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Desert Dust   By: (1870-1952)

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First Page:

[Illustration: Like some land of Heart's Desire (see page 22).]




Author of "How Are You Feeling Now?" etc.







Copyright, 1921, by Frank A. Munsey Company

Copyright, 1922, by George W. Jacobs & Company

All rights reserved Printed in U. S. A.


CHAPTER PAGE I. A Pair of Blue Eyes 9 II. To Better Acquaintance 22 III. I Rise in Favor 36 IV. I Meet Friends 54 V. On Grand Tour 72 VI. "High and Dry" 88 VII. I Go to Rendezvous 102 VIII. I Stake on the Queen 118 IX. I Accept an Offer 131 X. I Cut Loose 145 XI. We Get a "Super" 162 XII. Daniel Takes Possession 181 XIII. Someone Fears 197 XIV. I Take a Lesson 205 XV. The Trail Narrows 223 XVI. I Do the Deed 240 XVII. The Trail Forks 252 XVIII. Voices in the Void 261 XIX. I Stake Again 272 XX. The Queen Wins 286 XXI. We Wait the Summons 300 XXII. Star Shine 314


PAGE Like some land of Heart's Desire (see page 22). Frontispiece "Madam," I Uttered Foolishly, "Good Evening." 85 The Scouts Galloped Onward 280




In the estimate of the affable brakeman (a gentleman wearing sky blue army pantaloons tucked into cowhide boots, half buttoned vest, flannel shirt open at the throat, and upon his red hair a flaring brimmed black slouch hat) we were making a fair average of twenty miles an hour across the greatest country on earth. It was a flat country of far horizons, and for vast stretches peopled mainly, as one might judge from the car windows, by antelope and the equally curious rodents styled prairie dogs.

Yet despite the novelty of such a ride into that unknown new West now being spanned at giant's strides by the miraculous Pacific Railway, behold me, surfeited with already five days' steady travel, engrossed chiefly in observing a clear, dainty profile and waiting for the glimpses, time to time, of a pair of exquisite blue eyes.

Merely to indulge myself in feminine beauty, however, I need not have undertaken the expense and fatigue of journeying from Albany on the Hudson out to Omaha on the plains side of the Missouri River; thence by the Union Pacific Railroad of the new transcontinental line into the Indian country. There were handsome women a plenty in the East; and of access, also, to a youth of family and parts. I had pictures of the same in my social register. A man does not attain to twenty five years without having accomplished a few pages of the heart book. Nevertheless all such pages were or had seemed to be wholly retrospective now, for here I was, advised by the physicians to "go West," meaning by this not simply the one time West of Ohio, or Illinois, or even Iowa, but the remote and genuine West lying beyond the Missouri.

Whereupon, out of desperation that flung the gauntlet down to hope I had taken the bull by the horns in earnest. West should be full dose, at the utmost procurable by modern conveyance.

The Union Pacific announcements acclaimed that this summer of 1868 the rails should cross the Black Hills Mountains of Wyoming to another range of the Rocky Mountains, in Utah; and that by the end of the year one might ride comfortably clear to Salt Lake City. Certainly this was "going West" with a vengeance; but as appeared to me and to my father and mother and the physicians somewhere in the expanse of brand new Western country, the plains and mountains, I would find at least the breath of life... Continue reading book >>

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