"Imperialism" and "The Tracks of Our Forefathers" eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 262 pages of information about "Imperialism" and "The Tracks of Our Forefathers".

He came up gasping.  The cool immersion had astonishingly revived him.  He felt a renewal of his strength, and he had been cast by luck into a place from which it took no more than the moderate effort of an able swimmer to reach shore.  Point Old stood at an angle to the smashing seas, making a sheltered bight behind it, and into this bight the flooding tide set in a slow eddy.  MacRae had only to keep himself afloat.

In five minutes his feet touched on a gravel beach.  He walked dripping out of the languid swell that ran from the turbulence outside and turned to look back.  The sloop had lodged on the rock, bilged by the ragged granite.  The mast was down, mast and sodden sails swinging at the end of a stay as each sea swept over the rock with a hissing roar.

MacRae climbed to higher ground.  He sat down beside a stunted, leaning fir and watched his boat go.  It was soon done.  A bigger sea than most tore the battered hull loose, lifted it high, let it drop.  The crack of breaking timbers cut through the boom of the surf.  The next sea swept the rock clear, and the broken, twisted hull floated awash.  Caught in the tidal eddy it began its slow journey to join the vast accumulation of driftwood on the beach.

MacRae glanced along the island shore.  He knew that shore slightly,—­a bald, cliffy stretch notched with rocky pockets in which the surf beat itself into dirty foam.  If he had grounded anywhere in that mile of headland north of Point Old, his bones would have been broken like the timbers of his sloop.

But his eyes did not linger there nor his thoughts upon shipwreck and sudden death.  His gaze turned across the Gulf to a tongue of land outthrusting from the long purple reach of Vancouver Island.  Behind that point lay the Morton estate, and beside the Morton boundaries, matching them mile for mile in wealth of virgin timber and fertile meadow, spread the Gower lands.

His face, streaked and blotched with drying bloodstains, scarred with a red gash that split his cheek from the hair above one ear to a corner of his mouth, hardened into ugly lines.  His eyes burned again.

This happened many years ago, long before a harassed world had to reckon with bourgeois and Bolshevik, when profiteer and pacifist had not yet become words to fill the mouths of men, and not even the politicians had thought of saving the world for democracy.  Yet men and women were strangely as they are now.  A generation may change its manners, its outward seeming; it does not change in its loving and hating, in its fundamental passions, its inherent reactions.

MacRae’s face worked.  His lips quivered as he stared across the troubled sea.  He lifted his hands in a swift gesture of appeal.

“O God,” he cried, “curse and blast them in all their ways and enterprises if they deal with her as they have dealt with me.”

CHAPTER I

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"Imperialism" and "The Tracks of Our Forefathers" from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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