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The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains (1902)
by Owen Wister
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0895773058, Hardcover)This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1902 edition. Excerpt: ...--" "He's not a bit like that. Yes, he's exactly like that," said Molly. And she would have snatched the photograph away, but her aunt retained it. "Well," she said, "I suppose there are days when he does not kill people." "He never killed anybody!" And Molly laughed. "Are you seriously--" said the old lady. "I almost might--at times. He is perfectly splendid." "My dear, you have fallen in love with his clothes." "It's not his clothes. And I'm not in love. He often wears others. He wears a white collar like anybody." "Then that would be a more suitable way to be photographed, I think. He couldn't go round like that here. I could not receive him myself." "He'd never think of such a thing. Why, you talk as if he were a savage." The old lady studied the picture closely for a minute. "I think it is a good face," she finally remarked. "Is the fellow as handsome as that, my dear?" More so, Molly thought. And who was he, and what were his prospects? were the aunt's next inquiries. She shook her head at the answers which she received; and she also shook her head over her niece's emphatic denial that her heart was lost to this man. But when their parting came, the old lady said:--"God bless you and keep you, my dear. I'll not try to manage you. They managed me--" A sigh spoke the rest of this sentence. "But I'm not worried about you--at least, not very much. You have never done anything that was not worthy of the Starks. And if you're going to take him, do it before I die so that I can bid him welcome for your sake. God bless you, my dear." And after the girl had gone back to Bennington, the great-aunt had this thought: "She is like us all. She wants a man that is a man." Nor did the old lady breathe her knowledge to any member of the family. For she was...
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:10 -0400)
His background is shadowy, his presence commanding. He brings law and order to a frontier town and wins the love of a pretty schoolteacher from the East. He is the Virginian -- the first fully realized cowboy hero in American literature, a near-mythic figure whose idealized image has profoundly influenced our national consciousness. This enduring work of fiction marks his first appearance in popular culture -- the birth of a legend that lives with us still.
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