This one is a little special. I write about authors, all gone to the writers’ Valhalla, and their names are like golden things, special and a little unreal. But A. deHerries Smith is different. He actually touched a part of my own life. And because of this he seems more real, more human.

August William deHerries Smith was born in Cork, Ireland but lived and wrote in Canada. He married Maria Ann Birnie (1885-1989) on April 21, 1908 in Paddle River, Alberta. They had nine children.

Smith had his Thunderbolt’s Tracks made into a silent picture in 1927. His biggest book was Drums of the North (1928). “Lima Bellerose, daughter of the Lord of the trading post of Dahadinni – with a negligible strain of Indian blood in her veins – wages a lone fight against the woman from the great outside for Bruce Redwood, white lord, man of her choice.”

Their sons, Cedric and Desmond, served in the navy and air force and both died in World War II. Augustus died shortly after. He is buried in Edmonton Cemetery, on December 14, 1945.

Now the connection. My dad’s family are from Mayerthorpe, Alberta. The Paddle River is a short river that runs through the area. (It begins around Mayerhorpe and runs east to Barrhead. It was named such because it is an easy river to paddle.) I spent my childhood visiting my Uncle Sven’s farm along the Paddle River. In fact, my dad and his dad are buried beside that river. My father was born close by. He grew up there, never knowing that in the same area was a writer of the kinds of stories he liked. (Granted, my father always preferred the non-fiction to fiction variety.) I want to return to Mayerthorpe and find where the Smiths lived. (This will be very difficult since all of Gus and Maria’s children are gone.) I want to visit his grave in Edmonton. I would love to talk to any of his great-grand kids. I have so many questions but few people remain to answer them.

“Totosim” (North-West Stories, July 1925)

“Where North Meets West” (North-West Stories, July-Nov 1925)

“Wolf Justice” (North-West Stories, October 1925)

“Bucking the Line” (North-West Stories, November 1925)

“Arctic Arrows” (North-West Stories, November 1925)

“Pakan the Fire Setter” (North-West Stories, January 15, 1926)

“Dancing Drums” (North-West Stories, January 15, 1926 (Reprinted in North-West Romances Win 1939/1940)

“Arctic Code” (North-West Stories, February 1, 1926)

“Wolf Lure” (North-West Stories, March 15, 1926)

“Soldiers of the Ice” (North-West Stories, May 15, 1926)

“Yakaw’s Yellowknives” (North-West Stories, June 15, 1926)

“Drums of the Frozen Sea” (North-West Stories, July 1, 1926)

“Sam the Sizzler” (North-West Stories, July 15, 1926)

“Na-Loo: A Saga of the Sea-Ice” (North-West Stories, August 1, 1926)

“Arctic Slaves” (North-West Stories, August 15, 1926)

“Buffalo for the North, (North-West Stories, September 1, 1926)

“Forest Ranger Battles Bear” (Action Stories, September 1926)

“Fur Crimes” (Action Stories, September 1926)

“Half White” (North-West Stories, September 15, 1926)

“Sub-Arctic Ranch” (Lariat Story Magazine, October 1926 (Reprinted in Cowboy Story Magazine (UK), May 1927)

“Old Timers’ Day at Edmonton” (North-West Stories, October 1, 1926)

“Trail Tales of the North: The Moose Markers” (North-West Stories, October 15, 1926)

“Buffalo Bandits” (North-West Stories, October 15, 1926 (Reprinted in West, April 16, 1930)

“The Moose Markers” (North-West Stories, October 15, 1926)

“Feet in the Dark” (North-West Stories, November 15, 1926)

“Athabaska’s Sheik” (North-West Stories, December 15, 1926)

“Tinkle of Mail Bell” (North-West Stories, January 1, 1927)

“Breed of the Barrens” (North-West Stories, January 15, 1927)

“The Dancing Wolf” (North-West Stories, February 1, 1927)

“Bugles of the Ice” (North-West Stories, February 15, 1927)

“Across the Frozen Plains” (North-West Stories, March 1, 1927)

“Invaders of the Ice” (North-West Stories, March 15, 1927)

“Drums of the North” (North-West Stories, April 1-May 15, 1927)

“The Valley Beyond” (North-West Stories, June 1, 1927)

“Roaring Ice” (West, June 20, 1927 (Reprinted in Short Stories (UK), Winter 1927)

“Furs from the Frozen Seas” (West, July 5, 1927)

“Guardian of the Great Divide” (North-West Stories, September 1, 1927)

“Mark of the Wolf” (North-West Stories, September 15, 1927)

“The Phantom Pack” (North-West Stories, October 1, 1927) 

