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Title: Mr. Dide, His Vacation in Colorado
Author: France, Lewis B.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Mr. Dide, His Vacation in Colorado" ***

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[Illustration: "THE OLD, OLD STORY."]

                               MR. DIDE,


                         VACATION IN COLORADO.


                           LEWIS B. FRANCE,

                  AUTHOR OF "ROD AND LINE," "MOUNTAIN

                      PRINTERS AND STEREOTYPERS,
                             MADISON, WIS.

                          COPYRIGHTED, 1890,


                             L. B. FRANCE.



      A Cold Slot,                              7

      A Warmer Trail,                          17

      Twin Lakes,                              28

      Through the Saguache Range,              40

      Joshua,                                  51

      On White River,                          65

      On the South Fork,                       77

      Sport,                                   88

      Success and--Success,                   102

      Vapor,                                  114

      Pike's Peak,                            125

For him who seeks her solitudes in sympathy, Nature has always a
welcome. What we call storms are but her periods of house-cleaning,
and the sunshine of her smile lurks in every humor; with love it is
easy to adapt ourselves to her moods and with prudence we may avoid
her missiles.

                               MR. DIDE:

                       HIS VACATION IN COLORADO.



The upper end of the mercury is anchored, say in the vicinity of twenty
degrees below zero, and there are two feet of snow on the ground. I
have to travel a hundred miles or more from Denver; one mile on foot,
the others by rail.

As I make my way down street early in the morning, with the rising
sun turning the white peaks into rose-color, I feel disposed to halt
and watch the changes. But I am denied the privilege of even walking
slowly; I must wipe the tears from my eyes and hurry. The few people I
meet seem cheery, and they steam along, reminding me of the cigarette
smokers; the men wear icicles for beards, and one woman has a luminous
nose, and I think is aware of it, for she holds her handkerchief to her
face as she passes by. No one says good-morning--we have become too
metropolitan for such courtesies--but every one expresses by a glance,
"Cold! ain't it?" and steams on. One should always keep one's mouth
shut on such a morning; one's inspirations will always be full and the
shoulders thrown back without trying--that is if one be healthy. There
is not the faintest indication of a breeze, and the iron tires of a
heavy freight wagon, laboring slowly along, ring out like the music of
tiny bells, close and smooth, as though the master of the baton were
directing a legato movement. The driver walks by the side of his team,
thrashing one hand against his shoulder and holding the lines with the
other; the horses are half hidden in the steam of their own providing
and are frosted even to their flanks. Thunder and Mars! but it is cold!
and a cloud of cold air rushes into the car with me. The ebony deity
presiding over the coach looked on with a wide, white smile as I thawed
my beard.

"Ain't gwine fishin' to-day?"

He seemed a little puzzled when I said I might indulge in a bit of
angling. Perhaps he had never fished through the ice, or was not aware
that the art of angling depended upon other things than bait and
hook and line, or was not aware, in fact, that these tools might be
dispensed with, and the votary of the gentle art still be successful.


The only other occupants of the car were two young ladies, neither
of them over twenty years of age, I dare be sworn, and behind whom
the porter assigned me a seat. They sat facing each other. One of
these young ladies was a blonde with fluffy hair daintily banged, her
cheeks were rosy and she reveled in the faintest intimation of brevity
of nose--just enough of heavenward proclivity to make it cunning. Her
companion was a brunette in glasses, possessing a delicate creamy
complexion and a close-fitting dainty ear, not marred by a ring or
a place for one. I speak of one ear, the one immediately under my
observation. I subsequently learned that she was endowed with a pair,
and they were mates, very pretty, and uninfluenced by the cold, of a
delicate pink that seemed to rival the exquisite tint of sea shells I
had seen; a very bewitching ear, an ear into which a lover--but perhaps
I would better not follow the lead of that ear any farther, and will
let go before I fall into trouble. Being absorbed I did not catch what
the blonde said to the ear, but having released myself, I took in the

"Darwin's theory is, to my mind, correct, and the strongest argument in
favor of immortality within my experience."

An experience of less than twenty years! Think of it!

The blonde put on a look of deeper interest; as for myself, a feeling
of weak dependence began to creep over me and finally settled in my
back. The brunette continued:

"We know that man is an improvement on the monkey, and we know how
imperfect man is even in his best estate--are we not authorized in
believing that the next change will present something grander?"

I began to wonder whether some man had not failed in his contract
with this young lady. The glasses suggested Boston, and yet she was
too young for a vagrant schoolma'am or a victim in a desert world. I
debated concerning the man and whether I should blame him, if one were
in the case, and my wonder quite resolved itself into a conviction in
favor of the man. To set my mind at rest if possible, I changed my seat
to one behind the blonde. When I saw the pretty, quiet face, and the
eloquent, brown eyes appealing to the blonde for approval, I was more
in doubt than ever. To get out of the labyrinth I went into the smoking
room and took counsel of my briar-root and the foot-hills.

Snow everywhere! The willows are dressed in gray and the pines are
almost black; the purple haze of summer has changed into a veil of
white and the shrub oaks are garmented in ragged coats of brown. No
living thing, except the snow-birds, is in sight between me and the
hills, piling tier upon tier to the summit of the range. It is not
like looking back from the front seat in the pit upon a grand-opera
night--the colors are all sober. Where the rugged cliffs are too
precipitous for the snow to cling, I find Titanic jewels with white
settings. It is a good time to learn, in truth, how rough and broken
are the outlines that the summer's breath makes smooth. Stripped of
their finery their majesty is sterner, that is all, but they are still
to be reverenced--there is the difference, merely, between the smile
and the frown of one we know to be worthy of love, but always lovable.
The fences make the white fields look like great, clean napkins edged
with black lace and spread out smoothly, to dry.

As we get farther away from the Platte Valley a bird of evil omen shows
himself, looking blacker, if possible, as he hovers over this ocean of
white. I wonder what has become of the ravens? In the early days they
were plentiful and tame, coming into town and perching on the fences
and housetops, alert for food, and in the evening, before twilight
would set in they were wont to string along overhead, upon lazy wing,
to their roost up the river. We must have become too metropolitan also
for these sable friends and they are going out with the pioneers! When
I saw this solitary representative of the old abundance, he brought
to me the remembrance of other changes--I realized thirty miles an
hour and steam, instead of ten miles and mules; a luxurious car
with scarcely a vibration, instead of the swaying Concord redolent
of old leather, musty hay and the stables. Overcoats, buffalo shoes
and blankets are necessaries no longer. Yet the old coach possessed
some excellent attributes: it was a great leveller of artificial
barriers; its patrons were democratic in its presence if never so
before or after; they were rarely otherwise than jolly; the emergency
demanded cheerfulness, as hardship always does if one would succeed in
overcoming obstacles; one might not sit and dream with open eyes in
such surroundings. Shadows of familiar faces are flitting about me,
very eloquent they are in their silence. And now and then will come
one, and another, demanding deeper recognition and whose ways are so
sweet to remember that I forget all except the old coaching days and--

But I declare! while I have been drifting, the window has grown
dim--it must be with the frost--and I am compelled to wipe it off that
I may see a bevy of snow-buntings; bright little fellows in mottled
jackets and black neckties. They easily make, in their billowy flight,
twenty-five miles an hour. The train is going at that rate, or more,
and they keep along with it as if to cheer us on the road for a few
hundred yards and then alight to have their places taken by others.
They are very numerous, thanks to some one who loved them and placed a
penalty in the statute books against their destruction.

Down there in a hollow, sheltered by the bluffs, are a cabin and a
corral, and a few stacks of hay protected by a fence. Outside stand
three creatures drawn up, and shivering, it must be, wishfully feeding
their minds on the unattainable luxury under their noses. I would like
to halt long enough to drive the owner out of bed, or away from his
fire, with hydraulic appliances. A magpie alights on the back of one
of the cows, perhaps to inspire her with hope and to remind her that
summer will come again.

As we climb toward the summit of the Divide I catch a glimpse of one
of my castles. When travelling by I always look out for this property
of mine, to assure myself that it has not been trespassed upon. Some
one has taken the liberty of levelling a camera at it, and bestowing
a name upon it, thinking it deserted, perhaps, and assuming a claim
upon it for that reason. But it is not, nor has it ever been deserted
since my knowledge of it; my people are always there. Sweeping round a
certain curve in the road the grand pile, without moat or drawbridge,
now comes into full view. Its white turrets shine in the morning sun
and its grand doorway is always open as a token of the hospitality ever
to be found in its spacious halls. It is the old-time hospitality, of
course--say of the feudal age--rude, maybe, but bestowed with royal
munificence, to be in keeping with the precincts. Claw-hammer coats,
vests of percale cut low, and glaring shirt fronts of linen would be
novelties amid the concourse of mailed cavaliers and hardy retainers
wont to gather here. Its great banqueting hall is decked with ghosts
of armor and the rugged walls are hung with rude implements in keeping
with the ghosts; the skins of beasts serve as beds or floor cloths as
occasion may demand; rough benches and a long table with no sign of
covering; a high stiff-backed chair at the end above the salt, where
may sit the master. The broad fireplace is aglow this cold day and the
fire roars and sparkles up the wide chimney, and dogs lie dozing in its
cheerful warmth, while leather-clothed servitors clank back and forth.
But how quickly the dogs awake and all the surroundings vanish at the
sound of the shriek ahead of me! We have seen much at the rate we are
going--and it is better so--we are not moving backward; the broadcloth
claw-hammer is, after all, an improvement on the coat of mail.

My other grand estate south of the Divide is also encumbered with
the winter mantle, and because of it the red ruins over under the
foot-hills are more sharply defined. The red castle on the left
with its arched porchway stands out grandly against the clear blue
background. But there is no one at home, the place seems deserted for
the time; the usual inmates may be away on a hunt in those groves
beyond, or perhaps they may have vanished for the same reason as did
those we found on the north side.

The air grows warmer as we go on. Above the Peak a few clouds are
hovering, and I notice above the summits of the lower mountains two
long, slender clouds of a deadwood color. Presently these join at one
end, and soon the other ends swing together and form an oval with a
stretch of blue between, and there is a lake above the horizon. It
requires no stretch of the imagination; on the contrary, I find I am
compelled to satisfy my mind that one part of the cloud must be above
the other, else the highest is the near shore, in the plane of my
vision, and I look across a sheet of blue water to the farther side. An
irregular rift in one place makes a cove, and on the bank is a cabin,
and around the edges is fallen timber. Thanks to the absent winds, I
am for twenty minutes or more treated to this view of a lake and its
wooded surroundings, made of a strip of blue sky and a cloud.

It is not necessary that I disclose where I had dinner this day--there
were no bills of fare printed, and as I took a seat at one of the small
tables I saw that the others were not crowded. It was evidently a cold
day for the landlord as well as the rest of us. At one of the tables
stood the blonde, her hat and cloak off, and a dainty white apron, with
frills and pockets, tied about her waist. She was evidently not here in
the character of a guest. Before I had time to wonder why she might be
here in the other capacity, a voice at my shoulder said rapidly:


I thought I recognized the tones and squared myself to take in the
glasses and brown eyes of the brunette. While I studied them she
said it all over again in the same key and without pause, as though
under conviction that she would forget a part if she failed in the
stereotyped manner. She smiled at the end of the second stanza and
I saw that her teeth were very white and even--were pretty, indeed,
and so was the smile. She sang it again, a note higher, and at the
conclusion I could trace only the ghost of the smile. It was time for
me to respond. I was painfully aware of it, but somehow I persisted in
wandering away thousands of ages and drifting about in the mysteries of
the primary period, barking my shins on the azoic rocks trying to find
the starting-point and to trace the connection.

"Will you tell me what you want?"

The mood was now imperative. I said I could not tell her that, but I
would take pork and beans.

[Illustration: CASCADE.]



A scientific knowledge of botany is by no means essential to happiness.
Latin does not add an atom of beauty to the wild clematis. One can
admire a healthy, bright-eyed baby without knowing its name. This
morning after I start out on the railroad I notice that the July
flowers are abundant on the slopes leading up to the foot-hills. Great
patches of wild poppies grow here and there--it is not an infatuating
plant, but one loses sight of the coarse leaves in the delicate white
of the bloom. The bluish-gray of the wild chamomile of itself makes a
rich carpet, but into this the hand of the Master has woven a countless
variety of colors. Hanging in bountiful clusters of crimson and scarlet
is a little flower, shaped like that of the honeysuckle; beside it,
pendant from their slender stems, a wealth of purple bells, while a
little canary-colored gem--a tiny, perfect, five-pointed star--peeps
up modestly, as if asking permission to add its atom to the gorgeous
pattern. So we have acres of tender beauty. I am glad to know that I
am not alone in the enjoyment of it. At the first station, where the
liberty of a few minutes' pause is allowed, a gentleman with his
trousers in his boots gives us to understand that appearances are
deceitful, by gathering a bouquet, and a young man in light-colored
tweed, small umbrella and eyeglass redeems himself also, in like
manner. The ladies are delighted and full of wonder, so beautiful
they are--the flowers, I mean, yet lacking fragrance; how can it be?
Two senses at least expectant and only one can be gratified? A little
three-year-old, disappointed, stigmatizes them as "weed flowers," but
is compelled, at the instance of a juvenile friend, to admit: "They
are pretty, anyway." They have a generous influence too; people who
had barely looked at each other for forty miles, pleasantly express a
common sentiment one to another, it may be a smile or a glance merely,
but it is sufficient to make them know they are of kin; even the young
man with the umbrella unbends and feels on the same plane with humanity.

The delicate haze of summer is again upon the hills; the great,
white napkins of a little while ago are changed into fields of grain
shimmering in the sun as they are brushed by the gentle wind; the
cattle no longer haunt the hay-stack, but slowly feed along the mesas,
or, filled and sleek, complacently chew their cuds in the shadows of
the pines; my castles on the Divide give evidence of thrift in the
surroundings, and in their summer garb display the exquisite taste of
their mistress; the song of the meadow lark strikes high above the
roar of the car wheels, and you lose entirely the clang of the iron
in the clear, sweet trill from the golden-throated beauty perched upon
an adjacent fence, or half hid in some grassy tussock; the pines have
turned to a lighter green, the willows are in full leaf, and as the eye
sweeps over the brilliant carpet toward the foot-hills and beyond, it
encounters the only sign of winter in the patches of snow lingering in
the clefts of the distant range; you mark the irregular sky-line of the
towering summits against that background of delicate blue, while the
loftier peaks may be kissed by a cloud. Does disease weigh you down; do
you fret under the vexations and disappointments of the daily drudgery;
has the sordid strife among your fellows made you feel that life is not
worth living; does sorrow brood in your heart? Why, look you, this leaf
is a panacea for hurt minds! it was not created for you, but you are so
constituted that you may find solace in it if you will--it is one of
the many out of the book that gives our copper-hued, untutored brother,
_faith_. Will you accept less than he?

But I am reminded that if I loiter so, I shall not reach Cascade in a
week. The Deacon, a young friend of mine, and the Major, are to join
me there, fully equipped for a campaign in the Roan Range. I propose,
however, to make them stop by the way, as the humor moves me.

Speeding across and down the south side of the Divide, I notice
trespassers on a part of my whilom wild estate under the foot-hills
at the right. Specks of cottages perched upon the slope of one of
my glades do not add to the romance of the picture, yet I feel a bit
flattered in that the builders have exhibited good taste in selecting a
location for their brown-roofed boxes. They can be cool in summer and
enjoy a view of mountains and plains. Then they may speculate, too,
upon what preceded the pines and grass-covered earth about them. The
gorge just back of them, and the meagre creek tumbling out from it,
give a hint, and as we move quickly down the narrow valley dolmens here
and there indicate that the little creek is only the remains of a river
of ice. These monuments of the centuries are very abundant hereabouts.
I have seen fossilized bivalves from this same drift down which I am
speeding, and am set to wondering what kind of mortals inhabited these
shores when those oysters were growing, and whether the brown-roofed
cottages on the slope above are an improvement upon the architecture of
that epoch. Or how many millions of years preceding that ice and ocean
age this same valley was a bed of verdure, as now; and whether those
who stirred up the soil are permitted to look on us and whether they
do so in sympathy with us in our tragedies, or are our tragedies all
comedies to them?

Loitering again! well, why may one not loiter when he finds a thrifty
city of his own time flourishing on an old ocean bed? This new city is
filled with the refinement and culture of the age, even its outlying
shanties have an air of respectability. It has its share of vices
too, no doubt; however, reformation is not my mission, the duties are
too delicate; I might be admonished to "throw the first stone" if
I dared. But there is no harm in wondering whether the culture and
refinement that flourished in the same spot a great many centuries ago
was different from the present ideal. We will not discuss it, as you
suggest, but sweep round and into the mountain gorge at our right,
looking down, as we speed along, upon Manitou. The Spirit invites one
to linger again, and there is comfort in the reflection that the Kind
Mother will welcome our coming, without stopping to inquire whether we
are compelled by the result of our vices to seek her beautiful places,
or are prompted by our virtues.

Thirty years since, the way we are travelling was an unbroken
wilderness; the Ute was only then being succeeded by the prospector.
Had it been suggested to the latter that his successors would ever
journey by rail, it would have moved him to pity for the unfortunate
mental plight of the prophet. A broad-gauge train of cars speeding
over the way where he found it toilsome to creep! Could anything be
more preposterous? Yet we are careening round graceful curves upon the
precipitous mountain sides, rushing over bridges that span yawning
chasms, plunging from light into darkness and out again from the short
tunnels into the light, ever on and up without impediment. Surely, for
the first time, it is like a pleasant dream, and one almost forgets
to take in the gorgeous, ever-changing panorama made up of pinnacles,
pine-clad hills, towering cliffs and flashing stream. Soon the gorge
widens into a cozy dell; to the right, a gentle grass-covered slope,
with countless wild flowers woven into the pattern, and groups of young
pines here and there, leads up to a tier of hills with rock-crowned
summits. To the left is Cascade Cañon, sentineled by lofty cliffs, and
from out its shady recesses comes tumbling the bright mountain stream
that suggested the name.

[Illustration: KEY-HOLE.]

The departing train leaves, besides myself, the gentleman with the
eyeglasses and slim umbrella. After dinner, while I solace myself with
the briar-root, this gentleman sits a little way off on the veranda
puffing a cigar. There is another, an obese party, walking up and down;
he is not to be mistaken; his boots are shiny, so are his coat and
trousers, and his felt hat gives token of grease and dust about the
band. His shirt bosom discloses a compromise between cheviot and wool,
and he wears an immense gold nugget for a breast-pin. He possesses the
air of one with prospects and bestows an occasional glance of inquiry
upon the gentleman with the umbrella. He catches the latter's eye, and
halts, almost imperceptibly, feels encouraged, nods and approaches;
then with an expression of boundless hospitality pervading his entire
person, bursts forth:

"A stranger in Colorado?"

