The Girl at the Halfway House eBook

Emerson Hough
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 321 pages of information about The Girl at the Halfway House.

They pushed into the remaining room.  “Auntie went away,” said the tall and white-faced figure, shuddering and shivering.  “She went away into her room.  We could not find the fence any more.  Uncle, is it you?  Come!” So they came to the bedside and saw Mrs. Buford lying covered with all her own clothing and much of that of Mary Ellen and Aunt Lucy, but with no robe; for the buffalo robes had all gone with the wagon, as was right, though unavailing.  Under this covering, heaped up, though insufficient, lay Mrs. Buford, her face white and still and marble-cold.  They found her with the picture of her husband clasped upon her breast.

“She went away!” sobbed Mary Ellen, leaning her head upon Franklin’s shoulder and still under the hallucination of the fright and strain and suffering.  She seemed scarce to understand that which lay before them, but continued to wander, babbling, shivering, as her arms lay on Franklin’s shoulder.  “We could not keep her warm,” she said.  “It has been very, very cold!”



In the early days of Ellisville society was alike in costume and custom, and as unsuspicious as it would have been intolerant of any idea of rank or class.  A “beef” was a beef, and worth eight dollars.  A man was a man, worth as much as his neighbour, and no more.  Each man mended his own saddle.  Thus society remained until there ensued that natural division which has been earlier mentioned, by which there became established two groups or classes—­the dwellers in the Cottage and the dwellers in the Stone Hotel.  This was at first a matter of choice, and carried no idea of rank or class distinction,

For a brief time there might have been found support for that ideally inaccurate statement of our Constitution which holds that all men are born free and equal, entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  With all our might we belie this clause, though in the time of Ellisville it might have had some footing.  That day has long since passed.

The men of the Cottage Hotel continued big, brown, bespurred and behatted, yet it might have been observed that the tenantry of the Stone Hotel became gradually less sunburned and more immaculate.  Mustaches swept not so sunburned, blonde and wide, but became in the average darker and more trim.  At the door of the dining-room there were hat racks, and in time they held “hard hats.”  The stamping of the social die had begun its work.  Indeed, after a time there came to be in the great dining-room of the Stone Hotel little groups bounded by unseen but impassable lines.  The bankers and the loan agents sat at the head of the hall, and to them drifted naturally the ministers, ever in search of pillars.  Lawyers and doctors sat adjacent thereunto, and merchants not far away.  There was yet no shrug at the artisan, yet the invisible

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The Girl at the Halfway House from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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