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less than 8,000 or 10,000, because the young strange phenomenon again appear along the men of the Red Cloud and Spotted Tail eastern horizon.—a band of dull dead blue people could easily be got to join the Sioux ; lying close to the land, where no clouds and if they are to die, why should they not were, and fading into a warm crimson above. do some splendid thing?"
Had this belt of coloured shadow been a "Well, Sir," said our friend, patting the belt of mountains, we should have estimated neck of one of his horses, as the ladies were them to be about 5,000 feet above the getting into the carriage, “ that would be fine level of these plains, which are themselves —that would be striking in a book or a play. 5,000 or 6,000 feet above the level of But you don't know the Indians. The In- the sea; and a strange thing was that this dians are cowards, Sir, take my word for it; dusky blue and the crimson above remained and they don't fight except for plunder. They well into the twilight, when all the world are revengeful-oh yes—and malicious as around us was growing dark. It was in this snakes ; but they won't kill a man unless wan twilight that we drove out to a lake they could get his rifle, or his oxen or some which will, no doubt, form an ornamental thing. The young men are different some feature in a big park when the Black Hills times; they want scalps to make them big miners, gorged with wealth, come back to in the eyes of the gals ; but you wouldn't find make Cheyenne a great city. The chief ata whole tribe of Indians flinging their lives traction of the lake, as we saw it, was the away just to make a fuss in the New York presence of a considerable number of wildpapers.”
duck on the surface ; but we did not stay At this point we started off again across long to look at them, for the reason that the plains; and the discussion was adjourned, there were several boats out after them; and as the Irish magistrate said, sine die until the the tiny jets of pink fire that were from time evening. Only Bell was anxious to be as- to time visible in the silvery twilight showed sured that if Sitting Bull and his merry men that the occupants of the boats were firing should meditate one grand and final act of pretty much at random. As we did not revenge, they would not make their way wish to have a charge of No. 5 shot for supdown to the plains of Colorado and take up per, we drove off, and eventually were landed their abode there ; and she was greatly com- at the railway inn at Cheyenne. forted when she heard that the chief trouble We were quite conscious of having done of the government was that it could not get an injustice to “Hell on Wheels” in taking the Indians to forsake their native hills in only this cursory glance at so famous a place ; the north and go down to the Indian Terri- but then we knew that all our letters—and tory in the south.
perhaps telegrams—were now at Idaho, and “ I think, Mrs. Von Rosen,” said Lady we wished to get on as soon as possible. Sylvia, “ that you will have some romantic But as the present writer was unanimously stories to tell your children when you return requested by the party to pay a tribute of to England. You would feel very proud if gratitude to the clean and comfortable little you compelled the Indians to address you as inn at the station, he must now do so ; only • brave squaw ! brave squaw !'”
he must also confess that he was bribed, for "I can assure you I am not at all anxious the good-natured landlord was pleased, as we to become a heroine,” our Bell said, seri- sat at supper, to send in to us, with his comously; no doubt remembering that romantic pliments, a bottle of real French Champagne, incidents have sometimes a knack of leaving Good actions should never go unrewarded ; children motherless.
and so the gentle reader is most earnestly And now "the Rockies" had grown quite entreated, the first time he goes to Cheyenne dramatic in their intensity of plum-colour, —in fact, he is entreated to go to Cheyenne and there were flashing shots of crimson fire anyhow--to stay at this inn and give large high over the dusky peaks. But as we were orders. Moreover, the present writer, not driving eastward, we saw even more beauti- wishing to have his conduct in this particuful colours on the other horizon ; for there lar regarded as being too mercenary, would were huge soft masses of colour that had wish to explain that the bottle of Chamtheir high ridges of snow touched with a pale pagne in question was, as we subsequently saffron as the light went down. And then, discovered, charged for in the bill, and honwhen the sun had really sunk, we found that estly paid for too ; but he can not allow the
landlord to be deprived of all credit for his
