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The Zeit-Geist

Lily Dougall

Book Overview: 

When traveling in Canada, in the region north of Lake Ontario, I came upon traces of the somewhat remarkable life which is the subject of the following sketch. Having applied to the school-master in the town where Bartholomew Toyner lived, I received an account the graphic detail and imaginative insight of which attest the writer's personal affection. This account, with only such condensation as is necessary, I now give to the world. I do not believe that it belongs to the novel to teach theology; but I do believe that religious sentiments and opinions are a legitimate subject of its art, and that perhaps its highest function is to promote understanding by bringing into contact minds that habitually misinterpret one another.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .there was darkness; but through that darkness, except in one black hour, he always saw the mount of transfiguration and the light of heaven.

[Pg 46]


Another six months passed, and an event occurred which gave a great shock to the little community and gave Toyner a pain of heart such as almost nothing else could have given. Ann's father, John Markham, had a deadly dispute with a man by the name of Walker. Walker was a comparatively new comer to the town, or he would have known better than to gamble with Markham as he did and arouse his enmity. The feud lasted for a week, and then Markham shot his enemy with a borrowed fire-arm. Walker was discovered wounded, and cared for, but with little hope of his recovery. From all around the men assembled to seize Markham, but half a night had elapsed,[Pg 47] and it was found that he had made good his escape. When the others had gone, Toyner stood alone before Ann Markham.

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Community Reviews

I didn't know what to expect going into it, but it turned into a very pedantic morality tale. I feel it was (maybe it was for its contemporaries) trying to be alternative religious rebellious, but it hasn't aged that way and it just feels like a very straightforward no surprises plot about how great