The gentleman with the eyeglasses pauses in the middle of a puff, looks
up staringly, and the next moment relapses into his wonted contentment,
while the native takes a seat.


"The grandest country in the world; scenery unsurpassed, and the
climate superb; the air--there's nothing like the vivifying air--do you
notice the air?"

"Notice--ah--notice the aha?"

The stranger dropped his eyeglass, replaced it suddenly and stared a
further inquiry at his interrogator.

"Exactly--the lightness of it--its purity--the ozone, as it were----"

"Aw--y-a-s--I smell the fwagwance of the pines, and I feel sleepy

"You've struck it, my dear sir--that's what every one says--they always
feel sleepy on first coming out--but you'll overcome that in time--it's
a wide-awake country, you will find."

"You have wesided some time in Colowado, y-a-s?"

"Well, y-e-s, so, so--a few years, long enough to become acquainted
with the ways of the country. I came out to see about certain little
mining interests," he continued in a burst of confidence, "and was
detained longer than I expected, and now, I could not be induced to go
anywhere else to live."

There was an air of firmness in this avowal of attachment that carried
conviction with it.

"You are intawested in mines--y-a-s?"

"Slightly--enough to occupy my leisure time, that is all."

From the manner of the man he might have owned the State, exclusive of
the mines.

"I have one nice little piece of property over in Dead Man's Gulch, I
think of developing some day."

And while he patted this property on the back, so to speak, he
plunged his hand into his pocket for--a specimen, of course--"ruby
silver"--fabulous in ounces to the ton.

"Wooby silvah?" I heard the stranger inquire, as I relighted my pipe
and started for the cañon.

The broad avenue quickly narrows into a trail, leading into charming
nooks and shady retreats. The air is fragrant with the perfume of the
pines and the half mile of cascades contributes to the delight with
its music. The bed of this mountain brook is precipitous and has no
still reaches in its current. There are seemingly a dozen picturesque
waterfalls in its course, and the giver of names seems for once to have
been moved with happy intelligence and good taste. At the Naiads' Bath
I come to a halt in search of an Old Man, who, I am told, presides over
this place sacred to the spirits that flit hereabout, to indulge in
their holy ablutions. The early afternoon sun lights up the gray and
brown of the cliffs almost overhead and helps work the stately rocks
into fantastic shapes. I find him at last, on the opposite mountain
side, a tutelary deity carved out of the cold rock by the hand of old
Time, and looking down silent and grim upon the consecrated pool of
crystal. Not a great way below his chin, sits a modern belle, thin at
the waist and with flowing skirts. The sculptor must have anticipated
the day when she would be in the fashion, and set her up as a satire in
the sanctuary.

While I rest here, peering into the depths in search of the ethereal
beauties which I know must be sporting there, and who will be revealed
to me by the bright rays glinting through the foliage, and while I
listen in vain to catch some change in the deep notes of the silvery
organ almost at my side, I am conscious of another presence and look
up. The young woman in glasses and her companion with the fluffy hair
are standing within a few feet of me. I am at once reduced to plain
diet; even Darwin is forgotten, as his fair disciple with uplifted
hands exclaims:

"Is it not lovely!"

Her companion had barely time ecstatically to coincide, when the man
with the mine and his newly-found acquaintance climbed into sight. The
man with the mine remarked for the benefit of all:

"Splendid site for an overshot wheel."

The gentleman with the umbrella said:

"Chawming," leaving one in doubt.

But a startled and evident feeling of astonishment made itself manifest
in this gentleman's face as the Darwinian, hearing voices behind her,
turned in his direction.

"Why, Miss Gwace," he exclaimed, dropping his umbrella and extending
both hands, "this is a vewey gwatifying supwise."

Miss Grace did not seem so much gratified, accepting one hand only, and
allowing "Mr. Dide," as she named him, to recover his umbrella with the

I considered it high time for me to move on. I had not gone far when
I heard a footstep behind me, and looking back, discovered the native
puffing up the trail. He had taken off his coat, and was perspiring
freely, so I halted, feeling a weakness for the practical mind. At
the same time I took comfort in the reflection that there were many
economical methods of exit from this life, and that the man with the
mine might find one to his taste. If he would only fall off a rock!
When he came up very red in the face and had mopped his thinly-covered
temples with a questionable handkerchief, he told me it was "hot." I
acquiesced by a nod, and he felt encouraged. I knew intuitively what
he would say next, and in that affirmative sort of way that precludes

"Stranger in Colorado? What part of the east are you from?"


"No! why, you talk like a native."

As it was the only word he heard me utter I considered him a competent
judge, and felt flattered.

[Illustration: MCGREGOR FALLS.]

I inquired if he had explored the cañon, and he reluctantly denied
that he had, but was going now to the top, notwithstanding it was "hot
work" for a man of his "build." I wanted to give him credit, and would
have done so, but for his remark touching the beautiful waterfall
below. While I kept moving it was impossible for him to talk without
discomfort, and I prayed that the way might become more precipitous.
Suddenly the trail presented a termination. The rocks towered up
grandly to the right, to the left was a steep incline, and directly
in front a pile of rocks blocking up the way, save for a slight rift
that might admit my working through. "The prayer of the wicked availeth
not." I felt that I was one of the righteous: the man with the mine
could never accomplish that keyhole, nor could he get around it. I
went on with reverence and humility. When I looked around he stood on
the lower side of the impassable barrier in evident contemplation, his
hat pushed back, his coat still on his arm, and one hand poised in
the act of mopping his dripping face. I found the grotto: great slabs
of granite leaning together at the top and edges made smooth by the
tempests of the ages, leaving a capacious, cool retreat below. I felt
a momentary regret at the condition of the man with the mine, and lay
in the shade listening to the music of the brook singing to me its
mysteries: whence it came, whither it was going, and of its adventures
thus far by the way.



When the Deacon put in his appearance the next day according to
appointment, he desired to know, first, whether I had gone up the
cañon. I told him I had, then he wanted to know what I had seen to
be pleased with. I advised him that when I had a week's leisure, and
he felt inclined to listen, I would "dilate fully" my afternoon's
experience; that a week devoted to the relation of each half day's
enjoyment would be none too much; whereat he seemed tickled, for the
cañon is a weakness with him. When I told him I had returned from
the grotto in the cool of the afternoon after a delightful interview
with the nymphs of the neighborhood, he insisted that I had made a
mistake; that I should have climbed on up to the carriage road, and
returned by that way, whence a delightful view of the valley and the
wooded mountain sides could be obtained. But I reminded him I was in
the humor to court the hidden recesses rather than the sunlight, and
besides, that just above the grotto it was necessary, if I would go on,
to swing-off a perpendicular rock six feet, and I did not care to risk
the leap. Then he advised me of another trail turning off to the road,
just below the Naiads' Bath, where the ascent was easy, and exacted a
promise that the next time I would come out that way.

The Deacon being assigned to the office of guide and general counsellor
concerning the early part of this expedition, he suggested that we
take a trip into Manitou Park. It became my duty to inform him that we
could not in a season, let alone three weeks, visit all the places of
interest this side of White River; that we might stop a day or two at
Twin Lakes and thence we must go straight into the wilderness.

"But there is a party going over into the park this afternoon; the
station is only eight miles up the road, and we can have a delightful
drive of half a dozen miles, and be back in time for the west-bound
train to-morrow."

"Whom shall we have in this party, Deacon?"

"A couple of ladies, and a man--a dude--with an eyeglass; the ladies
are pretty----"

"Deacon! Deacon! none o' that----"

"But see here, I mean the ladies are attractive, and----"

"Yes, I understand--one talks Darwin and wears glasses, and the other
is a blonde."

"Exactly--where did you become acquainted with them? I had thought to
introduce you."

I was compelled to set the Deacon right and inform him of my last
winter's trip. Then I declined his offer of an introduction. He seemed
a little nettled at my indifference, and thereupon I pleaded old age
in extenuation of my lack of gallantry.

"But, Deacon, how long have you been acquainted with these ladies; and
who are they?"

"Oh, several months--the train is coming, let us go in to dinner."

I conjectured that there was a sensitive spot in the Deacon's anatomy,
and I had unconsciously touched it with a rude hand. To apologize
further at present might provoke embarrassment, and yet I feared
something more was demanded of me. He came to my relief by taking a
seat at the same table with the parties in question, leaving me in
company with the Major, who had arrived on the train.

"Where is the Deacon?" was the Major's first inquiry. I motioned in the

"Whom have we there?" I could give him no information, of course, and
we discussed our dinner with the prospects which Twin Lakes might

From the rear end of the train as it nears Manitou Park station, a
view is had of the great peak which dwarfs that from the plains. The
mountain seems to quadruple in size and grows in grandeur, until the
great mass overtopping its companions appears to be standing alone,
endowed with the consciousness of its own majesty. Miles beyond, and
when we are traversing the lower end of the great South Park, the
noble pile still stands out, from its azure background, the gray
of its rocks and the snow-drifts flashing down a royal smile in the
afternoon light. Ahead of us is the Musquito Range, with Buffalo Peak
serving as another grand landmark in the bewildering assemblage of
lofty mountains; and the park, for thirty miles, seemingly as level as
a floor, reposes peacefully in its cordon of hills.


At Idlewild our list of travellers is added to--a broad-shouldered
young man and a young woman. The boot heels of the young man appear
uncomfortably high, and he consequently bears his weight upon his
turned-in toes. The new doeskin trousers incase a pair of caliper
legs, carrying with them the impression that their owner is astride
an invisible something and is not at all accustomed to walking; the
Prince Albert is unbuttoned and the white vest is ornamented by a large
chain with a silver horse pendant; a low-crowned, broad-brimmed, white
felt hat with a wide leather band, is thrown back from a face that is
sunburned but smiling; the eyes of the young man are, no doubt, keen
even in repose, but there is a shade of embarrassment lingering about
them; he evidently feels that everybody in the car understands the
situation, and he is ready to be friendly or defiant as occasion may
demand. The color in the young woman's cheeks deepens as she smilingly
bustles into the only unoccupied seat, and when the couple have settled
down there is plenty of room on the end of the seat for another. She
has a paper bag of cookies; she takes a bite from one and reaches it
up to him, he absorbs the remainder as complacently as a two-year-old
being fed with a spoon. The cookies disappear rapidly after this
fashion; meantime a sleeve of the Prince Albert, with an arm in it,
has quietly stolen along the back of the seat, and a strong brown
hand rests tenderly on the plump shoulder where it has a right to be.
A backward look through the car discloses a smile on every face, but
our new friends are busy with the sunny prospects of the radiant world
just opening up to them, and have forgotten that they are objects of
interest. The Major leaning a little toward me, whispers:

"I don't know just what you think of it, my boy, but I hope it will
always be sunny for them to the end of the long trail."

From Hill-top, at the western side of the park, our way is well up on
the mountain sides along well-timbered gorges. Presently, from the
shelf in the gray granite, one may look down into the beautiful valley
of the Arkansas. The pioneers and familiars of the neighborhood will
tell to this day the delight they would feel on reaching the summit
over the old trail, whence they could look into this vale. Sloping
from the foot of what is now called Mount Princeton down to the river,
is an emerald floor of six miles in width, skirted far to the east by
pine-covered mountains; the river winds along the northerly side until
it disappears through a gorge in the distant hills. Beyond Mount
Princeton stand gray and solemn the massive piles of Mounts Yale and
Harvard, as if they would shut out from intrusion and guard the lovely
valley in perpetual tranquillity. From our vantage-point it seems quiet
even now, with the busy town just below. Before the advent of the
railroads and the multitude, one may understand why the early miners
looked upon it as another dwelling-place of the Genius of Peace.

We lodge at Granite, one of the old mining camps, prominent early
"in the sixties," and with golden prospects yet. I get a good bed in
a room that reminds me of old times; clean, eight feet square, with
a pipe running through the floor from the office stove beneath. The
pipe is not to be despised, as an addition to one's bedchamber, if one
is unaccustomed to a sudden drop to 45° from 90°. As I stand on the
doorstep next morning and take a survey of the town, no longer to be
called a camp, I conclude that it must have been named Granite because
there is less of that rock here than anywhere else in the vicinity.

After breakfast, at which we taste our first trout of the season, we
start on a six-mile ride over a splendid road to the lakes. Though we
are fairly in the heart of the mountains the way may not be called
mountainous; an exaggerated rolling prairie surrounded by magnificent
peaks gives a better idea of the land. The air is fresh and cool, the
sun is bright, with no sign of clouds save in the direction we are
going. Reaching the mesa from the valley a storm seems to be gathering
about the summits of the Twin Peaks and Mount Elbert. Climbing the
last rising ground between our starting-point and destination, I find
we are upon what I conceive to be a terminal moraine, or the remains
of one, and can look down into the grand court where the Ice King, at
some remote date, held high carnival; his throne, twenty or more miles
away, guarded on either side by peaks over fourteen thousand feet in
height; at my feet the ancient floor of his palace, covering an area
of six thousand acres or more, no longer solid, but a pair of crystal
lakes flashing under the bright rays of the morning sun. The July heat
has not yet melted the white helmets on the sentinels' heads, and back
of them the clouds I had seen but a little while before, fleecy and
drifting in the azure, are gathering volume and blackness. Between
them and me a gray mist, driving earthward in perpendicular sheets,
tells of the rain coming down; the long lines brushed by the breath
of the storm will wave to the right and left, and then drop again
straight as a plummet, while the sun's rays here and there flash in the
rainbow tints. The background of the sullen clouds begins to pale a
little, then breaks, and a great mass of white and gray and rose-tinted
vapor rolls majestically to the left, while the main storm, with its
artillery in full play, follows south, down the range, and once more
lets in the light upon the seat of ancient royalty.

[Illustration: UPPER TWIN LAKE.]

We catch only a few scattering drops while we trot briskly around the
south side of the lower lake to the rustic hotel. The landlord takes
possession of my grip and I walk off alone to the stream that holds in
bond the beautiful lakes; it is barely fifty feet wide by a hundred
yards long.

I put my rod together with a coachman on the end of the leader. I
had not taken time to soak anything and the kinks were not out, but
nevertheless the fly had hardly touched the water before I hooked
a ten-inch trout. He gave up readily and I lifted him out with an
impression of a good time at hand. But a half-hour's work disclosed not
another fin, and I concluded he was the last one there.

Wandering toward the shore of the Upper Lake, I overhauled a man with
a cane pole and a bag. I gave him my trout by way of encouragement, as
he said he was out of luck, and then I tried the head of the outlet
without avail. The man said there were trout in the lakes, but the best
way to catch them was to row about with half a dozen poles stuck out at
different angles, and "hooks baited with grasshoppers and such-like." I
sat on a rock and watched the tints of the Twin Peaks and Mount Elbert
mirrored in the smooth water, and prayed for the destroyer, that if he
had not already overtaken the pot-hunter, he would; and would burn,
not drown him; toast him on a fork and turn him around and toast him
some more; toast him slowly just in sight of the cool, clear waters
he had helped to almost ruin. But the government promises to establish
a hatchery here and to restock the waters. When that is accomplished
what more attractive spot can be found in all these mountains for a
summer sojourn for wife, babies and your precious self? It can be
made a headquarters, if you wish, and thence you may make easy runs
farther into the wilderness. With sweet air, pure water, grand scenery
and trouting, what more can mortal ask when he is tired and the baby

Though injured, the lakes are by no means depleted; the fishing is
not quite so gratifying as it was twenty years ago, that is all.
There are three different varieties of native trout here: the red or
salmon-tinted, the lighter-colored variety, and a slender, active
trout, different from the denizens of any other waters in the State
except, perhaps, Trapper's Lake. The back is a pale green, just the
color of the water in the lake, the lateral lines are fine and black,
and the spots perfectly round and smaller than the finest shot; it is a
graceful fish in its contour, running to three-quarters of a pound in
weight, and possessed of excellent fighting qualities.

The State has made an attempt at improving the lakes, and I met the
superintendent of the State hatchery here. He said I must go a-fishing.
I asked him where, and he said on the lake, if I was not disposed to
take a run of a couple of miles up to the falls, where the fishing
was good. I told him what I had heard, that the trouting was nothing
to boast of except as the market hunter potted his game. To this he
replied that when I came to the lakes I must do as the lakers do. I
told him I had not had an oar in my hands for a great many years and
was in no humor to be drowned. But he promised to attend to the rowing
while I fished. With this assurance and to oblige him I rigged up,
under his directions, four pine poles, tied on the lines and fixed up
a cast of a coachman for a stretcher and a brown hackle and a gray for
droppers. I persuaded him to allow me to take my bamboo, and armed with
the implements of torture and my rod, like Hyperion among Satyrs, we
stepped into a skiff and started for the lower end of the lake. I stuck
out those pine poles with their ten feet of line, two over the stern
and one out each side, and sat on the butts. The flies trailed along on
the water and I had room to ply the bamboo astern beyond the annoyances
floating there. After fifteen minutes of this business, I asked the
skipper if he did not think a fellow who called this trouting, ought
to drown and go to--sheol. He laughed; I took to praying again and in
my earnestness lost one of the poles. Shortly after I had a rise to
the coachman on the bamboo and hooked a trout. Inside of two minutes
I could not tell whether the fish was on the hook that struck him, or
the other three lines, or whether I had four trout in tow. I found out
very soon that there was one trout and four lines snarled. I pulled
them all in, took off the trout, untangled the knots and stowed the
poles. The man wanted to know whether I had become tired and I told him
I had, whereat he proposed to tell everybody that I didn't know how to
fish. I said he would oblige me by circulating the report, and that
I was mortified only at having tried. With this I sent the coachman
astern again and caught another trout; that was all; one trout to the
mile. Then I prevailed on him to row me back to the landing at the

Looking down the lake after a little, I saw the Major bending manfully
to his oars and coming home in grand style. When he reached us I
discovered among his other trophies of the afternoon, two trout, one
weighing four, and the other four pounds and a half.

"You did not go far enough toward the east shore," said the Major;
"there is a place about half a mile above the outlet, on that side,
where there is grass growing; I never failed in finding good sport
there; it is the home of these big salmon-colored fellows. When you
hook them they make for the grass below; then, you know, you have
business in hand."

Later in the evening, while the Major and I enjoyed our pipes and
watched the light of the full moon glimmering on the lake, he wondered
what had "come over the Deacon."

Our friend had evidently determined to have another view of Manitou
Park, and I informed the Major of the Deacon's proposition to me.

