Wheeler excels again, with his 1892 tale of New York editor John Fellowes Hall digging for yarns at a two-fisted gold camp in Butte, Montana.
He reports to the owner of Butte Mineral, William Andrews Clark, who also owns one of the three top gold mines as well as a bank and 1,000 mining stiffs. Though Hall’s aim is the “big story” with the Pulitzer Prize, Clark demands maximum publicity for himself, aiming at the political plum of senator. Shoved sideways, Hall digs up the police blotter for stories of mayhem, wife beating and eye-grabbing knocks at Clark’s rivals. When Clark wins and fires Hall, the newsman follows a new face in camp from back East—F. Augustus Heinze. This savvy geologist has tied up all non-gold land as tight as Rockefeller’s fist. Result: Butte, Montana’s the copper capital of the world, while Hall gets a handshake from Joe Pulitzer.