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Nancy MacIntyre   By:

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Nancy MacIntyre

A Tale of the Prairies


Lester Shepard Parker


[Illustration: "I was takin' leave of Nancy, Standin' out there in the night."]

To My Wee Daughter RACHEL ELLEN PARKER this little story is affectionately inscribed


Billy's Revery The Quarrel The Disappointment The Decision The Search The Return Nancy's Story


"I was takin' leave of Nancy Standin out there in the night" (Frontispiece)

"Then I dragged him on the prairie Through a Turk's Head cactus bed"

"I am standing by her dug out, Open stands the sagging door"

"Bringing back a hat of water, Through the dim light and the rain"

"Loaded up their prairie schooner, And vamoosed the ranch, 'fore light"

"He was startled by a stranger's Sudden presence and 'Hello!'"

"Faithful Simon, weak and starving, Groaned and fell beneath his pack"

"Resting calm in fancied safety Sat the elder MacIntyre"

"Once again the twisted branches Of the lone and friendly tree"

"Fiercer with each flying moment Drove the scorching blasts of death"

"Standing there, a pictured goddess Sketched against a lowering storm"

"But, instead, I shot, to scare him, All the buttons off his coat"



No use talking, it's perplexing, Everything don't look the same; Never had these curious feelin's Till those MacIntyres came. Quit my plowing long 'fore dinner, Didn't hitch my team again; Spent the day with these new neighbors, Getting 'quainted with the men. Talk about the prairie roses! Purtiest flow'rs in all the world, But they look like weeds for beauty When I think of that new girl. Strange, she seems so kind of friendly When I'm awkward, every way, And my tongue gets hitched and hobbled, Everything I try to say!


There's one person, that Jim Johnson, That there man I can't abide; He's been milling around near Nancy, Durn his dirty, yaller hide! Never really liked that Johnson; Now, each time I hear his name, Feel this state's too thickly settled, That is, since that new girl came. If this making love to women Went like breaking in a horse, I might stand some show of winning, 'Cause I've learned that game, of course; But this moonshine folks call 'courting,' I ain't never played that part; I can't keep from talking foolish When I'm thinking with my heart.


Now, those women that you read of In these story picture books, They can't ride in roping distance Of that girl in style and looks. They have waists more like an insect, Corset shaped and double cinched; Feet just right to make a watch charm, Small, of course, because they're pinched. This here Nancy's like God made her, She don't wear no saddle girth, But she's supple as a willow, And the purtiest thing on earth. I'm in earnest; let me ask you 'Cause I want to reason fair What durn business has that rope necked Johnson sneaking over there?


Hands so soft and strong and tender, When I shook a "how de do," They was loaded sure with something Seemed to thrill me through and through; Hair as black as fire burnt prairie; Eyes that dance and flash and flirt; Every time she smiled she showed you Teeth as white's my Sunday shirt. Baked us biscuits light as cotton; I can't eat mine any more, I must get some better breeches, Kind o' 'shamed of those I wore; But I'm goin' there to morrow, Like enough I'll stay all day, Seems to me too dry for plowing Durn that Johnson, anyway!


I ain't much on deep down thinkin', Reasoning out the way things go, So I s'pose I'll keep on foolin' Till in time I get to know. I've had chills and fever 'n' ague; Suffered till their course was run. Maybe love just keeps on runnin', Till a man has lost or won. One thing certain: I have got it; Seems to struck in good and hard. Makes me sometimes soft and tender; Next thing I would fight my pard. Appetite is surely failing, Sometimes I don't eat a bite; Dream of Nancy all the daytime, That durn Johnson, half the night... Continue reading book >>

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