What's So and What Isn't

What's So and What Isn't

What's So and What Isn't

What's So and What Isn't

Excerpt

On a certain evening in the spring of 1908, in a little nest of a town in the mountains of southern Idaho, I made a Socialist speech and organized a local. I was billed to speak the next evening at a place twenty-five miles distant, across the valley. There was no railroad between, and in those days autos were not in common use. So, in the morning, an obliging native of the village called at the hotel for me, with his team and buggy. The way led us down the mountain and across a wide valley. When we left the village we drove downward over a tortuous path around the mountain side, with cliffs on every hand cutting off our vision. Passing down the canyon and turning an abrupt curve in the road, suddenly, and without warning, the whole broad valley far below swept into view.

It was one of those moments that are never forgotten.

The vast expanse of sage brush, too far away to be ugly; the winding river; the twinkling brooklet that flowed into it when the mountain afforded water enough; the irrigation ditches that filched the water from the river again; the angular patches of green farm land carved out of the gray sage brush; the little shanties with clumps of would-be trees about them; the browsing cattle and sheep; the isolated cross sections of red rock thrown up by some mundane upheaval in the dim and silent past; the . . .

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