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"Ah, it costs too much. And it may not be for us, after all."
"That should not matter. And we are in it now for all we are worth. When a thing like this gets started it runs those who thought to run it. Don't go in yet; it is all quiet in there. You look as if you needed a walk. Take my arm?" "No; people must walk wide apart in this dust."
"Take my hand, then."
"I need both hands for my skirts.” "Fiddlededee your skirts! I never saw a small person so occupied with her clothes. You should wear buckskins, like a little squawsy, and then you could trot alongside and kick up all the dust you pleased." "If I were a squaw I should trot behind." "Not if you were my squaw."
Dolly's chin went up, and she walked wider than ever; but she was no longer quite so melancholy; and presently she began quoting, in a tone of high derision:
"We twa ha'e paidlet i' the burn
And pu'd the gowans fine.
"How Margaret used to love to sing those words to us, who never heard the sound of a burn in all our lives! And she from a country that sang and shouted with water!"
"What does it matter where we do our paddling? It's whom we paddle with. I can fancy just as good paddling in this dust of the plains as in any burn that ever brawled; only I should paddle on horseback, with my squaw on a pony beside me. Come out where we have n't these lines of fence-posts in our faces. Hark! How still it is, after the cañon!" Night was falling, the clear sky of the desert darkening slowly without a cloud. Dew on the pungent sage dampened the dust and gave strength to the air they breathed. A bell-mare hoppled somewhere in the brush clanked flatly as she stepped. Coyotes raved in the far offing like a pack of demented dogs. Against the low, bright west loomed a cowboy shape, enlarging in a spurt of dust that unrolled and drifted to leeward. He veered and passed them afar, and the beat of his horse's hoofs throbbed, fainter and fainter, long after the dust hid him.
"Dolly," said Philip, "don't forget what we are here for: this is the land we are going to reclaim. Can you not fancy it-miles and miles, at sunset, shining with ditches, catching the sky in gleams; and the low houses and the crops, and the dark lines of trees reflected in the water-channels? You will like it when you see it, and I should n't be surprised if you called it home. And if there are no burns, there will be gentle, sober ditches. Our waters shall do their singing and shouting up in the
mountains; they come down here on business. Your burns are nothing but mad children. Ditches are tender, good mothers, taking thought where they go, not ripping and tearing through the land. Oh, you will like it, and one day you will own it for your country. You are a 'bunch-grass belle,' Dolly, however you may boast of your heather."
By the following spring Job had so far recovered from his stroke as to be able to sit in the rude wheeled-chair contrived for him, in front of the cabin in the sunshine, and to watch Margaret digging in the garden, or watering the calves, or hanging out her wash on the lines Job had put up for her in the days of his usefulness. A neighbor had taken the management of the farm "on shares," but, with the chores and the housework and the care of the invalid, Margaret's hands were full. The doctor had said that Job might be with her in his present condition for years, or he might be smitten again without warning, and pass away in a few hours. His speech had not come back, beyond a few drear mutterings intelligible to no one but Margaret. When they were alone she talked to him as a child to her doll, or as a mother to her speechless but sentient infant.
One afternoon, close upon the finish of the cañon work, Dunsmuir sat and talked with Margaret in the door of the claim-cabin, and between them, bolstered in his chair, was that sad effigy of Job. Spring had changed everything since the day of the gray September dust-storm. The little house stood low, on the edge of a rich bottom grown up in wild grass. The willows and cottonwoods had leaves large enough to cast shadows. From the mesa, where Job's main lateral plowed along, the brown, seeded land fell away, like a matronly lap, toward the river. The wheat looked well, considering the unfavorable spring, which is ever the lot of new settlers; but the orchard, planted with trees the size of walking-sticks, was needing water badly. There had been a week of hot, drying winds, most untimely; snow was going fast on the mountains, and the river tumbled by the vivid meadow-grass in a yellow, seething flood.
Dunsmuir praised Margaret's management, and promised her a lot of stuff' for her garden another year. He had grown used to Job's nonentity, and talked across him, cheerfully, as if his chair had been vacant. But Margaret noted every subtle change in the face of her invalid, and whenever a wan, unrestful look of his sought hers, she had always some comforting expedient in reserve.
"I'm charged to tell you," said Dunsmuir,
Terra Sanctæ Crucis upon it, or that he should have varied the Ruysch map, using either the one or the other as a symbol of Columbus the discoverer, has nothing of the improbable about it. To paint what was before one, regardless of chronology or exact historic truth, was the story of all the Renaissance art.
