaks” by Robert Yost and John W. Krafft

Cast (in credits order)

Buster Crabbe Buster Crabbe Laramie Nelson (as Larry Crabbe)
Raymond Hatton Raymond Hatton Tracks Williams
Marsha Hunt Marsha Hunt Harriett Lindsay
Betty Jane Rhodes Betty Jane Rhodes Lenta Lindsay (as Jane Rhodes)
Johnny Downs Johnny Downs Lonesome Alonzo Q. Mulhall
Grant Withers Grant Withers Monroe Adams, Harriett’s lawyer
Don Rowan Henchman Luke Arledge
Arthur Aylesworth Arthur Aylesworth Andy Winthrop
Richard Carle Richard Carle Boswell Albernathy, Justice of the Peace
Petra Silva Tiny – the Maid
Ken Cooper Ken Cooper Lynch Mob Member
Augie Gomez Cowboy
Spike Spackman Cowboy
James P. Burtis Second Sheriff at Hanging (uncredited)
Bob Card Bob Card Deputy (uncredited)
Herbert Heywood First Sheriff at Hanging (uncredited)
Billy Lee Billy Lee Little Boy (uncredited)

Produced by A.M. Botsford and Daniel Keefe
Cinematography by Leo Tover
Film Editing by Chandler House
Art Direction by Hans Dreier and Robert Odell
Set Decoration by interior decorator A.E. Freudeman
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Harry Scott
Sound Department by sound recordists Charles Hisserich and Don Johnson
Stunts by Ken Cooper and Spike Spackman
Composed by Gerard Carbonara, Hugo Friedhofer, Sigmund Krumgold, John Leipold and Heinz Roemheld
Presenter Adolph Zukor

 
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Posted by on 2018-06-24 in Movies

 

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Raiders of Spanish Peaks, 1931

“Raiders of the Spanish Peaks” first saw light of day in December 1931 as a serial in the recently established magazine “Country Gentleman”. It ran as a six-part story until May 1932. Then, in 1938 it was published by Harper & Bros. Later it reappeared in Zane Grey’s Western Magazine 4(5) in 1950 and as a Dell picturized edition called “The Rustlers” in 1954.

Zane Grey always has a theme for his historical romances. He tries to keep them true to the times, using historical people and places to emphasize his messages. Charles “Buffalo” Jones conveys the importance of understanding stories from its time and place in history. He also tries to convey the idea that all stories have two sides to them. “Raiders of the Spanish Peaks” is set to the 1880s in Kansas and Colorado. At that time Comanchee, Ute, Kiowa and Arapaho tribes were still being removed from lands wanted by cattle ranchers into reservations. Jones refers to one of the darkest times in the history in the US, a time described well in Zane Grey’s “The Thundering Herd“.

Character-wise Grey likes to use men and women (often tenderfeet) who grow into his ideal westerner (see “Code of the West“). “Raiders of Spanish Peaks” is no different in that regard. There are two main characters (Laramie Nelson and Harriet Lindsay) and two secondary characters (Lonesome Mulhall and Lenta Lindsay). Other semi-important ones are Ted Williams, Florence Lindsay, Neale Lindsay, Lester Allen, Luke Arlidge and Mr. and Mrs. Lindsay. “Raiders of Spanish Peaks” starts with Laramie Nelson’s story.

LARAMIE’S horse went lame, and as Wingfoot was the only living creature he had to care for, he halted at midday, without thought of his own needs.

After one too many gun-plays Laramie felt the need to leave a certain Kansas Ranch behind (along with Luke Arlidge). He is a 25-year old Texan gun-slinger and grubrider (a cowhand riding from ranch to ranch finding whatever work was available). With him went his horse, saddle and tack, wool-blanket, canteen, gun and saddlebag. He and Wingfoot found themselves in an idyllic valley in southern central Kansas. He woke to the sound of men up to no good.

“Thet’s my answer, Mulhall,” replied Price, curtly. “I’ll tell somebody yu took yore medicine yellow.”

“——!” burst out the bound rider, furiously. “I knowed it. Yu’re hangin’ me ’cause she has no use fer yu. . . . Go ahead an’ string me up yu ——! . . . She’ll be onto yu. Hank or Bill will give yu away some day. An’ she’ll hate yu——”

“Shet up,” snapped Price, jerking the lasso so tight round Mulhall’s neck as to cut short his speech and sway him in the saddle.

