The Golden Boys in the Maine Woods

June 18, 2007

I’d never heard of the Golden Boys before, but — well, I just had to get The Golden Boys in the Maine Woods. I think I’d better just transcribe the first paragraph:

The sun was hardly half way over the horizon when the door of a small log cabin some fifty feet from the shore of Moosehead Lake opened, and a boy about nineteen years old stepped out. He was dressed only in a pair of swimming trunks and his perfectly formed body, brown as a nut, made a pretty picture against the background of the cabin as he paused to draw into his lungs huge drafts of the spruce scented air. In a moment he was joined by another boy a little younger and not quite as tall, but no less beautifully developed.

The author is L.P. Wyman, Ph.D., Dean of the Pennsylvania Military College.

The rest of the book contained a lot less shirtlessness than I expected, but otherwise it was pretty action-packed.

First Bob and Jack Golden get their motorcycles stolen. Then:

They put out a fire in the house of some boys they know.

They find a box with directions to buried treasure.

Their canoe is stolen; they find it.

Their Indian friend Kernertok helps them mind their motorcycles.

They go off in search of the treasure. One this expedition:

They are chased by a bear;

The bear turns out to live in the cave where the treasure is supposed to be;

And they are held up by a pair of starving criminals.

They return home to find that Kernertok has fallen off a cliff and his dog Sicum has been poisoned; both eventually get better.

They rescue a girl from drowning, which, somewhat enjoyably, involves Jack punching her in the face.

Bob, Jack, and Kernertok set out to have another look for the treasure; they plane to dig a pit in which to keep the bear while they have a look at her cave.

They help some agents of the Revenue Service round up some moonshiners.

There is a rainstorm.

They trap the bear.

They are shut inside the cave after a tree falls down and knocks a stone on front of the entrance.

They pray a lot.

Eventually they find a way out.

They spend a day opening up the entrance to the cave again.

They find the treasure: a small box that contains several diamond rings.

The End, except that I’m sure I’ve forgotten many of the things that happened to the Golden boys. There was rather a lot of hand-holding, and pretty much everyone eats lots of trout and biscuits. If there’re two things that the author is really trying to make clear, aside from that people in sticky situations should pray a lot rather than looking for a way out, they are that Jack is very quick at catching and frying trout, and that Bob makes really, really good biscuits.

There’re also a bunch of ads in the back of this one, but only one page is really worth transcribing:

The Jack Lorimer Series, By Winn Standish

Captain Jack Lorimer; or, The Young Athlete of Millvale High.

Jack Lorimer is a fine example of all-around American high-school boys. His fondness for clean, honest sport of all kinds will strike a chord of sympathy among athletic youths.

Jack Lorimer’s Champions; or, Sports on Land and Lake.

There is a lively story woven in with the athletic achievments, which are all right, since the book has been O.K’d. by Chadwick, the Nestor of American Sporting journalism.

Jack Lorimer’s Holidays; or, Millvale High in Camp.

It would be well not to put this book into a boy’s hands until the chores are finished, otherwise they might be neglected.

Jack Lorimer’s Substitute; or, Acting Captain of the Team.

On the sporting side, this book takes up football, wrestling, and tobogganing. There is a good deal of fun in this book, and plenty of action.

Jack Lorimer, Freshman; or, From Millvale High to Exmouth.

Jack and some friends he makes crowd innumerable happenings into an exciting freshman year at one of the leading Eastern colleges. The book is typical of the American college boy’s life, and there is a lively story, interwoven with feats on the gridiron, hockey, basketball, and other clean, honest sports for which Jack Lorimer stands.


  1. Did they make out before or after one of them punched the girl in the face? You really do find the oddest books — I’m jealous.

  2. Sadly, there is no making out, although I feel that Mr. Wyman’s emphasis on the fact that the Golden boys have separate beds is so strong as to be suspicious. I keep wondering whether the boys at the school where he worked read his books, and what they thought of them, and whether they were careful to keep themselves fully clothed in his presence.

    I do find weird books, I guess, but I think the fun thing about books — especially old, out-of-date ones — is that really, they’re all weird.

  3. Ha! Not that his students had anything to worry about. If anything suspicious happened all they’d need to do was pray.

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