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Erema

Erema by Richard D. Blackmore
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A few years before the great Civil War, a young English woman and her father, having left the security of their wagon train, are lost in the unforgiving Californian desert, looking in vain for the landmark that marks the short-cut across those last western mountains which would lead them to the home of an old friend. George Castlewood gives all the water and rations he has to his daughter, Erema, and dies just a short distance from help. Rescued by kind Sampson “Uncle Sam” Gundry, the family friend they had been seeking, Erema lives for a time at his saw mill. One day, one Mr. Goad, a bounty-hunter from England, arrives at the mill, offering $10,000 for proof of Lord Castlewood’s death and custody of his young daughter. Lord Castlewood had been accused of the crime of patricide 15 years earlier, escaped from jail and been on the lam ever since. Erema, believing her father’s innocence and determined to clear his good name, returns to England to discover the long-lost secrets of her family and the cloudy circumstances of the murder of her grandfather.

First Page:

EREMA; OR, MY FATHER'S SIN

By R. D. Blackmore

1877

CHAPTER I

A LOST LANDMARK

"The sins of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me."

These are the words that have followed me always. This is the curse which has fallen on my life.

If I had not known my father, if I had not loved him, if I had not closed his eyes in desert silence deeper than the silence of the grave, even if I could have buried and bewailed him duly, the common business of this world and the universal carelessness might have led me down the general track that leads to nothing.

Until my father fell and died I never dreamed that he could die. I knew that his mind was quite made up to see me safe in my new home, and then himself to start again for still remoter solitudes. And when his mind was thus made up, who had ever known him fail of it?

If ever a resolute man there was, that very man was my father. And he showed it now, in this the last and fatal act of his fatal life. "Captain, here I leave you all," he shouted to the leader of our wagon train, at a place where a dark, narrow gorge departed from the moilsome mountain track... Continue reading book >>


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