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Brown's Partner

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"Chihuahua" Brown came to Pvrites when the camp was first started. That was sis months before the time of wluch I write. Pyrites was a typical mining town or "camp" far np in the Rocky mouutains. It liad grown iu sis months from one log cabin to a town of 1,000 inhabitants. It was a rongh. unpretentious town, both as regards its buildings and a large number of its citizens, bnt ander the duck snit of the miner there are more honest hearts, more noble and generons natures, than will be found in almost any other calling in life. With the rnsh of miners came a rush of gamblers. Four saloons sprang into existence in a uight. Th en bogan the erection of the most commoclious and pretentioas building in the camp - the .falace dance ñau - wlacn was nurried to completion. It looked more like a barn than a palace, bnt it proved as great an attraction for the feverish wealth and pleasnre seekiug popiüation of Pyrites as thcragh its walls were of lincrnsta and its floors of variegated marble. It is a noticeable fact ábout a new mining camp that the most high sounding titles are applied to the most cominon looking structures. The cheapest place always has the grandest name. For instance, the Delmonico restaurant was the worst of all the eating establishments m P}Tites, and the Windsor hotel offered the poorest accommodations of any hostelry in the place. The St. James livery stable had nothing better in the shape of equines than some broken down stage horses, and the Cfystal Grolto saloon was only a board shanty v.-hore 5-cent v,-hisky was sold for two bits a drink. The cleanest. most homelike eating house in the place was Jirs. McGuire's restaurant. Bridget McGuiro was a Jively, bnstling írishwoman, with a red face and hair a shade lighter. She was poptilar with "the boys." as she called the miners who patronized lier ilace. ""We can always get plenty on our forks at Mrs. McGnire's," was the usual, sentence of praise bestowed upon her estabment. "Chihuahua" Bro'.vn boarded with Mrs. McGuire. He was a quiet, retiring sort of a man. No one knew much about him, except that he once had some mining property near Chihuahua, Mexico. There was another Brown in Pyrites, so he was given the sobriquet of "Chihuahua" to distinguish him from the other Brown. He paid his board promptly and was highly esteerned by Mrs. McGuire, who sometinies spoke of him as "the widow woman's friend" on account of his once having loaned Mrs. McGuire $200 without seenrity when the good natured Irishwoman first started iu business. Now she was bej'ond the need of financial assistance, and was doing a flourishing business - such a large business in fact that she had been obliged to send to Denver for additional help-to wait upon the table. The "help" duly arrived upon the stage and created a sensation in Pyrites. The first general description was given out by the stage driver, "Fairplay Bill," to a deeply interested throng of listeners at the Silver Bear saloon. "She cum upon the stage alongside of me," said Bill. "There was three girls for the dance hall besides. When we got to the first station at Turkey creek canyon, she asked if she could ride on the seat with me, she did so admire the scenery. I took her up beside me on the box, and you never heard a girl go on so about the color of the sky, and the trees and rocks, and the wild flowers blooming on the mountain side. She pointed out things to me about the scenery I never see before. I never see a girl so gone on scenery. She really did enjoy it. I got so durned interested hearin her talk l cnm purty near slidin the whole outfit .-iov.-n the nioimtain as I cum around Dead Man'fl curve. She's different from any biseuit shooter ever I see." "Purty? She'8 purtier than that nigh but she don't put on as ixrach styleas Kittyd ; she's just beca hitched u go. Purty? Ever sce 'om j :a i a woman raisiii up out t ■■■ thatpictur of Rumyotiu I Juli a durned sight purtier thau . 'em. J've carried inany a 1:; my time, but I never si Most of 'em's got their hair eurly and act fresh. S Long hair, blacker'n a dark nihi !.. ihe canyon; big eyes; roses in her c-Sj She's a lady; that's what she is. Icould teil that first time I see her. Guess she was glad to got up on the box with me, 'way from them dance hall girls. ïhey tried to get fresh with her while slie was on tlio inside - asked her if she thought she conld do bettef in Pyrites than she could in Denver. She said she thonght she could, 'cause the wages was better. " 'Wages!' says one girl, with a little cackley laugh like a graveyard. 