GREY, ZANE. 1872-1939.
ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT FRAGMENT OF GREYS CLASSIC WESTERN, THE HERITAGE OF THE DESERT.
Autograph Manuscript in pencil, 260 pp, legal folio, n.p., [1909-1910], being a large fragment of an early draft of The Heritage of the Desert, pages heavily smudged, some creasing and toning, chipping and wear at edges, waterstaining and loss to Table of Contents page.
After the disappointing sales of his second work, Last of the Plainsmen, Grey had little hope of achieving success as a novelist. With the support and encouragement of his wife, however, he threw himself into the writing of his first western novel, originally titled Mescal but later named The Heritage of the Desert. The story features a young Easterner who moves to Salt Lake City to recover from an unnamed ailment, and who, when mistaken for a spy, is forced to flee into the desert. There he is dependent upon the kindness of strangers, including a Mormon elder. He falls in love with an Indian maiden who is betrothed as a second wife to a young Mormon, and eventually battles her suitor for her hand.
This lot features pages numbered from 249 to 508 (The end of Chapter XI to the conclusion). Several pages are quite rough, heavily rewritten and amended, indicating that this is a very early draft of the work. Rare.