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Newspaper Page Text
j: t$y t-iaroia carter
(Copyright, 1917, W. G: Chapman.)
"Gentlemen, Mr. Harry Saunders,
the celebrated female impersonator,
will now appear before you."
Benson, leaning against a pillar m
the background of the little mining
camp saloon theater, looked on with
disgust. All about him the cowboys
were riotously applauding. He, Ben
son, had tasted the sweet and bitter
ness of life too long to be stirred by
Five years on a lonely ranch,
whither he had betaken himself after
that past which the west never in
quires about, varied by periodical in
cursions to such places of amuse
ment as this, had been his portion.
Benson was tired of life. He had
again and again meditated self-destruction.
Each time he had decided
to give the show another chance.
"Hurrah! Bully for you, Harry!"
yelled the cowboys.
Benson looked toward the stage.
Harry Saunders was certainly imper
sonating a woman well. His skirt
dance was inimitable. His voice, his
gestures conveyed the illusion com
pletely. Benson felt his disgust ris
ing. "Why can't he stick to the sex God
made him?" he muttered contemp
tuously. "Touring the country and
showing off in women's clothes, in
stead of hustling for a living like
And, glancing toward his patient
horse, tethered outside the saloon
among a score of others, he thought
of the hard, brown earth from which
he had so painfully wrung a living
during five years.
But he thought, too, of the distant
ns. in their glory of blue and
cruiibo. when the sun rose, of the
desert -lnd, the loneliness of the
vast sp: ces. There was peace at
"I was a fool to have come here,"
Nevertheless, he strode up to the
bar and ordered a drink, more to sat
isfy the manager than because he
needed it And all the while he drank
his mind wandered between thoughts
of returning to his solitude and
thoughts of death.
A prolonged spree, a slow debauch,
the quick revolver bullet at the end,
and who would care? Surely that
was the final atonement that a man
could make to a world which he had
"Put Him Down, Ben."
spurned, and which, in turn, had cast
As he mused he became aware
that the number had ended. A group
of cowboys had surrounded Harry
Saunders as he emerged in male
garb from his dressing room, and
were claiming him on the hack, ut-