RSS

Category Archives: Books

Under the Tonto Rim (The Bee Hunter) (1926)

View to the east from Cedar Ridge, Arizona;  Credit: Trung Q. Le

View to the east from Cedar Ridge, Arizona;
Credit: Trung Q. Le

Tonto Rim was first serialized under the name of The Bee Hunter in The Ladies’ Home Journal, February-May 1925. In 1926 Harper & Brothers, New York published it in book form.

“Grey introduced the state’s magnificence to thousands of his readers through his numerous novels set in Arizona, including: “Call of the Canyon,” “Under the Tonto Rim,” “The Rainbow Trail,” among many others. His descriptive books drew people to the state and yet now he was upset at their presence.  In 1923, the Flagstaff Coconino Sun newspaper had interviewed Grey, who encouraged Flagstaff to develop its tourist facilities. A follow-up interview four years later found Grey pleased with what Flagstaff was doing in regard to tourist accommodations. A few years after that, Grey wrote a letter to the editor saying there were now too many tourists and he wasn’t coming back.

Grey’s Tonto Basin cabin (more like a lodge) was built in 1920-21. True to his word, Grey never returned to it or Arizona, and by the 1950s, the cabin was falling into disrepair. It was purchased by a private party and restored, only to burn to ashes during the 1990 ‘Dude’ forest fire. A few items were salvaged and put on display at a Payson museum. Funds were raised to reconstruct the cabin in Payson’ Green Valley Park in 2003. Grey shunned Arizona due to the increasing tourists, yet the tourists still seek him and his legacy.” (I shall never come back to Arizona)

Bee hunting Missouri

Bee hunting Missouri

Tonto Rim is supposed to be a conservation and social commentary novel (ZGWS). As we see above, Zane Grey was not pleased with all of the effects of  his environmental engagement. But today National Parks can be found Zane Grey’s three favorite states: Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. Tonto Rim might also be said to be a comment on what the East defined as politically correct.

When young Lucy Watson leaves home she feels there isn’t anything holding her there. Her younger sister Clara had done a shameful thing in eloping with a cowboy and Lucy wanted away from the stigma of being the daughter of a saloon keeper.

Lucy realized that actually to experience loneliness, to be really cut off from family and friends, was vastly different from the thought of it. She had deliberately severed all ties. She was alone in the world, with her way to make. A terrible blank sense of uncertainty assailed her. Independence was wholly desirable, but in its first stage it seemed hard.

Four Peaks - Arizona - EJ PhotoBefore the time of telephones and air flight distances were more acutely felt, something we rediscover when we visit places where people depend on their feet or some form of animal for transportation.

Lucy has very strong opinions about her sister’s elopement and states that she will NEVER, EVER, EVER marry someone as uncouth as a cowboy or bee-hunter or white-mule drinker (distilling alcohol). Yummy, yummy – she had better hope that her words taste well. Her opinions about what entails a proper way of life will be challenged. She both educates and is educated.

These backwoodsmen are not Bluebeards (serial killers of spouses) or Mormons, though they are strong on gettin’ wives. They are a clean, hardy, pioneer people. Edd Denmeade, for instance now—he’s a young man the like of which you won’t see often. He’s a queer fellow—a bee hunter, wonderful good to look at, wild like them woods he lives in, but a cleaner, finer boy I never knew. He loves his sisters. He gives his mother every dollar he earns, which, Lord knows, isn’t many….

Dance at the Myrtle SchoolhouseEverything is not about work and education. There is also time for play – or courting. The area sets out to show Lucy that they are worth sticking with and she does her best to fit in and try to understand the people of Cedar Ridge.

Lucy discovers that not all cowboys, bee-hunters and moonshiners are as she had thought. And who turns up during the story? Well, you are welcome to find out.

———————————————————————————-

Under The Tonto Rim on Gutenberg

———————————————————————————-

Reviews:

———————————————————————————-

Films/Movies

———————————————————————————-

Translations:

———————————————————————————-

Bluebeard

Efficient Hunting of Feral Colonies

Free Dictionary

Hunting Wild Honey

I shall never come back to Arizona

Arkansas Arthropods in History and Folklore: Honey Bees

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 2014-06-11 in Books

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Forlorn River (Nevada I) (1927)

Forlorn River - complete dust jacket

Ladies Home Journal March – April 1926
Harper & Brothers, New York 1927
Zane Grey’s Western Magazine Sep 1951
Zane Grey’s Western Magazine (Australia) Mar 1953 (Galactic Central)

Klamath River; Credit: Wandering Lizard

Klamath River; Credit: Wandering Lizard

Forlorn River takes place before the Department of Reclamation starts emptying the Lamath Valley of fresh-water and after the Modoc wars. Its setting is around 1890, (ZGWS) so 17 years after the Modoc war/Lava Beds war/Modoc campaign ended in 1873. That war was fought because of a lack of understanding from the US military about the differences between the tribes and their views on the settlers. Secondly, one might even venture to say that once again it was about ownership of the land. One of the results was the creation of the Klamath Reservation. Hard feelings had taken over and the settlers were now harassed by Modoc who were unwilling to settle in the reservation. No wonder as the Klamath people were their traditional enemies and how do you make friends with your enemies.

