Set in a railroad town “almost within gunshot of the great continental divide,” Nan of Music Mountain is all action.
At every juncture where he could have produced something other than a formula piece, author Frank H. Spearman backs out.
Nan of Music Mountain by Frank H. Spearman
N. C. Wyeth, Illus. Gross & Dunlap, 1916,.432 p. 1916 bestseller #8
Project Gutenberg ebook #29571. My Grade: C+.
Gunman Henry de Spain, summoned to represent Sleepy Cat in a shooting contest, loses the contest—and his heart—to Nan, “the little Music Mountain skirt.”
So when William Jeffries asks de Spain to stay on to run the Thief River stage line, de Spain does.
Phone calls from the gambling hall and stagecoaches made by Studebaker hint at a cultural clash between Old and New West, but Spearman stops at hints.
By turns droll, dry, or ingratiating as a presidential candidate before the Iowa caucuses, de Spain could have been an interesting character. Unfortunately, readers can’t be sure which is the real Henry de Spain.
Spearman keeps de Spain on the gallop, with a blend of every plot line that was hackneyed by the time of the talkies except tying for the leading lady to the railroad tracks.
Nan of Music Mountain has so little personality that tied to the tracks, she’d be mistaken for a cross tie.
©2016 Linda Gorton Aragoni