"Ah! if he were only here!" sighed the Major; "with the lake in front
of him, and under this moonlight, or with the shadows of the pines
down by the water's edge, and the melody of the miniature breakers to
whisper inspirations--eh! old boy, maybe we should lose the Deacon--at
least for this trip," he asserted hastily, as if unwilling to commit
himself, against experience, and with a knowledge that the sweetest
things in life demand a change. "They get tired of us, you know,"
continued the Major.

"You talk as if the Deacon were in love."

"The symptoms are marked, my boy--he called the other fellow a 'dude,'
you say. It looks bad; I fear he'll spoil the biscuit."



Much of the way from Granite to Leadville lies close to the Arkansas,
and with the level of it, the river being but a few feet below the
road. The Major and I conclude to occupy the rear platform and
encounter an elderly lady on a camp-stool in possession of the
car door. She is here evidently with a view to the scenery. As we
squeeze past, we are regaled with an odor of rose leaves, suggestive
of old-fashioned bureaus with obstinate drawers, catnip tea and
grandmotherly tenderness. The velocity of the railroad train is not
to be compared to the speed with which the perfume flashes one back
through the decades, to the hard times, and I detect a sigh from the
Major as he seats himself upon the car step.

"What are you sighing for, Major?"

With a hasty glance toward the car door: "For the happy times of nearly
half a century ago."

"And the rose leaves----"

"Aha!" with a cheerful smile, "you caught the fragrance too, did you,
my boy?"

[Illustration: LOOP.]

Except for the rumble of the car wheels, silence reigned for five
minutes; the Major's meditations were finally interrupted by the
appearance of Mr. Dide, camp-stool in hand. The new arrival had just
taken his seat on the side next the Major when the old lady exclaimed
in a shrill treble:

"Land sakes! I believe in my heart that crick is runnin' up hill."

Certainly from our level, and running in an opposite direction, the
current had that appearance when looked at casually.

Mr. Dide turned toward the lady, stared, and addressed her:

"Begpahdon! But weally that is not phenomenal."


"It is not unusual foah watah to wun up hill."

"Where was you born and bred, young man?"

"New Yauk."

They were both serious, the old lady, with her head thrown a little
forward and inclining to one side, gazing at him over her glasses.

"What's your business?"

"I am a gentleman of lesyah, madam," and for the first time something
like a smile hovered about the mouth of Mr. Dide.

"Evidently you was brought up that way--you ain't married, surely?"
with a manner implying that though the world were full of feminine
fools, he had not discovered one foolish enough to enter into the
marriage relation with him. Mr. Dide seemed discomfited, but rallied in
a moment.

"Begpahdon! but you know the earth is not a spheah but a spheaoid,
flattened at the poles, and the equatah is a dozen miles hiah than the
surface at the poles, and that some of the pwincipal wivahs flow toward
the equatah----"

"See here, young man, I don't know as I just rightly understand what
you're talkin' about, and I don't think you do yourself. Seems to me
you must be one of them chaps that believes his grandfather was a
monkey, and lookin' at you I don't know as you're to blame. I've raised
nine children, six boys and three girls, all married and settled down
'cept Hannah--she's next to the baby, and I don't know as she ever
will; and if I'd had one like you, indeed I'm afraid I'd a-flew into
the face of natur and set on him when a baby. Where's your mother?
you'd better go to her and let her learn you not to talk to an old
woman like me as if I was a fool--there now!"

"Begpahdon, but----"

"Oh, git away with your begp-a-h-don, as you call it----"

"But, my deah madam----"

"But me no buts, and don't dear madam me. I'll tell my Joshua and he'll
shake that glass out of your eye for insultin' his mother, he will."

Either the condition of Mr. Dide reflected in the old lady's mind with
his eyeglass gone, or his general demoralization under the hands of
Joshua, mitigated her indignation; she laughed as she bridled.

"Weally, madam," and Mr. Dide arose, held on to the guard rail with
one hand while he removed his hat with the other, and with a manner
that went far toward making his peace, continued: "I should nevah
faugive myself if I went away leaving you with the impwession that I
intended an insult--believe me, I am incapable."

"Well--don't you try to make anybody believe again that water runs up

"I will not, madam, I assauh you."

"And don't talk as if you was swearin' every time you say _ma_dam. Why
don't you say ma'am like a Christian?"

"I will mahm, with plesyah."

"That's right. Set down now, I want to see out. I think somethin' might
be made out of you with a little trainin', though mebbe it's too late;
'as the twig is bent the tree's inclined,' you know. What do you carry
that little umbrill for, that thing you've got in your hand--don't you
know the name of it?"

"Ah, weally--to wahd off the sun and the wain."

"Land sakes--mebbe you think you're sugar and'll melt; and you part
your hair in the middle like a gal; I see it when you had your hat off."

"Weally--please excuse me, I would like to pass in."

"Set right down and don't let me drive you away. I've taken an interest
in you; where's your mother?"

"Weally, ma--mahm--she has been dead many yeahs--I can just wemember

"I know'd it, and you've just been left to grow up of your own accord;
been to college of course. 'Squire Dodd he let his Jake go off to
college, and he staid just one year and come back with one of them
glasses and lost it next day; the ole 'squire kep' him home after that,
and set him to maulin' rails in the patch down by the hemlock p'int----"

For half an hour the dear old soul held the disconsolate gentleman in
durance. I dared not look at the Major but kept my eyes fixed on the
landscape, without seeing any of it.

Reaching Leadville, we searched in vain for the Deacon; his lady
friends were also absent, and the Major remarked:

"The Deacon evidently is one point ahead in the game. If he does not
turn up in the morning we shall be obliged to abandon him."

Leadville, that has added so many millions to the wealth of the
world, is more dignified than half a dozen years ago; there is less
of the revolver and saloon and a little more of the church and the
Sabbath-school; no longer a mining camp, but a city with only a tithe
of its resources developed.

It reposes very quietly this Sabbath morning under the bright sun.
Turning from the range at the north with its snow-capped peaks and
looking down the almost deserted avenue, I am reminded of another
Sunday morning--and it seems only a little while ago--when the same
street was wont to be alive with humanity. Coming out of an adjacent
saloon a couple of young men faced each other, blear-eyed and
dishevelled; they had plainly been making a night of it. Each stood
with his hand on his hip, while epithets, the most choice in the camp
vocabulary, flew thick and furious. It might be dangerous or not;
perhaps not. But the innocent third party running away or seeking
shelter at the side might be in peril. I took up a vibrating station,
so to speak, immediately in the rear of one of the would-be murderers,
and awaited the opening. It did not come, but ended in froth and the
appearance of an autocrat with a star on his breast and a club in his
hand. He gathered in the bad men and was about to possess himself of
the undersigned, when I felt compelled to explain the situation. He
complimented me by saying: "Your head's level," and I was suffered to

From the carbonate metropolis to the tunnel through the Saguache Range
the distance by rail is perhaps seventeen miles, the difference in
elevation about thirteen hundred feet. To make this distance one can
hardly realize that one is ascending, the grade is so light, winding
on and about the mountain sides. Lake Valley, with its crooked band
of water here and there widening into silvery pools, and the gold and
green of its meadow-like spots, seems to be silently drifting down and
away. At the foot lies the city we have just left, and beyond is the
Mosquito Range. In following the tortuous line the grand peaks seem
to change from one side of you to the other, all the motion being with

Mount Massive gives you the aptness of its name. You feel its
magnificence as you approach, and that it may be the glorious court of
blue-eyed Athena at whose vestibule you stand wonderingly, and whence
she issues to kiss the petals of the wild flowers and endow the earth
with health and beauty. All about you are the pines, with here and
there a patch of aspens, their whitened trunks set in banks of larkspur
empurpling the sloping mountain sides. Over deep gorges spanned by
threadlike trestle-work, you feel awed at the audacity that planned
and executed the way into this solitude. High above the utmost peak of
the bulky mass, a spot no larger than your hand is poised in ether, or
moving, passes between you and the sun, and you think perhaps of what
Tennyson says:

  "He clasps the crag with hooked hands,
   Close to the sun in lonely lands;
   Ringed with the azure world he stands:
   The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls:
   He watches from his mountain walls,
   And like a thunderbolt he falls."

Or as Campbell puts it:

  "And stood at pleasure, 'neath heavens zenith, like
   A lamp suspended from its azure dome,
   Then downward, faster than a falling star,
   He neared the earth, until his shape distinct
   Was blackly shadowed on the sunny ground."

[Illustration: HAGERMAN PASS.]

Or older still, as we find it in the Iliad:

  "So the strong eagle from his airy height,
   Who marks the swans' or cranes' embodied flight
   Stoops down impetuous while they light for food
   And, stooping, darkens with his wings the flood."

The Major thought he would give Campbell the benefit of his vote,
though the old Greek tells us the bird was a robber in his day as he is
in ours.

The shriek of the whistle echoes and re-echoes through the impressive
silence; it startles you, and you feel as if warned in a weird way
by the unseen spirits of these wilds, that you are an intruder.
Suddenly you are swept from the bright sunlight, the lofty mountains
and modest wild flowers into utter darkness. Your dream of the wise
goddess may not be all a dream. You are being hurled, in her anger,
from the heavenly heights to the depths of Erebus. Looking out, you see
mysterious shadows moving with lights through clouds of smoke, and the
lights burn dim and red. There is comfort only in the reflection that
mortals have preceded us, and that we are merely in Hagerman Tunnel[1]
and not knocking at the gates of sheol.

[1] Hagerman Tunnel is two thousand two hundred feet in length and
penetrates the Saguache Range at an elevation of eleven thousand five
hundred and twenty eight feet above sea level.

In the ghostly light of the car lamp I discover the venerable incubus
of Mr. Dide, and inquire what she thinks.

"Land sakes! it's flyin' in the face of the Almighty. I suppose it's
all right, but I kind o' wish I was well out of it and with Joshua. I
don't know but I was a little hard on that young man with the umbrill."

The Major, overhearing the wail, immediately entered upon the office
of comforter, and had but fairly begun when, swish! and we were in the
broad daylight once again, on the western slope of the Saguache Range.

There is a beautiful picture to the right; a few miles away, down the
mountain side, you catch a view of a little lake, bordered by a strip
of level ground carpeted in gold; back of this grow the pines, reaching
on and up to the summits of their homes, made dark and green; and away
beyond, delicately toned by the ever-present gray mist, stands a lofty
mountain range. The engineer is kindly and pauses here, that you may
have a glimpse of the enchanting retreat, over the memory of which you
may dream when you are back in the turmoil, and that will make you sigh
for the coming summer.

The character of the country through which we are now winding our way
down toward the valley is more rugged than on the eastern side. The
thickly wooded slopes give place to more frequent piles of granite,
massive and gray. We come suddenly upon a little park and find the
haymakers busy there, with a team of oxen, a motive power already
growing quite novel; a little further over, where the gorge widens,
affording a few acres of comparatively level ground, we find the
white tents of the campers-out. There is a newness about the cotton
habitations that suggests experiment. There are women in sun-bonnets
and calico gowns and a ruddiness of complexion no city air can paint.
Children with brown, bare legs scratched by the briars, their cheeks
tanned to a russet that affords a contrast to the whiteness of their
milk teeth. And these jolly little fellows always greet you with a
broad smile and a hurrah that is without feebleness or fever. Young men
in long rubber boots, helmet hats decorated with nondescript flies and
sporting an endless variety of trout rods. All pause to look at the
train, an act to which they would rarely condescend at home. But this
one, maybe, brings accessions to their ranks from the outside world, or
a newspaper, and serves as a link between what we call civilization and
the glorious freedom of the wilderness. A little further on, standing
upon the bank of a still reach, we encounter a tall "lone fisherman,"
dressed in overalls, a waistcoat ragged at the back, an old white felt
hat with the battered brim thrown up from his face and drooping behind;
in his hand a long cane pole which it makes one's arms ache to look
at. But he will come in to-night with that canvas bag swung from his
shoulder well filled with trout, and prove to you that the fishing is
good. Artificial flies are not indispensable with him; grasshoppers
when he can get them, bugs, grubs, a bit of beef or a strip from
the belly of his first trophy of the day, will serve his purpose; he
is "after meat" and gets it. What could he do with a fly and that

We reach a cañon whose sides at its mouth are clothed with pines and
aspens; the rocks have changed from the granite to red sandstone and
great mountains made up of boulders and red clay. The latter have
been built here by the waters away back in the untold centuries, and
of whose abundance the beautiful crystal stream now brawling over
its pebbled bed is but a thread. As the once mighty force has cut
its way through all impediments and dwindled century by century to a
narrower channel, it has left exposed the great red cliffs; falling
still farther, soil has accumulated on the more gentle slopes and has
given these Titanic piles broad bases of green interspersed with wild
flowers, and the delicate feathers of the clematis here and there twine
among the willows. The winds and the rains have bestowed their aid and
carved the red mass into castles, buttressed and pinnacled. And so,
having traversed one of the grandest gorges in the State and enjoyed a
fair view of some of the loftiest mountain peaks and ranges, we slow
up in the beautiful valley of the Roaring Fork. The Major declared it
was the most delightful ride he had ever taken, and was disposed to

[Illustration: LOCH IVANHOE.]



While awaiting the departure of the train from Aspen Junction to
Glenwood Springs, one of the dwellers in the neighborhood came up with
a string of beautiful trout, the largest of which weighed two pounds.
Where did he catch them?

"Why, right over yonder in the Roaring Fork; lots of 'em; a fellow got
one the other day that weighed three pounds."

The manner of the informant defied contradiction or doubt.

"Not improbable, my friend. I have landed more than one five-pounder
from that same water," said the Major.

"See here, mister, if I'd a-know'd you was goin' to chip in I'd a-made
it bigger--the last man hain't no show, that's a fact."

"Honor bright, my friend; I camped here nineteen years ago this summer;
five-pound trout were no rarity then."

The Major's tones carried conviction with them, and, mollified, the
native admitted he had "heard of bigger ones up the fork."

The ride of twenty-five miles to Glenwood Springs completed our trip
by rail. The next business was to look up a man with a team and wagon.
We found him lingering over some old circus posters on a bill-board
down a side street, which he seemed reluctant to abandon. He had been
recommended to us as a good cook, possessed of a complete camp outfit,
and to whom the whole country was an open book.

Mr. Miles was a blue-eyed man of forty, perhaps, with a hint of gray
hairs about his temples, broad-shouldered and wearing a pleasant smile.
He had been to Trapper's Lake times without number, but he "couldn't
get a wagon over the trail."

"If you want to go by wagon, the best way is round by Meeker, and up
the White River; it's a hundred and thirty miles, mebbe, while it's
only about a day's ride by the trail."

"By Meeker," was our route; we had come to look at the White River
Valley; we might return to Glenwood by the trail.

"Meeker it is; then four dollars a day and you find the grub and your
own saddle-horses, or ride in the waggin."

After assuring us that he would be back in an hour with "everything
ready to roll out for Newcastle," where we were to stop the first
night, Mr. Miles took his departure, singing in a delightful tenor,
"The sweet by-and-by."

Two hours elapsed and Mr. Miles had failed to put in his appearance.
We set out to hunt him and found his cabin. It was a very neat cabin
of logs, hewed to the line, and a rustic porch covered with a wild
clematis vine made the place inviting on a warm day. A couple of women
in calico gowns and sun-bonnets sat outside picking wild hops from
a vine which they had cut off at the roots and brought in bodily.
A youngster in slips, regardless of the conventionalities of good
society, was standing on his head in the shade of the chimney out
of sight of the occupants of the porch. The ground being sandy our
approach was unheeded by the women. The hands of one were toil-worn,
of the other slender and shapely, but browned by the sun. The Major
was about to speak but was forestalled by the imp from the chimney
appearing, right side up, with the announcement:

"G'amma! here's men!"

The old lady's face, from her position, was first to be seen, and
revealed Mr. Dide's monitress. The other was that of a young woman of
twenty, perhaps. As the child spoke the latter raised her hands to the
sun-bonnet, and turning toward us, disclosed a very pleasant face with
wonderful brown eyes.

"Land sakes! if it ain't you; come in and set down--Hannah, git some

The Major declined, as we were in a hurry, and inquired for Mr. Miles.

"That's my Joshua, certain. He's gone to hunt his horses; he's been
hired to go out campin' with some tenderfeet, and they are out
grazin'; but do set down; this is my daughter Hannah," as the young
woman returned with the chairs, which she burnished with her apron,
though they were entirely innocent of dust.

The Major felt obliged to repeat his excuse; then pleasantly:

"I guess we are the tenderfeet----"

"Now, you don't say!--Land sakes--but you won't mind an old woman's
nonsense, will you? Set down, _do_; Joshua'll be here by-'m-by, he
greased his waggin just before he went; don't mind the muss--me and
Hannah's been savin' these hops, they're better'n any store truck;
they're good for yeast; I never could 'bide salt risin' anyway, and for
neuralgie, I've suffered with that some, so's Joshua, seems it's in
the altitude, that's what the doctors call it, and to my mind there's
nothing like a hop piller. Wish you'd set awhile."

The Major assured the good soul that we should be delighted, but really
we were anxious to start and had a multitude of trifles to look after.
Would she be kind enough to request Joshua not to delay longer than was
necessary? and we bowed ourselves away.

The sun went down and Joshua did not appear. At ten o'clock we went to
bed with the conviction that we should have to abandon the namesake of
the potent commander. About the time we were fairly asleep, he came
and assured us, through the door, that he would "be on hand at eight
o'clock, sure, with everything ready." That the horses had "strayed
and were not to be found until after dark." We were prompt at the
appointed time and waited until nine. The Major was again about to give
him up, when he came around with a pair of stout-looking mares and an
empty lumber wagon, and announced that he must "go and hunt up an extra
spring seat," as we had concluded not to take saddle-horses. He came
back in about half an hour, with a seat lying in the wagon, and said he
had "a mind" to go after his bedding. The Major suggested that he hurry.

"Oh, I'll be round, you bet."

At ten o'clock he returned with a roll of blankets and we inquired
after his camp outfit.

"By the great horn spoon--if I didn't forget all about it; just hold on
a minute," and he drove off again. In the course of another half hour
he returned with a frying-pan and a broken skillet. We inquired for the
plates, cups, knives and other articles supposed to be convenient in
camp, including the coffee-pot.

"Well, I lent my coffee-pot to a feller who's gone prospectin' and I
don't think he'll be back inside of a week--you've got some canned
beans and such like--we can use the cans for coffee, and have a new
one every day, and I'm out of plates and cups just now, though if I'd
a-knowed it I might 'a borrowed some of Jake."

