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PREFACE In offering this study of the American desperado, the author constitutes himself no apologist for the acts of any desperado; yet neither does he feel that apology is needed for the theme itself. The outlaw, the desperado—that somewhat distinct and easily recognizable figure generally known in the West as the "bad man"—is a character unique in our national history, and one whose like scarcely has been produced in any land... more...

CHAPTER I FOLLOWING LEWIS AND CLARK “ Well, sister,” said Uncle Dick, addressing that lady as she sat busy with her needlework at the window of a comfortable hotel in the city of St. Louis, “I’m getting restless, now that the war is over. Time to be starting out. Looks like I’d have to borrow those boys again and hit the trail. Time to be on our way!”... more...

THE YOUNG ALASKANS I AT HOME IN ALASKA “ Steamboat! Steamboat!” Rob McIntyre had been angling for codfish at the top of Valdez dock for the past half-hour. Now, hearing the hoarse boom of the ocean vessel’s whistle out in the fog-bank which covered the mouth of the harbor, he pulled in his fishing-line, hurriedly threw together his heap of flapping fish, and, turning, sent shoreward the cry always welcome to dwellers in... more...

THE START FOR THE MIDNIGHT SUN “ Well, fellows,” said Jesse Wilcox, the youngest of the three boys who stood now at the ragged railway station of Athabasca Landing, where they had just disembarked, “here we are once more. For my part, I’m ready to start right now.” He spoke somewhat pompously for a youth no more than fifteen years of age. John Hardy and Rob McIntyre, his two companions, somewhat older than... more...

TAKING THE TRAIL It was a wild and beautiful scene which lay about the little camp in the far-off mountains of the Northwest. The sun had sunk beyond the loftier ridges, although even now in the valley there remained considerable light. One could have seen many miles over the surrounding country had not, close at hand, where the little white tent stood, the forest of spruce been very dense and green. At no great distance beyond its edge was... more...


ROB, JOHN, AND JESSE IN CAMP “ Well, here we are, fellows,” said Jesse Wilcox, as he threw down an armful of wood at the side of the camp-fire. “For my part, I believe this is going to be about the best trip we ever had.” “That’s what I was telling Rob to-day,” said John Hardy, setting down a pail of water near by. “But I hope I won’t have to carry water up a bank a hundred feet high every... more...

Chapter I - The Kissing Of Miss Grace Sheraton I admit I kissed her. Perhaps I should not have done so. Perhaps I would not do so again. Had I known what was to come I could not have done so. Nevertheless I did. After all, it was not strange. All things about us conspired to be accessory and incendiary. The air of the Virginia morning was so soft and warm, the honeysuckles along the wall were so languid sweet, the bees and the hollyhocks up to... more...

CHAPTER I SIM GAGE AT HOME "Sim," said Wid Gardner, as he cast a frowning glance around him, "take it one way with another, and I expect this is a leetle the dirtiest place in the Two-Forks Valley." The man accosted did no more than turn a mild blue eye toward the speaker and resume his whittling. He smiled faintly, with a sort of apology, as the other went on. "I'll say more'n that, Sim. It's the blamedest, dirtiest hole in the whole state... more...

CHAPTER I A LADY IN COMPANY "Madam, you are charming! You have not slept, and yet you smile.No man could ask a better prisoner." She turned to him, smiling faintly. "I thank you. At least we have had breakfast, and for such mercy I am grateful to my jailer. I admit I was famished. What now?" With just the turn of a shoulder she indicated the water front, where, at the end of the dock on which they stood, lay the good ship, Mount Vernon,... more...

Chapter I. The Frontier In History The frontier! There is no word in the English language more stirring, more intimate, or more beloved. It has in it all the elan of the old French phrase, En avant! It carries all of the old Saxon command, Forward!! It means all that America ever meant. It means the old hope of a real personal liberty, and yet a real human advance in character and achievement. To a genuine American it is the dearest word in all... more...