Story type: Essay
Dear friend.–Being Sunday, I take an hour to write you a letter in regard to this place. I came here yesterday without attracting undue attention from people who lived here. If they was surprised, they concealed it from me.
I’ve camped out on the Chug years ago, and went to sleep with no live thing near me except my own pony, and woke up with the early song of the coyote, and have been on the lonesome plain for days where it seemed to me that a hostile would be mighty welcome if he would only say something to me, but I was never so lonesome as I was here in this big town last night, although it is the most thick settled place I was ever at.
I was so kind of low and depressed that I strolled in to the bar at last, allowing that I could pound on the counter and call up the boys and get acquainted a little with somebody, just as I would at Col. Luke Murrin’s, at Cheyenne; but when I waved to the other parties, and told them to rally round the foaming beaker, they apologized, and allowed they had just been to dinner.
Just been to dinner, and there it was pretty blamed near dark! Then I asked ’em to take a cigar, but they mostly cackillated they had no occasion.
I was mad, but what could I do? They was too many for me, and I couldn’t coerce the white livered aristocratic mob, for quicker’n scat they could have hollored into a little cupboard they had there in the corner, and in less’n two minits they’d of had the whole police department and the hook and ladder company down there after me with a torch-light procession.
So I swallowed my wrath and a tame drink of cultivated whiskey with Apollo Belvidere on the side, and went out into the auditorium of the hotel.
Here I was very unhappy, being, as the editor of the Green River Gazette would say, “the cynosure of all eyes.”
I would rather not be a cynosure, even at a good salary; so I thought I would ask the proprietor to build a fire in my room. I went up to the recorder’s office, where the big hotel autograft album is, and asked to see the proprietor.
A good-looking young man came forward and asked me what he could do for me. I said if it wouldn’t be too much trouble, I wisht he would build a little fire in my room, and I would pay him for it; or, if he would show me where the woodpile was, I would build the fire myself–I wasn’t doing anything special at that time.
He then whistled through his teeth and crooked his finger in a shrill tone of voice to a young party who was working for him, and told him to “build a fire in four-ought-two.”
I then sat down in the auditorium and read out of a railroad tract, which undertook to show that a party that undertook to ride over a rival road, must do so because life was a burden to him, and facility, and comfort, and safety, and such things no object whatever. But still I was very lonely, and felt as if I was far, far away from home.
I couldn’t have been more uncomfortable if I’d been a young man I saw twenty-five years ago on the old overland trail. He had gone out to study the Indian character, and to win said Indian to the fold. When I next saw him he was twenty miles farther on. He had been thrown in contact with said Indian in the meantime. I judged he had been making a collection of Indian arrows. He was extremely no more. He looked some like Saint Sebastian, and some like a toothpick-holder.
I was never successfully lost on the plains, and so I started out after supper to find my room. I found a good many other rooms, and tried to get into them, but I did not find four-ought-two till a late hour; then I subsidized the night patrol on the third floor to assist me.
This is a nice place to stop, but it is a little too rich for my blood, I guess Not so much as regards price, but I can see that I am beginning to excite curiosity among the boarders. People are coming here to board just because I am here, and it is disagreeable. I do not court notoriety. I have always lived in a plain way, and I would give a dollar if people would look the other way while I eat my pie.
To E. Wm. Nye, Esq.
P.S.–This is not a dictated letter. I left my stenograffer and revolver at Pumpkin Buttes.
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