The Major complimented him on this evidence of cleanliness and economy,
and then went off and purchased the necessary tinware and cutlery.
Joshua packed everything snugly and undertook to adjust the borrowed
wagon seat. It was found to be too short.

"Well, I swan! but I'll git a seat if I have to steal it--just hold on
a minute."

"I think, Mr. Miles," said the Major, "as it is near noon, you'd better
drive home and get your dinner and the seat, and call for us in an

"All right, I'll be round on time--hannup, Woman, get on, Baby--we're
not goin' to camp here."

  "'There's a land that is fairer than day,
      And by faith we can see it afar,
    For the Father waits over the way,
      To prepare us a dwelling place thar,
              In the sweet by-and-by.'"

"That man and his song match well," said the Major, as Joshua
disappeared around the corner and the refrain died away, "'my dukedom
to a beggarly denier' he does not get back until too late in the day to
start. I wonder if he is not trying to make an extra day in his count?"

At two o'clock he returned, but had not succeeded in obtaining a seat.
He stood before the Major with eyes cast down and his forefinger on his
chin, evidently in deep communion with himself.

"I wonder, now, where I can get a seat--lemme see--Bowers' got a waggin
same as mine, but he started yesterday with a load to Newcastle. Ben
Soggs-no! his is broke. Lemme see--Pat McGinnis--no, he's usin' his
every day----"

"Suppose you buy one--is there not a wagon shop in the city?" said the

"Well, I swan! I hadn't thought of that--just hold on a minute."

In the course of half an hour he returned with the announcement that he
had found a seat, but the man wanted five dollars and a half, "second
hand, and that's a dollar'n a half more'n it's worth, and----."

"Well, get it, we'll stand the dollar and a half."

"All right--just hold on a minute."

It was three o'clock in the afternoon when we started. We were blessed
with several friends in Glenwood; they manifested much interest in
our preparations for departure, and, as they had a number of resident
acquaintances, the sidewalk was well peopled by the time we climbed
into the wagon. Looking over that sea of faces, as I remember it now,
every one was lighted up with a broad smile, which resolved itself into
a laugh, with a hearty good-by and wishes for luck, together with the
request that we "leave some of the game on the White," and would "not
kill it all."

We smiled in return, and I felt that I should be happy if Mr. Miles'
shoulders were not so broad and I had his head in chancery.

"Where do you propose camping to-night, Mr. Miles?" inquired the Major
as we reached the bridge across the Grand River.

"Lemme see--it's fifteen miles to Newcastle, pretty good road, we can
make that in three hours with the load we've got; then it's about
fourteen miles to Rifle Creek, but there's muskeeters. We might stop
at Ferguson's, that's about ten miles beyond Newcastle; that's a good

"But it will be quite dark by that time."

"Yes, that's a fact, it will be quite dark by that time."

"Well, it is not very pleasant to make camp in the dark."

"No, that's a fact; you're right about that--'tain't pleasant to make
camp in the dark."

"What will you do?"

"Lemme see--we was goin' to stop at Newcastle, wasn't we? that's a good

"To camp, do you mean?"

"Yes, good place to camp, or there's a good hotel--we might stop at the
hotel over night and take a fresh start in the mornin'."

"How far is it from Newcastle to Meeker?"

"Fifty-five miles,--hannup, Woman! we won't camp here!"

"That's rather a long drive for one day?"

"You're right, it is--but we can make it, with the load we've
got--Baby! come out o' that!"

"It would be better not to try."

"You're right--we might camp at Morgan's, t'other side of the Divide,
if you want to, that's more'n half way."

"Very well, we'll make Newcastle to-night, Morgan's to-morrow night,
and reach Meeker the next day--say at what hour?"

[Illustration: QUEEN OF THE CAÑON.]

"Oh, anywhere before dark, easy."

"Well, we'll see if you can make it."

"Oh, I'll make it, or break a trace!"

The "pretty good road" between Glenwood and Newcastle had recently been
traversed by a herd of cattle and seemed the paradise of loose stones.
The Grand was muddy, as it frequently is, from the mining on the Blue
River and a recent storm. But there is enough beauty in the scenery to
compensate one for the roughness of the road, which Joshua seemed to
make more rugged by hitting all the rocks in the way.

When we reached Newcastle, Joshua drove up to the hotel and the
landlord put in an appearance.

"Why do you stop here, Mr. Miles?" inquired the Major.

"This is a good place to stop, and I thought you said you'd stop here
to-night and take a fresh start in the mornin'?"

"We purpose to have an outing, Mr. Miles, and although the hotel may be
excellent, we will go into camp just below here on Elk Creek."

There was a decisiveness about the Major's tones not to be
misunderstood. Mr. Miles turned around to get a better view.

"All right, just as you say--hannup, Woman! Baby!"

He kept silent until we reached the creek, when I made a remark about
its beauty, then Joshua broke out:

  "Fresh from the throne of glory
   Bright in its crystal stream."

At the first verse the sternness vanished from the Major's face; he
could not resist the inclination to laugh; the laugh was contagious;
Joshua turned in his seat with a look of inquiry, and halting in his
song, joined us.

"How d'you know the name of the creek, Major?"

"I have been here before, Mr. Miles."

"Oh! How long you lived in this country, Major?"

"Thirty years, next spring."

"No? Then you're a mossback sure enough----

  'Tell me the old, old story,
   Of unseen things above'".

"Are you a member of the church, Mr. Miles?"

"Why, I ain't never just professed, exactly--what makes you ask that?"

"Your familiarity with the Gospel hymns."

"Mebbe you don't like 'em----"

"Quite the contrary, Mr. Miles--I not only like them, but your singing."

"Oh, give us a rest, Major--you can't blame me for takin' you for
tenderfeet with them knee-breeches."

"What did you pay for this wagon-seat, Mr. Miles?"

"Four dollars,--honest Injun."

"I think we understand each other, Mr. Miles?"

"George Washington and his hatchet--I've felt for some time's if I
wanted to kick myself for bein' a fool."

The footing being established, Joshua drew up in a grassy spot near
some scrub oaks.

"Just rest easy, gentlemen, till I git this team unhitched, and I'll
look after the supper, and put up the tent while you're eatin' it."

"We have only a fly, and will not need that to night."

"That's an offset to the knee-breeches; if I'd only knowed it! You
don't care for a tent, even?

  'The proper study of mankind is man'".

I suggested to the Major that he try the creek,--perhaps he could get
a mess of trout for breakfast. He adopted the suggestion, and when we
called him, half an hour afterward, he came with five good-sized trout.
Not contented with his success, after supper he went to the mouth of
the creek and hooked a pound-and-a-half fish, which he brought in with
much gratification.

Joshua seemed endowed with new life; he was out of bed next morning and
had breakfast prepared before we were fairly awake; by seven o'clock
we were on the road. The coach on its way to Meeker passed us shortly
after we had started, and would reach its destination by five o'clock.
Joshua admitted that he had more than once made the trip in one day
from Glenwood with a light wagon and a good team.

The country between Newcastle and Rifle Creek is blessed with spacious
mesas covered with black sage brush. Here and there these acres are
under ditch and cultivation, attesting that the uninviting uplands,
with the aid of water, can be converted into beautiful farms. We
crossed Rifle Creek, up and over a broad mesa to Dry Rifle, and found
ourselves in a neighborhood by no means attractive. Sage brush, cactus
and greasewood, inhabited by magpies and an occasional raven, do not
tend to inspire one with pleasant fancies. The soil is adobe, the
gulch contracted and hot, and water to be thought of only; the sage
brush had assumed dignity and grown into trees. But the arroyo soon
widened and gave us a view of pleasantly wooded low hills, and a
cool breeze greeted us. The road was good, and we trundled along in
cheerfulness, Joshua aiding at intervals with a lively air from the
Gospel Collection, or stimulating us with the assurance that game was
plenty "back among them hills." We took a lunch about noon but found
the water warm and slightly impregnated with alkali; at Morgan's, where
we went into early camp, the water was better.

After crossing the Divide, and before we reached our camping-place,
the country had improved decidedly; the grass was fresher and more
abundant, and the wild flowers added to the attraction of the slope
along which we were travelling; the distant hills were bountifully
dotted with aspen groves and openings--suggestive to one accustomed
to the haunts of deer. Gaps in the hills immediately skirting our way
would reveal small parks, beautifully green, and the entrance to them
usually guarded by picturesque rocks. In one of these projections a
dromedary was conspicuously outlined, with its head carried to the
life. In another a hippopotamus was wallowing up from a sandstone bed.
In another the form of a woman half reclining in a high-backed chair,
while immediately in front was a figure in an attitude of supplication.
The afternoon sun shining fairly upon this group gave us a good view of
the features in profile; other rocks immediately in front and to the
right of the principal figure, were readily constructed into groups
bearing a human resemblance, and the Major at once gave the place the
name of the Queen's Court. Many have passed this way, no doubt, and
have seen a medley of rocks, while others may have enjoyed with us
the distinction of an audience with royalty. Balancing Rock, however,
cannot escape the attention of the most indifferent.

We finally caught a glimpse of a bit of the White River Valley
through the gorge toward which we were moving: a beautiful stretch of
meadow-like land reaching up to timber-clothed mountains. The view
continued to expand until we arrived at the border of the stream. The
way wound among willows and mountain beech, with a few scrub oaks, now
and then an alder bush, and what Joshua termed haw bushes, bringing
us suddenly to the margin of the river. The water was perfectly clear
and cold, with the brush growing close down to the edges of the banks;
just above the ford was a pool in which the Major was as sure there
were trout as that the sun shone. It did seem, indeed, that the fish
must find delightful habitation in every foot of water in sight. We
crossed and made camp, and it was not long before the Major verified
his prediction. From that same pool, within a hundred feet of the ford
where people were crossing nearly every hour of the day, he brought in
two trout that more than sufficed for our supper.

"The stream is just alive with them, my boy--you will have trouting
such as you never had before."

[Illustration: ON THE FRYING PAN.]



Two miles, about, below our camp is that part of the valley where the
Ute Indian Agency was situated a few years ago. Here it was that the
pot-bellied potentate Colorow and his horde of tatterdemalions cruelly
murdered agent Meeker, captured and carried away women and children,
and committed other unprovoked atrocities--receiving, as an inducement
for further outrages, additional government subsidies and comfort. The
soil which these "red brothers" refused to cultivate now glitters in
a garb of golden grain; they killed their best guide and friend, who
never had for them other than kind words and fatherly admonitions,
because it required work to change the product from sage brush to
wheat. If a man should undertake to harness an adult grizzly to a
plough the world would consider him weak and fail to mourn his death,
though he would be on a par with the governmental "policy" touching the
Indian. A century of failure should, it would seem, convince even a
nation that there were defective cogs in its policy wheel.

But the Major suggests that I drop the subject, unless I desire to
write a volume on a disease that I cannot cure. He says it is like any
other botch, spoiled in the beginning of its existence, and it would be
impossible now "to lick into shape."

"It is only a matter of time when our 'red brother' will cease to be,
and our disgrace will culminate at his final departure. We are out for
fish and our own reformation only."

Now that we are on the stream that we started in search of, there is
no occasion to hurry. We have with us all the necessary accessories to
comfortable housekeeping; our time is our own, and we enjoy a solid
independence of landlords, railroads or stage-coaches. A house would
be an incumbrance and finger-bowls as superfluous as a piano. Do you
know what it is to be free, absolutely oblivious to care, past or
prospective; with no apprehension touching the condition of your linen,
the set of your necktie or the volume of your trousers at the knees? If
not, go camping. The destitution of polish on your shoes and the holes
in your hat become luxurious, as you view the one through the other
while you lie on your back in the shade and pull down the "old felt" to
screen your eyes from the brilliancy of the blue roof under which you
are loafing. Each month thus invested will add six months to each year;
toward the end of your time you will realize this, and find your joints
supple to a ripe old age.

The next morning at breakfast the Major requested me to do the fishing
for the day's supply; he desired to go prospecting:

"You have not wet a line since we started; you had an opportunity
at Elk Creek and here, also, last night. I thought you were fond of

"So I am, but catching fish does not constitute my view of angling;
it is only one of the pleasures that awaits in the vestibule of the
temple. A beautiful attendant merely who induces us into the inner

"We'll shake hands on that, my boy," exclaimed the Major.

Joshua, who ate with us at our solicitation, stopped his cup of coffee
half way to his mouth and stared at me.

"I'll get a gunny-sack full, if you want 'em, Major,--can do it in half
a day," said Joshua, sipping his coffee.

"We would rather you did nothing of the sort, Mr. Miles," and the
Major's manner was somewhat testy; "we could make no use of them--the
time of plenty is the time to save--you've heard that before, no doubt,
or something like it?"

"Oh, yes, I've heard mother say that many a time."

"I thought so--a mother's advice is always good, and you can apply it
to fish and other game."

"All right, just as you say."

The Major started off to the hills with his Winchester. Joshua
concluded he would stay around camp and "square things up." One of the
horses had stepped on the new coffee-mill and ruined it, and he must
look out for another. The principal feature of the new coffee-mill
was a piece of clean board about a foot square; the other part of
the complication consisted of a tin can. He placed the coffee on the
board and rolled it fine with the can: the board, being the important
part, in the absence of carpenter shops and sawmills, was the portion
fractured, of course.

I put my rod together and adjusted the reel. The leader and flies had
been in soak for an hour and were in good condition; I had selected
a coachman, a red-bodied gray hackle and a brown cofflin to test in
prolific water a theory of mine. The White River in the fifty or
more miles we experimented is the ideal of a trout stream. From our
camping-place for thirty and odd miles to the cañon of the South Fork
is a series of riffles, deep swirls under bushy banks, pools and
comparatively still reaches. The willows and other shrubs are so thick
that the opportunity for casting from the shore is happily exceptional.
There is no satisfactory alternative but to pursue the best method.
The stones are clean beyond those in any stream which I ever waded,
and the prospect of a wetting from smooth rubber boots and rocks a
remote possibility. To avoid the places too deep to wade, crossing and
recrossing the riffles becomes a necessity; these opportunities seem to
lie at such convenient and appropriate distances that admiration for
the skill of the Designer is irresistible; one takes to the dancing
crystal with a love for it, and a reverence for its Presiding Genius.
There is a feeling of exultation as one enters and stands solitary in
mid-stream and looks down the flashing current; the surging of the
water, as it takes his limbs into its cool embrace, whispers a greeting
of welcome; hid by the growth upon either side one feels no longer
alone, the water-sprites are with him in loving communion and sympathy.

So standing and happily surrounded, I commissioned the gray hackle, at
the end of my leader, to ascertain what might be lurking in the shade
of the opposite bank, where the current was swift and the water four
feet deep, at least. It was taken at once, and inside of five minutes
I had a trout of a pound's weight safe in the landing-net. As soon as
possible after hooking him, I had drawn away from his hiding-place and
coaxed him into shallower and quieter water, so that his neighbors, if
he had any, might not be disturbed. After placing him in the creel, I
changed the hackle for the coachman and it was taken as readily, the
fish being a mate to the first. A third cast resulted in a failure,
a fourth brought a rise, a little more line and at the fifth the fly
alighted in the acceptable spot, and was taken by a still larger fish.

Changing the coachman for the cofflin, I waded down, close under the
bushes of the right bank, crossed a riffle and dropped the fly just
where the water slowed up a little, at the foot. It had scarcely
touched the surface when I saw the gaping jaws of an apparent
leviathan close upon it; at the same instant I struck and the bamboo
bent to its work. A leap clear from the water advised me that I had one
of the lighter-colored variety and consequently more of a fight on my
hands. Five minutes, however, at a guess, sufficed to bring him into
the net. He weighed, an hour afterward by my pocket scales, a scant one
and three quarter pounds. I lengthened the line a little and brought
out another of nearly a pound. If the trout were to keep up to these
weights, for only a little while, there would be waste in camp, and I
wished for a few smaller. But they did not come to me; either of the
next three would weigh three-fourths of a pound, and going back to the
slight opening in the brush, through which I entered, I climbed out and
returned to camp.

Joshua received the creel and examined its contents.

"You and the Major seem to have the same notions; I thought you would
fill up that basket and string a lot on a willer."

"There are quite eight pounds,--sufficient for two meals."

"Yes, I know, but how do you manage to stop? When the fish bite that
way I want to catch 'em." Thereupon I read a homily to Joshua on the
art of angling, at the conclusion of which he said he understood what I
had told the Major in the morning about the "inner sanctuary."

[Illustration: SILVERY CASCADE.]

"That is, I have an idea about it--mebbe I'll try it some day; but
this is such a dog-on hard world to get along in and buy shoes for the
baby! I'm afraid I can't get into your way--a fellow can't live on
scenery, you know, and 'tain't easy for old dogs to learn new tricks.
But I'll try and not make a trout hog of myself, as you call it,
anyway--I think I can manage that much."

He went off with my fish and creel toward the river, singing, and I
flattered myself on having made a partial convert.

Just before noon the Major returned, warm and tired, and sought solace
of his pipe. He brought with him two willow grouse with their heads
shot off. He had found a coal mine in the bluffs above us, near the
town, and had discovered other flattering indications of future wealth
for those inclined to pick them up. He had also started two deer,
"within fifty yards," during his tramp.

"Where are they?" inquired Joshua.

"Over in those hills, I presume," answered the Major, with a nod toward
the supposed locality.

"Why! didn't you kill nary one?"

"Nary one."

"Well, I swan--what's the good of carrying a rifle?"

"What's the good of killing what you don't need?"

"Gentlemen, excuse me, I don't mean any offence, but I'm durned if you
ain't the queerest pair of cranks in the huntin' and fishin' way, I
ever see. I don't know, but mebbe you're right about it, still I can't
get it through my hair. Of course, I don't believe in wastin' meat,
_but_, I'd a--_had_ to shot them deer."

"Mr. Miles, you ought to live where there is one deer to a township and
a trout to a mile of water--you'd change your mind and want to hang the
man who talked as you do."

"How'll you have the grouse cooked, Major--stewed or fried?"

"Either way."

Joshua served them up to us roasted, and they were delicious.

Loitering by the road later in the afternoon I saw the coach on the
opposite side of the river, before it came down into the bottom-land.
There was a passenger on the box with an umbrella. I waited and
recognized Mr. Dide, who had added a fishing-rod to his luggage.

"Weally!--dwivah, stop a moment. I am delighted to see you; do you live
in the vicinity?"

I informed him that the camp was just below, and we should be pleased
to have him call.

"Chawming--thanks; I shall be delighted to drop in."

