Ridgwell Cullum, (1867-1943,4was a British adventurer who left England at age seventeen to go gold-prospecting in the Transvaal. He then removed to the Cape of Good Hope, where he joined up with a league of freebooters fighting against the Boers. Unable to keep still, he crossed the seas and settled in the Yukon region of Canada. During his stay in that area, he narrowly escaped starving to death. He next crossed the Canadian border, and became a successful cattle-rancher in Montana. It is said that during this period he took part in Sioux uprisings on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations. In 1903, Cullum published his first novel, The Devil's Keg. After its immediate success, Cullum decided to become a full-time writer. Dozens of novels followed throughout a career of nearly forty years. His principal early works include, Hound from the North (1904), The Night Riders (1906), and The Compact (1909). In 1931, these, along with The Purchase Price (1917), were published in an omnibus edition of his works. Despite Zane Grey's success in England, Cullum continued to hold his own in sales and popularity. His characters are larger-than-life, his descriptions vivid, and his plot mechanisms fool-proof.
"Amongst the many uncertainties which this deplorable, patched-up peace has brought us, there is, at least, one significant certainty, my boy. It's the inventor. He's buzzing about our heads like a fly in summer-time, and he's just about as—sticky."
Sir Andrew Farlow sighed. His sigh was an expression of relief; relief at the thought that he and his son, dining together at Dorby Towers for the first time since the dissolution of Parliament had released the latter from his political duties, had at last reached the end of a long discussion of the position brought about by the hopelessly patched-up peace, which, for the moment, had suspended the three years of terrible hostilities which had hurled the whole of Europe headlong over the precipice of ruin.
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