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The Curse of the Viking Grave
Cover of The Curse of the Viking Grave
The Curse of the Viking Grave
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The popular sequel to his award-winning Lost in the Barrens, this is Farley Mowat's suspense-filled story of how Awasin, Jamie and Peetryuk, three adventure-prone boys, stumble upon a cache of Viking...
The popular sequel to his award-winning Lost in the Barrens, this is Farley Mowat's suspense-filled story of how Awasin, Jamie and Peetryuk, three adventure-prone boys, stumble upon a cache of Viking...
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  • The popular sequel to his award-winning Lost in the Barrens, this is Farley Mowat's suspense-filled story of how Awasin, Jamie and Peetryuk, three adventure-prone boys, stumble upon a cache of Viking relics in an ancient tomb somewhere in the north of Canada. Packed with excitement and with little-known information about the customs of Viking explorers, this story of survival portrays the bond of youthful friendship and the wonders of a virtually unexplored land.

    From the Trade Paperback edition.

Excerpts-

  • Chapter 1

    Schoolroom in the Bush

    On the windswept ice of a lake in northern Manitoba two ravens sat hunched beside the frozen carcass of a caribou. Foxes and wolves had left precious little meat on the bones of the dead animal and the ravens circled each other threateningly while the sound of their harsh, disputing voices echoed across the subarctic silence of the lake.

    Shambling through the dark woods along the shore, a wolverine raised his heavy head and listened. The cries of the ravens told him there was food nearby, and so he swung purposefully out on the ice in the direction of the birds.

    On the north shore of the lake, where a clump of spruce trees stood thick and tall, a white husky sniffed the frigid air. He caught the musky taint of wolverine and his hackles rose. Throwing back his head he howled a challenge down the lake. At once a dozen other huskies sprang to their feet and joined in the wailing chorus.

    Nestled snugly amongst the protecting trees near where the dogs were tethered stood a long, low cabin whose two windows stared owlishly out over Macnair Lake. Inside this cabin Angus Macnair put down a book he had been reading aloud and stepped to the nearest window. He watched the dogs intently for a moment or two, then, with a shake of his red, piratical beard, he turned to face three boys who were watching him expectantly.

    "Nay, lads. 'Tisna caribou they dogs is howlin' after. Wolves maybe . . . or a wolverine. But dinna fuss yersel's, they caribou wull soon be comin' back this way and then we'll hae fresh meat again."

    He settled himself into a chair, picked up the book and continued with the lesson for the day.

    Angus Macnair hardly looked the part of a schoolteacher. He was a massive and craggy-faced trapper who had lived in the Canadian northlands since leaving the Orkney Islands at the age of thirteen. The schoolroom was the Macnair cabin, a cluttered and low-ceilinged log structure redolent with the gamey smell from scores of pelts that hung drying from the rafters. Here Angus taught school for three days each week. During the remainder of the week teacher and students were absent from Macnair Lake, tending their traplines which ran for as much as fifty miles to the north, east, west and south.

    As Angus continued reading, his nephew Jamie listened from his perch on a log beside the sheet-iron stove. Jamie's blue­eyed, sharp­featured face, under a mat of unkempt blond hair, was bent over a wooden stretcher balanced on his knees, as with practiced hand he scraped the flesh side of a fox skin with a blunt knife blade.

    Next to him, on the edge of a log bunk, sat Awasin Meewasin, the son of the chief of the Cree Indians who lived at nearby Thanout Lake. Awasin was lean and dark, black­eyed and black-haired, and as taut and wiry as a rabbit snare.

    The third "student" was by all odds the most striking member of the trio. His amiable, high­cheekboned face would have seemed Oriental had it not been for his wide blue eyes and the tangle of flaming red hair hanging over his forehead. This was Peetyuk. His father had been a wandering English trapper named Frank Anderson. Many years earlier Anderson had gone far out into the open Barrens to the north of Macnair Lake to spend a winter trapping white fox. Here he had met and married an Eskimo woman. Shortly before the birth of his child, Anderson had gone through the spring ice of a lake and had been drowned, leaving his son Peetyuk to be raised by the Eskimos.

    The boys were particularly interested in the book Angus was reading them this day. It was a history of the early Norwegian voyages to America made long before the time of...

About the Author-

  • Farley Mowat was born in Belleville, Ontario, in 1921, and grew up in Belleville, Trenton, Windsor, Saskatoon, Toronto, and Richmond Hill. He served in World War II from 1940 until 1945, entering the army as a private and emerging with the rank of captain. He began writing for his living in 1949 after spending two years in the Arctic. Since 1949 he has lived in or visited almost every part of Canada and many other lands, including the distant regions of Siberia. He remains an inveterate traveller with a passion for remote places and peoples. He has twenty-five books to his name, which have been published in translations in over twenty languages in more than sixty countries. They include such internationally known works as People of the Deer, The Dog Who Wouldn't Be, Never Cry Wolf, Westviking, The Boat That Wouldn't Float, Sibir, A Whale for the Killing, The Snow Walker, And No Birds Sang, and Virunga: The Passion of Dian Fossey. His short stories and articles have appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Maclean's, Atlantic Monthly and other magazines.

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    McClelland & Stewart
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