When I state that I was own brother to Lord Burleydon, had an income of two thousand a year, could speak all the polite languages fluently, was a powerful swordsman, a good shot, and could ride anything from an elephant to a clotheshorse, I really think I have said enough to satisfy any feminine novel-reader of Bayswater or South Kensington that I was a hero. My brother's wife, however, did not seem to incline to this belief.
"A more conceited, self-satisfied little cad I never met than you," she said. "Why don't you try to do something instead of sneering at others who do? You never take anything seriously—except yourself, which isn't worth it. You are proud of your red hair and peaked nose just because you fondly believe that you got them from the Prince of Trulyruralania, and are willing to think evil of your ancestress to satisfy your snobbish little soul. Let me tell you, sir, that there was no more truth about that than there was in that silly talk of her partiality for her husband's red-haired gamekeeper in Scotland. Ah! that makes you start—don't it? But I have always observed that a mule is apt to remember only the horse side of his ancestry!"
YOUNG GOODMAN BROWN, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
THE CELESTIAL RAILROAD, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
THE GREAT STONE FACE, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
ETHAN BRAND, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
RIP VAN WINKLE, by Washington Irving
THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW, by Washington Irving
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A POCKET-HANDKERCHIEF by James Fenimore Cooper
THE DAMNED THING, by Ambrose Bierce
AN OCCURRENCE AT OWL CREEK, by Ambrose Bierce
THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER, by Edgar Allan Poe
THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO, by Edgar Allan Poe
THE PURLOINED LETTER, by Edgar Allan Poe
THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM, by Edgar Allan Poe
THE PREMATURE BURIAL, by Edgar Allan Poe
THE MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE, by Edgar Allan Poe
THE LUCK OF ROARING CAMP, by Bret Harte
THE OUTCASTS OF POKER FLAT, by Bret Hartev HANDS, by Sherwood Anderson
I’M A FOOL, by Sherwood Anderson
THE MAN THAT CORRUPTED HADLEYBURG, by Mark Twain
THE CELEBRATED JUMPING FROG OF CALAVERAS COUNTY, by Mark Twain
THE GIFT OF THE MAGI, by O. Henry
THE RANSOM OF RED CHIEF, by O. Henry
THE COP AND THE ANTHEM, by O. Henry
A RETRIEVED REFORMATION, by O. Henry
THE DUPLICITY OF HARGRAVES, by O. Henry
TO BUILD A FIRE, by Jack London
AN ODYSSEY OF THE NORTH, by Jack London
LOVE OF LIFE, by Jack London
THE HEATHEN, by Jack London
THE PEARLS OF PARLAY, by Jack London
THE BRIDE COMES TO YELLOW SKY, by Stephen Crane
THE MONSTER, by Stephen Crane
THE BLUE HOTEL, by Stephen Crane
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Where the great highway of the Sierras nears the summit, and the pines begin to show sterile reaches of rock and waste in their drawn-up files, there are signs of occasional departures from the main road, as if the weary traveller had at times succumbed to the long ascent, and turned aside for rest and breath again. The tired eyes of many a dusty passenger on the old overland coach have gazed wistfully on those sylvan openings, and imagined recesses of primeval shade and virgin wilderness in their dim perspectives. Had he descended, however, and followed one of these diverging paths, he would have come upon some rude wagon track, or "logslide," leading from a clearing on the slope, or the ominous saw-mill, half hidden in the forest it was slowly decimating. The woodland hush might have been broken by the sound of water passing over some unseen dam in the hollow, or the hiss of escaping steam and throb of an invisible engine in the covert.
Such, at least, was the experience of a young fellow of five-and-twenty, who, knapsack on back and stick in hand, had turned aside from the highway and entered the woods one pleasant afternoon in July. But he was evidently a deliberate pedestrian, and not a recent deposit of the proceeding stage-coach; and although his stout walking-shoes were covered with dust, he had neither the habitual slouch and slovenliness of the tramp, nor the hurried fatigue and growing negligence of an involuntary wayfarer. His clothes, which were strong and serviceable, were better fitted for their present usage than the ordinary garments of the Californian travellers, which were too apt to be either above or below their requirements. But perhaps the stranger's greatest claim to originality was the absence of any weapon in his equipment. He carried neither rifle nor gun in his hand, and his narrow leathern belt was empty of either knife or revolver.