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144 Works of Jack London

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All Gold Canyon

Story type: Literature

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It was the green heart of the canyon, where the walls swerved back from the rigid plan and relieved their harshness of line by making a little sheltered nook and filling it to the brim with sweetness and roundness and softness. Here all things rested. Even the narrow stream ceased its turbulent down-rush long enough […]

In a Far Country

Story type: Literature

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When a man journeys into a far country, he must be prepared to forget many of the things he has learned, and to acquire such customs as are inherent with existence in the new land; he must abandon the old ideals and the old gods, and oftentimes he must reverse the very codes by which […]

To Build a Fire

Story type: Literature

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Day had broken cold and gray, exceedingly cold and gray, whenthe man turned aside from the main Yukon trail and climbed the highearth-bank, where a dim and little-travelled trail led eastwardthrough the fat spruce timberland. It was a steep bank, and hepaused for breath at the top, excusing the act to himself by lookingat his […]

The Heathen

Story type: Literature

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I met him first in a hurricane. And though we had been through the hurricane on the same schooner, it was not until the schooner had gone to pieces under us that I first laid eyes on him. Without doubt I had seen him with the rest of the Kanaka crew on board, but I […]

The Law of Life

Story type: Literature

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Old Koskoosh listened greedily. Though his sight had long since faded, his hearing was still acute, and the slightest sound penetrated to the glimmering intelligence which yet abode behind the withered forehead, but which no longer gazed forth upon the things of the world. Ah!that was Sit-cum-to-ha, shrilly anathematizing the dogs as she cuffed and […]

The Mexican

Story type: Literature

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I NOBODY knew his history—they of the Junta least of all. He was their “little mystery,” their “big patriot,” and in his way he worked as hard for the coming Mexican Revolution as did they. They were tardy in recognizing this, for not one of the Junta liked him. The day he first drifted into […]

The Seed of McCoy

Story type: Literature

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The Pyrenees, her iron sides pressed low in the water by her cargo of wheat, rolled sluggishly, and made it easy for the man who was climbing aboard from out a tiny outrigger canoe. As his eyes came level with the rail, so that he could see inboard, it seemed to him that he saw […]

The White Silence

Story type: Literature

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‘Carmen won’t last more than a couple of days.’ Mason spat out a chunk of ice and surveyed the poor animal ruefully, then put her foot in his mouth and proceeded to bite out the ice which clustered cruelly between the toes. ‘I never saw a dog with a highfalutin’ name that ever was worth […]

South of the Slot

Story type: Literature

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Old San Francisco, which is the San Francisco of only the other day, the day before the Earthquake, was divided midway by the Slot. The Slot was an iron crack that ran along the center of Market street, and from the Slot arose the burr of the ceaseless, endless cable that was hitched at will […]

The Kanaka Surf

Story type: Literature

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The tourist women, under the hau tree arbour that lines the Moana hotel beach, gasped when Lee Barton and his wife Ida emerged from the bath-house. And as the pair walked past them and down to the sand, they continued to gasp. Not that there was anything about Lee Barton provocative of gasps. The tourist […]

The Tears of Ah Kim

Story type: Literature

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There was a great noise and racket, but no scandal, in Honolulu’s Chinatown. Those within hearing distance merely shrugged their shoulders and smiled tolerantly at the disturbance as an affair of accustomed usualness. “What is it?” asked Chin Mo, down with a sharp pleurisy, of his wife, who had paused for a second at the […]

The Water Baby

Story type: Literature

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I lent a weary ear to old Kohokumu’s interminable chanting of the deeds and adventures of Maui, the Promethean demi-god of Polynesia who fished up dry land from ocean depths with hooks made fast to heaven, who lifted up the sky whereunder previously men had gone on all-fours, not having space to stand erect, and […]

Shin-Bones

Story type: Literature

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They have gone down to the pit with their weapons of war, and they have laid their swords under their heads. “It was a sad thing to see the old lady revert.” Prince Akuli shot an apprehensive glance sideward to where, under the shade of a kukui tree, an old wahine (Hawaiian woman) was just […]

This, of Alice Akana, is an affair of Hawaii, not of this day, but of days recent enough, when Abel Ah Yo preached his famous revival in Honolulu and persuaded Alice Akana to tell her soul. But what Alice told concerned itself with the earlier history of the then surviving generation. For Alice Akana was […]

The Bones of Kahekili

Story type: Literature

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From over the lofty Koolau Mountains, vagrant wisps of the trade wind drifted, faintly swaying the great, unwhipped banana leaves, rustling the palms, and fluttering and setting up a whispering among the lace-leaved algaroba trees. Only intermittently did the atmosphere so breathe–for breathing it was, the suspiring of the languid, Hawaiian afternoon. In the intervals […]

On the Makaloa Mat

Story type: Literature

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Unlike the women of most warm races, those of Hawaii age well and nobly. With no pretence of make-up or cunning concealment of time’s inroads, the woman who sat under the hau tree might have been permitted as much as fifty years by a judge competent anywhere over the world save in Hawaii. Yet her […]

The Apostate

Story type: Literature

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“Now I wake me up to work; I pray the Lord I may not shirk. If I should die before the night, I pray the Lord my work’s all right. Amen.” “If you don’t git up, Johnny, I won’t give you a bite to eat!” The threat had no effect on the boy. He clung […]

