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About The Hesperian / (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1899 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 15, 1893)
A POWDER RIVER ROMANCE.
"Haven't you finished checking that fnrco
"Not quite; I will have it done in about
"Well, it's too nice a night to sit in a
tent and figure. I wont bother you if I sit
outside and fiddle, will 1?" and I hauled my
fiddle out from under the bunk.
"No, I shall be glad to have you" and
he bent once more over his work.
It was a perfect night. The glorious
harvest moon was riding through the
heavens. The stars grew pale at her com
ing. Far off to the north an occasional
flash of heat-lightning illuminated the edge
of the horizon. There was a faint rustic in
the tops of the cottonwoods that stood
around our tent. The river that ran along
jnst under the bank was murmuring, mur
muring as if repeating to itself some tale of
rocky caverns in the far off mountains, the
sound of the pile-driver at the bridge far
ther up, came in pitiful throbs, mingled with
the blow of a ponderous hammer.
I sat drinking in the beauties of the night,
thrumming the strings of my fiddle with my
"Why don't you play something instead
of Bitting there thumbing?"
I looked up. Dick was leaning his hand
Borne six feet five against the tent pole.
"Well,"' 1 said, "you are through, are
you not What shall I play you? Some
hoe-down I suppose."
"No, 1 dont care for any jigs to-night,"
lie replied with a smile; then wistfully, "Did
yon ever hear an old love song called
'Laughing Eyes of Long Ago?' "
"Wliy. yes," I exclaimed. "Do you
know that old song?"
1 played it. He was silent. lie was half
turned from mo and was standing with
folded arms, looking across the valley.
Presently he started, "Let's go for a walk.
1 want to tell you something."
The bluffs were standing out sharp and
clear in tha moonlight. The black pines
scattered here and there over their sides
seemed like the entrances to caverns, as wo
approached. We walked in silence. The
cage brush rasped against us as we went.
A rabbit bounced out of a clump of grass
and scurried off into the dusk. A flock of
sage hens went over our heads with whist
ling wings. xYt last, after a breathless
scramble up the face of the bluffs, we throw
ourselves upon the grassy summit.
"Now then," I said, "go ahead with
yous story. She used to sing, of course,
and you used to think that there was only
one girl in the whole world that could sing,
whereas there were several others; and when
she sang "Blue Eyes, True Eyes Unto Me,"
you fancied that she was the only girl in the
world that had blue eyes, which again was
.not strictly true."
"You seem to know so much about me
and about my story you had better tell it
"All right," I cried, "it would be strange
if I coald not come somewhere near it, after
listening to the romances of three engineers
already. Let's see. What next! Ah, yes.
She was a beautiful talker. She never said
much, but what she did, you thought about
afterward. Some times 6he would perplex
you. Some times she would make you
laugh. Some times she would fire your
soul with noble thoughts; and all the time
you thought you were doing the talking a.d
she the listening."
"Well," he grunted.
"And then," 1 went on, "she always
laughed at" your jokes and made you think
you were very witty indeed. It has taken
long weary years, Dick, to dispel the hal
lucination. Alas! after all my careful train
ing you still relapse into your old habits."
Dick was pushing off pieces of lime rock
and sending them rolling down into the val
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