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CHAPTER ISTRANGE BARGAININGS When a man came down out of the mountains looking dusty and gaunt as the stranger did, there was no marvel in the matter of his eating five cans of cove oysters. The one unaccountable thing about it was that Saul Chadron, president of the Drovers’ Association, should sit there at the table and urge the lank, lean starveling to go his limit. Usually Saul Chadron was a man who picked his companions, and was... more...

A LETTER A solitary hut, dismal, rectangular, stands on the north bank of the White River. Decay has long been at work upon it, yet it is still weather-proof. It was built long before planks were used in the Bad Lands of Dakota. It was built by hands that aimed only at strength and durability, caring nothing for appearances. Thus it has survived where a lighter construction must long since have been demolished. And it still affords habitation... more...

THE TRAGEDY Here was a small stream of water, bright, clear and cool, running its merry way among the tall pines, hurrying to the dense shade of the lower valley. The grass on its banks stood tall, lush and faintly odorous, fresh with the newly come springtime, delicately scented with the thickly strewn field flowers. The sunlight lay bright and warm over all; the sky was blue with a depth of colour intensified by the few great white clouds... more...

Chapter I. Spring A man under thirty needs neighbors and to stop up the current of his life with a long silence is like obstructing a river—eventually the water either sweeps away the dam or rises over it, and the stronger the dam the more destructive is that final rush to freedom. Vic Gregg was on the danger side of thirty and he lived alone in the mountains all that winter. He wanted to marry Betty Neal, but marriage means money,... more...

CHAPTER I SIM GAGE AT HOME "Sim," said Wid Gardner, as he cast a frowning glance around him, "take it one way with another, and I expect this is a leetle the dirtiest place in the Two-Forks Valley." The man accosted did no more than turn a mild blue eye toward the speaker and resume his whittling. He smiled faintly, with a sort of apology, as the other went on. "I'll say more'n that, Sim. It's the blamedest, dirtiest hole in the whole state... more...


CHAPTER I THE SCHOLAR At the age of six Randall Byrne could name and bound every state in the Union and give the date of its admission; at nine he was conversant with Homeric Greek and Caesar; at twelve he read Aristophanes with perfect understanding of the allusions of the day and divided his leisure between Ovid and Horace; at fifteen, wearied by the simplicity of Old English and Thirteenth Century Italian, he dipped into the history of... more...

CHAPTER I Night had fallen and a warm rain drifting down from the mountains hung in a mist over the railroad yards and obscured the lights of Medicine Bend. Two men dismounting from their drooping horses at the foot of Front Street threw the reins to a man in waiting and made their way on foot across the muddy square to the building which served the new railroad as a station and as division head-quarters. In Medicine Bend, the town, the... more...

CHAPTER 1. Stranded on the Prairie. "By George, look behind us! I fancy we are going to have a storm." Four heads turned as if governed by one brain; four pairs of eyes, of varied color and character, swept the wind-blown wilderness of tender green, and gazed questioningly at the high-piled thunderheads above. A small boy, with an abundance of yellow curls and white collar, almost precipitated himself into the prim lap of a lady on the rear... more...

THE DEATH VALLEY TRAIL The heat hung like smoke above Panamint Sink, it surged up against the hills like the waves of a great sea that boiled and seethed in the sun; and the mountains that walled it in gleamed and glistened like polished jet where the light was struck back from their sides. They rose up in solid ramparts, unbelievably steep and combed clean by the sluicings of cloudbursts; and where the black canyons had belched forth their... more...

CHAPTER I OPEN HOUSE AT PÈRE MARQUETTE'S Mid June, and the eager spring had burst triumphant into the North Woods. The mountain tops, still white hostages of the retreating winter, fettered in frozen manacles, were alone in their reminiscence of the implacable season. And even they made their joyous offerings to the newborn springtime, pouring a thousand flashing cascades to leap down the rocky sides and seek out the hidden nooks and... more...