“Texas Men and Texas Cattle” by E. E. Harriman

With Book 64, the publishers, Garden City Publishing, focused entirely on westerns, a clear indication that this genre outsold all other genres in the original series.

The rear covers on second-state editions announced forthcoming titles along with dates of publication, each on a monthly basis, beginning with this title, “Texas Men and Texas Cattle,” by E. E. Harriman, published 1st February 1926.

This edition also marks the first shift from 124-page to 188+ page volumes. The thicker volumes allowed the publishers a ready option to bind remainder stock later as hardcovers (which they did, on many of the future titles).

This long novelette hails from the July 1925 edition of Frontier. The cover art, by Nick Eggenhofer, originates with the 10 July 1924 edition of Short Stories.

The story is straight-forward from the onset, and heavily padded to the point of feeling quite dull at times. It’s neither a good book, nor a bad book, just the author’s choice of dialogue and dragging pulls down the value of this to me.

64 Texas Men And Texas Cattle

Will Stratton owns a ranch and is deep in debt. Loan sharks tricked him into a higher interest rate than verbally quoted, and years gone by, he is near bankruptcy. However, when a man from out West spends the night, traveling East, he learns that while cattle in Texas is worth pennies, folks in Arizona and California are in dire demand of beef, spending $25-40+ per head.

Breaking the law, he herds his cattle, along with two other neighborly ranchers, West, fighting their way past stampeding buffalo, Comanches, Apaches, rustlers, etc, before landing in Arizona and facing off against corruptly deputized men from Texas, serving a warrant. However, prior to this, the men had successfully sold the entire outfit and Stratton, by express, has posted due funds back to Texas, to his lawyer.

The three are intermittently jailed and post bond, await trial, and after two weeks go by, no word returns by express to set Stratton his fellow ranchers free. Thankfully, as luck would have it in the closing pages, an express man runs into the courtroom carrying a Texas-stamped envelope, with a letter from Stratton’s lawyer. The situation is deftly handled, and our men are free to roam….

“Texas Men and Texas Cattle” by E. E. Harriman

“Devil Marked” by Edwin L. Sabin

59 Devil Marked

Book 59 is “Devil Marked” by Edwin L. Sabin, returning to the series for the first time, since his inclusion with Book 2 in the original run.

The tale was originally printed in Argosy All-Story Weekly (1922 Sep: 9, 16, 23) in three installments, and also credited H. Bedford-Jones as a co-writer.

The date and era are never properly given to the reader, although we understand that it takes place some time during the mid-1800s. We are given real-life Governor Armijo, along with Bent’s Fort already being in existence.

The story opens with a backstabbing murder during a game of cards in New Orleans. A fourth player at the table steals away into the night and the remaining two take the money and likewise disappear.

Fast-forward a number of years, and we have two Cuban refugees (a boy and a girl) on a river boat. Of upper class, their parents are dead and they are seeking to locate their uncle in Santa Fe. While aboard, the boy is tricked into a game of cards and loses his family fortune. However, a brute of a man calls the bluff and announces the game to be “fixed.” Going by the name of Captain Badger, he takes he pair of Cubans under his assumed protective wing, while his true intentions are the gold doubloons.

Also aboard ship is the brother (Duprez) of the assassinated card-player. He has been hunting the killers his whole life, but is unaware that Badger is the backstabber.

After disembarking, Badger places the pair in a semi-reputable hotel (of sorts) and the girl stashes the gold among chimney ashes. The boy is lured away that night to play cards with Badger and company. Hours later, deeply drunk, he is duped by a note to hurry back to his sister. Likewise, the sister is informed that her brother is injured. She foolishly leaves hotel and gold behind, and is led away and confused in the by-streets and alleys, before the leading villain disappears without a trace. Lost and alone, she is shocked to find Duprez there and he brings her back to the hotel, only to find that ruffians are (falsely) assaulting the boy and Captain Badger.

