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Burning Daylight - Jack London

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by Jack London



It was a quiet night in the Shovel.  At the bar, which ranged
along one side of the large chinked-log room, leaned half a dozen
men, two of whom were discussing the relative merits of
spruce-tea and lime-juice as remedies for scurvy.  They argued
with an air of depression and with intervals of morose silence. 
The other men scarcely heeded them.  In a row, against the
opposite wall, were the gambling games.  The crap-table was
deserted.  One lone man was playing at the faro-table.  The
roulette-ball was not even spinning, and the gamekeeper stood by
the roaring, red-hot stove, talking with the young, dark-eyed
woman, comely of face and figure, who was known from Juneau to
Fort Yukon as the Virgin.  Three men sat in at stud-poker, but
they played with small chips and without enthusiasm, while there
were no onlookers.  On the floor of the dancing-room, which
opened out at the rear, three couples were waltzing drearily to
the strains of a violin and a piano.
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