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Winston of the Prairie   By: (1866-1945)

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First Page:

WINSTON OF THE PRAIRIE

by

HAROLD BINDLOSS

Author of Alton of Somasco , The Cattle Baron's Daughter , The Dust of Conflict , etc.

Illustrated by W. Herbert Dunton

Grosset & Dunlap Publishers New York

1907

[Illustration: Cover Art]

[Frontispiece: Floundering on foot beside them he urged the team through the powdery drifts.]

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. RANCHER WINSTON II. LANCE COURTHORNE III. TROOPER SHANNON'S QUARREL IV. IN THE BLUFF V. MISS BARRINGTON COMES HOME VI. ANTICIPATIONS VII. WINSTON'S DECISION VIII. WINSTON COMES TO SILVERDALE IX. COURTHORNE DISAPPEARS X. AN ARMISTICE XI. MAUD BARRINGTON'S PROMISE XII. SPEED THE PLOW XIII. MASTERY RECOGNIZED XIV. A FAIR ADVOCATE XV. THE UNEXPECTED XVI. FACING THE FLAME XVII. MAUD BARRINGTON IS MERCILESS XVIII. WITH THE STREAM XIX. UNDER TEST XX. COURTHORNE BLUNDERS XXI. THE FACE AT THE WINDOW XXII. COLONEL BARRINGTON IS CONVINCED XXIII. SERGEANT STIMSON CONFIRMS HIS SUSPICIONS XXIV. THE REVELATION XXV. COURTHORNE MAKES REPARATION XXVI. WINSTON RIDES AWAY XXVII. REINSTATEMENT

ILLUSTRATIONS

FLOUNDERING ON FOOT BESIDE THEM HE URGED THE TEAM THROUGH THE POWDERY DRIFTS . . . . . Frontispiece

MAUD BARRINGTON LAUGHED A LITTLE

HE COULD SEE THE WHEAT ROLL IN SLOW RIPPLES BACK INTO THE DISTANCE

[Transcriber's note: The "He could see..." illustration was missing from the book used to prepare this e text.]

CHAPTER I

RANCHER WINSTON

It was a bitter night, for the frost had bound the prairie in its iron grip, although as yet there was no snow. Rancher Winston stood shivering in a little Canadian settlement in the great lonely land which runs north from the American frontier to Athabasca. There was no blink of starlight in the murky sky, and out of the great waste of grass came a stinging wind that moaned about the frame houses clustering beside the trail that led south over the limited levels to the railroad and civilization. It chilled Winston, and his furs, somewhat tattered, gave him little protection. He strode up and down, glancing expectantly into the darkness, and then across the unpaved street, where the ruts were plowed a foot deep in the prairie sod, towards the warm red glow from the windows of the wooden hotel. He knew that the rest of the outlying farmers and ranchers who had ridden in for their letters were sitting snug about the stove, but it was customary for all who sought shelter there to pay for their share of the six o'clock supper, and the half dollar Winston had then in his pocket was required for other purposes.

He had also retained through all his struggles a measure of his pride, and because of it strode up and down buffeted by the blasts until a beat of horsehoofs came out of the darkness and was followed by a rattle of wheels. It grew steadily louder, a blinking ray of brightness flickered across the frame houses, and presently dark figures were silhouetted against the light on the hotel veranda as a lurching wagon drew up beneath it. Two dusky objects, shapeless in their furs, sprang down, and one stumbled into the post office close by with a bag, while the other man answered the questions hurled at him as he fumbled with stiffened fingers at the harness.

"Late? Well, you might be thankful you've got your mail at all," he said. "We had to go round by Willow Bluff, and didn't think we'd get through the ford. Ice an inch thick, any way, and Charley talked that much he's not said anything since, even when the near horse put his foot into a badger hole."

Rude banter followed this, but Winston took no part in it. Hastening into the post office, he stood betraying his impatience by his very impassiveness while a sallow faced woman tossed the letters out upon the counter. At last she took up two of them, and the man's fingers trembled a little as he stretched out his hand when she said:

"That's all there are for you... Continue reading book >>




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