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The League of the Leopard   By: (1866-1945)

The League of the Leopard by Harold Bindloss

First Page:

THE LEAGUE OF THE LEOPARD

HAROLD BINDLOSS

[Illustration: "AT DAWN THEY WERE STILL RIDING" Page 230 ]

THE LEAGUE OF THE LEOPARD

BY HAROLD BINDLOSS

AUTHOR OF "PRESCOTT OF SASKATCHEWAN," "THE LONG PORTAGE," "RANCHING FOR SYLVIA," ETC.

WITH A FRONTISPIECE IN COLOR BY CARLTON GLIDDEN

[Illustration]

NEW YORK

FREDERICK A. STOKES COMPANY PUBLISHERS

June, 1914

CONTENTS

Chap. Page I. A DANGEROUS BEQUEST 1 II. AN UNDERSTANDING 15 III. AT THE ELBOW POOL 30 IV. THE POACHER 43 V. THE TRYST AT HALLOWS BRIG 56 VI. DANE'S SILENCE 71 VII. A WARNING 85 VIII. TREACHERY 96 IX. TEMPTATION 110 X. RIDEAU'S BARGAIN 125 XI. THE TRAIL OF THE LEOPARD 137 XII. WEALTH IN SIGHT 149 XIII. PESTILENCE 163 XIV. AN EVENTFUL DECISION 177 XV. THE BOARDING OF THE KABUNDA 189 XVI. ILLUMINATION 202 XVII. IN NEED OF HELP 214 XVIII. MAXWELL'S CONFIDENCE 227 XIX. THE DANGEROUS SEƑORITA 240 XX. MAXWELL'S LAST MARCH 251 XXI. RELIEF 262 XXII. ON TO THE COAST 274 XXIII. AN EYE FOR AN EYE 285 XXIV. THE ESCAPE 297 XXV. THE HEART OF BONITA CASTRO 311 XXVI. REWARDED 320

THE LEAGUE OF THE LEOPARD

CHAPTER I

A DANGEROUS BEQUEST

It was very hot in the little West African factory where trader Niven lay dying. The sea breeze had died away, and though sunset drew near, it was not yet time for the spicy airs from the inland forest to mitigate the temperature. The dust lay still in the sun scorched compound, about which the palm fronds hung motionless, and only the roar of breakers on the beach broke through the drowsy silence.

Two white men lounged in cane chairs upon the veranda which encircled the building. Both were limp, gaunt of frame, and pallid in face, because the climate they lived in is particularly unhealthy. Neither had enjoyed much education, or felt the lack of it in the trade they followed, while the cocktail jug on the little table betokened their favorite relaxation. Redmond and Gilby were West Coast traders who lived far remote from intercourse with their fellows, except for the two French rivals with whom they periodically quarreled. They concerned themselves with little beyond the well being of their factory, and indulged each appetite on opportunity, knowing that on the morrow they might suddenly die. Yet they had their strong points, including a tenacious regard for their employers' interests, which led them to toil twelve hours daily when sick of fever if trade was good, and sometimes defy the French authorities, and an inconsistent generosity, as the result of which they had camped in the store shed, and turned over their own quarters to the man who stood behind them, and his stricken companion. The former was of very different type.

"You have done your best for the poor devil," said Redmond, glancing regretfully from him toward the empty jug. "But if I know anything about coast fever and I ought to Niven will get his release to night. Still rambling about that fortune, I suppose?"

Carsluith Maxwell nodded, and Gilby commented meditatively: "It may be all a fever fancy, and it may be true. Niven was well known in this afflicted colony years ago, and there is gold up yonder. In fact, right away from here to the Volta you can find the color in the rivers, but there's very little of it that will pay for the washing, and few British mining companies that distribute much in dividends. Still, the old Portuguese took a good deal out, if the tales are true, and one gets small lots now and then put up in quills... Continue reading book >>




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