The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa on December 23, 1891 · Page 6
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The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa · Page 6

Algona, Iowa
Issue Date:
Wednesday, December 23, 1891
Page 6
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fstias on Rocky Ridge. GIBSON. (fbtcd,18»l, by American Pr«M Association.] L TUB KKPtTHLtCAK, ALGOtfA, IOWA, WKi)KKSl>AY, l)K('KMlikh 'ij IVY WAS HIS FAITHFUL LITTLE NUKSE. In a little solitary cabin, nestling like a bird's nest among the pines and cedars on Rocky Ridge, Milton Fisher was breathing his last. Three persons stood by the bedside of the dying man—the old gray haired doctor from over in the valley and True and Ivy, Fisher's motherless children. True was a robust, manly looking boy of fourteen, while his sister, two years younger, was a sweet, earnest faced child, with eyes like the violets blooming in the canyon, and hair like the warmest sunbeams gilding the crests of the Rockies. The old doctor's eyes were moist when they rested pityingly npon the children, so soon to be left orphans indeed, as they knelt and tearfully listened to their father's last words. "True," the dying man said, placing his thin hand on the lad's brown curls, "yon and Ivy stick to each other and stick to the little claim in the canyon. Try not to feel too lonesome when your dad's gone. Your Uncle Jim will come as soon as he hears the word. The doctor has given me his promise to write to Jim, and I know he'll come back and look after you. Remember to stick to >the claim, for, mind I tell you, you'll Imd yaller dirt there some time. Stay here in the cabin till Jim comes; then he'll go to work on the claim. He'll find 'ti^-gcia, for it's tWrer 1 I And with his old faith in the valuable- ness of the claim in the canyon strong as ever, Milton Fisher passed away. . It was a hard struggle for those lonely children to fight life's battle without father or mother. But they went bravely to work to make the most of their circumstances. The Fishers were very poor. Two years before Milton Fisher, whose footsteps hard luck had always seemed to dog with remorseless persistency, had joined an emigrant train, starting from Missouri to Colorado. They had brought nothing but.themselves and a few household goods in a dilapidated looking covered wagon, drawn by one mule and a stout Indian pony. After the father's death some of the settlers in the valley tried to persuade Ivy to leave the isolated old cabin on Rocky Ridge. But she would not go. "When urged to do so she always said: ' "No, True and I must stick together, 'cause pap said to. I know we're mighty poor, but we can work, and I know we'll get along some way till Uncle Jim comes. 1 ' True had intended to rent a piece of land in the valley and put in a small crop; but the mule fell from the cliff and broke its neck, so he was forced to do something eke. He hired himself to a farmer three miles distant to help clear out some irrigating ditches. He did not receive a man's wages for his services, and considering the cost of living in that part of the west his earnings amounted to a mere pittance. But Ivy was a little household economist, and they managed to get along much better than might have been imagined until True met with an accident. i While helping the farmer to split some timbers the -AS. had slipped, cutting his foot so badly as to lay him up for several weeks. Ivy was his faithful little nurse, and was ever ready to cheer him up when his patience showed signs of giving out. It was iu the fall of the year when True cut his foot. The deciduous trees began to shed their foliage, but Uncle Jim had nut come yet. : The doctor had written three letters, addressing them to a frontier postoffice in Wyoming where Jim Fisher had been last heard from. , But no answer came back, and as Jim was a kind of rover, spending his time in limiting, .trapping and mining, it was likely that he did not receive the letters. Now that True was disabled, the lonely young dwellers on Rocky Ridge felt their isolation and