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The Lamar register. [volume] (Lamar, Colo.) 1889-1952, November 14, 1917, Image 3

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86063147/1917-11-14/ed-1/seq-3/

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The RANCH
at the
WOLVERINE
by
B.M.BOWER
co*mic/rr or ”
i nru a#at*/r. ato cormurr
CHAPTER I.
Let Us Start at the Beginning.
FOI U trail worn oxen, their necks
bowed to the yoke of patient
servitude, should really begin this
story. Hut to follow the trail they
made would take several chapters
which you certainly would skip—unless
you like to hear the tale of how the
wilderness was tamed and can thrill
at the stern history of those who did
the taming while they fought to keep
their stomachs fairly well tilled with
food and their hard muscled bodies tit
for tin* frny.
There was a woman, low browed,
uncombed. harsh of voice and s|>cech
and nature, who drove the four oxen
forward over lava rock and rough
prairie and the scanty sage. 1 might
tell you a great deal about Marthy.
who plodded stolidly across tin* desert
and the low lying hills along the ltlack
foot, and of her weak souled, shiftless
husband whom she called Jase when
she did not call him worse.
They were the pioneers whose lurch
ing wagon first forded the singing
Wolverine stream Just where it greens
the tiny valley and then slips between
huge lava rock ledges to join the lurger
stream. Ja-«e would have stopped
there and called home the sheltered
little green spot in the gray barrenness.
Hut Marthy went on up the farther hill
and across the upland, another full
day's Journey with the sweating oxen.
They camited that night on another
little, singing stream In another little
valley which was not so level or so
green or so wholly pleasing to the eye.
And thut night two of the oxen, ira
!*elled by n surer instinct than their
human owners, strayed away down a
narrow, winding gorge and so discov
ered the Cove and feasted upon Its rich
grasses. It wua Marthy who went
after them and who recognized the lit
tle. hidden Eden as the place of her
dreams supposing she ever had
dreams. So Marthy and Jase and the
four oxen took possession, and with
much lul>or and many hard years for
the woman and with the same number
of years and as little lalsir ns he could
manage on the man's part they tamed
the Cove and made it a lieauty spot in
that wild land. A beauty spot, though
their lives held nothing hut treadmill
toll and harsh words and h mental
horizon narrowed almost to the limits
of the grim, gray rock wull that sur
rounded them.
Another sturdy souled couple came
afterward and saw the Wolverine and
made for themselves a home upon Its
banks. And In the rough little log
cabin was bom the girl child 1 want
you to meet—a girl child when she
should have been a l*oy to meet her
father's need and great desire; a girl
child whose very name was a compro
mise between the parents. For they
called her Hilly for sake of the boy
her father wanted and Louise for the
girl her mother had longed for to light
en that terrible loneliness which the
far frontier brings to the women who
brave its stem emptiness.
When Billy Louise was twelve she
wunted to do something big. though
she was hazy as to the particular na
ture of that big something. She tried
to talk it over with Marthy. but Marthy
could not seem to think lieyond the
Cove.
When she was thirteen Hilly Louise
rode over with a loaf of bread she had
baked all by herself, and she put this
problem to Marthy:
“I’ve been thinking I'd go ahead and
write poetry, Marthy-—a whole l*ook
of it with pictures. Hut I do love to
make bread and people have to eat
bread. Which would you la*. Marthy—
a l»oet or a cook?”
Marthy looked at her a minute, lent
her attention briefly to the question
and gave what she considered good nd
vice
“You learn how to cook. Billy Lou
ise. Yuli don't want to go and get no
tions. Your maw ain't healthy, and
your paw likes g<»od gmb. Po'try is
all foolishness. There ain't any money
In It."
“Walter Scott paid his debts writing
poetry." said Hilly Louise argumenta
tively. She had Just read all about
Walter Scott in a magazine which a
passing cowboy had given her. Per
haps that had something to do with
her new ambition.
"Mebby he did and mebby he didn't.
I’d like to see our debts paid off with
po’try. It’d liuve to be worth a hull
lot more'n what I'd give for it.”
“Qbl Have you got debts, too, Mar-
thy ?*’ Hilly Louise at thirteen was j
still ready with sympathy. “Daddy's j
got lots and piles of 'em. He bought
some cattle and now he talks to mom
mte ull the time about debts. Mommle j
wants me to go to Boise to school next
winter, to Aunt Sarah’s. And daddy
says there's debts to pay. 1 didn't
know’ you hail any. Marthy."
"Weil. I have got We bought some
cattle, too, and they ain't done's well's
they might. If I had a man that was
any good oil earth 1 could put up more
hay. But I can't git nothing outa Jase
but whines. Your paw oughta s**nd
you to school. Hilly Louise, even If he
lius got debts."