CHAPTER XLIX. hospitable intentions merely on account of an error on the part of the clerk. We drank to his health then, and we will do so now. Here is to your health, Mr.- - ; and to IVE in the morning-pitch-darkness all yours, you kind friend, who showed us the around the station-a clear starlit sky non-fortified Fort Russell, and to yours, you the flashing belt and sword of Orion alyoung Canadian gentleman, who told us most right overhead. We had our breakfast those sad stories about Denver; and we of bread and apples in the great empty sahereby invoke a malison on the Grand Cen- loon ; then we went out on to the platform, tral Hotel of that city, on account of its cock. wondering when the Cyclops eye of the train roaches, and its vinous decoctions, and its would come flaring through the dark. For incivility; but all this is highly improper, now we were within a few hours' journey of and premature, and a breach of confidence. the point to which those messages were to be
We did indeed spend a pleasant evening directed which would finally set at rest one that night at Cheyenne ; for we had ordered or two grave problems; and there was a for our banquet all the strangest dishes on good deal of nervousness visible among our the bill of fare, just to give our friends a no- women-folk when we touched on these protion of the sort of food they would have to babilities. But Lady Sylvia showed no nerencounter during their stay in the West. vousness at all. She was eager, buoyant, And then these steaks of antelope and confident. She was clearly not afraid of any mountain sheep and black-tailed deer derived telegram or letter that might be awaiting her a certain romance from the presence, on the at Denver. Nay, when her friends, shiver. walls of the room, of splendid heads and ing in the cold and darkness of the early antlers, until it appeared to us that we must morning, were complaining of the railway be mighty hunters just sitting down to sup- arrangements that compelled us to get up at per, with the trophies won by our own sword such an hour, she made light of the matter, and spear hung up around us. And then our and showed how, as we went south, we Prussian strategist—who had acquired such should have the beautiful spectacle of the a vast and intimate acquaintance with the sunrise breaking on the Rocky Mountains. Indians from his conversation with the At length the train came along, and we Omaha idiot-proceeded to explain to us his got into the warm carriage, in which the plan of an Indian campaign ; which showed conductor was engaged in cramming a blazthat he was quite fitted to take the com- ing stove with still further blocks of wood. mand of all the red men in Dakota. We Very soon we were away from the scattered were treated to a dose of history, too ; to shanties of Cheyenne, out on the lone prairieshow that, in desperation, the Indians have land that was to be our Bell's future home. often risen to commit a general massacre, And as we sat and silently looked out of the apparently with no ulterior motive whatever. windows, watching a pale glow arise in the And of course, when Sitting Bull had swept east, and trying to make out something on down on Cheyenne and drunk its taverns the dark plains below, suddenly we caught dry, and when he had swept down on Den- sight of some flashing lights of red and yellow. ver and filled his pockets--if any–with sham These were the breakfast fires of some trav French jewelry, surely he would come up to ellers camping out-probably miners or tradIdaho to pay a certain young lady a friendly ers making for the Black Hills with a train call ?
of waggons and oxen. The light in the east “Bell,” said her husband, "you shall have increased; and then we saw all along the a laurel wreath ready, and you will have all western horizon the great wall of the Rocky the neighbours trained and ready, and when Mountains become visible in a streain of the great chief approaches, you will all burst colour—the peaks the faintest rose, the out with · Heil dir im Siegerkranz !'” shadowy bulk below a light, transparent,
“In the mean time,” said Bell, sedately, beautiful blue. The morning came on apace; “if we are to catch the train for Denver at the silvery grays of the east yielding to a five in the morning, we had better get to glowing saffron. There seemed to be no bed."
mists lying on these high plains, for, as the sun rose, we could see an immense distance over the yellow prairie-land. And the first excellent—that led us to look out with unobjects we perceived in this lonely desert of usual interest for this little township set far grass were a number of antelope quietly graz. among the Western plains ; there were other ing within rifle range of the railway line, tak- reasons which need not be mentioned here. ing no heed whatever, though occasionally And, indeed, we have the most pleasant one of the more timid would trot off on its memories of Greeley, as it shone there in the spider-like legs to a safer distance. Bell early sunlight. We walked up the broad main began to laugh. She saw the misery of her thoroughfare, with its twin rows of cottonhusband's face.
wood trees; and no doubt the empty street “Ah, well," said he, with a sigh, “I sup- gained something from the fact that the end pose if the train were to stop, and you went of it seemed closed in by the pale blue line down with a gun, they would be away like of the Rocky Mountains, the peaks here and lightning. But a time will come ; and your there glittering with snow. A bright, clean, husband, Lady Sylvia, will be with me to thriving-looking place, with its handsome help me, I hope."
