By Cynthia S. Hamilton
A small encyclopedia of western and detective fiction in the US. A vintage quantity.
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Additional resources for Western and Hard-Boiled Detective Fiction in America: From High Noon to Midnight
In the course of the same book, Augustus Naab learns a similar lesson. His reluctance to use his formidable strength is demonstrated in his confrontation with Dene, an outlaw gunman. Naab displays his fast draw, then shows Dene a huge fist: 'One blow would crack your skull like an egg-shell', Naab declares. 'Why don't I deal it? ' (207: 30). Augustus Naab follows the dictates of his conscience, hoping that his 22 Western and Hard-Boiled Detective Fiction enemies will be satisfied with what they have already taken, but they are not.
259: 198) Although this has the ring of social Darwinism, Faust has changed the emphasis dramatically. Wister and Grey dwell on the material rewards of victory and on the status achieved. The hero is not allowed to savour the power he attains, for the victory must be made to look as socially benign as possible. Faust, on the other hand, takes delight in seeing the master mastered, and a rough justice achieved, and he allows Tom Holden to acknowledge the bully's pleasure. A key problem remains: to succeed as a Western hero, Tom must achieve a credible superiority in the end.
There was no difference between them. Hot, and mad and weak, he staggered after the crippled snake. The chase had transformed the whole internal order of him. He was starving to death, and he smelled the blood of fresh meat. (222: 79-80) The confrontation ends when Adam falls and lies spent on the sand, literally face to face with the rattlesnake. Waiting for the snake to strike him, Adam is 'only a fearful animal, fascinated by another, dreading death by instinct' (222: 80). This is a danger of the desert, the West.