“He says he wishes he could, but he
don't know where the money's coming
from.”
"How much’s It goln’ to take?" asked
Marthy heavily.
“Oh. piles." Billy Isiuise spoke airily
to hide her pride in the linpcrtaiice of
tlie subject. “Fifty dollars. I guess.
I've got to have some new clothes,
niommie says. I’d like a bine dress.”
"And your paw can't raise llfty dol
lars?" Murthy's tone was plaluly bel
ligerent.
"Hot to pay Interest," said Billy Icon
ise importantly.
Marthy said not another word about
debts or the duties of iwrents. What
she did was more to the point, how
ever. for she bitched the mules to a
rattly old huckboard next day and
drove over to the MacDonald ranch on
the Wolverine. She carried SSO In her
pocket, and that was practically all
the money Marthy itossessed and bad
been saved for the debts that harassed
her. She gave the money to Billy Lou
ise's mother and suid that It was a
present for Hilly Louise and meant for
“school money.” She said that she
hadn't any girl of her own to spend
the money on and that Hilly Louise
was a good girl and a smart girl, and
she wanted to do a little something to
ward her schooling.
A woman will sacrifice more pride
than you would believe if she sees a
way toward helping her children to an
education. Mrs. MacDonald took the
money, und she promised secrecy—with
n feeling of relief that Marthy wished
it. She was astonished to And that
Marthy had any feelings not directly
connected with work or the shortcom
ings of Jase. but she never suspected
that Marthy had made any sacrifice for
Billy Louise.
So Hilly I*ouise went away to sch«K»l
and never knew whose money had
made It possible to go, and Marthy
worked harder and drove Jase more
relentlessly to make tip that SSO. She
never mentioned the matter to any one.
The next year It wus the same. When
In August she questioned Hilly Louise
clumsily upon the subject of finances
and learned tlint daddy still tulked
about debts and interest and didn't
know where the money was coming
from she drove over again with money
for the schooling. And again she ex
trafted a promise of silence.
She did this for four years, and not a
soul knew that it cost her anything In
the way of extra work and extra
harassment of mind. She bought more
cattle and cut more hay and went deep
er Into debt, for as Hilly Ixiuise grew
older and prettier und more accustom
ed to the ways of town she needed
more money, and the August gift grew
proportionately larger. The mother
wus thankful beyond the point of ques
tioning. An August without Marthy
and Murthy’s gift of money would have
been a tragedy, and so selfish Is mother
love sometimes that she would have
accepted the gift even if she had known
what it cost the giver.
At eighteen, then. Hilly Louise knew
some things not taught by the wide
plains and the wild hills around her.
Site was not spoiled by her little learn
ing. which was a good tldng. And
when her father died trngically be
neath an overturned load of poles from
the mountain at the head of the can
yon Hilly Louise came home. The Billy
of her tried to take his place and the
Louise of her attempted to take care
of her mother, who was unfitted both
by nature and habit to take care of her
self. Which was. after all. a rather
big thing for any one to attempt.
Jase began to complain of having
“all gone" feelings during the winter
after Hilly Louise came home and took
up the whole burden of the Wolverine
ranch. He complained to Billy Louise
when she rode over one clear, sunny
day In January. He said that he was
getting old. which was perfectly true,
and that he waj not as ablebodied as
he might !>e and didn't expect fo Inst
mucli longer. Billy Louise spoke of it
to Marthy. and Marthy snorted.
“He’s ablebodied enough nt meal
times, I notice." she retorted. “I’ve
heard that tune ever since I knowed
him. He can't fool me!"
Jase maundered in at that momeut.
and Marthy turned and glared at Jase
with what Hilly Louise considered a
perfectly uncalled for animosity. In
reality, Marthy was covertly looking
for visible symptoms of tlie all gone
ness. She shut her harsh lips together
tightly at what she saw. Jase certain
ly was puffy under his watery, pink
rimmed eyes, and the withered cheeks
above Ids thin graying beard really did
have a pasty gray look.
"D'.vou turn them calves out into the
corral?" she demanded, her voice hard
er because of her secret uneasiness.
"I was goln’ to, but the wind's
changed into the north, n' I thought
mebby you wouldn’t want ’em out."
Jase turned hack aimlessly to tin* door.
His voice was getting cracked and
husky, and the deprecating note dom
inated pathetically all that lie said.
"You’ll have to face the wind goln'
home.” he said to Hilly Louise. "More’n
likely you'll be facin' snow too Looks
bad off that way.”
