Walter Van Tilburg Clark (August 3, 1909 to November 10, 1971) is the author of The Ox-Bow Incident (1940) and Clark is considered the first writer to raise the genre of western saga to a dimension of philosophical inquiry. Clark was born in Maine, but the family moved out west when his father became president of the University of Reno. After the success of The Ox-Bow Incident Clark's writing included the novella "Ambrose the Chess Playing Poodle," a manuscript turned down by his editor. Soon Clark was working on The Track of the Cat. This story involved a family isolated on their ranch by a snow storm and faced with the necessity to hunt the mountain lion killing their cattle.
This novel has been compard to Moby Dick, but critics point out that the cat represents good, or at least innocence, although in the story it is that rare thing, a black panther. The movie version of his book Clark despised. Some of our facts came from The Ox-Bow Man: a Biography of Walter Van Tilburg Clark, (2004) by Jackson J. Benson.