Ranson's Folly

Ranson's Folly

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Ranson's Folly

Ranson's Folly

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Excerpt

The junior officers of Fort Crockett had organized a mess at the post-trader's. "And a mess it certainly is," said Lieutenant Ranson. The dining-table stood between hogs- heads of molasses and a blazing log-fire, the counter of the store was their buffet, a pool-table with a cloth, blotted like a map of the Great Lakes, their sideboard, and Indian Pete acted as butler. But none of these things counted against the great fact that each evening Mary Cahill, the daughter of the post-trader, presided over the evening meal, and turned it into a banquet. From her high chair behind the counter, with the cash- register on her one side and the weighing-scales on the other, she gave her little Senate laws, and smiled upon each and all with the kind impartiality of a comrade.

At least, at one time she had been impartial. But of late she smiled upon all save Lieutenant Ranson. When he talked, she now looked at . . .

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