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A Nevada Funeral

A Nevada Funeral image
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muro was tv great tune over Buck Fanshaw when he diod. Ho was , representativa citizon. Ho had "killed his man ;" not in his owu quarrel, it Í3 true, but in the dofunse of a stranger besyt by numbers. Ho had kopt a suinptuous saiuon. He had held a high positiou ia the Firo Department, und had been a very Warwiok in Politics. When he diod thero wus u great lamentation throughout tho towu, but espeoially ia the vast bottom stratuin of society. Prodigious preparations wero inado for tho funeral. AU the vehiclos in the towu wei-o hired, all tho saloons wero put in mourniug, all the municipal and lire company flaga were huug at half-mast, and all tho firemen ordered to niuster in uniform, and bring thoir macliinos duly dr.iped in black. Kegrotful rasolutions were passed and vurious cornmittües appointod, ainong othera a couiuiittoo of ouo to cali on a minister- a fragüe, gentle, spiritual, new flodgling fronl an Eastern theological seuiiuary, and as yet unaequainted with the ways of tho minos. Tho committuoïnan, "Scotty" liriggs, made his visit. Boing admitttid to his presouco, he sat down beforo tho clergymau, placed his firo hut on an unfinishod manuscript sermon under tho miilister'a dom, tuok froui it a red silk himdkeichiof, wiped his brow, and hoaved a sigh of disuial iiupressivouuss ezplanatoiy of his business. Ho choked and even shed tears, but with an effort ho mastered his voice, and said, in lugubrious tonus: " Are you the duck that runs tho gospel-mill iioxt doori"' " I am tho - pardon ine, I beliove I do uot understand Y" ■Vith anotkor .igh and a half sob ty ivjohiud : " Wby, yon soe wc are in a bit of trouble, and tho boya thought mjytjo you'd give us a lii't if we'd tackle you, thatis, ii' Pre got tho rights of it imd you aru tho head ciork of thu doxology works next door." " I am tho shepherd in chargo of tho flouk whoso fold ia üuxt dooï." " Tii.' whicb ':" " The spiiitaal adviserof tholittle company of bciiovers whoio sanctuary aijuius these pivn. Sootty sortttched hiá huud, rufluetod a moment, then said : "Yourather hold over me, pard. I reckoa I cau't cali that haud. Ante and pass tlio buok." " How ? I bug your pardon. What did 1 undorstund you to say Y" ' WeÜ, you'vo rather got tlio bulgo on me. Ür mavba we've botii got tho Lulge BOinehow. Yeu don't ii;oiu uio and I don't smoke you. You soo, ouu of thu boya bas has passed in his ahucies, and vo want to givo uiin u god send-ofif, iuid sj bhe thing Vul ]i)-v on in to rout jataoniubodytojerk a littl uliininusio for us, and waltz him tbiough ha&dsume." ' My friond, 1 seem to grow more and more bewildered. Yliu' obssrvations are wholly incomprübensible to me. Caonot you siniplify them somo wofy? At first I bhought povhaps ' undeistood you, bttt now I grope. Vi'ould it uot expedito [T8 it yuu rogtricted yoursell' to catowith obsti-uoSng accumulatlona o. iaetiphor and ailegory ':" Another pause, and moru rolloction. Thon Suotty said : "I'll havo to pass, Ju:lgo." " How Y' " Yoa've raisod me oiit, pard." " I btill fail to catch youv meaning." "Why, the last load of your'n is too niany for u;e -tliat's the idea. I can't neither trump nor follow guit." The olergyman snak back in liis chair perplexed. Scotty lo-med his heud on his hand and gave him.self uu to reflectioQ. Proséntly his faco camo up, sorrowful, but confidont. "I've got it now, bo's you cavy," said he. " WUat we want is a gospel-sharp. Sec Y" "Awhafr" " Gospel -sharp- parson." " Oh ! Why didn't you say 80 before 'i I am a clcrgyman - a parson." " Now you talk ! ïon süo nly blind, and Btraddle it like a man. Putit thero !" - extendiug a brawny pnw which closcd over tho ministor's small liand and gave it a shake indicativo of fraternal sympathy and fervent gratifioation. " Now we'ru all right, pard. Lofs stirt fresh. Don't j'ou mind me siiuífling a littlo, becuz we'ro in a power of trouble You sec 0:1e of tho boys bas gouo up 'the flume - " " Gone whero V" "Up tho flumo- throw'd up the sponge, you know." "Thrown up the sponge V" " Yes - kicked the bucket- " " Ah ! bas roturned to that mysterious country from whoáe bourae no travelur returns." " Enturns ? Well, I reckon not. Why, pard, hu's doad." " Yes, I undoretand." "Oh, you do'r Well, I thought maybe you ïuight bo gettiiig tungled once more. Yfs, you set) he s dead agaiu - " " Again ! Why, has be ever boon dead boforo ?" "Doad before? No. Do you undorstand a man bas got as many lives as a cat'r' But he'a awful dead now, poor old boy, uid I wista I'd novor Been tliis day. I dou't kauw no better íriend than lhick Faashaw. 