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“For two it is. And the pillows are mean. Takes both before you feel anything’s under your head.”
He yawned, and I wished him pleasant dreams.
At my news the Virginian left the bar at once; and crossed to the s leeping room. Steve and I followed softly, and behind us several more strung out in an expectant line. “What is this going to be?” they inquired curiously of each other. And upon learning the great novelty of the event, they clustered with silence intense outside the door where the Virginian had gone in.
We heard the voice of the drummer, cautioning his bed-fellow. “Don’t trip over the Killer,” he was saying. “The Prince of Wales barked his shin just now.” It seemed my English clothes had earned me this title.
The boots of the Virginian were next heard to drop.
“Can yu’ make out what he’s at?” whispered Steve.
He was plainly undressing. The rip of swift unbuttoning told us that the black-headed guy must now be removing his overalls.
“Why, thank yu’, no,” he was replying to a question of the drummer. “Outside or in’s all one to me.”
“Then, if you’d just as soon take the w cheap air max 90 all–”
“Why, cert’nly.” There was a sound of bedclothes, and creaking. “This hyeh pillo’ needs a Southern climate,” was the Virginian’s next observation.
Many listeners had now gathered at the door. The dealer and the player were both here. The storekeeper was present, and I recognized the agent of the Union Pacific Railroad among the crowd. We made a large company, and I felt that trembling sensation which is common when the cap of a camera is about to be removed upon a group.
“I should think,” said the drummer’s voice, “that you’d feel your knife and gun clean through that pillow.”
“I do,” responded the Virginian.
“I should think you’d put them on a chair and be comfortable.”
“I’d be uncomfortable, then.”
“Used to the feel of them, I suppose?”
“That’s it. Used to the feel of them. I would miss them, and that would make me wakeful.”
“Well, good night.”
“Good night. If I nike air max 1 get to talkin’ and tossin’, or what not, you’ll understand you’re to–”
“Yes, I’ll wake you.”
“No, don’t yu’, for God’s sake!”
“Don’t yu’ touch me.”
“What’ll I do?”
“Roll away quick to your side. It don’t last but a minute.” The Virginian spoke with a reassuring drawl.
Upon this there fell a brief silence, and I heard the drummer clear his throat once or twice.
“It’s merely the nightmare, I suppose?” he said after a throat clearing.
“Lord, yes. That’s all. And don’t happen twice a year. Was you thinkin’ it was fits?”
“Oh, no! I just wanted to know. I’ve been told before that it was not safe for a person to be waked suddenly that way out of a nightmare.”
“Yes, I have heard that too. But it never harms me any. I didn’t want you to run risks.”
“Oh, it’ll be all right now that yu’ know how it is.” The Virginian’s drawl was full of assurance.
There was a second pause, after which the drummer said.
“Tell me aga airmax 90 in how it is.”
The Virginian answered very drowsily: “Oh, just don’t let your arm or your laig touch me if I go to jumpin’ around. I’m dreamin’ of Indians when I do that. And if anything touches me then, I’m liable to grab my knife right in my sleep.”
“Oh, I understand,” said the drummer, clearing his throat. “Yes.”
Steve was whispering delighted oaths to himself, and in his joy applying to the Virginian one unprintable name after another.
We listened again, but now no further words came. Listening very hard, I could half make out the progress of a heavy breathing, and a restless turning I could clearly detect. This was the wretched drummer. He was waiting. But he did not wait long. Again there was a light creak, and after it a light step. He was not even going to put his boots on in the fatal neighborhood of the dreamer. By a happy thought Medicine Bow formed into two lines, making an avenue from the door. And then the commercial traveller forgot his Consumption Killer. He fell heavily over it.
Immediately from th air max 90 e bed the Virginian gave forth a dreadful howl.
