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A Lady in Boomtown: Miners and Manners on the Nevada Frontier - Page 105

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the Argonne in a tank. Before the war I was a racing driver. But I never got a bigger thrill than that!” The next day the tank came into town and rolled up the main street. People stood in doors and windows gaping in awe at the ungainly monster. Up Brougher Avenue it crawled, trailing a crowd of men and boys, and stopped in front of our home. Switching its tail around, it disgorged the young lieutenant, who came to attention and saluted. “ Mrs. Brown,” he said, “ yesterday you took me for a ride in your car. Today I want to take you for a ride in mine.” I accepted with alacrity. The young man climbed in and crawled down into the extreme front, where the controls were; and then, as he directed, I swung into the turret, strapped myself into the swinging seat above him, closed the top, and set the screws. Near our home was a crater, what remained of an old filled- in assessment hole. Down into this he plunged the tank, with me suspended above him. Switching the monster around the crater like a giant top, he brought it up the sides of the crater snorting in midair. By this time I was flat on my back. With a final grinding crash the tank flopped down and I resumed a vertical position. In thorough enjoyment of my unorthodox antics, the lieutenant occasionally turned to grin up at me. He proceeded to take me over the roughest terrain he could find, over the dumps we had looked at the day before, down the gullies, up the mountain. I was too proud to admit it, but I got some painful bruises. When I crawled out, he saw my skinned elbows and was gallantly apologetic, but I wouldn’t have missed that experience for anything.



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