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In the Brooding Wild   By: (1867-1943)

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First Page:

[Illustration: "THERE IS NO MOVEMENT IN THE SAVAGE BODY BUT THE FURIOUS, NOISELESS LASHING OF THE TAIL" ( See page 244 )]

IN THE BROODING WILD

By RIDGWELL CULLUM

Author of

"The Story of The Foss River Ranch," "The Law Breakers," "The Way of the Strong," Etc.

[Illustration]

With Frontispiece

By CHARLES LIVINGSTON BULL

A. L. BURT COMPANY

Publishers New York

Published by Arrangement with The Page Company

Copyright, 1905

By L. C. Page & Company

(INCORPORATED)

All rights reserved

CONTENTS

I. On the Mountainside 1 II. Which Tells of the White Squaw 15 III. The Quest of the White Squaw 34 IV. The Hooded Man 55 V. The White Squaw 79 VI. The Weird of the Wild 93 VII. In the Storming Night 112 VIII. The Unquenchable Fire 130 IX. To the Death 142 X. The Battle in the Wild 157 XI. The Gathering of the Forest Legions 174 XII. Where the Laws of Might Alone Prevail 188 XIII. Out on the Northland Trail 213 XIV. Who Shall Fathom the Depths of a Woman's Love? 228 XV. The Tragedy of the Wild 239

IN THE BROODING WILD

CHAPTER I.

ON THE MOUNTAINSIDE

To the spirit which broods over the stupendous solitudes of the northern Rockies, the soul of man, with all its complex impulses, is but so much plastic material which it shapes to its own inscrutable ends. For the man whose lot is cast in the heart of these wilds, the drama of life usually moves with a tremendous simplicity toward the sudden and sombre tragedy of the last act. The titanic world in which he lives closes in upon him and makes him its own. For him, among the ancient watch towers of the earth, the innumerable interests and activities of swarming cities, the restless tides and currents of an eager civilization, take on the remoteness of a dream. The peace or war of nations is less to him than the battles of Wing and Fur. His interests are all in that world over which he seeks to rule by the law of trap and gun, and in the war of defence which he wages against the aggression of the elements. He returns insensibly to the type of the primitive man, strong, patient, and enduring.

High up on the mountainside, overlooking a valley so deep and wide as to daze the brain of the gazing human, stands a squat building. It seems to have been crushed into the slope by the driving force of the vicious mountain storms to which it is open on three sides. There is no shelter for it. It stands out bravely to sunshine and storm alike with the contemptuous indifference of familiarity. It is a dugout, and, as its name implies, is built half in the ground. Its solitary door and single parchment covered window overlook the valley, and the white path in front where the snow is packed hard by the tramp of dogs and men, and the runners of the dog sled. Below the slope bears away to the woodlands. Above the hut the overshadowing mountain rises to dazzling heights; and a further, but thin, belt of primeval forest extends up, up, until the eternal snows are reached and the air will no longer support life. Even to the hardy hunters, whose home this is, those upper forests are sealed chapters in Nature's story.

Below the dugout, and beyond the valley, lie countless lesser hills, set so closely that their divisions are lost in one smooth, dark expanse of forest. Blackened rifts are visible here and there, but they have little meaning, and only help to materialize what would otherwise wear an utterly ghostly appearance. The valley in front is so vast that its contemplation from the hillside sends a shudder of fear through the heart... Continue reading book >>




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