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"So the sun goes down over the mountains and one looks down the nar-
row valley, looks along the wagon road where only one track has been
made this year, as if someone were coming, tired and ready for a warm
supper, looks out through the gap in the range as if a four-horse team
might be discovered in a hurry to make the fi ve or six miles before dark,
but not a soul is seen, nothing moves.
If there were neighbors fi ve miles away, or ten or twenty, it would be quite
cheerful and one could ride over for a visit once a month. But it is 65
miles to the nearest house where, by the way, no family is now living, the
woman having gone East because it was so lonely. It is lonely, so lonely."'
As he stops the darkness pales,
light discloses an upland
valley in the early spring;
mountains edge it, and the light
of late afternoon pours through
a thunderstorm in progress
that blurs, in one place, the low
blue mountains on the far side;
the valley, smooth brown meadow
with a river winding through,
lies in sunlight. Meeker says,
`Yes, it's lovely; empty
loveliness, though, never much
caught my eye.' I recollect
the words of a visitor
to the Agency, not long
before the end, on Meeker:
`To look at him was to see
plows and harrows and fence wire.'
Meeker says, `It was out there
we spent some of our best time.'
Then adds, `Then came the bad part.'
She says: `You don't remember
how bad,' while he is saying
with a restrained eagerness,