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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.
"In all probability your first view of the valley of the Yumuri will be from the Hermitage of Montserrate, for it is there that the cocheros drive you. Up the winding road they take you, with the bay at your back and the gorge at your right, to the crest of a narrow ridge where the chapel stands. Once there, you overlook the fairest sight in all Christendom - "the loveliest valley in the world," as Humboldt called it - for the Yumuri nestles right at your feet, a vale of pure delight, a glimpse of Paradise that bewilders the eye and fills the soul with ecstasy."
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