DRAGON WATCH by Will H. Jr. Hays


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It's not worth the money-on any count but size -- this pseudo-Sironia-Texas-of-Indiana. There's plenty of vigorous story telling here, but no selectivity, and in the final analysis the reader's credulity is sorely taxed. For here- at center stage- is a lovely malden, whose beauty is her peril, for all men, and many women, love her wantonly. She keeps her innocence, almost naively; she risks disaster by heedless assumption that her motives, her actions, will not be misinterpreted. She is the subject of gossip and jealous spite; as well as brutality from those she repudiates. And she loves Ted Scott, heir apparent of the mining empire of his step-father, the dictatorlike ""J.L."" All she asks of Ted is faith. But she puts off promise of marriage hoping that her father, one of the key men at the mines, and ""J.L."" will solve their enmity first. But ""J.L."" has other ideas in mind for her -- and brooks no opposition -- so she quarrels with Ted and goes off to Indianapolis, where fate puts in her hands the weapon to destroy ""J.L."" - and to help her friend, the librarian, to happiness. There are all sorts of plots and subplots within the frame- the whole played out against the background of a small town in which the mine is the main factor. There are a few kindly people- and a great many poonous characters. And the story build up to violent crisis, with a mine disaster and the murder of ""J.L."" and a trial scene in which many suspects are cleared- and one, an evangelist with a roving eye, is spotted as murderer. All's well that ends well?

Pub Date: April 22nd, 1954
Publisher: Doubleday