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A Wolfville Thanksgiving
by [?]

It was in the earlier days of autumn. Summer had gone, and there was already a crisp sentiment of coming cold in the air. The Old Cattleman and I had given way to a taste for pedestrianism that had lain dormant through the hot months. It was at the close of our walk, and we were slowly making our way homeward.

“An’ now the year’s got into what hoss-folks calls the last quarter,” remarked the old gentleman musingly. “You can feel the frost in the atmosphere; you can see where it’s bit the leaves a lot, an’ some of ’em’s pale with the pain, an’ others is blood-red from the wound. “Which I don’t regard winter much, say twenty years ago. Thar’s many a night when I spreads my blankets in the Colorado hills, flakes of snow a-fallin’ as soft an’ big an’ white as a woman’s hand, an’ never heeds ’em a little bit. But them days is gone. Thar’s no roof needed in my destinies then. An’ as for bed, a slicker an’ a pair of hobbles is sumptuous.

“When a gent rounds up seventy years he’s mighty likely to get a heap interested in weather. It’s the heel of the hunt with him then, an’ he’s worn an’ tired, and turns nacherally to rest an’ fire.”

We plodded forward as he talked. To his sage comments on the seasons, and as well the old age of men, I offered nothing. My silence, however, seemed always to meet with his tacit approval; nor did he allow it to impede his conversational flow.

“Well,” observed the old fellow, after a pause, “I reckons I’ll see the winter through all right; likewise the fall. I’m a mighty sight like that old longhorn who allows he’s allers noticed if he lives through the month of March he lives through the rest of the year; so I figgers I’ll hold together that a-way ontil shorely March comin’. Anyhow I regards it as an even break I does.

“Thar’s one thing about fall an’ winter which removes the dreariness some. I alloods to them festivals sech as Thanksgivin’ an’ Christmas an’ New Year. Do we-alls cel’brate these yere events in Wolfville? Which we shorely does. Take Christmas: You-all couldn’t find a sober gent in Wolfville on that holy occasion with a search-warrant; the feelin’ to cel’brate is that wide-spread an’ fervid.

“Thanksgivin’ ain’t so much lotted on; which for one thing we frequent forgets it arrives that a-way. Thar’s once, though, when we takes note of its approach, an’ nacherally, bein’ organized, we ketches it squar’ in the door. Them Thanksgivin’ doin’s is shorely great festivities that time. It’s certainly a whirl.

“Old Man Enright makes the first break; he sorter arranges the game. But before all is over, the food we eats, the whiskey we drinks, an’ the lies we tells an’ listens to, is a shock an’ a shame to Arizona.

“Thar’s a passel of us prowlin’ ’round in the Red Light one day, when along comes Enright. He’s got a paper in his hand, an’ from the air he assooms it’s shore plain he’s on the brink of somethin’.

“‘What I’m thinkin’ of, gents, is this,’ says Enright, final. ‘I observes to-morrow to be Thanksgivin’ by this yere paper Old Monte packs in from Tucson. The Great Father sets to-morrow for a national blow-out, a-puttin’ of it in his message on the broad ground that everybody’s lucky who escapes death. Now, the question is, be we in this? an’ if so, what form the saturnalia takes?’

What’s the matter of us hoppin’ over an’ shootin’ up Red Dog?” says Dan Boggs. ‘That bunch of tarrapins ain’t been shook up none for three months.’

“‘Technical speakin’,’ says Doc Peets–which Peets, he shorely is the longest-headed sharp I ever sees, an’ the galiest–‘shootin’ up Red Dog, while it’s all right as a prop’sition an’ highly creditable to Boggs, is not a Thanksgivin’ play. The game, turned strict, confines itse’f to eatin’, drinkin’, an’ lyin’.’