Saturday, 28 December 2013

Gordon Ray Young - Author, Cowboy - Autobiography in Saturday Evening Post, March 7, 1942

Gordon Young was one of the top writers for Adventure magazine. Here's an auto-biographical short article from him on that originally appeared in the March 7, 1942 issue of the Saturday Evening Post.

Gordon Ray Young
Gordon Ray Young

GORDON RAY YOUNG, having written his first Post serial with Tall in the Saddle, goes back over his own early days to see what makes a writer of Western stories:

" I regret that I’m no youngster, but I’m glad that as a kid I caught a fading glimpse of the Old West, I was born in Ray County, Mo., 1886, near the home and stamping ground of Jesse James and grew up thinking of him as a hero, though later information modified that. Forty-two years ago I began working through the summers on the XY, owned by Fred Harvey, known as 'the eating-house man.’ His ranch lay about thirty miles west of Granada, Colorado, near the Kansas border. Mr. Harvey also owned a big alfalfa ranch at Granada, and the cows were brought in off the range for winter feeding. Such cowboys as stuck it out rode fence with a sack of staples and a hammer instead of a six-shooter, or loaded hayracks from the stacks and scattered the hay among the herds. Going to school seemed the lesser bad job.

"In school only two things interested me: girls and poetry. I can count a cribbage hand at a glance, but I couldn’t then, and I can’t yet, add a column of figures and get the same answer twice. I’m not much better at spelling. I took up public speaking.

“ I had no more interest in public speaking than I had in raising spinach, but I knew a lot of Kipling and through the summer I’d tell it to the cows. In 1906 I won the state oratorical contest at Colorado Springs— and haven’t made a public speech since.

"After three years of riding I heard about the ocean and got curious—about the South Seas particularly. That is another story; I have since had seven or eight books published out of that one story. My father had a friend who was an editor on the Rocky Mountain News, and the friend put me to work at $5 per week.

" The star reporter was a very quiet young man who never took any interest in me; yet, in a way, he is responsible for the thirty-odd years that I have been writing, I know—I saw the check—that he got as much as $50 for something; and in one month he had five poems and stories in national magazines. The News was proud and gave him a writeup. He wrote as if it wasn't any trouble at all; as if he merely tipped the ink bottle and the words smoothly flowed out onto the paper. He still writes that way. His name is Damon Runyon.

“Once hunting was a passion. Now I won’t shoot at much of anything but black spots on paper—and sometimes miss them. Any marksman will know what I mean. Revolvers are a hobby and I have some of the best. I believe I am the only fellow to blow up a .357 magnum revolver with a reload, or any other way. It was wholly unintentional. The manufacturer traded me a new gun because he wanted to see what the wrecked one looked like. Not pretty; not when you think of where all the flying pieces might have hit.”

Monday, 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas to you all and a happy New Year

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the readers of this blog.
Wish you all many more happy years with friends, family and fiction of your choice.
Pulp Christmas Postcard courtesy EBay
If you want to get the postcard, go to 

Saturday, 21 December 2013

On account of a woman - short story by Theodore Roscoe

This short story by Theodore Roscoe originally appeared in the January, 1936 issue of Adventure. It's set in the Middle East, and is similar in structure to the Thibaud Corday stories. The ending is different though.

Two companions are working in the Middle East when they come across a very striking statue of a woman. They steal it away from the tribe that guards it and the inevitable chase happens and the pursuers catch up to them. What happens next?

On account of a woman by Theodore Roscoe (Originally appeared in Adventure, January, 1936]
On account of a woman by Theodore Roscoe (Originally appeared in Adventure, January, 1936]
Download the story here.

If you like the story and want to read more like this, I'd suggest getting the Thibaud Corday stories which are available from Altus Press in book and ebook format.



Saturday, 14 December 2013

The Seal of Jenghis Khan - short story by H. Bedford-Jones

H. Bedford-Jones was the King of the Pulps before Erle Stanley Gardner took over, writing more than a million words of fiction a year. The Seal of Jenghis Khan is fairly typical of his writing style, building a story on historical fact and lore around the legendary Genghis Khan.

