Very Good. Item #5948
Erie: The A-No. 1 Publishing Company, 1911. Tenth Edition. Vol. 2 in the overall series of 12. Small Octavo; 133pp + 3 pages of advertisements for other books in the series. Twenty-eight line drawings and many head- and tail-pieces at chapter divisions, either ornaments or vignettes. Four pages with pictorial "decoder" for tramps' shared signs and signals. Stapled persimmon card wrappers, with pictorial front and vignette on back. Photographic portrait of the author (making him look very much like Enrico Caruso) on inside of front cover; additional advertisement on inside of back cover.
Wraps soiled overall but completely legible. Front cover archivally taped to spine. Erosion at spine crown and foot and all corners; corner dog-ears and creases now flattened. Volume was solidly produced and is still complete and robust despite zealous rereading by previous owner(s).
The preliminary material and embedded moral lessons of these tales are mischievously and appealingly ambiguous. On the one hand, our author commands us to "NEVER RUN AWAY" and "STAY AT HOME" on the title-page verso, in all caps. On the other, the jolly appeal of the adventures is relentless, and our author would eventually urge us to buy all twelve volumes in his series—essentially a dozen how-to manuals for running away. The Preface closes: "I beg the reader to remember that, while these tales are strictly moral ones, no person can be a tramp and a saint at the same time."