George T. Marsh is one of the Northern authors who did appear in “Soft Magazines” but is best known for his books where he collected his stories. Many of the most famous painters of the 1920s and 30s illustrated his work. (Thanks to Brian Alan Burhoe for putting me onto George Marsh.)


“Breed of the Wolf” (The Popular Magazine, January 20, 1922)
“A Little Tragedy at Coocoocache” (Scribner’s Magazine, August 1915)
“McCleod’s Partner, (The Red Book Magazine, January 1922)
“The Mistake of M. Bruette” (The Red Book Magazine, March 1921)
“The Quest of Narcisse Lablanche” (Scribner’s Magazine, May 1916)
“The Trail to Death” (Complete Northwest Novel Magazine, June 1936)
“The Twilight of André Girard” (Complete Northwest Novel Magazine, August 1936)
“Ungava Gold” (The Blue Book Magazine, November 1936)
“The Valley of Voices” (The Red Book Magazine, May-November, 1924)
“Vanished Men” (Grit, August 25, 1940)
“Watchdogs of the Northwest” (Adventure Novels and Short Stories, September 1931)

(1921) Toilers of the Trail

(1922) Whelps of the Wolf

(1924) Valley of Voices

(1925) Men Marooned

(1927) Flash, the Lead Dog

(1928) Under the Frozen Stars

(1929) Sled Trails and White Waters

(1929) Heart of the King-Dog

(1936) River of Skulls

(1939) Vanished Men


Of all of Marsh’s stories, “The Valley of the Windigo” (Scribner’s Magazine, June 1917) caught my eye. I read it in The Northerners (1984), edited by Bill Pronzini but you can find it (1921) Toilers of the Trail.

After re-reading Jane and Paul Annixter’s Windigo (1963) I wanted to see how someone else handled the “false monster” story about the mysterious First Nations spirit. The fact that Marsh’s story predates the Annixter’s by fifty years pretty much implies Paul may have read this story in his youth (though I have proof of this.)

The story follows a Canadien trapper who goes to a valley supposedly haunted by the Windigo. The local Crees warn him off but the fur-bearing animals are too thick and Francois Hertel too practical to be discouraged. Hertel brings his wife, Marie, along to live in the cabin. Strange howling noises frighten her and the huskies but Hertel is not convinced. He chases the Windigo, sets traps for it, and ultimately…. I will leave it there. It is too good a read to spoil. I will say that I did see some parallels with Annixter’s novel.

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