ANOTHER THOUGHT #3

 

Paul Herman

Paul.herman@halliburton.com

 

December 2001

 

 

EVERYBODY WANTS A PIECE OF THE CAPTION

 

THE CAPTIONS THAT APPEARED WITH ARTWORK IN ACTION STORIES

 

It was decided during the preparation of The Complete Action Stories (Hermanthis, 2001) to include the original artwork that appeared with each story.  Many of these drawings also had captions, which looked like lines from the stories.  So I left the captions.  But finally, I came across one that, after I finished the story, I knew could not have been in the story.  I went back and searched the story, and it simply wasn’t there.  That lead me to check the others, and indeed, none of the captions actually come from the stories, even though they are in quotes and certainly sound like dialog from the story.  So in each case, if it was close to an actual line from the story, I inserted that line.  If not, I just removed it.

 

I am not sure why the artists did this.  I would assume that the artist read the story once, sort of remembering the various scenes he might want to draw, then just sat down and drew the scene, and added some language from the story as best he could remember it.

 

Also, on all stories, there was a short 20 word or so introduction to the story supplied by the editor.  I did not include those either in TCAS, as I was looking to present the words of REH, not Byrne.

 

So here is a listing of the original captions that went with the artwork for each story, as well as the introductions.

 

The TNT Punch

No artwork caption.

Introduction

Gloved fist or bared knuckles—Steve Costigan knew he’d be on his feet when the gong rang . . . Till two old feuds doubled up on him, and Steve squared off against the dynamite of foul play.

 

 

The Sign of the Snake

No artwork caption.

Introduction

Author of “The TNT Punch”

Steve Costigan marked himself for death when he thwarted Canton’s hatchet-men.  Silent China gave her verdict. There was no appeal­—and the Yo Than pack hemmed the Yankee mate’s flailing fists with cold, swift steel

 

 

Blow the Chinks Down!

No artwork caption.

Introduction

Author of “The Sign of the Snake”, “The TNT Punch”, etc.

Feud blood boiled in a Hongkong waterfront dive.  And it sent Steve Costigan and another battling gob to a clinching, slugging finish in the death-black murder hell of the House of Peril

 

 

Breed of Battle

No artwork caption.

Introduction

Author of “Blow the Chinks Down”, “The Sign of the Snake”, etc.

Every red-blooded critter is born to battle—man or dog.  No one knows that better than Steve Costigan.  But the sailor champ went berserk when the fight-fixers of Singapore tried to pull off their cellar bout

 

 

Dark Shanghai

No artwork caption.

Introduction

Author of “Blow the Chinks Down”, “The Sign of the Snake”, etc.

“The heathen Chinee is peculiar . . . .” The Shanghai docks have proved those words to sailormen—and Costigan saw them written in red that night he turned body-snatcher.

 

 

Mountain Man

No artwork caption.

Introduction

Introducing the famous Breckinridge Elkins of Hardrock County, suh—the first and foremost What-A-Man of 1934!  He was raised on b’ar meat and panther milk—and strong men hunt a hideout when its his night to howl!

 

 

Guns of the Mountains

No artwork caption.

Introduction

He’s loose again!  Peaceful citizens have barred their doors, and badmen are hunting a handy cyclone-cellar—for Breckinridge Elkins is down from the mountains, once more on the prod!

 

 

The Scalp Hunter

No artwork caption.

Introduction

Grizzly Claw will never be the same again.  No, friends, never!  For lawless money and reckless law and Breckinridge Elkins all chose a day to boil into town together.

 

 

A Gent from Bear Creek

No artwork caption.

Introduction

A laugh-tonic for the dog-days . . . with Breckinridge Elkins, the he-man of the Humbolts, adjusting a family feud in plumb unusual fashion.

[Note that the person in front of the mob getting ready to fight him bears an amazing resemblance to Will Rogers.  A coincidence?  Also someone in clownface in the back.]

 

 

The Road to Bear Creek

No artwork caption.

Introduction

Warning: All gents with red whiskers will kindly light a shuck—for Breckinridge Elkins and Cap’n Kidd are heading from the Humbolts on a rampage!

 

 

The Haunted Mountain

No artwork caption.

Introduction

Breckinridge Elkins, the he-man of the Humbolts, demonstrates clearly why wildmen are wild, and that gold is where you find it.

 

 

War on Bear Creek

Caption: “By this time I seen I’d have to use violence in spite of myself.  So I grabbed up Erath Elkins . . .” [Note, this is my favorite rendition of Breck Elkins.]

Introduction

Breckinridge Elkins, the mountain that walks like a man, mixes school-marms, razorbacks, family feuds and a tender foot.  The result is no less than colossal.

 

 

The Feud Buster

Caption: “So I upped with that bodacious catamount and flang him spittin’ in through the window.”

Introduction

Calling all cowhands!  Warning to all train-robbers and trappers and other gents in the Mesquital Mountains! For Cap’n Kidd is galloping—and hell hath no fury like an Elkins scorned!

 

 

Cupid from Bear Creek

Caption: “In all your born days you never seen such a preacher!”

Introduction

Bodacious doings in Hell-Wind Gap, where the course of true love is rough and rocky.

 

 

The Riot at Cougar Paw

Caption: “Come out, Cousin Bearfield,” I said. “Rise up, feller, and jine the festivities.”

Introduction

Sensible citizens flee for their lives when Breckinridge Elkins rides out on an errand of mercy.

 

 

The Apache Mountain War

No artwork caption.

Introduction

Only Breckinridge Elkins could combine them all: Love’s young dream, a rainbow mule, the Keeley cure, and a gold rush!

 

 

Pilgrims to the Pecos

Caption: “Any other gent craves a fight?” I asked them cut-throats and bandits.

Introduction

Breckinridge Elkins, the Whatta Man of Bear Creek, guides a wagon-train loaded with brotherly love.

 

 

Pistol Politics

Caption: “I will now sing,” I says. “And I salivates the first coyote as interrupts me!”

Introduction

“Yeller Dog gents, cast twenty-four votes for that stalwart citizen, that peerless apostle of peace—Breckinridge Elkins!”

 

 

Evil Deeds at Red Cougar

No artwork caption.

Introduction

Beauty in distress never has to holler twice when Cap’n Kidd and the Hero of the Humbolts are perjasticatin’ around!

 

 

High Horse Rampage

Caption: He grabbed a jug of Latimer’s Loco Elixer and busted it over my head.

Introduction

Hell forks a running-horse when Buckners go prodding—and even Elkins tread real light.

 

 

“No Cowherders Wanted”

No artwork caption.

Introduction

Plumb pixenous the way them hairy-necked buffalo skinners took on—when all Cap’n Kidd and the Hero of the Humbolts was doing was merely aimin’ to make friends!

 

 

Conquerin’ Hero of the Humbolts

No artwork caption.

Introduction

An Elkins is right willin’ to ‘commodate a friend, but he won’t stand for no double-crossin’ on the job.

[Note that the artwork has nothing to do with the story.  Instead, it is a second drawing for Sharp’s Gun Serenade.]

 

 

Sharp’s Gun Serenade

No artwork caption.

Introduction

Culture hit the Humbolts brung in by no lesser a varmint than Breck Elkins himself.  Yep, culture hit the Humbolts all right, but even for an Elkins it took some shootin’ to make it stick.