"You go on and turn them calves
out!" Marthy commanded i ini harshly.
"Hilly Louise uln’t goin' home If it
storms. 1 slid think you'd know
enough to know that."
"Oh. hut I’ll have to go anyway."
the girl interrupted. “Moinmle can’t
be there alone; she'd-worry herself to
I death if I didn't show up by durk.
“D'you Turn Them Calves Out Into
the Corral?"
She worries alsiut every little thing
since daddy diet!. 1 ought to have gom*
before—or I ougbtu't to have come. 1
Hut she wus worrying about you. Mar- 1
thy. She hadn't seen or heard of you
for a month, and she was afraid you
might be sick or something. Why
dori't you get some one to stay with
you? I think you ought to." Site hulk
ed toward the door, which Jase bad ,
dosed upon his departure. "If Jase
should-get sick or anything"—
"Jase ain't goin' to git sick,” Mar
thy retorted glumly. "Yuh don't want
to let him worry yuh. Hilly Louise. If
I’d worried every time he yowled
around about being sick I'd tie dead or
crazy by now. I dun no but maybe
I*ll have somebody to help with the
work, though.” she added after a pause,
during which she had swiped the dish
rug around the sides of the pan once
or twice and hud opened the door und
thrown the water out beyond the door
step like the sloven site was. "1 got a
nephew that wants to come out. He's
been in a hank, but he's quit and wants
to git on to a ranch I dunno hut I'il
have him come in the spring."
"Do,” urged Billy Louise, perfectly
unconscious of the isitentialities of the
future. “I hate to think of you two
down here alone. I don't suppose any
one ever comes down here except me—
and that isn’t often."
“Nobody’s got any call to come
down,” said Marthy stolidly. “They
*ure ain't going to come for our coin
p’ny, and there ain't nothing else to
bring ’em."
“Well, there aren't many to come,
.you know,'* laughed Billy Louise, shak
ing out the dish towel and spreading
it over two nails, as she did at borne.
"I'm your nearest neighbor, and I’ve
got six miles to ride against the wind
at that I think I'd lietter start. We've
got a half breed d<>lng chores for us.
but he has to lie looked after or he
neglects things. I'll not get another
chance to come very soon. I'm afraid.
Mommle hates to hare me ride around
much in the winter. You send for that
nephew right away, why don't you.
Marthy?" It was like Billy Louise to
mix command and entreaty together.
"Iteaily, I don't think Jase looss a bit
well."
"A good strong steepin’ of sage 'll
fix him ail right, only lie ain't sick, as
I see. You take this shawl.”
Billy Louise refused the shawl and
ran down the twisted path fringed
with long, reaching fingers of the hare
berry bushes. At the stable she stop
ped (or an aimless dialogue.with Jase
A. N. PARRISH, Pres. B. B. BROWN. Vico Pro®.
J. F. MAURER, Cashier
FIRST NATIONAL BANK
LAMAR, COLORADO
CopiLal Stock - $50,000.
Surplus - $40,000.
DIRECTORS:
JOHN F. MAURER JOHN H. THATCHER J. F. FAtlllk
A. N. PARRISH B. B. BROWN
C. M. LEE B. T. McCLAVE R. K- ADAM*
President Vice Pres. CoahW.
CAPITAL $50,000
Lamar National Bank
MEMBER FEDERAL RESERVE BANK
LAMAR, COLORADO
DIRECTORS:
B. T. McClavc Ray Adams M. J. McMillin C. M. Lee A. Deeta.
We want your business, large and small, and offer every
facility consistent with safe and conservative banking
Accounts Received Subject to Check Money Orders Sol 4
J. M. WILLIAMS, Prea. L. J. BORING, Caahler
CHAS. MAXWELL, Vice u -ea. J. D. SPOONER, Asst. Cashier
Citizens State Bank
LAMAR, COLORADO
Capital Stock - - $35,000.
Surplus - - $ 17,500.
We invite you to transact your bubineaa with this bank, and endeavor
to give prompt service by personal and courteous treatment to our
customers.
DIRECTORS—J. M. Williams, Charles Maxwell. Geo A Everett. L.
J. Boring, I. L. Maxwell.
SAFETY DEPOSIT BOXES
and then rode away, past the orchard
w hose leafless branch's gave glimpses
of the low, sod roofed cabin, with
Marthy standing rather disconsolately
on the rough doorstep watching her go.
Bine was climbing steadily out of
the gorge, twitching an ear backward
with flattering attention whenever his 1
lady spoke The horse went on. calm
ly stepping over this rock and around
that as if it were the simplest thing in
the world to find sure footing and car
ry his lady smoothly up thut trail. He
threw up his head so suddenly that
Billy I-oui«* was startled out of her
aimless diearnings and pointed uose
und ears toward the little creek bot
tom alwne. where Marthy had lighted
her campfire long and long ago.
