Well, I again apologize for being AWOL. It seems I just had too many things going on at one time this summer and something had to come off the stove. Now that it’s autumn and I’ve finished battening down the hatches for a mid-western winter I’m going to get back to posting more on this blog. The miniatures and gaming material and terrain building stuff are also coming out of hibernation and I hope to have more time to work on some long planned projects.
Lately I’ve been amazed at how many high quality (well written) western novels are available on Google books. This was mentioned previously on this blog but since then I’ve found several dozen more classics there. I’m compiling a list of the best and will share this with folks when it’s done. These are eBooks and I find the best way to read them is on a tablet–the larger the screen the better. So my first recommended vintage western is The Three Godfathers written by Peter B. Kyne, a popular novelist at the time whose works often were set in California. It was published in 1913. There was another version published in 1922 with a color cover and that is what I used above.
The book is a very quick read at only 95 pages, but written in a very enjoyable narrative style. It’s a morality tale of course–common to those old times, but also has strong classic elements of the western genre throughout. I found it a nice change of pace from the formulaic westerns I find in older paperbacks and the pulps. The plot might sound familiar–three bank robbers on the run come across a wagon in the desert with a woman about to give birth. The baby is born and the woman asks the men to save her baby just before she dies. The three men are honor bound to take care of the infant no matter what happens.
The Three Godfathers inspired several movie and adaptations; one in 1916, a remake in 1919 called Marked Men, Action in 1921, Hell’s Heroes in 1930, a 1936 version called Three Godfathers and a 1948 classic called 3 Godfathers directed by John Ford and staring John Wayne.
The .pdf below has been cleaned up a bit for easier navigation. The only odd thing I found was the illustration on page 32 is missing. How does this relate to Western hobby games? Not sure, I guess it’s just inspiration, this story kind of puts you in the mood even though the plot is a bit thin.