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The Garden of Eden by Max Brand

The Garden of Eden by Frederick Schiller Faust writing as Max Brand

The Garden of Eden – Ben Conner, gambler on the horses, has come to Lukin to find some peace and quiet. But almost the first thing he finds in this remote high desert community is a horse race.

Book Details

Book Details

The Garden of Eden – Ben Conner, gambler on the horses, has come to Lukin to find some peace and quiet. On his first day in Lukin, Conner meets a beautiful telegraph operator – Ruth Manning. She dreams of leaving the little town and going to a big city with excitement and Life!

On his second day, Conner finds a horse race in this remote high desert community. He sees a gray horse that is fitter and finer than any other in the race but he bets on another horse because the gray is eighteen years old, far older than a race horse should be. Conner loses his bet as the gray comes from behind and takes the half-mile race by nearly a length.

In his desire to find more horses like the little gray, Conner treks back into the mountains and finds a hidden valley with a monastic owner who raises the horses. And so the snake comes into the garden.

The Garden of Eden (1922)

Chapter I. – Lukin Will Not Bend The Knee.
Chapter II. – Connor Hears A Call.
Chapter III. – Connor Talks Shop.
Chapter IV. – Connor Sees A Horse.
Chapter V. – Connor Loses A Bet.
Chapter VI. – Connor Talks Luck.
Chapter VII. – The Trail To Eden.
Chapter VIII. – Jacob And Ephraim.

Part II – What Has Already Happened
Chapter IX. – The Ape’s Head.
Chapter X. – The Entrance To Eden.
Chapter XI. – David.
Chapter XII. – Haneemar.
Chapter XIII. – The Miracle.
Chapter XIV. – The Conquest.
Chapter XV. – The Warning.

Part III
Chapter XVI. – Connor Turns Poet.
Chapter XVII. – The Tempting.
Chapter XVIII. – Victory.
Chapter XIX. – The Velvet Touch.

Part IV
Chapter XX. – The False Prophet.
Chapter XXI. – The Homecoming.
Chapter XXII. – Elijah.
Chapter XXIII. – The Top Of The World.
Chapter XXIV. – The Flower Of David.
Chapter XXV. – The Wind Of David.
Chapter XXVI. – Politics.

Part V
Chapter XXVII. – The Wooing.
Chapter XXVIII. – David Speaks Of Jewels And Settings.
Chapter XXIX. – The Old Days.
Chapter XXX. – Judgment.

Part VI
Chapter XXXI. – The Triumph.
Chapter XXXII. – The Last Day.
Chapter XXXIII. – The Room Of Silence.
Chapter XXXIV. – Connor Makes A Last Stand.
Chapter XXXV. – The Negroes Sing.
Chapter XXXVI. – Humility.

Max Brand was the pen name of Frederick Schiller Faust (May 29, 1892 – May 12, 1944), born in Seattle, Washington. In his lifetime, Faust is estimated to have written nearly fifteen million words using eighteen different pen names including Max Brand, George Owen Baxter, Walter C. Butler, George Challis, Evan Evans, Frederick Faust, John Frederick, Frederick Frost, and David Manning, among others.

The Garden of Eden is a six part serial novel that was published in Argosy All-Story Weekly in 1922.

The Garden of Eden has 6 illustrations.

ge00 The Garden of Eden by Max Brand
Argosy All-Story Weekly, April 15, 1922


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Excerpt: The Garden of Eden

Chapter I.

Lukin Will Not Bend The Knee.

BY careful tailoring, the broad shoulders of Ben Connor were made to appear fashionably slender, and he disguised the depth of his chest by a stoop whose model slouched along Broadway somewhere between sunset and dawn. He wore, moreover, the first or second pair of spats that had ever stepped off the train at Lukin Junction, a glowing Scotch tweed, and a Panama hat of the color and weave of fine old linen. There was a skeleton at this Feast of Fashion, however, for only tight gloves could make the stubby fingers and broad palms of Connor presentable. At ninety-five in the shade gloves were out of the question, so he held a pair of yellow chamois in one hand and in the other an amber-headed cane. This was the end of the little spur-line, and while the train backed off down the track, staggering across the switch, Ben Connor looked after it, leaning upon his cane just forcibly enough to feel the flection of the wood. This was one of his attitudes of elegance, and when the train was out of sight, and only the puffs of white vapor rolled around the shoulder of the hill, he turned to look the town over, having already given Lukin Junction ample time to look over Ben Connor.

