Red Ralph, the River Rover, or, the Brotherís Revenge, Ned Buntline, April 8, 1884
Red Ralph, the River Rover, or, the Brotherís Revenge
Ned Buntline
April 8, 1884
[xF595.1 B36 no. 350 title page]

BEADLE'S HALF DIME LIBRARY. NEW YORK, BEADLE AND ADAMS. Vol. XIV, No. 350

Ned Buntline was the pseudonym used by Edward Zane Carrol Judson, born March 20, 1823 in the Village of Stamford, New York. It was on a Western trip that he met William Cody, dubbed him Buffalo Bill, and wrote a series of dime novels based on Cody's life as a hunter and scout. Typical of his four hundred-odd stories are: The Comanche's Dream, The Black Avenger of the Spanish Main, The Fiend of Blood, and Buffalo Bill. Ned Buntline died on July 16, 1886.

This tale recounts the adventures of Red Ralph, a figure of questionable lineage and shady background. Ralph is engaged by the elder brother of the Rolfe family to prevent a marriage between Francis Rolfeís younger brother and a daughter of the nearby Minier Family.

Amid kidnapping, drinking, and wilderness pursuits, Buntline introduces Indian warriors who succumb to the wiles of "fire-water" and tobacco and others who carry out a heartless massacre that forever separates the young lovers. The caption for the cover illustration reads, "SUDDENLY, THE WHIZ OF AN ARROW WAS HEARD, AND THE ARM OF THE WRETCH WAS LITERALLY PINNED TO THE TREE."

Beadleís promised readers that its "half-dime" novels "Published Every Tuesday" would be available for the "uniform price of five cents" and would include no duplicate numbers. Produced for mass consumption, these popular tracts were printed on inexpensive pulp paper. Copies such as this one show evidence of more than one hundred years wear and tear, most obvious in the increasing brittleness and flaking of the pages.

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