The Game

Story type: Literature

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CHAPTER I Many patterns of carpet lay rolled out before them on the floor–two of Brussels showed the beginning of their quest, and its ending in that direction; while a score of ingrains lured their eyes and prolonged the debate between desire pocket-book. The head of the department did them the honor of waiting upon […]

When God Laughs

Story type: Literature

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(with compliments to Harry Cowell) “The gods, the gods are stronger; time Falls down before them, all men’s knees Bow, all men’s prayers and sorrows climb Like incense toward them; yea, for these Are gods, Felise.” Carquinez had relaxed finally. He stole a glance at the rattling windows, looked upward at the beamed roof, and […]

Just Meat

Story type: Literature

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He strolled to the corner and glanced up and down the intersecting street, but saw nothing save the oases of light shed by the street lamps at the successive crossings. Then he strolled back the way he had come. He was a shadow of a man, sliding noiselessly and without undue movement through the semi-darkness. […]

Created He Them

Story type: Literature

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She met him at the door. “I did not think you would be so early.” “It is half past eight.” He looked at his watch. “The train leaves at 9.12.” He was very businesslike, until he saw her lips tremble as she abruptly turned and led the way. “It’ll be all right, little woman,” he […]

The Chinago

Story type: Literature

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“The coral waxes, the palm grows, but man departs.” –Tahitian proverb. Ah Cho did not understand French. He sat in the crowded court room, very weary and bored, listening to the unceasing, explosive French that now one official and now another uttered. It was just so much gabble to Ah Cho, and he marvelled at […]

Semper Idem

Story type: Literature

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Doctor Bicknell was in a remarkably gracious mood. Through a minor accident, a slight bit of carelessness, that was all, a man who might have pulled through had died the preceding night. Though it had been only a sailorman, one of the innumerable unwashed, the steward of the receiving hospital had been on the anxious […]

The "Francis Spaight"

Story type: Literature

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(A TRUE TALE RETOLD) The Francis Spaight was running before it solely under a mizzentopsail, when the thing happened. It was not due to carelessness so much as to the lack of discipline of the crew and to the fact that they were indifferent seamen at best. The man at the wheel in particular, a […]

A Curious Fragment

Story type: Literature

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[The capitalist, or industrial oligarch, Roger Vanderwater, mentioned in the narrative, has been identified as the ninth in the line of the Vanderwaters that controlled for hundreds of years the cotton factories of the South. This Roger Vanderwater flourished in the last decades of the twenty- sixth century after Christ, which was the fifth century […]

A Piece Of Steak

Story type: Literature

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With the last morsel of bread Tom King wiped his plate clean of the last particle of flour gravy and chewed the resulting mouthful in a slow and meditative way. When he arose from the table, he was oppressed by the feeling that he was distinctly hungry. Yet he alone had eaten. The two children […]

Yellow Handkerchief

Story type: Literature

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“I’m not wanting to dictate to you, lad,” Charley said, “but I’m very much against your making a last raid. You’ve gone safely through rough times with rough men, and it would be a shame to have something happen to you at the very end.” “But how can I get out of making a last […]

Make Westing

Story type: Literature

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Whatever you do, make westing! make westing! –Sailing directions for Cape Horn. For seven weeks the Mary Rogers had been between 50 deg. south in the Atlantic and 50 deg. south in the Pacific, which meant that for seven weeks she had been struggling to round Cape Horn. For seven weeks she had been either […]

The Hobo And The Fairy

Story type: Literature

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He lay on his back. So heavy was his sleep that the stamp of hoofs and cries of the drivers from the bridge that crossed the creek did not rouse him. Wagon after wagon, loaded high with grapes, passed the bridge on the way up the valley to the winery, and the coming of each […]

"Just Meat"

Story type: Literature

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He strolled to the corner and glanced up and down the intersecting street, but saw nothing save the oases of light shed by the street lamps at the successive crossings. Then he strolled back the way he had come. He was a shadow of a man sliding noiselessly and without undue movement through the semi […]

A Nose For The King

Story type: Literature

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In the morning calm of Korea, when its peace and tranquility truly merited its ancient name, “Cho-sen,” there lived a politician by name Yi Chin Ho. He was a man of parts, and–who shall say?–perhaps in no wise worse than politicians the world over. But, unlike his brethren in other lands, Yi Chin Ho was […]

Dutch Courage

Story type: Literature

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“Just our luck!” Gus Lafee finished wiping his hands and sullenly threw the towel upon the rocks. His attitude was one of deep dejection. The light seemed gone out of the day and the glory from the golden sun. Even the keen mountain air was devoid of relish, and the early morning no longer yielded […]

[Jack London’s first story, published at the age of seventeen] It was four bells in the morning watch. We had just finished breakfast when the order came forward for the watch on deck to stand by to heave her to and all hands stand by the boats. “Port! hard a port!” cried our sailing-master. “Clew […]

The Lost Poacher

Story type: Literature

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“But they won’t take excuses. You’re across the line, and that’s enough. They’ll take you. In you go, Siberia and the salt-mines. And as for Uncle Sam, why, what’s he to know about it? Never a word will get back to the States. ‘The Mary Thomas,’ the papers will say, ‘the Mary Thomas lost with […]

“And it’s blow, ye winds, heigh-ho, For Cal-i-for-ni-o; For there’s plenty of gold so I’ve been told, On the banks of the Sacramento!” It was only a little boy, singing in a shrill treble the sea chantey which seamen sing the wide world over when they man the capstan bars and break the anchors out […]

