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Donalblane of Darien   By: (1855-1907)

Donalblane of Darien by James M. Oxley

First Page:

[Illustration: Cover art]

[Frontispiece: "HE PLACED THE CHILD UPON THE CHEST, AND HELD HIM THERE THAT HE MIGHT NOT FALL OFF." p. 38.]

DONALBLANE OF DARIEN

BY

J. MACDONALD OXLEY,

Author of

" Norman's Nugget ," " In the Swing of the Sea ," etc., etc.

ILLUSTRATED BY W. RAINEY, R.I.

TORONTO:

THE MUSSON BOOK COMPANY, LIMITED.

1902

CONTENTS.

CHAP.

I. BY WAY OF BEGINNING II. DONALBLANE CARRIES HIS POINT III. OFF TO DARIEN IV. A RESCUE AND A RETREAT V. ACROSS THE ATLANTIC VI. A BRUSH WITH BUCCANEERS VII. THE FOUNDING OF THE CITY OF DARIEN VIII. A SUCCESSFUL EMBASSY IX. IN PERILOUS PLIGHT X. THE CHASE OF THE MANATEE XI. THE MIDNIGHT ATTACK XII. NEW YORK AND HOME

ILLUSTRATIONS

"HE PLACED THE CHILD UPON THE CHEST, AND HELD HIM THERE THAT HE MIGHT NOT FALL OFF." . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Frontispiece

"'YE'VE A GREAT LIKING FOR THE SEA, THEY TELL ME, LAD,' BEGAN MR. BLANE."

"THE RAVENING SWINE WERE GAINING UPON HIM."

"GLARING DOWN UPON HIM ... THE MOST APPALLING EYES HE HAD EVER BEHELD."

"PRESENTLY RAYMON ROSE IN THE BOW, HARPOON IN HAND."

"CHANCED TO OVERHEAR A CONVERSATION WHICH MADE IT CLEAR THAT THEY HAD DESIGNS UPON MR. PATERSON'S LIFE."

DONALBLANE OF DARIEN.

CHAPTER I.

BY WAY OF BEGINNING.

It was not just an ordinary sort of name, but one of those which made you think "thereby hangs a tale." In this case the thought goes to the mark, and the tale in question will be told after a fashion in the following pages.

At the outset a quick glance back to times long past is necessary in order to a fair start, and without a fair start it were hardly worth going ahead.

As the seventeenth century drew to its close there came into prominence in England a remarkable Scotsman named William Paterson, among whose notable achievements was having a large share in the founding of the Bank of England, which subsequently grew to be the greatest monetary institution in the world.

He was a member of the board of directors at the opening of the bank, but appears to have sold out not long after, and with his money in hand to have looked about him for some way of investing it that would be for the public good.

Now, these were the days of vexatious monopolies and irritating restrictions in commerce. The trade of Britain with the distant parts of the globe was divided between two great grasping corporations the East India Company and the African Company which, although they were at deadly enmity with each other, heartily co operated in crushing every free trader who dared to intrude within the elastic limits of their "spheres of action."

William Paterson was an ardent free trader, and he became inspired with the noble mission of freeing commerce from the hurtful restraints laid upon it by short sighted selfishness. With a keenness of instinct that makes it easy to understand his previous success, he surveyed the then known world and put his finger upon the spot best suited for the carrying out of his beneficent design.

The Isthmus of Panama, or Darien, is, beyond a doubt, one of the most interesting, as it is certain yet to be one of the most important bits of terra firma on this round globe. The connecting link between the continents of North and South America, it is also the barrier dividing the Atlantic from the Pacific Oceans, and, in fact, one side of the world from the other.

From the time of its discovery and occupation by the Spaniards, it has been a matter of general belief that whoever had command of this narrow neck of land held the key to the commerce of the world. Here would naturally be concentrated the mutual trade of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of America. Moreover, it would necessarily form an important stage in the shortest route between Europe and the Indies, as well as the innumerable islands lying far to the south of the equator.

Little wonder, then, that the Spaniards wanted to keep the isthmus to themselves, and always did their very best to make it particularly unpleasant for anybody who sought to share its advantages with them; and in fine contrast to their dog in the manger policy for they really made little use of their splendid opportunities was the spirit in which William Paterson conceived his great Darien project, and with characteristic energy proceeded to carry it into effect... Continue reading book >>




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