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CHAPTER I THE GUN MAN’S HERITAGE Lost Valley lay like a sparkling jewel, fashioned in perfection, cast in the breast of the illimitable mountain country––and forever after forgotten of God. A tiny world, arrogantly unconscious of any other, it lived its own life, went its own ways, had its own conceptions of law––and they were based upon primeval instincts. Cattle by the thousand head ran on its level ranges,... 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 LUCK OF ROARING CAMP There was commotion in Roaring Camp. It could not have been a fight, for in 1850 that was not novel enough to have called together the entire settlement. The ditches and claims were not only deserted, but "Tuttle's grocery" had contributed its gamblers, who, it will be remembered, calmly continued their game the day that French Pete and Kanaka Joe shot each other to death over the bar in the front room. The whole camp... more...

CHAPTER I THE CALL OF THE RAW Seated upon a thick, burlap-covered bale of freight—a "piece," in the parlance of the North—Chloe Elliston idly watched the loading of the scows. The operation was not new to her; a dozen times within the month since the outfit had swung out from Athabasca Landing she had watched from the muddy bank while the half-breeds and Indians unloaded the big scows, ran them light through whirling rock-ribbed... more...

"I won't study another word to-day!" Helena tipped the table, spilling the books to the floor. "I want to go out in the sun. Go home, Miss Phelps, that's a dear. Anyhow, it won't do you a bit of good to stay." Miss Phelps, young herself, glanced angrily at her briery charge, longingly at the brilliant blue of sky and bay beyond the long window. "I leave it to Miss Yorba." Her voice, fashioned to cut, vibrated a little with the vigour of its... more...


JOAN READS BY FIRELIGHT There is no silence so fearful, so breathless, so searching as the night silence of a wild country buried five feet deep in snow. For thirty miles or so, north, south, east, and west of the small, half-smothered speck of gold in Pierre Landis’s cabin window, there lay, on a certain December night, this silence, bathed in moonlight. The cold was intense: below the bench where Pierre’s homestead lay, there... more...

Big Reuben’s Raid “ Wake up, boys! Wake up! Tumble out, there! Quick! Big Reuben’s into the pig-pen again!” Our bedroom door was banged wide open, and my father stood before us—a startling apparition—dressed only in his night-shirt and a pair of boots, carrying a stable-lantern in one hand and a rifle in the other. “What is it?” cried Joe, as he bounced out of bed; and, “Where is... more...

THE HOME-COMING OF CALUMET MARSTON Shuffling down the long slope, its tired legs moving automatically, the drooping pony swerved a little and then came to a halt, trembling with fright. Startled out of his unpleasant ruminations, his lips tensing over his teeth in a savage snarl, Calumet Marston swayed uncertainly in the saddle, caught himself, crouched, and swung a heavy pistol to a menacing poise. For an instant he hesitated, searching the... more...

DELIVERED INTO BONDAGE Sarah Newbolt enjoyed in her saturnine, brooding way the warmth of April sunshine and the stirring greenery of awakening life now beginning to soften the brown austerity of the dead winter earth. Beside her kitchen wall the pink cones of rhubarb were showing, and the fat buds of the lilacs, which clustered coppicelike in her dooryard, were ready to unlock and flare forth leaves. On the porch with its southern exposure... more...

CHAPTER I It was just at sunset that the train which had crawled across the desert drew up, puffing and panting, before the village of Paloma, not many miles from the Salton Sea. After a moment's delay, one lone passenger descended. Paloma was not an important station. Rudolf Hanson, the one passenger, whom either curiosity or business had brought thither, stood on the platform of the little station looking about him. To the right of him,... more...