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The Mountain Divide   By: (1859-1937)

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THE MOUNTAIN DIVIDE

BOOKS BY FRANK H. SPEARMAN

PUBLISHED BY CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

ROBERT KIMBERLY. Illustrated by James Montgomery Flagg. 12mo Net $1.30

WHISPERING SMITH. A Story of Rocky Mountain Life. Illustrated by N. C. Wyeth. 12mo $1.50

THE DAUGHTER OF A MAGNATE. Illustrated. 12mo $1.50

DOCTOR BRYSON. A Novel. 12mo $1.50

THE MOUNTAIN DIVIDE. Illustrated. 12mo Net $1.25

THE STRATEGY OF GREAT RAILROADS. With Maps. 12mo Net $1.50

[Illustration: AS BUCK'S STRAINING EYE FOLLOWED THE MOVEMENT, THE SECOND INDIAN STRUCK THE CLUB DOWN.]

THE MOUNTAIN DIVIDE

BY

FRANK H. SPEARMAN

ILLUSTRATED BY

ARMAND BOTH

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

NEW YORK :: 1912

Copyright, 1912, by

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

Published September, 1912

THIS STORY WITHOUT LOVE,

IS NONE THE LESS LOVINGLY INSCRIBED

TO

MY YOUNGEST SON

ARTHUR DUNNING SPEARMAN

ILLUSTRATIONS

As Buck's straining eye followed the movement, the second Indian struck the club down. Frontispiece It was only after a moment that the lineman could be seen to gain. 92 "Let that gate alone or I'll brain you," he cried. 250 For Scott to draw and fire was but one movement. 300

THE MOUNTAIN DIVIDE

CHAPTER I

Night had fallen and a warm rain drifting down from the mountains hung in a mist over the railroad yards and obscured the lights of Medicine Bend. Two men dismounting from their drooping horses at the foot of Front Street threw the reins to a man in waiting and made their way on foot across the muddy square to the building which served the new railroad as a station and as division head quarters. In Medicine Bend, the town, the railroad, everything was new; and the broad, low pine building which they entered had not yet been painted.

The public waiting room was large, roughly framed, and lighted with hanging kerosene lamps. Within the room a door communicated with the agent's office, and this was divided by a wooden railing into a freight office and a ticket and telegraph office.

It could be seen, as the two men paused at the door of the inner room, that the first wore a military fatigue cap, and his alert carriage as he threw open his cape coat indicated the bearing of an American army officer. He was of medium height, and his features and eyes implied that the storms and winds of the plains and mountains were familiar friends. This was Park Stanley, charged at that time with the construction of the first transcontinental railroad.

The agent's office, which he and his companion now looked into, was half filled with a crowd of frontiersmen, smoking, talking, disputing, asking questions, and crowding against the fence that railed off the private end of the room; while at the operator's table next to the platform window a tall, spindling boy was trying in the confusion behind him to get a message off the wire.

Stanley, eying the lad, noticed how thin his face was and what a bony frame spread out under the roundabout jacket that he appeared already to have outgrown. And he concluded this must be the new operator, Bucks, who for some days had been expected from the East.

The receiver clicked insistently and Bucks endeavored to follow the message, but the babel of talking made it almost impossible. Stanley heard the boy appeal more than once for less noise, but his appeals were unheeded. He saw symptoms of fire in the operator's eyes as the latter glared occasionally at the crowd behind him, but for what followed even Stanley was unprepared. Bucks threw down his pen and coming forward with angry impatience ordered the crowd out of the room.

He pushed the foremost of the intruders back from the rail and followed up his commands by opening the wicket gate and driving those ahead of him toward the door of the waiting room... Continue reading book >>




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