There is no record that Lotto ever was in Spain or ever saw Columbus. Such things were not matters of record. There are only some half-dozen dates in Lotto's whole life, and these come mainly from churches that had paid money for his pictures. From the different towns in which these dates appear it would seem that Lotto was a wanderer over Italy at least. From 1500 to 1503 no one knows where he was. He might have been in Spain, as he was, later on, in Rome and elsewhere. He may have sketched Columbus from life and never finished the picture until 1512. Such things were not infrequent then, nor are they now. It is more likely, however, that Trevisan, the intimate friend of Columbus, who had the elaborate map made for Malipiero, a map so large that he had to take it with him to Venice in his luggage,-also brought with him some sketch or portrait of Columbus as a complement to the map and as
a present to Malipiero. Trevisan's one-sentence description of Columbus prefacing his “Libretto," and reading "Christopher Columbus, a Genoese, high and tall, red, very clever, with a long face," seems insufficient and meaningless unless accompanied by a sketch or portrait of the man. It is not improbable that such a sketch or portrait served as Lotto's model for this larger picture. Lotto was certainly well enough known in 1512 to obtain such an order from Malipiero or Trevisan. Later on his intimate companion, Palma Vecchio, was working for a branch of the Malipiero family; but whether Lotto ever did or did not can only be conjectured.
Such, in brief, is the present evidence for the Lotto Columbus. It is not conclusive, because the portrait has outlived its record, and stands to-day, like many another Renaissance portrait, the sole witness in itself for itself. The type, the costume, the attributes, the circumstances, point toward a likeness of Columbus; that is all. Circumstantial or hearsay evidence is all that has ever been brought forward for any portrait of Columbus, and perhaps it is not too much to say that the evidence for this one is quite as strong as for any other in existence. John C. Van Dyke.
"Western people have a proverbial saying that the blue-grass springs up wherever an Indian has stepped."-J. J. PIATT.
THE CHOSEN VALLEY.'-VI.
BY MARY HALLOCK FOOTE,
Author of "The Led-Horse Claim," "John Bodewin's Testimony," etc.
WITH PICTURE BY THE AUTHOR.
UDE be thankit!" cried Margaret, opening the door to Dunsmuir. "Come awa' in out o' the stour."
Again the dust-wind was raging up the valley, that last day of a pitiless September long remembered, even in a patient land, for its brazen days, and stifling nights, and ceaseless storming winds that brought no rain, but "stour."
Squaw Butte and the War Eagle had not been seen for weeks, so close fell the curtain of smoke from burning forests. Hundreds of acres to the north and east were on fire, turning the sun's light to a ground-glass glare, and troubling the heated atmosphere. The evening before a false wind blew up from the plains; the clouds sulked all night, and promised rain; next day a lurid sun peered forth and vanished. The desert wind arose, and the dust-cloud marched before it, and, as it drew near, fields and fences were blotted out of the landscape, houses looked like stranded hulks, and trees like staggering masts, and which was earth and which sky no eye could distinguish in the yellow darkness.
Dunsmuir had had what Margaret would have called a warning that his errand to the homestead must not wait. He traveled ahead of the storm, which broke upon the ranch at three of the afternoon. He could scarcely see the house from the stacks where he tied his horse. There was neither barn nor stable, no shelter for the few poor cattle, no roof to the well, no porch to the bare, little two-roomed cabin. Yet it was a home, and a great sorrow had come to it. Dunsmuir had no need to ask its nature. That helpless man-shape sunk in a chair, propped back, with a comforter tucked around him, was Job. His feet were in a tub of hot water, which steamed up into his white, drawn face, and eyes of speechless appeal turned from one to the other of the two who looked at him as if he were already not of this world. "When did this happen, poor woman?" said Dunsmuir, giving his sympathy, as we do, to the mourner before the sufferer.
"Deed, I think it's an hour sin' he was taken; but I cannae rightly say, I have been sae crazed wi' the storm an' the heat an' the sair wark o' handlin' him-ma puir mannie!"
The heat was something fearful. The house had been shut tight against the laden gusts, which shook the feeble door, and beat upon the windows, and cast the dust of the valley road upon the roof, like ashes on the head of a mourner. Margaret had crammed the stove with dry sage-stumps in her haste to prepare the foot-bath; she had put mustard into the water, and the odor of it was sickening in the close-shut, reeking room. Her face was purple, shining with tears and perspiration, and twisted with grief. She knelt and lifted the pulseless feet into her lap, and dried them, and cried a little as she showed the towel-one of the fine ones "the child" had given her, with her mother's own maiden name wrought upon it. Dunsmuir helped her get the helpless bulk into a bed, in the other room, which Margaret had hastily spread with clean sheets; and again she could not pass over without calling attention to the comforts Dolly's mindfulness had supplied, so grateful now to her fond, simple heart. It pleased her that Job should lie upon the finest and softest of linen and feathers, provided by her whom they loved as their own child.
