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First Fam'lies of the Sierras   By: (1837-1913)

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FIRST FAM'LIES OF THE SIERRAS.

By JOAQUIN MILLER

AUTHOR OF "SONGS OF THE SIERRAS," "SONGS OF THE SUN LANDS," "THE SHIP IN THE DESERT," ETC.

CHICAGO: JANSEN, McCLURG & CO. 1876.

COPYRIGHT, JANSEN, McCLURG & CO. A. D. 1876.

LAKESIDE PUBLISHING & PRINTING CO. CHICAGO.

TO MY OLD COMPANION IN ARMS, PRINCE JAMIE TOMAS, OF LEON, NICARAGUA.

CONTENTS.

IN THE FORKS

LITTLE BILLIE PIPER

THE FIRST WOMAN IN THE FORKS

SUNDAY IN THE SIERRAS

WASHEE WASHEE

SOME UNWRITTEN HISTORY

THAT BOY

SANDY'S COURTSHIP

"THAT BOY" IS ILL

A SCENE IN THE SIERRAS

THE PARSON'S PURSUIT OF LOVE

GRIT

AN ANNOUNCEMENT

A WEDDING IN THE SIERRAS

WHAT'S THE MATTER NOW?

WAS THE WOMAN INSANE?

CAPTAIN TOMMY

"BLOOD!"

HOW DID IT HAPPEN?

A FLAG OF TRUCE

THE QUESTION NONE COULD ANSWER

DEBATABLE GROUND

ANOTHER WEDDING AT THE FORKS

THE JUDGE IS LONESOME

AFTER THE DELUGE WHAT THEN?

THE WIDOW IN DISGRACE

BILLIE PIPER AND DEBOON

THE GOPHER

A NATURAL DEATH

A FUNERAL

THE CARAVAN OF DEATH

THE END

FIRST FAM'LIES OF THE SIERRAS.

CHAPTER I.

IN THE FORKS.

Now there was young Deboon from Boston, who was a very learned man. He was in fact one of those fearfully learned men. He was a man who could talk in all tongues and think in none.

Perhaps he had sometime been a waiter.

I am bound to say that the most dreadfully learned young men I have ever met are the waiters in the Continental hotels.

Besides that he was very handsome. He was, indeed, almost as handsome as a French barber, or a first class steward.

Another thing that helped to defeat him in this hurried election was his love of animals and his dislike of hard work. The handsome fellow stood for election this day with a bushy tailed squirrel frisking on his shoulder, and a pair of pink eyed white mice peeping out like a handkerchief from the pocket of his red shirt.

Then there was Chipper Charley smart enough, and a man, too, who had read at least a dozen books; but the Forks didn't want him for an Alcalde any more than it did Deboon.

Then there was Limber Tim, and Limber certainly could write his name, for he was always leaning up against trees and houses and fences, when he could find them, and writing the day and date, and making grotesque pictures with a great carpenter's pencil, which he carried in the capacious depths of his duck breeches' pocket. But when Sandy proposed Limber Tim, the Camp silently but firmly shook its head, and said, "Not for Joseph."

At last the new camp pitched upon a man who, it seemed, had been called The Judge from the first. Perhaps he had been born with that name. It would indeed have been hard to think of him under any other appellation whatever. It had been easier to imagine that when he had first arrived on earth his parents met him at the door, took his carpet bag, called him Judge, and invited him in.

As is usually the case in the far, far West, this man was elected Judge simply because he was fit for nothing else.

The "boys" didn't want a man above them who knew too much.

When Chipper Charley had been proposed, an old man rose up, turned his hat wrong side out with his fist, twisted his beard around his left hand, spirted a stream of tobacco juice down through an aisle of rugged men and half way across the earthen floor of the Howling Wilderness saloon, and then proceeded to make a speech that killed the candidate dead on the spot.

This was the old man's speech:

"That won't go down. Too much book larnin."

But the new Judge, or rather the old, bald headed, dumpy, dirty faced little fellow, with the dirty shirt and dirty duck breeches, was not a bad man at all. The "boys" had too much hard sense to set up anything but a sort of wooden king to rule over them in this little isolated remote camp and colony of the Sierras. And they were perfectly content with their log too, and never once called out to Jupiter for King Stork.

This old idiotic little Judge, with a round head, round red face, and round belly, had no mind he had no memory... Continue reading book >>




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