RARA-AVIS: The Op and San Francisco

From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 29 Oct 2001

I read a couple of stories from THE BIG KNOCKOVER, that 1972 Hammett collection put together by Lillian Hellman, too see what local colour I could find. Hammett had some great first lines: "'We expected them home yesterday,' Alfred Banbrock ended his story" from "The Scorched Face," and the classic "It was a wandering daughter job" from "Fly Paper."

There's an expression in "The Scorched Face" I can't make out. A farmer in Knob Valley, a ways out of San Francisco, finds a burned picture of a missing woman and the Op goes out to investigate. He goes out to the site with a cop, Paget. "Paget was following some sort of track. I couldn't see it, either because he and the Italian [farmer] blotted it out ahead of me, or because I'm a shine Indian." I know "shine" is an old disparaging term for blacks, but I just can't figure out what it means here.

Dell Mapback #129 was THE CONTINENTAL OP. I picked up a cheap copy a couple of years ago just for the cover--the contents had already detached so I just recycled them. The map on the back is of San Francisco, with Embarcadero running north along the right hand side of the page, then north-west up to the top; Market runs north-east up from the bottom left, and 14th (Street?) runs along the bottom, above the legend that maps out locations from "Fly Paper," "Death on Pine St." and "Zigzags of Treachery." It's nice being able to follow the Babe McCloor chase on a map. I imagine Don Herron covers that on his tour.


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat lector.

-- # To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to # majordomo@icomm.ca. This will not work for the digest version. # The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 29 Oct 2001 EST