|Information about this edition|
|Edition:||Extracted from Adventure magazine, 1926 Nov. 8, pp. 2–53.|
|Notes:||Accompanying illustrations may be omitted|
Something from Raymond S. Spears in connection with his novelette
(From the Camp-Fire section of the magazine, p. 201)
SOMETHING from Raymond S. Spears in connection with his novelette in this issue. As he says, some of Camp-Fire may argue with him as to his use of snares or over other fine points in his handling of fact-material in fiction, but friendly discussion is one of our chief reasons for meeting around the blaze. And we need not worry greatly over how Mr. Spears will face before the Camp-Fire tribunal. His being a nationally recognized authority on trapping and wild life wouldn’t ensure his escape from a grilling if he slipped, but his use of fact-material has withstood Camp-Fire’s scrutiny for years and, though he’s just as human as the rest of us, a friendly difference of opinion is about the worst he’s likely to harvest.
I took for my locale a region somewhat similar to the Uintah country north of the DuChesne at Strawberry river, where a friend of mine caught fourteen lobos a few years back—a bad band of raiders on the Latter Day Saint (Mormon) stock. But for freer hand I united sundry features which I needed in a U-shaped region, with inside and out- side excursions.
I felt obliged to bring in for verisimilitude and contrast the two fur trappers, Pretty Shells who follows the lines her husband blazed through a timber belt, and the thief-desperado trapper whose claim-jumping brings in the subject of Trappers’ Code and points the differences between bounty-wolf and pelage wildcrafting. And also emphasize the conflicting plot interests of the desert-timber-human-nature conditions.
Of course, I’ve made accuracy my background concern. Some of the boys are likely to paw the air a bit at my use of snares. But I’ll go to the mat on that—even if I have to claim authority! I’ve kept wolf character and intelligence well within bounds.
THE real territory generally resembles the Gilbert J. Peak quadrangle, U. S. Topographical Survey, and the Singing Birds are somewhat similar to the Uintah Mountains, south of Wyoming-Utah boundary line, and a friend of mine with his partner caught fourteen bad wolves south of the Uintahs about 1921-22, the partner being an old wolver, and killed four a few days before I came through the DuChesne country. But for simplicity of locale which I required, I could have used the real names, as Uintah, Lake Atwood, the East Fork country for Wolf Dens, etc. As I modified certain aspects I renamed and simplified conditions. But had the government map in mind as I wrote.
I understated throughout the story, finding greater verisimilitude in constant restraint. I bore in mind the professional wolvers who will test every detail as they read, using the crucible of their own experience and observation. I don’t take any chances with those boys. They’ll glare at the snaring episode and I think they’ll look sideways at my emphasis on certain phases of wolf-personality—the sharp division between the outlaw band and the no’counts of the Wolf Dens. But that is one of the points I felt obliged to make. And green timber, Minnesota and Canada wolvers will perhaps question the immensity of the desert background. But if they can show me, I sure want to know my sins.—Spears.