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PROEM And the Angel said:"What hast thou for all thy travail—what dost thou bring with thee outof the dust of the world?"And the man answered:"Behold, I bring one perfect yesterday!"And the Angel questioned:"Hast thou then no to-morrow?Hast thou no hope?"And the man replied:"Who am I that I should hope!Out of all my life I have been granted onesheaf of memory."And the Angel said:"Is this all!"And the man answered:"Of all else was I robbed... more...

INTRODUCTION This book is a protest and a deliverance. For seven years I had written continuously of Canada, though some short stories of South Sea life, and the novel Mrs. Falchion, had, during that time, issued from my pen. It looked as though I should be writing of the Far North all my life. Editors had begun to take that view; but from the start it had never been my view. Even when writing Pierre and His People I was determined that I should... more...

THE TRAIL OF THE SWORD This book, like Mrs. Falchion, was published in two volumes in January. That was in 1894. It appeared first serially in the Illustrated London News, for which paper, in effect, it was written, and it also appeared in a series of newspapers in the United States during the year 1893. This was a time when the historical novel was having its vogue. Mr. Stanley Weyman, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and a good many others were... more...

INTRODUCTION TO THE IMPERIAL EDITION It was in the winter of 1892, when on a visit to French Canada, that I made up my mind I would write the volume which the public knows as 'The Seats of the Mighty,' but I did not begin the composition until early in 1894. It was finished by the beginning of February, 1895, and began to appear in 'The Atlantic Monthly' in March of that year. It was not my first attempt at historical fiction, because I had... more...

CHAPTER I THE JASMINE FLOWER The music throbbed in a voice of singular and delicate power; the air was resonant with melody, love and pain. The meanest Italian in the gallery far up beneath the ceiling, the most exalted of the land in the boxes and the stalls, leaned indulgently forward, to be swept by this sweet storm of song. They yielded themselves utterly to the power of the triumphant debutante who was making "Manassa" the musical feast of... more...


CHAPTER I. "Why don't she come back, father?" The man shook his head, his hand fumbled with the wolfskin robe covering the child, and he made no reply. "She'd come if she knew I was hurted, wouldn't she?" The father nodded, and then turned restlessly toward the door, as though expecting some one. The look was troubled, and the pipe he held was not alight, though he made a pretense of smoking. "Suppose the wildcat had got me, she'd be sorry... more...

AN ECHO. "O de worl am roun an de worl am wide—O Lord, remember your chillun in de mornin!It's a mighty long way up de mountain side,An day aint no place whar de sinners kin hide,When de Lord comes in de mornin." With a plaintive quirk of the voice the singer paused, gayly flicked the strings of the banjo, then put her hand flat upon them to stop the vibration and smiled round on her admirers. The group were applauding heartily. A chorus... more...

WHILE THE LAMP HOLDS OUT TO BURN There is a town on the Nile which Fielding Bey called Hasha, meaning "Heaven Forbid!" He loathed inspecting it. Going up the Nile, he would put off visiting it till he came down; coming down, he thanked his fates if accident carried him beyond it. Convenient accidents sometimes did occur: a murder at one of the villages below it, asking his immediate presence; a telegram from his Minister at Cairo, requiring his... more...

CHAPTER I. "PIONEERS, O PIONEERS" If you had stood on the borders of Askatoon, a prairie town, on the pathway to the Rockies one late August day not many years ago, you would have heard a fresh young human voice singing into the morning, as its possessor looked, from a coat she was brushing, out over the "field of the cloth of gold," which your eye has already been invited to see. With the gift of singing for joy at all, you should be able to... more...

CHAPTER I. THE MAZARINES TAKE POSSESSION From the beginning, Askatoon had had more character and idiosyncrasy than any other town in the West. Perhaps that was because many of its citizens had marked personality, while some were distinctly original—a few so original as to be almost bizarre. The general intelligence was high, and this made the place alert for the new observer. It slept with one eye open; it waked with both eyes... more...