Forlorn River - The Lost River Ranch

That brought about the Lost River war, a fight for the right to a Modoc reservation on Modoc land. The ironic and sad thing is that the US government would have saved a whole lot of money and lives if they had just bought the land needed from the settlers.

At the time of Forlorn River I imagine hatred between the settlers and the Modoc might possibly have barely started to lessen. Whether the war between the Modoc and the US military is the reason Zane Grey includes a Native American in his story that is called Modoc is difficult to say but it is a definite possibility considering his previous stories. He had definite views on what happened when settlers took over the land.

Ben Ide was the kind of person adventure and trouble sought. First he has to leave home because of his carelessness with money and obsession with wild horses. After he leaves he rescues and befriends a man with a mysterious background, Nevada. Then he falls for the daughter (Ina Blaine) of one of the ranchers. Of course, other men want her as well. In addition, the land he has bought is also sought by other men and they will shy from nothing in order to get the land. As if that was not enough, Ben and Nevada run into Nevada’s old friend, Bill Hall. Bill has managed to follow a criminal career and one of Ben’s acquaintances seems to be involved in the gang’s decision-making.

Copper Wild Mustang by Kimerlee Curyl

Copper Wild Mustang by Kimerlee Curyl

In the films, both Ben and Nevada are in love with Ina, but in the novel Nevada falls in love with Ben’s younger sister (who is very definitely not Ina). Ina has come home from school with newfangled ideas about her own independence. She gets into trouble with her family for that for they had foreseen an old but wealthy husband for her. Both Ben and Ina have different plans, but in order to realize these plans Ben is going to have to capture the wild horse California Red. He brings Nevada and Modoc along on the hunt and in the meantime, well in the meantime Ina gets into trouble

“Ina saw in his face that he was telling the truth, if not the whole truth. This then had been the secret of his veiled power; and he had unmasked himself before her because he believed she dared not betray him.”

—————————————————————————-

Forlorn River on Open Library

—————————————————————————-

Reviews:

—————————————————————————-

Films/movies

—————————————————————————-

Translations:

  • 1931: Il fiume abbandonato (Italian)
  • 1964: Jakten på kvegtyvene (Norwegian)
  • 1978: Kadotettu joki (Finnish)
  • 1973: Der verlorene Fluß (German)

—————————————————————————-

Battle of Lost River

Lost River, California

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 2014-06-10 in Books

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Nevada II (1926)

Lees Ferry

Colorado River at Lee’s Ferry in the Grand Canyon, ca.1898 Photographer: George Wharton James California Historical Society Collection, 1860-1960

The American Magazine: November 1926 – May 1927
Harper & Brothers, New York in 1928

One does not simply become a gunman. Something lies behind the choice to leave family and home to settle for a life where your own life is in danger from others wanting to test how good you are with your pistol. In the life of Jim Lacy (Nevada’s real name) those seeds were planted when he became an orphan. Nevada is both a savior and a crook. But most of all he is a loyal friend who is willing to stand up for those that he loves, even if they do not know about it.

“From the lake Nevada gazed away across Forlorn River, over the gray sage hills, so expressive of solitude, over the black ranges toward the back country, the wilderness whence he had come and to which he must return. To the hard life, the scant fare, the sordid intimacy of crooked men and women, to the border of Nevada, where he had a bad name, where he could never sleep in safety, or wear a glove on his gun-hand! But at that moment Nevada had not one regret. He was sustained and exalted by the splendid consciousness that he had paid his debt to his friend. He had saved Ben from prison, cleared his name of infamy, given him back to Ina Blaine, and killed his enemies. Whatever had been the evil of Nevada’s life before he met Ben, whatever might be the loneliness and bitterness of the future, neither could change or mitigate the sweetness and glory of the service he had rendered.”

Now that his friends have been saved, Nevada returns to Lineville and the people who knew him. Unfortunately he also returns to the life of men out to kill the famous gunman Jim Lacy.

“A man like you must always worry,” rejoined Burridge, with evident sympathy. “You can’t ever be free unless you hide your name. It’s bad enough to have sheriffs after you, an’ natural enemies, but it must be hell to know there’re men who want to kill you just because of your reputation.”

Rock art, Chevelon Canyon;  Credit: Spirit Eagle: Arizona

Rock art, Chevelon Canyon;
Credit: Spirit Eagle: Arizona

We jump four years into the future, to California-Tule Lake and Ben and Hettie. Ben is married to his Ina and they now have a son called Blaine. Hettie has just turned 20 years old and still pines for Nevada. She is not alone in missing him. Ben wishes his best friend would once more become a part of their life. He wants Nevada to claim the half of Forlorn River ranch and Mule Deer ranch that belongs to him.

Ben and Ina take Ina’s mother to San Fransisco for a visit with the physicians. The doctor recommends Ina’s mother move to a warmer climate like, say, Arizona. So Ben sells off most of the land and stock and they take off in their covered wagons bringing just a few people, some belongings and a few animals. The family ends up settling near Mogollon Rim close to the town Winthrop. Ben tells the rest of them just how he found the “ranch of his dreams”.

“‘They tell me you’re hard to please. But I’m makin’ bold to ask you personally just what kind of a ranch you want to buy?'”