The Seal of Jenghis Khan by H. Bedford-Jones (Originally appeared in Adventure, 10 June, 1923]
The Seal of Jenghis Khan by H. Bedford-Jones (Originally appeared in Adventure, 10 June, 1923]

Download the story here.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Arthur D. Howden Smith's Swain the Viking in his last adventure

Arthur D. Howden Smith's best writing is generally considered to be the Grey Maiden series. I personally prefer his stories of Swain the Viking that are based on the character of Swein Asleifsson as recorded in the Orkneyinga saga.

Adventure magazine inspired Robert E. Howard, and I feel sure that at least some of that inspiration came from these stories.

Swain's End - Adventure, 20 January, 1924
Swain's End - Adventure, 20 January, 1924

The story you are about to read, Swain's End, is the logical ending of the series. It's a fitting end for a hero's saga, and events proceed with the inevitability of classical Greek tragedy where the fates pull the threads.

The prose style might strike you as a little stilted. Stick with it.

You have spoken as becomes a friend," said Swain. “Likewise, your advice is sound. If it were not for the honorable obligation upon me to slay Olvir Rosta I would heed what you say and bide at home as becomes a man who is past his youth, and whose strength is wasted away in the wet work and the fighting. But I do not doubt I shall catch Olvir on this cruise, for he is too near to escape me. When that is done I shall have no more occasion for viking-faring, unless it be on your account. Therefore I promise you that this shall be my last cruise. I will endeavor to win as much fame as possible on it, and afterward I will leave off war-going.”

“Ah, well, comrade,” returned the Jarl sadly, “you promise all that I have a right to expect of you, but it is difficult to know which comes first—death or lasting fame.”

Download the story here. It's 40 pages long, so you might want to print it before reading.

I wish someone would collect these stories in book form - Howden Smith and Swain deserve better than to be forgotten.

To get the first five stories in the series, you could get the book Swain's Saga. It'd definitely be cheaper (and a lot easier) than getting the 5 issues of Adventure where these appeared.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Saturday, 30 November 2013

The Admiral - short story by S.B.H. Hurst

An interesting short story set in India (and it mentions some places I've lived in), from the pages of Adventure, November 30, 1925. S.B.H. Hurst, the author, had visited India earlier as a sailor and the local color is correct.

The Admiral - short story by S.B.H. Hurst
The Admiral - short story by S.B.H. Hurst

Download the story here.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Sea Kickup Elephants - fact article by Claude W. Bostock

This story originally appeared in the May 1, 1935 issue of Adventure. Claude W. Bostock (1891-1970), the author, was a member of the Bostock family that ran the Bostock and Wombwell menagerie.

It's about shipping elephants trans-atlantic and the insurance problems arising from that.

Mr. Reginald Smithers insured a shipment of elephants; then the radiograms began—“got ice one elephant big catchem cold.” 
Claude W. Bostock - Sea Kickup Elephants - May 1, 1935, Adventure

I found it amusing. You can read the story here.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Compound Interest - short story by Hugh Pendexter

Here's a funny story from Hugh Pendexter that originally appeared in the March 15, 1933 issue of Adventure. This is the story that prompted me to find out more about Pendexter and start the blog.

Justice can be delayed, but not denied - as a railway lawyer finds out.

Download the story here.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Off-trail e-book recommendation: Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household

Readers of this blog will enjoy the thriller Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household. It's one of the best thrillers/adventure stories I have read, and the best in the pursuit thriller sub-genre.

The book is based on an premise that many of us might have wondered about: What if someone assassinated Hitler before he came into his full power as a destructive force? The assassin fails and becomes the hunted in a deadly game, with the suspense reaching an unendurable level as the story nears its end.

