The Fairland News (Fairland, Okla.), Vol. 5, No. 25, Ed. 1 Friday, September 6, 1912 Page: 3 of 10
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Enid Maltland, a frank, free and un-
applied young Philadelphia girl. Is taken
to the Colorado mountains by her uncle,
Robert Maltland. James Armstrong,
Kaltland'a protege, falls In love with her.
"It was four years an' nine months
exactly, Bob," drawled old Klrkby,
who well knew what was coming.
"Yes, I dare say you are right I
was up at Evergreen at the time look-
ing after timber Interests, when a
mule came wandering Into the camp,
saddle and pack still on his back."
"1 knowed that there mule," said
Klrkby, "I'd sold It to a feller named
Newbold, that had come out yere an'
married Louise Rosser, old man Ros-
aer's daughter, an' him dead, an' beln'
an' orphan an' this feller beln' a fine
young man from the east, not a bit of
a tenderfoot nuther, a mlnin' engi-
neer he called hlsself."
"Well, I happened to be there, too,
you remember," continued Maltland,
"and they made up a party to go and
bunt up the man, thinking something
might have happened."
"You see," explained Klrkby, "we
was all mighty fond of L®ulse Rosser,
the hull camp was actln' like a father
to her at the time, so long 's she
hadn't nobody else; we was all at the
weddln', too, some six months> afore.
The gal married him on her own
book, of course nobody makln' her,
but somehow she didn't seem none
too happy, although Newbold, who
was a perfect gent, treated her white
as far as we knowed."
The old man stopped again and re-
sumed his pipe.
"Klrkby, you tell the story," said
"Not me," said Klrkby. "I have
seen men shot afore' for takln' words
out 'n other men's mouths an' I ain't
never done that ylt."
"You always were one of the most
silent men I ever saw," laughed
George. "Why, that day Pete yere got
shot accidental an' had his whole
breast tore out w'en we was lumber-
ing over on Black mountain, all you
«iald was, 'Wash him off, put some
axle grease on him an' tie him up.'"
'That's so," answered Pete, "an'
there must have been somethln' pow-
erful soothln' In that axle grease, for
here I am safe an' sound to this day."
"It takes an old man," assented
Klrkby, "to know when to keep his
mouth shet. I learned It at the muz-
zle of a gun."
"I never knew before," laughed
Maltland, "how Btill a man you can
be. Well, to resume the story, having
nothing to do I went out with the
posse the sheriff gathered up—"
"Him not thlnkln' there had been
any foul play," ejaculated the old man.
"No, certainly not."
"Well, what happened, Uncle Bob?"
"Just you wait," said young Bob,
who had heard the story. "This is
an awful good story, Cousin Enid."
"I can't watt much longer," returned
the girl. "Please go on."
"Two days after we left the camp,
we came across an awful figure,
ragged, blood stained, wasted to a
"I have seed men In extreme cases
afore," interposed Klrkby, "but never
none like him."
"Nor I," continued Maltland.
"Was It Newbold?" asked Enid.
"And what had happened to'him?"
"He and his wife had been prospect-
ing in these very mountains; she had
(allen over a cliff and broken herself
ao terribly that Newbold had to shoot
"What!" exclaimed Bradshaw. "You
don't mean that he actually killed
"That's what he done," answered
"Poor man," murmured Enid.
"But why?" asked Philips.
"They were five days away from a
settlement, there wasn't a human be-
ing within a hundred and fifty miles
of them, not even an Indian," contin-
ued Maltland. "She was so frightfully
broken and mangled that he couldn't
carry her away."
"But why couldn't he leave her and
go for help?" asked Bradshaw.
"The wolves, the bears, or the vul-
tures would have got her. These
woods and mountains were full of
them then and there are some of them
left now I guess."
The two little girls crept closer to
their big cousin, each casting anxious
glances beyond the fire light.
"Oh, you're all right, little gals,"
said Klrkby reassuringly, "they
wouldn't come nigh us while this tire
Is burnln' an' they 've been pretty
well hunted out 1 guess; 'sides there's
men yere who'd like nothln' better'n
drawln' a bead on a big b ar."