orphanage more keenly, and longed for the presence of Uiicle Jim. i Autumn gave place to winter chill, but brought 110 tidings of the wanderer. , True'o foot proved more obstinate about healing than had at first been predicted. A heavy cold added to his trouble, and Christmas eve found him still . confined to the cabin. "Oh, dear,!" he sighed dolefully. "To- "Oh, y«t he la, Trite! Don't lose htifft BO," she sought to encourage him. "I 'iwdn't ought to« 1 know, when ybti are so kind to me, and wait on me as if I was A baby. Bttt 1 ain't mnch better; I've been penned up here so long with this sore foot," he said gloomily. "Don't fret, True. We'll have a nice Christmas yet." "I ought to be ashamed to worry when yon are so patient, and I will try not to fret any more." "Maybe God won't forget ns away tip here on Rocky Ridge this Christmas. Now try to sleep, True." And kissing him softly she smoothed the covers over him. "You'll feel better when you wake up. then I'll give you some supper." She sang softly about her simple household tasks, until the boy's regular breathing told her that he slept. "Poor True!" she said to herself. "I wish I had something nice to cheer him up on Christmas. Not being well makes him feel more disappointed like. I do wish" She laid aside the old stockings which she was mending for True, then she arose and went to the little window and looked out. Far up on the Rockies' barren heights were the vast accumulations of eternal snows. The sun, well down the western slope, touched them into dazzling opalescent colors. Something of the beauty and sublimity of the mountain scenery stirred the soul of the little girl, and she murmured to herself: "It is Christmas eve, and he was poor, too—was born in a manger, the good book says. But how lovely he has made the whole earth!" Then her thoughts returned to True. "If I just had something good for True's supper I'd feel a sight better. He's weak and discouraged like and don't relish potatoes, cornbread and dried beef, and that's the best there is in the ctibin. I might ride down to Duffles' store and ask him to let me have an apple or orange. I expect they're awful dear now and he's mighty close, but maybe if I'd go and ask him he'd let me have something for True. I hate to face old Buffles, he's eo crusty; but it's for True, and I'll go." Putting a few sticks of wood on the fireplace she wrapped an old faded nubia around her head and prepared to leave the cabin. "He won't wake before I get back," she said, looking toward the sleeper. "I'll make Bonny travel her best." morrow's Christmas, and here I am of no account yet. I hoped all along I'd be able to work before this and make a nice Christmas for you. It won't seem a bit like Christmas to be housed up this way. 1 int ant to make it seem like old times to you, Ivy." It was hard for the energetic boy to be there BO helpless, and there was something very pathetic in one of his years calling up "old times." Ivy realized this in a vugue kind of way, but resolutely repressing the tears she returned gently: ••Try nut to mind, True. We'll make it us happy a Clirissbmas as we can. When Uncle Jim gets b.ack we'll make up to YOU all you've missed by lying here 8P long." / "I don't believe tfeat Uncle Jiw is evet '.V IVY WAS SOON SPEEDING DOWN THE MOUNTAIN THAIL. Bonny was grazing in the canyon, where the sturdy shrubs and grasses managed to resist the chill of winter up on the ridgo and the heights above the cabin. She was easily caught, and Ivy bejng an expert rider was soon speeding along down the mountain trail which led to Bnffles' store. Josh Buffles was a crusty old fellow, who kept a grocery and general notion store next door to a saloon in the outskirts ot the settlement in the valley. The Fisher children had never dealt with Buffles. Ho was so close fisted and required such a great profit on all his sales that they had been obliged to do their trading at the small mining town seven miles distant from Rocky Ridge. The air was sharp, and Ivy's thinly clad figure felt the dullness keenly, but the thought of how glad she was going to make