The Girl from Montana (Chapter 5, page 2 of 11)


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Chapter 5

By and by he pointed to the heavens, and talked of the stars. Did she know
that constellation? No? Then he explained. Such and such stars were so
many miles from the earth. He told their names, and a bit of mythology
connected with the name, and then went on to speak of the moon, and the
possibility of its once having been inhabited.

The girl listened amazed. She knew certain stars as landmarks, telling
east from west and north from south; and she had often watched them one by
one coming out, and counted them her friends; but that they were worlds,
and that the inhabitants of this earth knew anything whatever about the
heavenly bodies, she had never heard. Question after question she plied
him with, some of them showing extraordinary intelligence and thought, and
others showing deeper ignorance than a little child in our kindergartens
would show.

He wondered more and more as their talk went on. He grew deeply interested
in unfolding the wonders of the heavens to her; and, as he studied her
pure profile in the moonlight with eager, searching, wistful gaze, her
beauty impressed him more and more. In the East the man had a friend, an
artist. He thought how wonderful a theme for a painting this scene would
make. The girl in picturesque hat of soft felt, riding with careless ease
and grace; horse, maiden, plain, bathed in a sea of silver.

More and more as she talked the man wondered how this girl reared in the
wilds had acquired a speech so free from grammatical errors. She was
apparently deeply ignorant, and yet with a very few exceptions she made
no serious errors in English. How was it to be accounted for?

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