Which is how Laramie and “Lonesome” Mulhall come to ride together. Lonesome has two weaknesses that keep on getting him into trouble. The first he shares with Zane Grey (according to his biographies), women. Lonesome (16) loves them and they love him right back. The second is the itch to acquire whatever is not tied down. Laramie is lonely, and has hopes of Lonesome growing up, so he invites Lonesome along.

They ride into a newish Dodge City to stock up on hardtack, they run into the final member of their threesome: Ted “Track” Williams (19). He is stuck in jail and wants the two to spring him.

“Sheriff and his deputies made a raid to lock up a lot of newcomers. And I happened to be one.”

Times being what they were, Lonesome and Laramie decide to go fulfill his request, and that night the threesome becomes “The Three Range Riders”.

“Laramie’s fame with a gun, Williams’ as a tracker, Lonesome’s irresistible attraction and weakness for women, preceded them in many instances, and in all soon discovered them.”

The three of them could not be parted. If one was hired, all had to be hired. If one was let go, the other two left as well. Jobs weren’t easy to come but Laramie kept the two others in line as much as possible.

… the frontier was changing from the bloody Indian wars and buffalo massacres a few years back to the cattle regime and the development of the rustler. For young men the life grew harder, for not only did the peril to existence increase, but also the peril of moral ruin. The gambler, the prostitute, the rustler, the desperado, the notoriety-seeking, as well as the real gunman, followed hard on the advent of the stock-raising.

Laramie prayed for a miracle. The Three Range Riders decide to give the straight and narrow one more try and come to Garden city. Once the pesky tribes had been driven off, the Fulton brothers laid claim to large sections of the townsite. It is here that Laramie finds a solution to their needs.

Laramie strode on until he came to a pretentious hotel, and was entering the lobby, followed by his reluctant and grumbling partners, when suddenly he was halted by a man.

“Look out, Lonesome! Duck!” called Tracks, who was ahead.

But the Westerner with the broad-brimmed sombrero let out a whoop.

Laramie! . . . By the Lord Harry, where’d you come from?”

Quick as a flash Laramie recognized the lean, lined, tanned face with its gray eyes of piercing quality.

“Buffalo Jones or I’m a daid sinner! I shore am glad to meet yu heah.”

The story then changes POV to the Lindsay family. John Lindsay is an “iron-gray-haired man of fifty years, and of fine appearance except for an extreme pallor which indicated a tubercular condition”. He had left Upper Sandusky, OH, with his family to find himself a better climate. His family insisted they go with him  so Lindsay sold everything they had. We first meet the family in Garden City at the Elk Hotel. Mrs. NN Lindsay is an anxious person who likes to entertain. His oldest daughter is Harriet “Hallie/Hal” (25), his accountant, financial advisor and money handler and “the sanity and strength of this family“. Florence (19) is the beauty of the family and concerned with beautiful things. Neale (18) is the only boy and his mother’s favourite. Lenta (16) is the most spirited and adventuresome of the four.

John Lindsay bought Spanish Peaks Ranch (“…an old fort. Built by trappers who traded with the Utes an’ Kiowas. There’s a fine spring comes right up inside the patio an’ some big cottonwoods…“) along with 10000 heads of cattle from Lester Allen. Allen told them he would  leave a crew led by his foreman, Luke Arlidge. Harriet was not impressed with either of them. All of them were, however, impressed with the man their father brought the next day. Charles “Buffalo” Jones brought with him stories about his life and warnings about what might be waiting considering the reputation of Allen and Arlidge. A few of days later he introduced Lindsay to The Three Range Riders, who agreed to be hired by him.

The rest of “Raiders of Spanish Peaks” continues to change between Laramie and Harriet’s experiences as they travel to the ranch, what they discover when they get there, and the tough and rewarding life waiting for them all. Some parts are really funny, some are tense, some are romantic (in the Jane Austen sense). As with all of his stories, nature also is also a character in “Raiders of Spanish Peaks“.

Gray-sloped, twin-peaked, snow-capped mountains apparently loomed right over her. These must be the Spanish Peaks from which the ranch derived its name. They were her first sight of high mountains and the effect seemed stunning. But they were only a beginning. Beyond rose a wall of black and white which she had imagined was cloud. Suddenly she realized that she was gazing at the magnificent eastern front of the Rocky Mountains. Pure and white, remote and insurmountable, rose the glistening peaks high into the blue sky, and then extended, like the teeth of a saw, beyond her range of vision.

