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The Iron Trail
by Rex Beach
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Rex Beach (1877-1949) was an American novelist and playwright. Beach was born to a prominent family and pursued a career as a lawyer before being drawn to Alaska at the time of the Klondike Gold Rush. After five years of unsuccessful prospecting, he turned to writing. His first novel, The Spoilers (1906) was based on a true story of corrupt government officials stealing gold mines from prospectors, which he witnessed. The Spoilers became one of the best selling novels of 1906. His adventure novels were immensely popular throughout the early 1900s. After success in literature, many of his works were adapted into successful films; The Spoilers became a stage play, then was adapted to the silver screen five times from 1914 to 1955. Beach occasionally produced his films and wrote a number of plays to varying success.
He cursed aloud and made his way down the sloping deck to the square iron door, or port, through which he had loaded them. But he found that it was jammed, or held fast by the pressure outside, and after a few moments' work in water above his knees he climbed to the starboard side. Here the entrance was obstructed by a huge pile of baled hay and grain in sacks. It would be no easy task to clear it away, and he fell to work with desperate energy, for the ship was slowly changing her level.
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