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The Spoilers

Rex Ellingwood Beach

Book Overview: 

The Spoilers, was based on a true story of corrupt government officials stealing gold mines from prospectors, which Beach witnessed while he was prospecting in Nome, Alaska. The novel begins with the return of Dextry and Roy Glenister to Nome to reclaim their mine, The Midas. On their arrival, they find “The Law” has come to Nome. The problem is “The Law” is crooked, bent on stealing all the best gold mines in Alaska. Alec McNamara is the villain in this novel and rules with a heavy hand through the aging and corrupt Judge Stillman. Helen Chester is the naïve niece of Judge Stillman. She cannot believe her uncle is involved in such treachery. And of course, Roy Glenister is in love with her. After trying to work within the law, the miners eventually form a vigilante group called The Stranglers to right the wrongs while Glenister continues to believe the law can correct the wrongs.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ting waistband, following down the lines of least resistance into his boot-legs and boiling out at the knees.

"Wash that," he said. "You're apt to get a prospect."

With artful passes Dextry settled it in the pan bottom and washed away the gravel, leaving a yellow, glittering pile which raised a yell from the men who had lingered curiously.

"He pans forty dollars to the boot-leg," one shouted.

"How much do you run to the foot, Slapjack?"

"He's a reg'lar free-milling ledge."

"No, he ain't—he's too thin. He's nothing but a stringer, but he'll pay to work."

The old miner grinned toothlessly.

"Gentlemen, there ain't no better way to save fine gold than with undercurrents an' blanket riffles. I'll have to wash these garments of mine an' clean up the soapsuds 'cause there's a hundred dollars in gold-dus. . . Read More

Community Reviews

As a writer of popular fiction, Rex Beach hit the ground running with this, his first published novel, set in the gold rush days of Nome, Alaska. Its story was based on actual events and portrays attempts by crooked lawyers, politicians, and a judge to jump claims of legitimate miners already ext...more

Adventure in the early days of Alaska and the gold rush. Didn't really like the hero. He was just too overbearing, especially when he first meets the heroine. Wanted someone to smack him upside the head. But I guess he redeems himself when he manages to rescue the heroine from a fate worse than d...more

Gov’t & banks steal mines from owners. Well narrated by Tom Weiss. Worth the read for the info on the “how”...more

Extremely good read

After watching the old John Wayne Movie I decided to read the novel. I was not disappointed. The descriptions of inner struggle for love and power were insightful and compelling. The flaws of human nature were revealed and the clash of the Titans was colorful and dramatic. It c...more