The Son of the Wolf: Tales of the Far North

By Jack London; Charles N. Watson | Go to book overview

THE WIFE OF A KING

I

Once, when the Northland was very young, the social and civic virtues were remarkable alike for their paucity and their simplicity. When the burden of domestic duties grew grievous, and the fireside mood expanded to a constant protest against its bleak loneliness, the adventurers from the Southland, in lieu of better, paid the stipulated prices and took unto themselves native wives. It was a foretaste of Paradise to the women, for it must be confessed that the white rovers gave far better care and treatment to them than did their Indian copartners. Of course, the white men themselves were satisfied with such deals, as were also the Indian men for that matter. Having sold their daughters and sisters for cotton blankets and obsolete rifles, and traded their warm furs for flimsy calico and bad whiskey, the sons of the soil promptly and cheerfully succumbed to quick consumption and other swift diseases correlated with the blessings of a superior civilization.

It was in these days of Arcadian simplicity that Cal Galbraith journeyed through the land and fell sick on the Lower River. It was a refreshing advent in the lives of the good Sisters of the Holy Cross,* who gave him shelter and medicine; though they little dreamed of the hot elixir infused into his veins by the touch of their soft hands and their gentle ministrations. Cal Galbraith became troubled with strange thoughts, which clamored for attention till he laid eyes on the Mission girl, Madeline. Yet he gave no sign, biding his time patiently. He strengthened with the coming spring, and when the sun rode the heavens in a golden circle, and the joy and throb of life were in all the land, he gathered his still weak body together and departed.

Now Madeline, the Mission girl, was an orphan. Her white father had failed to give a bald-faced grizzly the trail one day, and had died quickly. Then her Indian mother, having no

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The Son of the Wolf: Tales of the Far North
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Oxford World's Classics the Son of the Wolf Tales of the Far North i
  • Oxford World's Classics ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction ix
  • Note on the Text xxvi
  • Select Bibliography xxviii
  • A Chronology of Jack London xxx
  • The Son of the Wolf Tales of the Far North 1
  • The White Silence 3
  • The Son of the Wolf 13
  • The Men of Forty-Mile 29
  • In a Far Country 38
  • To the Man on Trail 55
  • The Priestly Prerogative 64
  • The Wisdom of the Trail 78
  • The Wife of a King 86
  • An Odyssey of the North 102
  • Selected Northland Tales 135
  • Grit of Women 137
  • The Great Interrogation 151
  • The Law of Life 165
  • At the Rainbow's End 172
  • The Story of Jees Uck 182
  • The League of the Old Men 206
  • The Marriage of Lit-Lit 222
  • Love of Life 233
  • The White Man's Way 254
  • Finis 267
  • Like Argus of the Ancient Times 285
  • Explanatory Notes 313
  • A Selection of Oxford World's Classics 323
  • The Oxford World's Classics Website 333
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