'That's good; y ou don't mean to teil me you're going to work for wages?' sa}"s she. 'What are you going to doT "'I'm goin to work in Mrs. McGuire's restaurong-j-just like that; restaurong - waitin on the table.' " 'You'll soon git over that,' says the daucehouse girl, laughin. " 'I hope so,' says tlie littie lady, 'but I ain't ashamed of any work that's honest,' sa3's she. 'No trae woman isabove earnin her owu liviii by n.nnvell labor if necessary,' says the Uule lady. And then them threè dancehouse girls had a chili, and the little lady got up on the box with me at the next station, andjdurin the drive up the canyon she wanted to know if them three Lidies were goin to work at Mrs. McGuire's restaurong, too, an I durn near feil oï the box. I had to throw the silk into the leaders an kind o' git my attention 'tracted to the hosses before I could git my face straight enuff to teil her 'I guess not.' I'm durned if she ever got on to the fact that them girls inside was dancehall girls. She's a lady, she is." This was how Doris Ware caine to Pyrites to be the "help'' at Mrs. McGuire's restaurant. It was not strange that the business of the restaurant increased. Mrs. McGuire's new waiter girl was very, very pretty, and a pretty face is an attraction any where, but especially so in a new mining camp, where women constitute a ver}' small minority of the population. It is not strange either that many of Mrs. McGuire's boarders feil in love with Mrs. McGuire's waitress. ïhere was quite a noticeable sprucing np in the way of general appearance among the boarders. Two or three of "the boys" affected bright colored ties. and when they came to their meáis they were particular about washing their faces very clean. They seemed to put mora than the usual amo'dnt of water on their hair and combed it back slicker than they had been in the habit of doiug. All this seemed to have no effect upon Mrs. McGuire's help. She was as demure, retiring and modest as when she first arrived. There was one boarder who loved the pretty waiter girl with the consuming passion of a secret affection. He scarcely dare raise nis eyes to her, he was so difñdent. The fluiter of her dress was sufflcient to cause every nerve in bis body to tremble. If she spoke to Mm, he was sure to put a lump of butter in tds coffee or sprinkle sugar all over bis plate during the ensuing moment of confusión. This boarder was "Chihuahua" Brown. He was so reserved in his manner, so quiet and gentlemanly that Doris was naturally attracted to him. They became friends, and gradually tnia Brov.ii learned of the past life of Doris Ware. Her father had been a man of wealth; he was a speculator. A bad nvestnient had left him almost penniiess. He lacked the moral courage to tace adversity, and in a moment of desperation and despondency he blew out ais brains. The shock almost killed his wife, a woman of a delicate, nervous temperament. His daughter Doris rose superior :o the occasion. She supported her mother from the rather small wagcs she ennied m a store. One day she read i i ásement in a western paper. "Ten girls wanted for light, easy occupations in the mountains; wages, $25 per week." With such large wages she could comfortably support lier mother. The amount was more than twice as much as she had aeen réceiving. She had used her meager savings to come west, only to frad that "the light, easy occupation" for which ;he 10 young girls were wanted was to serre beer in a dance hall in Leadville. Being almost without money she took the first place she conld get. It was her aresent oue - waitress in Mrs. McGuire's restaurant. "Chiliuahua" determined that the girl should not longer work in the restaurant. But what could he do? There was no other occupation in which she could engage and remain in Pyrites, and he could not bear the thought of sending her away. If she remained in Pyrites without working, it would subject her to foul suspicion and make her a general subject :or scandal. Well, there was one thing which ought ;o be done, il' it could be done. One September morning "Chihuahua" Brown bade adieu to Pyrites for a short ;ime and went up to his mines on Snowshoe mountain. Before going he laid in a large supply of writing paper, some sig, thick pointed pens, a bottle of ink and some blank inining deeds. The miners working adjoining claims noticed that "Chihuahua" Brown