1212 Gregory Way
December 8, 1936
Mr. Jack Byrne
New York City
Dear Mr. Byrne;
Enclosed is the synopsis of BUCKSKIN BRIGADES.
Except for a few minor plot changes which are always bound to creep into the actual writing as you well know, this is the way she goes.
It is carefully planned for effect more than anything else, and I think it will make a racy yarn. As a glance will tell you, it is based upon characters, not plot alone.
I have pooled the most exciting events of the fur trade and these, in their turn, have of course influenced the time spacing.
Apparently the beginning is a little slow, but for the sake of brevity I have omitted the form and have simply stated the facts. Cutbacks and inter-plot will speed it up.
As you wished, this will probably run between sixty and seventy thousand words as there will be no lack of suspense and interest and the subject, in all fairness to it, demands much more....
Probably you will wonder a little at the ending I have jotted here. Without this ending the whole structure will lean in the trite direction taken by so many costume novels. It is impossible to see that in this short summary which follows and in spite of what most writers seem to think, clairvoyance isn't a part of an editorial job. And so, as it will come out in its proper length, my idea, condensed, is this: The Indian in his backwoods was much better off without any contact on the turbulent white frontier, beset as it was with the turbulence of the fur brigades.
I am not yet satisfied with my research as several inquiries I have made to well-known ethnologists and friends up on Indian lore have not yet been returned to me. However, this is all pertinent to weapons, costume, hunting methods and woodcraft — small points, but very vital to the life thread of such a work.
I am also enclosing an airmail envelope for the return as I hope to start on this not later than the coming Sunday at which time I will have assembled everything, rolled up my sleeves, bought a new ribbon, emitted a war-whoop preparatory to getting into the spirit of the thing....
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