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The Blazed Trail

Stewart Edward White

Book Overview: 

Stewart Edward White wrote fiction and non-fiction about adventure and travel, with an emphasis on natural history and outdoor living. White's books were popular at a time when America was losing its vanishing wilderness and many are based on his experiences in mining and lumber camps. The Blazed Trail is the story of early lumbermen in the northern woods of Michigan. The novel portrays the challenges faced by the workers focusing on one, Harry Thorpe, as he endeavors to be successful though completely unskilled when he enters the woods. The author mixes the splendor of nature with suspense, danger, and romance and provides glimpses into corrupt practices in the lumber industry at the time.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ore the ice bottom so laboriously constructed was destroyed! Radway vibrated between the office and the road. Men were lying idle; teams were doing the same. Nothing went on but the days of the year; and four of them had already ticked off the calendar. The deep snow of the unusually cold autumn had now disappeared from the tops of the stumps. Down in the swamp the covey of partridges were beginning to hope that in a few days more they might discover a bare spot in the burnings. It even stopped freezing during the night. At times Dyer's little thermometer marked as high as forty degrees.

"I often heard this was a sort 'v summer resort," observed Tom Broadhead, "but danged if I knew it was a summer resort all the year 'round."

The weather got to be the only topic of conversation. Each had his say, his prediction. It became maddening. Towards evening the chill of melting snow would deceive many into the belief that a cold snap was beginning.

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