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The Rose Of Tuolumne
by [?]

“Yes, Jack was there,” said Jenny, without change of color, or the least self-consciousness in her great gray eyes; “and he came home with me.” She paused a moment, locking her two hands under her head, and assuming a more comfortable position on the pillow. “He asked me that same question again, father, and I said, ‘Yes.’ It’s to be–soon. We’re going to live at Four Forks, in his own house; and next winter we’re going to Sacramento. I suppose it’s all right, father, eh?” She emphasized the question with a slight kick through the bed-clothes, as the parental McClosky had fallen into an abstract revery.

“Yes, surely,” said Mr. McClosky, recovering himself with some confusion. After a pause, he looked down at the bed-clothes, and, patting them tenderly, continued, “You couldn’t have done better, Jinny. They isn’t a girl in Tuolumne ez could strike it ez rich as you hev–even if they got the chance.” He paused again, and then said, “Jinny?”

“Yes, father.”

“You’se in bed, and ondressed?”


“You couldn’t,” said Mr. McClosky, glancing hopelessly at the two chairs, and slowly rubbing his chin,–“you couldn’t dress yourself again could yer?”

“Why, father!”

“Kinder get yourself into them things again?” he added hastily. “Not all of ’em, you know, but some of ’em. Not if I helped you–sorter stood by, and lent a hand now and then with a strap, or a buckle, or a necktie, or a shoestring?” he continued, still looking at the chairs, and evidently trying to boldly familiarize himself with their contents.

“Are you crazy, father?” demanded Jenny suddenly sitting up with a portentous switch of her yellow mane. Mr. McClosky rubbed one side of his beard, which already had the appearance of having been quite worn away by that process, and faintly dodged the question.

“Jinny,” he said, tenderly stroking the bedclothes as he spoke, “this yer’s what’s the matter. Thar is a stranger down stairs,–a stranger to you, lovey, but a man ez I’ve knowed a long time. He’s been here about an hour; and he’ll be here ontil fower o’clock, when the up-stage passes. Now I wants ye, Jinny dear, to get up and come down stairs, and kinder help me pass the time with him. It’s no use, Jinny,” he went on, gently raising his hand to deprecate any interruption, “it’s no use! He won’t go to bed; he won’t play keerds; whiskey don’t take no effect on him. Ever since I knowed him, he was the most onsatisfactory critter to hev round”–

“What do you have him round for, then?” interrupted Miss Jinny sharply.

Mr. McClosky’s eyes fell. “Ef he hedn’t kem out of his way to-night to do me a good turn, I wouldn’t ask ye, Jinny. I wouldn’t, so help me! But I thought, ez I couldn’t do any thing with him, you might come down, and sorter fetch him, Jinny, as you did the others.”

Miss Jenny shrugged her pretty shoulders.

“Is he old, or young?”

“He’s young enough, Jinny; but he knows a power of things.”

“What does he do?”

“Not much, I reckon. He’s got money in the mill at Four Forks. He travels round a good deal. I’ve heard, Jinny that he’s a poet–writes them rhymes, you know.” Mr. McClosky here appealed submissively but directly to his daughter. He remembered that she had frequently been in receipt of printed elegaic couplets known as “mottoes,” containing enclosures equally saccharine.

Miss Jenny slightly curled her pretty lip. She had that fine contempt for the illusions of fancy which belongs to the perfectly healthy young animal.

“Not,” continued Mr. McClosky, rubbing his head reflectively, “not ez I’d advise ye, Jinny, to say any thing to him about poetry. It ain’t twenty minutes ago ez I did. I set the whiskey afore him in the parlor. I wound up the music-box, and set it goin’. Then I sez to him, sociable-like and free, ‘Jest consider yourself in your own house, and repeat what you allow to be your finest production,’ and he raged. That man, Jinny, jest raged! Thar’s no end of the names he called me. You see, Jinny,” continued Mr. McClosky apologetically, “he’s known me a long time.”