Judith of the
UDITH knew that the luirae of
the girl whose letter sent Peter
Hamilton vaulting to the saddle
had been a deal of letter writing be
tween her and the young cow puncher
of late, of which perforce, by a singu
lar irony of fate, the postmistress had
been the involuntary instrument. The
correspondence had followed a recent
hasty journey to New York, under
taken somewhat unwillingly by Ham
ilton in the interest of certain affairs
connected with the settlement of ansquaw
The pr?cipitancy of this latest turn
of events bewildered Judith but yet a
little whilea matter of weeks and
daysand her friendship with Hamil
ton had been of that pleasantly indefi
nite estate situated somewhere on the
borderland of romance, a kingdom
where there is no law but the mutual
interest of the wayfarers. Judith and
Peter had been pitifully new at theher
game of life when the gods vouchsafed
them the equivocal blessing of propin
quity. Judith was but lately come
from the convent at Santa Fe andshe
Hamilton from the university, whose
honors availed him little in the trailing
of cattle over the range or in the sweat
and tumult of the branding pen. It
was a strange election of opportunity
for a man who had been class poet and
had rather conspicuously avoided ath
letics during his entire college course.
In pursuing fortune westward Hamil
ton did not lack for chroniclers, who
would not have missed a good story
for the want of an authentic dramatic
interpretation of his plans. His uncle,
said they, who had put him through
college, was disposed to let him sink
or swim by his own efforts, or, again,
he had quarreled with this same omnip
otent uncle and walked from his pres
ence with no prospects but those with
in grasp of his own hand. Again, he
had taken the negative of a fair lady
more to heart than two and twenty is
in the habit of taking negatives. Peter
made no confidences. He went west
to punch cows for the Wetmore out
fit. He was a distant connection of the
Wetmores through his mother's side
of the family.
Judith's convent upbringing had con
ferred on her the doubtful advantage
of a gentlewoman's tastes and bearing,
making of her, therefore, an alien in
her father's house. When Mrs. Atple
kins, who was responsible for her edu
cation, realized the equhocal good of
these things and saw, moreover, that
the girl had grown to be a beauty, she
offered to adopt her, but Judith, with
the pitiful heroism of youth that un
derstands little of what it is renounc
ing, thought herself strong enough to
hold together a family uncertain of
purpose as quicksilver.
In those tragic days of readjustment
came Peter Hamilton, as strange to the
bald conditions of frontier life as the
girl herself. From the beginning there
had been between them the barrier of
circumstance. Hamilton was poor,
Judith the mainstay of a household
whose Ihriftlessness had become a
proverb. He came of a family that
numbered a signer of the Declaration
of Independence, a famous chief jus
tice and the dean of a great university.
Judith was uncertain of her right to
the very name she bore. And yet they
were young, he a man, she a woman
eternal fountain of interest. A preco
cious sense of the fitness of things was
the compass that enabled Feter to steer
through the deep waters in the years
that followed But the girl paid the
penalty of her great heart. In that
troublous sea of friendship she wasshe
soon adrift without rudder, sail or
Judith was now eight and twenty,
and a sculptor would have found a
hundred statues in her. Long of limb,
deep bosomed, youth and health radi
ated from her as sparks fly upward.
In sunlight her black hair had the blu
ish iridescence of a ripe plum. The
eyes were deep and questioningthe
eyes of a young seraph whose wings
had not yet brushed the far distant
heights of paradise. And yet in this
wilderness that was famishing for wo
man's love and tears and laughter by
E perversity of fate she walked alone.
She va a true daughter of the des
ert, the child of stark, unlovely cir
cumstance. No well bred romance of
book and bells and churchly benedic
tion had ushered her into being. Her
maternal grandfather had been the fa
mous Sioux chief, Flying Hawk her
grandmother a white woman who
knew no word of her people's tongue
nor yet her name or race. The Indians
found the white baby sleeping by her
dead mother after the massacre of an
emigrant train. They took her with
them, and she grew up in the Black
Hills country, a white skinned Sioux,
marrying a chief of the people that
had slain her people. She accepted her
squawks portion uncomplainingly
slaved cheerfully at squaw's work
while her brave made war on the
whites, hunted and smoked. She rear
ed her half breed children in the leg
ends of their father's people and died
a withered crone, cursing the pale
faces who had robbed the Sioux of the
buffalo and their hunting grouud.
