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Old 01-16-2009, 02:56 PM   #1
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Curwood, James Oliver: The Danger Trail. V1. 16 Jan 2009

James Oliver Curwood, (June 12, 1878 – August 13, 1927), was an American novelist and conservationist.
A great number of his works were turned into movies, several of which starred Nell Shipman as a brave and adventurous woman in the wilds of the north. Many films from Curwood's writings were made during his lifetime, as well as after his passing through to the 1950s. In 1988 French director Jean-Jacques Annaud used his 1916 novel, The Grizzly King to make the film The Bear. Annaud's success generated a renewed interest in Curwood's stories that resulted in five more films being produced in 1994 and 1995.
James Oliver Curwood lived most of his life in Owosso, Michigan, where he was born on June 12, 1878. His first novel was The Courage of Captain Plum (1908) and he published one or two novels each year thereafter, until his death on August 13, 1927. Owosso residents honor his name to this day, and Curwood Castle (built in 1922) is the town's main tourist attraction. During the 1920s Curwood became one of America's best selling and most highly paid authors. This was the decade of his lasting classics The Valley of Silent Men (1920) and The Flaming Forest (1921). He and his wife Ethel were outdoors fanatics and active conservationists.

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For perhaps the first time in his life Howland felt the spirit of romance, of adventure, of sympathy for the picturesque and the unknown surging through his veins. A billion stars glowed like yellow, passionless eyes in the polar cold of the skies. Behind him, white in its sinuous twisting through the snow-smothered wilderness, lay the icy Saskatchewan, with a few scattered lights visible where Prince Albert, the last outpost of civilization, came down to the river half a mile away. But it was into the North that Howland looked. From the top of the great ridge which he had climbed he gazed steadily into the white gloom which reached for a thousand miles from where he stood to the Arctic Sea. Faintly in the grim silence of the winter night there came to his ears the soft hissing sound of the aurora borealis as it played in its age-old song over the dome of the earth, and as he watched the cold flashes shooting like pale arrows through the distant sky and listened to its whispering music of unending loneliness and mystery, there came on him a strange feeling that it was beckoning to him and calling to him - telling him that up there very near to the end of the earth lay all that he had dreamed of and hoped for since he had grown old enough to begin the shaping of a destiny of his own.That's what I'm doing, M'seur--helping Meleese. I would have done her a greater service if I had killed you back there on the trail and stripped your body for those things that would be foul enough to eat it. I have told you a dozen times that it is God's justice that you die. And you are going to die--very soon, M'seur.
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