Harold Edward Bindloss was an English novelist who wrote many adventure novels set in western Canada. Bindloss was born in Liverpool in 1866. He was more than 30 years old before he began writing. Previously he worked as a farmer in Canada and as a cargo heaver, a planter, and at other jobs in southern climes. He returned to London. In 1898, he published his first book, a non-fiction account based on his travels in Africa, called In the Niger Country. This was followed by dozens of novels. He was a popular writer. One reviewer writes: "A new book by Harold Bindloss is always welcome. He tells a story well indeed, but one likes his books best perhaps for the environment which he knows so well how to sketch. He has written charming stories of the Canadian Northwest and one remembers with pleasure his novels Prescott of Saskatchewan and Winston of the Prairie", (Oakland Tribune, 1915). Bindloss' most famous works include: Ranching for Sylvia (1912), The Gold Trail (1910) and Vane of the Timberlands (1911).
Las Palmas was white, but not at all romantic. A sandy isthmus, swept by rolling clouds of dust, connected the town and the frankly ugly port. The houses round the harbor looked like small brown blocks. Behind them rose the Isleta cinder hill; in front, coal-wharfs and limekilns, hidden now and then by dust, occupied the beach. Moreover, the Spaniards on board the boats about the ship were excited, gesticulating ruffians. Bombay peddlers, short, dark-skinned Portuguese, and Canario dealers in wine, tobacco, and singing birds, pushed up the gangway. All disputed noisily in their eagerness to show their goods to the passengers.
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