Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ship mates on a paper raft

Well it has been far too long since I have had time to continue our pleasant conversations here. Many are the photos of intriguing tidbits of text and cover art that I have taken in the meantime, however! If you are ever missing me on here on Blogger, please do pop over and check in at our Facebook page, which is the target of frequent post-and-dash entries about the latest arrivals in the shop:

Now -- today, for your amusement, I have put together a few choice details from a lovely little hardcover titled A Man to His Mate by J. Allan Dunn. It was printed in 1920 by Bobbs Merrill (copyright is also held by early 1900s pulp magazine magnate Frank Munsey, famous for All-Story Magazine, among others), with a handful of dramatic black and white illustrations by Stockton Mulford. You can click on any of the images below to see a larger version.

First the front of the dustjacket -- a typical nautical yarn from the looks of it:

Then, however, we open to the front flap, and are met with hyperbole and rollicking promises of the best sort:

I mean, really -- our first character, John Lund, is all about "living adventure and tasting blood"! But the promises don't stop there. Turn to the rear flap and we find out that the author "has the punch in both fists"! By golly.

Here are some of Mulford's illustration plates from the book:

"The sea struck the opposite rail with a roar." Listen, I'm sure it's not her fault she's almost bursting her raincoat open.

"'What's that I hit?' asked Lund." Listen, this is NOT something you want to be asked by the captain of your ship. Trust me.

And, finally, a hint of intrigue: "The same gentleman who put chloral in my drink!" Wait a minute, if he's putting chloral in your drink, how much of a gentleman is he, really??? Oh, what's chloral? Only chloral hydrate, the original rufie, the "Mickey Finn" rape drug, as in "I think someone slipped me a Mickey!" (real quote from crazily drunk Canadian high schooler I met in a Moscow hotel on a student trip to the USSR. I had no idea what he was talking about, but eventually I figured it out from the context and his maddened ramblings.)

I'll leave you fine folks to explore a library near you to find a reading copy of this book. Hope you enjoyed the post, and that it was worth the wait! :) I'll be back with more book treasure, much sooner this time.