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INTRODUCTION In one sense this book stands by itself. It is like nothing else I have written, and if one should seek to give it the name of a class, it might be called an historical fantasy. It followed The Trail of the Sword and preceded The Seats of the Mighty, and appeared in the summer of 1895. The critics gave it a reception which was extremely gratifying, because, as it seemed to me, they realised what I was trying to do; and that is a... more...

I "YORK FACTORY, HUDSON'S BAY,"23rd September, 1747. "MY DEAR COUSIN FANNY,—It was a year last April Fool's Day, I left you on the sands there at Mablethorpe, no more than a stone's throw from the Book-in-Hand Inn, swearing that you should never see me or hear from me again. You remember how we saw the coast-guards flash their lights here and there, as they searched the sands for me? how one came bundling down the bank, calling, 'Who goes... more...

"It shall be the whole, not the part," answered David determinedly. "The truth is known. It can serve no end to withhold the writing to the army. Remember what I have said to thee. The disloyalty of the army must not be known. Canst thou not act after the will of Allah, the all-powerful, the all-just, the all-merciful?" There was an instant's pause, and then suddenly Harrik placed the paper in his palm and wrote swiftly and at some length to... more...

CHAPTER I. AS THE SPIRIT MOVED The village lay in a valley which had been the bed of a great river in the far-off days when Ireland, Wales and Brittany were joined together and the Thames flowed into the Seine. The place had never known turmoil or stir. For generations it had lived serenely. Three buildings in the village stood out insistently, more by the authority of their appearance and position than by their size. One was a square,... 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 WAY TO THE VERDICT "Not guilty, your Honour!" A hundred atmospheres had seemed pressing down on the fretted people in the crowded court-room. As the discordant treble of the huge foreman of the jury squeaked over the mass of gaping humanity, which had twitched at skirts, drawn purposeless hands across prickling faces, and kept nervous legs at a gallop, the smothering weights of elastic air lifted suddenly, a great suspiration of... more...

CHAPTER I You could not call the place a village, nor yet could it be called a town. Viewed from the bluff, on the English side of the river, it was a long stretch of small farmhouses—some painted red, with green shutters, some painted white, with red shutters—set upon long strips of land, green, yellow, and brown, as it chanced to be pasture land, fields of grain, or "plough-land." These long strips of property, fenced off one from... 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...

SUCH THINGS MAY NOT BE A few hours later Fleda slowly made her way homeward through the woods on the Manitou side of the Sagalac. Leaving Ingolby's house, she had seen men from the ranches and farms and mines beyond Lebanon driving or riding into the town, as though to a fair or fete-day. Word of anticipated troubles had sped through the countryside, and the innate curiosity of a race who greatly love a row brought in sensation-lovers. Some were... more...