The Rejiment Stories Volume I of II - 1918 - 402 pages
The very first Seckatary Hawkins stories were printed in the newspaper 2/3/1918 through 12/31/1918 - tales about young 5,6, and 7 year old boys who were friends before the club was formed. They did not have a clubhouse yet, and were loosely formed with meetings down by the old Sycamore tree near the riverbank a little later on in the chapters. The antics and situations are sometimes outrageous in our modern eyes; but were written as the young children of the 1920's talked. Every boy and girl identified with these stories, and understood exactly what was printed. Today, we have a little trouble deciphering the actual meaning in such antiquated language and lack of punctuation that was the wont of these boys. But we have presented each chapter so that you might easily take up with the writing style. If you read through To Kill a Mockingbird, and others such as Huckleberry Finn books, you will realize that all Americans should be able to get adjusted to the riverbank talk very easily. Words spelled such as "purty" and "figgered" and "dident" can be figgered out pretty easily, right? There are lots of laughs with these boys who you will find much in common with. You will learn how things developed to bring the F&S Club into being. Club members at the Big Meeting asked about old subjects such as "Chinese Magic" from stories that came up in the first 11 books, and I am happy to say you will find some references in these stories and the 1919 sequels which will follow very soon.The final Rejiment III chapters from 1920 will be included in the next scheduled book reprint of The Red Runners - scheduled for early 2012 printing. Stay tuned!.
The Rejiment stories by Robert F. Schulkers
…were published in a few Midwest newspapers from early 1918 to early 1920, before the episodes of Stoner’s Boy began as weekly newspaper series.
There were 103 Rejiment-era stories. These have been published by the modern Seckatary Hawkins Club as “Rejiment I” (47 chapters), “Rejiment II” (52 chapters), and “Rejiment III” (4 chapters at the beginning of the new edition of “The Red Runners” book).
In the back pages of the 1921 first edition “Seckatary Hawkins in Cuba”, some of these chapter stories are listed as if the intent was to publish them in three volumes with volume titles:
Seckatary Hawkins and the Rejiment. The “Rejiment” is organized, and Hawkins is appointed “seckatary”. The strange adventures that befell them, up to their visit to the haunted house, and what they found there.
Seckatary Hawkins and the Skinny Guy. In this volume the Skinny Guy, Link Lambert, makes his appearance at the boys’ headquarters on the riverbank.
Seckatary Hawkins and the Stranded Houseboat. The strange experiences in the Stranded Houseboat on the river bank. The discovery of Cave River. The coming of the “Three Wild West Fellas”. Rufe Rogers and his raven. Lew Hunter, the music master. The stolen Christmas trees. A Christmas Carol. Briggen turns over a new leaf, and many others.
The intention for a book to be entitled “Seckatary Hawkins and the Rejiment” appears to have been for the first 38 The Rejiment chapter stories. These are chapters 1 through 38 of the book “Rejiment I”. Chapters 37 and 38 relate their adventures in the haunted house, which would end this book according to the description above.
The break between the next two intended books, “Seckatary Hawkins and the Skinny Guy” and “Seckatary Hawkins and the Stranded Houseboat” is not so clear from the descriptions above. The description above for “Seckatary Hawkins and the Skinny Guy” has little detail on this book, except that it is mainly about Link Lambert.
There are some clues, however, in an unpublished typed list Robert F. Schulkers prepared called “The books of Seckatary Hawkins”. These notes included more details on what was to be included in “Seckatary Hawkins and the Skinny Guy”, specifically the stories of when Link made his first appearance on the river bank, the sinking of the first Lambert houseboat by the Pelhams, how Link meddled with the second election the Club had, and Link’s initiation into the Club.
They first meet Link Lambert in Chapter 43 of “Rejiment I”. The Pelhams sink the Lambert houseboat in Chapter 4 of “Rejiment II”. The election Link meddled with is in Chapter 8 of “Rejiment II”, and Link’s initiation into the Club is in Chapter 9 of “Rejiment II”. This places the intended end of the book “Seckatary Hawkins and the Skinny Guy” as early as Chapter 9 of “Rejiment II”. With this book starting with Chapter 39 of “Rejiment I” and ending at Chapter 9 of “Rejiment II”, it would have a total length of 18 chapters.
