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Twice Bought

R. M. Ballantyne

Book Overview: 

This story is set in the gold fields of Oregon, where Tom Brixton, and his best friend, Fred Westly, are digging gold to try to “make their pile”. Before leaving England, the steady and God-fearing Fred had promised Tom's mother that he would do his best to take care of his friend, but in spite of all his efforts, Tom had fallen in with bad companions and taken to gambling. He was convinced that he could make his fortune quicker by attempting to increase it at the dice or card table, and all his friend's attempts to make him see his errors were unavailing. Finally, after being cheated out of all he owned, he stole the money back from the camp bully, Gashford, who had taken it from him, and had to flee for his life from the camp, before “Judge Lynch” could catch up to him. After being captured by the irate miners, and released by another friend, he managed to almost escape, but was caught again, this time near the cabin inhabited by an older prospector and his daughter, whom Tom loved with his whole heart. There was a difficulty though in his way- Betty, (otherwise known as the “Rose of Oregon”) was a devout Christian, and would never give her heart to one who wasn't. She did give him some excellent advice though, at a time when he most needed it.

After being captured the second time, and confined in the mining camp, Tom gives up all hope of escape, and even when his friends buy him off he refuses to escape. Circumstances force him to flee a second time though, and this time his two friends go with him. After various other adventures, and several very close calls with death, matters are eventually worked out, and Tom, Fred, Paddy Flinders (a hilarious Irishman) and Betty live “happily ever after”, and are also a powerful witness to the rough gold-mining population of Oregon, before going back to England.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . of his creeping on hands and knees, he felt a sudden sensation of fear—of undefinable dread—come over him, such as one might be supposed to experience on awaking to the discovery that he had been buried alive. His first impulse was to shout for deliverance, but his manhood returned to him, and he restrained himself.

Groping his way cautiously along the passage or tunnel, which descended at first steeply, he came to a part which he could feel was regularly built over with an arch of brickwork or masonry, and the sound of running water overhead told him that this was a tunnel under the rivulet. As he advanced the tunnel widened a little, and began to ascend. After creeping what he judged to be a hundred yards or so, he thought he could see a glimmer of light like a faint star in front of him. It was the opening to which Betty had referred. He soon reached it and emerged into the fresh air.

As he raised himself, and drew a long breath of relief, the words of h. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The story of a young man in a gold digging territory of Oregon, who takes to drinking, gambling and finally thieving. For this last, he is soon found out and about to be lynched. He is lodged in a small cabin pending a mock trial, from which a couple of most loyal friends help him escape. With their