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A Lady in Boomtown: Miners and Manners on the Nevada Frontier - Page 109

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answered itself. Now, almost at the moment of leaving, they were being said to me again. “ They tell me you’re an old- timer around here.” The man smiled as he looked me over. “ You certainly don’t look like a pioneer.” “ Oh, but I am,” I answered proudly. “ I came here on a stagecoach in February, 1904.” “ Somebody told me I ought to look you up, I wish I had been here in the beginning,” he added with a note of regret. “ This place is all that is left of the old West, isn’t it?” “ It’s a fusion of the old West and the new. Tonopah has become awfully metropolitan with our brick buildings and concrete pavements. Now even the prospectors use Fords.” But, we agreed, the new West attracted the same kind of friendly, unpretentious people as the old. Now the actual moment of departure was at hand. Outside, the boys were strapping bags to the trunk rack of the old Hudson touring car, with little sister bossing the job. Hugh and I stood alone in the empty ‘ Dobe Shack, which had held so much fulfillment. As my hand sought his, I thought of that nineteen- year- old girl who stepped off the stage coach into Boomtown twenty years ago. I thought of my uncle’s beckoning words toward fame and how they haunted me in those tragic middle years, and I offered a little prayer of gratitude to the unknown person who said, “ Home- keeping hearts are happiest.” Then we shut the door, joined the noisy children, and sped away down the hill.



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