The Girl From Keller's

Cover of book The Girl From Keller's
Categories: Fiction » Literature

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CNIC THE picnic at Long Lake was an annual function, held, as soon as the weather got warm enough, to celebrate the return of spring. Winter is long and tedious on the high Western plains, where the frost is often Arctic and little work can be done, and after sitting by the red-hot stove through the dark, cold months, the inhabitants of the scattered homesteads come out with joyful hearts to greet the sunshine. There is, however, no slow transition. Rushing winds from the North-west sweep the sky, the snow vanishes, and after a week or two, during which the prairie trails are impassable, the bleached grass dries and green blades and flowers spring from the steaming sod. Moreover, the country round Long Lake has some beauty. To the east, it runs back, bare and level, with scarcely a tree to break the vast expanse; but to the west low undulations rise to the edge of the next tableland. Sandhills mark the summits, but the slopes are checkered with birches and poplars, and creeks of clear water flow through the hollows in the shadow of thick bluffs. There are many ponds, and here and there a shallow lake shines amidst the sweep of grass. The clear air and the distance the view commands give the landscape a distinctive charm. One has a sense of space and freedom; all the eye rests upon is clean-cut. It was a bright morning when Charnock drove up to the door of Keller's hotel. The street was onesided, and for the most part of its length, small, ship- lap-board houses boldly fronted the prairie. A few had shallow verandas that relieved their bareness, but the rest were frankly ugly, and in some the front was carried up level with the roof-ridge, giving them a harsh squareness of outline. A plank sidewalk, raised a foot or two above the ground, ran along the s...

The Girl From Keller's
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