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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (April 27, 1913)
THE SEMI-MONTHLY MAGAZINE SECTION
"What wa- it uu said tliat ymi want t p'ove '"
"Wliy, about tunc, ou Know. About tunc fixing
"Oil, .es!" said the agent, busy at his relaying.
"Perhaps. And then again, perhaps not. Where was
this here case? Let 's have it.''
The traveler interlocked his fingers over his flat
waistline and razed reflectively- at the ceiling,
mouthing his cigar.
"IT was over in New Mexico, all this happened.
A About eighty miles from where Poswell is, this
was. There's some plains, and then mountains, and
a busting big valley on the other side of the moun
tains. It was on the old I Mucks range you 've heard
of that outfit ? Sure! You must have handled a lot
of their stuff through here. They brand three blocks.
Well, along early in this century or perhaps it
was late in the nineties a couple of young fellers
done blew in there from Louisiana and took to run
ning a few sheep. How they got 'em is neither here
nor there. About all they had was a spare shirt
between the two of 'em, a side of bacon and a con
science that did n't keep 'em from working Sundays.
So far, so good. They 1 been brung up together
back there and was thicker 'n thieves, those two.
Everything they did, they done together, sharing
equal. No matter who them two cheated, they never
cheated each other. Dink he was the oldest "
"Dink 7 Dink what i"
"Dink (loiter. That was his name. The other
feller's name was Campbell his given name don't
matter now, hut everybody called him Floss. A
chunky, build-headed man he was.
"Well, those two done put up a shack there in
that busting big valley and grazed their baa-baas on
the slopes of I he hills. They did n't have inan. and
after a cattle outfit had gut through a round up thev
had less still. Tliem cowboys just tun on" .1 bunch
and never even said they were
"However, two or three fat
years come along and things
looked up. Dink began to feel
right prosperous. He was a
great, long slob of a man. who
hadn't never been more 'n two
meals ahead of starvation, mi
when Wool touched twenty loin
cents and mutton brought I'm 11
dollars a head. Dink sure lic.i
restless. Fit's! Kloss noticed it
was when he begun to kick about
the house they was living in and
the way Floss cooked the meals
when it was his turn. 1' Dink,
he said the natives lived as good
ns they did; and what was the use 1
of having money if you could n't
" '1 'd sure like to change some
of this,' he'd say, jingling the
money in his pocket. M 'd like to trail
this for n can of oysters, before il gets wore out.'
"Floss, he didn't say anything, ol' Floss didn't,
hardly ever - unless he wanted to raise a row about
the way the forks was washed. He was awful par
lieular'nltoul them forks. Mul I reckon it was getting
some lonely for him, loo. Herding sheep ain't a jolt
for a white man. Anybody 'II tell you thai. You
gel (tut there on lop of a lull and listen to the
doggone fools bleat their heads oil' and you never
see a thing, month in and month out, but just plain
sheop. First thing be knows, a feller gels feeling
terrible mean. He'll lake In remembering all the
things he's done in bis life which he should n't ought
to have done, and then he'll get kind of low-down
in sperits. anil start figuring what 's the use.
"Often, ol' Dink would come in with a funny state
in his eyes, and then Floss would watch him mighty
careful' for a day or two. I'sually they played
casino at nights; or, if they didn't do that, Floss
would bear down on a ol' concertina he'd brung with
him and set the dogs to howling.
"One day (loiter came down from Capilan, which
was way up in them mountains, and was an awful
solemn place if it had n't of been for the saloon.
There 're peaks all round, ami the hush is enough to
make a man feel awful small. He'd went there to
buy some flour and canned goods and to get some
dip, Dink had. Hut when he got in that night, what
he talked about most was a girl he'd mot up in
Capitaii. She was staying with her sister, who was
wife to the storekeeper, and Dink said he'd never
seen a prettier woman. That woke Floss up con
siderable, and he asked a whole lot of questions, until
'Dink he was the oldest
a list full f
(iiiliii ti '1 mad at something he done snul and
wouldn't sa another word. So thc went to bed.
Floss grinning to himself and Dink tinghtv thought
fill, lie dieamed about that yallovv-haiied girl most
of the night, ami when he got up in the morning he
done looked so consumed mournful that Campbell up
and asked him what ailed him.
"Well, a couple of days went by, and Dink was
sure enough dreamy. On the
third morning, when he was out
on top of a mesa, he give a grunt
and threw down his pole and
started for home. The dog aimed
to follow, but he done told him
to watch the thick, and when he
got home he saddled a burin.
You'd ought to 've seen Dink on
a burro, with his stork legs dang
ling. And up he went again into
"All Floss knew about it was
what he found writ on a piece ol
paper under the sugar bowl:
'Won't he back for a week.'"
