This collector-quality edition includes the complete text of Frank H. Spearman's classic western novel in a freshly edited and newly typeset edition, together with an author biography and introductory comment to give the modern reader a quick background on the significance of this work and a new bibliography of Spearman's major works. With a generous 6x9 page size, this Summit Classic edition is printed on hefty 60# bright white paper with a fully laminated cover featuring an original full color design. "Whispering Smith," along with Owen Wister's "The Virginian", stands as one of the first serious modern western novels. Well-developed characters, a plot that reached beyond the dime-novel "shoot-out in a dusty street (or smoke-filled saloon)" format, and elements of moral dilemmas and complex relationships among characters brought the "western" of age as a form of entertainment for more serious readers. Frank H. Spearman (1859-1937) gained wide popularity after the turn of the twentieth century with the publication of two collections of short stories, and became perhaps the most widely-read writer in the "Railroad" sub-genre of the Western. Spearman lived and worked as a banker in Nebraska between 1886 and 1895 and became fascinated with railroads and the men involved in building and running them, apparently as a result of frequent contact with agents of the Union Pacific Railroad in the course of his work. In 1906 his novel "Whispering Smith" quickly became a best seller, and it remained popular for several years, leading to multiple silent film adaptations and, much later, several additional film versions and a television series. The straightforward plot, involving railroaders fighting nature and outlaws, and a great man gone bad, was fairly simple, but the book gave readers a balance of romance and realism, well-developed characters, and plenty of action, and it remains popular with modern readers. Based largely on stories he heard from two famous railroad detectives, the title character is essentially a composite of those two men. Ironically, though, "Whispering Smith" was actually the nickname of a third man, another railroad detective. There is no evidence that Spearman ever met the real "Whispering Smith," or that Smith was aware of the book, and it appears that Spearman was simply so taken with the nickname that he used it in his tale.