"And so," continued Maltland, "when
she begged him to shoot her, to put
her out of her misery, he did so and
then he started back to the settlement
to tell his story and stumbled on ub
looking after him."
"What happened then?"
"I went back to the camp," said
Maltland. "We loaded Newbold on a
mule and took him with us; he was
so crazy he didn't know what was
happening; he went over the shooting
again and again In his delirium, it
"Did he die?"
"I don't think so," was the answer,
"but really I know nothing further
about him. There were some good
women in that camp; we put him In
their hands and 1 left shortly after-
"I kin tell the rest," said old Klrk-
by. "Knowln' more about the moun-
tains than most people hereabouts I
led the men that didn't go back with
Bob an' Newbold to the place w'ere
he said his woman fell, an' there we
found her, her body leastways."
"But the wolves?" queried the girl.
"He'd drug her Into a kind of a
holler and plied rocks over her. He'd
gone down into the canon, w'ich was
something frightful, an' then climbed
up to w'ere she'd lodged. We had
plenty of rope, havin' brought it along
a purpose, an' we let ourselves down
to the shelf where she was a lyln'.
We wrapped her body up in blaskets
an' roped.lt an' finally drug her up
on the old Injun trail, leastways 1 sup-
pose it was made afore there was any
Injuns, an' brought her back to Ever-
green camp, w'ich the only thing about
it that was green was the swing doors
on the saloon. We got a parson out
from Denver an' give her a Christian
"Is that all?" asked Enid as the old
man paused again."
"Oh, the man?" exclaimed the wom-
an with quick Intuition.
"He recovered his senses so they
told us, an' we en we got back he'd
"Where?" was the instant question.
Old Klrkby stretched out his hands.
"Don't ax me," he said, "he'd Jest
gone. I ain't never seed or heerd of
him sence. Poor little Louise Rosser,
she did have a hard time."
"Yes," said Enid, "but I think the
man had a harder time than she. He
"It looked like It," answered Klrkby.
"If you had seen him, his remorse,
his anguish, his horror," said Malt-
land, "you wouldn't have had any
doubt about It. But it is getting late.
In the mountains everybody gets up
at daybreak. Your sleeping bags are
in the tents, ladles; time to go to
As the party broke up, old Klrkby
rose slowly to his feet; he looked
meaningly toward the young woman,
upon whom the spell of the tragedy
still lingered, he nodded toward the
young brook, and then repeated his
speaking glance at her. His meaning
was patent, although no one else had
seen the covert Invitation.
"Come Klrkby," said the girl in
quick response, "you shall be my es-
cort. I want a drink before I turn In.
No, never mind," she said, as Brad-
shaw and Philips both volunteered,
"not this time."
The old frontiersman and the young
girl strolled off together. They stop-
ped by the brink of the rushing tor-
rent a few yards away. The noise
that It made drowned the low tones of
their voices and kept the others, busy
preparing to retire, from heating what
"That ain't quite all the story, Miss
Enid," said the old trapper meaningly.
"There was another man."
"What!" exclaimed the girl.
"Oh, there wasn't nothln' wrong
with Louise Rosser, w'ich she was
Louise Newbold. but there was an-
other man; I suspected It afore, that's
why she was sad. W'en we fbund her
body I knowed it."
"I (Jon't understand."
"These'U explain," said Klrkby. He
drew out from his rough hunting coat
a package of soiled letters; they were
carefully enclosed in an oil Bkln and
tied with a faded ribbon. "You see,"
he continued, holding them In his
hand yet carefully concealing them
from the people at the lire. "W'en
she fell off the cliff—somehow the
mule lost his footln', nobody never
knowed how, leastways the mule was
dead an' couldn't tell—she struck on
a spur or shelf about a hundred feet
below the brink; evidently she was
carryin' the letters In her dress. Her
bosom was frightfully tore open an'
the letters was lyln' there. Newbold
didn't see 'em, because he went down
Into the canon an' came up to the
shelf, or buite bead, were the body
was lyln", but we dropped down. 1
was the first man down an' I got 'em
Nobody else seein' me, an' there ain't
no human eyes, not even my wife's,
that's ever looked on them letters, ex-
cept mine and now yourn."
"You are going to give them to
"I am," said Klrkby.
"I want you to know the hull story."
