Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Conquest of Canaan   By: (1869-1946)

Book cover

First Page:

THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN

BY

BOOTH TARKINGTON

To L.F.T.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. ENTER CHORUS II. A RESCUE III. OLD HOPES IV. THE DISASTER V. BEAVER BEACH VI. "YE'LL TAK' THE HIGH ROAD AND I'LL TAK' THE LOW ROAD" VII. GIVE A DOG A BAD NAME VIII. A BAD PENNY TURNS UP IX. OUTER DARKNESS X. THE TRYST XI. WHEN HALF GODS GO XII. TO REMAIN ON THE FIELD OF BATTLE IS NOT ALWAYS A VICTORY XIII. THE WATCHER AND THE WARDEN XIV. WHITE ROSES IN A LAW OFFICE XV. HAPPY FEAR GIVES HIMSELF UP XVI. THE TWO CANAANS XVII. MR. SHEEHAN'S HINTS XVIII. IN THE HEAT OF THE DAY XIX. ESKEW ARP XX. THREE ARE ENLISTED XXI. NORBERT WAITS FOR JOE XXII. MR. SHEEHAN SPEAKS XXIII. JOE WALKS ACROSS THE COURT HOUSE YARD XXIV. MARTIN PIKE KEEPS AN ENGAGEMENT XXV. THE JURY COMES IN XXVI. "ANCIENT OF DAYS"

THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN

I

ENTER CHORUS

A dry snow had fallen steadily throughout the still night, so that when a cold, upper wind cleared the sky gloriously in the morning the incongruous Indiana town shone in a white harmony roof, ledge, and earth as evenly covered as by moonlight. There was no thaw; only where the line of factories followed the big bend of the frozen river, their distant chimneys like exclamation points on a blank page, was there a first threat against the supreme whiteness. The wind passed quickly and on high; the shouting of the school children had ceased at nine o'clock with pitiful suddenness; no sleigh bells laughed out on the air; and the muffling of the thoroughfares wrought an unaccustomed peace like that of Sunday. This was the phenomenon which afforded the opening of the morning debate of the sages in the wide windows of the "National House."

Only such unfortunates as have so far failed to visit Canaan do not know that the "National House" is on the Main Street side of the Court house Square, and has the advantage of being within two minutes' walk of the railroad station, which is in plain sight of the windows an inestimable benefit to the conversation of the aged men who occupied these windows on this white morning, even as they were wont in summer to hold against all comers the cane seated chairs on the pavement outside. Thence, as trains came and went, they commanded the city gates, and, seeking motives and adding to the stock of history, narrowly observed and examined into all who entered or departed. Their habit was not singular. He who would foolishly tax the sages of Canaan with a bucolic light mindedness must first walk in Piccadilly in early June, stroll down the Corso in Rome before Ash Wednesday, or regard those windows of Fifth Avenue whose curtains are withdrawn of a winter Sunday; for in each of these great streets, wherever the windows, not of trade, are widest, his eyes must behold wise men, like to those of Canaan, executing always their same purpose.

The difference is in favor of Canaan; the "National House" was the club, but the perusal of traveller or passer by was here only the spume blown before a stately ship of thought; and you might hear the sages comparing the Koran with the speeches of Robert J. Ingersoll.

In the days of board sidewalks, "mail time" had meant a precise moment for Canaan, and even now, many years after the first postman, it remained somewhat definite to the aged men; for, out of deference to a pleasant, olden custom, and perhaps partly for an excuse to "get down to the hotel" (which was not altogether in favor with the elderly ladies), most of them retained their antique boxes in the post office, happily in the next building.

In this connection it may be written that a subscription clerk in the office of the Chicago Daily Standard, having noted a single subscriber from Canaan, was, a fortnight later, pleased to receive, by one mail, nine subscriptions from that promising town... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books