Schulers Books Online

books - games - software - wallpaper - everything

Bride.Ru

Books Menu

Home
Author Catalog
Title Catalog
Sectioned Catalog

 

- You Never Know Your Luck, Volume 1. - 1/10 -


YOU NEVER KNOW YOUR LUCK

[BEING THE STORY OF A MATRIMONIAL DESERTER]

By Gilbert Parker

Volume 1.

CONTENTS:

Volume 1. PROEM I. "PIONEERS, O PIONEERS" II. CLOSING THE DOORS III. THE LOGAN TRIAL AND WHAT CAME OF IT IV. "STRENGTH SHALL BE GIVEN THEE" V. A STORY TO BE TOLD

Volume 2. VI. "HERE ENDETH THE FIRST LESSON" VII. A WOMAN'S WAY TO KNOWLEDGE VIII. ALL ABOUT AN UNOPENED LETTER IX. NIGHT SHADE AND MORNING GLORY X. "S. O. S." XI. IN THE CAMP OF THE DESERTER

Volume 3. XII. AT THE RECEIPT OF CUSTOM XIII. KITTY SPEAKS HER MIND AGAIN XIV. AWAITING THE VERDICT XV. "MALE AND FEMALE CREATED HE THEM" XVI. "'TWAS FOR YOUR PLEASURE YOU CAME HERE, YOU GO BACK FOR MINE" XVII. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT? EPILOGUE

INTRODUCTION

This volume contains two novels dealing with the life of prairie people in the town of Askatoon in the far West. 'The World for Sale' and the latter portion of 'The Money Master' deal with the same life, and 'The Money Master' contained some of the characters to be found in 'Wild Youth'. 'The World for Sale' also was a picture of prairie country with strife between a modern Anglo-Canadian town and a French-Canadian town in the West. These books are of the same people; but 'You Never Know Your Luck' and 'Wild Youth' have several characters which move prominently through both.

In the introduction to 'The World for Sale' in this series, I drew a description of prairie life, and I need not repeat what was said there. 'In You Never Know Your Luck' there is a Proem which describes briefly the look of the prairie and suggests characteristics of the life of the people. The basis of the book has a letter written by a wife to her husband at a critical time in his career when he had broken his promise to her. One or two critics said the situation is impossible, because no man would carry a letter unopened for a long number of years. My reply is: that it is exactly what I myself did. I have still a letter written to me which was delivered at my door sixteen years ago. I have never read it, and my reason for not reading it was that I realised, as I think, what its contents were. I knew that the letter would annoy, and there it lies. The writer of the letter who was then my enemy is now my friend. The chief character in the book, Crozier, was an Irishman, with all the Irishman's cleverness, sensitiveness, audacity, and timidity; for both those latter qualities are characteristic of the Irish race, and as I am half Irish I can understand why I suppressed a letter and why Crozier did. Crozier is the type of man that comes occasionally to the Dominion of Canada; and Kitty Tynan is the sort of girl that the great West breeds. She did an immoral thing in opening the letter that Crozier had suppressed, but she did it in a good cause--for Crozier's sake; she made his wife write another letter, and she placed it again in the envelope for Crozier to open and see. Whatever lack of morality there was in her act was balanced by the good end to the story, though it meant the sacrifice of Kitty's love for Crozier, and the making of his wife happy once more.

As for 'Wild Youth' I make no apology for it. It is still fresh in the minds of the American public, and it is true to the life. Some critics frankly called it melodramatic. I do not object to the term. I know nothing more melodramatic than certain of the plots of Shakespeare's plays. Thomas Hardy is melodramatic; Joseph Conrad is melodramatic; Balzac was melodramatic, and so were Victor Hugo, Charles Dickens, and Sir Walter Scott. The charge of melodrama is not one that should disturb a writer of fiction. The question is, are the characters melodramatic. Will anyone suggest to me the marriage of a girl of seventeen with a man over sixty is melodramatic. It may be, but I think it tragical, and so it was in this case. As for Orlando Guise, I describe the man as I knew him, and he is still alive. Some comments upon the story suggested that it was impossible for a man to spend the night on the prairie with a woman whom he loved without causing her to forget her marriage vows. It is not sentimental to say that is nonsense. It is a prurient mind that only sees evil in a situation of the sort. Why it should be desirable to make a young man and woman commit a misdemeanor to secure the praise of a critic is beyond imagination. It would be easy enough to do. I did it in The Right of Way. I did it in others of my books. What happens to one man and one woman does not necessarily happen to another. There are men who, for love of a woman, would not take advantage of her insecurity. There are others who would. In my books I have made both classes do their will, and both are true to life. It does not matter what one book is or is not, but it does matter that an author writes his book with a sense of the fitting and the true.

