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Across the Plains: With other Memories and Essays by Robert Louis Stevenson

By Robert Louis Stevenson

The distinguished Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson prepared for his buddy the artwork historian Sidney Colvin to pick and organise the essays during this quantity, a lot of which had initially seemed in 1888, even though a few date again to the early Eighteen Eighties. It was once released in 1892, years sooner than Stevenson's premature demise. Colvin acquired some of the items from their unique publishers, together with magazines similar to Fraser's, Longman's, The journal of paintings and Scribner's. what's really noteworthy approximately this assortment is that even if Stevenson had settled within the South Seas good prior to it seemed, the entire goods integrated have been written sooner than his trip there. Colvin mentions that the concluding items particularly have been written in the course of a interval of substantial gloom and disorder for Stevenson, who himself claimed to 'recover peace of physique and brain' after relocating to the Pacific in 1890.

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He refused, and that with the plainness of the West. This American manner of conducting matters of business is, at first, highly unpalatable to the European. When we approach a man in the way of his calling, and for those services by which he earns his bread, we consider him for the time Across the Plains 25 being our hired servant. But in the American opinion, two gentlemen meet and have a friendly talk with a view to exchanging favours if they shall agree to please. I know not which is the more convenient, nor even which is the more truly courteous.

The plains have a grandeur of their Across the Plains 47 own ; but here there is nothing but a contorted smallness. Except for the air, which was light and stimulating, there was not one good circumstance in that God-forsaken land. I had been suffering in my health a good deal all the way ; and at last, whether I was exhausted by my complaint or poisoned in some wayside eating-house, the evening we left Laramie, I fell sick outright. That was a night which I shall not readily forget. The lamps did not go out; each made a faint shining in its own neighbourhood, and the shadows were confounded together in the long, hollow box of the car.

But the next in turn was a tall, strapping, long-limbed, 30 Across the Plains small-headed, curly-haired Pennsylvania Dutchman, with a soldierly smartness in his manner. To be exact, he had acquired it in the navy. But that was all one ; he had at least been trained to desperate resolves, so he accepted the match, and the white-haired swindler pronounced the connubial benediction, and pocketed his fees. The rest of the afternoon was spent in making up the train. I am afraid to say how many baggage-waggons followed the engine, certainly a score ; then came the Chinese, then we, then the families, and the rear was brought up by the conductor in what, if I have it rightly, is called his caboose.

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