the sick boy made her almost dumb to the discomfort of her long, cold ride down the mountain. As she approached Buffles' store she noticed that tho saloon next door was filled with rough men, drinking and profaning iu a shocking manner. She shuddered at the sight, and her first impulse was to ride away as fast as Bonny could carry her. But she remembered True, and dismounting she hitched the pony near the .store and entered. The store was quite deserted, save by the unprepossessing proprietor himself and a tall, lean boy who occupied an empty soap box by the rusty stove. stood behind the counter, and as Ivy came toward him he fixed his hawkish gray eyes upon her witli a stare that was repellent. "Oh, sir!" she began, nervously fingering one ragged edgo of the nubia, anxious to dispatch her business and hurry home, "my brother's laid up in the cabin—he's been .sick a long time—and I want to get something nice for his Christmas, an orange or apple," and she looked longingly at the display of fruits and candies arranged ou the shelves. "Have you any money?" the merchant asked shortly. "No, sir," and her face fell despairingly. "Then how'd yer 'spect ter git anything? I'm done doin any credit business," he announced savagely. Ivy's face flushed hotly, but lifting her blue eyes appealiugly to the man's hardened visage she said, "You might let me have one o' them big oranges, and I could pay you in work for it." "I'd like to know what yer could do fer me, M he remarked scornfvdly. "I could come down here and scrub your floor, wash your windows, clean up your stove and do lots of things if you'd had evidently not taken a bMh for twelte months ot More. * •»Yfef Milt ffifthef's I«etl6 gW,Mn'* yer?" he asked, ignoring hefcreferettcSfe to the uncleanlineas of his establishment. "Yes, sir," she nnswfered, (Sonisddti* from the expression of his countenance that she had appealed to him in vain. "Yer dad owed me, and it's high timo yer kids was doin somethin ter settle the ercount," he said sharply. "I never heard my pap say he owed you," she retorted. "I hoi a ercount agin yer Fishers fer thirty dollars. It's fer fittin yer Uncle Jim up when he went up ter Wyoming. Yer dad went his security fer ther traps Jim got. I was er plumb fool ter take sich security, but yer dad was allus so durned sartin o' strikin gold on that claim o' hisn iu the canyon that I kinder believed in him. The note orto been paid two months ago, but I've been kinder waitin ter give yer kids a chance ter settle without dunnin. But I reckon yer 'bout as dishonest as yer dad!" "My pap wasn't dishonest!" Ivy cried spiritedly. "I s'pose pap thought Uncle Jim would be back and pay it himself. He ought to have been fonr months ago." "Yer Uncle Jiui has shelled out fer good, and yer not Jtfkejly ever ter see him back in these pai$s ,»gin. But yer dad'a property stands good fer my thirty dollars' worth o' traps ithat Jim Fisher got off with. Is thet <orjtter yer rid up hyer a bit ago yer own?" "Yes, sir; it's all the horse we have left." "Waal, I'll take the critter and call it squar'." "Oh, please, sir," pleaded Ivy. unable to keep the tears back, "don't take Bonny! She's all that's left True and me. We cpnldn't live without her, indeed we couldn't!" Tears and pleading, however, were of no avail in moving the flinty, miserly heart of old Josh Buffles. Calling the lean boy from the soap box, he ordered him to lead Bonny away. As the boy left tho store to do his bidding, Buffles turned to Ivy, saying; "Come, sissy! Dry up now. Customers will be coinin in soon, an I kain't be annoyed by a cryiu gal. Yer'd best rack out home now." Without turning her head to look at the shelves laden for the holiday trade, Ivy walked out of the store. She paused on the steps to take a last look at her favorite, but the boy had already disappeared from view with her. With her young heart in a tumult of fresh troubles, she hurried away from the store. It was bad enough to return to True without a thing for his Christmas, she thought, but ten times worse to have Bonny taken on a debt of which she knew nothing. III. About