Rex Beach’s The Silver Horde is a breathless story of competition to make a killing in the short salmon spawning season.
Engineer Boyd Emerson and “Fingerless” Frasier, whom he rescued from police on an ice-floe in Norton Sound, arrive in Kalvik, Alaska, just barely alive.
The Silver Horde by Rex Beach
1909 bestseller #3. Project Gutenberg E-Book #6017. My grade B+.
All doors but one are closed to them.
Miss Cherry Malotte, a lovely young entrepreneur living alone, takes the men in.
She convinces Emerson to start a salmon canning company to compete with her arch enemy, Willis Marsh.
Emerson has a girl in the States whose rich father disapproves of penniless engineers and wants his Mildred to marry Willis Marsh.
Even without peeking, readers know how the romance will end.
What they don’t know is how bloodthirsty salmon fishing can be.
Beach makes sure they don’t remain ignorant.
Cherry has a past; Boyd has depression. Those traits make make them miserable.
Frasier is another matter.
The good-hearted crook talks incessantly to fill Boyd’s morose silence. Frasier tells Boyd:
If you prefer to swallow your groans, you do it. I like to make a fuss when I suffer. I enjoy it more that way.
And readers will enjoy The Silver Horde: Beach doesn’t let any character’s misery get in the way of his story.
©2015 Linda Gorton Aragoni
Photo credit: “Salmon Spawning at Hood Canal” by Hood Canal