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CHAPTER I 1651-1653 RADISSON'S FIRST VOYAGE The Boy Radisson is captured by the Iroquois and carried to the Mohawk Valley—In League with Another Captive, he slays their Guards and escapes—He is overtaken in Sight of Home—Tortured and adopted in the Tribe, he visits Orange, where the Dutch offer to ransom him—His Escape Early one morning in the spring of 1652 three young men left the little stockaded fort of Three... more...

THE VOYAGE OF THE GOLDEN HIND All through the sixteenth century the South Seas were regarded as a mysterious wonderworld, whence Spain drew unlimited wealth of gold and silver bullion, of pearls and precious stones. Spain had declared the Pacific 'a closed sea' to the rest of the world. But in 1567 it happened that Sir John Hawkins, an English mariner, was cruising in the Gulf of Mexico, when a terrific squall, as he said, drove his ships... more...

CHAPTER I NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS I An empire the size of Europe setting out on her career of world history is a phenomenon of vast and deep enough import to stir to national consciousness the slumbering spirit of any people. Yet when you come to trace when and where national consciousness awakened, it is like following a river back from the ocean to its mountain springs. From the silt borne down on the flood-tide you can guess the fertile... more...

THE 'ARGONAUTS' Early in 1849 the sleepy quiet of Victoria, Vancouver Island, was disturbed by the arrival of straggling groups of ragged nondescript wanderers, who were neither trappers nor settlers. They carried blanket packs on their backs and leather bags belted securely round the waist close to their pistols. They did not wear moccasins after the fashion of trappers, but heavy, knee-high, hobnailed boots. In place of guns over their... more...

INTRODUCTION I am sitting in the doorway of a house of the Stone Age—neolithic, paleolithic, troglodytic man—with a roofless city of the dead lying in the valley below and the eagles circling with lonely cries along the yawning caverns of the cliff face above. My feet rest on the topmost step of a stone stairway worn hip-deep in the rocks of eternity by the moccasined tread of foot-prints that run back, not to A. D. or B. C., but to... more...

CHAPTER I WHAT ARE KING-KILLERS? My father—peace to his soul!—had been of those who thronged London streets with wine tubs to drink the restored king's health on bended knee; but he, poor gentleman, departed this life before his monarch could restore a wasted patrimony. For old Tibbie, the nurse, there was nothing left but to pawn the family plate and take me, a spoiled lad in his teens, out to Puritan kin of Boston Town. On the... more...

CHAPTER I WHEREIN A LAD SEES MAKERS OF HISTORY "Has any one seen Eric Hamilton?" I asked. For an hour, or more, I had been lounging about the sitting-room of a club in Quebec City, waiting for my friend, who had promised to join me at dinner that night. I threw aside a news-sheet, which I had exhausted down to minutest advertisements, stretched myself and strolled across to a group of old fur-traders, retired partners of the North-West... more...