PIKE COUNTY PUZZLE ... VOL. I NO.1.

"Camp Interlaken, Penn." 28 August 1894. [4]pp. Folio leaflet (15" x 12 1/8" ; 38 x 31 cm). Text printed in four columns. Horizontal fold, with small break at margin at fold, slight tanning at edges and along fold faintly in excess of the uniform tan tone of the wove paper stock, faint tidemark at extreme lower corner of top sheet, otherwise an unusually nice copy of a very fragile item. Item #WRCLIT74696

One of the black tulips of Crane collecting, being his second separate publication, albeit with some likely contribution by L. C. Singer, Jr. The ...PUZZLE ... is a 4 page mock newspaper, formatted as a parody of a small town newspaper, written by Crane at an adult camp, Twin Lakes, where he spent part of the summers of 1894 and 1895. The text is based on the experiences Crane and his cohorts had while at the camp, and during their return trip. The paper was set up and printed for them by the staff of the PORT JERVIS UNION. On September 7th, THE PORT JERVIS UNION printed an appreciative notice of the PIKE COUNTY PUZZLE's appearance and content. An account of the circumstances is contained in THE CRANE LOG. Much of the content is jocular in nature, including Crane's identification of himself as "office boy," and in an advert on the last page, as "Drink Mixer." Among the other content is a "stenographic" report of "Dinner-Time Conversations": "Miss Pronk (with a sudden rush of courage). - 'Mr. Crane, dont you like the Lays of Ancient Rome? I think they are awfully sweet. Crane:- 'My uncle had a hen named Ancient Rome, once, and her eggs were popular all over the county. Yes, Miss Pronk, you are undoubtedly right....'" Personal advertisements, "Telegraphic News" from other locales, and similar tongue-in-cheek texts round out the mix. Until a clearly identified facsimile was published in 1967 by THE STEPHEN CRANE NEWSLETTER in an edition of 300 copies, including 70 on white laid paper, this original edition was the sole printing in this format. While not an absolute rarity in the strictest sense -- OCLC locates 19 copies at institutions not likely to have commingled entries for the facsimile with entries for the real thing -- it is scarce in the market place. WILLIAMS & STARRETT 43. Wertheim and Sorrentino, THE CRANE LOG, pp.109-113. BAL 4069. OCLC: 8523158 (etc).

Price: $6,250.00

A Crane Black Tulip