By Elia Wilkinson Peattie
Elia Wilkinson Peattie was once a prolific fiction author who targeted her reviews as a girl within the West in dozens of essays, brief tales, and novels. In "A Mountain Woman," Peattie offers us the pleasing story of a worldly long island urban architect who marries a country yet eminently sensible girl from the mountains of Colorado and brings her again to the East to mingle with excessive society. [C:\Users\Microsoft\Documents\Calibre Library]
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Of course the rest of the evening was a chaos to him. The throat down which he poured the liquor was as tender as a child's. The men turned his head with their ironical compliments. Their boisterous good-fellowship was as intoxicat- ing to this poor young recluse as the liquor. Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 39 It was the revulsion from this feeling, when he came to a consciousness that the men were laughing at him and not with him, that wrecked his life. He had gone from beer to whiskey, and from whiskey to brandy, by this time, at the suggestion of the men, and was making awkward lunges with a billiard cue, spurred on by the mock- ing applause of the others.
Catherine raised her finger. She could hear Henderson's voice within; it was pitiably querulous. He was half sitting up in his bunk, and Gillispie had just handed him a plate on which two cakes were swim- ming in black molasses and pork gravy. Henderson looked at it a moment; then over his face came a look of utter despair. He dropped his head in his arms and broke into uncontrolled crying. "Oh, my God, Gillispie," he sobbed, "I shall die out here in this wretched hole! I want my mother. " Gillispie, maddened at this anguish, which he could in no way alleviate, sought comfort by first lighting his pipe and then taking his revolver out of his hip-pocket and playing with it.
That is what continually haunts me. If I had been a braver girl, and spoken the words that were in my heart, you would not have gone into that place. You would be innocent to-day. It was I who was responsible for it all. I let father kill your heart right there before me, and never said a word. Yet I knew how it was with you, and -- this is what I ought to have said then, and what I must say now -- and all the time I felt just as you did. I thought I should die when I saw you go away, and knew you would never come back again.
A Mountain Woman by Elia Wilkinson Peattie