"But why, again?"
"I rather guess them letters'U tell,"
answered the old man evasively, "an'
I like you, and I don't want to see
you throwed away."
"What do you mean?" asked the girl
curiously, thrilling to the solemnity of
the moment, the seriousness, the kind
affection of the old frontiersman, the
weird scene, the lire lights the tents
gleaming ghostlike, the black wall of
the canon and the tops of the moun-
tain range broadening out beneath the
stars in the clear sky where they
twinkled above her head, the strange
and terrible story, and now the letters
in her hand, which Bomehow seemed
to be Imbued with human feeling.
Klrkby patted her on the shoulder.
"Read the letters," he said; "they'll
tell the story. Good night."
The Pool and the Water Sprite.
Long after the others In the camp
had sunk into the profound Blumber
of weary bodies and good consciences,
a solitary candle In the small tent oc-
cupied by Enid Maltland alone gave
evidence that she was busy over the
letters which Klrkby had handed to
It was a very thoughtful girl in-
deed who confronted the old frontiers-
man the next morning. At the first
convenient opportunity when they
were alone together she handed him
the packet of letters.
"Have you read "em?" he asked.
"Wall, you keep 'em," said the old
man gravely. "Mebbe you'll want to
read 'em agin."
"gut I don't understand why you
want me to have them."
"Wall, I'm not quite sure myself
why, but leastways I do an'—"
"I shall be very glad to keep them,"
said the girl still more gravely, slip-
ping them Into one of the pockefe of
her hunting shirt as she spgke.
The packet was not bulky, the let-
ters were not many nor were they of
any great length. She could easily
carry them on her person and in
some strange and unerplicable way
she was rather glad to have them.
She could not, as she had said, see
any personal application to herself In
them, and yet In some way she did
feel that the solution of the mystery
would be hew some day. Especially
did she think this on account of the
strange J>ut quiet open emphasis of
the old hunter.
There was much to do about the
camp in the morning. Horses and
burroB to be looked after, fire wood to
be out, plans for the day arranged,
excursions laid out, mountain climbs
projected. Later on unwonted hands
must be taught to cast the fly for the
mountain trout which filled the brook
and pool, and *11 the varied duties, de-
tails and fascinating possibilities of
camp life must be explained to the
The first few days were days of
learning and preparation, days of mis-
hap and misadventure, of Joyous
laughter over blunders In getting set-
tled, or learning the mysteries of rod
and line, or becoming hardened and
acclimated. The weather proved per-
fect; it was late October and the
nights were very cold, but there was
no rain and the bright sunny days
were Invigorating and exhilarating to
the last degree. They had huge fires
and plenty of blankets and the colder
it was In the night the better they
It was an Intensely new experience
for the girl from Philadelphia, but she
showed a marked Interest and adapt-
ability, and entered with the keenest
zest Into all the opportunities of the
charming days. She was a good sportB-
woman and she soon learned to throw
a fly with the best of them. Old Klrk-
by took her under his especial pro-
tection and as he was one of the best
rods In tha mountains, she had every
She had always lived In the midst
of life. Except in the privacy of her
own chamber she had rarely ever
been alone before—not twenty feet
from a man, she thought whimsically,
but here the charm of solitude at-
tracted her, she liked to take her rod
and wander off alone. She actually
The main stream that flowed down
the canon was fed by many affluents
from the mountain sides, and in each
of them voracious trout appeared. She
explored them as she had opportunity,
sometimes with the others, but more
often by herself. She discovered
charming and exquisite nooks, little
stretches of grass, the size perhaps of
a small room, flower decked, ferny
bordered, overshadowed by tall giant
pine trees, the sunlight filtering
through their thin foliage, checkering
the verdant carpet beneath. Huge
moss covered boulders, wet with the
everdashlng spray of the roaring
brooks, lay In midstream and with
other natural stepping stones hardby
Invited her to cross to either shore
Waterfalls laughed musically In her
ears, deep still pools tempted her skill
Sometimes leaving rod and basket
by the waterside, she climbed some
particularly steep acclivity of the
canon wall and stood poised, wind
blown, a nymph of the woods, upon
some pinnacle of rock rising needle-
like at the canon's edge above the
sea of verdure which the wind waved
to and fro beneath her feet. There In
the bright light, with the breeze blow-
ing her golden hair, she looked like
some Norse goddess, blue eyed, ex-
She was a perfectly formed woman
on the ancient noble lines of Milo
yither than the degenerate softness
of 'Medici. She grew stronger of limb
and fuller of breath, quicker and
steadier of eye and hand, cooler of
nerve, in these demanding, compelling
adventures among the rocks In this
mountain air. She was not a tall
woman, indeed slightly under rather
than over the medium size, but she
was so perfectly proportioned, she car-
ried herself with the fearlessness of a
young chamois, that she looked taller
"Read the Letters," He Said.
