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Goodwin's weekly : a thinking paper for thinking people. (Salt Lake City, Utah) 1902-1929, May 17, 1902, Image 10

Image and text provided by University of Utah, Marriott Library

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/2010218519/1902-05-17/ed-1/seq-10/

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Hi 10 OODWIN'S YBBKLY.
HI O.en Ifettep.
M'
H In view of the fact that mystery is the key to public
H, ! interest as well as the life blood of religion; and
H keeping in mind the pernicious effects of leaving the
H dear public in doubt as to the authorship of the
H I various Ogden letters which appear in Salt Lake
H U weeklies, permit me here to disclose my identity so
Hj 3 that he who runs may read. Of course I am a news-
H J ' paper man. I may be the Ogden end of the Tribune
the city council will probably think I am. Or, the
keen-scented correspondent of the Herald nosing
. for news in unfrequented places and hero of many
HL scoops. Again, keep your eye peeled on the News
B ( man here.
H There are various reasons why I might be he, or
H ' he like to be me (what's the matter with those pro-
H I nouns, anyway) least of which is that he can smell a
H piece of news as far as Charley Penrose can detect a
H i, gentile. Or why not find me on the Standard staff.
B -I There's Francis overworked and .poorly paid
i grinding out defences of the tariff while his soul
longs for the Elysian fields of Socialism. Or Carroll.
Now stop a minute. I may be Carroll the heavy-
B . weight city editor whose clothes bear daily evidence
H that he sleeps in them, but who could not be pried
H s, loose from Bill with a jimmy. If not Carroll, I may
B , be Bill don't throw the paper away, dear reader, I
B ' i am not going to elaborate. However, if you have to,
B J ' hold your nose while taking a dose of Bill. How
B f would some of the graduates of the Bill school suit
B h you. There is Pulver, Hanson, Chambers and the
Lt rest. If I am Pulver who can blame me; besides
B ('' whose business is it but no, Charley would come
M A oftener than once a week. There's Hanson, fat and
B ' lazy. He might do a stunt if he would stop the
B T manufacture of political gold bricks long enough to .
B 1 give his imagination a whirl and if you don't be-
B a lieve it's him, ask Bill. If I handle the council,
B t especially Hendershot, without gloves, I may be
H Chambers. Or, I may be Fred Shiells, a little an-
B cicnt, but still keen as a razor and on the inside of
HH everything. If Rev. Maison says I am not Shiells,
EH copper the bet. Don't overlook Littlefield, for thirty
H v years an editor, nor Thomas, who manager to run a
B . newspaper without visible means of support. It
B wouldn't hurt me to be either one, as in that way lies
B t experience and good judgment. Last, but not least
H l our Dr. Condon? Watch me and see if I drop
B into rhyme; if I write like the singing of birds and
H the laughing of girls; if I use a rapier with the force
H i of a bludgeon; if I handle the king's English like
H Dana or Watterson I may be Condon, And still, as
H j Roberts said in the House of Representatives, there
H are others. Now that I have told you who I am,
H ' don't quit me cold,, but subscribe for "Goodwin's
H Weekly," and I'll see you every week.
H ii By way of introduction, let me say that we are
H doing business at the old stand the Junction city
H the railroad center of the west and the future
H . metropolis of the intermountain country. We have
H our crosses and our crowns, our opportunities and
B I our disadvantages. We have Bill. Amen. We have
H jf the fuzziest bunch of city councilmen that ever prac-
H'l ticed nepotism or overrode a mayor's veto. But
Bj 1 withal, a lot of good fellows. A little unused to the
BJ.jf harness, maybe. But fuzzy. We have more hobos,
jHlf more creeds, more taxes, more politics and more
V I good nature than any other town on the map. To
H I: say nothing of the army of workingmen, the house-
H 1 owners, the clever sons and beautiful daughters, the
B f splendid corps of legal and professional talent, than
B'J whom the .earth has-none finer. All these we have.
Hjf Yet a few things and we would be supremely con-
c tent. We want the streets paved and sprinkled.
1 We want the parks improved and kept up so the
Hff? stranger within our gates will not suspect these un-
HK sightly patches of green to be hog pastures. We
HB , want the library finished, taxes lowered, and we want
Hk the waterworks. And why shouldn't we have them?
Uk But more of this anon. Make the Weekly a perma-
BflHfc nent institution in the home circle and I will tell you
JH8BQF all about it.
Told in the Way Station.
The section foreman had a violin, and
the telegraph operator could pick a few
chords on a banjo. Had it not been for the
evening visits of the foreman with his violin
the operator would probably have become
frantic with home-sickness. The prairie
