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Newspaper Page Text
OLD JIM'S DISCOVERY
By H. M. Egbert.
"Well, seeing as we've got your fa
ther now we can't exactly turn him
out into the desert said little Mrs.
Ross, pursing her lips. There was a
stubborn set to her features which
Edwin Ross knew from of old.
"But we had to take the old man,
Bessie," argued her husband. "We
couldn't let the old man go to the
"He'd have been a sight better off
there than mooning round the shack
at 80," answered his wife.
Ross sighed. He knew his wife
was not naturally hard, and yet of
late her antipathy toward his father
had been growjng more pronounced.
She had, as a matter of fact, warmly
seconded his proposal that when they
pulled up stakes the old man should
At 25 Edwin Ross, a year married,
had suggested to Bessie that they
should quit their life of hardship in
the western city and try their fortune
in the newly-irrigated lands of Ne
vada. They had' been lured by an
unscrupulous land agent. Fabulous
crops, he told them, could be raised
there. They moved, with their little
capital of $500. And their disil
lusionment began as soon as they got
out of the train and stared about
them at the barren land.
Irrigated it was, after a sort, but
the agent had said nothing of the
heartbreaking spade work that was
needed to bring the dam water
through the conduits and into the
desert soil. The labor, to town dwell
ers, was terrific. And during the six
months that had passed Bessie had
The old man, Jim Ross, mooning
about the camp, had little by little
hecome unbearable to her. Himself
.an old gold prospector, h& had found
nothing in all his life except a few
worthless pockets; yet ha had never 1
caused to dream of the day when he
would make his fortune by some
There had once been rumors of
gold in those hills, but nobody had
ever found any. Day by day the old
fellow would set out hopefully with
his assaying pan, and every evening
he wpuld return with his hopeful
stories, which so jarred his daughter-in-law's
shattered nerves. Edwin
Ross looked on hopelessly. He knew
that their future was obscure, a doz-
Peered Out Across the Plain.
en times there had entered his mind
the sinister temptation to make an
end of himself, and still he toiled dog
gedly, trying to raise that first crop
which was to pay the mortgage on
the little place.
It was a day later that the storm
broke. Old Jim Ross had come back,
late for supper, with the usual story.
"I think I'lL try our luck over at
Bald Man's Hill tomorrow," he said.