The Girl from Montana (Chapter 2, page 2 of 16)


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Chapter 2

She put into her belt the sharp little knife her brother used to carry,
and then began to gather together everything eatable that she could carry
with her. There was not much that could be easily carried--some dried
beef, a piece of cheese, some corn-meal, a piece of pork, a handful of
cheap coffee-berries, and some pieces of hard corn bread. She hesitated
over a pan half full of baked beans, and finally added them to the store.
They were bulky, but she ought to take them if she could. There was
nothing else in the house that seemed advisable to take in the way of
eatables. Their stores had been running low, and the trouble of the last
day or two had put housekeeping entirely out of her mind. She had not
cared to eat, and now it occurred to her that food had not passed her lips
that day. With strong self-control she forced herself to eat a few of the
dry pieces of corn bread, and to drink some cold coffee that stood in the
little coffee-pot. This she did while she worked, wasting not one minute.

There were some old flour-sacks in the house. She put the eatables into
two of them, with the pan of beans on the top, adding a tin cup, and tied
them securely together. Then she went into her little shed room, and put
on the few extra garments in her wardrobe. They were not many, and that
was the easiest way to carry them. Her mother's wedding-ring, sacredly
kept in a box since the mother's death, she slipped upon her finger. It
seemed the closing act of her life in the cabin, and she paused and bent
her head as if to ask the mother's permission that she might wear the
ring. It seemed a kind of protection to her in her lonely situation.

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