The original manuscript with numerous added items, presented by author James Warner Bellah to his friend, Charles Benton. Contemporary glazed cloth boards, titles stamped in gilt on front cover and spine, , , 48, 10 pp., largely rectos only. James Warner Bellah was a veteran of both World War I and World War II, and a popular western author during the 1930s through the 1950s. He wrote numerous books and stories centering on cavalry and Indians, largely pulp fiction published in periodicals and paperbacks, and occasionally serialized in more respectable outlets such as the Saturday Evening Post. The present work is comprised of Bellah’s handwritten manuscript (with numerous holographic corrections, emendations, and paste-overs), the typescript (with a few holographic corrections), and the published version of the short story (extracted from the magazine) bound together in that order. The recipient, Charles Benton presumably bound the manuscript, typescript, and magazine text together at a later date. The story is titled “Thirty Nine Days to Glory” and concerns the “real story of Custer’s Last Fight” according to the subtitle added to the final printed version, which appeared in the September 1959 issue of Holiday magazine. Bellah presented each item to Benton separately, each time including a presentation inscription; the inscription on the manuscript is dated Aug. 24, 1957, the others undated. Bellah included a signed note (also bound in) when he transmitted the manuscript to Benton that carries some importance for Bellah scholars, as he writes: “This is only one of two original manuscripts of mine that I have not burned as a matter of routine after they were typed. The other is that of ‘The Valiant Virginians’ which was requested
by and is now on permanent exhibit at the Columbia University Library in New York. Who knows – you may ultimately have a fortune.” An excellent literary item for the western collector, and the only obtainable Bellah manuscript in the world. Several of Bellah’s stories were adapted to film,
including three by director John Ford: "Fort Apache," "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon," and "Rio Grande." Bellah also co-wrote the screenplays for "The Sea Chase" and "The Man
Who Shot Liberty Valance," and wrote for television throughout the 1950s and ’60s. Light wear to head of spine and corners, else a very good copy of an excellent literary item for the western collector, and the only obtainable Bellah manuscript in the world.
Inventory Number: 44497