And then everything happened at once; and how shall mere words narrate it? The door burst open, and out flew the commercial traveller in his stockings. One hand held a lump of coat and trousers with suspenders dangling, his boots were clutched in the other. The sight of us stopped his flight short. He gazed, the boots fell from his hand; an nike air max 95 d at his profane explosion, Medicine Bow set up a united, unearthly noise and began to play Virginia reel with him. The other occupants of the beds had already sprung out of them, clothed chiefly with their pistols, and ready for war. “What is it?” they demanded. “What is it?”
“Why, I reckon it’s drinks on Steve,” said the Virginian from his bed. And he gave the first broad grin that I had seen from him.
“I’ll set ’em up all night!” Steve shouted, as the reel went on regardless. The drummer was bawling to be allowed to put at least his boots on. “This way, Pard,” was the answer; and another man whirled him round. “This way, Beau!” they called to him; “This way, Budd!” and he was passed like a shuttle-cock down the line. Suddenly the leaders bounded into the sleeping-room. “Feed the machine!” they said. “Feed her!” And seizing the German drummer who sold jewellery, they flung him into the trough of the reel. I saw him go bouncing like an ear of corn to be shelled, and the dance ingulfed him. I saw a Jew sent rattling after him; and next they threw in the railroad employee, and the other Jew; and while I stood mesmerized, my own feet left the earth. I shot from the room and sped like a bobbing cork into this mill race, whirling my turn in the wake of the others amid cries of, “Here comes the Prince of Wales!” There was soon not much English left about my raiment.
They were now shouting for music. Medicine Bow swept in like a cloud of dust to where a fiddler sat playing in a hall; and gathering up fiddler and dancers, swept out again, a larger Medicine Bow, growing all the while. Steve offered us the freedom of the house, everywhere. He implored us to call for whatever pleased us, and as many times as we should please. He ordered the town to be searched for more citizens to come and help him pay his bet. But changing his mind, kegs and bottles were now carried along with us. We had found three fiddlers, and these played busily for us; and thus we set out to visit all cabins and houses where people might still by some miracle be asleep. The first man put out his head to decline. But such a possibility had been foreseen by the proprietor of the store. This seemingly respectable man now came dragging some sort of apparatus from his place, helped by the Virginian. The cow-boys cheered, for they knew what this was. The man in his window likewise recognized it, and uttering a groan, came immediately out and joined us. What it was, I also learned in a few minutes. For we found a house where the people made no sign at either our fiddlers or our knocking. And then the infernal machine was set to work. Its parts seemed to be no more than an empty keg and a plank. Some citizen informed me that I should soon have a new idea of noise; and I nerved myself for something severe in the way of gunpowd nike air max sale er. But the Virginian and the proprietor now sat on the ground holding the keg braced, and two others got down apparently to play see-saw over the top of it with the plank. But the keg and plank had been rubbed with rosin, and they drew the plank back and forth over the keg. Do you know the sound made in a narrow street by a dray loaded with strips of iron? That noise is a lullaby compared with the staggering, blinding bellow which rose from the keg. If you were to try it in your native town, you would not merely be arrested, you would be hanged, a nike air max 90 nd everybody would be glad, and the clergyman would not bury you. My head, my teeth, the whole system of my bones leaped and chattered at the din, and out of the house like drops squirted from a lemon came a man and his wife. No time was given them. They were swept along with the rest; and having been routed from their own bed, they now became most furious in assailing the remaining homes of Medicine Bow. Everybody was to come out. Many were now riding horses at top speed out into the plains and back, while the procession of the plank and keg continued its work, and the fiddlers played incessantly.
Suddenly there was a quiet. I did not see who brought the message; but the word ran among us that there was a woman–the engineer’s woman down by the water-tank–very sick. The doctor had been to see her from Laramie. Everybody liked the engineer. Plank and keg were heard no more. The horsemen found it out and restrained their gambols. Medicine Bow went gradually home. I saw doors shutting, and lights go out; I saw a late few reassemble at the card tables, and the drummers gathered themselves toget nike air max 90 sale her for sleep; the proprietor of the store (you could not see a more respectable-looking person) hoped that I would be comfortable on the quilts; and I heard Steve urging the Virginian to take one more glass.