Her daughter, Singing Stream, who
knew no word of English, but who
could do better beadwork than any
squaw in the tribe, went to live with
Warren Rodney when hefinishedhis
cabin on Elder creek. That was before
the gold fever reached the Black Hills,
and Rodney built the cabin that he
might fish and hunt and forget the
east and why he left it. There were
reasons why he wanted to forget his
Identity as a white man in his play at
being an Indian. In the first flare of
youth and the joy of having come into
her woman's kingdom the half breed
was pretty. She was proud, too,
of her white man, the house he had
built her and the girl papoose with
blue eyes. Furthermore, she had been
taught to serve man meekly, for he
was the lord of creation.
Rodney talked Sinux to her. He had
all but forgotten he was a white man.
The girl papoose ran about the cabin
brown and bare but for the bead
jacket Singing Stream had made for
in the pride of her maternity.
Rodney called the little girl "Judith."
Her Indian mother never guessed the
significance of the strange name that
could not say. but made at least
ten soft singing syllables of, in the In
dian way. The tittle Judith greeted
her father in strange lispings Warren
Rodney was far from unhappy in play
ing at primitive man. This recessional
into conditions primeval endured for
"seven snows," as the Indian tongue
hath it. Then the squaw began to
break, after the manner of the women
of her father's people. She had begun
her race with time a decade after
Warren Rodney, and she had outdis
tanced him by a decade.
A nd then the Tumlins came from
Tennessee to the Black Hills They
came in an ox cart, and the days of
their journey were more than two
years. They had stopped in Ohio and
again in Illinois they had traveled on
and on across half a continent in the
wake of a vanishing sky line. The
vague westward impulse was luring
them to California, but they waited in
Dakota that their starved stock might
fatten, and while they rested them
selves from the long journey Warren
Rodney made the acquaintance of Sal
ly Tumlin, who rallied him on being a
Warren Rodney had almost forgotten
the sorceries of the women of his peo
he had lived so long with a brown
woman, who spread no silken snares.
Sallie's blushes stirred a multitude ot
dead thingsthe wiles of pale women,
all strength in weakness, fragile flow
ers for tender handling the squaw
had grown as withered as a raisin.
Now, Sally Tumlin had no convic
tions about life but that the world
owed her "a home of her own." Her
mother had forged the bolt of this
particular maxim at an early date, and
Sally saw from precocious observa
tion that the business of women was
home getting, to which end they must
be neat and sweet and sparing of
speech. After the home was forthcom
ing then indeed might a woman take
ease in slippers and wrapper, and it
is surely a wife's privilege to speak
her mmd. Sally knew that she hated
traveling westward after the crawling
oxen. Her father and oafish brother
loved the makeshifts of the wagon
life. The cabin on Elder creek had a
tight roof Warren Rodney had money
in the bank. He had had uncommon
luck at trapping. His talk to Sally
was largely of his prospects.
Sally knew that the world owed her
"a home of her own," and why should
let a squaw keep her from it?
Sally's mother giggled when consulted.
She plainly regarded the squaw as a
rival of her daughter. The ethics of
the case, as far as Mrs. Tumlin was
concerned, was merely a question of
white skin against brown and which
should carry the day. Singing Stream
knew not one word of the talk, much
of which occurred in her very pres
ence, that threatened to pull her home
about her ears, but she knew that
Sally was taking her man from her.
The white skinned woman wore white
ruffles about her neck and calico
dresses that were the color of the wild
roses that grew among the willows at
the creek. Sally Tumlin's pink calico
gowns sowed a crop of nettles in the
mind of the squaw. It was the rain
bow things, she felt, that were rob
bing her of her man. All her barbaric
craving for glowing colors asserted it
self as a means toward the one great
end of keeping him. Singing Stream
began to scheme schemes. One day
Rodney was splitting wood at the
Tumlin camp, though why he should
split wood where there were two wo
men puzzled the squaw, but the ways
of the palefaces were beyond her ken.
She only knew that she must make
herself beautiful in the eyes of War
ren Rodney, like this devil woman,
and then perhaps the papoose that
she expected with the first snowfall
would be a man child, and she hoped
great things of this happening.
With such primitive reasoning did
Singing Stream put the horses to the
light wagon and, taking the little Ju
dith with her, drove to Deadwood, a
matter of 200 miles, to buy the bright
calicoes that were, to make her like a
mum ?&mmwcm wis
Author of "Lord Allintfham, Bankrupt"
Copyright. 1903. by Harper & Brothers
white woman. It never occurredtothe
half breed woman to make known her
plans to Warren Rodney. In circum
venting Sally Tumlin the man became
the spoils of war, and it is not the In
dian way to tell plans on the war trail.