“If you vas in der old country ships, a liddle shaver like you vood pe only der boy, und you vood wait on der able seamen. Und ven der able seaman sing out, ‘Boy, der water-jug!’ you vood jump quick, like a shot, und bring der water-jug. Und ven der able seaman sing out, ‘Boy, […]

To Repel Boarders

Story type: Literature

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“No; honest, now, Bob, I’m sure I was born too late. The twentieth century’s no place for me. If I’d had my way—-“ “You’d have been born in the sixteenth,” I broke in, laughing, “with Drake and Hawkins and Raleigh and the rest of the sea-kings.” “You’re right!” Paul affirmed. He rolled over upon his […]

Bald-Face

Story type: Literature

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“Talkin’ of bear—-“ The Klondike King paused meditatively, and the group on the hotel porch hitched their chairs up closer. “Talkin’ of bear,” he went on, “now up in the Northern Country there are various kinds. On the Little Pelly, for instance, they come down that thick in the summer to feed on the salmon […]

I am a retired captain of the upper sea. That is to say, when I was a younger man (which is not so long ago) I was an aeronaut and navigated that aerial ocean which is all around about us and above us. Naturally it is a hazardous profession, and naturally I have had many […]

In Yeddo Bay

Story type: Literature

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Somewhere along Theater Street he had lost it. He remembered being hustled somewhat roughly on the bridge over one of the canals that cross that busy thoroughfare. Possibly some slant-eyed, light-fingered pickpocket was even then enjoying the fifty-odd yen his purse had contained. And then again, he thought, he might have lost it himself, just […]

Stanton Davies and Jim Wemple ceased from their talk to listen to an increase of uproar in the street. A volley of stones thrummed and boomed the wire mosquito nettings that protected the windows. It was a hot night, and the sweat of the heat stood on their faces as they listened. Arose the incoherent […]

I Law, order, and restraint had carved Frederick Travers’ face. It was the strong, firm face of one used to power and who had used power with wisdom and discretion. Clean living had made the healthy skin, and the lines graved in it were honest lines. Hard and devoted work had left its wholesome handiwork, […]

The Eternity Of Forms

Story type: Literature

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A strange life has come to an end in the death of Mr. Sedley Crayden, of Crayden Hill. Mild, harmless, he was the victim of a strange delusion that kept him pinned, night and day, in his chair for the last two years of his life. The mysterious death, or, rather, disappearance, of his elder […]

The Prodigal Father

Story type: Literature

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I Josiah Childs was ordinarily an ordinary-appearing, prosperous business man. He wore a sixty-dollar, business-man’s suit, his shoes were comfortable and seemly and made from the current last, his tie, collars and cuffs were just what all prosperous business men wore, and an up-to-date, business-man’s derby was his wildest adventure in head-gear. Oakland, California, is […]

Me? I’m not a drooler. I’m the assistant, I don’t know what Miss Jones or Miss Kelsey could do without me. There are fifty-five low-grade droolers in this ward, and how could they ever all be fed if I wasn’t around? I like to feed droolers. They don’t make trouble. They can’t. Something’s wrong with […]

The End Of The Story

Story type: Literature

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I The table was of hand-hewn spruce boards, and the men who played whist had frequent difficulties in drawing home their tricks across the uneven surface. Though they sat in their undershirts, the sweat noduled and oozed on their faces; yet their feet, heavily moccasined and woollen-socked, tingled with the bite of the frost. Such […]

The First Poet

Story type: Literature

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SCENE: A summer plain, the eastern side of which is bounded by grassy hills of limestone, the other sides by a forest. The hill nearest to the plain terminates in a cliff, in the face of which, nearly at the level of the ground, are four caves, with low, narrow entrances. Before the caves, and […]

The King Of The Greeks

Story type: Literature

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Big Alec had never been captured by the fish patrol. It was his boast that no man could take him alive, and it was his history that of the many men who had tried to take him dead none had succeeded. It was also history that at least two patrolmen who had tried to take […]

White And Yellow

Story type: Literature

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San Francisco Bay is so large that often its storms are more disastrous to ocean-going craft than is the ocean itself in its violent moments. The waters of the bay contain all manner of fish, wherefore its surface is ploughed by the keels of all manner of fishing boats manned by all manner of fishermen. […]

Of the fish patrolmen under whom we served at various times, Charley Le Grant and I were agreed, I think, that Neil Partington was the best. He was neither dishonest nor cowardly; and while he demanded strict obedience when we were under his orders, at the same time our relations were those of easy comradeship, […]

Charley’s Coup

Story type: Literature

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Perhaps our most laughable exploit on the fish patrol, and at the same time our most dangerous one, was when we rounded in, at a single haul, an even score of wrathful fishermen. Charley called it a “coop,” having heard Neil Partington use the term; but I think he misunderstood the word, and thought it […]

Possibly our most exasperating experience on the fish patrol was when Charley Le Grant and I laid a two weeks’ siege to a big four-masted English ship. Before we had finished with the affair, it became a pretty mathematical problem, and it was by the merest chance that we came into possession of the instrument […]

Demetrios Contos

Story type: Literature

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It must not be thought, from what I have told of the Greek fishermen, that they were altogether bad. Far from it. But they were rough men, gathered together in isolated communities and fighting with the elements for a livelihood. They lived far away from the law and its workings, did not understand it, and […]

The Scarlet Plague

Story type: Literature

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I THE way led along upon what had once been the embankment of a railroad. But no train had run upon it for many years. The forest on either side swelled up the slopes of the embankment and crested across it in a green wave of trees and bushes. The trail was as narrow as […]

