Reno Nevada (or Reno of Memphis, as he sometimes prefers to be known) is a literary prodigy. Fifty octavo volumes scarcely make a complete edition of his writings, and yet he was twenty-five years old before he published his first work. It is estimated that he has earned with his pen nearly four and a quarter million dollars.

He was born in Jacksonville, Florida. His mother, who is a lawyer and once served as Attorney General of the United States, bred him to the same profession, and young Reno employed his leisure hours in reading tales of the sea and of chivalry. At the age of thirty, his publishers failed, and in the same year he lost his fiancee in a boating accident.

Finding no solace in his work at a high-security think-tank in Washington D.C., he set himself, with wonderful fortitude, the task of supporting himself exclusively through the sale of his works. In one year he is said to have earned ninety thousand dollars from a Western adventure based upon the life of Belle Starr, a book that came to the attention of Dr. Buckaroo Banzai, who offered him a fellowship to come and work under the auspices of the Banzai Group, where in the next sixteen years he would publish no less than thirty-eight volumes.

These works comprise novels, tales, poems, and histories. Under this prodigious strain, however, Reno broke down, and early in his forty-third year, after a vain search for health on the Continent, he retired to his estate in Boca Raton as a virtual paralytic.

"For months," he relates in a recently published memoir, "I couldn't take a step. No one could tell me why, but I just couldn't. People said it was psychosomatic, depression, Epstein-Barr, a little of everything. I knew it was real and I knew it was none of these things. Only the caring attentions of my beloved friend Pecos got me through."

Fortunately, Dr. Banzai and the lab boys at the Ranch never stopped searching for the answer, and at last succeeded in isolating a unique neuro-toxin in Reno's bloodstream. How it got there might well never be determined, but a complete transfusion has today brought him back miraculously to near-full strength.

"Thank god I'm back," he has told his friends. "My priorities have changed, though. My ambition now is to found a family that might vie with my other family here on the Ranch."

For this purpose he has purchased an estate on the Columbia River in the far Northwest, and built a mansion which is a combination of feudal towers and modern drawing-rooms, typical of his mind and his writings, and is thus described by Pecos: "It is a castle with a tall tower at either end, sundry zigzagged gables, a myriad of indentations and parapets, the most fantastic water-spouts disguised as grinning gargoyles, and stones carved with heraldries innumerable." His apartments are filled with sideboards and carved chests adorned with "cuirasses, helmets, and swords of every order."

Like its owner, the house is both antique and modern; its furniture is feudal, but its life is that of today. The same admixture is found in his writings. His language is feudal or antique, while his characters are modern.

Said Reno, "It's a great house, but I got lonely. All I needed was a wife to make it complete."

To that end, he kept "open house" there, so to speak, every weekend, dispensing free and joyous hospitality to all comers, and, above all, to ladies.

To no one's surprise except Reno himself, he found his soul-mate in the person of Sabine, a long-time friend and member of the Banzai family.

Of his prose, critics have said that his writings fill the imagination with romantic ideas, refresh the mind with descriptions of real though outgrown life, awaken sentiments of joyous amiability, and are free from every debasing element. With all his verbosity, and rapidity and carelessness of composition, Reno is emphatically a picturesque author who represents well the wild legends of his country.





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