Harriet stared. Greater than amaze and ecstasy something had birth in her. The thing she had waited for all her life seemed to be coming—the awakening of a deeper elementary self. A vague, sweet, intangible feeling of familiarity smote her. But where and when could she ever have seen such a glorious spectacle? Perhaps pictures haunted her. This scene, however, was vivid, real, marvelous, elevating. Lonely and wild and grand—this Colorado!

I think Zane Grey probably had fun with Mulhall’s character. There is a couple of conversations between Laramie and Lonesome about women that may have shocked some readers. His fans were mainly Euro-Americans. That may also be true of most of today’s fans. I would guess that today’s target groups for Zane Grey, and “Raiders of Spanish Peaks“, consist of Western fans and fans of US historical authors.

Free read at Roy Glashan’s library


Translations

  • Audiobook narrated by John McLain
  • Croatian. Jahači španjolskih planina. Translated by Boris Gerechtshammer. Rijeka: Otokar Keršovani, 1963.
  • Czech. Pistolníci ze Španělských hor. Translated by Josef Vorel. V Praze: Novina, 1939.
  • Finnish. Yöllinen hyökkäys. Kymmenen markan romaaneja 161. Translated by Tauno Nuotio. WSOY, 1939.
  • German. Die Unzertrennlichen. Translated by Dr. Franz Eckstein. Berlin: Verlag Th. Knaur Nachf., 1939.
  • Norwegian. Oppgjørets time. Translated by Ulf Gleditch. Oslo: Egmont Forlag, 1989
  • Portugese. Três cavaleiros da planície. Translated by Raúl Correia. Lisboa: Ag. Port. de Revistas, [19-?]
  • Spanish. Los incursores de la pradera. Translated by . México, D.F., Editorial Diana, 1967.
 
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Posted by on 2018-06-14 in Books

 

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West of the Pecos; New York, The American Magazine, 1931

Illustrated by Frank Hoffman

West of the Pecos was first published as a 7-episode serial in The American Magazine from August of 1931 to February of 1932. In 1937 Harper & Brothers published the story as an action romance. The Zane Grey’s Western Magazine published West of the Pecos in 1947 and again in 1954. The main characters are Pecos Smith and Terrill (Rill) Lambeth with Sambo as supporting character. As usual, nature plays an important role displaying Pecos River, Horsehead Crossing and Langtry around 1865-1871 (ZGWS). A free copy is available in Roy Glashan‘s library.

“When Templeton Lambeth’s wife informed him that if God was good they might in due time expect the heir he had so passionately longed for, he grasped at this with the joy of a man whose fortunes were failing, and who believed that a son might revive his once cherished dream of a new and adventurous life on the wild Texas ranges west of the Pecos River.

That very momentous day he named the expected boy Terrill Lambeth, for a beloved brother. Their father had bequeathed to each a plantation; one in Louisiana, and the other in eastern Texas. Terrill had done well with his talents, while Templeton had failed.

The baby came and it was a girl. This disappointment was the second of Lambeth’s life, and the greater. Lambeth never reconciled himself to what he considered a scurvy trick of fate. He decided to regard the child as he would a son, and to bring her up accordingly. He never changed the name Terrill. And though he could not help loving Terrill as a daughter, he exulted in her tomboy tendencies and her apparently natural preferences for the rougher and more virile pleasures and occupations. Of these he took full advantage.”

Zane Grey was known for thorough research for his stories and appropriately portrayed characters according to each storyline’s class, gender and color. In West of the Pecos we find ourselves in Texas before and after the war between Southern and Northern states. Texas never experienced the major invasions that other Southern states did. Shortages of essentials like food, medication and paper was extensive because essentials went to the army. To support the war, new property-, poll-, income- and distilling taxes were imposed. Refugees started arriving and wounded men returned. Crime rose and sometimes these were answered with lynchings. Since most white men, like Lambeth, joined the army, women took over the running of most facets of life. Many cotton plantations were not as affected as other industries (TSLAC). However, the Lambeth women experienced hardship, and their slaves probably felt the increasing lack of ready income the most. When the war ended, Lambeth returned a widower with a fifteen year old daughter (Rill) to provide for and a plantation he no longer wants to run.

West of the Pecos is about gender differences, how Texans viewed African-Americans, crime as a consequence of the war, poverty and not giving up. It’s probably one of my favourite Zane Grey action romances. The action is excellent. As usual nature plays a vital part. The romance between Rill and Pecos ends in the usual manner. I believe in Rill’s character more than Pecos’. Both Rill and Pecos talk down to Sambo, but Pecos is probably Grey’s representative for the Southern view of African-Americans:

Pecos Smith had known negro slaves as worthy as any white man, though he had the Southerner’s contempt for most of the black trash.

