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The Black Creek Stopping-House   By: (1873-1951)

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First Page:

THE BLACK CREEK STOPPING HOUSE

AND

OTHER STORIES

BY

NELLIE L. McCLUNG

Copyright, 1912

To the Pioneer Women of the West, who made life tolerable, and even comfortable, for the others of us; who fed the hungry, advised the erring, nursed the sick, cheered the dying, comforted the sorrowing, and performed the last sad rites for the dead;

The beloved Pioneer Women, old before their time with hard work, privations, and doing without things, yet in whose hearts there was always burning the hope of better things to come;

The godly Pioneer Women, who kept alive the conscience of the neighborhood, and preserved for us the best traditions of the race;

To these noble Women of the early days, some of whom we see no more, for they have entered into their inheritance, this book is respectfully dedicated by their humble admirer,

The Author.

" Let me live in a house by the side of the road, and be a friend of man ."

CONTENTS

THE BLACK CREEK STOPPING HOUSE

CHAPTER I. The Old Trail II. The House of Bread III. The Sailors' Rest IV. Farm Pupils V. The Prairie Club House VI. The Counter Irritant VII. Ladies' Day at the Stopping House VIII. Shadows of the Night IX. His Evil Genius X. Da's Turn XI. The Blizzard XII. When the Day Broke

THE RUNAWAY GRANDMOTHER

THE RETURN TICKET

THE UNGRATEFUL PIGEONS

YOU NEVER CAN TELL

A SHORT TALE OF A RABBIT

THE ELUSIVE VOTE

THE WAY OF THE WEST

THE BLACK CREEK STOPPING HOUSE

CHAPTER I.

THE OLD TRAIL.

When John Corbett strolled leisurely into the Salvation Army meeting in old Victoria Hall in Winnipeg that night, so many years ago now, there may have been some who thought he came to disturb the meeting.

There did not seem to be any atmospheric reason why Mr. Corbett or anyone else should be abroad, for it was a drizzling cold November night, and the streets were muddy, as only Winnipeg streets in the old days could be none of your light minded, fickle hearted, changeable mud that is mud to day and dust to morrow, but the genuine, original, brush defying, soap and water proof, north star, burr mud, blacker than lampblack, stickier than glue!

Mr. Corbett did not come to disturb the meeting. His reason for attending lay in a perfectly legitimate desire to see for himself what it was all about, he being happily possessed of an open mind.

Mr. Corbett would do anything once, and if he liked it he would do it again. In the case of the Salvation Army meeting, he liked it. He liked the music, and the good fellowship, and the swing and the zip of it all. More still, he liked the blue eyed Irish girl who sold War Crys at the door. When he went in he bought one; when he came out he bought all she had left.

The next night Mr. Corbett was again at the meeting. On his way in he bought all the War Crys the blue eyed Irish girl had. Every minute he liked her better, and when the meeting was over and an invitation was given to the anxious ones to "tarry awhile," Mr. Corbett tarried. When the other cases had been dismissed Mr. Corbett had a long talk with the captain in charge.

Mr. Corbett was a gentleman of private means, though he was accustomed to explain his manner of making a livelihood, when questioned by magistrates and other interested persons, by saying he was employed in a livery stable. When further pressed by these insatiably curious people as to what his duties in the livery stable were, he always described his position as that of "chamber maid." Here the magistrates and other questioners thought that Mr. Corbett was disposed to be facetious, but he was perfectly sincere, and he had described his work more accurately than they gave him credit for. It might have been more illuminative if he had said that in the livery stable of Pacer and Kelly he did the "upstairs" work.

It was a small but well appointed room in which Mr. Corbett worked. It had an unobtrusive narrow stairway leading up to it. The only furniture it contained was several chairs and a round table with a well concealed drawer, which opened with a spring, and held four packs and an assorted variety of chips! Its one window was well provided with a heavy blind... Continue reading book >>




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