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That Girl Montana   By: (1866-1934)

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Made in the United States of America

Copyright, 1901, by Rand. McNally & Company.



"That girl the murderer of a man of Lee Holly! That pretty little girl? Bosh! I don't believe it."

"I did not say she killed him; I said she was suspected. And even though she was cleared, the death of that renegade adds one more to the mysteries of our new West. But I think the mere suspicion that she did it entitles her to a medal, or an ovation of some sort."

The speakers were two men in complete hunting costume. That they were strangers in the Northwest was evidenced by the very lively interest they took in each bit of local color in landscape or native humanity. Of the latter, there was a most picturesque variety. There were the Northern red men in their bright blankets, and women, too, with their beadwork and tanned skins for sale. A good market place for these was this spot where the Kootenai River is touched by the iron road that drives from the lakes to the Pacific. The road runs along our Northern boundary so close that it is called the "Great Northern," and verily the land it touches is great in its wildness and its beauty.

The two men, with their trophies of elk horn and beaver paws, with their scarred outfit and a general air of elation gained from a successful "outing," tramped down to the little station after a last lingering view toward far hunting grounds. While waiting for the train bound eastward, they employed their time in dickering with the Indian moccasin makers, of whom they bought arrows and gaily painted bows of ash, with which to deck the wall of some far away city home.

While thus engaged, a little fleet of canoes was sighted skimming down the river from that greater wilderness of the North, penetrated at that time only by the prospector, or a chance hunter; for the wealth of gold in those high valleys had not yet been more than hinted at, and the hint had not reached the ears of the world.

Even the Indians were aroused from their lethargy, and watched with keen curiosity the approaching canoes. When from the largest there stepped forth a young girl a rather remarkable looking young girl there was a name spoken by a tall Indian boatman, who stood near the two strangers. The Indians nodded their heads, and the name was passed from one to the other the name 'Tana a soft, musical name as they pronounced it. One of the strangers, hearing it, turned quickly to a white ranchman, who had a ferry at that turn of the river, and asked if that was the young girl who had helped locate the new gold find at the Twin Springs.

"Likely," agreed the ranchman. "Word came that she was to cut the diggings and go to school a spell. A Mr. Haydon, who represents a company that's to work the mine, sent down word that a special party was to go East over the road from here to day; so I guess she's one of the specials. She came near going on a special to the New Jerusalem, she did, not many days ago. I reckon you folks heard how Lee Holly toughest man in the length of the Columbia was wiped off the living earth by her last week."

"We heard she was cleared of it," assented the stranger.

"Yes, so she was, so she was cleared by an alibi, sworn to by Dan Overton. You don't know Dan, I suppose? Squarest man you ever met! And he don't have to scratch gravel any more, either, for he has a third interest in that Twin Spring find, and it pans out big. They say the girl sold her share for two hundred thousand. She doesn't look top heavy over it, either."

And she did not. She walked between two men one a short, rather pompous elderly man, who bore a slight resemblance to her, and whom she treated rather coolly.

"Of course I am not tired," she said, in a strong, musical voice... Continue reading book >>

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