Unseen by readers for a century, Archibald Rutledge’s story “Claws” is a fast-paced adventure tale of a young boy, Paul, lost in the foreboding terrain of Spencer’s Swamp, the domain of the mighty bobcat Claws, which is deftly evading hounds and hunters alike. When Paul and Claws encounter one another at a perilous creek crossing, Rutledge’s mastery of outdoors storytelling shines through in every evocative word.
The short story “Claws” was written for publication in an early twentieth-century boy’s magazine and was first collected in the privately printed Eddy Press edition of Old Plantation Days (c. 1913). Limited to about 200 hundred copies, the Eddy Press edition is rare and highly prized by Rutledge collectors and includes five stories – “Claws,” “The Doom of Ravenswood,” “The Egret’s Plumes,” “The Heart of Regal,” and “The Ocean’s Menace” – not found in the more widely available 1921 Stokes edition of Old Plantation Days.
A project of The Humanities CouncilSC benefiting the South Carolina Book Festival, this new edition of Claws is illustrated in handsome artwork in charcoal by Southern artist Stephen Chesley. Award-winning outdoors writer and noted Rutledge scholar Jim Casada provides the volume’s introduction, and retired South Carolina conservation officer and author Ben McC. Moise offers an afterword.
Archibald Rutledge (1883-1973) was South Carolina’s most prolific writer and the state’s first poet laureate. His nature writings garnered him the prestigious John Burroughs medal.
May 2014, 60 pages, 24 b&w illustrations
A project of The Humanities CouncilSC benefiting the South Carolina Book Festival
To order a copy of Claws, please contact the offices of The Humanities CouncilSCor order and pay securely online
Artwork by Stephen Chesley