a half mile from Buffles' store she sat down on a rock by the mountain trail to give her tears full vent. How could she go back to True and report the loss of Bonny? She knew the intelligence would nearly kill him, so much did he love the pony. Down tho trail came a half dozen horsemen. Their reckless manner of riding, us well as their general costumes, proclaimed them cowboys. They belonged to Murray's "outfit," in charge of a large cattle ranch over in Deer Creek valley, and were on their way to celebrate Christmas eve in "roaring style" at Finder's saloon, next door to Buffles' store. Suddenly Jack Isley and Ben Spiker.. who were riding ahead, came to a halt. Springing from their saddles they rushed toward an object by the trail. When their companions rode up they saw Jack and Ben bending over a small figure by the roadside. "Wot is it?" "A leetle gal, an she's fainted dead away," answered Spiker, who was trying to restore the unconscious child. Presently she recovered, and, sitting up, glanced wouderingly at the rough out kindly faces bent over her so full of sympathy. "Don't be erf raid, Snowdrop, yer be ermougst friends," Spiker reassured her. Ivy was trembling with the cold, and Jack Isley took his coat off and wrapped it snugly around her, saying: "Thar, Snowdrop, thet'll keep you a bit more comfortable. Now, tell na whar yer was goiu?" "Home," she answered simply. "An whar's thet?" "On Rocky Ridge." "Oh!" with a whistle. "Yer Milt Fisher's leetle gal, I 'low?" "Yes, sir." "Wot brings yer out hyer a-foot an erlone so fur from home?" inquired Spiker. "My brother's biok at the cabin, and I went down to Buffles' store to get him a present for his Christinas," she strove to explain. "I rode Bonny, my pony, but" and she broko down and began lilitt novjtf 'ctflsdn United States sh6al(! conduct lUsa&lf toward thetn M i» brplians ihdeted." "An specially on Christinas times, when thet Angel koto down from Beth» leheiit an writ erbout peace on yearth, good will to men, yer know." "Isley allna was powerful on cotto Boriptur'," remarked Spiker, admiringly. "Jack, yer missed yer callin When yer tuck ter cowpttnchin stid o' preachin. I make er motion that us galoots rides down to the settlement an that Isley delivers a Christmas sartnon ter ole Josh Bnfflea." For re^>ly the cowboys tossed up their sombreros and gave three shouts for "ther pajrsoij, Jack Isley." "Hyer|, Snowdrop," said Spiker to Ivy, "yer mu&t ride behind me back ter ola Buffles'.' We're justice an jurisprudence combined, an yer wrongs air ter be righted.! It's Christmas eve, an Parson Isley will open sarvices in a jiffy fur ther benefit of ole skinflint Buffles." So saying, Ivy was assisted to a seat behind Spiker, and they were soon riding rapidly toward the settlement. "Look hyer!" commanded Jack Isley, as they approached the store, "don't let me ketch ary galoot o' yer hangin 'round old Finder's swill tubs while meetin's in •srogress. The parson has spoke!" When they reached the store they dismounted and entered, Isley and Spiker with Ivy in the lead, followed by the rest of Murray's cowpnnchers. "Hello, Ole Buff!" greeted Isley. "It bein Christmas eve we thought we'd drap in a?i hold er leetle missionary sar- mon an sort o' prayer meetin with yer, an wrastle er bit fur yer conversion, Ef any man has needo' the prayers o' God's folks it's an ole galoot like yer, who kin take the last emitter two pore orphan children has on er ole erconnt thet they couldn't help. Why, the heart o' tho meanest galoot in the canyon orto half way be throbbin an cavortin with some good Christmas impulses." "So syith ther parson!" cried Spiker. "Selah!" and the building shook with hearty applause. Finder and hia drinking gang came rushing out of the saloon, and stood around the store door to see what "Murray's outfit was np to." Buffles hung his head sullenly. He knew Murray's cowboys, and thoroughly realized how valuable was silence before them. "Hyer, Duke!" Isley called to one of the cowboys. "You mosey 'round ter ther stable an fetch Snowdrop's critter out." chingfi,* Jack V 4l Nti¥iMrffihtd