Available only today as a daily deal e-book for $1.99 from Amazon:


Some reviews here:


The Guardian

Friday, 8 November 2013

Of Deadly Weapons - a Caradosso short story by F.R. Buckley

This short story by F.R. Buckley appeared in the April, 1947 issue of Adventure. I like this series very much and this is a typical entry - Caradosso offers advice to the new Duke about an alchemist who is selling the duke a super-explosive. As usual, Caradosso has his tongue firmly in cheek and his hand out asking for a favor while managing to mock the Duke and the alchemist.

Download the story here.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Complete Index of Adventure, Blue Book magazines now online at Fictionmags

Included are:

A complete index to Adventure, courtesy of Richard Bleiler who allowed us to use the index he published some years ago.

A complete index to Blue Book Magazine, courtesy of Mike Ashley, Victor Berch & Gene Christie who allowed us to use the unpublished index they compiled between them.

An index to over 900 of the 1114 issues of Short Story Magazine, including all issues from 1922 to the end of the run.

An index to over 1800 issues of Argosy, including almost 600 issues of the "pre-pulp" period, over 1000 issues of the "pulp" period and 250 issues of the "post-pulp" period, as well as a complete index to the British magazine of the same name.

A complete index to Munsey's Magazine.

A complete index to The Cavalier [1908] from the unpublished work of William J. Clark.

An index to the fiction contents of over 600 of the 782 issues of Railroad (Man's) Magazine.

A complete index to the Saturday Evening Post from 1899 to the end of the original run in 1969, courtesy of Mark Owings and Martin Morse Wooster.

All this and MUCH MUCH more at the updated FictionMags Index site.

A month of stories from Adventure magazine

This is going to be a month of stories from Adventure, with one story appearing each week. The stories should give a good flavor of Adventure across the decades:

Issue Date
Of Deadly Weapons
April, 1947
A Caradosso short story
Compound Interest
March 15, 1933
Pendexter in a humorous vein
Sea Kickup Elephants
Claude W. Bostock
May 1, 1935
Insurance wrangles
The Admiral
November 30, 1925
An Indian fisherman plays his part in World War 1

Enjoy and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Barry Scobee - Auto-biography in Campfire – Adventure, November 8, 1926

Barry Scobee
Barry Scobee (Photo courtesy Archives of the Big Bend, Bryan Wildenthal Memorial
Library, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, Texas)

AT OUR last meeting we inaugurated the new custom of having the biography of one of our writers at the end of each “Camp-Fire,” so that all readers may come to know personally our old writers as well as those who join us as we go along. This time it’s Barry Scobee.
MR. SCOBEE is an old-timer on Adventure. He is also a down-trodden, luckless man; we have his word for it. He says nothing ever happens to him. When he first wrote for us, back in 1919, he was particularly plaintive about his luck. Here’s what he said then:

“Here’s my luck. I was an attendant in a Keely Cure institute once. No, I wasn’t working my way through. Staying in a room one night to watch a dopey, I was awakened from profound sleep by him standing over me brandishing a razor and a revolver and calling me the man who had run away with his wife. But nothing happened. He forgot me and went to shout out of the window at some woman he insanely took for his wife. I and another man drove an old tin car through the guard into a besieged town once, that being the only available way of getting in. We were taken before the general, who threatened to shoot us. But nothing happened. In an hour we were sipping cognac with the American Consul. I was taking a man to military prison once in the Philippines, on a small steamer, and lost my gun. But nothing happened. The prisoner found it and returned it to me. I have been deer hunting and bob-cat hunting in exceedingly wild country. But nothing happened. The other men got the game. I helped to go to the source of the greatest lost gold-mine story that ever tempted the Southwest. Nothing happened. There wasn’t any mine.”
“Now all that isn’t any laughable matter, believe me. It means that when I concoct a piece of fiction I’ve got to slave like a printer’s devil to work up a climax!”

