The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

December 7, 2013

December 7, 1949

By the time Rex Ellingwood Beach (September 1, 1877 to December 7, 1949) wrote Oh, Shoot,  he was a successful author whose stories dealt with outdoor adventure. His own talents qualified him to write these novels: Rex Beach had medaled in the 1904 Olympics and been a prospector in the Alaskan wilderness. Some of his books about men wrestling nature were made into movies. Which just goes to show that knowing what you are talking about can sometimes substitute for literary talent. In Oh, Shoot! (1921) we read of a hunter, detained from the pursuit of game:

I allow myself to be discovered dejectedly fondling a favorite fowling piece or staring, with the drooping eyes of a Saint Bernard, at some moth-eaten example of taxidermic atrocity. The only book that stirs my languid soul is that thrilling work, Syllabus of the Fish and Game Regulations.‎

and when the hunter is engaged:

"I was hunting alone, for the government, one season, and my horse throwed me. Broke my right shoulder. One day Pot and another dog treed a lion, and I shot it left-handed. It fell like it was dead and went over a ledge, with them after it. I left my gun behind and went down to skin him out, but when I got below I found I'd only creased him. The dogs had him ledged up and he was as good as ever. When I showed up he made for me. He'd of got me, too, only they nailed him. Then we had it. We tore up a lot of ground. Every time the cougar went for me they'd go for him, and when he'd go for them I'd run in. I tried to kill him left-handed with a rock, but I didn't do very well at it. I was plumb tuckered out when a cowboy heard us rowin' down there and rode out to the rim.

'"Shall I shoot?' he hollered.

"We was all mixed up together, but I yelled back, 'Gosh, yes!'

"He was all of three hundred yards above us, but he shot that cat right through the heart. Prettiest shot I ever saw. Then he put up his gun and rode away, and I never did know who he was. Funniest thing about it, he was the only man in those parts except me."

There is more information about Rex Beach in the notes concerning the Rollins College archive of his papers.

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