So the squaw left her kingdom in the
hands of the enemy without a word.
Sally Tumlin and Warren Rodney
looked upon the disappearance of the
squaw in the light of a providential
solution of the difficulties attending
their romance. They admitted it was
square of her to "hit the trail," and
they decided to lose no time in going
to the army post, where a chaplain, an
Indian missionary, happened to bebrown
staying at the time, and have a real
wedding, with a ring and a fee to the
parson. The wedding party started for
the post, old mother Tumlin fluttering
about the bride as complacently as if
the ceremony had been the culmination
of the most decorous courtship. The
oafish brother drove the bridal party,
making crude jests by the way to the
frank delight of the prospective groom
and the giggling protestations of the
bride. The chaplain at the post was
disposed to ask few questions. Par
sons made queer marriages in those
tumultuous days, and it was regarded
as a patent of worthy motives that
the pair should call in the man of the
gospel at all. To the question whether
or not he had been married before
"Well, parson, this is the first time
I have ever stood up for a life sen
tence." And the ceremony proceeded.
Some of the ladies at the post, hear
ing that there was to be a wedding,
dropped in and added the smiles and
flutterings to the rather grim party,
among them Mrs. Atkins, who had just
come to the post as a bride. They even
added a trifle or two from their own
store of pretty things as presents to
Sally. And Miss Tumlin left the post
Mrs. Warren Rodney, with "a home of
her own" to go to.
Singing Stream did not hasten in her
quest for bright fabrics with which to
stay the hand of fate. To the half
breed woman the journey to town was
not without a certain revivifying pleas
ure. The Indian in her stirred to the
call of the open country. As she drove
through the foothill country she told
the solemn eyed little Judith the story
of the Sioux and what a great fighting
people they had been before Rodney's
people drove them from their land.
Judith was not quite four when she
took this memorable drive with her
mother, but the impression of these
things abided through all her years.
And when they had come within a
mile of Warren Rodney's cabin on El
der creek Singing Stream halted and
prepared for the great event of rein
statement. First she made a splendid
toilet of purple calico torn into strips
and tied about the waist to simulate
the skirts of the devil woman. Over
these she wore a shirt of buckskin
broidered with beads of many colors
and a necklace of elk teeth wound
twice about the throat. On her feet
she wore new moccasins of tanned elk
hide, and these, too, were beaded in
many colors. Her hair, now braided
with strips of scarlet flannel, hung be
low the waist. And she walked to Rod
ney's cabin not as an outgrown mis
tress, but as the daughter of a chief.
The little Judith held up her head and
clung tight to the doll. She knew that
something of moment was about to
The gala trio, Singing Stream, Judith
and Judith's doll, presented themselves
at Rodney's house, before which the
bride was washing elothes, the day be
ing fine. Sally, as usual, wore one of
the rose colored calicoes with the col
lar turned well in and the sleeves rolled
above the elbows. She washed vigor
ously, with a steady splashing of suds.
Sally enjoyed this home of her own
and all the household duties appertain
ing to it. She was singing, and a strand
of pale brown hair, crinkly as seaweed,
Judith was her staff of office.
had blown across the rose of her cheek,
when she felt rather than saw-a shad
ow fall across her path, and, glancing
up, she saw facing her the woman
whom she had supplanted and the sol
emn eyed little girl holding tight to her
Now, neither woman knew a word
of the other's speech, but Sally was
proficient in the language of feminini
ty, and she was not at a loss to grasp
the significance of the purple calico,
the beaded buckskin shirt and the
necklace of elk teeth. The half breed i
walked as a chief's daughter to the 1
woman at the tub, and Sally grew sick
and_chill despite her white skin and the I
gold ring that made Warren Rodney
her man in the face of the law. The
dark woman held Judith proudly by
the hand as a sovereign might carry a
scepter. Judith was her staff of office,
her emblem of authority in the house
of Warren Rodney.
Singing Stream held out her hands to
Sally in a gesture of appealand blun
dered. Of the chief's daughter, walk
ing proudly, Sally was afraid but a
supplicating half breed In strips of
purple calico, not even hemmed, was a
matter for merriment. Sally put her
hands on her hips, arms akimbo, and
laughed a dry cackle. The light in the
woman's eyes as she looked at
the white was like prairie fires rolling
forward through darkness. There was
no need of common speech between
them. The whole destiny of woman
was in the laugh and the look that an
And the man they could have mur
dered for came from the house, an un
heroic figure with suspenders dangling
and a corncob pipe in his mouth, sul
len, angry and withal abjectly fright
ened, as mere man inevitably is when
he sniffs a woman's battle in the air.BARBER
The bride, at sight of her husband, took
to hysterics. She wept, she laughed
and down tumbled her hair. She fe.lt
the situation demanded a scene. Rod
ney, with a marital brevity hardly to
be expected so soon, commanded Sally
to go into the house and to "shut up."