Mr. Scobee gets locale, settings and fact material for his stories from his own experience. He has “lived around” in the Southwest most of his life, in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, and six years in the Puget Sound region of Washington gave him material for his Northwestern stories. He soldiered in Texas and the Philippines in the regular army, Company H, 9th U.S. Infantry, from November 22, 1907, to November 21, 1910.
So much for the authenticity of his story material. It might be added that some of the stories which he has built around the material and which have appeared in these pages have been mentioned before. His story, “The Wind,” included in O’Brien’s Best Short Stories for 1921, first appeared in Adventure.
AS TO the rest of his dull and uneventful life, here’s Mr. Scobee’s sad story:
He was born May 2, 1885, on his father’s farm near Pollock, Mo., in the northern part of the State. He was educated at the local school, and attended the normal school at Kirksville, Mo., but left before he obtained his degree. Sometime during his early years he learned the printer’s trade at Unionville, Mo.
After school he went to the army for a commission but changed his mind when he got in, though he says he had “no particular kick” against the service. He was post printer in the army, at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, for a year or two, and after his army service ended in November, 1910, spent a year knocking about Missouri.
He took a newspaper job on a daily paper at Pittsburg, Kansas, October 3, 1911, and continued there about three years, with the exception of three months when he worked on a paper at Muskogee, Okla.
He spent winter of 1914 at Corpus Christi, Texas, and lived in San Antonio from January 28, 1915, to February 28, 1917. He has been on the Mexican border, and across in Mexico a little, as a newspaper man on the San Antonio Express, and working for other papers; and was military writer on the Express for some time, being on General Funston’s headquarters when Pershing was in Mexico. He lived in Fort Davis, Texas, March 1, 1917, to August 31, 1918, and in Bellingham, Wash., from June 7, 1919, to September 10, 1925, when he returned to Fort Davis, Texas, from which place he writes us now.
The winter of 1918-19 he spent at and near San Antonio.
He was married at Kansas City, November 24, 1911.
He ran both a country newspaper and a hotel here at Fort Davis in 1917-18, but afterward gave them up.
“RECREATIONS,” says Mr. Scobee, “are hiking up a high mountain now and then, and down again.
“Or riding in cattle round-ups with reglar cowboys, watching how they do, or branding and burning my fingers.
“Studying Indians from their numerous old paintings on the rocks of the Southwest, or their shelters, etc. (Quite amateurish at this.)
“Studying birds and classifying them, and acquiring knowledge of their habits. (Quite an amateur ornithologist, quite amateurish that is.)
“Studying the Mexicans, who are my nearest neighbors, and studying their language and acquiring one new word annually if I’m industrious. Can say manana and “hot tamale” and “a bowl of chili” already, and buenos dias—or something about like that.
“Saw a bank cashier offer a cowboy a chair today. The cowboy kinda blushed and said: ‘By gosh, that’s the first time anybody ever brought me a chair in my life. Reckon I’ll set down in it and try how it goes.’ Nobody ever asked me for my memoirs before until Adventure done so, but unlike the cowboy I can’t enjoy it.
“P.S.—How I happened to be in the bank where the cashier and cowboy got so polite and friendly, was, I went in to fill my fountain pen that I found, as the saying is.”—

Barry Scobee
Barry Scobee (Photo courtesy Archives of the Big Bend, Bryan Wildenthal Memorial
Library, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, Texas)

H.A. DeRosso - new ebooks - 2 novels and 1 short story collection

AmazonEncore has reissued three H.A. DeRosso books in ebook format:


A dark, psychological Western, .44 merges the brooding sensibility of noir with the stark, iconic desert landscapes that symbolically leave the characters exposed and vulnerable to the harsh high noon sun, but also those parts of themselves that they’d rather not give in to. DeRosso’s writing is stark and hard-hitting, devoid of excessive flourishes yet finely attuned to the inner-lives of his characters – and we can’t forget the suspenseful shootouts. When its lean but dynamic 159 pages are over, you can’t help but admit that .44 is one hell of a good Western.
Another review at:

Foreword by Bill Pronzini
The Bounty Hunter
Long Lonesome
Whitewater Challenge
The Hired Man
The Last Sleep
My Brother: Killer
Fair Game
The Mesteños
Those Bloody Bells of Hell!
Under the Burning Sun is more than a collection of western stories. It is a sample of how good the genre story can be. The violence—and there is some—is realistic and vivid. It is examined with a neutrality that allows the reader to see its affects on the characters and story. The “shadowlands” tales—“The Bounty Hunter” and “Those Bloody Bells of Hell!”—are brilliant.


