November 12, 2011

The Devil's Grin: A review

The Devil's Grin
by artist Randy Steffen

At least regarding Soapy Smith these older old west magazine articles I am posting need to be considered historical novels, based on a true story. Most of the writers are not historians seeking the truth. Many of them take great literary license to the point of inventing names and events. I began this campaign with the idea of correcting the mistakes in the articles but found myself writing the same thing over and again, such as the fact that Soapy was never a cowboy, etc. So I decided just to publish the articles and let you, the reader, enjoy them knowing they cannot be used for non-fiction reference or source. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I enjoy bringing them to you!

Once again I thank my good friend Bob "Buckshot" Bradley for finding these old articles and putting them on pdf format so that you can view them as they were original published. This one is entitled Devil's Grin and was published in Old West magazine in the spring of 1966. The magazine sold in stores for .50 cents.

Devils Grin

This same magazine issue contains another Soapy Smith article entitled, They Stole the Parson's Pants, regarding the incident in Creede, Colorado 1892 when Rev. Thomas Uzzell was robbed of his wallet and pants while he slept. The Rev. was a friend of Soapy's in Denver, at least until Gambling was shut down with Uzzell's help. Soapy is the one who gave Uzzell the amount he had lost. Some time later in Denver Rev. Uzzell mysteriously had his wallet returned to him.  



My good friend, James Wright attended the Texas Gun Collectors Association show in Fort Worth and saw for sale a strongbox filled with original news articles dealing with Soapy, that was supposed to have once belonged to Soapy. Unfortunately, James misplaced the seller's business card. The man also had a copy of the 1907 booklet, The Soapy Smith Tragedy, but other than that there was no provenance.

If anyone knows this dealer I would love to contact him or have him contact me.


Jeff Smith


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