“So I up and told him, elaborately, just what I was looking for. Then he laughed, sort of amused and, pulling at his long mustache, he said: ‘My name’s Burridge. I’ve got exactly what you want. Somewheres around ten thousand head. Lots of unbranded calves an’ yearlin’s. Cabins an’ corrals not worth speakin’ of. But water, grass, timber, an’ range can’t be beat in Arizona. It suits me to sell for cash. That’s what they call me–Cash Burridge. Suppose you get a lawyer an’ come over to the city hall an’ see my title. Then if it strikes you right, I’ll take you out to my ranch.’

Gunmen of the WestExcept something is amiss with their new home and they will once again need the help of Nevada. But where is Nevada? What has become of him? Will he make it back in time? Does he still care for Hettie?

One of the concluding statements in the story tries to explain the phenomenon of the gunman:

“I’m glad I hit upon the truth,” he said, with eagerness. “I watched you yesterday and I believe I saw then something of your ordeal. And I see now in your face the havoc that tells of your pain. It is my earnest hope to soothe that pain, Hettie Ide, and I know I can do so. Listen. It has been a terrible shock for you to find in your Texas Jack–or Nevada, as you call him–no other than the infamous or famous Jim Lacy. This is natural, but it is all wrong. There need be no shame, no fear, no shrinking in your acceptance of this fact. I’ve met and trusted no finer man than this same Jim Lacy. But I did not come to eulogize him. . . . I want to make clear in your mind just what such men as Jim Lacy mean to me. I have lived most of my life on the frontier and I know what its wilderness has been, and still is. There are bad men and bad men. It is a distinction with a vast difference. I have met or seen many of the noted killers. Wild Bill, Wess Hardin, Kingfisher, Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, an’ a host of others. These men are not bloody murderers. They are a product of the times. The West could never have been populated without them. They strike a balance between the hordes of ruffians, outlaws, strong evil characters like Dillon, and the wild life of a wild era. It is the West as any Westerner knows it now. And as such we could not be pioneers, we could not progress without this violence. Without the snuffing out of dissolute and desperate men such as Dillon, Cedar Hatt, Stillwell, and so on. The rub is that only hard iron-nerved youths like Billy the Kid, or Jim Lacy, can meet such men on their own ground. That is all I wanted you to know. And also, that if my daughter cared for Jim Lacy I would be proud to give her to him.”

———————————————————–

Nevada on Gutenberg

———————————————————–

Reviews:

———————————————————–

Films/Movies

———————————————————–

Translations:

  • 1947: Nevada (Italian)
  • 1950: Nevada (German)
  • 1958: Nevada (Norwegian)
  • 1977: Nevada (Finnish)

———————————————————–

Tom Horn: A Pinkerton Agent (undercover work in the Wild West)

Violence and Lawlessness on the Western Frontier

Wikipedia: List of Old West gangs

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 2014-06-09 in Books

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wild Horse Mesa (1928)

Major John Wesley Powell (1834-1902), seated on horseback and inquiring a Native American of the Paiute tribe, for the way to the water pocket at the Kaibab Plateau, 1873; by Hillers, John K. 1843-1925;  Credit: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 18, Folder: 57

Major John Wesley Powell (1834-1902), seated on horseback and inquiring a Native American of the Paiute tribe, for the way to the water pocket at the Kaibab Plateau, 1873; by Hillers, John K. 1843-1925;
Credit: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 18, Folder: 57

The Country Gentleman, 26 April – 5 July 1924
Harper and Brothers, 1928

Wild Horse Mesa is set in the 1890s around the Kaiparowits Plateau in Utah (ZGWS). Victor Carl Friesen’s commentary on Wild Horse Mesa (see below) set me straight about my misconception about what a cowboy was. Wild Horse Mesa is about horses. So that means NO cowboys. Horse-wranglers are handlers/trainers of horses.

Zane Grey turns up in varied places. It is clear that many horse crazy people (at least in the US) are aware of who he was. One of them, a horse lover very much like this story’s main character (Chane Weymer), has a stallion named after the author (Dale Esther). His Zane Grey was as desirable as Wild Horse Mesa’s own Panquitch. I love horses too. Not in the sense that I own any, but in the sense that I would defy my mother’s injunctions against crossing a field rumored to be full of snakes (in Australia) to see the herd one farmer owned. The moment I thought of them every other thought would drop out of my head and I would defy even spankings to see my beloved horses (in the true spirit of my Aspergers). Since then their beauty and strength and ornery nature have stayed as a major component of my make-up.

Cowboys participating in a wild horse roundup;  Photo by: B & C Gillingham

Cowboys participating in a wild horse roundup;
Photo by: B & C Gillingham

Herds of wild horses roamed the deserts and prairies of the West and Utah. Horse wranglers, Native Americans and Cowboys were what kept the mustangs alive despite an increasing dislike of their numbers and presence. Some people would rather have cattle or sheep. Because mustangs were needed as work animals, not all of them could be killed.

Panquitch and his herd live in one of the less available areas, something that would make it a “safe place” for the horses. But not safe enough. Chane Weymer wants Panquitch even though his own horse is supposed to be a superior specimen. He is not alone in wanting to domesticate the wildness out of Panquitch.

Sølvpilen med sterke MånestråleAnother love of mine were Native Americans, especially the Kiowa people. Why the Kiowa, you may ask (probably not)? Here in Norway we had a comics series called “Sølvpilen” about the Kiowa leader, Sølvpilen, his blood-brother, Falk, and the Kiowa woman, Månestråle (the most wonderful female character I knew).