ittortrt telnledi ; "fh&t'i tt&thitt A taan as yet, Mf. Baffles. Vftftffe be recognized* Now this meetin'sdon* tyith yer far the present, but aa er sort b' doxblogy td wot'fl gone before, 1 watit tef warn yer ter be lookiti out. Tlier big S'preme Court that sets across ther Divide won't treat yer oase so all fired leniently. Christmas is a mighty good time ter practice charity an git sorter limbered up fur ther great roundup on the other shore. Yer hear me? Then heed. Now wrap us up some o' yer best oysters, crackers, white sugar, lemons, raisins and canned goods. We be aimin ter go np ter Rocky Ridge and have a Christmas with them Fisher children, an sorter act like white folks with souls." As "the parson" started away with his men, carrying their various stores, they encountered a man riding a jaded mule. He was headed toward Buffles' store. '•Hello, stranger!" greeted Isley. "Whar yer be aimin fur?" "Bein as yer so civil, I've a good notion ter tell yer," returned the man, halting and pushing his hat back. "Why! Hang my hide, ef it hain't ole Jim Fisher!" cried Isley, riding forward and taking possession of his hand, which he shook heartily. "When did yer land?" "Jest now. Jest heered o' Milt's death a few days ago, and racked right out. I was trappin up in Wyoming, got nearly froze to death last winter,. an was mighty puny a long spell, an bein a good hundred an four mile from the post- office 1 was nearly six months gettin ther; Word. I sold out my furs, an lit; right, out for Rocky Ridge, 'cause t know tfiem kids is needin me." , ."Yes, they're needin ye* powerful bad, Jim. We've jest started up ter their cabin ter her a sort of Christmas jubifee ter cheer 'em up." "Good for yer, Jack Isleyt Jest wait til* I ride over ter ole Bnffles' an fix up a debt I promised ter pay him the minute I landed, an I'll jine yer." "Hold on, Jim! Thet debt's Hquer* dated, and ole Buff has a Christmas grin a mile long on his purty features." It was indeed a happy Christmas reunion that took place between Jim Fisher and his brother's children. Rocky Ridge resounded with robust, kindly cheer, and the cowboys felt that they had missed nothing by foregoing theif purposed celebration at Finder's saloon to give pleasure to a little girl and her sick brother. Kind hearts arc more than coronets, And simple faith than Norman blood. Glad angels must have smiled over Rocky Ridge that Christmas, while down in the valley Josh Bnffles caught a view of his own soul, dwarfed and grasp* ing and shuddered at the revelation. Milton Fisher'a faith in the valuable- ness of his claim had not been misplaced. Jim devoted himself earnestly to the interests of his young charges. Gold was discovered in the canyon, and before the dawn of the next Christmas on Rocky Ridge True, and Ivy had comforts in abundance. THE END. CASH GROCERY STORE Landon & Hudson Successors to TOWNSENI) cD LANGDON A full line of STAPLE™ FANCY GROCERIES Crockery, Glassware, Queensware. Business conducted strictly on a Cash basis. We sell for cash and consequently we can afford to sell cheap. Buy of us and save money. HUDSON & LANGDON. HARDWARE HARDWARE —If you want- GOOD GOODS 3!= LOW PRICES *jVw-.-*/• •*^.-- ' £.i>_*.v.,._. .:* Ckk.JL.Hi MOB. I am handling the justly celebrated to cry bitterly. JACK ISLEY COVERED BUFFLES WITH A LAUGE REVOLVER. As Duke hurried off to obey "the parson's orders" Isley again gave his attention to the morose storekeeper. "Yer never was knowed ter make er Christmas present in all -yer skinflint life. I'll give yer jest five minutes ter present Snowdrop hyer with thet note yer hold agin her dad, who's dead. Be spry erbout it too. I don't want any Waterbury movement erbout this thing! You time him, Spiker." Ben drew out an old silver watch attached to a leather string, while Jack Isley covered Buffles with a large revolver. He dared not refuse to comply, and marching in » dogged manner back oi' an old safe he drew out a piece of paper which he handed Isley, who examined it carefully. "It's the genuine dockyuient," approved "the parson." "Now give it to this leetle gal an make a presentation