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.
"My dear Mrs. Abbot, it is a matter which is quite out of my province," said John Allandale, in answer to a remark from his companion. He was leaning over the cushioned back of the Chesterfield upon which an old lady was seated, and gazing smilingly over at a group of young people standing at the opposite end of the room. "Jacky is one of those young ladies whose strength of character carries her beyond the control of mere man. Yes, I know what you would say," as Mrs. Abbot glanced up into his face with a look of mildly-expressed wonder; "it is true I am her uncle and guardian, but, nevertheless, I should no more dream of interfering with her—what shall we say?—love affairs, than suggest her incapacity to 'boss' a 'round up' worked by a crowd of Mexican greasers."
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