Duprez vanishes too. In truth he snuck into the hotel, found the gold, and seized it for safekeeping, realizing the Captain to be a scoundrel.

However, one of the villains spotted Duprez depart the hotel and they convince the boy that he is a thief. The boy is entirely a (schmuck) throughout the entire novel, earnestly believing Badger and his claims.

Hiring a couple wagons to train down to Santa Fe, Badger insists on freely escorting the pair to the town. Meanwhile, he has abandoned the gold and wishes to avail himself of the girl.

Things go slightly awry, as the gold is recovered by the gang after they ambush Duprez in the desert and leaving him for dead. However, despite having been shot in the head (likely only grazed) he stalks the wagons and when a band of marauders attack the wagons, he rides in to save the day, only to ride out again when the girl is kidnapped.

Badger and the gang spot Duprez among the marauders and convince the boy that it was Duprez himself whom abducted the girl, and, has the gold, too! when in fact Badger has the bag of gold.

The whole story eventually shifts climatically to Santa Fe, where Duprez and Badger fight it out with large knives. You know the rest. Duprez slays Badger, gets the girl, and a ton of other details hanging in the wind prior as irrelevant suddenly manifest as important, but I rather not bog down this blog by ruining the background plot devices at work.

Unless “Loaded Dice,” this novelette here is far superior to that horrendous earlier piece, and while I dislike this genre, I do great dishonor to the tale itself were I not to recommend it for future reading among you fellow pulpsters!

“Devil Marked” by Edwin L. Sabin

“Tramps of the Range” by W. C. Tuttle

57 Tramps Of The Range.jpg

W. C. Tuttle brings us “Tramps of the Range,” being book 57 in the Garden City Publishing pulp digest-paperback series, and originates within the 28 February 1923 edition of Adventure.

Reading this tale was a surreal pleasure, as I have never read a Hashknife Hartley and Sleepy Stevens story. Given that Tuttle has written dozens range-detective tales featuring the duo, this caught me off guard.

The tale is competently told, not quite so fast-paced nor loaded with action, but brings enough to the plate to keep the reader turning page after page to learn what comes next. It was a hard book to put down. Generally, I’m satisfied to stop at the next chapter, and found myself pages into the next one without any forethought.

Hartley and Stevens are investigating a heist and the banking association has the penitentiary early-release their lead suspect from a 5-year term, four years early, in the hopes that he will go straight to the stolen-cached loot. With a Tuttle story, you can bet your ass it ain’t gonna be that simple.

The pair are shot at, their horses are murdered, there is a love-triangle apparent, a girl is in love with the apparent heist-man, the heist-man’s father is gunned down as being the elusive “Black Rider” whom has been robbing carriages and such, etc.

Suffice to say, if you haven’t read a Hashknife Hartley and Sleepy Stevens story, this one was a sure-fire romp. And the comradeship between the two, the open goofiness and facetious attitude between one another makes their serious antics aloof, right until they come to climax and must relinquish their tendencies and come to grips with solving the robberies, murders, and twisted love affairs.

Thankfully, a good many of Tuttle’s tales are available in vintage paperback form, and can be readily found online, or, if you are fortunate enough to live near a decent used bookshop (I live in hell, so I’m not so lucky) then pay them a visit!

“Tramps of the Range” by W. C. Tuttle

“The Bandit of Devil’s Own” by Lemuel L. De Bra

Book 54 in the Garden City Publishing pulp digest-paperback series is “The Bandit of Devil’s Own,” by Lemuel L. de Bra. It was originally printed within the 1st November 1923 edition of Ace-High Magazine.

54 The Bandit Of Devil's Own

Bob Branton is a customs officer riding the line between Mexico and the United States, and after a bit of undercover work across the border, has arrested a pair of smugglers. He is taken off-guard and overtaken by the duo, but is relieved when a group of riders soon arrive. Believing them to be officers of the law he is gobsmacked to eventually learn that he has landed from one frying pan, into one that is most certainly much worse. For, the group of riders are outlaws!