A weary journey beyond the last scrub timber and straggling copses, into the heart of the Barrens where the niggard North is supposed to deny the Earth, are to be found great sweeps of forests and stretches of smiling land. But this the world is just beginning to know. The world’s explorers have known it, […]

The Master Of Mystery

Story type: Literature

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There was complaint in the village. The women chattered together with shrill, high-pitched voices. The men were glum and doubtful of aspect, and the very dogs wandered dubiously about, alarmed in vague ways by the unrest of the camp, and ready to take to the woods on the first outbreak of trouble. The air was […]

Nam-Bok The Unveracious

Story type: Literature

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“A bidarka, is it not so? Look! a bidarka, and one man who drives clumsily with a paddle!” Old Bask-Wah-Wan rose to her knees, trembling with weakness and eagerness, and gazed out over the sea. “Nam-Bok was ever clumsy at the paddle,” she maundered reminiscently, shading the sun from her eyes and staring across the […]

The Sunlanders

Story type: Literature

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Mandell is an obscure village on the rim of the polar sea. It is not large, and the people are peaceable, more peaceable even than those of the adjacent tribes. There are few men in Mandell, and many women; wherefore a wholesome and necessary polygamy is in practice; the women bear children with ardor, and […]

This is a tale that was told to me by two old men. We sat in the smoke of a mosquito-smudge, in the cool of the day, which was midnight; and ever and anon, throughout the telling, we smote lustily and with purpose at such of the winged pests as braved the smoke for a […]

Keesh, The Son Of Keesh

Story type: Literature

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“Thus will I give six blankets, warm and double; six files, large and hard; six Hudson Bay knives, keen-edged and long; two canoes, the work of Mogum, The Maker of Things; ten dogs, heavy-shouldered and strong in the harness; and three guns–the trigger of one be broken, but it is a good gun and can […]

The Death Of Ligoun

Story type: Literature

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Blood for blood, rank for rank. —Thlinket Code. “Hear now the death of Ligoun–“ The speaker ceased, or rather suspended utterance, and gazed upon me with an eye of understanding. I held the bottle between our eyes and the fire, indicated with my thumb the depth of the draught, and shoved it over to him; […]

Li Wan, The Fair

Story type: Literature

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“The sun sinks, Canim, and the heat of the day is gone!” So called Li Wan to the man whose head was hidden beneath the squirrel-skin robe, but she called softly, as though divided between the duty of waking him and the fear of him awake. For she was afraid of this big husband of […]

At the Barracks a man was being tried for his life. He was an old man, a native from the Whitefish River, which empties into the Yukon below Lake Le Barge. All Dawson was wrought up over the affair, and likewise the Yukon-dwellers for a thousand miles up and down. It has been the custom […]

Lost Face

Story type: Literature

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It was the end. Subienkow had travelled a long trail of bitterness and horror, homing like a dove for the capitals of Europe, and here, farther away than ever, in Russian America, the trail ceased. He sat in the snow, arms tied behind him, waiting the torture. He stared curiously before him at a huge […]

That Spot

Story type: Literature

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I don’t think much of Stephen Mackaye any more, though I used to swear by him. I know that in those days I loved him more than my own brother. If ever I meet Stephen Mackaye again, I shall not be responsible for my actions. It passes beyond me that a man with whom I […]

Flush of Gold

Story type: Literature

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Lon McFane was a bit grumpy, what of losing his tobacco pouch, or else he might have told me, before we got to it, something about the cabin at Surprise Lake. All day, turn and turn about, we had spelled each other at going to the fore and breaking trail for the dogs. It was […]

“It is the judgment of this court that you vamose the camp . . . in the customary way, sir, in the customary way.” Judge Marcus O’Brien was absent-minded, and Mucluc Charley nudged him in the ribs. Marcus O’Brien cleared his throat and went on – “Weighing the gravity of the offence, sir, and the […]

The Wit of Porportuk

Story type: Literature

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El-Soo had been a Mission girl. Her mother had died when she was very small, and Sister Alberta had plucked El-Soo as a brand from the burning, one summer day, and carried her away to Holy Cross Mission and dedicated her to God. El-Soo was a full-blooded Indian, yet she exceeded all the half-breed and […]

The month in which my seventeenth birthday arrived I signed on before the mast on the Sophie Sutherland, a three-topmast schooner bound on a seven-months’ seal-hunting cruise to the coast of Japan. We sailed from San Francisco, and immediately I found confronting me a problem of no inconsiderable proportions. There were twelve men of us […]

It was at Quito, the mountain capital of Ecuador, that the following passage at correspondence took place. Having occasion to buy a pair of shoes in a shop six feet by eight in size and with walls three feet thick, I noticed a mangy leopard skin on the floor. I had no Spanish. The shop-keeper […]

“Huh! Drive four horses! I wouldn’t sit behind you–not for a thousand dollars–over them mountain roads.” So said Henry, and he ought to have known, for he drives four horses himself. Said another Glen Ellen friend: “What? London? He drive four horses? Can’t drive one!” And the best of it is that he was right. […]

Small-Boat Sailing

Story type: Literature

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A sailor is born, not made. And by “sailor” is meant, not the average efficient and hopeless creature who is found to-day in the forecastle of deepwater ships, but the man who will take a fabric compounded of wood and iron and rope and canvas and compel it to obey his will on the surface […]

