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Just watched the cowboy short movie "Drum Taps," (1933) starring Ken Maynard. It is one of those movies (like those of Roy Rogers) set in present day (as of when it was made), but still involves lots of riding horses, six shooters, and cowboy garb (including gigantic hats). As synopsized on IMDB.com:  "Skinner and his gang are grabbing land from the ranchers. When they go after Kerry's ranch Ken stops them. Skinner frames Ken for rustling but the Sheriff is on Ken's side, and with the help of his brother Earl's Boy Scout troop they go after the gang."  The Scouts are instrumental in helping round up ranchers for the Sheriff's posse, treating men who have been shot, and posing as the Army when riding with Ken to the rescue of the Sheriff and his men, who have been trapped by Skinner's gang.  A key plot point is the use of a heliograph, a signaling device by which sunlight is reflected in flashes from a movable mirror.  The outlaw lookouts in Rocky Pass use it to signal the rest of the gang when someone is coming, Ken uses it to signal the Sheriff that the pass is clear for them to come through, and a Scout uses one to signal Ken that they are on the way.

 

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It sure is good they had the solar charger for the Lithium batteries …. 

 

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. . . that they used in their light sabers.

I've been wondering why the movie was called "Drum Taps," since there are no drums.  Maybe in an earlier script the signalling was to be done with drums, and at some point they decided to switch to the heliograph, but that would not have made a compelling title.

Interestingly, the characters were able to see what appeared to be brief random flashes and interpret them in great detail, including the names of the individuals riding into the pass.

It was also kind of funny that while the hero, Ken, clearly admires the Boy Scouts, his own knot-tying skills are not particularly good.  He surprises and ties up the two outlaw guards of Rocky Pass, and they almost immediately slip out of the rope and ambush Ken.

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Yep, I've seen that happen. Bummer.

The Captive's Knot was supposed to be a First Class requirement, but when the HB went to press, back in the 1930's, they ran out of pages and had to cut back somewhere., I guess.  

Kinda like what happened with the neckerchief, why they had to make it smaller.... "they"....  

 

Edited by SSScout
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