I feel certain my views of what the Kiowa were had to be extremely off the mark, but having a strong female character at that time was unusual. Strong and beautiful. I believe I was in love with all three of them. While my views were off the mark, I do believe that they showed me that there was another side to the story of the Cowboys and Indians. The Indians weren’t the “bad guys” and the Cowboys the “good guys”. This view was a stronger version of the one I found in the books of Zane Grey. Except for in the story of Wild Horse Mesa.

In Wild Horse Mesa one of our main characters is a Piute man called Toddy Nokin. At the time Wild Horse Mesa was supposed to be set  Piute tribal land had been reduced to 5% of the original territory. Meeting the Europeans led to death from various causes such as disease and fighting for the right to live on traditional lands. (Haines & Hillstrom) This could be one reason why Zane Grey set this story where he did.

Toddy Nokin’s daughter, Sosie, is another person we meet in Wild Horse Mesa. She, too, would like to ride Panquitch and her father being a horse-catcher and tamer is not a detriment to her cause. Thankfully, for Chane, both he and Toddy are friends, and so the three of them are not at cross-purposes.

Government Boarding School for Girls Uintah and Ouray Reservation Whiterocks, Utah, MRL 10: G.E.E. Lindquist Papers, 63, 1662, The Burke Library Archives (Columbia University Libraries) at Union Theological Seminary, New York.

Government Boarding School for Girls Uintah and Ouray Reservation Whiterocks, Utah, MRL 10: G.E.E. Lindquist Papers, 63, 1662, The Burke Library Archives (Columbia University Libraries) at Union Theological Seminary, New York.

Sosie is in the process of being civilized in an Anglo school. At this time Piute children were being sent to boarding schools and expected to behave in a manner the Anglos thought was civilized. Any Piute who wanted to retain his/her traditional ways were denigrated by the Inspectors and Indian Agents of the time. Zane Grey thought this type of assimilation was the wrong way to go. Sosie shows just how problematic this “civilizing” of the Native American was. Her socialization made it seem as though she thought herself superior to her family and friends left behind at home. Nor was she accepted as a true member of the Anglo community. Her color was wrong.

These three and Chane’s brother Chess and Bent Manerube (ends up being the bad guy) belong to one horse-wrangler camp. the Loughbridge camp is the other horse-wrangling camp that comes into play in Wild Horse Mesa. In it we find Mel Melberne and his family (daughter Sue) and Jim Loughbridge and his family (daughter Ora). Love happens between the younger generation but not without all of Zane Grey’s fall-pits in place.

And there you have it folks. All of the elements are present for a rip-roaring read of yet another Zane Grey tale.

——————————————————————-

Wild Horse Mesa on World Catalog

——————————————————————-

Reviews:

——————————————————————-

Films/Movies

——————————————————————-

Translations:

——————————————————————-

In Defense of Self: Identity and Place in Pyramid Lake Paiute History

Kaiparowits Plateau

Piutes

The Piute Tribe of Utah

Wild Horses of America, A History (Stunning photography)

 
1 Comment

Posted by on 2014-06-08 in Books

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Fighting Caravans (1929)

The Country Gentleman November 1928 – March 1929
Harper & Brothers, New York, 1929
Zane Grey’s Western Magazine Jun 1950
Zane Grey’s Western Magazine (Australia) Dec 1951, Jun 1958
Zane Grey’s Fighting Caravans; Dell Comics #632; June-August 1955

“When the Santa Fe Trail first opened, in 1821, it began at a village and landing area called Franklin, on the north bank of the Missouri River in the central part of the state of Missouri. It headed west, following the Missouri upstream, across tall grass prairie, to the bend where the river turns sharply to the north. The trail continued on to the west, across the heart of Kansas and through increasingly more elevated, more arid lands. It passed through the site of Council Grove, where the tall grass prairie melted into the mixed grass prairie, and the vicinity of Dodge City, where the mixed grass prairie dissolved into the short grass prairie.” (John J. Sharp)

The Belmet family is getting ready to leave Independence, Missouri to heed the Call of the West. The family traveled with one of the large freight caravans. While waiting to leave the son of the family, Clint, meets a young girl called May Bell. It seems her family will be going along with the Belmets. The settlers are told:

“He said we’d all fight Injuns first, then kill off the buffalo, before we’d go to farmin’.”

Illustrator Paul Strayer

Illustrator Paul Strayer

The times being what they were, women were not ladylike if they killed buffalo or “Injuns”. Their part in the whole adventure was to be a pioneer wife and have children. Change the setting a little and one would think Zane Grey was writing about the US today.

One of the first nights of the journey Mrs. Belmet is killed during a raid. The Belmet dog had stopped any more pioneers from being killed. 19 Comanches died.

Clint Belmet (12) had become great friends with May Bell (8) on the way to Council Grove. When he heard that she and her family were staying there, he felt the loss acutely. Some time later Clint’s father tells Clint that May seems to have been carried off by Indians while her parents were killed.