Strangely enough to Branton, he and the pair are taken into the custody of the outlaws and are brought deep into a range called “The Devil’s Own.” Clearly believing this to be the secret lair of the outlaws, Branton tries to leave clues behind on the trail in case “real” officers try to trace them. All for naught. The leader of the gang catches onto Branton’s attempts and eventually they are all blind-folded.

While trying to escape to the lair, one of the smugglers is shot down and confesses to Branton that the girl is not his sister, but an adopted Yankee whose family died while she was young. This part of the plot is useless to the story, as she really does not figure into the remainder of the novel.

Once in the enemy camp, he learns that the gang is mining for a lost lode of gold. This tale is firmly held up by an old codger name of Jeb whom seems to have lost his marbles.

After much literary padding, Branton, Jeb, and another custom’s officer (that was held prisoner) effect their escape and hold off the enemy long enough for the cavalry to arrive and save their lives….

Honestly, in my humble opinion, not one of the author’s better efforts. He is clearly utilizing his own former occupational background in the use of this novel effort.

“The Bandit of Devil’s Own” by Lemuel L. De Bra

“Thunderhorse” by Edison Marshall

53 Thunderhorse

Book 53 sports a magnificent illustrated action cover by Edgar Franklin Wittmack, which hails from the 10 November 1921 edition of Short Stories. The title of the tale here, “Thunderhorse,” was initially confusing, as no such title had been reported to the FictionMags Index site. However, after reading the tale, it was readily recognized to be “The Test of Charity Blair” from the 1st April 1923 edition of Ace High Magazine.

Charity Blair has been contacted by a relative residing out west in Oregon. She’s been asked to teach school for a year out west. Currently teaching in Chicago, Charity is tired of city-life and heads west on the train. She absorbs the dreary scenery but finds it all to be thrilling.

Met at the depot by John Sherwood, head man at Charity’s aunt’s ranch, she is immediately captivated by the tall, rugged, but certainly not handsome individual. Believing that they are to “ride” to the ranch she is struck briefly in terror to realize she is ride a horse. She has zero prior experience upon one!

Further, she’s not wearing proper attire. Thankfully, Charity’s aunt foresaw this dilemma and sent with John some riding clothes. Switching into them via a towns-person’s home, she is instructed how to mount. Her first attempt is not great, but, she refuses to give up. Realizing its do-or-die time, she accomplishes mounting and suffers through the next ordeal: convincing the horse to respond to her commands.

This too she manages swiftly enough and wins the admiration of John Sherwood. The author then poetically pads out the remainder of the novel by teaching her how to ride, shoot, hunt, teach the children at the school, etc.

So where does this “Thunderhorse” come in? Well, he is an escaped grey-white that has been stealing mares from the ranch and running away with them. And, to worsen matters, Thunderhorse has a price tag on his head. The ranchers are tired of the thievery and have decided that he must die.

However, Thunderhorse has a reputation for not fearing women, and so, Charity befriends the horse.

Eventually it is learned, near the end of the novel, that Thunderhorse is “mostly” innocent, that a bunch of quarter-breeds are stealing the horses and laying the blame at the feet, er, I mean hooves, of Thunderhorse.

The thieves are rounded up, and Thunderhorse is permitted to run wild and free….

“Thunderhorse” by Edison Marshall

2015 December 20: “Green Timber Thoroughbreds” by Theodore Goodridge Roberts

45 Green Timber Thoroughbreds

Book 45 is “Green Timber Thoroughbreds” by Theodore Goodridge Roberts, with cover illustration by Lynn Bogue Hunt. The pulp tale was originally featured in the 10 November 1923 edition of Short Stories magazine.

The tale opens with Robert Vane walking into a wilderness north town and a house is on fire. He rescues an old man and then proceeds up a ladder to carry out another body that is unconscious from smoke inhalation. Then he departs the scene and seeks shelter at the village hotel.

The next day, the town is a-buzz over the whole ordeal, and Vane is thanked profusely for saving Joe. When he is greeted and thanked in person by “Joe” he is nonplussed to learn that “Joe” is a girl, short for Josephine.

