His Life and Misadventures
By Allen P. Bristow
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The fictional adventures of the heroic railroad detective called Whispering Smith have entertained readers, motion picture enthusiasts and television viewers for many years. The colorful name of this character had such appeal that it has been adopted by musical bands, apparel manufacturers and emblazoned on the nose of World War Two bombers.
But was there a real Whispering Smith? Was he the heroic champion of justice on the western plains as depicted by Hollywood or was he instead a sinister and tragic recluse? Traces of his confrontations with western outlaws are found throughout Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Yet in his search for justice did he become a centurion that confronted frontier lawlessness with a hangmanís rope? Was the real Whispering Smith actually a cold-blooded killer, frustrated duelist, devious plotter and pugnacious braggart? These questions can best be answered by an examination of his life in this book.
The authorís lifetime law enforcement career generated a strong interest in the history of western outlaws and lawmen. Many of his articles and stories have been published in western history journals and he won the coveted Spur Award from the Western Writers of America in 1999. He is a native of Nebraska, has hunted and fished throughout the west, and is familiar with many of the locations where Whispering Smith left his mark on history.
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