Two Letters Go East
From: 'firebrand' Trevison
After Agatha retired that night Rosalind sat for a long time writing at a
little desk in the private car. She was tingling with excitement over a
discovery she had made, and was yearning for a confidante. Since it had
not been her habit to confide in Agatha, she did the next best thing,
which was to indite a letter to her chum, Ruth Gresham. In one place she
"Do you remember Hester Keyes' love affair of ten years ago? You certainly
must remember it! If you cannot, permit me to brush the dust of
forgetfulness away. You cannot forget the night you met William Kinkaid?
Of course you cannot forget that, for when you are Mrs. Kinkaid--But
there! I won't poke fun at you. But I think every married person needs to
treasure every shred of romance against inevitable hum-drum days. Isn't
that a sad sentiment? But I want to get ahead with my reminder."
There followed much detail, having to do with Hester Keyes' party, to
which neither Rosalind nor Ruth Gresham had been invited, for reasons
which Rosalind presently made obvious. She continued:
"Of course, custom does not permit girls of fourteen to figure prominently
at 'coming-out' parties, but after one is there and is relegated to a
stair-landing, one may use one's eyes without restriction. Do you remember
my pointing out Hester Keyes' 'fellow'? But of course you didn't pay much
attention to him after Billy Kinkaid sailed into your vision! But I envied
Hester Keyes her eighteen years--and Trevison Brandon! He had the blackest
eyes and hair! And he simply adored Hester! It made me feel positively
savage when I heard shortly afterward that she had thrown him over--after
his father cut him off--to take up with that fellow Harvey--I never could
remember his first name. And she married Harvey--and regretted it, until
"Ruth, Trevison Brandon is out here. He calls himself 'Brand' Trevison. I
met him two days ago, and I did not recognize him, he has changed so much.
He puzzled me quite a little; but not even when I heard his name did I
connect him with the man I had seen at Hester's party. Ten years is such
a long time, isn't it? And I never did have much of a memory for names.
But today he went with me to a certain ranch--Blakeley's--which, by the
way, father is going to buy--and on the way we became very much
acquainted, and he told me about his love affair. I placed him instantly,
then, and why I didn't keel over was, I suppose, because of the curious
big saddles they have out here, with enormous wooden stirrups on them. I
can hear you exclaim over that plural, but there are no side-saddles. That
is how it came that I was unchaperoned--Agatha won't take liberties with
them, the saddles. Thank Heaven!"
There followed much more, with only one further reference to Trevison:
"He must be nearly thirty now, but he doesn't look it, he's so boyish. I
gather, though, that he is regarded as a man out here, where, I
understand, manhood is measured by something besides mere appearances. He
owns acres and acres of land--some of it has coal on it; and he is sure to
be enormously wealthy, some day. But I am twenty-four, myself."
The startling irrelevance of this sentence at first surprised Ruth
Gresham, and then caused her eyes to brighten understandingly, as she read
the letter a few days later. She remarked, musingly:
"The inevitable hum-drum days, eh? And yet most people long for them."
Another letter was written when the one to Ruth was completed. It was to
J. Chalfant Benham.
"The West is a golden paradise. I could live here many, many years. I
visited Mr. Blakeley today. He calls his ranch the Bar B. We wouldn't
have to change the brand, would we? Trevison says the ranch is worth
all Blakeley asks for it. Mr. Blakeley says we can take possession
immediately, so I have decided to stay here. Mrs. Blakeley has
invited me, and I am going to have my things taken over tomorrow.
Since the Blakeley's are anxious to sell out and return South, don't
you think you had better conclude the deal at once?
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