than she was. There was not an
ounce of superfluous flesh upon her,
yet she had the grace of Hebe, the
strength of Pallas Athene, and the
swiftness of motion of Atalanta. Had
she but carried bow and spear, had
she worn tunic and sandals, she might
have stood for Diana and she would
have had no cause to blush by com-
parison with the finest model of
Praxiteles' chisel or the most splen-
did and glowing example of Appelles'
Uncle Robert was delighted with
her; his contribution to her western
outfit was a small Winchester. She
displayed astonishing aptitude under
his Instructions and soon became won-
derfully proficient with that deadly
weapon and with a revolver also.
There was little danger to be appre-
hended In the daytime among the
mountains, the more experienced men
thought, still It was wise for the girl
always to have a weapon In readiness,
so In her Journeylngs, either the Win-
chester was slung from her shoulder
or carried in her hand, or else the Colt
dangled at her hip. At first she took
both, but finally It was with reluc-
tance that she could be persuaded to
take either. Nothing had ever hap-
pened. Save for a few birds now and
then she had seemed the only tenant
of the wilderness of her choice.
One night after a camping experi-
ence of nearly two weeks in the moun-
tains and Just before the time for
breaking up and going back to civil-
ization, she announced that early the
next morning she was going down the
canon for a day's fishing excursion.
None of the party had ever fol-
lowed the little river very far, but It
was known that some ten miles below
the stream merged in a lovely gem-
like lake In a sort of crater in the
mountains. From thence by a series
of water falls It descended through
the foothills to the distant plains be-
yond. The others had arranged to
climb one especially dangerous and
ambition provoking peak which tow-
ered above them and which had nevel
before been surmounted so far as
tbey knew. Enid enjoyed mountain
climbing. She liked the uplift in feel-
ing that came from going higher and
higher till some crest was gained, but
on this occasion they urged her to ac-
company them in vain.
When the fixity of her decision was
established she had a number of offers
to accompany her, but declined them
all, bidding the others go their way.
Mrs. Maltland, who was not feeling
very well, old Klrkby, who had
climbed too many mountains to feel
much Interest In that game, and Pete
the horse wrangler, who had to look
after the stock, remained In camp;
the others with the exception of Enid
started at daybreak for their long as-
cent. She waited until the sun was
about an hour high and then bade
good-bye to the three and began the
descent of the canon. Traveling light,
for she was going fai*—farther, Indeed,
than she knew—she left her Winches-
ter at home, but carried the revolver
with the fishing tackle and substantial
Now the river—a river by courtesy
only—and the canon turned sharply
back on themselves Just beyond the
little meadow where the camp was
pitched. Past the tents that had been
their home for this Joyous period the
river ran due east for a few hundred
feet, after which It curved sharply,
doubled back and flowed westward
for several miles before It gradually
swung around to the east on Its prop-
er course again.
It had been Enid's purpose to cut
across the hills and strike the river
where It turned eastward once more,
avoiding the long detour back. In
fact, she had declared her Intention
of doing that to Klrkby and he had
given her careful directions so that
she should not get lost In the moun-
But she had plenty of time and no
excuse or reason for saving it, she
never tired cf the charm of the canon;
therefore, instead of plunging directly
over the spur of the range, she fol-
lowed the familiar trail and after she
had passed westward far beyond the
limits of the camp to the turning, she
decided, in accordance with that ut-
terly Irresponsible thing, a woman's
will, that she would not go down the
canon that day after all, but that she
would cross back over the rai^e and
strike the river a few miles above the
camp and go up the canon.
