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FOREWORD This book is a faithful record, so far as I can make it, of the most marvellous phenomena which have come under my observation during the last sixteen or seventeen years. I have used my notes (made immediately after the sittings) and also my reports to the American Psychical Society (of which I was at one time a director) as the basis of my story. For literary purposes I have substituted fictitious names for real names, and imaginary... more...

Home from the War All of this universe known to me in the year 1864 was bounded by the wooded hills of a little Wisconsin coulee, and its center was the cottage in which my mother was living alone—my father was in the war. As I project myself back into that mystical age, half lights cover most of the valley. The road before our doorstone begins and ends in vague obscurity—and Granma Green's house at the fork of the trail stands on... more...

—I—To My New Readers In the summer of 1893, after nine years of hard but happy literary life in Boston and New York, I decided to surrender my residence in the East and reëstablish my home in the West, a decision which seemed to be—as it was—a most important event in my career. This change of headquarters was due not to a diminishing love for New England, but to a deepening desire to be near my aging parents, whom I... more...

AT THE BEGINNING. She was in the box; he was far above in the gallery. He looked down and across and saw her sitting there fair as a flower and robed like a royal courtesan in flame and snow. Like a red torch flamed the ruby in her hair. Her shoulders were framed in her cloak, white as marble warmed with firelight. Her gloved hands held an opera glass which also glowed with flashing light. His face grew dark and stern. He looked down at... more...

VICTOR READS THE FATEFUL STAR Saturday had been a strenuous day for the baseball team of Winona University, and Victor Ollnee, its redoubtable catcher, slept late. Breakfast at the Beta Kappa Fraternity House on Sunday started without him, and Gilbert Frenson, who never played ball or tennis, and Arnold Macey, who was too effeminate to swing a bat, divided the Sunday morning Star between them. "See here, Gil," called Macey, holding up an... more...


THE GRUB-STAKER I "There's gold in the Sierra Blanca country—everybody admits it," Sherman F. Bidwell was saying as the Widow Delaney, who kept the Palace Home Cooking Restaurant in the town of Delaney (named after her husband, old Dan Delaney), came into the dining-room. Mrs. Delaney paused with a plate of steaming potatoes, and her face was a mask of scorn as she addressed the group, but her words were aimed especially at Bidwell, who... more...

THE SETTING The village of Colorow is enclosed by a colossal amphitheatre of dove-gray stone, in whose niches wind-warped pines stand like spectators silent and waiting. Six thousand feet above the valley floor green and orange slopes run to the edges of perennial ice-fields, while farther away, and peering above these almost inaccessible defences, like tents of besieging Titans, rise three great mountains gleaming with snow and thunderous... more...

ANTICIPATION I will wash my brain in the splendid breeze,I will lay my cheek to the northern sun,I will drink the breath of the mossy trees,And the clouds shall meet me one by one.I will fling the scholar's pen aside,And grasp once more the bronco's rein,And I will ride and ride and ride,Till the rain is snow, and the seed is grain. The way is long and cold and lone—But I go.It leads where pines forever moanTheir weight of snow,Yet I... more...

The Spirit of Sweetwater CHAPTER I One spring day a young man of good mental furnishing and very slender purse walked over the shoulder of Mount Mogallon and down the trail to Gold Creek. He walked because the stage fare seemed too high. Two years and four months later he was pointed out to strangers by the people of Sweetwater Springs. "That is Richard Clement, the sole owner of 'The Witch,' a mine valued at three millions of dollars." This... more...

MARCH Early in the gray and red dawn of a March morning in 1883, two wagons moved slowly out of Boomtown, the two-year-old "giant of the plains." As the teams drew past the last house, the strangeness of the scene appealed irresistibly to the newly arrived immigrants. The town lay behind them on the level, treeless plain like a handful of blocks pitched upon a russet robe. Its houses were mainly shanties of pine, one-story in height, while... more...