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The Lonesome Trail and Other Stories   By: (1874-1940)

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First Page:

STORIES

E text prepared by Al Haines

THE LONESOME TRAIL AND OTHER STORIES

by

B. M. BOWER (B. M. SINCLAIR)

Author of Chip of the Flying U , The Range Dwellers , Her Prairie Knight , The Lure of the Dim Trails , The Happy Family , The Long Shadow , etc.

New York Grosset & Dunlap Publishers

1904

CONTENTS

THE LONESOME TRAIL

FIRST AID TO CUPID

WHEN THE COOK FELL ILL

THE LAMB

THE SPIRIT OF THE RANGE

THE REVELER

THE UNHEAVENLY TWINS

THE LONESOME TRAIL

PART ONE

A man is very much like a horse. Once thoroughly frightened by something he meets on the road, he will invariably shy at the same place afterwards, until a wisely firm master leads him perforce to the spot and proves beyond all doubt that the danger is of his own imagining; after which he will throw up his head and deny that he ever was afraid and be quite amusingly sincere in the denial.

It is true of every man with high keyed nature, a decent opinion of himself and a healthy pride of power. It was true of Will Davidson, of the Flying U commonly known among his associates, particularly the Happy Family, as "Weary." As to the cause of his shying at a certain object, that happened long ago. Many miles east of the Bear Paws, in the town where Weary had minced painfully along the streets on pink, protesting, bare soles before the frost was half out of the ground; had yelled himself hoarse and run himself lame in the redoubtable base ball nine which was to make that town some day famous the nine where they often played with seven "men" because the other two had to "bug" potatoes or do some other menial task and where the umpire frequently engaged in throwing lumps of dried mud at refractory players, there had lived a Girl.

She might have lived there a century and Weary been none the worse, had he not acquired the unfortunate habit of growing up. Even then he might have escaped injury had he not persisted in growing up and up, a straight six feet two of lovable good looks, with the sunniest of tempers and blue eyes that reflected the warm sweetness of that nature, and a smile to tell what the eyes left unsaid.

Such being the tempting length of him, the Girl saw that he was worth an effort; she took to smoking the chimney of her bedroom lamp, heating curling irons, wearing her best hat and best ribbons on a weekday, and insisting upon crowding number four and a half feet into number three and a half shoes and managing to look as if she were perfectly comfortable. When a girl does all those things, and when she has a good complexion and hair vividly red and long, heavy lidded blue eyes that have a fashion of looking side long at a man, it were well for that man to travel if he would keep the lightness of his heart and the sunny look in his eyes and his smile.

Weary traveled, but the trouble was that he did not go soon enough. When he did go, his eyes were somber instead of sunny, and he smiled not at all. And in his heart he carried a deep rooted impulse to shy always at women and so came to resemble a horse.

He shied at long, blue eyes and turned his own uncompromisingly away. He never would dance with a woman who had red hair, except in quadrilles where he could not help himself; and then his hand clasp was brief and perfunctory when it came to "Grand right and left." If commanded to "Balance swing " the red haired woman was swung airily by the finger tips ; which was not the way in which Weary swung the others.

And then came the schoolma'am. The schoolma'am's hair was the darkest brown and had a shine to it where the light struck at the proper angle, and her eyes were large and came near being round, and they were a velvety brown and also had a shine in them.

Still Weary shied consistently and systematically.

At the leap year ball, given on New Year's night, when the ladies were invited to "choose your pardners for the hull dance, regardless of who brought yuh," the schoolma'am had forsaken Joe Meeker, with whose parents she boarded, and had deliberately chosen Weary... Continue reading book >>




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