The story of the killing of May Bell’s family may have risen out of the story of the deaths of Mr. James M. White and his family and traveling companions. (White massacre) The massacre of May Bell’s family was indeed a brutal affair, but as we all know every story has two sides. From the point of view of the Cheyenne it was quite logical to try to keep the invaders from settling down. In his own way Zane Grey tried to acknowledge this two-sided story of the brutality of the West.

IndiansWagonTrain

Indians watching wagon train. Artist: ???

Clint’s determination to destroy all the Comanche sets in. Meeting Kit Carson only hammers his resolve further into his heart.

By the time our hero meets him, Kit Carson would have been about 50 years old. He served as leader of many a group traveling across the prairies and had many close calls with death and death’s helpers. Another real life character that we meet in this novel is a man called Lucien Bonaparte Maxwell. Along with Kit Carson, Mr. Maxwell led many a settler across the lands of the Native Americans. (Legends of America)

What follows is the story of how Clint grows in his role as a teamster, tracker, killer of men and beasts and learns to live with the death of his father, friends and acquaintances. As time passes Clint changes into what Zane Grey considered an ideal sort of man. But this man was missing something important in his life. Love. Being the romance writer that Zane Grey was, that could not be left unresolved.


Fighting Caravans on Open Library


Reviews:


Films/Movies


Translations:

  • Croatian: Baf, vođa karavana; Translated by Vlatko Šarić; Zagreb, Mladost, 1953
  • German: Kämpfende Karawanen; Translated by Hansheinz Werner; München, Flatau, 1959
  • Hungarian: Harcos karavánok; Translated by Cavallier Margit; Budapest, Palladis, 1940
  • Italian: Carovane combattenti; Translated by Alfredo Pitta; Milano, Casa Edit. Sonzogno, 1932
  • Lithuanian: Kovojantis karavanas; Translated by Antanas Barčius; Kaunas, Šviesa, 1938
  • Norwegian: Prærievognen; Translated by Claes Henrik Jaeger; Oslo, Tveiten, 1959
  • Slovenian; Karavani se bore; Translated by Ivo Pezelj; Rijeka, Otokar Keršovani, 1962
  • Spanish: Caravanas de héroes; Translated by ; Barcelona, Juventud, 1959

Comics


Sources

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 2014-06-07 in Books

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The Shepherd of Guadaloupe (1930)

The Sheep Herder; By Harold von Schmidt;  In Colliers Magazine, December 29, 1928

“The Sheep Herder”; By Harold von Schmidt;
In Colliers Magazine, December 29, 1928

Collier’s Magazine 27 October 1928 – January 5 1929
Harper & Brothers, New York 1930

For the most part the story is set to Las Vegas, New Mexico during the post-WWI years.

Cliff Forrest had left a wealthy father and mother behind in Las Vegas, New Mexico when he went off to World War I. During the war Cliff was severely wounded and came home to New Mexico in extremely poor health. His discovery of the changed family fortunes were abruptly revealed upon his return to what had been the family estate:

“Dad, it’s Clifton Forrest, who used to live here. I saw him on the Berengaria, but didn’t recognize him then. He was returning from France. He must have been badly wounded in the war. He did not know me. . . . He didn’t know I lived here . . . that this was not his home. . . . When I told him—he fainted.”

Ooops. Perhaps his father and mother should at least have told Clifton where he needed to go when Cliff returned to Las Vegas. When he realises how dire the circumstances are at home Clifton states:

“We’re ruined—penniless—and I’ve come home to die.”

While he was away, Clay Forrest and Jed Lundeen have become enemies. Naturally, Virginia (Jed’s daughter) has to fall for the wounded returning soldier. If Jed Lundeen had his way, Virginia would have nothing to do with Cliff. Jed has promised Virginia to Augustine Malpass. Malpass used to be Jed’s superintendent. When we get to know Augustine he has become Jed’s partner. In fact, Malpass was the one who engineered the deal that made Jed’s fortune and ruined Clay Forrest.

Cliff struggles with his extremely difficult fate. The United States was not prepared to deal with the problem of surviving veterans from the war. History has not taught us that people get wounded during wars and that somehow those who served their leaders must in turn be taken care of. Cliff was one of the victims of this thoughtlessness/callousness. No wonder finding the strength to want to fight his way back to some kind of health seemed impossible.

Junction of the Jemez and Guadaloupe Rivers, 1884;  Photoprint copyrighted by B.L. Cook, E.A. Bass, and E.M. Robinson

Junction of the Jemez and Guadaloupe Rivers, 1884;
Photoprint copyrighted by B.L. Cook, E.A. Bass, and E.M. Robinson

Zane Grey always offers the heroes/heroines of his stories a way to handle the challenges he throws their way. Both Virginia and Cliff discover extremely unpleasant truths about their fathers. Rather than taking the sides of their parents, the two end up working to become stronger (in Cliff’s case) and reveal the truth about old dealings (in Virginia’s case).

Cliff goes off to be a Shepherd, hence the title of the novel. Through the work, his closeness to nature and revelations about the fates of people around him, Cliff begins putting himself together again.

Virginia goes off to Colorado to stay with her friend Ethel and discovers strange things about her father’s silver mine and the role of Malpass in Jed’s dealings.

“Thick as thieves” certainly does not relate to our partners in crime.

