From: Desert Dust
It was six weeks later, with My Lady all recovered and I long since
healed, and Fort Bridger pleasant in our memories, when we two rode into
Benton once more, by horse from the nearest stage point. And here we sat
our saddles, silent, wondering; for of Benton there was little significant
of the past, very little tangible of the present, naught promising of its
Roaring Benton City had vanished, you might say, utterly. The iron
tendrils of the Pacific Railway glistened, stretching westward into the
sunset, and Benton had followed the lure, to Rawlins (as had been told
us), to Green River, to Bryan--likely now still onward, for the track was
traveling fast, charging the mountain slopes of Utah. The restless dust
had settled. The Queen Hotel, the Big Tent, the rows of canvas, plank,
tin, sheet metal, what-not stores, saloons, gambling dens, dance halls,
human habitations--the blatant street and the station itself had subsided
into this: a skeleton company of hacked and weazened posts, a fantastic
outcrop of coldly blackened clay chimneys, a sprinkling of battered cans.
The fevered populace who had ridden high upon the tide of rapid life had
remained only as ghosts haunting a potter's field, and the turmoil of
frenzied pleasure had dwindled to a coyote's yelp mocking the twilight.
"It all, all is wiped out, like he is," she said. "But I wished to see."
"All, all is wiped out, dear heart," said I. "All of that. But here are
you and I."
Through star shine we cantered side by side eastward down the old, empty
freighting road, for the railway station at Fort Steele.
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