speech. Hurry up! This is one o' them new kind o' uncontrollable shootin irons, an I kaint hold it." Thus forcibly persuaded, Buffles took the note, and giving a stubborn jerk to each word said: "Thar, sissy, is a Christmas present fur yer." "What is it?" asked the little girl as Buffles thrust the paper into her hand. "Take keer o' thet, Snowdrop," said Isley; "with thet ter show, old skinner hyer kain't ever keni outer yer for thet debt." "Hyer's yer critter at ther door, Snowdrop," announced Spiker. Ivy waited to hear no more, and concealing the note in her dress she ran out to claim Boiiny, her heart too full for utterance or thanks. Presently Spiker followed her, his arms full of various packages. "Wot's them?" asked the cowboy who had brought Bonny back. "Christmas fixius fur Snowdrop an her brother. I'm ordered ter. scort her safe ter ther cabin. 'The parson' says we're all ter celebrate Christmas eve up ter Rocky Ridge and help cheer up them lone children stid o' cavortin round doVvn hyer at Finder's." Ben assisted Ivy to mount Bonny, and then they rode away together, Meantime Jack Isley prepared tp close Monitors ^and '•)':•. I Which have no equal in Economy and Durability J. R GILMORE. THE ALGONA STATE BANK, ^SO.OOO. CHAS. CHUBB, CHAS. O. ST.CLA1B, __ ,._ Cashier. _ biBECTOiis—DTc1arkeoTorChubb7llyron*Schenck7Tho8". F. Coolie, ~" W. C. Tyrrell, Geo. Galbraith, Clias. C. St. Glair, to Loan at Reasonable Rates and General Banking Business Transacted Exchange bought and sold in all parts of this country and Europe. Special attention given to Collections. Ambrose A. Call, President. D. H. Hutching, J. Yice-President. C, Biackford, Cashier. FIRST NATIONAL BANK, Of Algoim, Iowa. O^-CAPITAI, $5t ...«o 00. Money always on hand to loan at reasonable rates to parties who can fu f h r»t-class security, Directors—Amhrose A. Call, I>. H, Hutchliis, J. C. Blackiorrt, \Vm. K. Ferguson, C. H. Hutching, I'liiiip Borweiler, A. D. Clarke. FARM LOANS. We can now make loans on Improved Lauds from one to ten year's time and give the borrower the privilege of paying cue wnole loan or any part thereof in even $100 at any tune when interest falls due. This is Iowa Money, and no second mortgage or coupons are taken. This plan of making a loan will enable the borrower to reduce his mortgage at any time and save the interest on the amoW" paid. Moueyiuraisheil at once ou perfect title. Call on or address, H. HOX*13, Algona, Iowa. let me," ene returned, looking »t the "A LEETLE GAL, AN SHE'S PAINTED DEAD AWAY." Those rough fellows knelt on the frozen ground by her side and spoke soothingly to the poor child. She became calmer, a?d by degrees they succeeded in drawing the whole story from her. When lyy had, finished the simple bu1} recitef of lw ^roubles, J^ftr who'll treat a leetle onght to^tip '"Fellers, a man orphan gal taught a lesson.' "Thet he had!" agreed Ms companion. He orto Uer a cooajmittee ter waft m GHrftNG£ OF ft A COLLEGE EDUCATION FREE My young friend, do you want an education? "the meetin held fur ole Josh benefit." , „ "See hyer," he said, approaching the discomfited storekeeper who was leaning against the counter, his countenance lowering and dejected; "don't go to Bulkiii 'cause yer done cue good deeil in yer life. How much was Fisher's debt?" - "Thirty dollars," was the crusjty an- ,• Jack tossed, a crisp fifty dol^jf biil to him, saying, "Thar'8 ter p%y : yer fur Fisher'a note an ther notions Ben made yer w^ap up. Take it, an let's see a Christmas smile on yer cou»tenance 'bout ther size of er broncho's kjieV-" " ' the bill, njuiftbliBySf «a»e- about change, , .} S' e '> •" W -r'm —- '«H.*^-S» .. .? * We will give away two grand educational prizes between now and the holidays. ^ One is a full scholarship, in any single course in any college, academy or seminary of your own selection in the west, The other is a full scholarship in any western commercial school Either of these prke§ m within y<W reach without ' If so, clajlpt TOy^nuta to w^|US. is the chanfc w ydur Bfetlme fa Retire a It

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