Scratchy Wilson will have his day. When word gets around that Sheriff Jack Potter is arriving on the afternoon train with his bride, Scratchy intends to raise all kinds of hell.
Published in 1898, Crane’s story was indicative of the growing sentiment for the American West. The rather pedestrian name of Potter for a gun-slinging protagonist may seem atypical of the Western genre. However, a Mr. Robert Potter signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. Also, in 1888, Archibald Gunter’s best-selling novel Mr. Potter of Texas was widely read, who’s historically based titular character was the clichéd heart of gold, ranger, Congressman, cattleman, sheriff type of guy. So, in 1898, the name of Potter was a legendary symbol of a frontiersman who helped to pave the way of civilization in the American West.
B.J. Harrison’s authentic and textured narration brings a greater depth to this American classic.