Saturday, February 9, 2013

Cowboys and other Interesting Characters

Henry was a sometime occupant of a tiny cabin at Glenrulac, the mountain ranch where I boarded in the early thirties while teaching.  My landlord was the president of the school board and needed transportation for his six year old daughter.  Glenrulac was a lovely spot among Boxelder trees fed by a warm stream.

Henry had served as an Aide-de-camp during one of the wars and when present he was an asset to the establishment.  Fuel for the fireplace which heated the living area was constantly needed, snow had to be cleared away, and garbage needed disposal.  Potatoes needed to be dug and stored and milk was brought from the farm three-fourths of a mile down stream.

Henry was quiet, obliging, and trustworthy.  Two or three of his fingers had been injured, but he was an accomplished handler of some “Bones” at various country dances.  When he was “away” for such events we missed him.

His private domain was a small log building just beyond the clothes lines.  It was so convenient to be able to call on Henry for errands and a bit of odd jobs.  The lighting system was supplied with power from the upper falls.  He understood it and its eccentricities.  There were times when the mail would need to be picked up two miles below the ranch house.  And then three year old Lynette was a very independent young miss whom everyone was aware might fall from the foot bridge while watching the shiny fish below.  Henry would have found tasks to perform near by.  He felt needed and appreciated.

As Mr. Wilder, the owner of the property became more helpless and dependent, I’ve no doubt that Henry kept a close watch on the man whom he respected.  And when the ‘end’ came it was Henry who found is superior officer lying on the floor of his ranch home.

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