Octavia and I said we simply longed to see him, and Nelson, who had been talking to Lola (I have not said much of Lola, because she is really so in love with her husband she is not a great deal of use to other people), joined in the conversation, and said he had heard “Ruby-Mine-Bill” was expected in the town he (Nelson) had joined us at, and it was possible we might meet him at the next station where the trains would pass each other. We were thrilled, and crowded into the observation veranda as we got near, on the chance of catching a glimpse of him. We drew up on a rough track; it is a sort of junction with several lines, and the train from Osages was drawn up on the one farthest off, and both the Senator and Nelson exclaimed, because on its observation car there he was.
They shouted out, “Say, Bill, is that you?” And from among the four or five men who were leaning over the balcony one who looked like a respectable country piano tuner, or a plumber out for Sunday, called out, “You bet!” and began to come down the steps.
“Move along, Bill, and be introduced to some English ladies,” the Senator said; so with an easy slogging stride he came over, and the Senator presented him to us. He had a moustache and was most mild looking and about thirty-four. He was dressed in ordinary clothes, with a bowler hat, only no waistcoat, and a great leather belt round his waist. He expressed himself as proud to meet us, and when he heard I was married, too, his eyebrows went up in the most comic way. “Guess they pair in the kid pens over there,” he said! He was standing below us on the track, with his hands in both his trouser pockets, while he looked up at us with gentle grey eyes.
“Will you show our ladies how you can shoot, Bill?” the Senator asked, and Octavia and I implored him to be kind and do so. “Runs rather fine,” he said, spitting slowly to some distance; “reckon she’s about levantin, but I never refuse ladies’ requests.” Nelson had rushed to the dining saloon and was back as he spoke with two empty bottles. “Bill’s” train was just going to move, already making groaning noises. He put his hand under his coat in a leisurely way and pulled out his “gun” (you can be arrested immediately for wearing one concealed)! Then his train gave a snort and got slowly in motion, so he was obliged to run. He turned his head over his shoulders and looked back as Nelson flung one bottle in the air—bang! It went into atoms on the ground, and then, as he had almost reached the steps, running at full speed now, the Senator flung the other. It was high up, the most difficult shot even facing it, but tearing as fast as one could in the opposite direction to jump on to a moving train, it was a rather remarkable feat to be able to hit it, with just a glance backwards, wasn’t it, Mamma?! And no wonder people don’t care to “run up against him!” As the scraps of the bottle fell, he bounded on the steps and was dragged in by