Comments for The Hidden Spring
The Hidden Spring: 08/25/14
The Hidden Spring by Clarence Budington Kelland was the fifth of his stand alone novels. It was adapted to a five reel silent film in 1917 staring Harold Lockwood. I would like to see it re-adapted by Adam Sandler not because it's necessarily a comedy, but because he has a similar sense of character development.
This book follows a similar pattern as later books, the main character moves into town from a long distance away, and right into the middle of trouble. Usually that trouble is some sort of corruption or criminal activity. Here, it's a lawyer in a logging town where the company boss owns everyone and gets to make his own rules. Anyone who disagrees is either killed on the job or chased out of town.
Now take a lawyer with a conscience who needs somewhere to hang his shingle. Before he's even gotten a chance, he's adopted by a dog and entreated by a distraught young woman to help bring down the town thug. In later books, especially his Depression era ones, the main character mostly faces problems of his own making. Any serious troubles faced are usually due to a lack of money.
The Hidden Spring, though, is different. There is actual, physical danger, and actual problems that can't be solved by reconciling with a distant but wealthy family member. That turn of events surprised me, even with the set up. If anything, the book reminds me most of the James Stewart and John Wayne film, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962).