The Daughter of a Magnate (Chapter 10, page 2 of 9)


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Chapter 10

"The track, the mountains," he replied; "I have little else."

"Would not many consider the mountains enough?"

"No doubt."

"I should think them a continual inspiration."

"So they are; though sometimes they inspire too much."

"It is so still and beautiful through here." She leaned back in her
chair, supported her elbows on its arms and clasped her hands; the
stealing charm of her cordiality had already roused him.

"This bit of track we are covering," said he after a pause, "is the
first I built on this division; and just now I have been recalling my
very first sight of the mountains." She leaned slightly forward, and
again he was coaxed on. "Every tradition of my childhood was
associated with this country--the plains and rivers and mountains. It
wasn't alone the reading--though I read without end--but the stories of
the old French traders I used to hear in the shops, and sometimes of
trappers I used to find along the river front of the old town; I fed on
their yarns. And it was always the wild horse and the buffalo and the
Sioux and the mountains--I dreamed of nothing else. Now, so many
times, I meet strangers that come into the mountains--foreigners
often--and I can never listen to their rhapsodies, or even read their
books about the Rockies, without a jealousy that they are talking
without leave of something that's mine. What can the Rockies mean to
them? Surely, if an American boy has a heritage it is the Rockies.
What can they feel of what I felt the first time I stood at sunset on
the plains and my very dreams loomed into the western sky? I toppled
on my pins just at seeing them."

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