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CHAPTER I I want to state right at the start that I am writing this story twenty years after it happened solely because my wife and Señor Buck Johnson insist on it. Myself, I don't think it a good yarn. It hasn't any love story in it; and there isn't any plot. Things just happened, one thing after the other. There ought to be a yarn in it somehow, and I suppose if a fellow wanted to lie a little he could make a tail-twister out of it.... more...

At about eight o'clock one evening of the early summer a group of men were seated on a grass-plot overlooking a broad river. The sun was just setting through the forest fringe directly behind them. Of this group some reclined in the short grass, others lay flat on the bank's slope, while still others leaned against the carriages of two highly ornamented field-guns, whose embossed muzzles gaped silently at an eastern shore nearly two miles... more...

THE OWNER OF NEW YORK Percy Darrow, a young man of scientific training, indolent manners, effeminate appearance, hidden energy, and absolute courage, lounged through the doors of the Atlas Building. Since his rescue from the volcanic island that had witnessed the piratical murder of his old employer, Doctor Schermerhorn, the spectacular dissolution of the murderers, and his own imprisonment in a cave beneath the very roar of an eruption, he had... more...

I Late one fall afternoon, in the year 1898, a train paused for a moment before crossing a bridge over a river. From it descended a heavy-set, elderly man. The train immediately proceeded on its way. The heavy-set man looked about him. The river and the bottom-land growths of willow and hardwood were hemmed in, as far as he could see, by low-wooded hills. Only the railroad bridge, the steep embankment of the right-of-way, and a small,... more...

I The time was the year 1872, and the place a bend in the river above a long pond terminating in a dam. Beyond this dam, and on a flat lower than it, stood a two-story mill structure. Save for a small, stump-dotted clearing, and the road that led from it, all else was forest. Here in the bottom-lands, following the course of the stream, the hardwoods grew dense, their uppermost branches just beginning to spray out in the first green of spring.... more...


THE RIDGE TRAIL Six trails lead to the main ridge. They are all good trails, so that even the casual tourist in the little Spanish-American town on the seacoast need have nothing to fear from the ascent. In some spots they contract to an arm's length of space, outside of which limit they drop sheer away; elsewhere they stand up on end, zigzag in lacets each more hair-raising than the last, or fill to demoralization with loose boulders and shale.... more...

CHAPTER I THE MARCH It was the close of the day. Over the baked veldt of Equatorial Africa a safari marched. The men, in single file, were reduced to the unimportance of moving black dots by the tremendous sweep of the dry country stretching away to a horizon infinitely remote, beyond which lay single mountains, like ships becalmed hull-down at sea. The immensities filled the world— the simple immensities of sky and land. Only by an... more...

I. ON BOOKS OF ADVENTURE Books of sporting, travel, and adventure in countries little known to the average reader naturally fall in two classes-neither, with a very few exceptions, of great value. One class is perhaps the logical result of the other. Of the first type is the book that is written to make the most of far travels, to extract from adventure the last thrill, to impress the awestricken reader with a full sense of the danger and... more...

On the veranda of the Bella Union Hotel, San Francisco, a man sat enjoying his morning pipe. The Bella Union overlooked the Plaza of that day, a dusty, unkempt, open space, later to be swept and graded and dignified into Portsmouth Square. The man was at the younger fringe of middle life. He was dressed neatly and carefully in the fashionable costume of the time, which was the year of grace 1852. As to countenance, he was square and solid; as to... more...

CHAPTER I SPANISH DAYS The dominant people of California have been successively aborigines, conquistadores, monks, the dreamy, romantic, unenergetic peoples of Spain, the roaring melange of Forty-nine, and finally the modern citizens, who are so distinctive that they bid fair to become a subspecies of their own. This modern society has, in its evolution, something unique. To be sure, other countries also have passed through these same phases.... more...