The hero, Dave Driscoll, is in jail for rustling, but the fellow in the next cell has it even worse. He’s going to be hanged the next morning for killing a bank teller during a robbery. This doomed hombre is a hardscrabble rancher with a wife, a son, and a failing spread who became a bank robber to help his family. Because of that, he’s hidden the money he got away with and refuses to tell anyone where it is, including the brutal sheriff who wants the loot for himself.
However, when Driscoll gets out of prison three years later and returns to the same town, he finds that a lot of people believe the condemned man told him where the money was hidden, and now there are various factions who want to force him to lead them to the loot by any means necessary, including torture. Driscoll really doesn’t know where the money is, but he wants to find it to help the hanged man’s wife and son.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Nictzin Dyalhis - Auto-biography in Campfire – Adventure, October 10, 1922

Cover of Adventure, October 20, 1922 (courtesy Laurie Powers' Wild West Blog)
Cover of Adventure, October 20, 1922 (courtesy Laurie Powers' Wild West Blog)

From the Camp-Fire, Adventure, 20th October, 1922, where Nictzin Dyalhis had his first story (Who Keep the Desert Law) published:

Illustration for Who Keep the Desert Law by Nictzin Dyalhis
Illustration for Who Keep the Desert Law by Nictzin Dyalhis

FOLLOWING Camp-Fire custom Nictzin Dyalhis rises and introduces himself on the occasion of his first story in our magazine:

Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania.

“Hello, the Fire!”
In the old days it paid to stand off and yell, and not approach too close until actually invited. Of course, the invitation is an open one, but even so, although frequently tempted to walk into the light, I have refrained until I felt justified in coming in out of the wet.
BY PROFESSION I am a chemist. In years nearly fifty—-in heart, about sixteen - my wife’s mother says I’ve never grown up! One way she’s quite right, for I am one of these sawed-off, hammered-down, weazened-up runts weighing— when I’m fat-and-sassy—from five to ten pounds over one hundred.
A long time ago I went to the South-west. My intentions were good—I was going to assay all the ore west of the Rockies!
Rex Beach wrote a book once called “Pardners”— in that book an old-timer says: “Thar’s two diseases no doctor has any right meddlin’ with—one’s hoss-racing, t’other’s prospeclin.’” He’s quite right! I know! Assaying? Pooh pooh! An old man, with more pity on my ignorance than I deserved, took me with him on the desert.
Bitten at a tender age, what hope remained for one thus afflicted?
SURE, I’ve done lots of other things since, but—I went one trip snapper-fishing in the Gulf when only a “kid-of-a-boy.” I took one trip and only one “down-de-bay” out of Baltimore on an oyster-dredger in the bad old days of the “pungy,” the “bug-eye,” and the “brogan-canoe”! I’ve signed out on more than one “tall water” cruise, but I invariably turned up missing before the return trip. Because why? Prospectin’ was good somewheres up-country!
I’ve prospected for gold, silver, platinum, tungsten, several of the commercial minerals and, above all, for gems and precious stones, including pearls (fresh-water variety), also, turquoise and ruby (domestic and foreign). Did I ever strike it rich? I’ll say I DID! I’m worth exactly eleven million seven hundred thousand dollars—in experiences which otherwise I might never have had! Money? How do you get that way? I’m dead broke!
“Never made any?” Oh, yes, I did—but I used it! What am I to do when Winter comes? Before next snow-fly I’ll be on the trail again. Following that—I should care! And the worst of it all is— my wife aids and abets me in my sins! And she’s no slouch with a pan, a dry-washer or a jassacks! She can tie all “them” hitches—hackamore, hobble, diamond and squaw. Also, she knows a dang-sight more than I do about pearls.
Now I’ve no contract to use up all the paper in sight, so here we rest—you probably need it after this screed!
And to you about the Fire—may your shadows never grow less! And to those on the trails—may your feet never grew wearied!