He confesses to the hotelier that he is interested in horses, and seeking a specific breed locally that has good blood in it. The tale is more convoluted, in that the horses’ pedigrees all dial back a century when Vane’s grandparents brought over a horse of fine-standing, but was stolen. Stories of great horse races in this region and markings lead Vane to the quiet remote town to investigate if these are descendants of the original.

They are.

So he seeks to buy one horse but the locals that own the breeds are a nefarious, murderous bunch of scoundrels, and, illegally brewing during prohibition. So, thinking he is a  government man, they go out of their way to capture and kill him, but fail.

Finally, they do capture him, drag him far out into the woods and leave him to do. Unfortunately for them, Joe trails the villains, frees Vane, and they, overnight, through a snowstorm, find their way to a cabin and collapse.

They recover overnight with the cabin’s tenants, and two weeks later, marry.

The villains are all arrested by the sheriff.

It’s not really the author’s best work, by a long-shot, but, I am happy to have had the pleasure to read this novel, since it is a damn hard one to obtain. The story falls flat with me since I have zero interest in horse racing and the background of the pedigrees, etc, which was used more as “padding” then necessary to the overall story.

2015 December 20: “Green Timber Thoroughbreds” by Theodore Goodridge Roberts

“The Remittance Woman” by Achmed Abdullah

42 The Remittance Woman

Book 42 is “The Remittance-Woman,” by Achmed Abdullah, a man whom you can always rely on to bring you some quality Oriental fiction. This tale originates within the July 1922 pulp Everybody’s Magazine.

Marie Campbell is a hopeless bounder of an American, daughter to a wealthy hardworking man, whom doles out to her a regular allowance which she spends with reckless regard. She has no concept of reality and talks, dresses, and behaves more like a man than a lady should. Annoyed at her attitude, her father gives her two options: choose between being a man or a woman!

She chooses to be treated as a man, and he accepts. In this regard, she is to leave America, make good on her own, and he will pay  her quarterly an allowance of $1500 (negotiated UP by her from one-grand, incidentally). She agrees, and nonchalantly states she will visit China.

Appalled by her decision, he insists that she take along with her a thumb-sized Chinese vase, but keep it hidden and only share its existence when she deems it necessary. Baffled by his attitude toward a fragile vase, she readily agrees and we later find her in China at a hotel, already having blown through two quarters’ allowances and deep in debt at the hotel. She has foolishly, childishly, spent her funds on Chinese items at extravagant prices.

Things go awry when the hotel maid is murdered and a series of men railroad her into jail, because she refuses to yield up what they desire…the Chinese vase!

While in jail, she effects her escape, only to land within the confines of the Temple of Horrors. She negotiates her leave (with the man featured on the front cover of the book) and while being escorted out, manages once again to escape.

With the aid of an English sailor (the male silhouette featured on the cover) she makes her way to the grounds of a Russian, whom absurdly she immediately falls in love with and he, in turn, with her, at first sight. She confesses the location of the missing vase to him, but he does not pursue it. Instead, she is surrendered into the hands of a distant relative, whom delivers her safely to the house of another, where one of the men, whom had her arrested earlier in the novel, is agitating over her disappearance, and the Chinese warpath against foreigners that is about to occur.

She boldly walks in and gaily laughs about the whole affair and tells the man where the vase is hidden. Thankfully, to make the novel shorter, the house they are at, its landed estates happen to butt-up-against the grounds of the aforementioned hotel, which he operates (how convenient!)….. He hurls his body out the door, sprints, retrieves the vase, and brings it back.

Marie takes the vase and goes back to the Temple of Horrors, demands the man on the throne surrender and proclaim peace, work with the three men that attempted to secure the vase from her, or, she will destroy the vase, which contains, secreted within, power of dominion, etc. Her threat is not necessary, as all present believe she is capable of such heresy, since her recently deceased uncle destroyed the vase’s twin.