1 know'd him by tho back ; and wlion I know a man Hku him - you hear me. Tttke bim all around, purd, there ncver wus a bulliur man in the minos. Xo íiinn evex kaowod Buck Panuhaw ;o back on a friend. But it's all up, you kucw; it'sall np. It uin't no uso. TliL'y'vo 8COOied him '." " Soooped him 'i" Yos - düath has. Well, well, well- w.'vi: got to givo hiui up. Yoí,, indood. ( It's a kind of huid. world, after all, aia't . it y But, pard, ho wad a rustlor. You ought to soo liim fret startod OI106. Just ( spit iu his faco and givo hiui room accurding to his strongth, nnd it was just beautiful to seo Mm peel and go iu. Uu was tb o worst son of a thief that ever draw d broath. Pard, he on it. Ho was on it bigger than an Iiijuu!" "On it? On what'i1 "Onthoshoot, On tho shouldur. On the fight. Underetaad ï Hedidu'tgive a continental- ior anybody. Beg your pardon, friend, tbr coming so neai saying B cuss word - but you ges I'm on mi avful struin in tliis palaver, on account of having to erara down and draw overything so mild. But we've got to givu lam up. ïln;ro ain't any getting around that, 1 don't reokon. Now, it' we can't get you to holp ilant hiiu - " " Proacli thu funeral disocurse 'i Awst at tho obsoj[uiüs'i" " Obs'quios is good. Yes. That's it ; that's our little gamo. We aru going to get up tho thiug rogai-dlos, you know. He was alwaya nobby himeelf, uid so you bet you his tuneral aiu't goin' to be no slouoh ; solid silver door-platü on his oofün, six pluuies on tho hearse, and a nigger on the box with a bilod shirt and a plug hat - how's that ior high ? And wu'll taku oare of you, pard. Aro'U fis you all right. ïhore will bo a kerridge tor you ; tuvii wliatcvev you want you just scapo out, and wu'll teud to it. Put Buelc through as bully as you can, purd, tor anybody that know'd him well will teil you that ha was ouo of the whitest men that was ever in tho mines. You cau't draw it too strong. Ila nuver could stand to see things going wrung. He's doae more to mako this town peaceable than any inan ia it. I'vo seen him lick foor Gruasers in elovon minutes mysolf. lf u thing wantod ri'gulating, he waru't tho man to go browsing uround nitor somobody to do it ; hu would prauco in and regúlate it himsolf. Hu warn't a Catholic, but it didn't mako no difference about that whon it canie down to what a man'a right was - and so, whon route roughs jumped tho Catholio bone-yard aad atarted to tako out town lots in it, he went tor Vin ! And hu cleaued 'em, too. I was thcro and kcícj it myself." " That was very woll, "indeed- at least tho impulse was - whether tho act was strictly det'ensible or not. Had daoeased auy religiou:! convietions 'ï Ihat 10 to say, did ho feel a dopondence upon, or accuowlodgo allugianoo to, a highei powui- 'f" ■ More roflaction. " I reckon you've stuuipod me again, pard. Could you say it over onuu more, and say it slow 'i" ' Wel], to simplify it somewhat, was he, or rathor h-ui he ever been eonneotod with auy organiaatioa seqnestered from secuhir oonoerns and devoted to self-sacriüee in tho interest of iiiorulity r1" " All down but nino - set 'ein up on tho other allcy, pard I" " What did I understand you to say '(" " Why, you're most too ïu tny for iae, you know. Whon you get in with your left, I hunt grass every timo. " How P Begin again ';" " That's it." " Very well. Was he a good man, and - " " Thero- see that ; dont put up anotlior chip till I look at my hand. A good man, says you r Pard, it ain't no namu for it. Ho was the bost man that ovor - pard, you would havo dotod uu that man. ilo could lam uny galoot oí' his inchos in Amerioa. It was hitu that put dovvu the í-ioc last oloetion befoie itgot aetart ; and everybody said that he was tho only uu,u that could havo dono it. Ho waltzod in with a trumpet in ono hand and a spanuur in tho other, sent í'ourteou mou homo on shutters in less than thivo minutes, iic had tho riot all broko up and provented nioe baforo anybouy over goc u chanco to strike a blow. ' lio was always ior peace, and ho would havu p;Mco - he oouid dUtiu'bauco. I'ard, hü Wrtfl a. gro;lt loss to lilis town. It woiüd ploaso the boys il' you oould chip in soinuthiug liko tiiat and do him justico. Ho was the bulliost man in tho mouutains, pard ; he could run tiuítor, juinp higher, swear hardor, and lio!d moro t&ngle-foot whisky than any man in Beveutoou oounties. Put that :;i, pard; it'll please tho buj's moro than unythiug elso that yon ban Bay. Au.l you can say, pard, tüat hu novor sujJi. his luotlior." '■ Nevar shook his mother ?" "Xhat's ii -any oí' tho boys will toll you so." " Woll, but why should ho shako hor r" "That's what I say, but sjuij people djt:s." " .s. t of any reputo." " V o]l,_soiuu that avarage pretty so-so." fer persoa:U vioioneü to Lis uiutLof óüut to- " ' Cheese it pard ; you've booked yo.i; ball clean out of Ihe string. What I was drivin' ut was that he novor throwed off his mothor - don't you soo ' No, indeedy. He give hur a houso to livo in, and town lots, and plonty o' mouoy ; and he lookod after and took caro ot' her all tho tima ; aud whon sho down with tho smallpox he set up nights and nursed hor himself. 1 1 hin k you'ro whitc. I thiuk you're a square man, pard. I liko you, and' 111 liok any man that don't. 111 liok hiiu till ho oan't toll hiinself t'rom a last yuar's corpso ! Put it there !" [Another fraternal hand-shake - ntid exit ] Tho obsequies wero allthut "tho boys" could desire. Such a nnu-vel oi' funeral pomp had never befn seen in Virginia City. The plumed hearse, tho dirgcbreathing brass bands, the closed marta of business, tho llags drooping at half-mast, the long, ploddiug prooession of uaiformod socrot societies, military baltalions, fm companios, drapod onginos, earriagös of officials, and citizens in vehiolesand on foot, tittraetod multitudes of spectators to tho sidewalks, roofs and Windows ; and for yoais afterward the dogroe of grandeur attained by any civil display in Viiginia City was detorminod by oomparison with B uck Fanshaw s fuuural.


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