———————————————————————

The Shepherd of Guadaloupe on Gutenberg

———————————————————————

Review:

———————————————————————

Translations:

———————————————————————

Properties of Violence: Law and Land Grant Struggle in Northern New Mexico (p. 73-76)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 2014-06-06 in Books

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Arizona Ames (1932)

Credit: Edward S. Curtis, Early 1900s; National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution; Essential plant for the survival of the Mescalero Apache People

Harvesting mescal agave plant for food; Credit: Edward S. Curtis, Early 1900s;
National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution;
Essential plant for the survival of the Mescalero Apache People

McCall’s Magazine, October 1929 – January 1930
Harper and Brothers, New York 1932
Grit Magazine 13 December 1936 – 3 January 1937
Zane Grey’s Western Magazine Dec 1947
Zane Grey’s Western Magazine (Australia) Jul 1956, Jul 1960 (Galactic Central)

Just as the mescal agave kept some people alive, others found it incredibly dangerous:

“Like the thorns of the cholla cactus, these mescal points broke off in flesh and worked in. Mescal, both in its deadly thorns and the liquor distilled from its heart, typified the hard and acrid nature of the Tonto.”

According to some of the blurbs on the net:

“Arizona (Rich) Ames has been called the most lovable gunslinger of Zane Grey’s writing career.”

Western Ranch House Credit: Old Pictures

Western Ranch House
Credit: Old Pictures

Yet this lovable gunslinger has a temperament that is likely to get him into serious trouble if he begins to hate a person. One family he despises is the Tate family. Rumor has it that the Tate’s were responsible for his father’s death. There is no proof, yet Rich has allowed this suspicion to fester and take over some of his self-control.

His twin-sister Nesta becomes involved with one of the sons of the Tate family, Lee Tate. Lee is a right bastard and rapes Nesta. Getting her on her own was a simple matter. All he had to do was enlist the help of one of his exes who happened to have it in for a girl who was prettier than herself. Nesta finds herself unable to extricate herself from the situation and inevitable ends up pregnant. Rich and her fiancee discover the truth when Nesta tries to kill herself – wanting to spare her family the shame of her unmarried pregnancy and unwilling to trick her fiancee.

Zane Grey shines a light on two huge problems in his society through Nesta: Unwanted pregnancies and rape. A woman was very much reliant on men for her place in society – even in the Wild West. Perhaps especially in the Wild West. There, as so many other places and times, men were permitted behavior women were not even supposed to know about. If it came out that Tate had fathered a child upon Nesta, she would have been the one to bear the blame no matter that he had forced himself upon her. She and the child would have had to bear shame for the child’s existence. So I can understand (kind of) that Nesta’s mother would be willing to trick Nesta’s fiancee into thinking that the child was his by getting the two of them married in a hurry.

Cappy Tanner, a good friend of the family and reserve-father for the children (Mr. Ames is dead), sees the potential for trouble brewing and is very worried – rightly so.


Arizona Ames on Open Library


Reviews:


Films/Movies


Translations:

  • Finnish: Arizona Ames; Translated by Don Engström; Helsinki, Taikajousi, 1983
  • German: Der Löwe von Arizona; Translated by ; , 1956
  • Italian: Arizona Ames; Translated by Agnese Silvestri Giorgi; Milano, Sonzogno, 1958
  • Norwegian: Rettferdighetens rytter; Translated by ; 1969

Sources

 
2 Comments

Posted by on 2014-06-04 in Books

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Robbers’ Roost (1930)

dirty devil river

Mouth of Fremont River (Dirty Devil River); Brown expedition 1889

Collier’s Weekly Magazine, October 11 – December 6, 1930
Harper & Brothers, New York 1932

Once more we find ourselves in Utah, this time around 1877 by Dirty Devil River (ZGWS).

“A beautiful young city girl, … a bold, young adventurer with a mysterious past, … two bands of desperados laughing at death”

exclaims the Milwaukee Journal as it introduces the coming daily serial starting May 7, 1931.

Credit: Robbers Roost Management Area

Credit: Robbers Roost Management Area

Let’s see what the above characterization looks like when Zane Grey’s own words are used:

A beautiful young city girl:

She had a wonderful step, a free, swinging, graceful stride, expressive of health and vitality. She did not look slender, as in the long ulster, but superb, broad of shoulder. She wore a half-length coat over her brown dress. It had a collar of dark fur which presented vivid contrast to her exquisite complexion. The veil was tucked back and now permitted sight of a wave of shining golden hair. At a little distance her eyes looked like great, dark holes set in white. But as she approached Jim saw they were violet in hue, warm, beautiful, fearless.

The mysterious adventurer:

He was a young man in years, but he had the hard face and eagle eye of one matured in experience of that wild country. He bestrode a superb bay horse, dusty and travel-worn and a little lame. The rider was no light burden, judging from his height and wide shoulders; moreover, the saddle carried a canteen, a rifle, and a pack. From time to time he looked back over his shoulder at the magnificent, long cliff wall, which resembled a row of colossal books with leaves partly open. It was the steady, watchful gaze of a man who had left events behind him.

And two bands of desperados. First off – Heeseman’s gang:

“Heeseman is the rustler of Dragon Canyon. None of the ranchers even round here know thet, but I know it. He’s got a small outfit, but shore enough bad. An’ in some way he got wind of Herrick’s scheme.”

