The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946

THE SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
VOL. XLIX JANUARY, 1946 No. 3
ihe No ovel Cezas,
or, the Sub-1Citerature of the
oue Star State
J. C. DYKES
T HE RIFLE came steadily to Jack's brawny shoulder and poured out
its fierce jet of flame, the "painter" gave one convulsive bound and
fell heavily among the crashing underbrush, dead.
There needed no second bullet, and when, with a ringing whoop of tri-
umph, the hunter came striding up to finish his work, his only anxiety
seemed to be to ascertain if his bullet had gone just to suit him, and it
undoubtedly had.
Why did it suit him?
Because a single glance assured him that the panther had been shot in
the eye-plumb and true, without the deviation of a line.
This brief Dime Novel Texas scene is from Chapter I, Jack
Long; or, The Shot in the Eye, issued by Robert M. DeWitt,
New York, in 1868 as No. 20 of the series "DeWitt's Ten Cent
Romances."
Dime Novel Texas was the creation of a handful of skillful
blenders of fact and fiction who wrote for Beadle, Munro,
DeWitt, Tousey, and the other owners of nickel and dime fiction
"mills" during the period 1860 to 1900. During that forty-
year stretch they kept their creation, their Texas, before the
public with something over two hundred novels that sold for
five and ten cents. Hundreds of thousands-yes, millions-
of American boys read the history of that fictional state, Dime
Novel Texas. One of several distributors, the American News
Company, had a standing order for 60,000 copies of each new
Beadle publication as it appeared. Dime Novels were passed
from hand to hand and were literally read to "pieces," a fact
that is reflected in their present rarity.
Probably 95 per cent of the impressions of Texas during
the period came from reading, and probably 95 per cent of

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146056/. Accessed August 21, 2014.