The Great Deerskin Dance
At the Hildings', when we stopped over on our way down river, we heard important news. There is a strong probability that Siskiyou County will go dry. Think of it! Siskiyou, a dry county.
"I'm not going to vote," said Mr. Hilding. "I ain't going to vote even if they pay me five dollars and all my expenses. The way things are now, there just ain't no chance for a packer in this country. The men get drunk and spoil your mules. If they get 'em out alive, coming over Marble Mountain in the fall, you're a lucky man. It costs too much money, the sort of men you get."
We grinned and said, "Why don't you vote for a dry county, Mr. Hilding?"
"Well," said Mr. Hilding seriously, "you know I would if I could. That's why I won't vote at all. But it wouldn't look right, me having been in the business." (We thought of the stories of Hilding and his saloon at Orleans, before Mr. Richards had run him out of town. And how Hilding had boasted that no man left his saloon until he had spent his last cent.) "The boys wouldn't understand it, if I voted dry," went on Mr. Hilding, "so I'll just stay home and not vote at all. But I hope they'll make it. Good for everyone on the Rivers, if we was to have a dry county."
At Happy Camp, Mr. Lindsay had sat on his counter and gravely discussed the question.
"Of course," said Mr. Lindsay, "in that saloon of mine,