"He'll come out of it, Margaret," said Dunsmuir. "I think he knows me." And he went up close to Job, and spoke to him as to a child, asking him the question. They knew not how much of Job was there to hear, even without the power to answer. It were better he should remain without the doors of consciousness, than reënter, to behold the ruin that he was. Job made a feeble motion of his left hand toward the right, which lay as it had fallen when they placed him on his back in the bed. Dunsmuir lifted that awful dead member and laid it across his chest. A look of greater ease crept into the strange, familiar face on the pillow. You know me, Job?" Dunsmuir persisted, in the forlorn attempt to comfort Margaret. "He knows me, see!" Job had fixed his eyes upon Dunsmuir's face with a stare that had something like intelligence in it. His mouth worked, but he could not articulate.
1 Copyright, 1892, by Mary Hallock Foote.
"that we can never do without you in these preparations for the great day. Dolly is in a dozen quandaries, and has no one but men to advise with, and the cooking will all gang agley' without Margaret to superintend; so what's to be done? Cannot we fit up one of the wagons as an ambulance for Job, and move you both, stick an' stow, up to the house till this mummery is over? Job must see the headworks before the gates are shut. Eh, Job?"
Na, na; it's not to be thought on," Margaret interposed.
"Well, then, you must think of some trusty woman with a good skill at the cooking. It is far too much to put upon Jenny and a young mistress like Dolly."
Dunsmuir fell into Margaret's way of speaking, in talking with her since her trouble; it was the expression of his nearness. Every shade of misconception had passed from between them; there was even a greater ease and kindness in Dunsmuir's manner. He was more himself with them at the cabin than with any who knew him, even his daughter. And he was more outspoken with Margaret about his own affairs than he had been while she was one of his household; for now he was freed from her anxious feminine oversight, and from the pressure of one-sided obligations.
"I'll may be no ken the new ways o' the house," said Margaret, ignoring the possibility of another woman," with a' this cum'ersome work going forrit, and the look of everything changed. I hear ye have built a new stable." Nothing of the sort; we have built a bridge from the house to the old stable, to save pulling and hauling across the gulch. There is nothing changed about the house, and the ways are the same ye have known going on for twenty years. Why, Job will be blithe to spare you for a day, with a neighbor body to wait upon him. It is not the work,-we can get hands enough, it is a head that is wanting. There'll be twenty people to luncheon at the house, and tables in the tents for the crowd. Dolly, the child, knows nothing how to provide for such a raff of folk, and my way is a man's way. She would know every detail beforehand, and she is thrifty, and grudges the waste that comes of loose providing."
"Gude save us! and is a' that to come out of the family?
Dunsmuir chuckled over Margaret's prudential alarm. He teased her a while about the expenses of the forthcoming entertainment, and then confessed it was the company's affair.
"But we must do our part, if only for pride's sake."
"And do ye think, now, that it 's worth while?" she shrewdly asked.
"Why, if advertising be worth while-it is
an advertisement of the canal. The manager knows his business. The trouble is, he thinks he knows mine. The water is to be backed against the dam to make a show for the people, when the lake should be a month, at least, filling up. But the powers have ordained that we celebrate."
"And what will they have to their program?"
"It will be a Fourth of July, wanting the powder. The head-works are the 'grand stand' for the principal guests and the speaking. There will be plenty of bunting and brandy and soda; and the city band will be there; and Price Norrisson will address the meeting. And the ladies will cast their bouquets into the canalbed, as the water is turned in,—a marriage, you see, of the river and the ditch,—and my poor girl is to cast the first one
"Eh, sirs! an' will ye allow that, an' before a' that crowd o' strange folk?"
"Well, if the thing must be done, I know no other lady who could be bridesmaid to the ditch unless it's yourself, Margaret. You might do it to spare Dolly; though, as a fact, I think the poor child is pleased. She takes it all in good faith, as she should. It 's only here by ourselves that I dare to sit among the scorners. But the cream of the joke will be Norrisson's oration. He is to father the whole concern. He will give us the progress of Irrigation (with a capital I) in this region, with a history of our own canal, for the benefit of the press reporters. He will spread it from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and by the next steamer's mail to the other side; but there will be a searching of hearts in the audience, I am thinking. There are a few of us who could give him points to help him out with his tale. Here, God pity us! is a weary page of it." Dunsmuir laid his hand on Job's nerveless right arm. "Tons and tons of rock lie bedded in the river that this white, bloodless hand sent smoking down the glen-side. Ay, if we had the rock and the stone piled in one heap that Job has moved off the canal-line, it would build him a cairn fit for a chieftain's monument. Job's hand should have been the first to raise the head-gates; but now the force has gone out of it, and I must take hold beside Norrisson. "Eh, sirs!" cried Margaret, again, all her partizan blood uprising. "And is that, do you think, as it should be, now?"