“The Fur Brigades” (North-West Stories November 1, 1927)

“The Man Pack” (North-West Stories, November 15, 1927)

“Blizzard Gold” (North-West Stories, December 1, 1927)

“Canoes of Chingan” (North-West Stories, December 15, 1927)

“Caribou Coming!” (Adventure, January 1, 1928)

“Reindeer Runners” (North-West Stories, January 1, 1928)

“The Arctic Herds” (West, January 28, 1928  (reprinted in Short Stories (UK,  January 15, 1929)

“High Horses” (North-West Stories, February 1, 1928)

“Rustlers Ride!” (North-West Stories, February 15, 1928)

“Reindeer Raiders” (West, February 25, 1928)

“The Lost Tribe” (North-West Stories, March 1, 1928)

“The White Silence” (North-West Stories, March 15, 1928)

 “Snow Eagles” (sl) North-West Stories, May 1- July 1, 1928)

“Caribou Killers” (North-West Stories, August 15, 1928)

“Arctic Racers” (West, September 29, 1928)

“North of Never Never” (Frontier Stories, July 1928)

“Ghost Canoes” (North-West Stories, July 15, 1928)

“Winged Wolves” (North-West Stories, August 1, 1928)

“Mush, Husky! Mush!” (North-West Stories, August 15, 1928)

“Raiders of the Blue” (North-West Stories, September 1, 1928)

“The Wilderness Walker” (North-West Stories, September 15, 1928)

“Arctic Rustlers” (Triple-X Magazine, October 1928)

“Eskimo Style” (Adventure, October 15, 1928)

“Snow Ponies” (North-West Stories, October 15, 1928)

“Breed of the Wild” (North-West Stories, November 1, 1928)

“Mystery of Great Slave” (Triple-X Magazine, November 1928)

“Arctic Angels” (Adventure, November 15, 1928)

“Eskimo Raiders” (Complete Stories, December 1, 1928)

“Playboy” (North-West Stories, December 1928)

“Wolf Voices” (Complete Stories, January 1, 1929)

“Arctic Madness” (North-West Stories, January 1929)

“Renegade of the Snows” (North-West Stories, February 1929)

“Arctic Magic” (West, March 20, 1929)

“The Arctic Legions” (Argosy All-Story Weekly, March 2 1929)

“Ten Thousand Smokes” (North-West Stories, April 1929)

“Wolf Music” (North-West Stories, May 1929)

“Arctic Snaps” (Complete Stories, May 15, 1929)

“Blubber Boats” (Short Stories, July 10, 1929)

“Telegraph Horses” (North-West Stories, August 1929)

“Under Northern Stars” (Action Stories, August 1927)

“Arctic Pirates” (West, August 7, 1929)

“Bandits of the Slave” (North-West Stories, September 1929)

“Sea-Ice Raiders” (North-West Stories, November 1929)

“Dogs of Doom” (North-West Stories, December 1929) 

“The Bad Siwash” (North-West Stories, April 1930)

“Ambush Valley” (North-West Stories, July 1930)

“Brand of the Polar Sea” (North-West Stories, October 1930)

“The First to Lac La Barge” (North-West Stories, January 1931)

“North Bounty” (Adventure, February 15, 1931)

“The Last Arrow” (North-West Stories, May 1931) 

“Drums of the Ice” (Short Stories, June 25, 1931)

“Arctic Ambush” (North-West Stories, July 1931)

“Black Robe’s Buffalo” (Adventure, August 1, 1931)

“Northward Ho!” (Action Stories, September 1934)

“Red-Coat Law” (North-West Stories, Winter 1936)

“Land of the Lawless” (North-West Romances, Winter 1937)

“North of 60°” (North-West Stories, Spring 1937)

“Wolves of the Wastelands” (North-West Romances, Fall 1937)

“The Carcajou Killer” (North-West Romances, Spring 1938)

“No Law Below Zero” (North-West Romances, Fall 1938)

“Murderer’s Gold” (North-West Romances, Spring 1939)

“Ghost River” (North-West Romances, Summer 1939)

“The River King” (North-West Romances, Fall 1939)

“Wolf Bait” (North-West Romances, Spring 1940)

“White Siwash” (North-West Romances, Winter 1941)

“Mark of the Mounted” (North-West Romances, Fall 1941)

“Peril Portage” (North-West Romances, Winter 1942)

“The Fur Raiders” (North-West Romances, Summer 1942)

“Timber Trap” (North-West Romances, February 1943)

“Long-Knife Law” (North-West Romances, April 1943)

“Gun-Vultures of the Barrens” (North-West Romances, Summer 1943)