Lambeth sold the plantation and tries to fulfill his dreams. “He had a vision and it could not be clouded.” All of the slaves are freed, but two of them get hired as vaquero (Sambo) and cook (Mauree) for the outfit. They have a wagon stuffed with provisions and several horses. Upon leaving eastern Texas, Lambeth insists that Rill take on the role as a boy and forget whatever she had learned about being a woman. This is a strategic move on Lambeth’s part. Not only that, but according to the laws of Texas Lambeth owned Rill so she had little say in what happened to her. He explained to Rill that given where they were going, being a boy and vaquero was safer than being a girl. That was truth.

West of the Pecos is divided into three parts. First we have the journey of the Lambeths from eastern Texas to West of the Pecos.You can follow the route Lambeth, Rill, Sambo and Mauree travel. First they go through Austin to San Antonio/Alamo (where Rill meets Pecos for the first time). After San Antonio they join a group of buffalo hunters and go northwest of Colorado River to kill buffalo. Rill, Sambo and Mauree have an exciting first buffalo experience:

…The streams of buffalo had closed in solid and were now scarcely a hundred yards from the wagons. The black and tawny beasts appeared to bob up and down in unison. Dust rolled up yellow and thick, obscuring farther view. Behind, the gap was filling up with a sea of lifting hoofs and shaggy heads. It was thrilling to Terrill, though her heart came up in her throat. The rumble had become a trampling roar. She saw that Sambo’s idea was to keep his big wagon behind Mauree’s smaller one, and try to run with the beasts, hoping they would continue to split behind it. But how long could the horses keep that gait up, even if they did not bolt and leave the wagons to be crushed? Terrill had heard of whole caravans being flattened out and trodden into the plain. Dixie’s ears were up, his eyes wild. But for Terrill’s presence right close, holding his bridle, he would have run away.

Soon Terrill became aware that the teams were no longer keeping up with the buffalo. That lumbering lope had increased to a gallop, and the space between the closing lines of buffalo had narrowed to half what it had been. Terrill saw with distended eyes those shaggy walls converging. There was no gap behind Sambo’s wagon—only a dense, gaining, hairy mass. Sambo’s eyes rolled till the whites stood out. He was yelling to his horses, but Terrill could not hear a word.

The trampling roar seemed engulfed in deafening thunder. The black bobbing sea of backs swallowed up the open ground till Terrill could have tossed her sombrero upon the shaggy humps. She saw no more flying legs and hoofs. When she realized that the increased pace, the change from a tame lope to a wild gallop, the hurtling of the blind horde, meant a stampede and that she and the two negroes were in the midst of it, she grew cold and sick with terror. They would be lost, smashed to a pulp. She shut her eyes to pray, but she could not keep them shut.

Next she discovered that Mauree’s team had bolted. The wagon kept abreast of the beasts. It swayed and jolted, almost throwing Terrill out. Dixie had to run to keep up. Sambo’s team came on grandly, tongues out, eyes like fire, still under control. Then Terrill saw the negro turn to shoot back at the charging buffalo. The red flame of the gun appeared to burst right in the faces of the maddened beasts. They thundered forward, apparently about to swarm over the wagon.

Clamped with horror, hanging on to the jolting wagon, Terrill saw the buffalo close in alongside the very wheels. A shroud of dust lifted, choking and half blinding her. Sambo blurred in her sight, though she saw the red spurt of his gun. She heard no more. Her eyes seemed stopped. She was an atom in a maelstrom. The stench of the beasts clogged her nostrils. A terrible sense of being carried along in a flood possessed her. The horses, the wagons, were keeping pace with the stampede. Dixie leaped frantically, sometimes narrowly missing the wagon. Just outside the wheels, rubbing them, swept huge, hairy, horned monsters that surely kept him running straight.

After a successful hunt, the Lambeths travelled to Maynardsville (Manard) by the San Saba River where Lambeth picks up Texas long-horns and two helpers. The crew continues via the southern edge of L’lano Estacado across the Staked Plains. They become lost and much of the cattle died of thirst. Fortunately, they stumbled upon the Flat Rock Water Holes. After that, they almost died again before they found Wild China Water Holes. Another near death experience almost happened. This time they were saved by Pecos Smith who took them to Horsehead Crossing. The entire journey took eight months, leaving the all four honed for the lives they were about to enter.

