The Dark Road


Welland was a British navy officer, here is an extract :

"Welland smiled, a dreary smile. At one time he had thought he might be rich. Now he was a broken adventurer whom his hosts had hired.

He heard breathless shouts and saw Huysler and Nilson swim round the ship. Nilson swam like a porpoise, his powerful white body shining in the foam he tossed about. His hair was yellow and sparkled when his swinging arm lifted his head.

Nilson's home was in Minnesota and his was the pure Nordic type. Welland understood his main occupation was to hunt Canadian moose and sail a yacht on the Great Lakes.

Twenty yards behind the other Huysler plowed along. Welland admitted the boy could swim, but he had not Nilson's splendid vitality and force. They turned to cross the bows, and Captain Grant jumped on the rail.

"Come on out of it, boys," he ordered. "I don't want to fight a shark for you."

It’ seems that this Title cannot be published in USA until now. But it is a good story. See what happened in these countries…


Welland looks back

Carhew pushes off

The viking strain

Youth follows its bent


Carthew's obstinacy

The guide

The pottery merchant

Welland uses magic

The frog

The snake

Welland's watch

The survivor



Nilson sees red

Huysler owns defeat

The morning hymn

The blocked creek

Nilson's passport


The landing party

Don manuel's guests


The demonstration

The ebb-tide

Adela's trustee


Nilson keeps the balcony

President vallon's apology


Welland looks back

The sea sparkled in the moonlight. The land was hidden by a long smear of mist. Thin luminous vapor trailed from the Shenandoah's funnel, but her powerful engines' stroke was slow.

Her bows swung leisurely from the glittering swell, and the Caribbean rolled with a languid splash along her smooth white side. At sunset flags came down, but the yacht's lines and deck gear were typically American.

On a platform outside her bridge a seaman swung the lead, and when, at measured intervals, the plummet splashed, his cry was hoarsely musical. In the dark pilot-house, the captain marked the depth and, studying the luminous compass, felt his way past the shoals that border the Central American coast.

Grant was a good seaman, but he did not like his job. The reefs were numerous and he doubted his pilot. He ought to haul off and wait for morning, but his orders were to make the Santa Catalina lagoon as soon as possible.

The night was hot and the saloon skylights were lifted as far as the brass rods allowed. Somebody played the piano, and Welland, in a cane chair under the awning, knew Jack Huysler's touch.

He supposed the tune was a Charleston, but Welland was recently from Africa, where white men did not dance. In fact, until he joined the Shenandoah at New York, he knew little about the habits and amusements of fashionable society.

For long, enduring fever and sometimes risking poison, he had walked in the shadow, and his life, for the most part, was as ascetic as a monk's. Welland did not claim to be a Puritan, but in the malaria swamps the indulgent die sooner than the rest, and at the beginning he had concentrated, rawly, on getting rich.

The music stopped, and Welland heard glasses rattle, liquor splash, and the tinkle of ice. A girl laughed, and pleasant, cultivated voices floated up from the saloon.

Welland liked his hosts, and he liked the men who would presently land with him, but two did not know all the exploring party might be forced to front. The other certainly knew something. Welland, however, wondered how far Carthew's knowledge went.

Although Alan Welland had but a few hours since seen for the first time the Central American coast, in the gulfs of Mexico and Guinea the climate is the same.

Moreover, he imagined he knew as much about fever, snakes, and insects as a white man may know and live. Well, his pay, at all events, was safe, and if Jack Huysler made good, he might get a permanent job.

Alan smiled, a rather dreary smile. Not long since he was an important merchant at a large native town far up a West African river. He knew three or four bush languages and some Arabic.


Mots clés : British navy officer, viking strain, siesta and magic, frog and snake, President vallon's apology, pottery merchant, guide and obstinacy, canyon and great road, cattle and ghost, prairie courtship, red river, survivor and freedom, wilderness mine, grey  and broken trail, The Dark Road, Harold Bindloss