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The Triumph of John Kars A Story of the Yukon   By: (1867-1943)

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THE TRIUMPH OF JOHN KARS

A Story of the Yukon

by

RIDGWELL CULLUM

Author of "The Golden Woman," "The Son of His Father," "The Way of the Strong," "The Men Who Wrought"

With Frontispiece in Colors

[Frontispiece: The defenders were reduced to four.]

A. L. Burt Company Publishers New York Copyright, 1917, by George W. Jacobs & Company All rights reserved

Contents

I. AT FORT MOWBRAY II. THE MISSION OF ST. AGATHA III. THE LETTER IV. ON BELL RIVER V. IN THE NIGHT VI. JOHN KARS VII. AT SNAKE RIVER LANDING VIII. TWO MEN OF THE NORTH IX. MURRAY TELLS HIS STORY X. THE MAN WITH THE SCAR XI. THE SECRET OF THE GORGE XII. DR. BILL DISPENSES AID AND ARGUMENT XIII. THE FALL TRADE XIV. ARRIVALS IN THE NIGHT XV. FATHER JOSÉ PROBES XVI. A MAN AND A MAID XVII. A NIGHT IN LEAPING HORSE XVIII. ON THE NORTHERN SEAS XIX. AT THE GRIDIRON XX. THE "ONLOOKERS" AGAIN XXI. DR. BILL INVESTIGATES XXII. IN THE SPRINGTIME XXIII. THE DARKNESS BEFORE DAWN XXIV. THE FIRST STREAK OF DAWN XXV. THE OUT WORLD XXVI. THE DEPUTATION XXVII. THE BATTLE OF BELL RIVER XXVIII. THE HARVEST OF BATTLE XXIX. THE LAP OF THE GODS XXX. THE END OF THE TERROR XXXI. THE CLOSE OF THE LONG TRAIL XXXII. THE SUMMER OF LIFE

The Triumph of John Kars

CHAPTER I

AT FORT MOWBRAY

Murray McTavish was seated at a small table, green baized, littered with account books and a profusion of papers. But he was not regarding these things. Instead, his dark, intelligent eyes were raised to the smallish, dingy window in front of him, set in its deep casing of centuries old logs. Nor was the warm light shining in his eyes inspired by the sufficiently welcome sunlight beyond. His gaze was entirely absorbed by a fur clad figure, standing motionless in the open jaws of the gateway of the heavily timbered stockade outside.

It was the figure of a young woman. A long coat of beaver skin, and a cap of the same fur pressed down low over her ruddy brown hair, held her safe from the bitter chill of the late semi arctic fall. She, too, was absorbed in the scene upon which she was gazing.

Her soft eyes, so gray and gentle, searched the distance. The hills, snow capped and serrated. The vast incline of ancient glacier, rolling backwards and upwards in discolored waves from the precipitate opposite bank of Snake River. The woods, so darkly overpowering as the year progressed towards its old age. The shaking tundra, treacherous and hideous with rank growths of the summer. The river facets of broken crags awaiting the cloak of winter to conceal their crude nakedness. Then the trail, so slight, so faint. The work of sleds and moccasined feet through centuries of native traffic, with the occasional variation of the hard shod feet of the white adventurer.

She knew it all by heart. She read it all with the eyes of one who has known no other outlook since first she opened them upon the world. Yes, she knew it all. But that which she did not know she was seeking now. Beyond all things, at that moment, she desired to penetrate some of the secrets that lay beyond her grim horizon.

Her brows were drawn in a slight frown. The questions she was asking peeped out of the depths of her searching eyes. And they were the questions of a troubled mind.

A step sounded behind her, but she did not turn. A moment later the voice of Murray McTavish challenged her.

"Why?"

The brief demand was gentle enough, yet it contained a sort of playful irony, which, at the moment, Jessie Mowbray resented. She turned. There was impatience in the eyes which confronted him. She regarded him steadily.

"Why? It's always why with you, when feelings get the better of me. Maybe you never feel dread, or doubt, or worry. Maybe you never feel anything human... Continue reading book >>




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