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Wild Youth   By: (1862-1932)

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WILD YOUTH

By Gilbert Parker

Volume 1. I. THE MAZARINES TAKE POSSESSION II. "MY NAME IS LOUISE" III. "I HAVE FOUGHT WITH BEASTS AT EPHESUS" IV. TWO SIDES TO A BARGAIN V. ORLANDO HAS AN ADVENTURE VI. "THINGS MUST HAPPEN" VII. "THE ZOOLYOGICAL GARDEN" VIII. THE ORIENTAL WAY OF IT IX. THE STARS IN THEIR COURSES

Volume 2. X. THE MOON WAS NOT ALONE XI. LOUISE XII. MAN UNNATURAL XIII. ORLANDO GIVES A WARNING XIV. FILION AND FIONA ALSO PATSY KERNAGHAN XV. OUTWARD BOUND XVI. AT THE CROSS TRAILS XVII. THE SUPERIOR MAN XVIII. YOUTH HAS ITS WAY

WILD YOUTH

CHAPTER I. THE MAZARINES TAKE POSSESSION

From the beginning, Askatoon had had more character and idiosyncrasy than any other town in the West. Perhaps that was because many of its citizens had marked personality, while some were distinctly original a few so original as to be almost bizarre. The general intelligence was high, and this made the place alert for the new observer. It slept with one eye open; it waked with both eyes wide as wide as the windows of the world. The virtue of being bright and clever was a doctrine which had never been taught in Askatoon; it was as natural as eating and drinking. Nothing ever really shook the place out of a wholesome control and composure. Now and then, however, the flag of distress was hoisted, and everybody in the place from Patsy Kernaghan, the casual, at one end of the scale, and the Young Doctor, so called because he was young looking when he first came to the place, who represented Askatoon in the meridian of its intellect, at the other had sudden paralysis. That was the outstanding feature of Askatoon. Some places made a noise and flung things about in times of distress; but Askatoon always stood still and fumbled with its collar buttons, as though to get more air. When it was poignantly moved, it leaned against the wall of its common sense, abashed, but vigilant and careful.

That is what it did when Mr. and Mrs. Joel Mazarine arrived at Askatoon to take possession of Tralee, the ranch which Michael Turley, abandoning because he had an unavoidable engagement in another world, left to his next of kin, with a legacy to another kinsman a little farther off. The next of kin had proved to be Joel Mazarine, from one of those stern English counties on the borders of Quebec, where ancient tribal prejudices and religious hatreds give a necessary relief to hard driven human nature.

Michael Turley had lived much to himself on his ranch, but that was because in his latter days he had developed a secret taste for spirituous liquors which he had no wish to share with others. With the assistance of a bad cook and a constant spleen caused by resentment against the intervention of his priest, good Father Roche, he finished his career with great haste and without either becoming a nuisance to his neighbours or ruining his property. The property was clear of mortgage or debt when he set out on his endless journey.

When the prophet bearded, huge, swarthy faced Joel Mazarine, with a beautiful young girl behind him, stepped from the West bound train and was greeted by the Mayor, who was one of the executors of Michael Turley's will, a shiver passed through Askatoon, and for one instant animation was suspended; for the jungle looking newcomer, motioning forward the young girl, said to the Mayor:

"Mayor, this is Mrs. Mazarine. Shake hands with the Mayor, Mrs. Mazarine."

Mazarine did not speak very loud, but as an animal senses the truth of a danger far off with an unshakable certainty, the crowd at the station seemed to know by instinct what he said.

"Hell that old whale and her!" growled Jonas Billings, the keeper of the livery stable.

At Mazarine's words the Young Doctor, a man of rare gifts, individuality and authority in the place, who had come to the station to see a patient off to the mountains by this train, drew in his breath sharply, as though a spirit of repugnance was in his heart... Continue reading book >>




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