Wild Man on Wall Street

Welcome to Part Eighteen of our latest Tale for Our Time – Jack London’s Burning Daylight. Melissa Ward, a California member of The Mark Steyn Club, likes it so far:

I am enjoying this tale immensely! Would that we all would fail to reverence the tin gods, and know the totems for what they were in our own time.

Indeed. The action has now moved from the Klondike to Melissa’s California. If you noted that news item (largely unreported on ABC, NBC et al, but I mentioned it on Fox) that former senator Barbara Boxer was mugged in Jack London Square in Oakland, you’ll have deduced that Mr London was no stranger to Oakland – and, in fact, the development of that city is a big part of coming episodes. Whether he would recognize today’s Oakland as anything worth developing in the first place in another matter.

In tonight’s episode, however, Burning Daylight is far from California, having swapped the moose of the Yukon for the sharks of Wall Street:

Back at his hotel, though nearly two in the morning, he found the reporters waiting to interview him. Next morning there were more. And thus, with blare of paper trumpet, was he received by New York. Once more, with beating of toms-toms and wild hullaballoo, his picturesque figure strode across the printed sheet. The King of the Klondike, the hero of the Arctic, the thirty-million-dollar millionaire of the North, had come to New York. What had he come for? To trim the New Yorkers as he had trimmed the Tonopah crowd in Nevada? Wall Street had best watch out, for the wild man of Klondike had just come to town. Or, perchance, would Wall Street trim him? Wall Street had trimmed many wild men; would this be Burning Daylight’s fate? Daylight grinned to himself, and gave out ambiguous interviews. It helped the game, and he grinned again, as he meditated that Wall Street would sure have to go some before it trimmed him.

We’ll see about that.

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And do join me tomorrow, immediately after my telly appearance with Tucker, for the nineteenth episode of Burning Daylight.

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