And so, peace is restored to the lands of China, war called off, and Marie claims the Russian as her own to marry and take back with her to America.

Given the Hollywood’s modern zeal for pushing strong heroine-led movies upon the populace, they should perhaps give this novel some consideration, as it amply yields up tons of foreign color and intrigue. Naturally, it would need a serious re-write….

“The Remittance Woman” by Achmed Abdullah

“The Law of the Range” by W. C. Tuttle

24 The Law Of The Range

Book 24 wraps up the initial series of western, sea, wilderness and Frozen North tales brought to one and all back in 1923, by the Garden City Publications outfit.

Herewith, we have W. C. Tuttle’s “The Law of the Range.” The original copyright notices states 1922, via The Ridgway Company. This leads me to assume that this tale was originally printed as “The Spark of Skeeter Bill,” in Adventure (30 March 1922).

The tale opens with [cough cough] one Skeeter Bill riding into an ambush. His horse is shot out from under him and dies. Skeeter lays for the assailant, whom courteously makes himself present and open to Skeeter slicing lead through his legs. Tossing his rifle aside, Skeeter, rather than slay the man that slew his horse, demands to know why his was shot at.

The man is a sheepherder, out on the range with his wife. They moved to the range for his health, but the only work he could find was to herd sheep. Well, they are in cow country, and sheepherders ain’t welcomed too warmly. The herder has been harassed by others and assumed Skeeter was riding in to do the same.

Making as pards, the man brings Skeeter home and they have a wonderful sit-down. Now, Skeeter is a wee bit of a flippantly facetious cuss, and as a reader, you sort of chuckle along with his silliness, throughout. Skeeter takes up the task of riding into town for the couple to fulfill their shopping list, since he knows the town won’t allow the couple do buy anything.

Dressed more like a cowman and a gunner himself, Skeeter rides in on the old buckboard, and instantly finds himself the center of attention. Disregarding them, he saunters into the shop and is informed by the keeper they ain’t got nothing on his list. Skeeter makes mental note of what is present and walks the town.

Presently, the sheriff rides in, bleeding from a bullet wound. While the whole town is distracted, Skeeter ambles back into the store and wallops the man with a bag of flour, then, fulfilling the shopping list, leaves the correct amount of funds and departs, returning to the sheepherder’s ranch.

Upon arrival, he notices their shotgun discharged and abandoned on the porch. He doesn’t see the couple, but, finds a man shot down and dead. Heaving the body, he tries to hide the corpse but the sheriff and some others ride over from town, after the shopkeeper makes complaints.

Caught with the corpse, he is arrested and brought in. Refusing to admit his innocence, the judge slaps him with time in the penitentiary. This doesn’t go over well with the cattlemen, since the corpse was the boss of the Tin-Cup ranch! They are all for a lynching party.

The sheriff sneaks him out of the jail cell, days later, at night, during a dark rainstorm. They board a train and make their getaway. Unfortunately, another cattle group are planning to rob the train! To worsen matters, they run across another group with similar plans to stop the train…the Tin-Cup riders are set to stop the train, and lynch Skeeter!

Not knowing whom either group is up against, they shoot it out and one of the party purposely detonates a “torpedo” on the tracks signaling an emergency stop. Just in time, too, since one of the Tin-Cup apparently blew up the train trestle. The train comes to a screeching halt with the engine nearly dangling neatly over the precipice.

The Tin-Cup gang boards and the sheriff coolly wounds two attackers but suffers wounds of his own. Skeeter drags the sheriff along and jumps, making his getaway. Only, that jump never ends. He didn’t know that the train had stopped over the river!

They splash and Skeeter swims to the banks, dragging the unconscious sheriff with him. Out of the water, he finds the keys to the cuffs and makes to vamoose but then, because he IS A GOOD GUY, he goes back to save the sheriff.

