[PW] Identifying a story about gaining self-esteem via a dog collar

Klocek, Angela aklocek at sccl.lib.mi.us
Fri Sep 20 05:52:46 PDT 2019


Garson,



I tried my reference skills and they were sorely lacking last night.  I'm jealous. :)



Happy Friday all...



Angela Klocek



-----Original Message-----
From: Project-wombat [mailto:project-wombat-bounces at lists.project-wombat.org] On Behalf Of ADSGarson O'Toole
Sent: Friday, September 20, 2019 5:43 AM
To: list at project-wombat.org
Subject: Re: [PW] Identifying a story about gaining self-esteem via a dog collar



Searching in Google Books yielded some text that may appear in the

target story. The text is probably from a reprint of the story that

appeared in "Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine". Based on examining

snippets, extracting text, searching bibliographies, and using

guesswork I hypothesize that the story is "The Valley of Little Fears"

by Erle Stanley Gardner from 1930. See the excerpts and metadata

below.



Year: 1981

Periodical: Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine

Publisher: Davis Publications, Incorporated,

(Google Books snippet match; data may be inaccurate; based on snippet

the target text contains index to volume 78 which contains issues from

July 15, 1981 to December 2, 1981)



[Begin excerpt from Ellery Queen's, page 46 GB]

I know the story of the man who wore a dog collar around his neck and

who lived in the valley of little fears. And the story is known to but

few people.

[End excerpt]



[Begin excerpt from Ellery Queen's]

A week or so after that I first heard the whisper about the dog

collar. They said Smith was wearing a dog's collar under his flannel

shirt. The man who told me said it was a sign of insanity.

I didn't say anything, not to him. I did to Bertha.

"Wasn't that rubbing it in?" I asked.

She shrugged her massive shoulders. "It had to be something that would

make him think more of his training than of himself. A man can get

accustomed to a glove. He'll have the devil of a time getting

accustomed to a dog collar."

"He'll lose his self-respect," I said.

"He ain't got any."

[End excerpt]



Based on the phrase in the first excerpt and other data, here is my suggestion.



Story Title: The Valley of Little Fears

Author: Erle Stanley Gardner

Periodical: Argosy

Date: September 13, 1930

Description: Whispering Story novelette

(The metadata above is from a Wikipedia bibliography)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erle_Stanley_Gardner_bibliography



Garson



On Thu, Sep 19, 2019 at 7:38 PM Baker, John <JBAKER at stradley.com> wrote:

>

> I remember reading this story, many years ago, and have been racking my brain to place it.  It might have been in the anthology The Bedside Esquire, which includes a number of great stories from the 1930s, but I am by no means confident of that.

>

>

> John Baker

>

>

> From: Project-wombat [mailto:project-wombat-bounces at lists.project-wombat.org] On Behalf Of John Cowan

> Sent: Tuesday 17 September 2019 9:32 PM

> To: project-wombat

> Subject: [PW] Identifying a story about gaining self-esteem via a dog collar

>

> This is from MetaFilter, but a friend there asked me to relay it here, as

> no reply has been received since 2007:

>

> 1) A short story dealing with the search for self-esteem, set in the

> American West, in the XXth Century.

>

> 2) About a man trained into courage and self-respect by a woman who makes

> him wear a dog collar.

>

> 3) Plot summary, details may not be correct: The story is set in the

> American West at the start of the XXth century (they already have

> motorcars) and it is a pretty lawless town. A man who has no self-esteem

> nor courage asks a brave, independent woman called Bertha to teach him how

> to be brave. The woman raises dogs, so she makes him wear a dog collar.

> There is a showdown, and the man proves himself.

>

> 4) The story is in English, but my friend read it in Spanish translation in

> the late 70s or early 80s, in a cheap paperback book probably printed about

> ten years before and already falling apart.

>

> 5) Possibl authors: Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Jim Thompson,

> James M. Cain.

>

> Any ideas, anyone?

> _______________________________________________

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