He did so, just before supper, very much to the astonishment of Joshua
and the surprise of the Major. I had forgotten to apprise my friend of
the new arrival and of the invitation I had extended. I also confessed
a little wonder to myself at the gentleman's prompt fulfilment of his
promise, but was none the less gratified.

"I have heard" (it is impossible to spell the word as he pronounced
it) "of Meekah, you know, and the twouting, and thought it would be
quite novel to wun ovah. The wide was not vewy inviting, but this is
chawming--think so?"

Mr. Dide was so truly delighted with the novelty of his experience,
and so full of anxiety to make it known, that he was permitted to run
on without interruption. Hitherto he had seemed reticent, now he was
overflowing in the opposite direction.

"I've nevah twouted, you know, but I shall twy. I bought a pole and
some widiculous-looking flies."

The Major suggested that I knew something about the sport, and would,
no doubt, assist him in gratifying his ambition. Of course I would, and
did. My office of mentor was not devoid of pleasant incidents. He was
to call in the morning, with his tackle, and did so immediately after
breakfast. He was not prepared to wade, and I borrowed the Major's
boots without leave. The rod was a cheap specimen of ash and lancewood,
and the dealer had been fair with him in the matter of line, leaders
and flies. The Major will bring down the scales at two hundred, Mr.
Dide at one hundred and twenty-five pounds, at a guess; in the Major's
boots Mr. Dide, I must confess, appeared at a disadvantage. I adjusted
his tackle, even to the winding of the line on the little brass reel
above the grip, and led the way to the scene of my own recent exploits.

Mr. Dide, upon entering the water, affirmed that it was cold; there was
no gainsaying his assertion. He expressed a doubt of his ability to
keep his feet, and I endeavored to assist him. He tossed his fly in the
direction I suggested, allowed the point of the rod to drop and the fly
floated at the edge of the swirl. I admonished him to hold his rod up;
at the same instant a trout hooked himself, the little reel spun round
and Mr. Dide exclaimed in great exultation:

"I have got him! I have got him!"

"But you will not keep him long, Mr. Dide, if you do not check the

"Aw--but I cawn't, you know--oblige me!" and he held out his umbrella
toward me. The trout in the meantime was having his own way; the line
was fast disappearing from the reel; suddenly it slacked, his troutship
was returning, and rapidly. I supported Mr. Dide by seizing the back of
his collar with one hand and relieved him of the umbrella, directing
him to reel in the line. The fish was without doubt fatally hooked.
Mr. Dide, laboring at the crank with a vigor that would have given a
hundred revolutions a second to an ordinary grindstone, succeeded in
retrieving the slack. As he did so the fish gave a leap half out of the
water, and a struggle that brought the butt of the rod in contact with
the fisherman's stomach. Something snapped--it was the tip. Still the
hook held, the line could be trusted; if the leader and snell proved
true the fish might yet be saved. I directed Mr. Dide to give no more
line, but simply to hold the remains of his rod firmly and to stand
still, if he could. He endeavored to follow instructions, and I took
up my station a little lower down and to one side in shallower water,
watching the brave exertions of the quarry to free itself. I bethought
me that the umbrella, in the absence of my landing-net, might be put to
profitable use. As the fish came my way I suddenly scooped him up from
behind, together with an umbrella nearly full of water; the trout went
over the edge some time before I could empty the novel device.

"That's the most extwaawdinawy pwoceeding I evah witnessed!" exclaimed
Mr. Dide.

Certainly it was beyond anything in my own experience. I concluded
that the only way to save the fish was to get to the bank. Mr. Dide
declined my offer to take his rod, for which I commended him, but he
was doubtful of his ability to stem the current and manage his tackle
without my assistance, so I led him ashore and he dragged the trout.
Seizing my opportunity, when the nearly exhausted victim was quiet, I
lifted him out by the leader. He had hooked himself through the tongue,
and so deeply that, notwithstanding his struggles, the wound was but
little enlarged, and the use of a knife was required to release him.

Mr. Dide was so much delighted at his success that the damage to his
rod was a matter of little importance. He would have continued to fish
with the remains of it, but that I convinced him of the impossibility
of casting a fly without a tip. He returned to camp and soon came back
with the extra one. I concluded to prospect for openings in the brush.
Having found one with a promising little eddy below it, I indicated
the best place, in my judgment, at which the fly should be delivered.
Mr. Dide undertook the feat and the fly caught in the willows behind
him. I released it and the next effort resulted in a good hold upon
the umbrella, which the gentleman insisted upon keeping over his head.
I was constrained to advise him that the umbrella would better be put
aside; he surrendered it to me hesitatingly, as if he might be at a
loss without it. He splashed the fly into the water within a rod of
the place I had suggested, but that was of no importance; a trout took
it in a moment and in the next was flying high in air and eventually
became entangled in the brush. I wondered whether first efforts were
ordinarily attended with the results I had witnessed, or whether my
_protégé_ were specially skilled in awkwardness. After he had placed me
and my apparel in jeopardy several times I took the rod and endeavored
to show him how to make a cast; then I did not blame him so much. But
he felt encouraged, and I betook myself to camp, leaving him to work
out his own salvation. He came back before noon with the two trout; his
rod was broken again and he was very wet, having evidently been up to
his neck in water.

[Illustration: SEVEN CASTLES.]



The particulars of the disaster to Mr. Dide and what led up to it were

"I hooked a vewy big twout--he would have weighed ten pounds----"

"No, no, Mr. Dide----" interrupted the Major.

"Pon honah!"

"The speed with which you have become proficient as a fisherman is
something marvellous, Mr. Dide. Ten-pounders in this water are not
within the memory of the oldest inhabitant."

"Weally, he was twice as big as the one we hooked this mawning----"

"Then he must have weighed not quite three pounds, Mr. Dide. The only
sure way is to catch your fish and weigh him on the scales."

"Major! Major! think of the penalty provided against that sort of wit."

"It was not so intended, I assure you, my boy."

"But, weally, he must have weighed moah than thwee pounds, Majah, he
was so big and he smashed the pole, you know! I hooked him, and he
stwuggled violently for a gweat while, and when I sought to pull him
out the pole bwoke; he lay on the watah and I sought to secuah him by
going in myself and catching him in my hands; it was vewy cold, 'pon
honah; he moved away and I followed him into a hole, but he eluded me."

"My dear sir, you're quite as intrepid as Kit North. You will make an
angler, certainly."

"Thanks--vewy much delighted, I assuah you. I have been devising
another method of casting the fly, majah. I find it vewy difficult, and
it makes my ahms ache. I think I will take a piece of aldah and make a
pop-gun and pop the fly out. Did you evah twy it?"

"I never did; with the pop-gun and umbrella you will revolutionize the
science of angling."

"No? weally? But the umbwella was not my device, you know," Mr. Dide
modestly protested.

"Still, you made the project possible."

"Think so?"

"Do you shoot, Mr. Dide?"

"Aw, a little. I have pwacticed some with a Winchestah, at a tawget,
you know."

The Major deemed it advisable to admonish the gentleman that it would
be well for him to seek a change of clothing, or at least to wring out
his garments and hang them on the bushes to dry. The latter part of
the suggestion was rejected as impossible--"somebody might come, you
know"--notwithstanding the Major offered him the use of a rubber coat
during the emergency. Mr. Dide therefore trudged off toward the town,
leaving an impression, to one ignorant of the cause, that a miniature
sprinkler had just passed over the road. After his departure I informed
the Major that the gentleman had intimated a desire to accompany us
during the remainder of our trip.

"If you can stand it, I can, my boy."

We broke camp and passed through Meeker early the following morning.
The town--the site of the old military post--is pleasantly situated on
a level place in the valley, skirted on one side by low hills and on
the other by the river, from which rises a steep bluff; on the summit
of this stands the remains of an adobe signal station, profiled against
the background of sky. There is a square in the town, and surrounding
it the adobe buildings erected by the government, but now utilized by
the peaceful citizens as dwellings or stores. Indians are not presumed
capable of bombs, mortars or big guns, and, of course, in selecting a
military post with a view to their methods and capabilities a valley
with water is better than a hill-top without. The country is rich with
ripening grain, and every available acre is either being prepared for
cultivation or is actually under tillage. The mountains that border
all this valley are low and many covered with timber to their summits.
Between the gaps of the closer hills one may discover glades opulent in

Near noon we lunched at an excellent spring a little way from the forks
of the river. We were overtaken here by Mr. Dide on horseback, for whom
we had left, at the hotel, an invitation to join us. He had provided
himself with a new rod and a pair of blankets. What the settlers
thought of a man on horseback, with a glass in his eye and an umbrella
over his head, riding through the country, has not yet transpired. He
had experienced some difficulty at the start; the horse, objecting
to the extraordinary equipment of the rider, had endeavored to throw
him off, but failing in that, ran away. The dogs also had added to
his discomfiture by making frequent sorties, threatening his legs and
vociferously assailing the heels of his steed. Mr. Dide had, however,
survived all impediments and came up smiling.

The valley of the South Fork is somewhat narrower than that of the
main river through which we had come. The brush marks the course of
the stream on the left, and beyond it the mountains rise gradually
for perhaps two thousand feet, while to the right they reach about
the same altitude. The aspen groves are abundant, their lighter green
foliage being interspersed with the darker hue of the pines, clothing
the sloping hillsides from the base to the summit. The road is smooth
and we can trot the horses readily. At times we are close to the river
and again half a mile away. Coming to a great clump of bushes on the
left, a family of willow grouse was flushed from the grass near the
road-side; there were six in the flock, and the major potted four of
the young ones, they having alighted in the adjacent trees. We had
gathered up the birds and gone but a little way when Joshua cried out

"Look at her! look at her! right ahead there, in the road. Where's the
rifle--gimme the rifle!"

Not two hundred feet from us stood a magnificent doe, broadside on, and
an easy shot for the veriest tyro that ever pulled trigger. Instead of
bringing the rifle to bear or giving it to Mr. Miles, the Major waved
his hat and shouted. The beauty ceased staring at us and bounded away
gracefully toward the aspens on the right.

"What'n thunder!--Major! you do beat all, that's a fact. Did anybody
ever see such a pretty shot!" exclaimed Joshua regretfully and with an
expression of disgust.

"Mr. Miles, you should understand, as well as the rest of us, that it
is against the law to kill does at this time; it is the close season,
and I have no doubt she has a suckling fawn hid not a hundred yards
away. We'll have no law-breaking; if we need venison we will take one
with horns, not kill the mother and leave the babies to starve. Think
of it, man; think of the cruelty of it!"

"Hannup, Woman! ga'lang, Baby," was the only response from Joshua.
It came with vigor; disgust pervaded his entire system. We passed
the clump of willows, when Mr. Dide, who was trotting along behind,

"Aw, Majah! look theah."

Turning, we saw a buck that had just made its way out of the cover,
running swiftly across the road and making for the mountain side.
Joshua brought down his whip upon the horses with his usual admonition
to them, but given in a tone that indicated a determination to
eschew venison or even the thought of it. The Major smiled with the
satisfaction of a man who realizes having made an impression. Reaching
the foot of a slight rise the horses were permitted to slacken their
pace, and silence reigning at the time, Joshua broke out with one of
his familiar hymns:

  "Almost persuaded."

"I would rather you were fully persuaded, Mr. Miles," said the Major
when the singer had concluded the first stanza.

"All right--here she goes."

Joshua seemed to rise to his best effort, and was unexpectedly joined
by Mr. Dide in an excellent bass.

"Well!" said the Major, as the song was concluded, "our lines seem to
have fallen in pleasant places, sure enough. I was not aware of the
hymn, however."

"If all the hunters that come over here lived up to your way, Major,
we'd have to kill the deer in self-defence."

"You believe, however, that my way is the right way, don't you?"

"Yes, I do--hannup, Woman."

Later in the afternoon we came to what is known as the "Still Water."
A subsequent examination of this place in the stream impressed me as
being caused by the peculiar formation of the bed-rock. An idea of
it may be imparted by taking a dozen shingles and laying them on a
level, as you would upon a roof, with the butts lapping a couple of
inches only. Consider this the bed of a river with the water flowing
over it from the thin end of the shingles, the butts being from three
or four feet to ten in thickness. At each butt, or where the rock
breaks abruptly, there is a scarcely perceptible motion of the water;
immediately beneath is a deep hole, growing shallower as the next butt
is reached; then follows another hole; there are several miles of this
water in which the current is barely noticeable; the banks are four and
five feet from the surface, which is as smooth as glass. The willows
grow thickly on both sides of the stream, with breaks at intervals that
give one access to it.

Joshua, who was familiar with the vicinity, pronounced Still Water "a
dandy place to fish," but we did not stop, except to permit the Major
to possess himself of two more grouse, the birds being abundant. We
made camp before dark near the mouth of the cañon.

Immediately opposite is a perpendicular bluff of rocks two hundred
feet high, or more; slight projections here and there in the face
of it serve as footholds for a few hardy bushes, a cluster of wild
flowers, or a matted vine; nearer the summit are dwarfed pines. The
river sweeps along the foot of this wall; distilled from its near
mountain springs, it is as clear as crystal, and, dashing from the
shadows of the adjacent cañon, is, as Mr. Dide expresses it, "_vewy_
cold." On the side of the river where our camp lies the valley extends
very gradually up and back to the neighboring hills. The grass is
bountiful and rich, and we have a cluster of young pines under which
we may lounge in the heat of the day. Looking down the course of the
river the valley becomes wider, and we have an open view of mountains
and green slopes for miles. At our first night's camp in this secluded
spot, when the fire has burned low and casts fitful shadows against
the opposite cliff, we find ourselves with our feet due north as we
lie in our blankets. There is a peculiar charm in the bed of fragrant
twigs, with nothing to shut off our vision of the fretted roof. We may
gaze out of our shadowy environment into the faces of the bright gems
and hold hallowed communion with their mysteries. The liquid voices
of the Naiads in their revels sweep gleefully toward me and then away
again in softest cadence. The north star and the Dipper grow bright,
then indistinct, then revive and grow dim again, as the gentle sprites
brush my eyelids tenderly with their downy wings and soothe me into
sweet forgetfulness. Some time in the night I awoke; the Dipper had
moved, or rather we had moved, and the constellation was no longer in
sight. The silence was broken only by the heavy breathing of my nearest
companion, the Major, and the hymn from the river. As its notes rose
and fell its somnolent influence took me gently in charge again. The
"to-hoo--to-hoo" of an owl interrupted the spell for a moment; I saw
him in my mind's eye solemnly staring into the darkness, and I was gone
before he had concluded the second call.

When I awoke again it was daylight and I raised on my elbow to take
in my fellows. Joshua lay rolled in his blankets under the cluster of
pines. Mr. Dide looked thin and singular without his eyeglass. His
nose had reached the peeling stage under the influence of the sun, and
was decorated with ragged bits of skin, as if it had been caught in a
shower of tattered tissue-paper. The Major, with his hat tied over his
head, bore marks of the out-door life and slept like a child. I turned
out quietly, as the sun crept over the hills, slanting its glad rays
against the opposite cliff, and when they touched the swirling water
at its foot, I put my rod together, with a coachman on the end of the
leader, and walked a dozen paces to a little gravel bar.

I had never before tried the denizens of our mountain streams at so
early an hour, and was doubtful of securing anything for breakfast.
I sent the coachman over into the swirl and hooked a trout at once;
landing him safely, I tried for the second and secured him. Just below
me a few rods the river made an abrupt bend, and a great boulder there
had accumulated a quantity of drift, under which was a promising pool.
I tried the pool with flattering success, landing three fish, either
of which would weigh half a pound. Another cast, a little nearer a
log that constituted the main support of the rubbish, and a beautiful
salmon-tinted trout rolled up to the fly and was caught. The water
was swift, and he caused me some uneasiness by making directly for
his lurking-place; if he ever reached the snags that had heretofore
afforded him shelter, or the line should foul in the vibrating branches
of some drift that swung in mid-stream between us, he was no longer
mine. To keep him from his hiding-place I took the risk of refusing
him line, merely dropping the point of the rod a little in his more
violent struggles; to avoid the nearer brush I went into the water
and succeeded in getting below that difficulty. I realized Mr. Dide's
conclusion of the temperature, and felt that his adverb was altogether
inadequate--a dead failure, in fact; it demanded adjectives in quantity
and force. The water reached my knees, and I feared if it rose any
higher I should be compelled to take to the bank; rubber boots afford
some protection in such emergencies and temper the chill. I had only
a light pair of old shoes devoted to camp use in dry weather. Having
attained an advantageous position, I succeeded in coaxing his troutship
completely away from danger into slower water, and learning that he was
securely fastened, I had no apprehension of the result. I allowed him
to fight until he was quite exhausted, and then drew him up to and upon
the small bar at the edge of which I had been standing. I must weigh
him, surely, then and there; and by the pocket scales he brings down
the indicator to two pounds and two ounces, and, for "a red feller," he
had offered more than ordinary resistance.

[Illustration: LAKE GEORGE.]

There was an abundance for breakfast, and twenty minutes had sufficed
to cover the time from my leaving the camp. I gathered up my spoils,
strung them on a willow twig and returned. The sleepers had not changed
their attitudes, and I gave them the benefit of a morning bell after
the manner of an Indian war-whoop. The Major merely opened his eyes,
Mr. Dide was startled, and Joshua took in the situation calmly.

"Arise, ye sluggards, and see the result of twenty-minutes' work on the
South Fork of the White!"

"I'll discount that before noon," said the major, throwing off his

While the Major and Mr. Dide made their way to the water's edge with
soap and towel, Joshua appealed to me confidentially. He wanted to know
why the Major had brought "that Winchester."

I suggested that he might have intended it for bear.

"But see here, now, can't you persuade him to kill a deer, or to let me
have the rifle? I see that he keeps the ca'tridges fastened up in that
box of his, or stowed in his pockets."

Plainly the Major and Joshua understood each other upon the question of
game, but I consoled him by agreeing to comply with his wishes.



Within two miles of us was a ranch, where we knew there were several
men. While discussing breakfast, I prefaced my request to the Major by
intimating these facts, and hinting that a taste of venison would serve
as a change from trout and grouse. The Major looked at me and then at
Joshua, who was busy over the fire, but attentive.

"Those men will help us dispose of a deer, if you get one."

"Very likely, if they haven't got a supply on hand."

"Suppose you inquire."

"Well, I'll think of it," looking again in Joshua's direction.

"If you'll just leave some of them ca'tridges where I can lay hands on
'em, I'll get some venison," Joshua broke in, giving a trout in the
frying-pan an extra turn and pressing the centre down with his knife.

"No doubt," and the Major's visage relaxed into a smile.

