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Chapter I. Into the Primitive "Old longings nomadic leap,Chafing at custom's chain;Again from its brumal sleepWakens the ferine strain." Buck did not read the newspapers, or he would have known that trouble was brewing, not alone for himself, but for every tide-water dog, strong of muscle and with warm, long hair, from Puget Sound to San Diego. Because men, groping in the Arctic darkness, had found a yellow metal, and because steamship and... more...

THE MAHATMA* [*] Mahatma, "great-souled." "One of a class of persons withpreter-natural powers, imagined to exist in India andThibet."—New English Dictionary. Everyone has seen a hare, either crouched or running in the fields, or hanging dead in a poulterer's shop, or lastly pathetic, even dreadful-looking and in this form almost indistinguishable from a skinned cat, on the domestic table. But not many people have met a Mahatma, at least... more...

CHAPTER I EVENING IN GLENAVELIN From the heart of a great hill land Glenavelin stretches west and south to the wider Gled valley, where its stream joins with the greater water in its seaward course. Its head is far inland in a place of mountain solitudes, but its mouth is all but on the lip of the sea, and salt breezes fight with the flying winds of the hills. It is a land of green meadows on the brink of heather, of far-stretching fir woods... more...

CHAPTER I. OLD FRIENDS IN MELBOURNE. A stout gentleman of middle age and two boys were sitting in the public room of a modest inn in Melbourne. The gentleman was known to the public as Professor Hemmenway, who announced himself on the programme of his entertainment as "The Magician of Madagascar," though he freely confessed to his confidential friends that he had never seen the island of that name. The two boys were Harry Vane and Jack... more...

PROLOGUE. The girl came into the room with a darting movement like a swallow, looked round her with the same birdlike quickness, and then ran across the polished floor to where a young man sat on a sofa with one leg laid along it. "I have saved you this dance, Quentin," she said, pronouncing the name with a pretty staccato. "You must be lonely not dancing, so I will sit with you. What shall we talk about?" The young man did not answer at once,... more...


CONFIDENCES Beautiful, beautiful was that night! No air that stirred; the black smoke from the funnels of the mail steamer Zanzibar lay low over the surface of the sea like vast, floating ostrich plumes that vanished one by one in the starlight. Benita Beatrix Clifford, for that was her full name, who had been christened Benita after her mother and Beatrix after her father's only sister, leaning idly over the bulwark rail, thought to herself... more...

Chapter One. Pepé, The Sleeper. No landscape on the Biscayan coast, presents a more imposing and picturesque aspect than the little village of Elanchovi. Lying within an amphitheatre of cliffs, whose crests rise above the roofs of the houses, the port is protected from the surge of the sea by a handsome little jetty of chiselled stone; while the single street of which the village is composed, commencing at the inner end of the mole,... more...

UNDER THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES. We built our cabin high on the slopes of the Sangre de Christo range, overlooking the broad, level San Luis Valley, in Colorado. At the rear of the cabin rose a towering cliff or rather a huge slab of rock standing edgewise more than two hundred feet high, apparently the upheaval of some mighty convulsion of nature in ages gone. Near the base of this cliff flowed a clear crystal spring. Some hundred yards west of... more...

I Captain MacWhirr, of the steamer Nan-Shan, had a physiognomy that, in the order of material appearances, was the exact counterpart of his mind: it presented no marked characteristics of firmness or stupidity; it had no pronounced characteristics whatever; it was simply ordinary, irresponsive, and unruffled. The only thing his aspect might have been said to suggest, at times, was bashfulness; because he would sit, in business offices ashore,... more...

IN PAPPS'S RESTAURANT The interior of Papps's, like most Western restaurants, was divided into a double row of little cabins with a passage between, each cabin having a swing door. Garth Pevensey found the place very full; and he was ushered into a cubby-hole which already contained two diners, a man and a woman nearing the end of their meal. They appeared to be incoming settlers of the better class—a farmer and his wife from across the... more...