red brick school-house and its capacious There was certainly no misery on Lady white church ; while many of the shanties Sylvia's face, now that the brilliant light of about had pleasant little gardens attached, the new day filled the carriage. Was this watered by small irrigation canals from the the pale sad soul who had come away from Cache-la-poudre River. As we were passing England with us, out of sorts with the world, one of those tiny streams, a great heron rose and almost aweary of her life? There was slowly into the air, his heavy wings flapping, a colour in her cheeks that nearly rivaled his legs hanging down ; but a large hawk, Bell's apple-blossom tints. There was an crossing a field beyond, took no notice of unusual gladness in her eyes this morning him; and we were disappointed of a bit of that we could not at first account for; but extempore falconry. We had only a look at she let the secret out : she had been making the public park, which is as yet mostly a elaborate calculations. The telegram she wilderness of underwood, and a glimpse at received at Omaha from Queenstown had the pretty villas beyond ; in fact, our explorbeen waiting for her two days before she got ations nearly lost us our train. As we think it. Then, taking into account the number of Greeley now-here, in England, in the of days we staid at Omaha and the leisurely depth of winter-it shines for us still in the fashion in which we had come across the light of the summer morning, and the trees plains, there was at least a chance—so she and fields are green around it, and the mounproved to herself—that her husband might tains are blue under the blue of the sky. at that very moment be landing at one of May it shine and flourish forever ! the New York wharves. It all depended on It is most unfair of the Americans to speak the steamer. Who knew any thing about slightingly of Denver. It is a highly rethat steamer ? Notoriously it belonged to spectable city. We were quite astounded, the fastest of all the lines. Was it possible, on our first entrance, by the number of peothen, that as we were chatting and laughing ple who appeared in black coats and tall in this railway carriage on the Colorado hats; and the longer we staid in the place, prairies, Balfour might be on the same con- the more we were impressed by the fashion tinent with us? You could almost have in which the Denverites had removed the imagined that his stepping ashore had com- old stains from their reputation by building municated some strange magnetic thrill to "churches. They have advanced much farhis wife's heart.
ther in the paths of civilization than the slow“ We are getting near to Greeley now," moving cities of the East. In New York or said Queen T— to her friend Bell, looking Boston hotels the servants merely claim a rather eagerly out of the window.
free-and-easy equality with the guests ; in “Yes," said the practical lieutenant, “and Denver they have got far beyond that. The we shall have twenty minutes there for a real wines are such triumphs of skilful invention breakfast. An apple and a bit of bread is as no city in the world can produce. And not enough, if you are travelling in Colorado then, when one goes into the streets (to air"
escape from the beetles in one's bedroom), But I do not think it was altogether the the eye is charmed by the variety of nationbreakfast—though that, as it turned out was alities every where visible A smart Mexican rides by, with gayly decorated saddle, on
n we don't have four aces in the first deal, unhis long-tailed pony. Chinese women hob- less mebbe the Czar of Russia or the Prince ble on their small shoes into an iron-mongery of Wales, or some of them chaps; and so life shop. The adjoining saloon is called "Zur and religion is pretty much as we play the goldenen Trauben ;” and and at the door of hand we've got.” it a red-haired Irishwoman is stormily quar- The lady seemed to put another aspect on reling with an angry but silent and sulky these moral truths. negress. Over this seething admixture of “ Hosea Kemp,” said she, practically, population dwell the twelve patrician families “that pig-skinned Mormon fraud, diskivered of Denver, shining apart like stars in a silent that when you raised him ten thousand, and heaven of their own. We are not permitted raked in his pile ; and he had a full, and to gaze upon any one of these-unless—un. you were only king high.” less ? Those two people who stood on the “That was before I knowed better, and I steps of the hotel after dinner? They were hadn't seen the vanities,” said the repentant distinguished-looking persons, and much be- sinner. “But when I played, I played my diamonded. The lady wore beautiful colours, hand for all that it was worth ; and that's and the red-faced gentleman had a splendid what's the matter with me. You kent fool gold chain round his neck ; and thus-so far away your hand and keep the chips; and as we could make out, they spake: that's what you find in the Commandments.
" Jim," said the lady, “ don't you remem- That's the idee.” What the idea was we ber that hop of Steve Bellerjean's that he giv were rather at a loss to discover ; but we after he run away wi' Dan Niggles's gal, to were not exactly in search of conundrums at make up all around, when he found pay this moment. gravel and married the gal ?"
Indeed, our arrival at Denver had put an "No," said the other, reflectively, “I dis end for the time being to our idling and day. remember.”
dreaming First of all, there were the let "Well
, that woman in yaller fixins that ters (there were no telegrams for any one, so stared at me all dinner, I could swear was we imagined that Balfour had not yet reached Steve's woman."
New York); and in the general selfishness “But Steve ran away from her," said the of each seizing his or her own packet, gentleman, who seems to remember some no one noticed the expression with which things, if not the hop. “She didn't pan out Lady Sylvia broke open the only envelope well. Tried to put a head on him with a addressed to her. There was a turmoil of revolver-jealousy and rum. Steve went to news from home, mostly of a domestic and Sonora ; tried to bust the government; and trivial nature, but none the less of trementhe Greasers ketched hiin with a lariat, and dous importance to the two mothers. And his chips were passed in.
when they turned to Lady Sylvia, she was The gentleman in the gold chain had sud- sitting there quite calm and undisturbed, denly grown melancholy.
without any trace of disappointment on her Yes ; Steve's chips were called," chimed face.