In the second part of West of the Pecos, Pecos Smith was the main character. He had

… flaxen hair and he wore it so long that it curled from under his sombrero. His face was like a bronze mask, except when he talked or smiled, and then it lightened. In profile it was sharply cut, cold as stone, singularly more handsome than the full face. His eyes assumed dominance over all other features, being a strange-flecked, pale gray, of exceeding power of penetration. His lips, in repose, were sternly chiseled, almost bitter, but as they were mostly open in gay, careless talk or flashing a smile over white teeth, this last feature was seldom noticed….He was an honest person.

Due to circumstances, Pecos ended up in the same area as Rill. We now enter the third part of West of the Pecos. After he saved fifteen year old (he thought) Rill, Pecos became Rill’s partner. Both wanted to get back at the people who had made their lives much more miserable. War messes people up. Especially on the side that “lost”. Grey has written a story that addresses the times and its prejudices and challenges. As usual, he brings nature to life with accurate descriptions. Yes. Pecos River country really was that harsh.


Reviews:


Translations:

  • Audiobook: Narrated by Eric G. Glove; Brilliance Audio, 2017
  • Afrikaans: Wes van die Pecos; Afrikaanse Pers-Boekhandel, 1956
  • Croatian: Zapadno od Pecosa; Translated by Omer Lakomica; Rijeka, Otokar Keršovani, 1961/1985
  • Czech: Na západ od Pekosu; Translated by Josef Vorel/Jan Hora; V Praze, Novina, 1938; Illustrated by Václav Kotrch 1938
  • Finnish: Texasin tyttö; WSOY, 1944
    • Pecos-joelta länteen; Taikajousi, 1982
  • German: Männer aus Texas; Translated by Franz Eckstein; Berlin: Knaur, 1938
  • Italian: A occidente del Pecos; Translated by Rossana De Michele; Milano, Sonzogno, 1969
  • Norwegian: Vest for Pecos; Translated by Paul Evan; Romanforlaget, 1962
  • Spanish: Al Oeste Del Pecos; Traducción, Luis Conde Vélez, Círculo de Lectores, 1966

Sources

 
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Posted by on 2018-02-18 in Books

 

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Meyer, W.E.H. Jr. Zane Grey and the American, Hypervisual Tradition

West Fork Trail, AZ; Credit: Michael D. McCumber

Meyer Jr., W. E. H. (1989), Zane Grey and the American, Hypervisual Tradition. Journal of American Culture, 12: 59–69. doi: 10.1111/j.1542-734X.1989.1204_59.x

Her vaunted images of European scenery changed to operetta settings.

She had nothing with which to compare this illimitable space.

«Oh!-America!» was her unconscious tribute.
The Call of the Canyon

Zane Grey cannot be treated as simply a «popular» or «Western» author because his novels deal too intimately with the Sight-Geist of American literary tradition. From the Puritans to the present day, American art and life have defined themselves according to Emerson’s ecstatic «transparent eyeball» and the bold assumption that we had «listened too long to the courtly muses of Europe» because the New World explorer no longer wished to hear but to see for himself – what Emerson summed up as our «genius in America, with tyrannous eye» (Poet 238) and what Zane Grey likewise intuits in the eye-dealism of his fiction in the anti-verbal, anti-civilized hypervisuality, for example of Rogue River Feud:

Out there in what they call civilization I see and I think. Here I see, but don’t think. (148)

Grey’s novels, in fact, are all allegories of Hawthorne’s great Aesthetic American Adultery, of the hypervisual brand on every New-World human breast and cattle’s flank – of the traumatic but Sanative power of the Melvillean «A sharp eye for the White Whale» (Moby-Dick, 121). And because Grey’s novels not only vie with the greatest of American writers in extolling our «Democratic Vistas» but often excel Whitman’s or Wolfe’s «bright panoramas» or «distant soaring ranges» (Look Homeward, 522), this «popular» culturalist must be seen and taken seriously in his proper New-World context – the same passionate context and conviction that led a contemporary, F. Scott Fitzgerald, to laud the «fresh, green breast of the new world … that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes» (Gatsby 182).

All in all, Zane Grey has accepted as ambitious a «literary» challenge as any novelist of modern times – the elevation, reconstitution and conservation of his country’s highest ideals, it anti-verbal, hypervisual aspirations:

He saw thought and soul and nature – strong vision of life. (Riders 198)

 
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Posted by on 2017-10-12 in About Zane Grey

 

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