Hays’ gang:

“Shore you ought. It’s not his money, you noticed,” drawled the robber, forcing the bill upon the reluctant youth. Then he addressed the traveler. “Say, Mormon, when you get uptown, or wherever you’re goin’–jest say Hank Hays paid you his respects.”

Robber's Roost Colliers magazine 3

Robbers’ Roost is another story from Zane Grey that draws from real life events. In Utah there is a place called Robbers’ Roost where bandits would hide out. About the time of this story (1870’s) a cattle rustler by the name of Butch Cassidy turned up and used Robbers’ Roost to hide the cattle he had stolen. The cost of taking Robbers’ Roost was too high for lawmen of the area. (RRH)

When Herrick thinks to save his cattle from rustling by setting two gangs up against each other he might not have been thinking all that clearly. Hays and Heeseman are more trouble than help. Fortunately for Herrick Jim Wall turns out to be on his side. Wall goes against his boss, Hays, when Hays kidnaps Helen – Herrick’s sister. That seems to be the line across which Wall was not willing to cross.

————————————————————————–

————————————————————————–

Review:

————————————————————————

Films/Movies

————————————————————————

Translations:

————————————————————————

Robbers’ Roost: History

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 2014-06-03 in Books

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Drift Fence (Jim Traft I) (1933)

The Drift Fence - The American Magazine

The American Magazine April – October 1929
Harper & Brothers, New York 1933
Zane Grey’s Western Magazine Sep 1947
Zane Grey’s Western Magazine (Australia) Jun 1949, Sep 1956, Nov 1960 (Galactic Central)

The Drift Fence was first published as a serial in The American Magazine beginning April of 1929. Harper & Brothers, New York published the story in its entirety in 1933. Its story takes place on the Mogollon Plateau around 1889 (ZGWS).

“Crowell was delighted with “Drift Fence”. The only objection he could find was that the girl was too young, but he can easily make her a year or two older.” (Correspondence between Dolly and Zane Grey)

Zane Grey at seaBeing the devout fisher that Zane Grey was, much time was spent at sea:

“If fishing was slack, he worked on a book until breakfast. He wrote much of The Drift Fence and Robbers’ Roost at sea” (SI Vault)

The Drift Fence was first published in 1929 as a serial in The American Magazine.

Molly Dunn sat waiting on the rickety old porch of Enoch Summer’s store in the village of West Fork. For once she was oblivious to the approach of the lean-faced, long-legged young backwoodsmen who lounged there with their elders. Molly was sixteen and on the eve of a great adventure.

Molly is our “damsel in distress” whose role it is to be rescued by the heroic stranger come in from the East, culminating in their ever-lasting love for each other being proclaimed. As such Zane Grey pretty much follows the recipe he has followed in his previous novels. I believe Drift Fence is Zane Grey’s 37th Romance Western story and it had to be difficult to keep up his interest in what he was doing. But he tried to add in new details that seldom had to do with the romance but more to do with the backdrop of the story. In Drift Fence that has to do with the drift fence.

Drift Fence by WHD Koerner

“Drift Fence” by WHD Koerner, 1923; “Nope,” replied Slinger, “I don’t like the deal and if I happen to run into any of you gents upon the diamond, I’ll take particular offense. Savvy that?”

A drift fence is a long, continuous fence used to control the drift of animals in an open area. Mr. Summers has the ambition of setting up  a 100 miles of such a fence and for that job he is going to need to get help.

Enter Jim Taft, our green-horn from Missouri. For some reason he is hired as the overseer of two gangs of fence-builders (gangs with a dubious reputation when it comes to cattle disappearing). Taft’s job will be to keep the cattle that belongs to Mr. Summers in Mr. Summers’ ownership and to keep the gangs from fighting each other and other dastardly deeds.

—————————————————————————

The Drift Fence on Gutenberg

—————————————————————————

Reviews:

—————————————————————————

Films/Movies

—————————————————————————

Translations:

  • 1933: Kampf um die Farm (German)
  • 1953: Die grosse Schranke (German)
  • 1963: Il recinto (Italian)
  • 1969: Der Mann aus dem Osten (German)
  • 1972: Vestens helter (Norwegian)
  • 1981: Der Weidezaun (German)

—————————————————————————

Barbed Wire, Barbaric Backlash

Dolly And Zane Grey: Letters From a Marriage

The Man Who Lived Two Lives in One

 
1 Comment

Posted by on 2014-06-02 in Books

 

Tags: , , , , ,

The Hash Knife Outfit (Jim Traft II) (1933)

Colliers, September 21, 1929

Colliers, September 21, 1929

Collier’s Sep 21 1929 (+11), as “The Yellowjacket Feud”
Harper & Brothers, New York 1933
Zane Grey’s Western Magazine May 1948
Zane Grey’s Western Magazine (Australia) Mar 1950, Apr 1957, Apr 1961 (Galactic Central)

The Hash Knife Outfit is the sequel to The Drift Fence and its story unfolds about 7 years after the Pleasant Valley War.

