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Masters of the Wheat-Lands   By: (1866-1945)

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Author of "Thurston of Orchard Valley," "By Right of Purchase," "Lorimer of the Northwest," etc.

With Four Illustrations by Cyrus Cuneo


A. L. Burt Company Publishers :: New York

All Rights Reserved, Including That of Translation into Foreign Languages, Including the Scandinavian

Copyright, 1910, by Frederick A. Stokes Company Published in England Under the Title, "Hawtrey's Deputy" October, 1910


CHAPTER PAGE I. Sally Creighton 1 II. Sally Takes Charge 11 III. Wyllard Assents 22 IV. A Crisis 33 V. The Old Country 44 VI. Her Picture 55 VII. Agatha Does Not Flinch 66 VIII. The Traveling Companion 78 IX. The Fog 92 X. Disillusion 104 XI. Agatha's Decision 117 XII. Wanderers 130 XIII. The Summons 143 XIV. Agatha Proves Obdurate 154 XV. The Beach 165 XVI. The First Ice 177 XVII. Defeat 187 XVIII. A Delicate Errand 199 XIX. The Prior Claim 209 XX. The First Stake 223 XXI. Gregory Makes Up His Mind 234 XXII. A Painful Revelation 244 XXIII. Through The Snow 254 XXIV. The Landing 265 XXV. News of Disaster 276 XXVI. The Rescue 287 XXVII. In the Wilderness 299 XXVIII. The Unexpected 308 XXIX. Cast Away 320 XXX. The Last Effort 331 XXXI. Wyllard Comes Home 342




The frost outside was bitter, and the prairie which rolled back from Lander's in long undulations to the far horizon, gleamed white beneath the moon, but there was warmth and brightness in Stukely's wooden barn. The barn stood at one end of the little, desolate settlement, where the trail that came up from the railroad thirty miles away forked off into two wavy ribands melting into a waste of snow. Lander's consisted then of five or six frame houses and stores, a hotel of the same material, several sod stables, and a few birch log barns; and its inhabitants considered it one of the most promising places in Western Canada. That, however, is the land of promise, a promise which is in due time usually fulfilled, and the men of Lander's were, for the most part, shrewdly practical optimists. They made the most of a somewhat grim and frugal present, and staked all they had to give the few dollars they had brought in with them, and their powers of enduring toil upon the roseate future.

Stukely had given them, and their scattered neighbors, who had driven there across several leagues of prairie, a supper in his barn. A big rusty stove, brought in for the occasion, stood in the center of the barn floor. Its pipe glowed in places a dull red, and now and then Stukely wondered uneasily whether it was charring a larger hole through the shingles of the roof. On one side of the stove the floor had been cleared; on the other, benches, empty barrels and tables were huddled together, and such of the guests as were not dancing at the moment, sat upon the various substitutes for chairs. A keg of hard Ontario cider had been provided for the refreshment of the guests, and it was open to anybody to ladle up what he wanted with a tin dipper. A haze of tobacco smoke drifted in thin blue wisps beneath the big nickeled lamps, and in addition to the reek of it, the place was filled with the smell of hot iron which an over driven stove gives out, and the subtle odors of old skin coats.

The guests, however, were accustomed to an atmosphere of that kind, and it did not trouble them... Continue reading book >>

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