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The World for Sale   By: (1862-1932)

Book cover

First Page:

THE WORLD FOR SALE

By Gilbert Parker

CONTENTS:

PRELUDE

BOOK I I. "THE DRUSES ARE UP!" II. THE WHISPER FROM BEYOND III. CONCERNING INGOLBY AND THE TWO TOWNS IV. THE COMING OF JETHRO FAWE V. "BY THE RIVER STARZKE... IT WAS SO DONE" VI. THE UNGUARDED FIRES VII. IN WHICH THE PRISONER GOES FREE

BOOK II VIII. THE SULTAN IX. MATTER AND MIND AND TWO MEN X. FOR LUCK XI. THE SENTENCE OF THE PATRIN XII. "LET THERE BE LIGHT" XIII. THE CHAIN OF THE PAST XIV. SUCH THINGS MAY NOT BE XV. THE WOMAN FROM WIND RIVER XVI. THE MAYOR FILLS AN OFFICE XVII. THE MONSEIGNEUR AND THE NOMAD XVIII. THE BEACONS XIX. THE BEEPER OF THE BRIDGE

BOOK III XX. TWO LIFE PIECES XXI. THE SNARE OF THE FOWLER XXII. THE SECRET MAN XXIII. THE RETURN OF BELISARIUS XXIV. AT LONG LAST XXV. MAN PROPOSES XXVI. THE SLEEPER XXVII. THE WORLD FOR SALE

INTRODUCTION

'The World for Sale' is a tale of the primitive and lonely West and North, but the primitiveness and loneliness is not like that to be found in 'Pierre and His People'. Pierre's wanderings took place in a period when civilization had made but scant marks upon the broad bosom of the prairie land, and towns and villages were few and far scattered. The Lebanon and Manitou of this story had no existence in the time of Pierre, except that where Manitou stands there was a Hudson's Bay Company's post at which Indians, half breeds, and chance settlers occasionally gathered for trade and exchange furs, groceries, clothing, blankets, tobacco, and other things; and in the long winters the post was as isolated as an oasis in the Sahara.

That old life was lonely and primitive, but it had its compensating balance of bright sun, wild animal life, and an air as vivid and virile as ever stirred the veins of man. Sometimes the still, bright cold was broken by a terrific storm, which ravaged, smothered, and entombed the stray traveller in ravines of death. That was in winter; but in summer, what had been called, fifty years ago, an alkali desert was an everlasting stretch of untilled soil, with unsown crops, and here and there herds of buffalo, which were stalked by alert Red Indians, half breeds, and white pioneer hunters.

The stories in 'Pierre and His People' were true to the life of that time; the incidents in 'The World for Sale', and the whole narrative, are true to the life of a very few years ago. Railways have pierced and opened up lonely regions of the Sagalae, and there are two thriving towns where, in the days of Pierre, only stood a Hudson's Bay Company's post with its store. Now, as far as eye can see, vast fields of grain greet the eye, and houses and barns speckle the greenish brown or Tuscan yellow of the crop covered lands, while towns like Lebanon and Manitou provide for the modern settler all the modern conveniences which science has given to civilized municipalities. Today the motor car and the telephone are as common in such places as they are in a thriving town of the United Kingdom. After the first few days of settlement two things always appear a school house and a church. Probably there is no country in the world where elementary education commands the devotion and the cash of the people as in English Canada; that is why the towns of Lebanon and Manitou had from the first divergent views. Lebanon was English, progressive, and brazenly modern; Manitou was slow, reactionary, more or less indifferent to education, and strenuously Catholic, and was thus opposed to the militant Protestantism of Lebanon.

It was my idea to picture a situation in the big new West where destiny is being worked out in the making of a nation and the peopling of the wastes... Continue reading book >>




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