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The Foreigner A Tale of Saskatchewan   By: (1860-1937)

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Ralph Connor


In Western Canada there is to be seen to day that most fascinating of all human phenomena, the making of a nation. Out of breeds diverse in traditions, in ideals, in speech, and in manner of life, Saxon and Slav, Teuton, Celt and Gaul, one people is being made. The blood strains of great races will mingle in the blood of a race greater than the greatest of them all.

It would be our wisdom to grip these peoples to us with living hooks of justice and charity till all lines of national cleavage disappear, and in the Entity of our Canadian national life, and in the Unity of our world wide Empire, we fuse into a people whose strength will endure the slow shock of time for the honour of our name, for the good of mankind, and for the glory of Almighty God.

C.W.G. Winnipeg, Canada, 1909.


I The City on the Plain II Where East meets West III The Marriage of Anka IV The Unbidden Guest V The Patriot's Heart VI The Grip of British Law VII Condemned VIII The Price of Vengeance IX Brother and Sister X Jack French of the Night Hawk Ranch XI The Edmonton Trail XII The Making of a Man XIII Brown XIV The Break XV The Maiden of the Brown Hair XVI How Kalman found His Mine XVII The Fight for the Mine XVIII For Freedom and for Love XIX My Foreigner



Not far from the centre of the American Continent, midway between the oceans east and west, midway between the Gulf and the Arctic Sea, on the rim of a plain, snow swept in winter, flower decked in summer, but, whether in winter or in summer, beautiful in its sunlit glory, stands Winnipeg, the cosmopolitan capital of the last of the Anglo Saxon Empires, Winnipeg, City of the Plain, which from the eyes of the world cannot be hid. Miles away, secure in her sea girt isle, is old London, port of all seas; miles away, breasting the beat of the Atlantic, sits New York, capital of the New World, and mart of the world, Old and New; far away to the west lie the mighty cities of the Orient, Peking and Hong Kong, Tokio and Yokohama; and fair across the highway of the world's commerce sits Winnipeg, Empress of the Prairies. Her Trans Continental railways thrust themselves in every direction, south into the American Republic, east to the ports of the Atlantic, west to the Pacific, and north to the Great Inland Sea.

To her gates and to her deep soiled tributary prairies she draws from all lands peoples of all tribes and tongues, smitten with two great race passions, the lust for liberty, and the lust for land.

By hundreds and tens of hundreds they stream in and through this hospitable city, Saxon and Celt and Slav, each eager on his own quest, each paying his toll to the new land as he comes and goes, for good or for ill, but whether more for good than for ill only God knows.

A hundred years ago, where now stands the thronging city, stood the lonely trading post of The Honourable, The Hudson's Bay Company. To this post in their birch bark canoes came the half breed trapper and the Indian hunter, with their priceless bales of furs to be bartered for blankets and beads, for pemmican and bacon, for powder and ball, and for the thousand and one articles of commerce that piled the store shelves from cellar to roof.

Fifty years ago, about the lonely post a little settlement had gathered a band of sturdy Scots. Those dour and doughty pioneers of peoples had planted on the Red River their homes upon their little "strip" farms a rampart of civilization against the wide, wild prairie, the home of the buffalo, and camp ground of the hunters of the plain.

Twenty five years ago, in the early eighties, a little city had fairly dug its roots into the black soil, refusing to be swept away by that cyclone of financial frenzy known over the Continent as the "boom of '81," and holding on with abundant courage and invincible hope, had gathered to itself what of strength it could, until by 1884 it had come to assume an appearance of enduring solidity... Continue reading book >>

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