“We’ve not met for so long,” he said.
But the Virginian, the black-headed guy who had set all this nonsense going, said No to Steve. “I have got to stay responsible,” was his excuse to his friend. And the friend looked at me. Therefore I surmised that the Judge’s trustworthy man found me an embarrassment to his holiday. But if he did, he cheap nike air max never showed it to me. He had been sent to meet a stranger and drive him to Sunk Creek in safety, and this charge he would allow no temptation to imperil. He nodded good night to me. “If there’s anything I can do for yu’, you’ll tell me.”
I thanked him. “What a pleasant evening!” I added.
“I’m glad yu’ found it so.”
Again his manner put a bar to my approaches. Even though I had seen him wildly disporting himself, those were matters which he chose not to discuss with me.
Medicine Bow was quiet as I went my way to my quilts. So still, that through the air the deep whistles of the freight trains came from below the horizon across great miles of silence. I passed cow-boys, whom half an hour before I had seen prancing and roaring, now rolled in their blankets beneath the open and shining night.
“What world am I in?” I said aloud. “Does this same planet hold Fifth Avenue?”
And I went to sleep, pondering over my native land.
Chapter 4 Deep Into Cattle Land
Morning had been for some while astir in Medicine Bow before I left my quilts. The new day and its doings began around me in th cheap nike air max e store, chiefly at the grocery counter. Dry-goods were not in great request. The early rising cow-boys were off again to their work; and those to whom their night’s holiday had left any dollars were spending these for tobacco, or cartridges, or canned provisions for the journey to their distant camps. Sardines were called for, and potted chicken, and devilled ham: a sophisticated nourishment, at first sight, for these sons of the sage-brush. But portable ready-made food plays of necessity a great part in the openin nike air max classic g of a new country. These picnic pots and cans were the first of her trophies that Civilization dropped upon Wyoming’s virgin soil. The cow-boy is now gone to worlds invisible; the wind has blown away the white ashes of his camp-fires; but the empty sardine box lies rusting over the face of the Western earth.
So through my eyes half closed I watched the sale of these tins, and grew familiar with the ham’s inevitable trademark–that label with the devil and his horns and hoofs and tail very pronounced, all colored a sultry prodigious scarlet. And when each horseman had made his purchase, he would trail his spurs over the floor, and presently the sound of his horse’s hoofs would be the last of him. Through my dozing attention came various fragments of talk, and sometimes useful bits of knowledge. For instance, I learned the true value of tomatoes in this country. One fellow was buying two cans of them.
“Meadow Creek dry already?” commented the proprietor.
“Been dry ten days,” the young cow-boy informed him. And it appeared that al cheap nike air max trainers ong the road he was going, water would not be reached much before sundown, because this Meadow Creek had ceased to run. His tomatoes were for drink. And thus they have refreshed me many times since.
“No beer?” suggested the proprietor.
The boy made a shuddering face. “Don’t say its name to me!” he exclaimed. “I couldn’t hold my breakfast down.” He rang his silver money upon the counter. “I’ve swore off for three m nike air max onths,” he stated. “I’m going to be as pure as the snow!” And away he went jingling out of the door, to ride seventy-five miles. Three more months of hard, unsheltered work, and he would ride into town again, with his adolescent blood crying aloud for its own.
“I’m obliged,” said a new voice, rousing me from a new doze. “She’s easier this morning, since the medicine.” This was the engineer, whose sick wife had brought a hush over Medicine Bow’s rioting. “I’ll give her them flowers soon as she wakes,” he added.
“Flowers?” repeated the proprietor.
“You didn’t leave that bunch at our door?”
“Wish I’d thought to do it.” ③

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