The little crowd was not through with its survey, but the eye of the imposing stranger abashed it. He had one of those long somber faces which Scotchmen call “dour.” The complexion was sallow, heavy pouches of sleeplessness lay beneath his eyes, and there were ridges beside the corners of his mouth which came from an habitual compression of the lips. Looked at in profile he seemed to be smiling broadly so that the gravity of the full face was always surprising. It was this that made the townsfolk look down. After a moment, they glanced back at him hastily. Somewhere about the corners of his lips or his eyes there was a glint of interest, a touch of amusement—they could not tell which, but from that moment they were willing to forget the clothes and look at the man.

While Ben Connor was still enjoying the situation, a rotund fellow bore down on him.

“You’re Mr. Connor, ain’t you? You wired for a room in the hotel? Come on, then. My rig is over here. These your grips?”

He picked up the suit case and the soft leather traveling bag, and led the way to a buckboard at which stood two downheaded ponies.

“Can’t we walk?” suggested Ben Connor, looking up and down the street at the dozen sprawling frame houses; but the fat man stared at him with calm pity. He was so fat and so good-natured that even Ben Connor did not impress him greatly.

“Maybe you think this is Lukin?” he asked.

When the other raised his heavy black eyebrows he explained: “This ain’t nothing but Lukin Junction. Lukin is clear round the hill. Climb in, Mr. Connor.”

Connor laid one hand on the back of the seat, and with surge of his strong shoulders leaped easily into his place; the fat man noted this with a roll of his little eyes, and then took his own place, the old wagon careening toward him as he mounted the step. He sat with his right foot dangling over the side of the buckboard, and a plump shoulder turned fairly upon his passenger so that when he spoke he had to throw his head and jerk out the words; but this was apparently his time-honored position in the wagon, and he did not care to vary it for the sake of conversation. A flap of the loose reins set the horses jog-trotting out of Lukin Junction down a gulch which aimed at the side of an enormous mountain, naked, with no sign of a village or even a single, shack among its rocks. Other peaks crowded close on the right and left, with a loftier range behind, running up to scattered summits white with snow and blue with distance. The shadows of the late afternoon were thick as fog in the gulch, and all the lower mountains were already dim so that the snow-peaks in the distance seemed as detached, and high as clouds. Ben Connor sat with his cane between his knees and his hands draped over its amber head and watched those shining places until the fat man heaved his head over his shoulder.

“Most like somebody told you about Townsend’s Hotel?”

His passenger moved his attention from the mountain to his companion. He was so leisurely about it that it seemed he had not heard.

“Yes,” he said, “I was told of the place.”

“Who?” said the other expectantly.

“A friend of mine.”

The fat man grunted and worked his head around so far that a great wrinkle rolled up his neck close to his ear. He looked into the eye of the stranger.

“Me being Jack Townsend, I’m sort of interested to know things like that; the ones that like my place and them that don’t.”

Connor nodded, but since he showed no inclination to name his friend, Jack Townsend swung on a new tack to come to the windward of this uncommunicative guest. Lukin was a fairly inquisitive town, and the hotel proprietor usually contributed his due portion and more to the gossips.

“Some comes for one reason and some for another,” went on Townsend, “which generally it’s to hunt and fish. That ain’t funny come to think of it, because outside of liars nobody ever hooked finer trout than what comes out of the Big Sandy. Some of ’em comes for the mining—they was a strike over to South Point last week—and some for the cows, but mostly it’s the fishing and the hunting.”

He paused, but having waited in vain he said directly: “I can show you the best holes in the Big Sandy.”

There was another of those little waits with which, it seemed, the stranger met every remark; not a thoughtful pause, but rather as though he wondered if it were worth while to make any answer.

“I’ve come here for the silence,” he said.

“Silence,” repeated Townsend, nodding in the manner of one who does not understand.

Excerpt From: Max Brand. “The Garden of Eden.”

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