Monday, December 6, 2010

3-minute western: Whispering Smith

Time for another sample of a really old western. Hit play, and you can hear me this time reading the first pages of Frank H. Spearman's novel, Whispering Smith, which I reviewed here recently. It's another exciting beginning, as a railroad crew is being assembled to go clean up a train derailment.

It's 5:00 in the morning and Spearman captures the noise and the busy activity as men hurry about the operations center. These paragraphs are so packed with vivid detail, you can read them several times and still find more in them. We are then introduced to Sinclair, the boss of the crew. He is a big, bluff man quick to give orders and glad to be in charge.

The photos are all from 19th-century Colorado and Wyoming.

3-Minute Western: Whispering Smith from Ron Scheer on Vimeo.

Love that last exchange: "How many cars have you ditched this time?" "All I had."

Coming up: Frank Collinson, Life in the Saddle (1963)