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A Claim on Klondyke by Edward Roper

Produced by Al Haines

[Illustration: Cover art]

[Frontispiece: ALONE IN THE VAST SOLITUDE.]

A CLAIM ON KLONDIKE

A Romance

OF

THE ARCTIC EL DORADO

BY

EDWARD ROPER, F.R.G.S.

AUTHOR OF

'BY TRACK AND TRAIL THROUGH CANADA,' ETC., ETC.

_WITH ILLUSTRATIONS_

WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS

EDINBURGH AND LONDON

MDCCCXCIX

_All Rights reserved_

ILLUSTRATIONS.

ALONE IN THE VAST SOLITUDE . . . . . . _Frontispiece_

SHOOTING MYLES CANYON

LAKE LA BARGE

FIVE FINGERS RAPIDS

ON THE YUKON AT THE MOUTH OF THE KLONDYKE RIVER

OUR DUG-OUT, OUR TUNNEL, AND OUR SLUICE

"WHEN SHE APPEARED AGAIN I WAS GREATLY EMBARRASSED"

MAY AND I IN THE DUG-OUT

"IT WAS A MELANCHOLY UNDERTAKING"

"WELCOME, FRIENDS."

A CLAIM ON KLONDYKE

PREAMBLE.

Somewhere near midnight in January 1897, a man--important to this little history--stood on an expanse of glittering snow, amidst low forest-covered hills and rugged mountains which were draped in the same white garb. He was looking eagerly towards the north-west, and was listening intently.

This man was muffled to the eyes in furs, he wore a rough bearskin coat, and his head was enveloped in a huge capote. He wore snow-shoes, and a gun lay across his arm.

A grand long-haired dog was by his side; he was listening, seemingly as intently as his master.

The moon was shining full, the deep purple sky was sown thick with brilliant stars,--one could have read small print easily, it was so light.

Not a breath of air was stirring.

The intensity of the cold was indescribable: if there had been the slightest wind, this man could not have stood thus, in this open space, and lived.

He was a large man really, but the immensity of his surroundings, the vast field of dazzling snow on which he stood, made him appear to be a pigmy, whilst his loneliness and solitude gave a note of unutterable melancholy to the scene.


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