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good fellows, and see the joke, and jolly things up; but they somehow don’t amount to much.”
“Wouldn’t think much of the scheme of trying Baker as woods foreman up in our timber, then?” suggested Welt nike air max 90 on.
“Him? Lord, no!” said Bob, surprised.
Welton threw back his head and laughed heartily, in great salvos.
“Ho! ho! ho!” he shouted. “Oh, Bobby, I wish any old Native Son could be here to enjoy this joke with me. Ho! ho! ho! ho!”
The coloured porter stuck his head in to see what this tremendous rolling noise might be, grinned sympathetically, and withdrew.
“What’s the matter with you!” cried Bob, exasperated. “Shut up, and be sensible.”
Welton wiped his eyes.
“That, son, is Carleton P. Baker. Just say Carleton P. Baker to a Californian.”
“Well, I can’t, for four days, anyway. Who is he?”
“Didn’t find out from him, for all his talk, did you?” said Welton shrewdly. “Well, Baker, as he told you, graduated from college in ’93. He came to California with about two thousand dollars of capital and no experience. He had the sense nike air max 1 to go in for water rights, and here he is!”
“Marvellous!” cried Bob sarcastically. “But what is he now that he is here?”
“Head of three of the biggest power projects in California,” said Welton impressively, “and controller of more potential water power than any other man or corporation in the state.”
Welton enjoyed his joke hugely. After Bob had turned in, the big man parted the curtains to his berth.
“Oh, Bob,” he called guardedly.
“What!” grunted the young man, half-asleep.
“Who Nike Outlet do you think we’d better get for woods foreman just _in case_ Baker shouldn’t take the job?”
Part 2 Chapter 2
All next day the train puffed over the snow-blown plains. There was little in the prospect, save an inspiration to thankfulness that the cars were warm and comfortable. Bob and Welton spent the morning going over their plans for the ne nike air max classic w country. After lunch, which in the manner of trans-continental travellers they stretched over as long a period as possible, they again repaired to the smoking car. Baker hailed them jovially, waving a stubby forefinger at vacant seats.
“Say, do Populists grow whiskers, or do whiskers make Populists?” he demand cheap nike air max ed.
“Give it up,” replied Welton promptly. “Why?”
“Because if whiskers make Populists, I don’t blame this state for going Pop. A fellow’d have to grow some kind of natural chest protector in self-defence. Look at that snow! And thirty dollars will take you out where there’s none of it, and the soil’s better, and you can see something around you besides fresh air. Why, any one of these poor pinhead farmers could come out our way, get twenty acres of irrigated land, and in five y nike outlet store ears–”
“Hold on!” cried Bob, “you ha nike air max 95 ven’t by any chance some of that real estate for sale–or a sandbag?”
Baker laughed.
“Everybody gets that way,” said he. “I’ll bet the first five men you meet will fill you up on statistics.”
He knew the country well, and pointed out in turn the first low rises of the prairie swell, and the distant Rockies like a faint blue and white cloud close down along the horizon. Bob had never seen any real mountains before, and so was much interested. The train laboured up the grades, steep to the engine, but insignificant to the eye; it passed through the canons to the broad central plateau. The country was broken and strange, with its wide, free sweeps, its sage brush, its stunted trees, but it was not mountainous as Bob had conceived mountains. Baker grinned at him.
“Snowclad peaks not up to specifications?” he inquired. “Chromos nike air max sale much better? Mountain grandeur somewhat on the blink? Where’d you expect them to put a railroa d–out where the scenery is? Never mind. Wait till you slide off ‘Cape Horn’ into California.”
The cold weather followed them to the top of the Sierras. Snow, dull clouds, mists and cold enveloped the train. Miles of snowsheds necessitated keeping the artificial light burning even at midday. Winter held them in its grip.
Then one morning they rounded the bold corner of a high mountain. Far below them dropped away the lesser peaks, down a breathless descent. And from beneath, so distant as to draw over themselves a tender veil of pearl gray, flowed out foothills and green plains. The engine coughed, shut off the roar of her exhaust. The train glided silently forward.
“Now come to the rear platform,” Baker advised.
They sat in the cheap nike air max trainers open air while the train rushed downward. From the great drifts they ran to the soft, melting snow, then to the mud and freshness of early spring. Small boys crowded early wild-flowers on them whenever they stopped at the small towns built on the red clay. The air became indescribably soft and balmy, full of a gentle caress. At the next station the childr nike air max 90 sale en brought oranges. A little farther the foothill ranches began to show the brightness of flowers. The most dilapidated hovel was glorified by splendid sprays of red roses big as cabbages. Dooryards of the tiniest shacks blazed with red and yellow. Trees and plants new to Bob’s experience and strangely and delightfully exotic in suggestion began to usurp the landscape. To the far Northerner, brought up in only a common-school knowledge of olive trees, palms, eucalyptus, oranges, banana trees, pomegranates and the or Nike Outlet UK dinary semi-tropical fruits, there is something delightful and wonderful in the first sight of them living and flourishing in the open. When closer investigation reveals a whole series of which he probably does not remember ever to have heard, he feels indeed an explorer in a new and wonderful land. After a few months these things become old stories. They take their places in his cosmos as accustomed things. He is then at some pains to understand his visitor’s extravagant interest and delight over loquats, chiramoyas, alligator pears, tamarinds, guavas, the blooming of century plants, the fruits of chollas and the like. Baker pointed out some of these things to Bob.
“Winter to summer in two jumps and a hop,” said he. “The come-on stuff rings the bell in this respect, anyway. Smell the air: it’s real air. ‘Listen to the mocking bird.'”
“Seriously or figuratively?” asked Bob. “I mean, is that a real mocking bird?”
“Surest thing you know,” replied Baker as the train moved on, leaving the songster to his ecstasies. “They sing all ni cheap nike air max ght out here. Sounds fine when you haven’t a grouch. Then you want to collect a brick and drive the darn fowl off the reservation.”
“I never saw one before outside a cage,” said Bob.
“There’s lots of things you haven’t seen that you’re going to see, now you’ve got out to the Real Thing,” said Baker. “Why, right in your own line: you don’t know what big pine is. Wait till you see the woods out here. We’ve got the b nike air max iggest trees, and the biggest mountains, and the biggest crops and the biggest–.”
“Liars,” broke in Bob, laughing. “Don’t forget them.”
“Yes, the biggest liars, too,” agreed Baker. “A man’s got to lie big out here to keep in practice so he can tell the plain truth without straining himself.”
Before they changed cars to the Valley line, Baker had a suggestion to make.
“Look here,” said he, “why _don’t_ you come and look at the tall buildings? You can’t do anything in the mountains yet, and when you get going you’ll be too busy to see California. Come, make a pasear. Glad to show you the sights. Get reckless. Take a chance. Pe

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