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    Description

    Charles A. Siringo. Riata and Spurs, The Story of a Lifetime spent in the Saddle as Cowboy and Detective. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1927. First edition. Inscribed by Siringo on the front free endpaper, and with an autograph letter signed by Siringo tipped in, and with several amateur photographs of Siringo taken in 1927 mounted throughout. 8vo. xiv, 276pp. Frontispiece. Introduction by Gifford Pinchot. Illustrated with photographs. Original yellow-brown pictorial cloth. Binding cracked at the final page of text. Small minor stain to top edge. Occasional foxing (most evident on title page); a few pages are lightly dampstained at the fore-edge. In dust jacket, with small chips to top and bottom edges at joints and flap folds. Jacket's spine and front panel slightly darkened and with a few light-colored spots; tape repairs to reverse. A tight and square copy of Siringo's last book, in very good condition.

    Siringo's full-page inked inscription on the front free endpaper reads, in full: "To my dear friend, E. A. Brininstool, who writes nothing but the truth about the Old West. With heartfelt wishes of the author, Chas. A. Siringo Long Beach, Calif. June 15th 1927." A letter from Siringo in pencil on lined paper, tipped to the dedication page, reads, in full: "Colchurst Apts. / 1106 N. Vine St. / Hollywood, Calif. / July 6th 1928 / Dear friend: Come and see me. Had to quit Venice on account of sickness. Sincerely yours, Chas. A. Siringo. P.S. I am going down to Los Angeles next Tuesday. Will be there all day. -S."

    There are several items pasted into this book. They include four black and white photographs of Siringo taken on June 16, 1927 on the roof of the Alexandria Hotel in Los Angeles, with annotations by the owner of the book, author E. A. Brininstool, a friend of Siringo who was a prolific Los Angeles newspaperman and writer of cowboy poetry. Two of the photos are of Siringo, in cowboy garb, with pistol drawn, one is of Siringo and Brininstool, and one is of Siringo, a woman identified as "Chiquita" (actually 21-year old Miss Evelyn Ramey, whom Charlie referred to as his "bodyguard"), and Charles Smith (who, Brininstool notes, had worked with Siringo at the Pinkerton Agency and was, in 1927, house detective at the Alexandria Hotel). Also included in this book: a short notice of Siringo's death on October 18, 1928 and a longer obituary, possibly written by Brininstool (with Brininstool's notation that he was a pallbearer at Siringo's funeral; a printed thank you card from Siringo's children; and Brininstool's bookplate, which is pasted to the final page of text.

    The autobiographical Riata and Spurs - Siringo's last book, and his first issued by a major publisher - contained some material reprinted from both A Lone Star Cowboy and the original, unexpurgated version of A Cowboy Detective. In fact, a good half of the book was taken up with material suppressed by previous court injunctions, so it was no surprise that, despite Siringo's ornery persistence, this book was recalled, and a "revised edition" - with new material originally intended for another book replacing lengthy references to the author's experiences with the Pinkerton Agency - was hastily issued in its place. As with other of Siringo's "suppressed editions" this one is quite scarce, and the presence of the unique material that is included makes this unique item especially desirable. Ex Ben E. Pingenot.

    References: Dobie, in Prefaces ("[though A Texas Cowboy is generally considered Siringo's classic,] Riata and Spurs is the meatier book, its parts more amply filled out"). Herd 2075 ("only a few copies of the original printing survived; hence its scarcity"). Howes S517. Howard Roberts Lamar, Charlie Siringo's West, pp. 289 and 300. Peavy, pp. 22-26 ("it is amazing how much information Siringo crammed into the first edition of Riata and Spurs"). Six-Guns 2030 ("very scarce").




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