The description above for the intended book to be entitled “Seckatary Hawkins and the Stranded Houseboat” begins with “The strange experiences in the Stranded Houseboat on the river bank.” and is followed with “The discovery of Cave River.” The discovery of Cave River is related in Chapter 32 of “Rejiment II”, 23 chapters after the end proposed here for “Seckatary Hawkins and the Skinny Guy”. The unpublished list mentioned above begins with, for “Seckatary Hawkins and the Stranded Houseboat”, the details “The adventures that befell the boys. Headquarters in the stranded houseboat”, before “the mystery of Cave River”. These details could refer to the adventures related in the 23 chapters before the discovery of Cave River. If that was the intent, then “Seckatary Hawkins and the Stranded Houseboat” would begin with Chapter 10 of “Rejiment II” and continue to the end of the Rejiment-era stories, including the four stories comprising “Rejiment III” (the four chapters at the beginning of the new edition of “The Red Runners”).
Going back to the book descriptions above, the adventures with the Wild West fellas and Rufe Rogers and his raven are related in Chapters 39 through 44 of “Rejiment II”. The arrival of Lew Hunter is told in Chapter 45. The stolen Christmas trees story is told in Chapter 51. Chapter 52 is “A Christmans Carol”, and Chapter 1 of “Rejiment III” is “Briggen turns a new leaf”.
These breaks would make “Seckatary Hawkins and the Rejiment” 38 chapters in length, “Seckatary Hawkins and the Skinny Guy” 18 chapters in length, and “Seckatary Hawkins and the Stranded Houseboat” 47 chapters in length, accounting for all 103 Rejiment-era stories. While it seems unlikely that the second book would have been only 18 chapters in length, to date we have not discovered RFS’s complete plans for these early books.
These 103 Rejiment-era stories relate the early history of the club, and contain many events that were recalled in the later books. Readers of the original books have often wondered about the details of these recollections, all of which are found in these early stories. These 103 stories are essential to understanding much of what is in the later books. These stories were also favorites of early readers of the newspaper episodes, and many of the Rejiment-era stories were reprinted (some several times) over the years. The Rejiment stories also featured some club members who left the club before the events of the book “Stoner’s Boy”, specifically Booby Warren, Elmer Gray, Sid Newcome, and Bobby Carr.
In the book “Rejiment I”, some of the key events are listed below.
Chapter 1. This is the famous first Seckatary Hawkins story, “Johnny’s snow fortress”.
Chapter 2. Hawkins is elected “seckatary”. This also tells the story of Booby Warren and how he was court-martialled and kicked out of the club.
Chapter 10. Hawkins’ dog Nig is trampled and killed by horses pulling a fire engine.
Chapter 13. Dick Ferris and his family move across the river, and Dick joins the Pelhams.
Chapter 14. The Court twins join the club.
Chapter 16. They build their first shack clubhouse.
Chapter 28. Their shack burns down. Roy Dobel joins the club.
Chapter 29. They discover Cliff Cave.
Chapters 37 and 38. They have adventures in a haunted house.
Chapter 43. They meet Link Lambert, who is swiping lumber from their side of the river to build a treehouse over in Pelham
Chapter 46. The first Christmas in the stories, the Christmas of 1918.
In the books “Rejiment II” and “Rejiment III”, some of the key events are listed below.
Chapter 4. The Pelhams sink the Lambert houseboat, which later becomes the houseboat clubhouse.
Chapter 5. The sunken houseboat is raised.
Chapter 6. They hold their first meeting in the houseboat clubhouse.
Chapter 7. The story of Rosalind Lee, who loses her doll in the river. Link finds it, and gives it to Rosalind as a Valentine’s Day gift.
Chapter 8. Link Lambert joins the club.
Chapter 11. An exciting incident with some river pirates.
Chapter 14. The incident when “Androfski the bomb thrower” attempts to bomb Judge Granbery’s house. His son Androfski the Silent appears in later books.
Chapters 32 and 33. The discovery of Cave River, and the “Chinese magic” inside.
Chapters 39 to 44. The story of the three “Wild West fellas”, including Rufe Rogers, and how they built the shack in the hollow that was later to become the clubhouse of all the stories after the book “Stoner’s Boy”.
Chapter 45. Lew Hunter arrives and joins the club, and the story of how he got an organ for the houseboat clubhouse and started singing lessons.
Chapter 48. The story of Larry King, who gave his fine rifle to Hawkins.
Chapter 49. Dick Ferris and his family move back to their town, and Dick rejoins the club.
Chapter 52. The famous “Christmas Carol” story, with Little Tim of the Pelhams, for Christmas 1919.
Chapter 1. The story of when Briggen turned a new leaf.
Submitted by Gregg Bogosian 12/10/12