She had been up in that direction a
few times, but only for a short dis-
tance, as the ascent above the camp
was very sharp, In fact for a little
more than a mile the.brook was only
a succession of water fall; the best
fishing was below the camp and the
finest woods were deeper In the canon.
She suddenly concluded that she
would like to see what was up In that
unexplored section of the country and
so, with scarcely a momentary hesi-
tation, she abandoned her former plan
and began the ascent of the range.
Upon decisions so lightly taken
what momentous consequences de-
pend! Whether she should go up the
stream or down the stream, whethe?
she Bhould follow the rivulet to • ltfl
source or descend It to Its mouth,
was apparently a matter of little mo-
ment, yet her whole life turned abso-
lutely upon that decision. The Idle
and unconsidered choice of the houn
was frought with gravest possibilities.
Had that election been made with any
suspicion, with any foreknowledge, had
It come as the result of careful rea-
soning or far-seeing of probabilities,
It might have been understandable,
but an Impulse, a whim, the vagrant
idea of an Idle hour, the carelesa
chance of a moment, and behold! a
lile Is changed. On one Bide were
youth and Innocence, freedom and
happiness, a happy day, a good rest
by the cheerful fire at night; on the
other, peril of life, struggle, love,
jealousy, self sacrifice, devotion, suffer,
lng, knowledge—scarcely Eve herself
when she stood apple In hand with
ignorance and pleasure around her
and enlightenment and sorrow before
her, had greater choice to make.
How fortunate we are that the fu-
ture Is veiled, that the psalmlBt'l
prayer that he might know his end
and be certified how long he had to
live Is one that will not and cannot
be granted; that It has been given to
but One to foresee his own future
The Girl Stood as It Were on the
Roof of the World.
for no power apparently could enable
us to stand up against what might be,
because we are only human beings
not sufficiently alight with the spark
divine. We wait for the end because
we must, but thank God we know it
not until it comes.
Nothing of this appeared to the girl
that bright sunny morning. Fate hid
In those mountains under the guise of
fancy. Lighthearted, carefree, fitted
with buoyant joy over every fact of
life, she left the flowing water and
scaled the cliff beyond which In the
wilderness she was to find after all,
The ascent was longer and mor«
difficult and dangerous than she hafl
Imagined when she first confronted It.
perhaps It was typical and foretold he#
progress. More than once she had
to stop and carefully examine the fac
of the canon wall for a practicable
trail; more than once she had to ex-
ercise extremest care In her climb*
but she was a bold and fearless mour-
talneer by this time and at last sur>
mounting every difficulty she Btooil
panting slightly, a little tired, but
triumphant upon the summit.
The ground was rocky and broken,
the timber line was close above he/
and she judged that she must be sev-
eral miles from the camp. The canon
was very crooked, she could see oni?
a few hundred yards of It In any dl
rectlon. She scanned her clrcum
Bcribed limited horizon eagerly for the
smoke from the great flre that they
always kept burning In the camp, but
not a sign of It was visible. She was
evidently a thousand feet above the
river whence she had come. Her
standing ground was a rocky ridge
which fell away more gently on the
other side for perhaps two hundred
feet toward the same brook. She
could see through vistas in the trees
the uptossed peaks of the main range,
bare, chaotic, snow crowned, lonely,
The awe of the everlasting hills Is
greater than that of heaving seas.
Save In the Infrequent periods of calm,
the latter;-always faoves;- the moun-
tains are the same for all time, The
ocean Is quick, noisy, living; the
mountains are .calm, still—dead!
The girl stood as-It wer on the
roof of the world, a' solitary, human
being, so far as she knew. In thq* eye
of Uod above her. Ah,'but'the eyes
divine look long and see/far; things
beyond the human ken are all re-
vealed. None of the party had ever
come this far from the cump in this
direction she knew. And she was
glad to be the first, as she fatuously
believed, to observe that majestic soli-
(TO BB CONTINUE DO
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Lee, Albert Sidney. The Fairland News (Fairland, Okla.), Vol. 5, No. 25, Ed. 1 Friday, September 6, 1912, newspaper, September 6, 1912; (gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc99544/m1/3/: accessed September 22, 2018), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.