And so—Good-night.
—Nictztn Dyalhis
For more information on this author who was a prominent science fiction writer and had five cover stories in Weird Tales, see this article.

Friday, 18 October 2013

H. D. Couzens - Auto-biography in Campfire – Adventure, April 10, 1922

[This is an excerpt from the Campfire column in the issue of Adventure magazine dated April 10, 1922. It's about H.D. Couzens - whose novelette, Brethren of the Beach, was being published in expanded form in that issue.]

H.D Couzens - Brethren of the Beach - Adventure, April 10, 1922
H.D Couzens - Brethren of the Beach - Adventure, April 10, 1922

HARRY D. COUZENS, whose complete novelette appears in this issue, died in Arizona in May, 1914, after a long, brave fight against tuberculosis. Our reprinting “Brethren of the Beach” in enlarged form is explained in a note at the beginning of the story.

You old-timers will remember him, for his stories were favorites with you. Personally he was a man. If you knew him you liked him and admired him.

The following is from the Arizona Republican of May 20, 1914:

H. D. COUZENS was for many years one of the most prominent residents of Honolulu, T. H., where he held the position of chief deputy in the internal revenue service of the United States, and in that capacity gained distinction for efficiency in the performance of the duties of an office which, in that territory where smuggling and other illicit practises were unusually prevalent, required the exercise of much hardihood and courage.

During his residence in Honolulu and later in Los Angeles and New York, Mr. Couzens worked assiduously at writing and painting, in both of which arts he gained a wide reputation. Although his pictures, depicting different phases of the tribal life of the natives of Hawaii and of other parts of the world, brought him repeatedly into favorable prominence in the United States, his greatest reputation was earned as a writer of adventure stories full of the tang the South Seas and accurately descriptive of the islanders and of the varied types of white men who live among them. His knowledge of these people was obtained through personal association during his living and voyaging among the myriad islands of the southern seas and his writing was correspondingly true to life.

HE WAS, I think, the subject of the first of those informal talks that grew into our “Camp—Fire” department—when only the page facing the opening page of an issue was used for the purpose.

In those first days the author did not talk direct to readers but sent me the material from which I made my little “talk.”

THE following is his letter to me, giving me the information I used in that first talk:

Born Virginia. Ancestors, father’s side, long line of sea-captains back to Matthew Couzens, original settler at Newport, who was captain of British privateer: Hence roving disposition, I suppose. Educated and intended for engineer. Left New York in 1886 for Honolulu where I lived 4 years, returning in 1890 to New York intending to finish my engineering course and continue as the successor of my grandfather, Matthew K. Couzens, a civil engineer of Yonkers, N. Y., but found I was too good a draftsman. Had always done drawing and painting after a fashion but decided to take up art seriously as a career. I studied at the Art League and the old William M. Chase school on 23rd Street and later went to Paris where I studied in the Julian school and in the studios of Carolus Duran and I. L. Gérôme. As I had no funds for this, I was obliged to earn every cent as I went along and my years of study were a period of some privation upon which I do not look back with much pleasure. I have a house in Paris, or rather the little suburb of Renard, which I haven’t seen for fifteen years.

IN 1899 I left New York for Honolulu and lived there till 1907. In 1900, when the islands were formally annexed to the U. S., I was appointed Chief Deputy in the Internal Revenue service and held that in Honolulu till 1906. From 1907 till 1909 I lived in San Francisco when, by special request I accepted the appointment of Chief Deputy of Internal Revenue in Los Angeles. California had been divided into two official districts and my services were in demand as an expert to help them establish the new Southern District. I accepted a 60-day appointment but at the end of that period was asked to officiate for 60 days longer and did so. I came to New York in 1910, returning to Log Angeles in January, 1911, to settle some business matters.

