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).
It was a bitter night, for although there was no snow as yet, the frost had bound the prairie in its iron grip, when Rancher Witham stood shivering in a little Canadian settlement in the great, lonely land which runs north from the American frontier to Athabasca. There was no blink of starlight in the murky sky, and a stinging wind that came up out of the great waste of grass moaned about the frame houses clustering beside the trail that led south over the limited levels to the railroad and civilization. It chilled Witham through his somewhat tattered furs, and he strode up and down, glancing expectantly into the darkness, and then across the unpaved street, where the ruts were ploughed a foot deep in the prairie sod, towards the warm, red glow from the windows of the wooden hotel. He knew that the rest of the outlying farmers and ranchers who had ridden in for their letters were sitting snug about the stove, but it was customary for all who sought shelter there to pay for their share of the six o’clock supper, and the half-dollar Witham had then in his pocket was required for other purposes.
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