A Lady in Boomtown: Miners and Manners on the Nevada Frontier - Page 95
Miss Crawley was a thoroughly delightful person, very British and genuinely interested in the mining camp. Alas, we were not able to stage any such show as had been trumped up for Elinor Glyn in Goldfield a few years earlier. Maybe we should have let Miss Crawley go to the fights. Incidentally, Miss Crawley inadvertently furnished the title for this book. When she arrived in San Francisco, she was quoted as saying, “ There is a lady in Tonopah, Mrs. Hugh Brown...” My friends had a lot to say about that! Another visitor whom I recall with particular delight was Ralph Waldo Trine, who wrote In Tune with the Infinite. He was a popular philosopher of the day. There was a severe drought in Nevada that year, and from all over the state cattle were being sent to the rich pasturelands of California. One day I heard that a herd from the Barndt ranch at Hot Creek was to be shipped from our railroad station. I thought a glimpse of authentic western life would interest this gentleman from the East, so I took Mr. Trine in our Thomas Flyer to the emergency corrals erected on the edge of town. The men and cattle were exhausted, for they had traveled many slow miles to reach the railroad. As we approached the dusty, noisy scene, where tired cowboys prodded weakened cattle into the cattle runs and then pushed them into the boxcars, I saw a cowboy I had met on one of my visits to Bessie Barndt. I called him over. “ I want to introduce you to Mr. Trine,” I said. The cowboy paused, then asked “ Did you say Trine?” “ That’s right.” “ Oh,” he drawled, “ there’s a writer by that name.” “ Yes,” I answered. “ This is Ralph Waldo Trine, who wrote In Tune with the Infinite.” The cowboy shook his head. At last he said slowly, “ My wife and I read your book. We think it’s about the best book we ever read. I never expected I’d be meeting you.” Mr. Trine beamed, and extended his hand. Here was a man who wrote philosophy face to face with a cowhand right off the range who knew and treasured his book. It was one of those rare moments of fulfillment that must be so precious to an author. As our aspirations for wealth tapered off, so our personal horizons expanded. Hugh’s activities in the interests of the legal profession began to extend over the entire state, and then onto the national scene as well.
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