Argonotes

[Picture] T
his series will either be the making or the ruination of me.

Lately I’ve been following your Argonotes, in which several gentlemen have taken several of us poor writers for a ride. I anticipate a lot of copy for that section with these hazardous occupation stories judging from the diversity of opinions I have received in collecting the material. For instance, two loggers I was talking to last month almost came to blows over the right name for the lad who strings cables in the lumber camps. One claimed it was “high-rigger”; the other, “high-faller.” According to location, I suppose.

Mining is another thing that varies to beat the devil. All depends upon district, whether coal or metal mining, whether you are a miner or a mining engineer.

Oil wells are the most variable thing in the lot. Every section of the world has a different nomenclature, different methods. I took Texas because I’m familiar with their methods there, but ten to one some roughneck in California is going to pop up with vast objections.

So, I anticipate lots of fun. All along I’ve realized the score on this and so I have checked and rechecked the data contained in the stories and I think I’ve got an airtight answer for every possible squawk.

Something else has amused me considerably. Writers, treating the same subject time after time in fiction, gradually evolve a terminology and a pattern for certain types of stories as you well know. This creates an erroneous belief in readers that they are familiar with a certain subject through reading so much fiction dealing with it. I’ve had to shed a lot of that for the sake of accuracy and I’m very, very anxious to have my hand called on some of it.

The Hell Job Series Continued...



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