Along the way, he picks up some others (I’d be entirely ruining the plot if I explained this part further, which only adds to the hilarious nature of Skeeter and his situation) and they all tromp to the sheepherder’s cabin, only to find yet another wounded person present that is NOT the couple. Skeeter nabs the buckboard and brings in three wounded people.

Meanwhile, in town, all believe he and the sheriff are dead, and the doctor is tending the two Tin-Cup gang that the sheriff shot on the train. They live. In walks Skeeter with all three…the sheriff, a hired gun man, and the fellow from the ranch (whom was there to kill the husband and take the purty wife, but I won’t ruin WHY this doesn’t occur), and the sheriff, after recovering, admits that he was the one that wielded the shotgun and killed the cattle boss, and to top that off, he is the secret owner of the sheep!!!

As usual, you can rely on veteran writer W. C. Tuttle for a competently written story, even if a wee bit unusual, but sure-as-hell entertaining!

“The Law of the Range” by W. C. Tuttle

2015 November 29: “Mormon Valley” by H. Bedford-Jones

23 Mormon Valley

Book 23 is “Mormon Valley” by H. Bedford-Jones.
It was originally printed in People’s Favorite Magazine (25 August 1918) as “What Happened in Mormon Valley.”

Despite the cover art (by Charles Durant) this is NOT a Western.

John Marsh is given the task, with partner Abe Levy, a French-Jew, to depart New York City and travel far west, and oversee the engineering construction of a great and wonderful dam that will transform the desert landscape into a multi-million dollar project.

The pair arrive and immediately set to work while facing down bullies among the workforce. All is going well until Marsh’s boss (and daughter, Elsa) arrive, to inspect the progress. At this point, it is learned that the storekeeper, name of Dundas, knows the girl from back East. Marsh is unhappy upon this discovery, as it is clear that Dundas is in love with Elsa.

After the boss departs, he leaves his daughter (and a girl-friend of hers) behind, to remain at the camp for fresh air, etc., while he goes off to inspect another construction site far away.

Maintaining a clean, and liquor-free camp, Marsh is met by an older Georgia-man that wishes to sell liquor to the men. Marsh turns down the offer and bribe money, and the man (Newgate) opens up a town of ill-repute across the state-line, full of saloons, liquor, gambling, dance-hall girls, etc.

Marsh informs his crew any that come back drunk or trying to slip in with concealed liquor shall be immediately fired. This is enforced and many are fired. Much to his chagrin, his men continue to go across and spend their wages.

Desiring some form of truce, Marsh goes to the town and meets with Newgate to negotiate an understanding. He asks only of Newgate to restrict the amount of liquor sold daily to his men, and Newgate, remarkably, readily agrees. In turn, Newgate wishes Marsh to join him in a drink, but Marsh declines. He doesn’t drink. Ever. So, Newgate offers ginger ale instead and they drink to that….

The day and night wanes and Abe is worried sick about the missing Marsh, when, suddenly, Marsh appears stumbling (to all appearances: drunk) past the lady’s cabin, whom take in his appearance immediately, too. He is bolstered up on either side by Newgate and a slutty dance-hall girl.

Abe rushes out there and demands the meaning of Marsh’s situation and Newgate informs that he is drunk, but Abe knows Marsh intimately as a dead-sober man and calls Newgate out as a damn liar and goes to throttle him. Newgate draws a hideaway and shoots to kill. Abe drops. Newgate flees the scene.

Marsh awakens next day to the doctor tending him. The whole camp has already heard a variety of the details. Marsh insists he drank only ginger ale, and after that, remembers nothing. His drink was doped and his clothing soaked in booze so that he would reek of drink. The doctor is unsure of his allegiances in the matter, but concurs that the clothes were indeed soaked.

Marsh is informed that Abe was fatally shot and is being tended by the women, and that Newgate is on the run. Abe’s in good care, especially as it seems that Elsa’s friend is in love with him! Tarnished of good name and reputation, neither girl wants Marsh’s company.

