Friar Tuck (Robert Alexander Wason, 1912)

An idealistic preacher travels west to escape from the memory of the girl he lost. As fate would have it, he finds Janet in the custody of Ty Jones, an unscrupulous rancher. She appears to have amnesia and it’s not clear how she came to be there, but the word is that Ty has taken her for a wife. After a shootout in which Ty is paralyzed, he confesses that she’s actually his half-sister and he kidnapped her in revenge for their mother keeping her and abandoning him. Janet’s amnesia was caused by a brain tumor. Once the pressure on her brain is relieved, her memory returns and she and the Friar marry.

Inscriptions: Two sentence fragments have been underlined for reasons I can’t fathom. Underlined on page 32 is “The’ was somethin’ peculiar about the Friar’s grin when he first sighted Columbus, and”, and around a dozen lines later on page 33, “So that’s what we made up to do;”. Apart from that, there are no other markings on the book.

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Officer 666 (Barton W. Currie & Augustin McHugh, 1912)

Whitney Barnes, son of the great mustard magnate, has been given the ultimatum that he must marry and produce grandchildren for his dear old father before the year’s over or he’s out on his ass. His friend, Travers Gladwin, has unexpectedly returned from a tour of Egypt and is back in town incognito because he’s discovered that his former butler has been stealing from him and he expects to catch him red handed.

Helen Burton, of the Omaha Burtons, is also in town at the behest of her mother, who has arranged a marriage for her with Jabez Hogg, a man with little appeal besides his millions. Helen has another idea, however: she plans to elope with Travers Gladwin. She and her cousin Sadie appear at the Gladwin mansion, but the man who greets her at the door is not at all who she was expecting. It turns out that her Gladwin is an imposter in cahoots with the former butler and is using Helen as a cover to steal several valuable paintings from the mansion.

It’s love at first sight for Gladwin (the real one) and Helen, as well for Barnes and Sadie, but the rub is how to avert the robbery while simultaneously avoiding a scandal. They enlist the help of a dimwitted cop named Michael Phelan (viz., bribed him with $500), but his help proves to be a burden and he nearly brings the whole enterprise down on their heads. At last, Gladwin decides to let the thief go (he really was gentlemanly thief after all — in it for the art, you know), all the interested parties decide to drop their respective charges, and both he and Helen and Barnes and Sadie are married the next day.