“So Mr. Balfour has not reached New “ That's what's the matter with all of us,” | York yet," said Queen T-, in her gentle continued her companion, in a sad tone. way. “That's what no Fifteenth Amendment can “I suppose not," was the answer. “ I was stop; the chips must be paid. That's what calculating on the very shortest time possible. I told the boys down at Gridiron Bend when This letter was written some time before he I giv my experience and jined the church, left England. It is only about business afand Euchre-deck Billy heaved that rock into fairs." the christenin'-place; sez I, Boys, sez I, life It was not until that evening that Lady gen'rally begins with a square deal, leastways Sylvia communicated the contents of this outside the idiot asylum. 'Cordin' as you letter to her friend, and she did so without play your hand, will the promises be kep'. complaint as to the cold and formal manner Sure enough, some has aces, and some not, in which her husband had written. Doubtand that's luck; and four aces any day is less, she said, he was perfectly right. She as good a hand as the Ten Commandments. had left him of her own accord; she deWith four aces, I'd buck agin the devil. But served to be treated as a stranger. But the
in his spouse.
prompt answer to her message to him con- sible to point out to her that she might have vinced her—this she said with a happy con- children, and that her husband and father fidence in her eyes—of the spirit in which were alike bound by their duties as trustees he was now coming out to her; and if, when not to let her defraud these helpless things he came out here, she had only five minutes of the future? Nay, more : it would be negiven to her to tell him- But the present cessary to tell her that these hypothetical writer refuses to reveal further the secrets young people might marry ; and that, howthat passed between these two women. ever they might love their mamma, papa, and
In fact, he would probably never have grandpapa, some cantankerous son-in-law known, but that at this juncture he was pri- could suddenly come down on the papa and vately appealed to for advice. And if, in the grandpapa and compel them to make good course of this faithful narrative, he has en- that money which they had allowed, in defideavoured as far as possible to keep himself ance of their trust, to be dissipated in a sort in the background, and to be the mere of quixotic sacrifice. mouth-piece and reporter of the party, that "I always thought the law was idiotic," rôle must be abandoned for a moment. He says Queen Tmust explain that he now found himself in a '“ The law in this case is especially devoted position of some difficulty. Balfour had to the protection of women, who are not supwritten out to Lady Sylvia, informing her of posed to be able to take care of themselves.” the collapse of his father's firm. It was “Do you mean to say that if Lady Sylvia, hopeless, he said, to think of the firm resum- to whom the money belongs, wishes to give ing business ; the trade that had made his it up, she can not give it up?" father's fortune was played out. In these cir- “ It does not belong to her; it belongs to cumstances, he considered himself bound to Balfour and Lord Willowby, in trust for her ; give up everything he possessed to his cre- and they dare not give it up, except at their ditors, and he wished to know whether she, own risk. What Balfour meant by making Lady, Sylvia, would feel disposed to surrender himself a trustee can only be imagined ; but in like manner the £50,000 settled on her he is a shrewd fellow." before her marriage. He pointed out to her “And so she can not give up the money! that she was not legally bound to do so, and Surely that is a strange thing—that one is not that it was a very doubtful question whether allowed to defraud one's self!" she was morally bound ; it was a matter for “ You can defraud yourself as much as you her private feeling. If she felt inclined to like. If she chooses, she can pay over the give up the money, he would endeavour to £2,000 a year, or whatever it is, to Balfour's gain her father's consent. But he thought creditors; but if she surrendered the original that would be difficult, unless she also would sum, she would he defrauding her children ; join in persuading him; and she might point do you see that?" Or does your frantic anxout that, if he refused, she could in any case iety to let a woman fling away a fortune that pay over the annual interest of the sum. He is legally hers blind you to everything ?” hoped she was well ; and there an end. “I don't see that her children, if she has
Now, if Lady Sylvia had had a bank note any," says this tiny but heroic champion of for £50,000 in her pocket, she would have strict morality, “would benefit much by inhanded it over with a glad heart. She never heriting money that ought never to have bedoubted for a moment that she ought to pay longed to them. That money, you know over the money, especially as she now knew very well, belongs to Mr. Balfour's creditors.” that it was her husband's wish ; but this ref- “ This I know very well : that you would erence to her father rather bewildered her, be exceedingly glad to see these two absoand so she indirectly appealed for counsel. lute beggars, so that they should be thrown
Now, how was it possible to explain to on each other's helpfulness. I have a suspithis gentle creature that the principle on cion that that is the foundation for this which an antenuptial settlement is based is pretty anxiety in the cause of morality and that the wife is literally purchased for a sum justice. Now there is no use in being angry. of money, and that it is the bounden duty Without doubt, you have a sensitive consciof the trustees to see that this purchase ence, and you are anxious that Lady Sylvia's money shall not be inveigled away from her conscience should be consulted too; but all in any manner whatever? How was it pos- the same-"