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oking for you.”
“I’ve been over watching the ranger examinations at their headquarters,” said Bob. “It’s pretty good fun.”
Baker leaned forward.
“Have you heard the latest dope?” he demanded.
“What sort?”
“They’re trying to soak us, now. Want to charge us so much per horse power! Now _what_ do you think of that!”
“Can’t you pay it?” asked Bob.
“Great guns! Why _should_ we pay it?” demanded Baker. “It’s th Nike Air Max 1 e public domain, isn’t it? First they take away the settler’s right to take up public land in his own state, and now they want to _charge_, actually _charge_ the public for what’s its own.”
But Bob, a new light shining in nike air max his eyes, refused to become heated.
“Well,” he asked deliberately, “who _is_ the public, anyhow?”
Baker stared at him, one chubby hand on each fat knee.
“Why, everybody,” said he; “the people w nike air max 90 sale ho can make use of it. You and I and the other fellow.”
“Especially the other fellow,” put in Bob drily.
Baker chuckled.
“It’s like any business,” said he. “First-come collect at the ticket office for his business foresight. But we’ll try out this hold-up before we lie down and roll over.”
“Why shouldn’t you pay?” demanded Bob again. “You get your value, don’t you? The Forest Service protects your watershed, and that’s where you get your water. Why shouldn’t you pay for that service, just the same as you pay for a night watchman at your works?”
“Watershed!” snorted Baker. “Rot! If every stick of timber was cleaned off these mountains, I’d get the water just the same.”[A]
“Baker,” said Bob to this. “You go and take a long, long look at your bathroom sponge in action, and then come back and I’ll talk to you.”
Baker contempl nike air max 90 ated his friend for a full ten seconds. Then his fat, pugnacious face wrinkled into a grin.
“Stung on the ear by a wasp!” he cried, with a great shout of appreciation. “You merry, merry little josher! You had me going for about five minutes.”
Bob let it go at that.
“I su nike air max 95 ppose you won’t be able to pay over twenty per cent. this next year, then?” he inquired, with an amused expression.
“Twenty per cent.!” cried Baker rolling his eyes up. “It’s as much as I can do to dig up for improvements and bond interest and the preferred.”
“Not to mention the president’s salary,” amended Bob.
“But I’ve got ’em where they live,” went on Baker, complacently, without nike air max 1 attention to this. “You don’t catch Little Willie scattering shekels when he can just as well keep kopecks. They’ve left a little joker in the pack.” He produced a paper-cove Air Max 1 red copy of the new regulations, later called the Use Book. “They’ve swiped about everything in sight for these pestiferous reserves, but they encourage the honest prospector. ‘Let us develop the mineral wealth,’ says they. So these forests are still open for taking up under the mineral act. All you have to do is to make a ‘discovery,’ and stake out your claim; and there you are!”
“All the mineral’s been taken up long ago,” Bob pointed out.
“All the valuable mineral,” corrected Baker. “But it’s sufficient, so Erbe tells me, to discover a ledge. Le nike air max sale dges? Hell! They’re easier to find than an old maid at a sewing circle! That’s what the country is made of–ledges! You can dig one out every ten feet. Well, I’ve got people out finding ledges, and filing on them.”
“Can you do that?” asked Bob.
“I am doing it.”
“I mean legally.”
“Oh, this bunch of prospectors files on the claims, and gets them patented. Then it’s nobody’s business what they do with their own property. So they just sell it to me.”
“That’s colonizing,” objected Bob. “You’ll get nailed.”
“Not on your tintype, it isn’t. I don’t furnish a cent. They do it all on their own money. Oldham’s got the whole Cheap Nike Air Max 1 matter in hand. When we get the deal through, we’ll have about two hundred thousand acres all around the head-waters; and then these blood-sucking, red-tape, autocratic slobs can go to thunder.”
Baker leaned forward impressively.
“Got to spring it all at once,” said he, “otherwise there’ll be outsiders in, thinking there’s a strike been made–also they’ll get inquisitive. It’s a great chance. And, Or nike air max classic de, my son, there’s a few claims up there that will assay about sixty thousand board feet to the acre. What do you think of it for a young and active lumberman? I’m going to talk it over with Welton. It’s a grand little scheme. Wonder how that will hit our old friend, Thorne?”
Bob rose yawning.
“I’m tired. Going to turn in,” said he. “Thorne isn’t a bad sort.”
“He’s one of these damn theorists, that’s what he is,” said Baker; “and he’s got a little authority, and he’s doing just as much as he can to unsettle business and hinder the legitimate development of the country.” He relaxed his earnestness with another grin. “Stung again. That’s two rises you got out of me,” he remarked. “Say, Orde, don’t get persuaded to turn ranger. I hear they’ve boosted their salaries to ninety a month. Must be a tempta cheap nike air max tion!”

[Footnote A: Extraordinary as it may seem to the modern reader, this sentiment–or this ignorance–was at that time sincerely entertained by men as influential, as powerful, and as closely interested in water power as Baker is here depicted.]
Part 4 Chapter 6
Bob arose rather early the following Sunday, snatched a hasty breakfast and departed. Baker had been in camp three days. All at once Bob had taken the young man in strong distaste. Baker amused him, commanded his admiration for undoubted executive ability and a force of character so dynamic as to be almost brutal. In a more social environment Bob would still have found him a mighty pleasant fellow, generous, open-hearted, and loyal to his personal friends. But just now his methods chafed on the sensitiveness cheap nike air max trainers of Bob’s new unrest. Baker was worth probably a couple of million dollars, and controlled ten times that. He had now a fine house in Fremont, where he had chosen to live, a pretty wife, two attractive children and a wide circle of friends. Life was very good to him.
And yet, in the perversity and the clairvoyance of his mood, Bob thought to see in Baker’s life something of that same emptiness of final achievement he faced in his own. This was absurd, but the feeling of it persisted. Thorne, with his miserable eighteen hundred a year, and his glowing enthusiasm and quick interest seemed to him more worth while. Why? It was absurd; but this feeling, too, persisted.
Bob was a healthy young fellow, a man of action rather than cheap nike air max of introspection, but now the hereditary twist of his character drove him to attempt analysis. He arrived at nothing. Both Baker and Thorne seemed to stand on one ground–each was satisfied, neither felt that lack of

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