On Sunday I grabbed my camera and walked around the Pike/Pine corridor of Capitol Hill. I didn’t anticipate getting any interesting shots. It was the day after the Saturday closest to Halloween. People were out in some of the bars watching football, but for the most part it was quiet.
I can’t remember why, but I turned south on 10th. I was near Paseo and Barboza when a woman suggested that I go down a ramp to check out a bookstore. I didn’t know there was a bookstore down there. On Capitol Hill, it’s not uncommon to have people randomly start talking to you. In a lot of cases it doesn’t lead to an actual two way conversation. But this woman seemed sincere in her belief that I should go down and have a look. She was particularly enthusiastic about the bookstore’s recent renovations and wooden bookcases.
Horizon Books. I liked it immediately. Shelves and shelves of used books. The two people working were really friendly and explained the multi-tiered discounts. I suspect they own the place. I picked up a pulp fiction Western and a book on screenwriting.
The Western is Flashflood, by Gil Martin. My copy is a Berkley Medallion Book. It’s 143 pages, and the cover indicates that it was $.50 at one time. It was published in 1968. Martin Overy’s cover art is of a tough, solitary cowboy. His back is turned to the reader; he’s carrying a rifle and appears to be drawing his pistol. He’s looking over his shoulder at the reader. If you’ve ever seen the show The Rifleman, you’ll have a good idea of the imagery.
He was a hard man with one soft spot that nearly ruined him. As sheriff of Latigo, Vance had to be.
It was a fun, quick read, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I thought it was too predictable. The writing was concise and direct, which I liked. With a story about a sheriff you have to have bad guys. The story was too short to really develop them, though. The author introduces some tension and animosity between whites and Mexicans, primarily through words like greasers and gringos. There’s also a potential romance that simmers awkwardly. There’s a physical attraction partially obstructed by violence and mistrust. I didn’t find the woman’s attraction to the man convincing.
I finished most of the book at Analog Coffee. I was hoping to finish it there so I could discreetly leave the book behind for someone else to find. Maybe I’ll walk it over to the library or Goodwill tomorrow.