Monday, December 4, 2017

"My Last Two Crimes, Copper—Packin’ an Illegal Gun and Burglary"

AS ANY GOOD WRITER will tell you, never waste anything that can be reused later; we surmise from the stories below that Johnston McCulley obviously felt that applied to
titles as well. A quick perusal of his FictionMags listing also shows that McCulley set a proportionately large number of his stories on and around Christmas and New Year's.

   "He did not want to kill unless it was necessary—he wanted to take one or both of them in to swing."

"Merry Christmas, Ranger!"
By Johnston McCulley (1883-1958).
Genre: Western.
First appearance: Texas Rangers, December 1945.
Reprinted in Jim Hatfield Magazine, Winter 1960.
Short story (11 pages).

"Jim Stearn’s holiday gift was to be trapped by a pair of outlaws—but he brought his enemies to a showdown!"
If two murderous brush poppers think they can humiliate Santa Claus (in the person of a generous, candy-dispensing Texas Ranger) and get away with it, then they don't know
their Texas Rangers . . .

Comment: We can't recall who said it first, but there's much merit in characterizing the Western as crime fiction with big hats; consequently, we're including a few oaters like
this one in our continuing criminous Christmas binge.

~ ~ ~

   "He hoped it would be a quiet night."

"Merry Christmas, Copper!"
By Johnston McCulley (1883-1958).
First appearance: G-Men Detective, December 1945 (Winter 1946).
Reprinted in Thrilling Detective (U.K.), September 1954.
Novelette (11 pages).

"It was Christmas Eve and all was cheer and gayety, but in a dark alley along Patrolman Asher’s beat lurked grim murder!"
Being a respected beat cop does have its rewards, especially around Christmas time, but there's one gift this flatfoot should never have accepted—a pair of socks that would certainly get him a long stretch in the pen . . .

Comment: Too much repetition; some streamlining would have helped.

Typo: "fine girl I you've got" ["see" is probably the missing word]; "look unside down."

- We just recently featured our author in a Thanksgiving mood (HERE).

No comments:

Post a Comment