Then he faced Singing Stream and
said to her in her own language: "You
must go away from here. The pale
faced woman is my wife by the white
man's lawring and Bible. No Indian
marriage about this."
But the brown woman only pointed
to Judith. She asked Rodney had she
not been a good squaw to him.
And Rodney, who at best was but a
poltroon, could only repeat: "You got
to keep away from here. It's the white
man's lawone squaw tor one man."'
From within came the sound of Sal
ly's lamentation as she called for her
father and brother to take her from
the squaw and contamination. War
ren Rodney was a man of few words.
It had become his unpleasant duty to
act, and to act quickly. He snatched
Judith from her mother and took her
into the house, and he returned with
his Winchester, which was not loaded,
to Singing Stream.
"You got to go," he said, and, lev
eling the Winchester, he repeated tne
command. Singing Stream looked at
him with the dumb wonder of a forest
thing. "I was a good squaw to you,"
she said and did not even curse him.
And, turning, she ran toward the foot
hills with all the length of purple cal
Now, Mrs. Rodney, nee Tumlin, was
but human, and her cup of happiness
as the wife of a squaw man was not
the brimming beaker she had antici
pated. The expulsion of her predeces
sor at such a time to make room for
her own home coming was, it seemed,
open to criticism. "The neighborhood"
(it included perhaps five families liv
ing in a radius of as many hundred
miles) felt that the Tumlins had
tablished a bad precedent. A squaw
man driving out a brown wife to make
room for a white is not a heroic figure.
It had been done before, but it would
not hand down well in the traditions
of the settling of this great country.
Trespass of law and order, with their
swift, red handed reckoning, was but
a move of the great game of coloniza
tion, but to shove out a brown woman
for a white was a mean move. Few
stopped at the Rodneys' ranch, though
it marked the first break in the journey
from town to the gold mining country.
Rodney had fallen from his estate as
a pioneer his political opinions were
unsought in the conclaves that sat
and spat at the stove when business
brought them to the joint saloon and
postoffice. The women dealt with the
question more openly, scorning fem
inine subtlety at this pass as inad
equate ammunition. When they met
Mrs. Rodney they pulled aside their
skirts and glared. This outrage
against woman it was woman's work
The Tumlin family did not remain
long enough in the Black Hills country
to witness Sally's failure as the wife of
a pioneer. The restlessness of the
"settler," if the paradox be permissi
ble, was in the marrow of their bones.
The makeshifts of the wagon, the ad
ventures of the road, were the only
home they craved. The spring after
Sally's marriage they set forth for
California, the year following for New
Mexico, and still sighed for new worlds
Rodney's squaw wife was taken in
by some neighbors, good folk who were
conversant with all phases of the ro
mance. They stood by her in her hour
of trial and afterward continued to
keep her as a servant. Her son Jim
grew up with their own children.
When he was four years of age his
mother, Singing Stream, died, and Sal
ly persuaded her husband to take
young Jim into their own home, partly
as a sop to neighborly criticism, partly
as a salve to her own conscience. Sal
ly had children of her own and looked
at things differently now from the time
when she fought the squaw for Rod
Jim's foster parents were, in truth,
glad to part with him. From his earli
est babyhood he had been known as a
"limb of Satan." He was an Ishmael
by every instinct of his being. And
Mrs. Warren Rodney, nee Tumlin, felt
that in dealing with him in her capac
ity of stepmother she daily expiated
any offense that she might have done
to his mother.
Sally grew slatternly with increasing
maternity. She spent her time in a
rocking chair, dipping snuffa consola
tio imported from her former home
and lamenting the bad marriage she
had made. Rodney ascribed his ill for
tune to unjust neighborly criticism. He
farmed a little, he raised a little stock,
and he drank a greV deal of whisky.
Office in Odd Fellows Block.
ROSS CALEY, M. D.,
PHYSICIAN AND SURGEON.
Office and Residence over Jack's Drugstore
o-*-^ Tel.Rural. 36.
jgLVERo L. MCMILLAN,
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ATTORNEY AT LAW.
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