What's He Doing With His Hands?














This cover of The Sure Hand of God, by Erskine Caldwell, Signet D2604, is an 18th printing by that publisher. It depicts a frightened woman at the feet of an angry, threatening group of men. The man in blue is holding his hands in a rather strange pose.


The cover artist is James Hill.


Robert Wiener owns the original illustration for the book, and the solves this riddle for us.


In the original painting, the man is actually holding a belt, with the obvious intention of whipping the girl. However, the painting has a clear plastic overlay attached, which when folded down over the illustration, makes the belt disappear.


There is little doubt that the art editors at Signet considered the picture too violent and ordered the change.


(Click an image to view the full picture)





(Pictures are Courtesy of Robert Wiener)