Frederic Remington (1861-1909)
Frederic Remington (1861-1909)

"It Was One of These...That Caused Him to Rein Up His Horse So Suddenly"

Frederic Remington (1861-1909)
"It Was One of These...That Caused Him to Rein Up His Horse So Suddenly"
signed 'Frederic Remington' (lower right)
ink, wash and gouache on paper
25 ¾ x 19 ¼ in. (65.4 x 48.9 cm.)
Executed circa 1900.
Arthur Delano Weekes, Oyster Bay, New York.
Harold Hathaway Weekes, Oyster Bay, New York, by descent from the above.
By descent to the present owner.
R.L. Ketchum, "A Samaritan of the 'L-Bar,'" The Cosmopolitan, vol. XXX, January 1901, p. 271, illustrated.
H. McCracken, Frederic Remington: Artist of the Old West, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1947, p. 128.
P.H. Hassrick, M.J. Webster, Frederic Remington: A Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings, Watercolors and Drawings, vol. II, Cody, Wyoming, 1996, p. 720, no. 2510, illustrated.

Lot Essay

The present work was first published in The Cosmopolitan magazine in 1901 as an illustration for R.L. Ketchum’s short story, “A Samaritan of the ‘L-Bar.’”

The tale’s unlikely hero is “Hen Hawk” Hawkins, who has finally made his fortune in a lucky land deal after working five long years in the West. With the money in hand, he can finally return home to marry his beloved Holly. However, as seen in the present work, when setting out east across the empty plains, a sudden storm develops and Hen startles at the first flakes of the blizzard. Ketchum writes, “The wind had shifted around in the north; dull, gray clouds hid the blue and gold that had made the early day so fair. Two or three flakes of snow were visible now and then. It was one of these striking Hen on the cheek that had caused him to rein up his horse so suddenly and make the able remark…‘Hullo! Wa-al, I’ll be tee-totally doggoned!’” (p. 272)

Wandering in the dangerous cold towards safety, Hen finds a pretty young mother and child huddled in an overturned stagecoach, their driver killed by the elements. Knowing they too would freeze to death, he sends them away on his horse, leaving himself stranded on the plain. Two days later, kind strangers find Hen Hawk nearly frozen and nurse him back to health. However, all is not well for the story’s hero, as he finds that the woman he saved in the storm has fled town with all his money. Forced to return back to the ranch, his friends tease, “saddle-bags [are] only for whiskey.” (p. 273)

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