Angry, Marsh sets out to camp, and tells his men the truth and any that don’t believe can go to hell. He focuses all his energies into the construction of the dam and when Abe becomes well again, the pair set off to the nearest railway station. Marsh sends Abe to the capital to have certain forms filed, etc.

While in the rail-stations postal office, he runs across Newgate, operating under an alias. Beating him up and having him placed under arrest for attempted murder (of Abe), he discovers the man has been receiving mail for quite a while. One letter is from Dundas, and clearly marks Dundas as the brains and money backing Newgate’s town!

With this letter and Newgate cuffed, he returns to the camp for a final showdown with Dundas, but Newgate offers fresh trickery when he moves the car’s clutch. Unfamiliar with circumstances, Marsh attempts to switch gears, blows the engine and is hurled through the window and over the hood. Newgate drops Marsh with a blow to the skull and getting the car active again, takes off, leaving Marsh to die in the desert.

Marsh awakens to find himself battered and bloody, and, the camp’s safe beside him, empty. Bewildered, he is further nonplussed to see a car coming his way, led by Dundas, the doctor, and others. Dundas delivers a fine speech, ultimately implicating that Marsh and others came at night, broke into the camp store, murdered the storekeeper (that had replaced Dundas), and made off with the safe and contents. Then, Marsh’s partners had walloped Marsh on the noggin’ and left him behind while they went on to escape. The thread is loose but all buy into the theory.

Marsh realizes that he needs that letter from Dundas to Newgate to prove his innocence. Remarkably, while under arrest at camp, some of his men approach (mind you, Abe is still away at the capital all this time) and insist they believe him innocent, and concoct a way for him to escape. He finally agrees to escape, but, only for two weeks. If he can’t locate the evidence in that time, he surrenders to the sheriff.

With the aid of an old desert rat named Piute Joe (seems there is a Piute something-or-other in many of these westerns, eh?) they track across a vast desert to track down the missing automobile. Locating it, they come across a burned and mangled Newgate. The vehicle is crashed, demolished, and worse yet, the letter that had been secreted in the glove box, along with the rest of the car, is a smoky ruin. Marsh’s hopes and dreams are dashed….

Days pass, and the camp learns that the sheriff is bringing Marsh in, after surrendering from heat stroke and dehydration.

Dundas meanwhile has brought Elsa an Arabian horse, and they ride below the dam. Abe watches in misery, them and overseeing the construction, while Dundas again proclaims his love for Elsa, and asks for her to marry him. She declines, and infuriates Dundas, whom brags that if she marries him, he can set Marsh free. She flips the table on him, stating the only reason she rode with him was to get such out of him, and now she realizes firmly that Marsh was an innocent man.

Coincidentally, higher up, a truck slips down a grade and falls down toward them. Elsa is thrown from her horse and in a mark of heroism, Dundas leaps from his and hurls Elsa to safety while being smashed up by the rolling truck.

Dundas is hauled up and the doctor says there is nothing to save the wreck of a man. Abe is distraught, and, in a final moment of evil, Dundas tells Abe that he refuses to confess to the sins and that Marsh can go to the same hell that Dundas is already going to….

Well, Dundas loses that one. Sheriff arrives with Marsh, but, he’s not under arrest! Turns out Marsh was dragged into town by Piute Joe, along with the body of Newgate, whom, shockingly, was not dead. Just mostly dead. Administered back to life in town, Newgate confesses to the whole scheme.

Story ends with Marsh and Elsa proclaiming love for each other and Abe joyously running into the arms of the other girl….

2015 November 29: “Mormon Valley” by H. Bedford-Jones

2015 November 24: “Scavengers of the Sea” by George Ethelbert Walsh

21 Scavengers Of The Sea  USA & UK  UK 05 Scavengers Of The Sea

The 21st book in the Garden City Publications multi-genre pulp 1920s softback series is “Scavengers of the Sea” by George Ethelbert Walsh

Originally published in the September 1920 edition of Short Stories magazine, the cover was rendered by Lynn Bogue Hunt and itself originates from the 25 November 1921 issue. The contents of the story, while they do feature Caribbean pirates, do not feature a swarthy Spaniard pirate nor a parrot of any sort.

