Paso Por Aqui
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Taking his title, Paso Por Aqui, from Juan de Onate's carving in the living rock of El Morro, New Mexico, Eugene Manlove Rhodes created his own memorial to the decent people of his world who had "passed this way" without fanfare. Rhodes wrote about them with wit, gusto, and tenderness, with honesty, clarity, and a sureness of interpretation as yet unequaled. He captured for all time the free, lonely, self-reliant, skilled, eternally optimistic essence of his West. Rhodes himself rode a brindle steer, fleeing from an irate sheriff, as his story hero McEwen does, and Rhodes made seven miles on his bovine mount before the beast "sulled" on him. Rhodes was also a volunteer nurse in a diphtheria pesthouse when El Garrotillo (The Strangler) was the most feared disease in the isolated West. Pat Garrett appears here under his own name and in a favorable light-Rhodes's way of rebutting what he considered unfair disparagement of Garrett by other writers. The story was filmed in 1948 as "Four Faces West," starring Joel McCrea in the lead and Charles Bickford as Pat Garrett. Eugene Manlove Rhodes was one of the great writers of the western, and this is his most anthologized story. Students of western history and American literature, and everyone who loves tales of the Old West will enjoy this Rhodes classic. Volume 50 in the Western Frontier Library W. H. Hutchinson was Outstanding Professor of California and Western history, California State University, Chico. He was the author of A Bar Cross Man, a biography of Eugene Manlove Rhodes, and editor of The Rhodes Reader: Stories of Virgins, Villains, and Varmints.