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Openings in the Old Trail
written by "Harte, Bret, 1836-1902"
...s lashes in affected expostulation to the skies. "And this is Fame!" he murmured audibly. But this Leonidas did not comprehend. Nor could he understand why the stranger, who clearly must have come to see HER, should not ask about her, should not rush to seek her, but should lie back there all the while so contentedly on the grass. HE wouldn't. He half resented it, and then it occurred to him that this fine gentleman was like himself—shy. Who could help being so before such an angel? HE would help him on. And so, shyly at first, but bit by bit emboldened by a word or two from Jack, he began to talk of her—of her beauty—of her kindness—of his own unworthiness—of what she had said and done—until, finding in this gracious stranger the vent his pent-up feelings so long had sought, he sang then and there the little idyl of his boyish life. He told of his decline in her affections after his unpardonable sin in keeping her waiting while he went for the trout, and added the miserable mistake of the rattlesnake episode. "For it was a mistake, Mr. Hamlin. I oughtn't to have let a lady like that know anything about snakes—just because I happen to know them." "It WAS an awful slump, Lee," said Hamlin gravely. "Get a woman and a snake together—and where are you? Think of Adam and Eve and the serpent, you know." "But it wasn't that way," said the boy earnestly. "And I want to tell you something else that's just makin' me sick, Mr. Hamlin. You know I told you William Henry lives down at the bottom of Burroughs's garden, and how I showed Mrs. Burroughs his tricks! Well, only two days ago I was down there looking for him, and couldn't find him anywhere. There's a sort of narrow trail from the garden to the hill, a short cut up to the Ridge, instead o' going by their gate. It's just the trail any one would take in a hurry, or if they didn't want to be seen from the road. Well! I was looking th...

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