"You bet I will. I can't see the use of havin' deer runnin' all over
and never a shot fired; there's a difference between supplyin' your
wants and wastin'."

When the meal was concluded the Major shouldered his rifle and
sauntered off toward the cabin of the settler. He returned in the
course of an hour, with the announcement that the men would "not mind"
taking a little meat; they had been too busy for a few days past to do
any hunting. They would not object to a few trout, as well, if we had
them to spare. This was good news.

"Those men have trapped and killed four bears during the past few
days," said the Major.

"Where'bouts?" inquired Joshua quickly.

"Just up there in the timber a couple of miles. The bear killed a
horse, and the men have been after the bear with pretty good success."

"I should say so--mebbe I'll go up and see 'em."

"Better not, without a gun."

"That's so--mebbe there's more around," murmured Joshua; "I've no
notion goin' up there and roostin' in a tree." In a few moments he
broke out with a song which we had not heard from him:

  "The Lord will provide."

"I've heard that He 'helps those who help themselves,'" said the Major.

"Look here, major, haven't I been tryin' to help myself for a week and

There was something irresistibly ludicrous in the pathetic appeal that
set us all laughing, including the promoter of the merriment.

"I will try for one in the morning, Mr. Miles, or you may go if you can
get back in time to prepare breakfast."

"Oh, I'll get back in time, you bet."

As it was after nine o'clock, the Major said he would go up the cañon a
little way and catch a few trout. I was to look after the advancement
of Mr. Dide; I prevailed upon him to leave his umbrella in camp, and
took him and his new rod under my supervision. The gentleman gave
indications of improvement, and I persuaded him to the pool with the
drift. After several ineffectual efforts he succeeded in throwing his
fly beyond the brush in mid-stream, and hooked a trout that the next
moment had the line entangled. He was without waders, and I did not
propose to swim in that cold water for the sake of saving another man's
leader. I took the rod, but finding gentle manipulation unavailing, I
gave the line a pull and broke the snell only. Bending on another fly,
I advised him to work his way through the bushes and reach the little
bar where I had landed my last trout. By that means he could cast up
toward the pool and would avoid at least one pile of brush. When he was
fairly stationed I went back to camp, took my bamboo and worked my way
down to the water at the mouth of the cañon.

A likely place presented itself a few rods above; I crossed a riffle
and made my way to it on a beach of gravel about three feet wide. The
pool was quite deep on the farther side and the bottom descended
somewhat abruptly from the bar, so that I could not get more than eight
feet from the bushes behind me without going over my boots. It was a
difficult place to cast from, with even twenty feet of line, without
catching the bushes, but I managed to get the fly away, after a fashion
not satisfactory. It seemed the rule, however, that no matter where or
how the fly landed, except on the shallow riffles, a trout was almost
certain to put in an appearance. In the clear and smooth-flowing water
in front of me, I saw a dozen beautiful fish; the one nearest the fly
came up and took it. I soon landed him on the beach and tried again. We
had made some stir, but it had no appreciable effect on the others, and
I had another fastened in a few moments. This sort of angling has its
disadvantages to the lover of the gentle art; it is too apt to curtail
the measure of his enjoyment; he absorbs in half an hour a fund that,
to be correctly appreciated, should consume double the time.

Instead of casting again at once, I stood watching the well-to-do
citizens. One and another would rise to the surface, take in something
I could not discern and settle back again; their existence seemed
to be one of ease, as of mortals who had inherited or secured a
competency, and were disposed to indolence. They moved with a dignity
characteristic of high breeding. If one started in quest of a floating
morsel his nearest neighbor courteously bowed him on, as it were, and
with a graceful wave of his caudal said plainly: "Oblige me by taking
precedence." Seeing one larger than his mates behind a small rock, I
sent the coachman in his vicinity. Two started, but the smaller one
halted--it was age and beauty before beauty alone. Age with its wisdom
declined and settled back, beauty and inexperience came forward again
and was lost to his crystal world.

Was this experience of the one who refused greater than could be
encompassed by human subtlety? I was a little piqued, perhaps, at the
indifference manifested. He might be a hotel clerk, a justice of the
peace or some other dignitary metamorphosed.

I lighted my pipe, sat under the shade of the mountain beeches, smoked
and reflected. An ousel came suddenly round the elbow of the river and
alighted in the edge of the water a few yards away. He bobbed up and
down a few times, said something to himself and took a running dive
for a few feet along the margin of the bar, came out again, bobbed
and spoke, as though he might be rehearsing for some water-wagtail
entertainment, then took another dive. Presently a second one came
round the same course, pleased himself and me with an exhibition
precisely like that of his predecessor and finally disappeared.

I changed the coachman for a gray hackle with a peacock body and
stepped into the edge of the pool. "The deformed transformed" had
resumed his station behind his desk, and I put the temptation in his
way. He could not resist it; he had his price and I had ascertained its
maximum; a very trifle indeed, the veriest fraud as usual, compounded
of tinsel and feathers, appealing first to the eye, then to the palate,
arousing his dormant wicked propensities, tickling not the least of
these--his avarice. I felt, I must confess, a symptom of contempt for
him, as the sting of death touched his lips. I watched him struggle,
feeling something approaching vicious exultation. I could not, however,
but admire his efforts to rid himself of the consequences of his folly.
Repentance, if he experienced it, came too late; the inexorable hand
of the fate he had courted was closing upon him. He must have said
to himself, at intervals, while he lay gasping: "If I were only safe
out of this--I would never put on airs again--to excite the pride
of the most humble of creatures." Resignation, however, was not one
of his attributes; so long as hope of escape held a place in the
remotest corner of his soul, he debated between genuine repentance
and its shadow. He would yet make endeavors to release himself; if
successful his old ways would be avoided, and humility might find a
place in his mind, perhaps. I was not thoroughly convinced that he had
been sufficiently overcome to warrant this favorable conclusion; I
was still anxious to put my hand on him: he might forget his lesson.
Being myself unsettled, I experienced no trouble in attributing all
the hallucination to the individual at the other end of the line. One
last, glorious endeavor, and he was free. I lifted my hat in token of
his prowess, though I had not entirely pardoned his original conceit.
When I saw him again he had safely ensconced himself between two rocks
with his nose courting the opposite bank. He seemed very passive, with
his tail at right angles with the gentle current. I watched him some
time, but he did not move; he was prostrated, if ever fish was, in
abject humiliation, crushed, absolutely, to earth.

I resolved to say nothing of my adventure. The Major would receive
my story with an aggravating smile, a smile that quietly throws out
temptation to anger and violence. Or Joshua might break out with that
song of his:

  "Tell me the old, old story."

But I will intrust it to you, in confidence, you understand. I am a
very good judge and he weighed four pounds, if he weighed an ounce.

I recrossed the riffle and sought Mr. Dide. I found him within a few
feet of where I had deposited him. He had procured his umbrella during
my absence, and, with the patience commendable in the bait fisherman,
was waiting for a rise in six inches of water. I watched him for a
while and wondered if he would make even a fisherman; he possessed some
of the gifts of the angler.

"I see you have that umbrella again, Mr. Dide."

"Aw, yes--it is so vewy waam, you know, in the sun."

"Have you caught anything?"

"Not yet, but I anticipate a vewy big one, by-and-by."

I went up to the pool with the drift, and casting my hackle close under
the old log, was fast in a moment to the mate of the one I had secured
before breakfast. Pursuing my former tactics I was soon by the side
of our friend, who watched me with interest and encouraged me with
his doubts of my ability to land the captive. When I finally brought
him out, released him from the hook and rapped him on the head with a
stone, Mr. Dide declared he never could accomplish such a feat.

"Why, my deah boy, he would smash my pole, you know."

His modesty gave me some hope that ultimately he would arrive at
proficiency, barring the umbrella.

At noon the Major put in his appearance with twelve trout and two
white-fish; the string weighed sixteen pounds.

"That is a splendid average," said the Major, spreading the fish out
upon the grass, to be the more conveniently admired as individuals.

These white-fish were the first we had taken, although they are quite
plentiful in the stream, and are sometimes an annoyance to those who
are seeking trout only. Why they should be a source of vexation to any
one is a mystery. The fish is beautiful in contour, more slender than
the trout, has a delicate mouth, rises eagerly to the fly, and its
meat is delicious. Break a Brazil nut in two, and the firm white kernel
will remind you of the meat of the white-fish when it has been properly
cooked. They are good fighters withal, though they do not break the
water when hooked as readily as the trout. To my mind the complaints
have in them somewhat of affectation, unless one is indulging solely in
the science of angling.

The following morning the camp was not astir until the sun came up over
the hills and, shining in our faces, dried the moisture on our beards.
The Major was the first to awake, and looking in Joshua's direction,
discovered that individual in the enjoyment of his morning nap. He
called to him:

"I thought you were going for a deer, Mr. Miles. You should have been
up before daylight."

Joshua declared that such had been his intention, but on reflection he
thought, that as he would have to wade the stream, he would not go.

"But there must be good hunting on this side, Mr. Miles."

"Yes, I shouldn't wonder, but it looks better over on that side; mebbe
I'll go when the grass dries off."

"If you had only mentioned your preference I would have gone out and
driven a deer into camp."

"Now, look here, Major, can't you give us a rest? I was sleepy this
morning, that's a fact."

Before day the next morning, the Major slipped out of his blankets,
and with his Winchester started off in the direction of the aspens on
the hills below and back from the camp. The sun had fairly streaked
the east with gold color, and I lay watching the coming light, dozing
a few moments and then awakening to see the surroundings put on more
definite shapes, when I heard the report of a rifle. Before the echo
ceased its complainings I was asleep again, dreaming that the major
had encountered a silver-tip, and, failing in his first shot, had
been compelled to take to a tree. I saw the brute tearing away at the
bark and my friend embracing the trunk a dozen feet from the ground.
The comical side of the picture was appealing to me when the vision
suddenly vanished. I had been aroused by my own laughter, and I saw the
Major looking down at me with a broad smile on his face.

"You must have been indulging in a pleasant dream, my boy. Come, it is
time you were out of bed. Mr. Miles, will you please put the saddle and
bridle of Mr. Dide's on one of your mares and go with me? I have killed
that deer."

The Major was wet to the waist. Joshua looked at him dolefully and
crawled out, inquiring for the locality of the game. When the Major
told him it was not half a mile away and he had seen fresh bear tracks,
he accelerated his pace and longed for another rifle.

We had noticed every morning fresh deer signs along the margin of
the river, and the Major had stationed himself in some willows but
a little way from the camp. Just after daybreak the buck, which he
brought in was on his way for a morning tipple when the Major called
him to a halt. The animal turned in his tracks on feeling the bullet,
and the Major had followed for nearly half a mile, when he found him

Joshua reported elk signs upon his return, and was enjoying a new fever
from that cause; but he never found any cartridges in the magazine when
the weapon was left in camp.

We had passed two weeks in our delightful retreat, seeing no one
except the inhabitants of the neighboring ranch, who would visit us
at intervals for a supply of trout, which we always had for them. In
return they brought us such quantities of rich milk that we became
surfeited. The weather had been superb, without a drop of rain, and we
had no use even for the fly to shelter us at night. The Major wished
for a shower to break the monotony, but we did not get it.

We had wondered more than once during our idle moments concerning
the deacon and his whereabouts. One evening when Mr. Dide and myself
were alone at the camp-fire, the Major and Joshua having gone to the
neighboring ranch, I made bold to inquire of the gentleman touching the
ladies in whose company we had left our friend. Mr. Dide answered:

"Miss Jennie is a cousin, I believe, of the Deacon, as you call him."

"But about the other lady, Mr. Dide?"

"Aw,--Miss Gwace!--she is a vewy chawming young lady, as you say."

"You have known her some time?"


Mr. Dide retired within himself, and I concluded, if I would learn
anything, I must come to the point without indirection.

"She seems to be alone here; how does that happen?"

"Most extwaawdinawy--she is a vewy independent young lady and went
away fwom home because of some misapwehension with her welatives. They
pwoposed that she mahwy a gentleman who was distasteful to her and she

"I admire her for declining such an alliance."

"So do I, you know--by Jove--I do! My impwession is that if the
gentleman had known he was distasteful, he would have withdwawn
himself--I know he would."

"You know the gentleman, then?"

"Aw, y-a-s. But it was too bad, you know, that she should be compelled
to abandon her home. I have twied to pwevail on her to weconsidah and
weturn, but she won't, you know. I have it fwom a weliable fwiend that
she wan out of money heah last wintah, and became a waitah, watha than
communicate with her welatives. She is a bwave young lady; I wegwet she
deemed it necessawy to do so."

"What was her objection to the gentleman, Mr. Dide?"

"She said to her fathah that he was a simpleton,--the gentleman, I
mean. She was wight, no doubt, but she is a vewy extwaawdinawy young
lady, you know; she's a student of Dawwin and Huxley and those fellows,
and the gentleman--aw--he is--aw--only a gentleman, you know, with no
taste in that direction."

"Indeed, Mr. Dide, I believe you--he is a gentleman."

"Thanks. I--I know him and he would not have sanctioned it--weally--he
would have ceased his attentions at once. It is a vewy unhappy
situation--he was not advised until she had put her wesolution into
effect. She is a vewy amiable young lady, but she has too much pwide to
seek a wecconciliation with her pawents. I endeavahed to pwesent the
mattah to her in the stwongest light, but she would not be moved."

"She seemed to be very favorably impressed with the Deacon, Mr. Dide,"
I ventured to insinuate.

"Aw, y-a-s, you are wight; the Deacon is, I think, a vewy estimable

"But suppose he should not be serious, Mr. Dide--the Deacon is a
stranger to you, and he might be trifling."

"Twifling! impossible! I cannot think so of him."

"Ah! Deacon! Deacon!" I thought, "you called this gentleman,
contemptuously, 'a dude'--how do you compare with him?" and confessed
to myself that the verdict was not in favor of my friend. I had no
question of the Deacon's integrity. I was looking only for one of the
elements that go to make up a gentleman, and found that Mr. Dide was
better endowed with unselfishness.

The Major and Joshua coming in, the subject between Mr. Dide and myself
was dropped. That night when my friend and I were covered with our
blankets, looking out at the bright lamps and ready to be wooed into
unconsciousness by the river's melody, he said to me:

"I have changed my mind concerning our new friend. I thought he would
be a bore, at least, but I have discovered him to be a gentleman."

"So have I." But I did not deem it necessary to explain to him why I
had reached the same conclusion.



Breaking camp, we went down the river as far as Still Water. I left our
old quarters with a feeling of regret, thinking that when I came again
I should find them occupied; it was like giving up to strangers a home
where life has been sweet. No one may question the stranger's right nor
his good taste, but it is not a pleasant reflection that in due course
one will be crowded out or will drop from his place, and the world will
move round at the same old rate, as if one had never encumbered the
earth; the thought tends to induce humility.

"It's like stickin' your finger in a pail of water, then pullin' it out
and lookin' for the hole," said Joshua, as I expressed my regrets.

"I have heard that comparison before, Mr. Miles."

"So have I, Major. Mebbe I'll strike somethin' yet that you _ain't_

The retort called a smile to the Major's face as he turned away.

The camp for a day on the Still Water gave the Major an opportunity to
shoot a few ducks, and the variety of our larder was thus added to.
I found my way through the willows and reached a clear place on the
bank. The pool thus exposed to me presented an abundance of fish, the
water being perfectly clear and glassy on the surface. I cast into it
and the inhabitants started in every direction away from the lure.
It was a good place to practice delicacy, and I soon concluded that
delicacy was not among my talents. Now and then I would deliver the
fly in a way that caused no commotion; the trout would not look at it,
and as I drew it across the water, they would come up gently and take
something within a few feet of it, then settle back, leaving a little
ripple on the surface to widen. I changed flies several times, but
the result was still the same: neither variety nor size seemed of any
avail, yet the trout were feeding. I put a shot on the leader, threw
above, and drawing the fly down, allowed it to sink and moved it slowly
among them. One fellow came forward a little and looked at it, and I
became satisfied that I saw him turn up his nose in disgust. That a
human being of ordinary intelligence, as he presumed me to be, should
put such an abominable species of diet as a bedraggled coachman on his
dining-table, was beyond laughing at or praying for,--words were too
feeble to express his scorn--he could only turn up his nose and move
away. The verdict was as clear to me as the water.

A grasshopper might decoy one of those fellows to destruction, but
there could be no credit in that to me, as an angler. It would be
assuming the rôle of a Borgia and not taking an adversary with all his
faculties alert--it would be secret poisoning and not the clean rapier
glittering in the sunlight backed by a heart willing to take equal
chances. I scorned the grasshopper in this emergency, as the beautiful
denizen of the crystal scorned my ragged servitor.

Close to the bank I saw a white-fish moving slowly up stream, nosing
the small rocks as if he might be in search of a tid-bit to tickle a
fastidious palate. His small scales were distinct, and with the sun's
rays playing upon them he was the perfection of beauty in color. His
dainty mouth was fairly visible, turned up to me, and his gill-covers
glistened like polished silver. I took the shot from the leader and
dropped the fly upon the surface about a yard in front of him, barely
moving it. The water was about four feet deep and he was near the
bottom. When he caught sight of the fraud, it seemed to me that I saw
his eyes suddenly distend; the iris became animated and shone within a
flexible circle of pale gold, as he sculled quickly to the surface and
closed upon the hook. At the critical moment I gave the fatal motion of
the wrist and the trim quarry was fast. The instant he felt the sting
he darted, like a flash of light through a clear topaz, for the bottom
and centre of the pool. His flight was a strong, steady pull, always
below the surface. I would draw him up, but the moment his nostrils
tasted the air, he would strive for the depths. Believing him too
heavy to lift out, and the bank being too high and abrupt for me to
get down to him, I permitted him to fight until he was too feeble to
prevent my holding his head clear from the water. In this condition,
and when I deemed a violent struggle among the possibilities merely,
I drew him toward the bank, kneeled, and taking the leader in my left
hand as low as I could reach, I swung him upon the grass; he came
straight, without the slightest movement until he touched the ground,
otherwise he would have been free. I could not but notice how firm his
body felt, as I grasped him to take out the hook; there was no yielding
whatever to the pressure of my hand; he might have been absolutely as
solid as a stone. Then I thought of those who take it upon themselves
to talk flippantly of these pieces of perfection in their way, and felt
a sympathy for the grumblers in their weakness.