railroad station was lonesome enough even
in summer, when freights ran in two and
three sections, and farm machinery littered
the platform. Then the operator had plenty
to do besides copy train orders and keep
his switch lamps clean. But in the winter,
when the road to the village, a mile away,
was blocked half the time, when traffic was
light and passengers few, the eternal hum
ming of the wires became an almost unbear
able dirge.
This particular stormy day had brought
"Old John" Bentley and his bridge gang to
the station. Bentley was a character, and
his men were good fellows, and the operator
greeted them profanely and joyfully. Their
visit meant company for two or three days
anyway, for the trestle against the gulch
west of the station was shaky and needed
attention.
But this story is about Bentley, and was
told by one of his men. Bentley started to
tell it, but he didn't finish. Why Bentley's
hair should be so white, and how his left
hand and forearm had been butchered so
were mysteries even to his bridge gang,
Bentley had never spoken of either until
that stormy night in the station, and then
he left the story for Jackson to tell, which
was perhaps better. For it was Jackson who
unbuckled Bentley's belt from the trunk of
the tree and lowered the unconscious, half
frozen form to his companions, and it was
he who sat by Bentley during the delirium
of the following days. So he was probably
better qualified to tell it anyway. "I guess
he won't kick if I tell you boys," said Jack
son. He'd 'a' told the story himself, but
well, I'll tell you."
Bentley yawned, walked over to the win
dow, and looked out at the storm. It was
fairly whistling outside. For a long time he
stood there, listening to the howling wind
and staring absently through the windows,
now rapidly coating with ice. Finally he
turned, walked over to the settee and sat
down.
"Any tobacco, Jackson?"
Jackson pulled but his pouch, and Bent
ley, holding his blackened brier in his man
gled left hand, slowly filled the bowl.
The operator finished checking up his way
bills, booked them, and came out into the
waiting room.
"No. 3's laid up at Summit," he an
nounced, as he made a draft on Jackson's
tobacco pouch. "Guess you'll have to hold
down the shack with me for a day or two,
John.
Bentley smoked silently for a few min
utes. Then he turned to Jackson.
"It was a good deal like this that day,
Jackson. You remember it?"
Jackson nodded.
"Twenty years ago tomorrow," continued
Bentley musingly. He slowly pushed up
his coat sleeve, unbuttoned the sleeve of his
blue flannel shirt, and rolled it up.
"Tomorrow's the anniversary of that," he
said, as he held his mutilated hand toward
the operator. The third and fourth Angers
were gone, as was part of the palm, while
along the wrist and hairy forearm ran a
series of white indentations to where the
flesh apparently had been torn out and
roughly sewn back into place.
"Just twenty years ago tomorrow. Birth
day present."
"Bumpers?" asked the operator.
"No, wolves," replied Bentley.
He relapsed into silence again. The
others said nothing, but waited as Bentley
stared at the fire.
"They were timber wolves," he finally re
sumed. "You've heard them, Jackson."
Jackson nodded again.
"I can see that lad now as he God, how
it snowed. It soon blotted out the stains on
the snow . crust. That's where I got gray.
Twenty years. Well, I guess I'll trundle to
ward the house. Good night, boys."
He buttoned his coat to the chin, jammed
the hot, glowing tobacco down into the heel
of his pipe, pulled, his cap well over his
eyes, and faced the winter whirlwind.
'I don't know where Bentley first met the
lad who was with him," began Johnson. "I
kind 'a think though it was at college.
When John was out of his head up there in
the shack, he used to sing college songs and
swear at Budge. I never asked him about
that part of it.
John was poking along, lonesomelike one
day, when he ran square into the young
fellow.
"I beg your par well, Jack, you old skate,
how are you, anyway?" says the lad.,
John stared at him a second or two. Then
he stuck out his mit and grinned like an
idiot.
"Is that you, Budge? Well, I'll What
you doing up here? Come on "n" have a
drink."
"Nix, Jack. I've cut it out. Say, what
are you going to do for a month or two? I
want to go up into the woods with my gun."
"You're my man," says John, and they
walked away, arm in arm, gabbing and laugh
ing like a couple of kids.
"Well, it didn't take them long to outfit.
One morning they started for an old shack
John had in mind up the Vermilion river. I
never understood why John liked that place.
It was pretty enough around there, as far as
tnat goes, right at the foot of a bluff, with a
trout stream near the door. But a man I
looking for fur isn't paying much attention J
to the landscape. r I
"It was easy traveling 'up the river, and I
they made the shack the afternoon of the
second day.

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