In 1929, World’s Work, a UK publisher, issued 10 titles from the original Garden City series. In their short-run reprint series, “Scavengers of the Sea” was Number 5.

The story opens with Dick Jordan clinging to a piece of wood for several days, having been the only survivor in his lifeboat after it flipped from a wave. Other boats had also dropped from the lead ship, but of these, Dick knows not. He is near the end of his life and wits’ end when he is rescued (sort of) by pirates. Realizing his dire predicament, he lies to the leader (Tucu) and convinces him that before the ship went under, he had jewels secured to a buoyant device that only he would recognize.

Not entirely believing Dick’s tale, Tucu agrees to keep him alive in lieu of obtaining these mythical jewels. While en route to the fake site, the pirates come across a schooner that is in disarray. Turns out the ship’s crew mutinied and abandoned ship after the captain lost his marbles, and they refused to take orders from his ocean-savvy daughter, Rose.

Realizing that the pirates intend to board the untended vessel, Dick jumps overboard and swims to Rose’s schooner, boards her, and helps to repel the pirates. The pirates depart, but overnight overcome Rose and Dick.

Having secured the schooner, the pirates listen with glee to the mad rantings of her father, the captain. He claims to have a treasure aboard. To no avail, they tear apart the ship in search of the treasure. Angered, they leave two pirates aboard the schooner and take Dick with them in search of the jewels. While departing, a huge storm rips through the area and Dick uses the opportunity to allow a wave washing over the deck to carry him back out to sea.

Once more adrift in the waters, he swims and luckily finds the schooner. Climbing aboard, he finds one pirate dead and the other overtaking Rose. This situation is soon overcome, but, the pair are desolately still faced with peril of the schooner potentially sinking in the storm. The ship is madly set adrift and whirling and miraculously, overnight, the captain regains his marbles after having been struck the prior day by the two pirates upon the noodle.

The three managed to wrestle the ship to an island that they spot in the distance and avoid crashing her upon the rocks. Dick disembarks, to explore the island. Cresting the lonely hill, he is dismayed to find that on the other side, safely anchored, is the pirate ship. The ship appears to be mostly deserted, and the reason why manifest readily when he spots them on the beach assaulting a group of survivors from a lifeboat that sank from the very same ship that Dick was on.

Too, he watches as a man, Hen Pettigrew, is gunned down three times. Hen is an officer of the law that aboard the damned ship, had arrested Dick on charges of theft. Dick is loathe to go down and save the survivors, so, returns to the schooner, and relays the news. With weapons, they could turn back the pirates and save the day. The captain chuckles that while the pirates may have confiscated all the visible weapons aboard the schooner, he did have some secreted about the ship in case of mutiny.

The captain turns up about a half-dozen automatic pistols. The trio climb the crest and Dick fights his way down to the survivors, arming the competent marksman about them with gun and ammunition.

Enraged by this, Tucu leads his pirates in a charge against the motley crew of survivors and are repelled by a steady onslaught of murderous humming bees that beat a metallic rhythm of pop and perforation of bodily parts. Now, in full retreat, Tucu takes the lead back to his ship but is shocked to find one body on the beach ahead of him alive….Hen Pettigrew! Angered beyond rational reasoning, rather than continual flight, he stops to ventilate Hen’s cranial-coop but a bullet shatters his aim and renders his arm useless.

Dick crashes into him and takes him down. Secured, he wedges his own gun into his waist, when abruptly Tucu unleashes a stowed blade and begins to assault the worn Dick. Rose to the rescue! She shoots Tucu down, saving Dick’s life.

Hen relays that he believes Dick innocent of charges, but must still bring him in. Penniless to hire an attorney to represent him, Rose states that her father was telling the truth regarding treasure and states that she will hire the best to save the man she loves….

2015 November 24: “Scavengers of the Sea” by George Ethelbert Walsh