A Daughter of the Snows eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 335 pages of information about A Daughter of the Snows.

He shoved out his hand and they shook again.

“Come an’ see me,” he invited, as he moved away.  “I’ve a right tidy little shack up on the hill, and another on Eldorado.  Latch-string’s always out.  Come an’ see me, an’ stay ez long ez you’ve a mind to.  Sorry to quit you cold, but I got to traipse down to the Opery House and collect my taxes,—­sugar.  Miss Frona’ll tell you.”

“You are a surprise, Mr. St. Vincent.”  Frona switched back to the point of interest, after briefly relating Harney’s saccharine difficulties.  “The country must indeed have been a wilderness nine years ago, and to think that you went through it at that early day!  Do tell me about it.”

Gregory St. Vincent shrugged his shoulders, “There is very little to tell.  It was an ugly failure, filled with many things that are not nice, and containing nothing of which to be proud.”

“But do tell me, I enjoy such things.  They seem closer and truer to life than the ordinary every-day happenings.  A failure, as you call it, implies something attempted.  What did you attempt?”

He noted her frank interest with satisfaction.  “Well, if you will, I can tell you in few words all there is to tell.  I took the mad idea into my head of breaking a new path around the world, and in the interest of science and journalism, particularly journalism, I proposed going through Alaska, crossing the Bering Straits on the ice, and journeying to Europe by way of Northern Siberia.  It was a splendid undertaking, most of it being virgin ground, only I failed.  I crossed the Straits in good order, but came to grief in Eastern Siberia—­all because of Tamerlane is the excuse I have grown accustomed to making.”

“A Ulysses!” Mrs. Schoville clapped her hands and joined them.  “A modern Ulysses!  How romantic!”

“But not an Othello,” Frona replied.  “His tongue is a sluggard.  He leaves one at the most interesting point with an enigmatical reference to a man of a bygone age.  You take an unfair advantage of us, Mr. St. Vincent, and we shall be unhappy until you show how Tamerlane brought your journey to an untimely end.”

He laughed, and with an effort put aside his reluctance to speak of his travels.  “When Tamerlane swept with fire and sword over Eastern Asia, states were disrupted, cities overthrown, and tribes scattered like star-dust.  In fact, a vast people was hurled broadcast over the land.  Fleeing before the mad lust of the conquerors, these refugees swung far into Siberia, circling to the north and east and fringing the rim of the polar basin with a spray of Mongol tribes—­am I not tiring you?”

“No, no!” Mrs. Schoville exclaimed.  “It is fascinating!  Your method of narration is so vivid!  It reminds me of—­of—­”

“Of Macaulay,” St. Vincent laughed, good-naturedly.  “You know I am a journalist, and he has strongly influenced my style.  But I promise you I shall tone down.  However, to return, had it not been for these Mongol tribes, I should not have been halted in my travels.  Instead of being forced to marry a greasy princess, and to become proficient in interclannish warfare and reindeer-stealing, I should have travelled easily and peaceably to St. Petersburg.”

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A Daughter of the Snows from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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