Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Book Review-The Trail of the White Indian

Book review of
The Trail of the White Indian.
By A. Hyatt Verrill.
January 6, 1920,

The author who, under the pseudonym of Rodney Thayne has recently given his boy readers the “blood and thunder" tale of REDLEGS, THE PIRATE, has served up another dish of interesting and fascinating horrors—too horrible, in fact, we are thankful to say, to have quite the ring of truth. But then we must understand beforehand that Mr. Verrill is not writing truth but fiction; and one cannot but feel elated on closing the daring author’s book with a gasp, that in this particular instance, the story is not “really true”.

Mr. Verrill in his youth must have indulged in the lurid literature which boys usually read behind parental backs, slipping the "penny dreadfuls" between their mattresses and saving candle stumps that they might read in bed long after household "Taps" had sounded. Added to this melodramatic tendency, our author is evidently a profound student of entomology and archeology and has strung his very improbable story upon these purely scientific lines in the unexplored corners of Central and South America and the West Indies.
THE TRAIL OF THE WHITE INDIAN is a sequel to a former book called THE TRAIL OF THE CLOVEN FOOT, but sufficiently distinctive to allow the reader to pick up the loose ends of the tale as he goes along. Fred Wilson and Rob McGregor who have had innumerable hairbreadth adventures and escapes in previous pages remind one too forcibly, perhaps of Knox's BOY TRAVELERS IN FOREIGN LANDS, but in order to hide the extremely instructive side of the narrative, the author has embellished his truly excellent research work with the hair-raising episodes which go to make up the story part. A vivid imagination and an accurate knowledge of facts and conditions have done fine team work and in spite of a suspicion of pedantry and a thick "lay-on" of adventurous war-paint, the book has a holding quality which cannot fail to attract the boy reader.
To bring the story up to date, a "Hun base" is found in the vicinity of our boys' explorations and a U boat intent on its deadly work, is discovered just in time by our heroes who do wonderful, unheard-of things and save the day generally. To quite follow Mr. Verrill’s gigantic imagination, one must of necessity read, first: THE TRAIL OF THE CLOVEN FOOT, next: THE TRAIL OF THE WHITE INDIAN, and lastly, another which the author has hinted will soon fallow. Well, "boys will be boys" and Mr. Verrill, a big boy himself, knows what they like.
Link to the story...The Trail of the White Indians
This review appeared in the correspondence of Dutton Books and A, Hyatt Verrill. The book, Redlegs, the Pirate, has never been located, and it is suspected that the sequel to these two books was submitted to Dutton, but never published./drf

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As an armed forces brat, we lived in Rockcliff (Ottawa), Namao (Edmonton), Southport (Portage La Prairie), Manitoba, and Dad retired to St. Margaret's Bay, NS.
Working with the Federal Govenment for 25 years, Canadian Hydrographic Service, mostly. Now married to Gail Kelly, with two grown children, Luke and Denyse. Retired to my woodlot at Stillwater Lake, NS, on the rainy days I study the life and work of A. Hyatt Verrill 1871-1954.