"Hold on a minute," the agent
interrupted; "I gol to answer
The traveler waited while be
lingered the key. Then :
"Well, sir, in eight days back
come Dink. Floss says to him:
'I low do 011 do 7' he says. 'How
long do you aim to stay this visit?'
"(loiter didn't try to smooth things over; he was
feeling far too solemn for that. All he said was that
personal business of a private character done took
lum up to ('npilun. and he hoped the sheep was all
well. So they went along for a week or I wo like
Im l done bel'oie. Then Dink says:
" 'Say, Floss." I 've gol to go
up to 1 apitan again, it s awiui
"Campbell jusl wenl 011 whit
tling a stick, and waited. They 'd
gol so used to each oilier, those
I w o, (hat one of 'em could tell
almost to a 'T' what was in the
other's mind. Why, would you
believe it, those two were so thick
lhat Floss bad given Dink a
plugged quai'lcr to keep, and he
carried a nickel I kink done give
"What the laiiialioii did Ihev
do that for" queried ihe aueiit.
"You see, lhe used to get into
jackpots frequent, ahum of Dink
being partial to living high when
he could. Floss, loo, he was awful
apt to load up in town, and then
there wasn't a city in them parts
that did n t cramp bis leeltugs.
So when one got into trouble, all he had to do was
to send that keepsake and Ihe other 'd come and get
him out. If he couldn't gel him out, it's
like he'd raise a ruction, maybe, and they'd
run him in, too. So it had gone along for
six yeais. Dink always knew where Floss was
when he was needed bad, and ol' Floss sine
knew that Dink would stand bitched.
"After a spell Dink coughed and told Floss
he was fixing to gel married.
'"Is il the yallou -haired girl?' Floss says.
" 'Thai's he'r.' says Dink.
'"I M sort of figured il was,' Floss says.
"They sal down 011 a bench outside the
door, there in front of the shack in 1 hut
hustiijg big valley, and talked il over. A
Everybody callrd him riots
s.'li! ,.t mi 11 wmild have tiled to till Du.k he was a
tool. Did von ever notice how a lellci's friends butt
in when he sets to a mil ' Put ol" Floss wasn't that
kind. If Duik had lived his mind 011 a wife, then
the thing for him was to stand by and help. So
the fixed it that Dink and his wife would live 111
the shack, and Floss he'd go Up to a camp the.v 'd
dune limit in the side of the mountain.
" 'Of course,' savs Dink.
'vou 'II spend most of your time
here. You'll be able to get a
square here. (Ice, think of eat
ing a square.'
"You never clapped your eyes
mi a sweeter creature than the
one Dink put his arm around
up there in Capital). She looked
.1 11st like a picture; all pink and
white, and her eyes weie just
as blue! She always looked so
dean and nice that Dink was
seared of her for a spell at
first, but he'd soon got over
dial. .Man alive, though, sin
was fearful young.
"Well, they done got mar
ried and Dink hoisted her 011 top
f a hiirro and dumb up 011
another one, ami oil" they went
down the mountain side. They
camped ill iioou beside a lit lie
spring, anil Mint; lie was sure
careful to build the lire so the smoke wouldn't hit
her, and do Ihe cooking right. You 've seen that
picture of a girl hanging on lo a cross that 's 011 top
of a rock right in the middle of the ocean, ain't vou
They call il Hock of Ages. Well, that 's her " she
looked just like thai.
"T1TF. hadn't told her any lies ahntil the place she
was a-coining lo, because he did n'l calculate 011
having her go straight back as soon as she got a head
on the back yard. When they got home, Dink was
that surprised he could n'l speak. Floss had cleaned
up Ihal shack tint i I you wouldn't have known it.
He'd even sprinkled water on the floor, and there
was wihl-llowers slack in a can on Ihe window sill.
Ami there was of Floss himself, standing at the door,
all shaved ami grinning from ear lo ear.
"I reckon Ihal ahoiil Ihe happiest lime of a man's
life is when he's jusl married and they're getting to
know each other good. Yes, sir; even if he's sorry
for it afterward, lie would n'l never forget that time.
And it's like if he had lo do il over again, he'd
do it, too.
"Taking 11 wit'.- voii've kuowed seventeen thus
ain't the suiest wav of picking one, I leckou. Put
(iiiber drew a prize. The girl's name was Jess, and
she was nlvvavs as neat and bright as a pin. She was
some worker, too. The way she kept that house,
and the win she fed thai stringv rascal! And he
never heard a single whisper out of her about the
loneliness, or how bard it (Continued 011 'n H I
"Them cowboys juit run off a bunch and never even laid they were sorry"
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