A few stejm farther und Blue stop
ped short in the trail to look aud lis
ten. ltiily I»ulse could see the nerv
ous/ twitching* of his muscles under
the skin of neck and shoulders, and she
smiled to herself. Nothing could ever
come upon her unaware when she rode
alone so long as she rode Blue. A
hunting dog w as not more keenly alive
to hi* surroundings.
"Go on. Blue." she commanded after
a minute. "If it's a bear or anything
like that you cun make a run for It;
if It's a wolf I'll shoot it. You needn’t
stand here all night, anyway.”
Blue went on. out from t>ebind the
willow growth that hid the open, lb
re turned to Ids calm, picking a smooth
trail through the scattered rock.i und
tiny washouts. It was the girl's turn
to stare and speculate. t*be did not
know this horseman who sat negligent
ly in tlie saddle and looked up at the
'cedar grown bluff beyond while his
horse stood knee deep in the little
stream. She did not know him, and
there were not so many travelers In
the land that strangers were a matter
of Indifference.
Blue welcomed the horse with a dem
ocratic nicker ami went forward brisk
ly. And the rider turned his head,
eyed the girl sharply us she mine up
and a.Hided a cursory greeting. Ilia
horse lifted its head to look, decided
that it wanted another swallow or two
and lowered its muzzle again to tlie
water.
Hilly Louise could not form any opin
ion of the man's age or personality, for
he was encased in a wolfskin coat
which covered him completely from
hat brim to ankles. She got an Impres
sion of a thin, durk face mid a sharp
glance from eyes that seemed dark
also. There was a thin, high nose, and
beyond that Billy Louise did not look.
If she had the mouth must certainly
have reassured her somewhat.
Blue stepped nonchalantly down Into
tlie stream beside the strange horse
and went across without stopping to
d/ink. The strange horse moved on
also, as if that were the natural thing
to do—which it was, since chance sent
them traveling the sam.e troll. Billy l
ix>uiHp set tier teeth together wire fho
queer little vicious click that had el
wayi been her habit when she felt
| thwarted and constrained to yield to
circumstances and straightened herself
In the saddle.
“Looks like a storm,” the fur coated
one observed, with a perfectly trans
parent attempt to lighten the awk
wardness
Billy I<otilse tilted her chin upward
and gazed at the gray sweep of clouds
moving sullenly toward the mountains
at her back. She glanced at the mun
and caught him looking intently at her
face.
He did not look away Immediately,
as he should have done, and Billy Lou
ise felt a little beat wave of embar
rassment, emphasized by resentment.
“Are you going far?” he queried in
the same tone he had employed before.
"Six miles,” she answered shortly,
though she tried to lie decently civil.
“I've about eighteen," he said.
“Looks like we'll both get caught out
in a Idizzard."
Cert a inly he had a pleasant enough
voice, and, after all. It was not his
fault that he happened to be at the
crossing when she rode out of the
gorge. Hilly Louise, in common jus
tice. laid aside her resentment and
looked at biin with a hint of a smile
at the corners of her lips.
“That's what we have to expect when
we travel in this country in the win
ter.” she replied. "Eighteen miles will
tnke you long after dark.”
“Well, I was sort of tlguring on put
ting up at some ranch If It got too bad.
There's a ranch somewhere ahead on
the Wolverine. Isn’t there?”
“Yes." Billy Louise bit her lip, but
hospitality is au unwritten law of the
West, a law not to be lightly broken,
•'i't. ii where I live We'll be glud to
have you stop there of course."
The stranger must have felt and ad
mired the unconscious dignity of her
tone and words, for lie thanked her
simply and refrained from looking too
intently at her face.
Fine siftings of snow, like meal flung
down from a gigantic sieve, swept Into
their faces as they rode on. The man
turned his face toward her after a long
silence. She was riding with bowed
head and fuce half turned from him
and the wind aJike.
(Continued on Page 6)
ESTATE OF F. N. OETERS, DECEAS
ED
No. 1356
Notice I* hereby given that on the
19th day of November, 1917, i will pr* -
-••nt to the County Court of Prowers
County. Colorado, my accounts for fin
al settlement of administration of said
• state, when und where nil persons In
Interest may appear and object to them,
if they so desire.
HENRY PETERS.
Executor of the Last Will and Testa
ment of P. N. Peters. Deceased.
H’lrst pub. Oct. 17. 1917.
Last pub. Nov. 14, 1917.

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