The Human Drift

Story type: Literature

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“The Revelations of Devout and Learn’d Who rose before us, and as Prophets Burn’d, Are all but stories, which, awoke from Sleep, They told their comrades, and to Sleep return’d.” The history of civilisation is a history of wandering, sword in hand, in search of food. In the misty younger world we catch glimpses of […]

CARTER WATSON, a current magazine under his arm, strolled slowly along, gazing about him curiously. Twenty years had elapsed since he had been on this particular street, and the changes were great and stupefying. This Western city of three hundred thousand souls had contained but thirty thousand, when, as a boy, he had been wont […]

Winged Blackmail

Story type: Literature

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PETER WINN lay back comfortably in a library chair, with closed eyes, deep in the cogitation of a scheme of campaign destined in the near future to make a certain coterie of hostile financiers sit up. The central idea had come to him the night before, and he was now reveling in the planning of […]

Bunches Of Knuckles

Story type: Literature

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ARRANGEMENTS quite extensive had been made for the celebration of Christmas on the yacht Samoset. Not having been in any civilized port for months, the stock of provisions boasted few delicacies; yet Minnie Duncan had managed to devise real feasts for cabin and forecastle. “Listen, Boyd,” she told her husband. “Here are the menus. For […]

Under The Deck Awnings

Story type: Literature

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“CAN any man–a gentleman, I mean–call a woman a pig?” The little man flung this challenge forth to the whole group, then leaned back in his deck chair, sipping lemonade with an air commingled of certitude and watchful belligerence. Nobody made answer. They were used to the little man and his sudden passions and high […]

To Kill A Man

Story type: Literature

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THOUGH dim night-lights burned, she moved familiarly through the big rooms and wide halls, seeking vainly the half-finished book of verse she had mislaid and only now remembered. When she turned on the lights in the drawing-room, she disclosed herself clad in a sweeping negligee gown of soft rose-colored stuff, throat and shoulders smothered in […]

The Red One

Story type: Literature

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There it was! The abrupt liberation of sound! As he timed it with his watch, Bassett likened it to the trump of an archangel. Walls of cities, he meditated, might well fall down before so vast and compelling a summons. For the thousandth time vainly he tried to analyse the tone-quality of that enormous peal […]

The Hussy

Story type: Literature

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There are some stories that have to be true–the sort that cannot be fabricated by a ready fiction-reckoner. And by the same token there are some men with stories to tell who cannot be doubted. Such a man was Julian Jones. Although I doubt if the average reader of this will believe the story Julian […]

It was the summer of 1897, and there was trouble in the Tarwater family. Grandfather Tarwater, after remaining properly subdued and crushed for a quiet decade, had broken out again. This time it was the Klondike fever. His first and one unvarying symptom of such attacks was song. One chant only he raised, though he […]

The Princess

Story type: Literature

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A fire burned cheerfully in the jungle camp, and beside the fire lolled a cheerful-seeming though horrible-appearing man. This was a hobo jungle, pitched in a thin strip of woods that lay between a railroad embankment and the bank of a river. But no hobo was the man. So deep-sunk was he in the social […]

The Taste Of The Meat

Story type: Literature

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I. In the beginning he was Christopher Bellew. By the time he was at college he had become Chris Bellew. Later, in the Bohemian crowd of San Francisco, he was called Kit Bellew. And in the end he was known by no other name than Smoke Bellew. And this history of the evolution of his […]

I. It was before Smoke Bellew staked the farcical town-site of Tra-Lee, made the historic corner of eggs that nearly broke Swiftwater Bill’s bank account, or won the dog-team race down the Yukon for an even million dollars, that he and Shorty parted company on the Upper Klondike. Shorty’s task was to return down the […]

The Race For Number One

Story type: Literature

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I. “Huh! Get on to the glad rags!” Shorty surveyed his partner with simulated disapproval, and Smoke, vainly attempting to rub the wrinkles out of the pair of trousers he had just put on, was irritated. “They sure fit you close for a second-hand buy,” Shorty went on. “What was the tax?” “One hundred and […]

I. Two months after Smoke Bellew and Shorty went after moose for a grubstake, they were back in the Elkhorn saloon at Dawson. The hunting was done, the meat hauled in and sold for two dollars and a half a pound, and between them they possessed three thousand dollars in gold dust and a good […]

Shorty Dreams

Story type: Literature

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I. “Funny you don’t gamble none,” Shorty said to Smoke one night in the Elkhorn. “Ain’t it in your blood?” “It is,” Smoke answered. “But the statistics are in my head. I like an even break for my money.” All about them, in the huge bar-room, arose the click and rattle and rumble of a […]

The Meat

Story type: Literature

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I. Half the time the wind blew a gale, and Smoke Bellew staggered against it along the beach. In the gray of dawn a dozen boats were being loaded with the precious outfits packed across Chilcoot. They were clumsy, home-made boats, put together by men who were not boat- builders, out of planks they had […]

To The Man On The Trail

Story type: Literature

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‘Dump it in!.’ ‘But I say, Kid, isn’t that going it a little too strong? Whisky and alcohol’s bad enough; but when it comes to brandy and pepper sauce and-‘ ‘Dump it in. Who’s making this punch, anyway?’ And Malemute Kid smiled benignantly through the clouds of steam. ‘By the time you’ve been in this […]

The Son Of The Wolf

Story type: Literature

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Man rarely places a proper valuation upon his womankind, at least not until deprived of them. He has no conception of the subtle atmosphere exhaled by the sex feminine, so long as he bathes in it; but let it be withdrawn, and an ever-growing void begins to manifest itself in his existence, and he becomes […]

