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One afternoon in July, 1869, I was seated at my desk in Locock's law-office in the town of Kiota, Kansas. I had landed in New York from Liverpool nearly a year before, and had drifted westwards seeking in vain for some steady employment. Lawyer Locock, however, had promised to let me study law with him, and to give me a few dollars a month besides, for my services as a clerk. I was fairly satisfied with the prospect, and the little town... more...

INTRODUCTION This book has grown out of a series of articles contributed to "The Saturday Review" some ten or twelve years ago. As they appeared they were talked of and criticized in the usual way; a minority of readers thought "the stuff" interesting; many held that my view of Shakespeare was purely arbitrary; others said I had used a concordance to such purpose that out of the mass of words I had managed, by virtue of some unknown formula, to... more...

The habits of the Gulmore household were in some respects primitive. Though it was not yet seven o'clock two negro girls were clearing away the breakfast things under the minute supervision of their mistress, an angular, sharp-faced woman with a reedy voice, and nervously abrupt movements. Near the table sat a girl of nineteen absorbed in a book. In an easy-chair by the open bay-window a man with a cigar in his mouth was reading a newspaper.... more...

ELDER CONKLIN. As soon as the Elder left the supper-table his daughter and the new schoolmaster went out on the stoop or verandah which ran round the frame-house. The day had been warm, but the chilliness of the evening air betokened the near approach of the Indian summer. The house stood upon the crest of what had been a roll in the prairie, and as the two leant together on the railing of the stoop, they looked out over a small orchard of... more...

As soon as the Elder left the supper-table his daughter and the new schoolmaster went out on the stoop or verandah which ran round the frame-house. The day had been warm, but the chilliness of the evening air betokened the near approach of the Indian summer. The house stood upon the crest of what had been a roll in the prairie, and as the two leant together on the railing of the stoop, they looked out over a small orchard of peach-trees to where,... more...

EATIN' CROW. The evening on which Charley Muirhead made his first appearance at Doolan's was a memorable one; the camp was in wonderful spirits. Whitman was said to have struck it rich. Garotte, therefore, might yet become popular in the larger world, and its evil reputation be removed. Besides, what Whitman had done any one might do, for by common consent he was a "derned fool." Good-humour accordingly reigned at Doolan's, and the saloon was... more...

"I call it real good of you, Mr. Letgood, to come and see me. Won't you be seated?" "Thank you. It's very warm to-day; and as I didn't feel like reading or writing, I thought I'd come round." "You're just too kind for anythin'! To come an' pay me a visit when you must be tired out with yesterday's preachin'. An' what a sermon you gave us in the mornin'—it was too sweet. I had to wink my eyes pretty hard, an' pull the tears down the back... more...