In the Land of the Grasshopper Song: Two Women in the Klamath River Indian Country in 1908-09

By Mary Ellicott Arnold; Mabel Reed | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII
Return to the Rivers: Everybody Got Trouble, White People and Everybody

The trip east has retreated into a faraway haze and we feel as though we had never left the Rivers. We certainly did not impress the porter as Easterners when we boarded the train for Chicago, in Yreka. As we flew down the platform with our conspicuously discolored saddle bags and our spurs clanking, the Pullman porter gave us one horrified glance and sternly waved us toward the day coach. He was hardly more resigned when we appeared later from the ladies' room in neat gingham dresses, which did their best to conceal the riding boots we still wore. We never did connect with our trunk, so east we went in riding boots and sombreros, with the gingham dresses modestly disposed between.

California looked at us askance, but as we drew nearer and nearer to the Atlantic coast, our social status went up. By the time we reached Chicago, the porter humbly took our saddle bags, and the two enormous baskets that had been a good-by present from Essie, with an expression of marked respect. And when we dropped off the B and O at Plainfield, New Jersey, we created a most pleasurable sensation.

But it was on the trip back that we showed our true colors. We were Westerners going west. We spent our money freely. At the faintest excuse, or with no excuse at all, we had ice cream. We tipped in a big way. There was only one thing we economized on and that was water. We could hardly bear to drink the alkali water, and mineral water cost fifty cents a bottle. We refused to buy it.

-139-

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