The Men Of Forty Mile

Story type: Literature

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When Big Jim Belden ventured the apparently innocuous proposition that mush-ice was ‘rather pecooliar,’ he little dreamed of what it would lead to. Neither did Lon McFane, when he affirmed that anchor-ice was even more so; nor did Bettles, as he instantly disagreed, declaring the very existence of such a form to be a bugaboo. […]

An Odyssey Of The North

Story type: Literature

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The sleds were singing their eternal lament to the creaking of the harness and the tinkling bells of the leaders; but the men and dogs were tired and made no sound. The trail was heavy with new-fallen snow, and they had come far, and the runners, burdened with flint-like quarters of frozen moose, clung tenaciously […]

The Wife Of A King

Story type: Literature

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Once when the northland was very young, the social and civic virtues were remarkably alike for their paucity and their simplicity. When the burden of domestic duties grew grievous, and the fireside mood expanded to a constant protest against its bleak loneliness, the adventurers from the Southland, in lieu of better, paid the stipulated prices […]

The Wisdom Of The Trail

Story type: Literature

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Sitka Charley had achieved the impossible. Other Indians might have known as much of the wisdom of the trail as he did; but he alone knew the white man’s wisdom, the honor of the trail, and the law. But these things had not come to him in a day. The aboriginal mind is slow to […]

This is the story of a man who did not appreciate his wife; also, of a woman who did him too great an honor when she gave herself to him. Incidentally, it concerns a Jesuit priest who had never been known to lie. He was an appurtenance, and a very necessary one, to the Yukon […]

HE was a very quiet, self-possessed sort of man, sitting a moment on top of the wall to sound the damp darkness for warnings of the dangers it might conceal. But the plummet of his hearing brought nothing to him save the moaning of wind through invisible trees and the rustling of leaves on swaying […]

I TELL this for a fact. It happened in the bull-ring at Quito. I sat in the box with John Harned, and with Maria Valenzuela, and with Luis Cervallos. I saw it happen. I saw it all from first to last. I was on the steamer Ecuadore from Panama to Guayaquil. Maria Valenzuela is my […]

The Night-Born

Story type: Literature

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It was in the old Alta-Inyo Club–a warm night for San Francisco–and through the open windows, hushed and far, came the brawl of the streets. The talk had led on from the Graft Prosecution and the latest signs that the town was to be run wide open, down through all the grotesque sordidness and rottenness […]

A Relic of the Pliocene

Story type: Literature

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I wash my hands of him at the start. I cannot father his tales, nor will I be responsible for them. I make these preliminary reservations, observe, as a guard upon my own integrity. I possess a certain definite position in a small way, also a wife; and for the good name of the community […]

A Hyperborean Brew

Story type: Literature

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[The story of a scheming white man among the strange people who live on the rim of the Arctic sea] Thomas Stevens’s veracity may have been indeterminate as X, and his imagination the imagination of ordinary men increased to the nth power, but this, at least, must be said: never did he deliver himself of […]

The Faith of Men

Story type: Literature

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“Tell you what we’ll do; we’ll shake for it.” “That suits me,” said the second man, turning, as he spoke, to the Indian that was mending snow-shoes in a corner of the cabin. “Here, you Billebedam, take a run down to Oleson’s cabin like a good fellow, and tell him we want to borrow his […]

Too Much Gold

Story type: Literature

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This being a story–and a truer one than it may appear–of a mining country, it is quite to be expected that it will be a hard-luck story. But that depends on the point of view. Hard luck is a mild way of terming it so far as Kink Mitchell and Hootchinoo Bill are concerned; and […]

The One Thousand Dozen

Story type: Literature

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David Rasmunsen was a hustler, and, like many a greater man, a man of the one idea. Wherefore, when the clarion call of the North rang on his ear, he conceived an adventure in eggs and bent all his energy to its achievement. He figured briefly and to the point, and the adventure became iridescent-hued, […]

The Marriage of Lit-Lit

Story type: Literature

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When John Fox came into a country where whisky freezes solid and may be used as a paper-weight for a large part of the year, he came without the ideals and illusions that usually hamper the progress of more delicately nurtured adventurers. Born and reared on the frontier fringe of the United States, he took […]

Batard

Story type: Literature

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Batard was a devil. This was recognized throughout the Northland. “Hell’s Spawn” he was called by many men, but his master, Black Leclere, chose for him the shameful name “Batard.” Now Black Leclere was also a devil, and the twain were well matched. There is a saying that when two devils come together, hell is […]

The Story of Jees Uck

Story type: Literature

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There have been renunciations and renunciations. But, in its essence, renunciation is ever the same. And the paradox of it is, that men and women forego the dearest thing in the world for something dearer. It was never otherwise. Thus it was when Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat […]

The God Of His Fathers

Story type: Literature

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On every hand stretched the forest primeval,–the home of noisy comedy and silent tragedy. Here the struggle for survival continued to wage with all its ancient brutality. Briton and Russian were still to overlap in the Land of the Rainbow’s End– and this was the very heart of it–nor had Yankee gold yet purchased its […]

The Great Interrogation

Story type: Literature

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To say the least, Mrs. Sayther’s career in Dawson was meteoric. She arrived in the spring, with dog sleds and French-Canadian voyageurs, blazed gloriously for a brief month, and departed up the river as soon as it was free of ice. Now womanless Dawson never quite understood this hurried departure, and the local Four Hundred […]