I placed the fish in the shade of the willows and lengthened the line
again; I felt encouraged by my success and thought I might secure a
trout. They had returned to their several stations, after a short
respite from the recent commotion, but all that I could see, scattered
as I threw them the fly, save one; he seemed indifferent and remained
at his post. I cast in his vicinity several times; he finally seemed
inclined to move, and I coaxed him, as I thought, though perhaps I may
have incited him to anger and a determination to drive my monstrosity
away. Whether rage, sudden hunger or curiosity impelled him was a
matter of indifference to me; suffice it to say that he abruptly
darted up and took the hitherto scouted mystery, and I fastened it
directly through his tongue. My movement and his own impetus brought
him clear of the water; he went back with a plunge, was up again in a
few moments, shaking himself in a very paroxysm of rage and terror.
Half a dozen times he rushed hither and yon, but at all times he felt
the spring of the splendid toy in my hand. If he moved to the opposite
shore, it checked his career and responded to his every motion, as he
circled back. A straight shoot directly up stream, or down, the bamboo
arched over him like the wand of fate. He would pause at times as if
by contemplation he might solve the occult cause of his restraint, and
thus devise an avenue of escape, but his destiny was determined. A
few more struggles and he surrendered. He could not release himself;
I could not free him, or I verily believe I should have bowed
deferentially and requested him to retain his sword.

Even when he was so far exhausted that I could draw him toward me
without resistance, I dared not attempt to lift him out as I had his
predecessor. I called the Major and he came to me, held on by the
willows, and slipping down the bank seized and threw the gallant
champion upon the sod. It seemed like indignity to him to have him thus
handled, and I told the Major so. He should have been lifted out with
the net and received with a delicacy commensurate with his greatness.

The white-fish weighed one pound and a half, the trout one pound and a
quarter. Caught within fifteen minutes of each other, it was a fit time
to determine their qualities as warriors. The trout, of course, from
the dash and brilliancy of his evolutions, must bear the palm, but the
sturdy determination of his neighbor in the pool must have a share of
praise. I love them both, with a little more admiration in my heart for
the black-spotted denizen.

The time to fish this water when a full creel is desired quickly is
when there is a slight breeze, just sufficient force in the summer air
to caress the surface into a gentle ripple. I warrant me, then there
will be leaping and sport that will be fast and glorious. I had read of
a trick, and tried it. I found a cottonwood leaf for my purpose, and
wetting it, that the fly might stick to it gently, threw it into the
pool. After several trials I succeeded in getting the fly partly upon
it with sufficient hold at least to guide the leaf, which I worked down
to where the trout seemed more numerous. I gave the fly a gentle flirt
and it fell from the novel argosy into the water; it had not floated a
foot before it was seized, and I had another fight on my hands, much to
the interest and amusement of the Major.

At noon Mr. Dide expressed a preference for our late camp over the
present one.

"I cannot heah the wipple of the watah, you know," was his explanation.

"Then, Mr. Dide, we will move on, and make camp below the Still Water,
for a few days," said the major, expressing my wishes as well. "I have
a weakness for that music, myself," he continued; "as cowering upon the
lofty cliff, I trembling court the wondrous depths; with eager eyes
I seek the angry rush and the flashing tints of foaming waves. Borne
high upon the ambient air, the solemn whispers of troubled souls and
the rippling laughter of the blest reach past me, intertwined, to sink
again in lamentation. Then, lying prone, my attentive ears drink in the
softer sighs of the sweeping crystal, and stills all my pulse to catch
the cadence of the liquid rhythm, sweet as the fading notes of some
dear vesper hymn, lingering in hushed cathedral aisles."

"Bwavo! bwavo! my deah Majah! you have won my heart!" exclaimed Mr.
Dide, clapping his hands, and ecstatic enthusiasm apparently exuding
from his entire person. My amazement kept me silent. That the Major
should indulge in "that sort of sky-scraping," as Joshua irreverently
expressed it, rather weakened my friend in our _chef's_ estimation for
the time. The Major received Joshua's strictures in dignified silence,
which made the latter think there was more in the Major's poetic
escapade than mere words, and, like every other mystery to the average
intellect, it became weighty; he requested the Major to write it down,
and that is how it found a place here; I purloined the manuscript.

We moved down after the noonday meal and made camp in a secluded spot
not a great way from the forks of the river.

That evening, when our fire burned low, Joshua felt in the mood to
sing. Having concluded one hymn he struck into another familiar to
Mr. Dide. The effusion had a refrain of some sort, and we were all
startled by hearing that taken up and repeated by female voices. Not
being superstitious, the Major moved out of the light of our own fire
and discovered the reflection of another some little distance away. We
had, in the vicinity, mortals like ourselves, but fairer, no doubt,
and Joshua, with Mr. Dide's help, sent out frequent invitations to the
unknown singers, bringing a response until the hour grew late. The
episode was not an unpleasant one, and I thought it might pave the way
to an acquaintance with our neighbors. In the morning I started on a
prospecting tour, and the first individual I met proved, much to my
surprise, to be the Deacon, whom I discovered gathering wood with which
to cook breakfast.

Where did he come from?

"Why, Trapper's Lake--we came down the river yesterday, with the
intention of spending a week on the South Fork, hoping to find you and
the Major. I had no notion you two were the singers, or I should have
called last night."

"Then you have the ladies with you?"

"Oh, yes, my cousin and her mother,--you saw my cousin at
Cascade,--they were the singers you heard answering you."

"The Major and I were not the singers, Deacon."

"No? well, who is camped over there by you?"

"Our cook and Mr. Dide were the singers you heard."

"Mr. Dide--oh, he's with you, is he?" and there came a smile into the
Deacon's face, as he repeated the name, that, with his tone, indicated
nothing to be apprehended by the speaker from the vicinity or presence
of Mr. Dide, and in addition, his air was patronizing. Had I not known
the Deacon well, having much faith in his kindness of heart, his manner
in speaking of my newer friend would have proved offensive.

"If you are so fortified in your own mind, Deacon, you can afford to
speak less cavalierly of Mr. Dide."

"Fortified?" he repeated, "how fortified? Don't talk in riddles, old

"You understand, well enough--victory should make you courteous to the

"Why, my dear sir, I never treated him uncivilly."

"Perhaps not, but you spoke uncivilly of him--you called him a dude,
and your manner, just now----"

"Well, is he not a dude?"

"He is every inch a gentleman, Deacon."

"I may not dispute that; but you seem to take great interest in him."

"Not without reason, Deacon. What became of Miss Grace?"

"Miss Grace--why, she's in camp there, with my aunt and cousin." The
Deacon's face was wreathed in a smile unmistakable in its import.

"I'm not disposed to be impertinent, Deacon--but are you engaged to
Miss Grace?"

"Engaged! why, my dear sir, we were married ten days ago, at Glenwood."

"The d--deuce you were----"

"Fact, my dear old boy--and she's the sweetest----"

"Spare us, Deacon! you seem to have been expeditious."

"Not so,--I have known her for a year, nearly; we were engaged last
winter. Cousin Jennie and she were schoolmates east."

"Oh, that's the way of it. Do you know that Mr. Dide will be glad to
congratulate you?"

"No, I _don't_ know it--to tell you frankly, he was the cause of her
leaving home; perhaps I ought to feel friendly toward him because of
that--indirectly he became my benefactor----"

"Wait a moment, Deacon, let me tell you something," and I detailed
the conversation I had held with Mr. Dide over the camp-fire. "Now,
you see, if he had been aware of her wishes she would have had no
excuse for leaving; she did not refuse him directly, and her bear of
a father had set his mind in one direction and thought, no doubt, he
was taking in the horizon, when he was only in a small hole of his own
digging. Mr. Dide explained this to your wife, at Cascade, where they
accidentally met, and she has failed to tell it to you. You know now
how unselfish he was and is. Could you have relinquished your object
with the same degree of nobleness?"

"Not one in a thousand would. But I don't just like the idea of some
other man loving my wife better than I do."

"So long as she does not love him in return, you can have no cause of

"I guess you're right. I'll take in this wood and call on Mr. Dide."

Our friend received the announcement from me very quietly and greeted
the Deacon cordially on his arrival. When the latter went away, Mr.
Dide sauntered off to the river bearing his rod and umbrella. We saw
nothing of him at noon, and later on I concluded to hunt him up. I had
not gone far when I discovered him seated on the edge of a pool. He
had one trout, thoroughly dried, and was waiting for another rise; the
fly had floated down and lodged against a bit of willow that hung to
the bank by its roots, while the limbs vibrated with the current. He
started when I spoke to him, but looked up cheerfully, saying:

"I am afwaid I shall not make a success at fishing."

"Not if you sit still, Mr. Dide; you should keep moving and the fly
must not be allowed to rest a moment."

"Aw--that makes one's ahms ache, you know."

It might have made his heart ache less, perhaps.

"Supper is about ready--won't you come in to camp?"

"Weally, I did not think it was so late--thanks."

In the evening Mr. Dide announced that he should go to Meeker on the
following day, and thence he knew not where, definitely.

"You'll go to Glenwood, won't you? I'd like to have you take word
to my folks and tell 'em how we're gettin' on," Joshua requested,
on Mr. Dide's stating his determination to return to civilization.
The gentleman consented in his usual affable way. At the earliest
opportunity, I informed Mr. Dide who Joshua's "folks" were.

"Weally! that vewy extwaadinawy old lady! I shall be obliged to wequest
him to wite--then I can dwop it in the mail, you know."

And so on the morrow Mr. Dide drifted out of sight.



At the next evening's camp-fire I took down the Deacon's report of his

"The trail from Glenwood Springs to Trapper's Lake is good, and the
country through which it runs is always attractive, beautiful, and in
places grand. In fact, it is a difficult matter, you know, to go astray
of magnificent scenery in these beloved mountains of ours. We made one
camp, the ladies being out for pleasure and not in a hurry, and for one
day's ride the trip is a little tiresome, especially if you are not
accustomed to the saddle. Our camp outfit and provisions made light
loads for two pack animals.

"The first view of the lake coming in from the south side is finer than
that from the trail out of Egeria Park. By the latter route you come
directly upon the lake from the timber, low down the mountain side,
and look directly across. By the way we came you get a fine view of
the lake first from a point higher up the mountain, and can look down
upon it, along its length, toward the outlet. You have a foreground of
the beautiful lake, and through the wide gap at its foot a distant
range of hills veiled in the gray mist forms a background, while the
lake itself, except at the outlet, is shut in by the high-terraced
mountains. These mountains, you will remember, reach down to the very
margin of the lake, excepting only at the little meadow on the left of
the outlet. The terraces are thickly covered with pines until the last
precipice is reached, which runs up above the timber line.

[Illustration: TRAPPER'S LAKE.]

"We remained four days there, fishing from rafts. There are two
varieties of trout in the lake, the light and the salmon-colored. The
light variety are the fighters, of course, and so abundant that but for
the presence of others to help us dispose of them they would spoil on
our hands; they are large, too, running uniformly to fourteen inches in

"I killed a buck in the little meadow near the outlet. The Deaconess
declares that those four days were 'just too lovely.'"

"But about the trail, Deacon, from the lake to the forks here?"

"It is a good trail. Did you ever see an Indian trail that wasn't good?
Our red brother, as you call him, is a first-class engineer in that
respect; he is the only one who accomplishes his purpose prompted by
pure laziness. We took the ridge part of the way, and made a short
_détour_ to see the Devil's Causeway, and on that account saw a band
of elk; there were fifty in the band at least, because I counted that
number, and missed some without doubt. There was indeed a commotion in
the camp when I announced the discovery of bear signs, but I succeeded
in allaying the fright by persuading them to believe that Cuffy was no
more liable to attack us than the deer were. We had splendid fishing
in the Pot Hole Valley, and I want you to know that I landed a trout
of five pounds and four ounces out of one of those pools, and that's
no fish story. The trout run large as they do here in the South Fork.
White-fish are plentiful, too; the largest one I caught weighed a scant
two pounds, and I know you agree with me as to their excellence on the
table. The valley is filling up, though, with settlers; it is not so
much in the wilderness as it was a few years ago."

"You are having an unusual wedding tour, Deacon."

"But a very happy one. Just try it, and see for yourself."

"I have been travelling the 'long path' too many years for that,

"Well, you'll enjoy it, all the same."

Of course I had to thank the Deacon for the compliment and I promised
to "try it."

The next day a few fleecy clouds climbed up over the hills in the west,
and in the afternoon we moved further down the river toward Meeker.
That evening we put up the fly for the first time, lapped and pegged
down the ends. We thought we might have rain before morning, but were

The following morning the clouds put in an appearance again; the sky
had been absolutely clear during the most of our trip, and the pretty
harbingers afforded a relief. From white they gathered into clusters
and turned to gray, and the drapery of a darker shade, hanging below,
told of the rain. It passed us by, however, and we had a beautiful
sunset. The west was clear, while just above a range of hills in the
east, veiled with a thin blue mist, was a stratum of pale bronze, its
upper line apparently as straight as if run by a level. From this
base of miles in length there arose a great mass of clouds, seemingly
thousands of feet in height, and white as carded wool. Its northern
and southern ends were almost perpendicular, and its summit of great
rolling folds was outlined against the delicate blue of the sky. For
half an hour there seemed no change; the huge pile stood apparently
still, pure and white as newly-fallen snow. Then, as if moved by some
gentle and artistic freak of its presiding genius, a rift in a mountain
side appeared, reaching from the bronze base to the top, the line was
sharply defined in white and gray and the shadow was cast against
the background of white to our right. Away at the northerly summit a
small bit seemed to break away, or was left; it divided, and in a few
moments there were clearly defined a pair of gigantic wings, regular
in their contour as those of a bird. In another place a gray tower
presented itself with a great arched doorway near its base. Castles
would spring into a brief existence, machicolated and loop-holed, to be
lost again in some modern cottage with vine-clad porch. Along the upper
margin figures would come and go as if the gods and their retinues
were all abroad directing a magnificent display. And in one corner, by
itself, there was plainly outlined a fleecy hood, into which I caught
myself intently gazing, expecting to see the laughing eyes and face
of a beautiful child. All this in tones of white and gray. But as the
sun sank lower, veils of slanting mist appeared here and there, the
apparently solid mass was being broken up, the summit was still white
scroll-work, but below, the line of bronze had turned into a crimson
shade, within an uneven apex; the lead-colored base of the main body
was changing to a purple hue, and all through the mass the rose and
amber were being laid in, shifting from moment to moment, until the
hues became bewildering in their multitude; then, as the sun went down,
the gray tones returned again, such as the artist may sometimes give a
hint of but never paints.

It was a great storm we had witnessed, away over the range to the east;
we were far from the sound of the artillery, and it hid from us the
flash of its batteries.

During the beautiful display the Deacon's young wife sat a few feet in
front of me and to the left. She had moved but once, and that was when
the first shadow came and marked out the great gorge; she turned round
then, and said to me:

"Is it not grand?"

When the rose tints faded out, she turned again; there was a mist in
her dark eyes, and a perceptible quiver about her pretty lips; she
spoke in a half-whisper, as of one just awakened from a happy vision:

"Did you ever see anything so glorious? and yet I felt all the time as
if I must kneel and look upon it with reverence."

I did not blame Mr. Dide, nor the Deacon; they couldn't help it; I
envied her father.

"When we can have our backs to the afternoon sun, with a mountain range
to the east of us, these magnificent carnivals of shadows are not

"Did you see the baby's bonnet? was it not too cute for anything?" and
then, half-musingly to me, "you have lived in these beautiful mountains
since before the time I was born--you ought to be happy!"

I told her that happiness was my normal condition, and then she wanted
to know of me if I had ever read Ruskin, and I said I hadn't.

"I wish he could have seen what we have this afternoon."

"He would have criticised and found fault with it."

"It is unkind of you to say so, knowing nothing of him."

The rebuke was quick, earnest, and, I confessed to myself, not wholly
unwarranted. I determined to read Ruskin, and I presume that if the
Major and the others had not just then drifted up to us, I should have
been led off after "Darwin and those fellows." With such disciples the
philosophers in question might effect a revolution rapidly.

The Major and the others, except Joshua, had much to say about the
afternoon's entertainment. Joshua didn't see anything except a great
bank of clouds, and knew there had been a storm on the main range.

While we were at supper (and since we had ladies in company, the Major
had improvised a table out of some boards which he picked up, using
the wagon seats for supports), our table now decked with wild flowers,
and the tin plates and cups presenting a brighter appearance, we had
a call. Our visitor was a lank mortal in flannel shirt, blue cotton
overalls, and the ordinary white felt hat of the country. He was not a
cowboy, but "a hand" from a neighboring ranch, who had "hoofed it in
last fall."

"Evenin'," was his salutation, with a nod, intended for all of us. "Bin
campin' out, ain't ye? Had a good time, s'pose--lots o' fish and sech?
Didn't see nothin' of a roan cayuse with a strip in face, up crick? No!
been a-huntin' the darn brute since noon-time; branded 'J. K.' on his
left hip."

"You'd better keep on, if you count on findin' him before night,"
hinted Joshua, shaking a flapjack in the frying-pan preparatory to a
final turn.

"Stranger in these parts?" the visitor inquired of Joshua.

"Yes; been here a week."

"More'n that--I see you go up crick more'n two weeks ago. What's yer

"Mindin' it."

"Mindin' what?"

"My business."

"Don't know as you'll ever die o' brain fever."

"Neither will you, if you stay in this country. I wonder you wasn't
buried before spring."

"They wasn't no fellers round here handy 'nough----"

"What can we do for you, my friend?" broke in the Major, in some doubt
as to the result of the dialogue.

"Nothin', 'bleeged to ye, 'less yer got sumpin's good for cuts;
cut my finger sharpnin' a sickle; durn near cut it off an' it's
festerin'--see." He exposed the wounded member. If there is anything in
life with a tendency to raise one's curiosity, or anything else, I know
of nothing more potent than a sick finger at meal time. The stranger
was generously determined that none of us should miss the luxury. The
Major stared, the ladies turned away, and Joshua, out of all patience,

"Come off the shelf, man, the flies'll eat you up."

The stranger's attention was distracted.

"Whatcher mean? I ain't got no flies on me, mister."

"Cover up that paw o' yours and go after your cayuse--don't you see
it up yonder in the willers?" And Joshua took our visitor by the arm
and started him in the right direction. He led him farther than was
necessary, the pony being in sight, and they had some conversation on
the way, but we did not overhear it, and they seemed to part with a
satisfactory understanding.

The next day we made a move still farther down stream and camped in the
vicinity of the site selected by the government for the erection of a
sawmill that was to aid in civilizing the Utes. The habitations that
had been erected at great expense were no longer visible; literally
not one stone remained upon another. The boiler was perforated with
bullet-holes, and rusty bits of machinery lay scattered over a square
mile of the level mesa. A more complete wreck than this, effected by
the gentle savages, would be hard to conceive, and a more sorrowful
exhibition of sheer viciousness could not have been expressed; it
was as if the destroyers had determined to obliterate every vestige
that might give rise even to a memory of the kindness intended them.
Those beautiful symbols of peace, the doves, were plentiful, flitting
about the ruins, as docile as if the valley had never known a wrathful
moment. The birds were not within the protection of the law, but to
kill them in such a place seemed like adding sacrilege to cruelty, so
not one was harmed.