was paler than usual. His manner was less reserved. He was nervous and excited at times. He sat up late at nignt writing and always concluded by tearing up what he had written. One night when ie was thna engaged one of the men working on the night shift came to the loor una yelled : "Chihuahua! Chihuahua! Come into lie mine and look at the stuff we've got n there - we've struck it big." "Chihuahua" hurried into the mine. ♦ ### It was a beautif ui September af ternoon n Pyrites. Tlie mountains were covered with wild flowers, and here and here tho sides of the monster hills had een touched b' the frost, transfonning verdant hues into purple, crimson and gold. Doris went for a stroll early in the afternoon. She gathered the flowers as she went along, and almost every step revealed some new beauty of the floral kingdtim. Her mind was not so much upon tho ftowers as it was upon him - big, bearded, honest, manly "Chihuahua" Brown. She had received a letter frota her mother that morning, in which a remittance of $100 was acknowledged. The letter to her mother had been sent by "Chihuahua" Brown, and he had stated therein that the $100 was a part of the proceeds from a mine in which Doris had an interest with him. The money was badly needed by the mother, and lier gratitude was almost extravagantly expressed. Doris strolled on, thinking of the generosity of "Chihuahua," and the secret, delicate method he had taken of showing it. It was time to return. The shadows began to gatheY on the mountains, and darkness would soon be upon her. She started back to the trail; but, alas, there was no trail where she thought it should be. Again she loeated in her mind's eye the place where she had left the trail in lier search for flowers, but there was 110 trail when she arrived there. It was almost dark. She realized that she was lost. Lost in the mountains. lost in a little baan, with the town of Pyrites just over a small ridge. But this latter fact she did not know. Higher ap in the basin she saw a light. It carne from a miner's cabin. She started there. It was very much farther than she thought it was. It seezned at least an hour bef ore she arrived at the little cabin from the windows of which the light streamed out upon the dark mountain. The door was slightly open. Doris knocked.' No answer. She entered the cabin. There was a tire in the stove, for tho night was chili. Aneat little bunk with clean blankets and coverlid stood in one corner. There was a mining map upon the wall. A bucket of water and a washbasin were near tho door. C'andles and miners' candlesticks were stuck in the log crevices. In the center of the room was a table covcred with writing paper. On the table was a light that had guided her to the place - a candle stuck in the mouth of an empty bottle. What was this? A mining deed. Maxwell H. Brown to Doris Ware, a onehalf interest in the Goodness Gracious lode. A letter - she raust not read it. Heiname? Why, what could this mean? Dear Miss Dokis- All my life I have been goiug it alone, and I'm getting tired of it. I want a purd- a pardner, I mean- and that's yon. I took you into pardnership on the Goodness Gracious lode last month. Will yoube my pard for life and have a regular warranty deed made out by Parson Wilson? I never was in love till I met you. I don't know how this affair will pan out, but I don't think 111 be abk to winter thiough 'without you. I know my lova ain't worlli as much to you as yours is to me, and if you Eay you wlll be my wife 111 try and make the bargain even by throwing in the whole Goodness Gracious mine and the Small Fotatoes, which is an adjoining claim. Angwer me quick. If I don't get an answer, I'm afraid 111 hurt sonie of the boys, because I don't know what l'in doing half tliu time. Please marry me- wili you? And oblige, yours respectfully, Maxwell H. Brown. Just as Doris finished reading she heard a step, a heavy step, at the door. She grabbed the pen and wrote in large letters at the bottom of the sheet: M y answer is yes. DORiS. Some one was bending over her. Some one had seen her write; some one saw that plain, big "Yes," and she was gathered tight in a pair of strong arms and feit a fervent kiss upon her lips. Another step at the door. It was "Galena" Mike, a miner. "Chihuahua," he said, "there's an 8-foot vein of that stuff, and it will run at least $1,000 to the ton." "Chihuahua" did not answer Mike, but Doris heard him say: "I wouldn"t give one minute like this


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