The Silver Canyon

George Manville Fenn
The Silver Canyon, by George
Manville Fenn

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Title: The Silver Canyon A Tale of the Western Plains
Author: George Manville Fenn
Illustrator: Hildi and Riou
Release Date: May 8, 2007 [EBook #21368]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

Produced by Nick Hodson of London, England

The Silver Canyon, A Tale of the Western Plains, by George Manville

This book is by an author who revels in putting his heroes into tense
and dangerous situations, and never more so than in the Western plains
of North America in the middle of the nineteenth century. The Indians
were armed with rifles, and had immense prowess at creeping up
unseen upon their enemies. In addition there are rattlesnakes, bears,
and other nasty things.
The young hero, Bart for short, is out there with his uncle, seeking for a
new life. And they all but got the next life out of it! After enduring these
and other privations, they find a massive rocky eminence, which they
find to have a good lode of silver in it, one which had been mined
before, perhaps thousands of years before. It is also fairly difficult to
get up to the summit of this great hill, which makes it easier to defend,
but when you do get up there you find a large area of good grazing for
their cattle and horses. So they make their home there, but of course
the Indian attacks continue right up to almost the end of the book.
Though the mine had been worked before there was still plenty of good
ore in it, so they start to mine it commercially.
Eventually a railway is made up to the mine, thousands of workers
settle there, and our heroes are heard bemoaning that their way of life
is no longer as dangerous and thrilling as once it was. They'll just have
to put up with the boredom, I'd say.
"Well, Joses," said Dr Lascelles, "if you feel afraid, you had better go

back to the city."
There was a dead silence here, and the little party grouped about
between a small umbrella-shaped tent and the dying embers of the fire,
at which a meal of savoury antelope steaks had lately been cooked,
carefully avoided glancing one at the other.
Just inside the entrance of the tent, a pretty, slightly-made girl of about
seventeen was seated, busily plying her needle in the repair of some
rents in a pair of ornamented loose leather leggings that had evidently
been making acquaintance with some of the thorns of the rugged land.
She was very simply dressed, and, though wearing the high comb and
depending veil of a Spanish woman, her complexion, tanned is it was,
and features, suggested that she was English, as did also the speech of
the fine athletic middle-aged man who had just been speaking.
His appearance, too, was decidedly Spanish, for he wore the short
jacket with embroidered sleeves, tight trousers--made very wide about
the leg and ankle-sash, and broad sombrero of the Mexican-Spanish
inhabitant of the south-western regions of the great American
The man addressed was a swarthy-looking half-breed, who lay upon the
parched earth, his brow rugged, his eyes half-closed, and lips pouted
out in a surly, resentful way, as if he were just about to speak and say
something nasty.
Three more men of a similar type were lying beside and behind, all
smoking cigarettes, which from time to time they softly rolled up and
lighted with a brand at the fire, as they seemed to listen to the
conversation going on between the bronzed Englishman and him who
had been addressed as Joses.
They were all half-breeds, and boasted of their English blood, but
always omitted to say anything about the Indian fluid that coursed
through their veins; while they followed neither the fashion of
Englishman nor Indian in costume, but, like the first speaker, were
dressed as Spaniards, each also wearing a handkerchief of bright colour

tied round his head and beneath his soft hat, just as if a wound had been
received, with a long showy blanket depending from the shoulder, and
upon which they now half lay.
There was another present, however, also an anxious watcher of the
scene, and that was a well-built youth of about the
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