Young Wild West and the Sioux Scalpers; or, How Arietta Saved Her Life. By an Old Scout
[PS501 W6 no. 246 front cover]

The Wild West Weekly: A Magazine Containing Stories, Sketches Etc. of Western Life. Issued Weekly — By Subscription $ 2.50 per Year. Copyright by Frank Tousey, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York.

Young Wild West and the Sioux Scalpers; or, How Arietta Saved Her Life. By an Old Scout. (left)

No. 246. July 5, 1907

"The scalp of the paleface maiden shall hang to the lodge-pole of Sly Wolf.' Cried the Sioux chief, as the brave seized Areitta's golden locks and raised his hatchet. At that moment the brave girl drew forth her magic token."

Young Wild West and Silver Stream, or The White Girl Captive of the Sioux. By an Old Scout. (right)

No. 284. March 27, 1908

"As Wild felled one of the redskins by a blow from the butt of his revolver, and sprang for the one with the tomahawk, the chief's daughter suddenly appeared. Raising her hands, she exclaimed, 'Go back, Young Wild West. I will save her!'"

In this edition our hero, dressed "in a neat fitting suit of buckskin, trimmed elaborately with red silk fringe, his broad sombrero tipped back over a wealth of long, light chestnut hair," arrives in Cheyenne, Wyoming with his entourage, including two Chinese servants, Hop and Wing.

They are soon on the trail to rescue a "White Girl Captive" from the Sioux.

Young Wild West and Silver Stream, or The White Girl Captive of the Sioux. By an Old Scout
[PS501 W6 no. 284 front cover]

In the course of twenty-six pages Young Wild West is captured by the Indians; escapes with the help of Silver Stream, daughter of the Sioux chief, who has fallen in love with the buckskin-clad adventurer; kills several "redskins;" frees his captured Chinese servants; watches helplessly as Silver Stream, banished from her tribe, leaps to her death; and rescues the girl as the calvary ride over the hill just a moment too late.

The appetite for entertaining and heroic tales of the American frontier proved to be a "gold mine" for publishers of pulp magazines during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Few publications rivaled the success of Wild West Weekly, and its hero, Young Wild West.

From its origins in 1902, through its run of 644 original stories, the tales of Young Wild West, a youth "of medium height, handsome of face, and with the form of an Apollo," brought interested readers of all ages weekly tales of Indian wars, train robberies, buried treasure, Mexican bandits, cattle rustlers, horse thieves, and other adventures set against the backdrop of the American West. Although the stories were later reprinted continuously through 1927, the run of 644 original stories is remarkable, even for such a successful dime novel.

Young Wild West could shoot, ride, rope, fight, and track desperadoes with uncommon skill, and he enjoyed the companionship of an interesting cast of characters. Arietta Murdock is perhaps the most notable of these figures, and she held a prominent role throughout the entire run of the publication. Arietta, in her role as a flaxen-haired heroine, was also an excellent shot and rider, and her name frequently appeared in subtitles.

The challenge of producing each story, about 30,000 words each week, fell to Cornelius Shea. However, Wild West Weekly always credited the text to "An Old Scout," perhaps to lend a greater air of authenticity to the stories.

Shea delivered on tried and true western themes, and Indians often appear as hostile, savage counterparts to the heroic, civilized Young Wild West and Arietta. These stories criss-cross the American West, and a brief series of twelve publications find our duo as part of a travelling wild west show caught in the struggles of World War I, or the European War, as it was then known.

The artwork for Wild West Weekly covers is notable, and includes the talents of A. Berghaus and Tom Worth. The colorful cover illustrations, with their action-oriented scenes, complimented Shea's text. The selection of covers that included Indians offer views of Comanche Queens, Sioux scalpers, Navajo chiefs, Apache warriors, Ghost Dancers, Snake Charmers, and an assortment of "redskins and savages."

On occasion, Indians appear as friendly, honest figures, offering help and information to one of our golden-haired heroes, usually in return for a previous good deed or life-saving effort. Indians are portrayed with the full compliment of cliches, offering many familiar characterizations of the American frontier.

The issues also contained a variety of supplementary materials including contemporary humor under the heading "Grins and Chuckles," brief information and news topics within a section entitled "Some Good Articles," and an occasional one to three-page story with a western theme.

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