Friday, June 7, 2013

Across the Mesa  -  1922
Helen F. Bagg
209 pages
genre  -  Adventure
my rating  -  4 out of 5 stars

Twenty-four year-old Polly Street of Chicago has three grievances:
1) she is driving an electric car.  "Her soul yearned for a gas car."
2) her brother, Bob, is getting married in Arizona.  And her family wasn't going.
3) her ex-fiancé of one week had already asked someone else to the Mandarin Ball.

The only one Polly has control over was going to Arizona.  So she decides to travel to her brother's mine in the northern part of Mexico, and then go with him to Douglas, Arizona for his wedding.  But Polly's letter informing Bob of her plans doesn't reach Mexico in time.

Polly has some wonderful adventures: shoot outs, a charming Mexican officer, hiding in a small cave, sleeping under the stars, midnight horse rides, avoiding a revolution, and looking for treasure.

Marc Scott, the assistant superintendent at the mine thinks "women have endurance, I'll say they have.  Built like Angora kittens, and with the constitutions of beef critters."

My favorite line in the book is "I guess I'm like Grandfather Street was in his religion.  He thought the Baptists were wonderful until he joined them and then the Presbyterians looked more interesting to him.  After he'd been with them a while he couldn't see how anybody could be a Presbyterian, so he joined the Unitarians.  People thought he was a turncoat, but he wasn't - he was just a sort of religious Mormon.  One church wasn't enough for him."

About the author  -

I couldn't find anything about Helen F. Bagg other than she sometimes used "Jarvis Hall' as a pseudonym. I saw at least 10 books and plays attributed to her.

About the illustrator  -

Henry Clarence Pitz was born June 16, 1895 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  His father was a bookbinder who immigrated from Germany.  Pitz graduated from West Philadelphia High School and was awarded a scholarship to the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art. There he studied illustration.

In the 1930s Pitz joined the monthly magazine American Artist as an associate editor and writer and was a regular contributor to the magazine for the rest of his life. Pitz also became a teacher at the Museum School.

In the 1960s Pitz was commissioned by Houghton, Mifflin and Company to write The Brandywine School which remained on the best seller list for ten weeks. Pitz published a comprehensive book on his favorite illustrator, Howard Pyle.

Pitz resided at 3 Cornelia Place in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia. He died on November 26, 1976.


No comments:

Post a Comment