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The Day of the Beast   By: (1872-1939)

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THE DAY OF THE BEAST

BY

ZANE GREY

AUTHOR OF TO THE LAST MAN, THE HERITAGE OF THE DESERT, THE MYSTERIOUS RIDER, ETC.

NEW YORK GROSSET & DUNLAP PUBLISHERS

Made in the United States of America

THE DAY OF THE BEAST

1922 By Zane Grey Printed in the U.S.A.

THE DAY OF THE BEAST

DEDICATION

Herein is embodied my tribute to the American men who gave themselves to the service in the great war, and my sleepless and eternal gratitude for what they did for me.

ZANE GREY.

THE DAY OF THE BEAST

CHAPTER I

His native land! Home!

The ship glided slowly up the Narrows; and from its deck Daren Lane saw the noble black outline of the Statue of Liberty limned against the clear gold of sunset. A familiar old pang in his breast longing and homesickness and agony, together with the physical burn of gassed lungs seemed to swell into a profound overwhelming emotion.

"My own my native land!" he whispered, striving to wipe the dimness from his eyes. Was it only two years or twenty since he had left his country to go to war? A sense of strangeness dawned upon him. His home coming, so ceaselessly dreamed of by night and longed for by day, was not going to be what his hopes had created. But at that moment his joy was too great to harbor strange misgivings. How impossible for any one to understand his feelings then, except perhaps the comrades who had survived the same ordeal!

The vessel glided on. A fresh cool spring breeze with a scent of land fanned Lane's hot brow. It bore tidings from home. Almost he thought he smelled the blossoms in the orchard, and the damp newly plowed earth, and the smoke from the wood fire his mother used to bake over. A hundred clamoring thoughts strove for dominance over his mind to enter and flash by and fade. His sight, however, except for the blur that returned again and again, held fast to the entrancing and thrilling scene the broad glimmering sun track of gold in the rippling channel, leading his eye to the grand bulk of America's symbol of freedom, and to the stately expanse of the Hudson River, dotted by moving ferry boats and tugs, and to the magnificent broken sky line of New York City, with its huge dark structures looming and its thousands of windows reflecting the fire of the sun.

It was indeed a profound and stirring moment for Daren Lane, but not quite full, not all satisfying. The great city seemed to frown. The low line of hills in the west shone dull gray and cold. Where were the screaming siren whistles, the gay streaming flags, the boats crowded with waving people, that should have welcomed disabled soldiers who had fought for their country? Lane hoped he had long passed by bitterness, but yet something rankled in the unhealed wound of his heart.

Some one put a hand in close clasp upon his arm. Then Lane heard the scrape of a crutch on the deck, and knew who stood beside him.

"Well, Dare, old boy, does it look good to you?" asked a husky voice.

"Yes, Blair, but somehow not just what I expected," replied Lane, turning to his comrade.

"Uhuh, I get you."

Blair Maynard stood erect with the aid of a crutch. There was even a hint of pride in the poise of his uncovered head. And for once Lane saw the thin white face softening and glowing. Maynard's big brown eyes were full of tears.

"Guess I left my nerve as well as my leg over there," he said.

"Blair, it's so good to get back that we're off color," returned Lane... Continue reading book >>




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