Both these books were written to present that side of life in Canada which is not wintry and forbidding. There is warmth of summer in both tales, and thrilling air and the beauty of the wild countryside. As for the cold, it is severe in most parts of Canada, but the air is dry, and the sharpness is not felt as it is in this damper climate of England. Canadians feel the cold of a March or November day in London far more than the cold of a day in Winnipeg, with the thermometer many degrees below zero. Both these books present the summer side of Canada, which is as delightful as that of any climate in the world; both show the modern western life which is greatly changed since the days when Pierre roamed the very fields where these tales take place. It should never be forgotten that British Columbia has a climate like that of England, where, on the Coast, it is never colder than here, and where there is rain instead of snow in winter.

There is much humour and good nature in the West, and this also I tried to bring out in these two books; and Askatoon is as cosmopolitan as London. Canada in the West has all races, and it was consistent of me to give a Chinaman of noble birth a part to play in the tragicomedy. I have a great respect for the Chinaman, and he is a good servant and a faithful friend. Such a Chinaman as Li Choo I knew in British Columbia, and all I did was to throw him on the Eastern side of the Rockies, a few miles from the border of the farthest Western province. The Chinaman's death was faithful in its detail, and it was true to his nature. He had to die, and with the old pagan philosophy, still practised in China and Japan, he chose the better way, to his mind. Princes still destroy themselves in old Japan, as recent history proves.

YOU NEVER KNOW YOUR LUCK

Volume 1.

PROEM I. "PIONEERS, O PIONEERS" II. CLOSING THE DOORS III. THE LOGAN TRIAL AND WHAT CAME OF IT IV. "STRENGTH SHALL BE GIVEN THEE" V. A STORY TO BE TOLD

PROEM

Have you ever seen it in reaping-time? A sea of gold it is, with gentle billows telling of sleep and not of storm, which, like regiments afoot, salute the reaper and say, "All is fulfilled in the light of the sun and the way of the earth; let the sharp knife fall." The countless million heads are heavy with fruition, and sun glorifies and breeze cradles them to the hour of harvest. The air-like the tingle of water from a mountain-spring in the throat of the worn wayfarer, bringing a sense of the dust of the world flushed away.

Arcady? Look closely. Like islands in the shining yellow sea, are houses--sometimes in a clump of trees, sometimes only like bare-backed domesticity or naked industry in the workfield. Also rising here and there in the expanse, clouds that wind skyward, spreading out in a powdery mist. They look like the rolling smoke of incense, of sacrifice. Sacrifice it is. The vast steam-threshers are mightily devouring what their servants, the monster steam-reapers, have gleaned for them. Soon, when September comes, all that waving sea will be still. What was gold will still be a rusted gold, but near to the earth-the stubble of the corn now lying in vast garners by the railway lines, awaiting transport east and west and south and across the seas.

Not Arcady this, but a land of industry in the grip of industrialists, whose determination to achieve riches is, in spite of themselves, chastened by the magnitude and orderly process of nature's travail which is not pain. Here Nature hides her internal striving under a smother of white for many months in every year, when what is now gold in the sun will be a soft--sometimes, too, a hard-shining coverlet like impacted wool. Then, instead of the majestic clouds of incense from the threshers, will rise blue spiral wreaths of smoke from the lonely home. There the farmer rests till spring, comforting himself in the thought that while he waits, far under the snow the wheat is slowly expanding; and as in April, the white frost flies out of the soil into the sun, it will push upward and outward, green and vigorous, greeting his eye with the "What cheer, partner!" of a mate in the scheme of nature.

Not Arcady; and yet many of the joys of Arcady are here--bright, singing birds, wide adventurous rivers, innumerable streams, the squirrel in the wood and the bracken, the wildcat stealing through the undergrowth, the lizard glittering by the stone, the fish leaping in the stream, the plaint of the whippoorwill, the call of the bluebird, the golden flash of the oriole, the honk of the wild geese overhead, the whirr of the mallard from the sedge. And, more than all, a human voice declaring by its joy in song that not only God looks upon the world and finds it very good.


You Never Know Your Luck, Volume 1. - 1/10

    Next Page

  1    2    3    4    5    6   10 

Schulers Books Home



 Games Menu

Home
Balls
Battleship
Buzzy
Dice Poker
Memory
Mine
Peg
Poker
Tetris
Tic Tac Toe

Google
 
Web schulers.com
 

Schulers Books Online

books - games - software - wallpaper - everything