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Twombley’s Tale
by [?]

My name is Twombley, G.O.P. Twombley is my full name and I have had a checkered career. I thought it would be best to have my career checked right through, so I did so.

My home is in the Wasatch Mountains. Far up, where I can see the long, green, winding valley of the Jordan, like a glorious panorama below me, I dwell. I keep a large herd of Angora goats. That is my business. The Angora goat is a beautiful animal–in a picture. But out of a picture he has a style of perspiration that invites adverse criticism.

Still, it is an independent life, and one that has its advantages, too.

When I first came to Utah, I saw one day, in Salt Lake City, a young girl arrive. She was in the heyday of life, but she couldn’t talk our language. Her face was oval; rather longer than it was wide, I noticed, and, though she was still young, there were traces of care and other foreign substances plainly written there.

She was an emigrant, about seventeen years of age, and, though she had been in Salt Lake City an hour and a half, she was still unmarried.

She was about the medium height, with blue eyes, that somehow, as you examined them carefully in the full, ruddy light of a glorious September afternoon, seemed to resemble each other. Both of them were that way,

I know not what gave me the courage, but I stepped to her side, and in a low voice told her of my love and asked her to be mine.

She looked askance at me. Nobody ever did that to me before and lived to tell the tale. But her sex made me overlook it. Had she been any other sex that I can think of, I would have resented it. But I would not strike a woman, especially when I had not been married to her and had no right to do so.

I turned on my heel and I went away. I most always turn on my heel when I go away. If I did not turn on my own heel when I went away, whose heel would a lonely man like me turn upon?

Years rolled by. I did nothing to prevent it. Still that face came to me in my lonely hut far up in the mountains. That look still rankled in my memory. Before that my memory had been all right. Nothing had ever rankled in it very much. Let the careless reader who never had his memory rankle in hot weather, pass this by. This story is not for him.

After our first conversation we did not meet again for three years, and then by the merest accident. I had been out for a whole afternoon, hunting an elderly goat that had grown childish and irresponsible. He had wandered away, and for several days I had been unable to find him. So I sought for him till darkness found me several miles from my cabin. I realized at once that I must hurry back, or lose my way and spend the night in the mountains. The darkness became more rapidly obvious. My way became more and more uncertain.

Finally I fell down an old prospect shaft. I then resolved to remain where I was until I could decide what was best to be done. If I had known that the prospect shaft was there, I would have gone another way. There was another way that I could have gone, but it did not occur to me until too late.

I hated to spend the next few weeks in the shaft, for I had not locked up my cabin when I left it, and I feared that someone might get in while I was absent and play on the piano. I had also set a batch of bread and two hens that morning, and all of these would be in sad knead of me before I could get my business into such shape that I could return.