Upon the breaking up of this camp our company was to be divided. The
Deacon and his relatives would turn off to the right a few miles below,
to visit the Thornburg battle-ground, while the Major and I would take
our way back over the old route to Glenwood Springs. One more day's
sojourn on the beautiful river at our first camping-ground, below
Meeker, and we bade farewell, reluctantly, to the charming valley. But
the keen edge of our unwillingness was softened by an assurance to
ourselves that another summer would find us again with our tent pitched
amid the sweet peacefulness. We would come again, if for no other
purpose, to make acquaintance with the trail to Trapper's Lake--the gem
of the Roan Range.

There is no comfort whatever in towels, with a tin cup for a bath-tub;
the White River is no place to bathe in, unless one would encourage
pneumonia or the rheumatism. The sight of the great pool at Glenwood,
after several weeks of travesty, gave a hint of marvellous luxury. It
was as if we approached the performance of a religious rite; we stood
upon the edge, filled with the eagerness of neophytes, but hesitating
for a moment before penetrating the mystery whose revelation we sought.
But once within the warm embrace of the voluptuous crystal, the
Wesleyan admonition was made manifest; we washed, and worshipped close
to the throne. Then we thanked the men whose enterprise had converted
the possibility of the luxury into a fact.

"Epicurean Rome could boast of no such treat as this," exclaimed the
Major, shaking the crystal drops from his shaggy mane, as he rose to
the surface after the first plunge.

"I don't know much about Rome," said Joshua, "but this suits me, this

We left the bright little city beautifully nestled among the carmine
hills, as the afternoon sun was caressing the summits of the mountains
in the west. We were again on the rail, speeding up the valley of
the Roaring Fork. A slight bend in the road and Mount Sopris towers
grandly, in front and to the right of us, with its long patch of snow
offering a perpetual challenge to our daily friend.

The ride up the great gorge in the western slope to the top of the
Saguache Range affords a grander pageant than that in descending. One
experiences a sensation of quiet, while one is looking down upon a
panorama that is drifting. As the sun touches only the highest peaks
the magnificent cliffs and wooded mountain sides are in shadow, seem
animate, and as if stealing away, phantom-like, into the deepening
twilight below. But the sunlight of the morrow will clothe the scene in
new beauties, and the summer days to come will be bountiful in fresh
surprises for the sojourner in these recesses of the majestic hills.

[Illustration: THE SWITCHBACK.]



The name has a familiar sound; I have heard it almost every day for
nearly three decades, and wherever English is spoken the name has been
mentioned. Having it in sight daily, with its long slope reaching up
to the apex over fourteen thousand feet high, its north face always
clothed in or fretted with snow, it might seem that it would grow
monotonous. Monotony is not possible with the magnificent eminence
and, like the presence of one we love, it is always welcome. The
great ice-field at the pole is as to the earth but the thickness of
a hair, the great mountain range as a wrinkle on the surface; but we
measure the thickness and the heights by miles. They who made the Bible
possible loved the high places of the earth; the law was there given
to the great leader, and the beloved Master sought the mountain top to
pray. It lifted him away from the earth while he was of it, but brought
him nearer to the Father. It is the vantage ground of humility, the
sanctuary where arrogance cannot enter.

The devil was lacking in tact when he offered the world to the Master
from a mountain top; his royal highness was out of his element, the
atmosphere was repugnant. Neither he nor his pupils lack ambition, but
on a mountain top there is nothing to which mortal may aspire, except
the unknowable, and for the unknowable he is made willing to bide
his time in meekness. It is no place for his majesty to proselyte;
his most zealous disciples even, are liable to step into the path he
never designed for them. No doubt the devil would have failed, on
the occasion in question, had he selected a valley where the air was
impure, but to seek a mountain top as the theatre for the bribery of
One purer than the element he breathed, only goes to show that the
devil, with all his accredited intelligence, was a very great ass.
The only mystery to me is that he himself was not then and there
led captive and future generations saved from his machinations. The
solution may be that, being already condemned, he was beyond the pale
of divine influence. I would, however give the devil his due, and
should be glad to surmise that he longed to be clean, but was so much
of a dolt as not to be worth regenerating.

The first man to climb a mountain peak may be pardoned exultation at
the accomplishment of his feat. The gallant officer whose name this
mountain bears essayed that exploit and failed, though history says
he wrought valiantly. Grand monuments are not infrequently erected to
the undeserving. We have other mountains with titles a little more
satirical; there can be no objection to commemorating the memory of
a dead hero, for a man is rarely a hero until he is dead, and this
is no paradox. But except in a very few instances, it were well to
leave the erection of memorials to the intimate friends of the dear
departed, rather than to appropriate, without permission, the works
of the Almighty. Mountains, however, are abundant, and we, not being
the owners, can afford to give them away; it were better, though, to
reward our live friends out of our own earnings. We know in such case
they would have the chance at least to appreciate our acknowledgment of
their merits.

He who goes up a mountain by trail may exult in a lesser degree than
the first explorer. But all may not surmount unexplored mountains;
many cannot do so even by trail. To him, then, who makes the happiness
of conversion from the ills of this life possible to all, if only for
an hour, great credit is due, and he may, with an easy conscience no
doubt, exact toll for his achievement.

To the æsthetic it may seem like a sacrilege to disfigure a great
mountain with a road; but a road for human needs is so slight a scratch
here on the earth's surface that it does not mar the surroundings. The
good that it does outweighs the apparent desecration. As the Major and
myself aspire to that which is high, and as neither of us might reach
the summit of the peak by the primitive methods any more than office
may now be so reached, the opportunity to gratify our ambition by
carriage was a blessing. The novelty must be considered as adding to
the zest.

The mountain is not visible from Cascade, the initial point of the
road; the intervening hills shut it out. Starting thence we follow
the Fountain up a very little distance, then turn to the left along
the face of the first hill, then to the right, and so winding our way
for two miles we reach the vicinity of the Grotto in Cascade Cañon.
In a direct line we are half a mile from the starting-point. Over and
through the pines that sparsely cover the mountain side, and over beds
of wild flowers that carpet the slope, we can, before this distance
is accomplished, obtain a fair view of the valley of the Fountain,
Cascade and Manitou, thence out on to the broad plains, rising blue and
dim until they kiss the horizon. One does not look for valleys in the
mountain tops, but a mountain top reached is still further surmounted,
and the road winds through aspen glades and the air is freighted with
the odor of pines.

The four horses trundle the light Beach wagon along most of the way at
a trot. The driver tells you that after a little while the horses must
be brought down to a walk. The grade is not steep, but "in the light
air a fast gait would be a little hard on the stock."

Eight and a half miles we have come in a little less than two hours. "A
pretty good road," that allows the making of such time to an elevation
of over three thousand feet, at a guess. We are half way and are still
in the timber. "The horses are changed to mules here"--an extraordinary
metamorphosis, certainly--that is the way the driver put it, but there
was no mystery in his language, except to a Boston lady, who was
anxious to witness the process. Verily one must speak by the card in
such a presence, or "equivocation will undo us." The four mules seemed
to consider their load a trifle and they moved as jauntily as if out
for a holiday.

To beguile the tediousness of the way we were assured that on returning
we should "come in a whirl." The motive that prompted the information
was commendable, and the driver to be excused--he travelled the road
every day and his early pleasure had simply turned into an attractive
matter of business. We told him not to hurry on our account, as it was
our desire to miss no part of the scenery. He said he should come back
in two hours and a half. I had ridden behind mules before--I mean in
period of time--and was doubtful touching the prospective gloriousness
of the journey, but he assured me that it was perfectly safe. He spoke
of a "switch-back," and there was an intimation of occult peril in his
manner. When we reached the vicinity of the timber line he pointed
out the mystery. From our point of vision the zigzag scratches away
up on the steep mountain side reminded me of old times. I was having
a longitudinal view of a few sections of worm fence running up a hill
at an angle of seventy degrees; at least a man under the influence of
spirits would say it was a longitudinal view. Considered as a fence,
from an economical basis, the angles were unnecessarily acute; it might
fairly have represented five miles of fence and half a mile of ground
in a straight line, or it looked as if unknown powers at each end were
trying to jam the thing together and make it double up on itself.

I was very much interested in it. As a line for an irrigating ditch
it might be pronounced a success. As nothing goes down a ditch except
water, and very little of that in a dry season, nobody is put in

"And you come down there at the rate of eight or nine miles an hour?" I

"Yes, oh, yes, easy enough."

"I should think it would be easy, especially if you went off one of
those corners."

"You wouldn't know the difference."

"No, I suppose not. It must be a glorious ride, coming down at the rate
of eight or nine miles an hour, I think you said?"

"Yes, eight or nine, mebbe less, dependin'."

"You can make it in less time, then?"


"And turn round those corners?"

"'Course, how else? You don't s'pose I'm thinkin' 'bout rollin' down
the mountain side?"

I wondered what else it would be without snow on the ground; but the
driver seemed a little too short of breath to answer. I accounted for
his deficiency in this regard because of the altitude; we were above
timber line, eleven thousand feet and over from sea-level. The pines
had become dwarfed, naked on one side, and were leaning toward the
rocks above them, or, in their sturdy struggle for existence, they
clung to the precipitous mountain side like matted vines. Looking down
from a certain point I observed a large quantity of the road resembling
a corpulent angle-worm in several stages of colic. I could not resist
appealing to the driver again; I don't think anybody could.

"Do you go round all those places at the rate of eight or nine miles an

"Of course."

"And you don't slow up?"

"What should I slow up for?"

"So as not to turn over, you know."

"I never turned over in my life, and I drove stage in California twenty

I believed he was a liar, but deemed it inexpedient to tell him so,
although he was a small man.

"Never had a runaway either, I suppose?" and sitting behind him I
casually--it being convenient--put my hand on his biceps; the arm was
not large, but assuring.


My opinion of his veracity was not augmented.

"I hardly think you can make the time you say you can."

"Just wait and see."

"I'm sure it will be grand; I've been suffering for such an experience."

"I didn't know but you was gittin' a little nervous--they sometimes do."

"Nervous! I'm an old stager. I have ridden with Bill Updyke and Jake
Hawks many a mile in these mountains. Take it in the winter time, down
hill, for instance, the road covered with ice and the driver obliged
to whip his horses into a dead run to keep the coach from sliding
and swinging off such a place as that," and I pointed to a precipice
several hundred feet perpendicular at our left. "That's coaching!" and
I placed my hand upon his shoulder affectionately. During the colloquy
the Major had not opened his lips.

The vicinity is the dwelling-place of desolation; nothing but rocks
about us. What had once perhaps been a solid mass of trachyte is split
to fragments in the mill of the centuries, and bits from as big as
one's fist to the size of one's body or a small house lay tumbled in
a confused and monstrous heap, as though there might have been in the
remote ages, a great temple here dedicated to the gods of old, and now
in shapeless ruins.

Of the view from this great mountain peak, what shall I or any one say?
Nothing! It does not admit of description; upon it, you can understand
why the Indian never mounts so high. It is one of the places whence
comes his inspiration of deity, the temple of his god, and he may not
desecrate it with his unhallowed feet; it gathers the storm, and the
sun caresses it into a smile and crowns it with glory, as he views
it reverently from the valley. But we, the civilized, penetrate the
mystery of these heights and find, what? humility! and feel as though
we should have worshipped from afar. We have risen to receive the
divine inspiration, our brother has remained below to kiss submissively
the nether threshold of the sanctuary. Which is nearest to the Father?

It is very still to-day; no sound greets you save the gentlest murmur
of the summer wind brushing lightly across the uninviting rocks. The
wide plains checkered with green and gold, stretching away out below
you, give you no sign. The city you see there, bustling with the
ambition of youthful vigor, is silent as death; you recognize it as a
town-plat on paper, that is all, except that it adds to the sense of
your own insignificance; it may make you wonder, perhaps, why you were
ever a part of the life there; it may be a shadow that you look down
upon, as you would recall an almost faded dream. You turn.

  "And the mountain world stands present
     And behold a wond'rous corps--
   Well I knew them each, though never
     Had we met in life before--
   Knew them by that dream-world knowledge
     All unknown to earthly lore."

Just below you a vast ocean bed of billowy hills, with its stately
pines dwarfed to shrubs, its shores looming up in the dim distance
through their dainty veil of gray, and brooding over all that

                        "Awful voice of stillness,
  Which the Seer discerned in Horeb;
  That which hallowed Beth El's ground."

It seems like sacrilege, but the interest in that town-plat down there,
or in one like it, begins tugging at the skirts of one's adoration. The
sun is going down and we also must go.

I had an interview with the driver, out behind the barn. (There is a
signal station on the summit and the barn is a necessity.)

"You are sure you can go to Cascade from here in two hours and a half?"
I inquired.


"Take something?" and I made a feint of reaching into the inside pocket
of my coat for "something" I did not have.

"Can't! that's agin' the rules--I'm a man of family and I don't care to
lose my job."

"So am I a man of family, and my friend, the Major there, he has a
family--a wife and nine children, all young. You love your family?"

"What do you ask that for? 'Course I do."

"So does the Major love his--the eldest only ten years old. You
noticed, perhaps, on coming up, when we were talking about making time,
going down 'in a whirl;' I think you expressed it so? Yes, he said not
a word, just sat and listened. He was thinking about the seventeen
miles down hill, round those short curves, in two hours and a half.
The Major has a slight heart trouble, and any little excitement, like
rolling down the mountain side, or getting upset, might be injurious to
him. Being a man with a large family I desire to avoid his running any
risk--you understand? His family is dependent on him and he has no life
insurance. Now, the making of this trip in two hours and a half might
be well enough for me, because I am used to it, you know; I haven't
so much of a family, and I've ridden with Bill Updyke and Jake Hawks,
and there is nothing I should like better than just such a ride as you
proposed--I'd glory in it, but I'm a little uneasy about the Major. The
doctor has already warned him against any undue excitement. Hold on a
minute! there is another matter: he'd never hint that he is nervous, he
is very averse to having it thought that he is troubled that way--see?
And just as like as not, to show you that he is not nervous, he would
tell you to 'Let 'em out!' Now--hold on a minute! if he should tell you
so, don't you do it--you just go round those curves quietly, and trot
along easy like, or walk. He's a very close friend of mine, you can
understand. Take this," and I slipped a half-dollar into the driver's
hand. Just then I heard the Major yelling to me with the voice of a
strong man in enviable health to "hurry up."

The driver accepted the half-dollar and went round one end of the barn
to the carriage, while I took the other way. When we were seated he
touched the off leader gently, the team started, and then he twirled
the long lash of his whip with a graceful and fancy curve that rounded
up with a report like that of a small pistol. The mules struck into
a gallop and I concluded that my half-dollar was wasted, literally
thrown away, to say nothing of my other appeal. The loss of the latter
caused me the more chagrin--the money was a trifle. But think of that
blessed stage-driver ignoring my eloquence! By the great horn spoon!
as Joshua would have expressed it, if I had a gun and was not deterred
by the thought of consequences, I'd leave the wretch as food for the
eagles--he'd never be missed. Just about the time I had him fairly
killed and his body comfortably rolled over a precipice where it would
never be discovered, he came to the first turn. The mules were on a
dead run, and what did that--blessed driver do? He just let that silk
out again, gave a yell like a Comanche and whirled round that bend
without so much as allowing the wheels to slide a quarter of an inch,
and away he went, down the short, straight stretch as though he had
been paid to go somewhere in a hurry. When he made the next turn I
leaned over and said quietly: "Let me see that half-dollar I gave you;
perhaps it is plugged."

He changed his lines and whip into his left hand and passed over the
suspected coin with his right. I substituted a silver dollar, which he
slipped into his pocket, straightened out his lines and brought the
mules down to a trot.

"Why don't you let 'em out, driver?" inquired the Major.

The driver looked round as if he thought I had addressed him.

"I think you can let 'em go," I said, and he did! Along the straight
chutes! around the bends! away and down, with a merry jingle of the
harness, the cool air turned into a breeze that caressed our cheeks
as lovingly as the kiss of a child! Away and down, with the gleeful
"hi! he! g'lang there" of the driver, the mountains began to tower
above us! Away and down, with the sharp reports of the curling lash,
the cold granite and dwarfed shrubs changed, and we sped in among the
stately pines! Away and down, with hearts as light as the perfumed air,
the flashes of the sun stealing through the trees salutes our flushed
faces, and every moment a Te Deum Laudamus whispers in ecstasy from our
half-closed lips. Eight miles and a half in thirty-five minutes! Was
there ever before such a ride vouchsafed to mortal?

We sighed for four fresh mules to take us the remainder of the way. The
exhilaration was not lost behind the horses, it was only toned down.
As the evening shades began to touch the valley and while the sun yet
kissed the mountains above us, we brought up at the starting-place,

                             PINE VALLEY.

                         TWO CHARMING STORIES

                          By LEWIS B. FRANCE.

A marvel of the book-maker's art is "PINE VALLEY."--_Colorado Sun._

"PINE VALLEY," by Lewis B. France, contains but two stories, but these
two are veritable cameos carved from the boundless treasures of the
Rockies.--_Denver Republican._

There is little that could be suggested in the way of improvement in
the dainty volume issued by the Chain and Hardy Company of Denver,
entitled "PINE VALLEY," by Lewis B. France.--_Colorado Springs Gazette._

Its very simplicity is its highest charm. It is realistic because
incomplex. There is no stage effect. It is heart to heart from the
first sentence ... to the orphan baby's lisping grace at that eventful
Christmas feast which made the desperado, Baltimore Hatch, a new
man.--_David H. Moore in Western Christian Advocate._

                            PRICE 75 CENTS.

                             PUBLISHED BY

                 THE CHAIN & HARDY CO., DENVER, COLO.

                       Colorado Midland Railway.

                          PIKE'S PEAK ROUTE.

                   Through a Scenic Region that has
                        No Equal in the World.

  The Popular Route for ...
  ... Tourists and Excursions.

           _Scenery Unequaled.        Equipment Unequaled.

                Delightful Health and Pleasure Resorts._



                         SENT ON APPLICATION.

  H. COLLBRAN,              CHAS. S. LEE,
      _Gen'l Manager._              _Gen'l Passenger Agent._

                          TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE

-Plain print and punctuation errors fixed.

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