Openings in the Old Trail

Cover of book Openings in the Old Trail
Categories: Nonfiction

Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: THE LANDLORD OF T


HE BIG FLUME HOTEL The Big Flume stage-coach had just drawn up at the Big Flume Hotel simultaneously with the ringing of a large dinner bell in the two hands of a negro waiter, who, by certain gyrations of the bell was trying to impart to his performance that picturesque elegance and harmony which the instrument and its purpose lacked. For the refreshment thus proclaimed was only the ordinary station dinner, protracted at Big Flume for three quarters of an hour, to allow for the arrival of the connecting mail from Sacramento, although the repast was of a nature that seldom prevailed upon the traveler to linger the full period over its details. The ordinary cravings of hunger were generally satisfied in half an hour, and the remaining minutes were employed by the passengers in drowning the memory of their meal in " drinks at the bar," in smoking, and even in a hurried game of " old sledge," or dominoes. Yetto-day the deserted table was still occupied by a belated traveler, and a lady ? separated by a wilderness of empty dishes ? who had arrived after the stage-coach. Observing which, the landlord, perhaps touched by this unwonted appreciation of his fare, moved forward to give them his personal attention. He was a man, however, who seemed to be singularly deficient in those supreme qualities which in the West have exalted the ability to " keep a hotel " into a proverbial synonym for superexcellence. He had little or no innovating genius, no trade devices, no assumption, no faculty for advertisement, no progressiveness, and no "racket." He had the tolerant good-humor of the Southwestern pioneer, to whom cyclones, famine, drought, floods, pestilence, and savages were things to be accepted, and whom disaster, if it did not stimulate, certainly did not appall. He re... --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Openings in the Old Trail
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