"It is as it is," said Dunsmuir. "I may let go, if I choose to sulk in public, but Norrisson's fist will remain; it has a healthy grip upon most things. Have you not learned that in this country the engineer is the hireling, not the counselor? It's money that builds here, not brains and education. Norrisson will be the great man of the day. And we that strove mightily shall eat and drink as friends. But you will come,
Margaret, and take a glass with me in silence to the memories we two are left to keep?" "Na, na; I'll drink nae glasses," said Margaret, wiping away a quiet tear that started as he spoke. "Let them eat and drink as maun, to show their gude wull. There's nae need o' that amang friends. But I will come for a day before the day, and gi' ye what help I may." "And will you not come and look on at the feasting? You will never have seen so many people together since you came to the cañon." "Na; a feast is no a feast to me wi'out my auld man is there."
"You speak like yourself," said Dunsmuir. "Well, good-by to you both-honest friends as man ever had in this world. Do you think he follows me, Margaret?" Dunsmuir laid his hand affectionately on Job's as he spoke, and looked long, with a sorrowful questioning, into the dumb-stricken countenance.
"He is there the same as ever," said Margaret.
at the waters of Meribah," said Margaret, solemnly, "for that he smote, and sanctified him not before the people. And do ye mind what was the judgment? Yet shalt thou see the land before thee, but thou shalt not go thither into that land which I give to the children of Israel.'" "Ye are grand at the Scripture, Margaret, but I can cap your judgments with the promise that stands fair for all irrigators of the desert. He that watereth also himself shall be watered.' We make no pretense to be leaders, or lawgivers, or guides to the people in their wanderings."
"Ah, ye are daffin' when ye had far better be prayin'. It disna set wi' my way of thinkin', sic a day o' muckle eatin' an' drinkin', wantin' the thanks due to the giver of a' things. There's a mony mair warnin's than promises in the Scripture set over against that word water. The Lord Almighty makes it his boast that he holds them in his hand. Do ye mind how he answered Job out o' the whirlwind, speerin' whaur was he when the sea brak' forth an' the clouds were its swaddlin' band? He that presumes to know the ordinances of Heaven; that brak's the seal o' the auld, ancient, fearsome waters, to turn them from their given course-he 'll need to mind!"
"Well, can't you give us a better word than that for the last one?" Dunsmuir held out his hand. To his surprise, Margaret was speechless. She wiped her hand hastily on her apron,
"Look out for the water at the ranch to- and gave his a hard, warm squeeze, and then morrow evening, Margaret."
"Gude save us! will it be a' that while on the road?"
"It will, and longer if I had my way of it." "Are ye afeard the banks will not be strong enough to tak' the first flood o''t?" Margaret asked in an anxious whisper. She was already in her place beside the driver on the single seat of the buckboard, having characteristically refused to stay to dinner, or to have dinner earlier, after working like three women since nine o'clock on that toilsome day before the day. Dunsmuir smiled at the precautionary whisper, not to spread her fears.
"There is no first flood in a new canal, woman. It's plain ye were not raised in a canal country. The water creeps in like a baby taking its first steps. It must walk before it can run." "Fair fa' its steps, then," Margaret ejaculated. "But, sirs! it is a fearsome business." She turned her reddened, earnest countenance upon Dunsmuir as he stood smiling, with his foot on the fore wheel, hindering her departure. "What is there fearsome about it? It is an old, respectable business as any on the face of the earth. You may read of its works in your Bible."
"I have read how the Lord proved Moses
broke down completely, and began to weep.
It was partly the sight of the cañon, as she was leaving it, at the hour of its most solemn beauty, for the place was home to her. But Margaret had also a superstitious fear of success coming to one so long out of touch with fortune, to one who claimed so much in the name of his work.
Dolly was late for dinner that evening. "I have something to do to my dress," she whispered to her father aside. "Do you mind that it is a little frock of mama's?"
"Why should I mind? Poor child, with no mother's hands to make her fine!" Dunsmuir drew her to him, pressing her head close to his breast. "Dolly, if ever any one should come, asking questions of you-be slow, be slow to answer him! Remember, a woman's no may be changed to yes; but her yes should be forever. They say he gives twice who gives quickly; it is not so with all giving. A man does not prize a woman's readiness."
"Father!" Dolly exclaimed, looking hurt and frightened.
"I'm not saying that you have been― I'm saying nothing; but for God's sake, know your mind. Tell him no, whoever he may be; tell him no, and no, for as long as you can say it!"