I DO not know how long I was in a state of forgetfulness, but it seemed an age. A vague consciousness grew upon me by degrees, and then came a gathering anguish of pain in my limbs and through all my body. I shuddered. The thought flitted through my brain, "this is death--this is the hereafter."
Then came a white upheaval at my side, and a voice said, with bitterness:
"Will some gentleman be so good as to kick me behind?"
It was Ballou--at least it was a tousled snow image in a sitting posture, with Ballou's voice.
I rose up, and there in the gray dawn, not fifteen steps from us, were the frame buildings of a stagestation, and under a shed stood our still saddled and bridled horses!
An arched snowdrift broke up, now, and Ollendorff emerged from it, and the three of us sat and stared at the houses without speaking a word. We really had nothing to say. We were like the profane man who could not "do the subject justice." the whole situation was so painfully ridiculous and humiliating that words were tame and we did not know where to commence anyhow.