A Tale of Saskatchewan
Publication Year: 2014
First published in 1909, The Foreigner comes from the pen of bestselling author Ralph Connor, the pseudonym of Presbyterian minister and missionary Charles W. Gordon. The novel opens in Winnipeg, where Kalman Kalmar, a young Eastern European immigrant, is growing up under the shadow of his father, whose allegiance to the customs of the Old World has caused him to become a fugitive in Canada. After a violent encounter with his father’s sworn enemy, the adolescent Kalman is sent to a ranch in rural Saskatchewan, where, in learning the ways of the land, he must also reconcile the customs of his ancestors with the possibilities available to him in the New World. Part adventure story, part allegory for a vision of a culturally assimilated North West, the story features a form of male maturation and muscular Christianity recurring in Connor’s popular Western tales. Daniel Coleman’s afterword considers the text’s departure from Connor’s established fiction formulas and provides a framework for understanding its depiction of difference.
Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Series: Early Canadian Literature
Title Page, Copyright
Series Editor’s Preface
Charles W. Gordon was born in Glengarry County, Canada West (now Ontario), on 13 September 1860, the son of Scottish immigrants. Educated at the University of Toronto, Knox College, and the University of Edinburgh...
The Foreigner: A Tale of Saskatchewan
In Western Canada there is to be seen to-day that most fascinating of all human phenomena, the making of a nation. Out of breeds diverse in traditions, in ideals, in speech, and in manner of life, Saxon and Slav, Teuton, Celt and Gaul, one people is being made...
Chapter I: The City on the Plain
Not far from the centre of the American Continent, midway between the oceans east and west, midway between the Gulf and the Arctic Sea, on the rim of a plain, snow swept in winter, flower decked in summer, but, whether...
Chapter II: Where East Meets West
The considerate thoughtfulness of Rosenblatt relieved Paulina of the necessity of collecting these monthly dues, to her great joy, for it was far beyond her mental capacity to compute, first in Galician and then in Canadian money, ...
Chapter III: The Marriage of Anka
The withdrawing of Mrs. Fitzpatrick from Paulina’s life meant a serious diminution in interest for the unhappy Paulina, but with the characteristic uncomplaining patience of her race she plodded on with the daily routine...
Chapter IV: The Unbidden Guest
The northbound train on the Northern Pacific Line was running away behind her time. A Dakota blizzard had held her up for five hours, and there was little chance of making time against a heavy wind and a drifted rail. The train was...
Chapter V: The Patriot’s Heart
The inside of Paulina’s house was a wreck. The remains of benches and chairs and tables mingled with fragments of vessels of different sorts strewn upon the filth-littered floor, the windows broken, the door between the outer and inner...
Chapter VI: The Grip of British Law
It was night in Winnipeg, a night of such radiant moonlight as is seen only in northern climates and in winter time. During the early evening a light snow had fallen, not driving fiercely after the Manitoba manner, but gently, and so lay like a fleecy, shimmering...
Chapter VII: Condemned
The two months preceding the trial were months of restless agony to the prisoner, Kalmar. Day and night he paced his cell like a tiger in a cage, taking little food and sleeping only when overcome with exhaustion. It was not the...
Chapter VIII: The Price of Vengeance
Dr. Wright’s telephone rang early next morning. The doctor was prompt to respond. His practice had not yet reached the stage that rendered the telephone a burden. His young wife stood beside him, listening with eager hope in her...
Chapter IX: Brother and Sister
Before summer had gone, Winnipeg was reminded of the existence of the foreign colony by the escape from the Provincial Penitentiary of the Russian prisoner Kalmar. The man who could not be held by Siberian bars and guards...
Chapter X: Jack French of the Night Hawk Ranch
A map of Western Canada showing the physical features of the country lying between the mountains on the one side and the Bay and the Lakes on the other, presents the appearance of a vast rolling plain scarred and seamed and...
Chapter XI: The Edmonton Trail
Straight across the country, winding over plains, around sleughs, threading its way through bluffs, over prairie undulations, fording streams and crossing rivers, and so making its course northwest from Winnipeg for nine hundred...
Chapter XII: The Making of a Man
Wakota, consisting of the mud-house of a Galician homesteader who owned a forge and did blacksmithing for the colony in a primitive way, they left behind half an hour before nightfall, with ten miles...
Chapter XIII: Brown
Two weeks of life in the open, roaming the prairie alone with the wolf hounds, or with French after the cattle, did much to obliterate the mark which those five days left upon Kalman’s body and soul. From the very first the boy...
Chapter XIV: The Break
Open your letter, Irma. From the postmark, it is surely from
Kalman. And what good writing it is! I have just had one
Mrs. French was standing in the cosy kitchen of Simon Ketzel’s house, where, ever since the tragic night when Kalman...
Chapter XV: The Maiden of the Brown Hair
Rumours of the westward march of civilization had floated from time to time up the country from the main line as far as the Crossing, and had penetrated even to the Night Hawk ranch, only to be allayed by succeeding rumours...
Chapter XVI: How Kalman Found His Mine
The girl’s enthusiasm for her new-found friend was such that the whole party decided to accept his invitation. And so they did, spending a full day and night on the ranch, exploring, under French’s guidance, the beauty spots, and...
Chapter XVII: The Fight for the Mine
The early approach of winter checked the railroad construction proper, but with the snow came good roads, and contractors were quick to take advantage of the easier methods of transportation furnished by winter roads to...
Chapter XVIII: For Freedom and for Love
The hut of the Nihilist Portnoff stood in a thick bluff about midway between Wakota and the mine, but lying off the direct line about two miles nearer the ranch. It was a poor enough shack, made of logs plastered over with mud, roofed...
Chapter XIX: My Foreigner
The Night Hawk Mining Company, after a period of doubt and struggle, was solidly on its feet at last. True, its dividends were not large, but at least it was paying its way, and it stood well among the financial institutions of the...
You could say that Ralph Connor attended the birth of Canadian literature as a field of serious study, and that he was almost immediately dismissed from it. When The Foreigner was first published in 1909, Reverend Charles...