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The Country Beyond
by James Oliver Curwood
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Not far from the rugged and storm-whipped north shore of Lake Superior, and south of the Kaministiqua, yet not as far south as the Rainy River waterway, there lay a paradise lost in the heart of a wilderness world - and in that paradise "a little corner of hell." That was what the girl had called it once upon a time, when sobbing out the shame and the agony of it to herself. That was before Peter had come to leaven the drab of her life. But the hell was still there. One would not have guessed its existence, standing at the bald top of Cragg's Ridge this wonderful thirtieth day of May. In the whiteness of winter one could look off over a hundred square miles of freezing forest and swamp and river country, with the gleam of ice-covered lakes here and there, fringed by their black spruce and cedar and balsam - a country of storm, of deep snows, and men and women whose blood ran red with the thrill that the hardship and the never-ending adventure of the wild.
North and west, in the direction of Yellow Bird's people, went Jolly Roger and Peter after that night. They traveled slowly and cautiously, and with each day Peter came to understand more clearly there was some reason why they must be constantly on their guard. His master, he noticed, was thrillingly attentive whenever a sound came to their ears--perhaps the cracking of a twig, a mysterious movement of brush, or the tread of a cloven hoof. And instinctively he came to know they were evading Man.
About the Author
James Oliver Curwood lived most of his life in Owosso, Michigan, where he was born on June 12, 1878. His first novel was "The Courage of Captain Plum" (1908) and he published one or two novels each year thereafter, until his death on August 13, 1927. Owosso residents honor his name to this day, and Curwood Castle (built in 1922) is the town's main tourist attraction. During the 1920s Curwood became one of America's best selling and most highly paid authors. This was the decade of his lasting classics "The Valley of Silent Men" (1920) and "The Flaming Forest" (1921). He and his wife Ethel were outdoors fanatics and active conservationists.
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