Burning Daylight - Jack London - Страница 1 из 419


BURNING DAYLIGHT
by
Jack London
PART I
CHAPTER I
It was a quiet night in the Shovel. At the bar, which ranged along one
side of the large chinked-log room, leaned half a dozen men, two of
whom were discussing the relative merits of spruce-tea and lime-juice
as remedies for scurvy. They argued with an air of depression and with
intervals of morose silence. The other men scarcely heeded them. In a
row, against the opposite wall, were the gambling games. The
crap-table was deserted. One lone man was playing at the faro-table.
The roulette-ball was not even spinning, and the gamekeeper stood by
the roaring, red-hot stove, talking with the young, dark-eyed woman,
comely of face and figure, who was known from Juneau to Fort Yukon as
the Virgin. Three men sat in at stud-poker, but they played with small
chips and without enthusiasm, while there were no onlookers. On the
floor of the dancing-room, which opened out at the rear, three couples
were waltzing drearily to the strains of a violin and a piano.
Circle City was not deserted, nor was money tight. The miners were in
from Moseyed Creek and the other diggings to the west, the summer
washing had been good, and the men's pouches were heavy with dust and
nuggets. The Klondike had not yet been discovered, nor had the miners
of the Yukon learned the possibilities of deep digging and wood-firing.
No work was done in the winter, and they made a practice of hibernating
in the large camps like Circle City during the long Arctic night. Time


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