A novel of the development of the middle west in that reconstruction period when such towns as Harvey, Kansas, where the story is set, are just being built up by "bearded youngsters," veterans of the Civil war. The era of political corruption and pursuit of wealth which follows a mining boom brings out in this case two characters from the large number in the book--Adams, the dreamer and reformer and Van Dorn, the scheming lawyer. The fortunes of many very human people are bound together in the story, making a broad picture of life, not to be taking in at a single sitting.
he was a printer and in those halcyon days all printers were supposed to be able to write; and he brought Mary--but did he bring Mary? He was never sure whether he brought her or she brought him. For Mary Sands--dear, dear Mary Sands--she had a way with her. She was not Irish for nothing, God bless her.
Amos always tried to be fair with Daniel Sands because he was Mary's brother; even though there was a time after he came home a young soldier from the war and found that Daniel Sands who hired a substitute and stayed at home, had won Esther Haley, who was pledged to Amos,--a time when Amos would have killed Daniel Sands. That passed, Mary, Daniel's sister, came; and for years Amos Adams bore Daniel Sands no grudge. What has all his money done for Daniel. It has ground the joy out of him--for one thing. And as for Esther, somewhere about Elyria, Ohio, the grass is growing over her grave and for forty years only Mortimer, her son, with her eyes and mouth and hair, was left in the world to remind Amos of