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A Girl of the Klondike
written by "Cross, Victoria, 1868-1952"
...seedy-looking musicians were sawing out a jerky tune from their feeble violins. The room was fairly full, and a more heterogeneous[Pg 27] collection of human beings Stephen thought he had never seen. There were miners in the roughest and thickest clothing, labourers, packers, a few Indians, some youths in extraordinary attempts at evening dress, some negro minstrels with real dress shirts on and diamond studs, girls with old velvet skirts and odd bodices that didn't match; and here and there, idling against the wall, looking on with absent eyes, one could find a different figure—that of student, or artist, or newspaper correspondent, or gentleman miner; one need not despair of finding almost any type of humanity in that room. Talbot looked at the girl's bright sparkling face as they entered, and then without a word slipped his arm round her waist and they started over the rough wooden floor. "You dance fine," observed Katrine, after a long silence, in which they had both given themselves up to the pleasure of mere motion. "I[Pg 28] guess you have had lots of practice before you came out here." Talbot smiled down into her admiring eyes. "Yes," he said, thinking of the foreign embassies, the English ball-rooms, the many polished floors his feet had known, "in England." "My! I expect you're a great swell!" remarked the saloon-keeper's daughter. "All the same," he answered, laughing, "I have never had a partner that danced so perfectly as you do." "Now that's real kind of you," answered Katrine, with a flush of pleasure, and then they gave themselves up to silent enjoyment again. At the end of the dance they came back to Stephen, and found him in the same corner, watching the room with a doleful sadness on his face. Katrine, flushed and with sparkling eyes, sat down on the corner of the step beside him.[Pg 29] "You look so miserable," she said. "Come and have a dance with me to cheer you up." "I can't dance," sai...

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