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Where the Pavement Ends   By: (1885-1956)

Book cover

First Page:

WHERE THE PAVEMENT ENDS

by

JOHN RUSSELL

Author of In Dark Places, Etc.

[Illustration:

A Rex Ingram Metro Picture.

Where the Pavement Ends.

A SCENE FROM THE PHOTOPLAY.]

"The leaf was darkish, and had prickles on it, But in another country, as he said, Bore a bright golden flow'r...."

COMUS

[Illustration]

Publishers Grosset & Dunlap New York

Made in the United States of America

Copyright, 1919, by John Russell

Published, October, 1919 Second Printing, September, 1921 Third Printing, March, 1922 Fourth Printing, November, 1922 Fifth Printing, April, 1923 Sixth Printing, August, 1923

English Edition Published May 1921 London, Thornton Butterworth Ltd.

Printed in the United States of America

To

CARL BRANDT

CONTENTS

THE FOURTH MAN 9

THE LOST GOD 33

THE PASSION VINE 59

THE PRICE OF THE HEAD 91

THE SLANTED BEAM 106

THE RED MARK 121

EAST OF EASTWARD 162

JETSAM 183

THE ADVERSARY 206

MEANING CHASE YOURSELF 221

THE WICKS OF MACASSAR 239

DOUBLOON GOLD 253

THE PRACTICING OF CHRISTOPHER 284

AMOK 308

THE FOURTH MAN

The raft might have been taken for a swath of cut sedge or a drifting tangle of roots as it slid out of the shadowy river mouth at dawn and dipped into the first ground swell. But while the sky brightened and the breeze came fresh offshore it picked a way among shoals and swampy islets with purpose and direction, and when at last the sun leaped up and cleared his bright eye of the morning mist it had passed the wide entrance to the bay and stood to open sea.

It was a curious craft for such a venture, of a type that survives here and there in the obscure corners of the world. The coracle maker would have scorned it. The first navigating pithecanthrope built nearly as well with his log and bush. A mat of pandanus leaves served for its sail and a paddle of niaouli wood for its helm. But it had a single point of real seaworthiness. Its twin floats, paired as a catamaran, were woven of reed bundles and bamboo sticks upon triple rows of bladders. It was light as a bladder itself, elastic, fit to ride any weather. One other quality this raft possessed which recommended it beyond all comfort and all safety to its present crew. It was very nearly invisible. They had only to unstep its mast and lie flat in the cup of its soggy platform and they could not be spied half a mile away.

Four men occupied the raft. Three of them were white. Their bodies had been scored with brambles and blackened with dried blood, and on wrist and ankle they bore the dark and wrinkled stain of the gyves. The hair upon them was long and matted. They wore only the rags of blue canvas uniforms. But they were whites, members of the superior race members of a highly superior race according to those philosophers who rate the criminal aberration as a form of genius.

The fourth was the man who had built the raft and was now sailing it. There was nothing superior about him. His skin was a layer of soot. His prognathous jaw carried out the angle of a low forehead. No line of beauty redeemed his lean limbs and knobby joints. Nature had set upon him her plainest stamp of inferiority, and his only attempts to relieve it were the twist of bark about his middle and the prong of pig ivory through the cartilage of his nose... Continue reading book >>




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