Nancy MacIntyre eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 45 pages of information about Nancy MacIntyre.

33

“I wish I could go and find her,
  But ’twould be too hot for me;
Long before I got back that fur
  I’d be strung up to a tree. 
So I’ve been a kind o’ thinkin’,
  Since I see what’s both’rin’ you,
’Bout a thing—­I hate to ask it—­
  That I’d like for you to do. 
I don’t think that girl has ever—­
  It sure hurts me, what I say—­
But I’m sure that in the scrimmage
  Nancy never got away. 
Billy, you go back and find her;
  You are all I’ve got to send,
You can sort o’ fix things decent,
  Where she is—­in Old Man’s Bend.”

THE RETURN

1

Every life is but a journey—­
  Trav’ling on from place to place—­
Starting from the point God gave us
  With an ever-varying pace. 
Outward, onward, spurred by motives
  In our wand’rings here and there,
Sometimes led by hope alluring,
  Sometimes halted by despair;
But the life that travels farthest
  On that deeper strength depends,
For with love, there is no turning;
  When love dies the journey ends.

2

Back across the broken foothills,
  With a courage none can feel
Till the burning pangs of sorrow
  Turn the heart-strings into steel;
Back across the winter’s playground,
  Tracing out the paths he trod,
With each muttered execration
  Ending in a prayer to God. 
Blasts that howled with fiendish laughter,
  By their loud derisive cry
Seemed to mock his labored progress
  As they passed him swiftly by;
Icy, blizzard-driven snowflakes
  Into ghost-like fancies whirled,
Painting on the barren canvas,
  Gaunt Death battling for the world.

3

Back across the snow-strewn desert,
  Fighting famine face to face,
Trusting to his horse to take him
  To each former camping place. 
Once Zeb stopped beside a snowdrift
  With a loud and startling neigh;
Tried to tell his half-dazed master
  Where his mate, old Simon, lay. 
Pressing on, he reached the border
  Of Nebraska’s whitened plain,
Where his mind in maudlin fancies
  Yielded to the bitter strain,
As he saw far in the distance,
  Like a battered mast at sea,
Once again the twisted branches
  Of the lone and friendly tree.

[Illustration:  “Once again the twisted branches Of the lone and friendly tree.”]

4

“Git up, Zeb.  Come, see!  She’s waving! 
  Waving there for you and me. 
See her there, so white and pretty,
  Standing by our friend, the tree! 
Quit that stumbling!  Now then, streak it! 
  Hit the gait you used to do
When we hired out for the round up
  And you beat the first one through. 
There she is!  There’s where I saw her
  When we stayed there all that night;
Though ’twas dark, I saw her riding,
  By those flashing threads of light;
She’s been waiting!  Oh, I left her
  In this awful lonely place! 
God forgive me!  Nancy! hear me! 
  Oh, that face—­that poor white face!”

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Nancy MacIntyre from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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