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The Winds Of Chance
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.
Dawson City burst into view of the party without warning, and no El Dorado could have looked more promising. Hounding a bend of the river, they beheld a city of logs and canvas sprawled between the stream and a curving mountain-side. The day was still and clear, hence vertical pencil-markings of blue smoke hung over the roofs; against the white background squat dwellings stood out distinctly, like diminutive dolls' houses. Upon closer approach the river shore was seen to be lined with scows and rowboats; a stern- wheeled river steamer lay moored abreast of the town. Above it a valley broke through from the north, out of which poured a flood of clear, dark water. It was the valley of the Klondike, magic word.
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