Death Westbound and 10 Story Book
Death Westbound was actually mentioned by Louis in his memoir, Education of a Wandering Man, although he didn't mention the title.
"I placed my first story for publication," he wrote. "It was a hobo story, submitted to a magazine that had published many famous names when they were starting out. The magazine paid on publication, but that never happened. The magazine folded after accepting my story and that was the end of it."
Interesting but not exactly true . . .
Fifty-five years earlier Louis had written to a girlfriend of his saying:
"I have . . . managed to have one short story accepted by a small magazine one finds on the newsstands. It pays rather well but is somewhat sensational. The magazine . . . is generally illustrated by several pictures of partially undressed ladies, and they are usually rather heavily constructed ladies also. It is called 10 Story Book. My story was a realistic tale of some hoboes called "Death Westbound."
A check of Louis' list of story submissions for the early thirties revealed that he had continued to submit work to 10 Story Book for the next several years . . . not what you'd expect if they had "folded." Much later in life, had Louis felt compelled to mention this early moment of triumph while at the same time denying his connection to the magazine's somewhat sleazy content?