Credit: $1LENCE D00600D, 2012

Credit: $1LENCE D00600D, 2012

In real life The Hashknife outfit worked for Aztec Land and Cattle Co. But ALCC were owners who knew diddly about cattle. It turned out they had bought every other section of land with the other half being made available for settlers. What the Hashknife outfit did was turn their cattle loose and let them graze where ever they wanted (32000 heads of cattle). Trouble was inevitable and the Hashknife outfit’s (eventually found its way to the Babbits) reputation for dastardly deeds was a given. (Duggan, R., 2012)

A conflict needs two parties and that is why we have the Diamond Outfit (or – probably the Diamond “A” Cattle Co) for the role as the so-called good guys. These guys were also huge and prone to both losing and gaining cattle unexpectedly. (Rancher’s net) Burton C. Mossman (ranger) was first a member of the Hashknife outfit, then a ranger and later on an owner of the Diamond A. (AZ Rangers)

Enter Zane Grey and his love of a good background and storytelling ability. His fictional telling of the Hash-Knife Outfit (who were never criminals in the eyes of the law) vs. the Diamond Outfit probably has some elements of truth, but just what those might be we will never know.

Cowboys herding cattle. PhotoId : 2005.0015.039

Cowboys herding cattle. PhotoId : 2005.0015.039

“Awful funny,” agreed Locke, in a dry tone, which acquainted the listening Jim with the fact that the circumstance was most decidedly not funny. “Anyway, it started me off. An’ the upshot of my nosin’ around was to find out that the Hash-Knife crowd are at Yellow Jacket an’ all of a sudden on common interested in you an’ young Jim, an’ the Diamond, an’ Slinger Dunn.”

“Ahuh. Wal, they’ll be a heap more so by spring,” replied Traft. “Funny about Bambridge.”

“The Hash-Knife have friends in Flag, you bet, an’ more’n we’d ever guess. Shore, nobody knows our business, onless the cowboys have talked. I’m afraid Bud an’ Curly have bragged. They do when they get to town an’ guzzle a bit. Madden did darn little drinkin’ an’ none ‘cept when he was treated. Another funny thing. He bought all the forty-five calibre shells Babbitt’s had in stock. An’ a heap of the same kind, along with some forty-fours for rifles, at Davis’s. He bought hardware, too. Some new guns. An’ enough grub to feed an outfit for a year.”

Things have happened on the love-front and the situation at the end of The Drift Fence is no longer the case in The Hash-Knife Outfit. Not to worry though. There will be plenty of “lover’s qualms” and damsel-in-distress situations along with all of the action that the above promises.


The Hashknife Outfit on Gutenberg


Review: Charles Wheeler


Translations:

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 2014-06-01 in Books

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Code of the West (1923)

The Code of the West

Hide with Cedar / Cypress Frame; Code of the West Drag Rider;
Link to http://www.oldwestcedarmill.com/ has expired

The Country Gentleman, May 5 – July 7 1923
P. F. Collier & Son 1934

When googling “Code of the West”, Zane Grey, a lot of city sites turned up that referred to Zane Grey’s definition of the Code of the West as a basis for the way they felt their area was perceived by its citizens. Because of that I am going to include an extract from Dr. Joe Wheelers essay on why we ought to read Zane Grey (reviews below):

Loyalty. A cowboy took pride in being loyal to his “brand.” The highest compliment a man could receive in the Old West was: “He’ll do to ride the river with.”

Friendship. There was no more sacred obligation than to be there when your friend needed you.

Hospitality. Anyone who wandered in – even an enemy – was welcome at the table. The same was true for riders who joined cowboys on the range.

Fair Play. Westerners despised duplicity or under-handedness of any kind.

Liquor. Drinking on duty was grounds for instant dismissal and blacklisting.

Generosity. Most cowboys were generous to a fault.

Curiosity. It was dangerous to inquire into what someone was back “in the states.”

Kindness. Consideration for others was central to the Code.

The Environment. The cowboy … had no tolerance for those who would disfigure trees or rocks.

Integrity: Honesty was an absolute.

Religion: Living by the Golden Rule.

Credit: Tonto Basin Ranger District

Credit: Tonto Basin Ranger District

Zane Grey has been mocked for the values portrayed in his novels. He was mocked by “citified” people back when he wrote his novels. But in general this does seem to be how Zane Grey thought people ought to behave. What we tend to forget about the romance part of his novels is that romance was portrayed just this way back around 1900. His attitudes toward women that are portrayed in his novels were the rule of the time rather than the exception. Zane Grey’s own life did not exactly follow his novels when it came to women. As Grey himself wrote “The cowboys all had secrets” (Thomas H. Pauly). His “secret” was women – a lot of women.

When Georgianna arrives at Tonto Basin in Arizona, it should come as no surprise to us that she has been sent there by her parents and doctor for a change of scenery. It seems Georgianna had gotten herself lung problems due to all of her dancing and gadding about. Fortunately, her sister, Mary Stockwell is on the scene ready to take care of her younger sister and to show her how life should really be lived. But it seems Georgianna has realized something perhaps Mary has not. Men and women did not/do not stand on equal terms and this is something Zane Grey lets on that he was aware of as well by writing Georgianna’s character.

Cal Thurman is the love that is set aside as Georgianna’s suitor. Mary and Enoch also come together in Code of the West, although without all of the bumps of Cal and Georgianna’s relationship.


Code of the West on Amazon


Reviews:


Films/Movies


Translations:

 

 


Code of the West: Trademark no. 3709620, 2009

Rider of the Purple Prose

 
1 Comment

Posted by on 2014-05-31 in Books

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: