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Wolfville Days by Alfred Henry Lewis
page 2 of 281 (00%)
Once when Old Monte brings the stage in late because of some boggin'
down he does over at a quicksand ford in the foothills, a shorthorn
who arrives with him as a passenger comes edgin' into the Red Light.
Bein' it's four o'clock in the mornin', the tenderfoot seems amazed
at sech activities as faro-bank, an' high-ball, said devices bein'
in full career; to say nothin' of the Dance Hall, which 'Temple of
Mirth,' as Hamilton who is proprietor tharof names it, is whoopin'
it up across the street.

"'Ain't you open rather late?' says the shorthorn. His tones is
apol'getic an' no offence is took.

"That's one of them gratefyin' things about the Southwest. That
temperate region don't go pirootin' 'round strivin' to run its brand
onto things as insults where none ain't meant. The Southwest ropes
only at the intention. You may even go so far as to shoot the wrong
gent in a darkened way, an' as long as you pulls off the play in a
sperit of honesty, an' the party plugged don't happen to be a
pop'lar idol, about the worst you'd get would be a caution from the
Stranglers to be more acc'rate in your feuds, sech is the
fairmindedness an' toleration of Southwest sentiment.

"As I su'gests, the barkeep, realizin' that the stranger's bluff
arises from cur'osity rather than any notion of what booksports
calls 'captious criticism,' feels no ombrage.

"'What was you-all pleased to remark?' retorts the barkeep as he
slams his nose-paint where the shorthorn can get action.

"'Nothin',' replies the shorthorn, imbibin' of his forty drops,