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Fiction. When the spinster Miss Helen Campbell sets off in a motorcar called "The Comet" with four high school girls, their cross-country car ride promises to fulfill their singular dreams of grand vistas. Unprepared for the ensuing plane crash, stolen car, a trip to The Singing Ranch, and encounters with cryptic individuals, a painting by Henri Rousseau, a train robber on the lam, an Italian village located in California, and a talking door, and with the assistance of cowboys, Blaise Cendrars, Indians, and mountain outlaws who turn into statues, the redoubtable Motor Maids are compelled to dream even larger. More than fifty years in the making, Ron Padgett's novella, MOTOR MAIDS ACROSS THE CONTINENT, is an altered version of a novel for adolescent girls originally published in 1911. A mix of Harold Lloyd, Tom Mix, and Max Ernst, Padgett's tale is by turns comic, visionary, and strangely touching.