SO MUCH for bare facts. These as they stand are not particularly interesting and you can utilize them as you see fit. The real that you want I’ll try to string along at random. For instance:

I have cruised in the South Seas, have chummed with traders, blackbirders, beach-combers, remittance-men and sailors. Kipling once said that if one lived at Port Said long enough he would meet everybody in the world. I think this is truer of Honolulu than it is of Port Said—at least you'll meet them there in less time. I met Robert Louis Stevenson in King Kalakaua’s stand at the old racetrack, and I’ve sat with Jack London on the lanai of the Seaside Hotel and heard him roast his critics by the hour. I have gone back and forth across the Pacific on Army transports and found old school mates in captain’s uniform seated opposite me at mess. I think I have as large a nodding or speaking acquaintance as any man in the world.

This may be trite enough and I realize that you want things can use to advantage. It is harder, I assure you, to write this sort of thing than episodic fiction. I may say that my best friend in Honolulu was Captain Albert H. Otis, who was captain of the yacht “Casco” when Stevenson took his celebrated cruise, and who is the original of “Captain Nares” in “The Wrecker”. He, dear man, has been the unconscious original of more than one of my fictitious sailor-men.

I HAVE slept out in the hills in the quest for moonshiners, and being entirely an out-of-door man by instinct and inclination have ridden horses of all tempers and breeds, sailed boats of all rigs, used firearms of all descriptions since I was too young to remember. Revolver-shooting is a hobby and I have several trophies for revolver and shot-gun work. Like Stevenson, I too have slept out in Portsmouth Square under the sky; and, like him too, all my life I have tried to write and seen my most ambitious efforts (essays, etc.) overlooked. Here the resemblance probably ceases.

I HAVE always had the inclination for literature and have been actually writing for publication since 1894, when a story of mine which appeared in Outing fired me with the ambition to peg away and make good in this way but it was later, when I was in the Revenue Service in Honolulu, that I began to tackle the real stuff. I used to go down to the office in the old Palace and plug away on my stories (sometimes all night long) and many of my things that are appearing now are the direct result of that patient industry. Some of it I sold, but I hoarded the rest against the great idea of coming East to the proper market for it and making good.

I was actually on my way to New York with this idea when I reached San Francisco in 1907. Then I reasoned with myself something after this fashion: I knew San Francisco, after a fashion, but. I knew no one there who be of the slightest use or help to me, whereas in New York I had friends and influence. Why, then, would it not be a good idea to “try it on the dog?” In other words, see if I could make good there first. I set myself a. mark. It was to sell Sunset Magazine a. good story (one that I approved of myself), illustrated by myself and then I would keep on my way East.

Well, I did it. I sold them a good many other things, cover pictures, illustrations, etc., and did considerable work for the art department of the Southern Pacific. I turned out stuff for various publications including the Western Field, the Newsletter and Crocker’s monthly and had various interests with engraving firms and lithographers that kept me pretty busy. I felt in the beginning that I was taking a sporting chance. That was my reason for stopping there in the first place, but as soon as they published “On Mokapu Beach” with my illustrations I packed my trunks.

Then came the appointment to the District of Southern California and I spent the following year there looking out for the interests of Uncle Sam, shooting quail and ducks and catching rainbow trout-altogether a busy and interesting year.

ITHINK this is about all. I know you don’t want anything of the personal adventure stuff in this else could branch into various flights. Perhaps you can find enough to answer your purpose in what I have written here. You might dwell on the fact that the South Seas and its people and what men do with schooners have been things of particular interest to me and I have made an effort to set some of them down in an interesting way. I’m still trying of course and I trust that Billy Englehart and I will have many a wild cruise together. The company of that celebrated ruffian is meat and drink to me, as Billy Bones says.

Note: Brethren of the Beach can be found in the outstanding collection from Black Dog Books, The Best of Adventure, 1910-1912.