Saturday, December 8, 2018

Christmas RPPC of man with cat reading Harold Bell Wright novel

This is a mystery real photo postcard featuring a man who is bundled up with a large tabby cat while reading a book. I was confused at first and thought the things with MERRY and XMAS printed on them were cushions. But, upon further review, they are the soles of his shoes, facing the camera in a slightly skewed perspective.

There is no writing or information on the unmailed postcard, so that's a dead end. The AZO stamp box indicates it was printed sometime during that prolific RPPC period between 1904 and 1918.

What's not a mystery is the book that this young man is reading. It's The Shepherd of the Hills, which was written by Harold Bell Wright1 and published 111 years ago, in 1907. The immensely popular book, which still has passionate devotees today, is described on Wikipedia as a "mostly fictional story of mountain folklore and forgiveness."2 It has been adapted into multiple movie versions, the most popular of which is probably the 1941 film with John Wayne.

Here's a closer look at man, book and cat...

There's a second mystery about this postcard. What's the deal with the pillow on the left? It appears to have a large glowing eyeball and several strange symbols. Was this man also a necromancer?3 (By the way, I recommend against a Google search for "old pillow with large glowing eyeball.")

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1. Two previous posts mention Harold Bell Wright: Christmas-gift dust jacket on 1919 Harold Bell Wright novel and Mystery photos inside "Helen of the Old House."
2. Reviewer Dorcas, writing on Goodreads in 2016, adds this in her 4.5-star review: "This book had a little of everything: the mad boy who runs wild in the hills, strange sounds in the forests, a forgotten gold mine, larger than life 'Lorna Doone-type' menfolk, drought, poverty, redemption, romance etc."
3. That was gratuitous. I just like using the word "necromancer" in a post.


  1. The pillow looks similar to some of the Odd Fellows memorabilia that I've seen. Hmmmmmm ....

    1. I think you're right! Check out this oddfellows flag and the F.L.T. across the bottom:

  2. The pillow is Odd Fellows. My great grandfather was one. So may have been grandfather when he lived in northern Nebraska.