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Prisoners of Chance The Story of What Befell Geoffrey Benteen, Borderman, through His Love for a Lady of France   By: (1858-1923)

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[Frontispiece: I could merely clasp the hands she gave so unreservedly into my keeping, gaze into the depths of her dark eyes, and murmur a few broken words of confidence and farewell.]

PRISONERS OF CHANCE

THE STORY OF WHAT BEFELL GEOFFREY BENTEEN, BORDERMAN, THROUGH HIS LOVE FOR A LADY OF FRANCE

BY

RANDALL PARRISH

Author of "When Wilderness was King," "My Lady of the North," "Bob Hampton of Placer," etc.

ILLUSTRATED IN FULL COLOR BY THE KINNEYS

CHICAGO

A. C. McCLURG & CO.

1908

COPYRIGHT

A. C. McCLURG & CO.

1908

Entered at Stationers' Hall, London

All rights reserved

Published March 28, 1908

THE UNIVERSITY PRESS, CAMBRIDGE, U.S.A.

CONTENTS

FOREWORD

CHAPTER

I THE REQUEST FOR AID II A PERILOUS VENTURE III A VISIT TO THE FLAG SHIP IV WE HOLD A COUNCIL OF WAR V ON THE DECK OF THE "SANTA MARIA" VI THE ROLE OF PÈRE CASSATI VII THE CHEVALIER DE NOYAN VIII FAVORED OF THE GODS IX THE BIRTH OF THE DEATH DAWN X A COVERT IN THE CANE XI A NIGHT IN THE BOAT XII WE LAND AN ODD FISH XIII WE GAIN A NEW RECRUIT XIV THE MOUTH OF THE ARKANSAS XV A PASSAGE AT ARMS XVI WE CHANGE OUR COURSE XVII WE MEET WITH AN ACCIDENT XVIII A HARD DAY'S MARCH XIX DEMON, OR WHAT? XX BACKS TO THE WALL XXI THE STRONGHOLD OF THE NATCHEZ XXII PRISONERS IN THE TEMPLE XXIII THE VOTE OF DEATH XXIV THE DAUGHTER OF THE SUN XXV A VISITANT FROM THE SUN XXVI THE CHRONICLES OF THE NATCHEZ XXVII A VENTURE IN THE DARK XXVIII SPEECH WITH NALADI XXIX IN AND OUT THE SHADOW XXX UNDERGROUND XXXI WE MOUNT THE CLIFF XXXII CHIEF PRIEST OF THE SUN XXXIII PERE ANDRÉ LAFOSSIER XXXIV THE TALE OF THE PRIEST XXXV NIGHT AND THE SAVAGES XXXVI THE INTERFERENCE OF THE JESUIT XXXVII THE DEAD BURY THEIR DEAD

ILLUSTRATIONS

I could merely clasp the hands she gave so unreservedly into my keeping, gaze into the depths of her dark eyes, and murmur a few broken words of confidence and farewell. . . . Frontispiece

Had I ventured upon a smile at his predicament he would have popped instantly forth again.

"I am the Daughter of the Sun. These are my children, given unto me by the great Sun god. . . . None of white blood may set foot in this valley and live."

The woman stood gazing intently down, her red robe sweeping to her feet; below the flaring torches in the hands of her barbaric followers cast their light full upon her.

FOREWORD

The manuscript of this tale has been in my possession several years. It reached me through natural lines of inheritance, but remained nearly forgotten, until a chance reading revealed a certain historic basis; then, making note of correspondences in minor details, I realized that what I had cast aside as mere fiction might possess a substantial foundation of fact. Impelled by this conviction, I now submit the narrative to public inspection, that others, better fitted than I, may judge as to the worth of this Geoffrey Benteen.

According to the earlier records of Louisiana Province, Geoffrey Benteen was, during his later years, a resident of La Petite Rocher, a man of note and character among his fellows. There he died in old age, leaving no indication of the extent of his knowledge, other than what is to be found in the yellowed pages of his manuscript; and these afford no evidence that this "Gentleman Adventurer" possessed any information derived from books regarding those relics of a prehistoric people, which are widely scattered throughout the Middle and Southern States of the Union and constitute the grounds on which our century has applied to the race the term "Mound Builders."

Apparently in all simplicity and faithfulness he recorded merely what he saw and heard. Later research, antedating his death, has seemingly proven that in the extinct Natchez tribe was to be found the last remnant of that mysterious and unfortunate race.

Who were the Mound Builders? No living man may answer... Continue reading book >>




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