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PROLOGUE. The sun was going down on the Black Spur Range. The red light it had kindled there was still eating its way along the serried crest, showing through gaps in the ranks of pines, etching out the interstices of broken boughs, fading away and then flashing suddenly out again like sparks in burnt-up paper. Then the night wind swept down the whole mountain side, and began its usual struggle with the shadows upclimbing from the valley, only... more...

CHAPTER I WHO SOUGHT IT It was a steep trail leading over the Monterey Coast Range. Concho was very tired, Concho was very dusty, Concho was very much disgusted. To Concho's mind there was but one relief for these insurmountable difficulties, and that lay in a leathern bottle slung over the machillas of his saddle. Concho raised the bottle to his lips, took a long draught, made a wry face, and ejaculated: "Carajo!" It appeared that the bottle... more...

CHAPTER I A cloud floated slowly above the mountain peak. Vast, fleecy and white as the crested foam of a sea-wave, it sailed through the sky with a divine air of majesty, seeming almost to express a consciousness of its own grandeur. Over a spacious tract of Southern California it extended its snowy canopy, moving from the distant Pacific Ocean across the heights of the Sierra Madre, now and then catching fire at its extreme edge from the... more...

CHAPTER I "Annie, what are you doing? Polishing the ramekins? Oh, that's right. Did the extra ramekins come from Mrs. Brown? Didn't! Then as soon as the children come back I'll send for them; I wish you'd remind me. Did Mrs. Binney come? and Lizzie? Oh, that's good. Where are they? Down in the cellar! Oh, did the extra ice come? Will you find out, Annie? Those can wait. If it didn't, the mousse is ruined, that's all! No, wait, Annie, I'll go out... more...

I first knew her as the Queen of the Pirate Isle. To the best of my recollection she had no reasonable right to that title. She was only nine years old, inclined to plumpness and good humor, deprecated violence, and had never been to sea. Need it be added that she did NOT live in an island and that her name was Polly? Perhaps I ought to explain that she had already known other experiences of a purely imaginative character. Part of her existence... more...


INTRODUCTION. It is not improbable that some of those who read this book, may feel a wish to know in what manner I became possessed of the manuscript. Such a desire is too just and natural to be thwarted, and the tale shall be told as briefly as possible. During the summer of 1828, while travelling among those valleys of Switzerland which lie between the two great ranges of the Alps, and in which both the Rhone and the Rhine take their rise, I... more...

CHAPTER I. THE DANUBE PICTURE. There was no air of uncertainty upon the handsome countenance ofMr. Randall Clayton as he stepped out of the elevator of a sedateFourteenth Street business building and approvingly sniffed theApril morning breeze. On this particular Saturday of ninety-seven, the shopping multitude was already pouring from the Scylla of Simpson, Crawford & Simpson's on Sixth Avenue—and its Charybdis of the Big... more...

I.—An Audacious Proposition Anthony Robeson glanced about him in a satisfied way at the shaded nook under the low-hanging boughs into which he had guided the boat. Then he drew in his oars and let the little craft drift. “This is an ideal spot,” said he, looking into his friend’s face, “in which to tell you a rather interesting piece of news.” “Oh, fine!” cried his friend, settling herself... more...

It was near midnight: The company gathered in a famous city studio were under the impression, diligently diffused in the world, that the end of the century is a time of license if not of decadence. The situation had its own piquancy, partly in the surprise of some of those assembled at finding themselves in bohemia, partly in a flutter of expectation of seeing something on the border-line of propriety. The hour, the place, the anticipation of the... more...

HE thought he had already, poor John Berridge, tasted in their fulness the sweets of success; but nothing yet had been more charming to him than when the young Lord, as he irresistibly and, for greater certitude, quite correctly figured him, fairly sought out, in Paris, the new literary star that had begun to hang, with a fresh red light, over the vast, even though rather confused, Anglo-Saxon horizon; positively approaching that celebrity with a... more...