Maine Streets, Mean Streets


I've always loved Raymond Chandler's famous quote about private eyes from his essay, The Simple Art of Murder:

Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. The detective must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor. He talks as the man of his age talks, that is, with rude wit, a lively sense of the grotesque, a disgust for sham, and a contempt for pettiness.

In The Poacher's Son I've extended Chandler's dictum to the wild paths and trails of Maine. The woods can be a scary place, but never more so than when you meet a stranger alone in some isolated spot far from help. Such is the life of the Maine Game Warden. And I think all of Chandler's character virtues apply to the wardens I most admire.