Which Make Men Remember

Story type: Literature

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Fortune La Pearle crushed his way through the snow, sobbing, straining, cursing his luck, Alaska, Nome, the cards, and the man who had felt his knife. The hot blood was freezing on his hands, and the scene yet bright in his eyes,–the man, clutching the table and sinking slowly to the floor; the rolling counters […]

Siwash

Story type: Literature

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“If I was a man–” Her words were in themselves indecisive, but the withering contempt which flashed from her black eyes was not lost upon the men-folk in the tent. Tommy, the English sailor, squirmed, but chivalrous old Dick Humphries, Cornish fisherman and erstwhile American salmon capitalist, beamed upon her benevolently as ever. He bore […]

The Man with the Gash

Story type: Literature

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Jacob Kent had suffered from cupidity all the days of his life. This, in turn, had engendered a chronic distrustfulness, and his mind and character had become so warped that he was a very disagreeable man to deal with. He was also a victim to somnambulic propensities, and very set in his ideas. He had […]

Jan, the Unrepentant

Story type: Literature

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“For there’s never a law of God or manRuns north of Fifty-three.” Jan rolled over, clawing and kicking. He was fighting hand and foot now, and he fought grimly, silently. Two of the three men who hung upon him, shouted directions to each other, and strove to curb the short, hairy devil who would not […]

Where the Trail Forks

Story type: Literature

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“Must I, then, must I, then, now leave this town –And you, my love, stay here?”–Schwabian Folk-song. The singer, clean-faced and cheery-eyed, bent over and added water to a pot of simmering beans, and then, rising, a stick of firewood in hand, drove back the circling dogs from the grub-box and cooking-gear. He was blue […]

“You–what you call–lazy mans, you lazy mans would desire me to haf for wife. It is not good. Nevaire, no, nevaire, will lazy mans my hoosband be.” Thus Joy Molineau spoke her mind to Jack Harrington, even as she had spoken it, but more tritely and in his own tongue, to Louis Savoy the previous […]

At the Rainbow’s End

Story type: Literature

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It was for two reasons that Montana Kid discarded his “chaps” and Mexican spurs, and shook the dust of the Idaho ranges from his feet. In the first place, the encroachments of a steady, sober, and sternly moral civilization had destroyed the primeval status of the western cattle ranges, and refined society turned the cold […]

The Scorn of Women

Story type: Literature

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Once Freda and Mrs. Eppingwell clashed. Now Freda was a Greek girl and a dancer. At least she purported to be Greek; but this was doubted by many, for her classic face had over-much strength in it, and the tides of hell which rose in her eyes made at rare moments her ethnology the more […]

“Parables don’t lie, but liars will parable.”–Lip-King. Old Long-Beard paused in his narrative, licked his greasy fingers, and wiped them on his naked sides where his one piece of ragged bearskin failed to cover him. Crouched around him, on their hams, were three young men, his grandsons, Deer-Runner, Yellow-Head, and Afraid-of-the-Dark. In appearance they were […]

It was in the year 1976 that the trouble between the world and China reached its culmination. It was because of this that the celebration of the Second Centennial of American Liberty was deferred. Many other plans of the nations of the earth were twisted and tangled and postponed for the same reason. The world […]

It was Silas Bannerman who finally ran down that scientific wizard and arch-enemy of mankind, Emil Gluck. Gluck’s confession, before he went to the electric chair, threw much light upon the series of mysterious events, many apparently unrelated, that so perturbed the world between the years 1933 and 1941. It was not until that remarkable […]

The Dream of Debs

Story type: Literature

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I awoke fully an hour before my customary time. This in itself was remarkable, and I lay very wide awake, pondering over it. Something was the matter, something was wrong–I knew not what. I was oppressed by a premonition of something terrible that had happened or was about to happen. But what was it? I […]

The Sea-Farmer

Story type: Literature

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“That wull be the doctor’s launch,” said Captain MacElrath. The pilot grunted, while the skipper swept on with his glass from the launch to the strip of beach and to Kingston beyond, and then slowly across the entrance to Howth Head on the northern side. “The tide’s right, and we’ll have you docked in two […]

Samuel

Story type: Literature

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Margaret Henan would have been a striking figure under any circumstances, but never more so than when I first chanced upon her, a sack of grain of fully a hundredweight on her shoulder, as she walked with sure though tottering stride from the cart-tail to the stable, pausing for an instant to gather strength at […]

A Day’s Lodging

Story type: Literature

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It was the gosh-dangdest stampede I ever seen. A thousand dog- teams hittin’ the ice. You couldn’t see ‘m fer smoke. Two white men an’ a Swede froze to death that night, an’ there was a dozen busted their lungs. But didn’t I see with my own eyes the bottom of the water-hole? It was […]

The White Man’s Way

Story type: Literature

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“TO cook by your fire and to sleep under your roof for the night,” I had announced on entering old Ebbits’s cabin; and he had looked at me blear-eyed and vacuous, while Zilla had favored me with a sour face and a contemptuous grunt. Zilla was his wife, and no more bitter-tongued, implacable old squaw […]

The Story Of Keesh

Story type: Literature

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KEESH lived long ago on the rim of the polar sea, was head man of his village through many and prosperous years, and died full of honors with his name on the lips of men. So long ago did he live that only the old men remember his name, his name and the tale, which […]

The Unexpected

Story type: Literature

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IT is a simple matter to see the obvious, to do the expected. The tendency of the individual life is to be static rather than dynamic, and this tendency is made into a propulsion by civilization, where the obvious only is seen, and the unexpected rarely happens. When the unexpected does happen, however, and when […]

