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A Lady in Boomtown: Miners and Manners on the Nevada Frontier - Page 18

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drawl, “ Oh. Oh , yes. You mean Sarah So- and- So. Why, yes, of course. I knew her when she was little. She used to get lost in the sagebrush, and her mother tied a sheep bell around her neck so they could find her.” Both Mrs. Knight and her husband had much of the Old West still clinging to them, which even in my youth was fast disappearing. There was, too, a code of frontier ethics Mr. Knight displayed for me. He was a really fine person, a handsome old chap with beautiful grey hair and a short white chin- beard, which made him look like a Mormon bishop. But Mr. Knight ran a saloon. I had met him one night at the Mizpah Club shortly after our arrival in Tonopah, but a few days later, when I saw him on the street, he passed me without speaking. I was puzzled and hurt because I knew he had seen me. Some weeks later I met him again in public. This time he came forward with his hand extended and lifted his broad grey hat with all the gallantry of a cavalier. “ Mrs. Brown,” he said softly, “ I can shake hands with you now. I sold the saloon yesterday.” His face beamed as I returned the warmth of his handclasp. I realized the tribute he had paid, not to me personally, but to the wife of a respected member of a community that didn’t countenance saloon- keepers, even in a frontier town.



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