The Scarlet Plague

Author: Jack London
Published: 1912
Language: English
Wordcount: 20,074 / 55 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 86.7
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 2,160
Added to site: 2006.03.08 13075

rom the Chauffeur Tribe. They never did know nothing, none of them. Scarlet is red--I know that."

"Red is red, ain't it?" Hare-Lip grumbled. "Then what's the good of gettin' cocky and calling it scarlet?"

"Granser, what for do you always say so much what nobody knows?" he asked. "Scarlet ain't anything, but red is red. Why don't you say red, then?"

"Red is not the right word," was the reply. "The plague was scarlet. The whole face and body turned scarlet in a hour's time. Don't I know? Didn't I see enough of it? And I am telling you it was scarlet because-well, because it was scarlet. There is no other word for it."

"Red is good enough for me," Hare-Lip muttered obstinately. "My dad calls red red, and he ought to know. He says everybody died of the Red Death."

"Your dad is a common fellow, descended from a common fellow," Granser retorted heatedly. "Don't I know the beginnings of the Chauffeurs? Your grandsire was a chauffeur, a servant, and without education. He worked for


Add a review for this title.
Average Rating of 5 from 1 reviews: *****
Sardo Weems

Great sci-fi story by Jack London about a worldwide plague in 2013 that killed off all but one in a million people. An old man, who used to be a literature professor at UC Berkeley tells the story of the plague and the years after to his illiterate goatherd grandsons.

Great descriptions of the SF Bay area, and nice characterizations that pull no punches. The only dated part of the story are the private dirigibles of the rich, but, after all, how could he know we would have flying cars by now.

Read it.

Cover image for


show mobile phone QR code

Featured Books

Donate a small amount via Paypal below or read about some other ways that you can support ManyBooks.