The Sun-Dog Trail

Story type: Literature

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SITKA CHARLEY smoked his pipe and gazed thoughtfully at the POLICE GAZETTE illustration on the wall. For half an hour he had been steadily regarding it, and for half an hour I had been slyly watching him. Something was going on in that mind of his, and, whatever it was, I knew it was well […]

Brown Wolf

Story type: Literature

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SHE had delayed, because of the dew-wet grass, in order to put on her overshoes, and when she emerged from the house found her waiting husband absorbed in the wonder of a bursting almond-bud. She sent a questing glance across the tall grass and in and out among the orchard trees. “Where’s Wolf?” she asked. […]

Negore, The Coward

Story type: Literature

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HE had followed the trail of his fleeing people for eleven days, and his pursuit had been in itself a flight; for behind him he knew full well were the dreaded Russians, toiling through the swampy lowlands and over the steep divides, bent on no less than the extermination of all his people. He was […]

Scene–California. Time–Afternoon of a summer day. CHARACTERS LORETTA, A sweet, young thing. Frightfully innocent. About nineteen years old. Slender, delicate, a fragile flower. Ingenuous. NED BASHFORD, A jaded young man of the world, who has philosophised his experiences and who is without faith in the veracity or purity of women. BILLY MARSH, A boy from […]

The Birth Mark

Story type: Literature

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Written for Robert and Julia Fitzsimmons SCENE–One of the club rooms of the West Bay Athletic Club. Near centre front is a large table covered with newspapers and magazines. At left a punching-bag apparatus. At right, against wall, a desk, on which rests a desk-telephone. Door at rear toward left. On walls are framed pictures […]

Unfortunately or otherwise, people are prone to believe in the reality of the things they think ought to be so. This comes of the cheery optimism which is innate with life itself; and, while it may sometimes be deplored, it must never be censured, for, as a rule, it is productive of more good than […]

The Tramp (Speech)

Story type: Literature

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Mr. Francis O’Neil, General Superintendent of Police, Chicago, speaking of the tramp, says: “Despite the most stringent police regulations, a great city will have a certain number of homeless vagrants to shelter through the winter.” “Despite,”–mark the word, a confession of organized helplessness as against unorganized necessity. If police regulations are stringent and yet fail, […]

In a competitive society, where men struggle with one another for food and shelter, what is more natural than that generosity, when it diminishes the food and shelter of men other than he who is generous, should be held an accursed thing? Wise old saws to the contrary, he who takes from a man’s purse […]

For any social movement or development there must be a maximum limit beyond which it cannot proceed. That civilization which does not advance must decline, and so, when the maximum of development has been reached in any given direction, society must either retrograde or change the direction of its advance. There are many families of […]

A Review

Story type: Essay

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Two remarkable books are Ghent’s “Our Benevolent Feudalism” {1} and Brooks’s “The Social Unrest.” {2} In these two books the opposite sides of the labor problem are expounded, each writer devoting himself with apprehension to the side he fears and views with disfavor. It would appear that they have set themselves the task of collating, […]

Evolution is no longer a mere tentative hypothesis. One by one, step by step, each division and subdivision of science has contributed its evidence, until now the case is complete and the verdict rendered. While there is still discussion as to the method of evolution, none the less, as a process sufficient to explain all […]

1905 It is quite fair to say that I became a Socialist in a fashion somewhat similar to the way in which the Teutonic pagans became Christians–it was hammered into me. Not only was I not looking for Socialism at the time of my conversion, but I was fighting it. I was very young and […]

Amateur Night

Story type: Literature

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The elevator boy smiled knowingly to himself. When he took her up, he had noted the sparkle in her eyes, the color in her cheeks. His little cage had quite warmed with the glow of her repressed eagerness. And now, on the down trip, it was glacier-like. The sparkle and the color were gone. She […]

Local Color

Story type: Literature

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“I do not see why you should not turn this immense amount of unusual information to account,” I told him. “Unlike most men equipped with similar knowledge, YOU have expression. Your style is–“ “Is sufficiently–er–journalese?” he interrupted suavely. “Precisely! You could turn a pretty penny.” But he interlocked his fingers meditatively, shrugged his shoulders, and […]

He had a dreamy, far-away look in his eyes, and his sad, insistent voice, gentle-spoken as a maid’s, seemed the placid embodiment of some deep-seated melancholy. He was the Leopard Man, but he did not look it. His business in life, whereby he lived, was to appear in a cage of performing leopards before vast […]

Moon-Face

Story type: Literature

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John Claverhouse was a moon-faced man. You know the kind, cheek-bones wide apart, chin and forehead melting into the cheeks to complete the perfect round, and the nose, broad and pudgy, equidistant from the circumference, flattened against the very centre of the face like a dough-ball upon the ceiling. Perhaps that is why I hated […]

“The black will never understand the white, nor the white the black, as long as black is black and white is white.” So said Captain Woodward. We sat in the parlor of Charley Roberts’ pub in Apia, drinking long Abu Hameds compounded and shared with us by the aforesaid Charley Roberts, who claimed the recipe […]

The Terrible Solomons

Story type: Literature

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There is no gainsaying that the Solomons are a hard-bitten bunch of islands. On the other hand, there are worse places in the world. But to the new chum who has no constitutional understanding of men and life in the rough, the Solomons may indeed prove terrible. It is true that fever and dysentery are […]