[Note from Editor: This is the fourth in the series of the adventures of Beatrice Boedefeld, working in the summer of 1916 as a cabin maid for Wylie Camping Company in Yellowstone National Park.
Here is part 1.
Here is part 2.
Here is part 3].
Monday July 17
Had a new experience tonight. They have put board doors on the store, but Miles has given Lloyd orders to stay on guard nights, after curfew, so he has to have his dates that way. He and Johnnie are off, and I suppose because he is tired of sympathy, he asked me for a date tonight, and we “guarded” at the store.
Built up a rousing big fire, ate Julia Marlow chocolates, and had lots of fun discussing our past lives. It seems absolutely impossible to realize that he is only a kid just out of high school, on par with Bob Short at home, for instance. He is like Brian McCormick—has been before the public since he was fourteen and has loads of self confidence, self possession, etc., so that he could easily pass for 23 or 24—in some moods. His father is a Congregational minister in Pasadena, but prior to three years ago they lived in Seattle, and Lloyd says he was known in the denomination as the youngest Sunday School Superintendant in the state of Washington. His mother is dead, and he has one younger sister. Thinks that he is unusual and boasts that his father doesn’t understand him. However, I think he’s good fun, and we had a most delightful date and went home quite late.
Had another date with Lloyd tonight, but we managed to lock the store, and then enjoyed the moonlight for a while. We walked out to the Punch Bowl, met a bunch of dude chasers from the kitchen with their girls, and interrupted a couple at the Punch Bowl who were keeping warm in the steam. We didn’t notice them at all at first, as Lloyd was apostrophising the moon in song at a great rate. Went back, drove some rotton loggers out of the office with our flash, and then proceeded to enjoy another feed of candy, lemonade, etc., in the store. Going home, the moon was at its best. We met Mird and Bill by the dining room, and they proceeded to tell us how frightfully scared they were by a mountain lion on the hill just above the Artemesia.
Just after I got to bed, we heard an awful noise down at the bear dump. Bears fighting, I suppose. They come into camp every night now, and they get into the garbage cans at the bath house corner.
Wednesday July 19
Orville says a big grizzly choked a black bear last night, and that’s what the noise was. He had got up and went to see. Orville was our guide today on a picnic at Bridal Veil Falls.
The road led out across the pasture, which is part swamp, so that we had to walk logs, through patches of wild strawberries, to the base of the cliffs. Then we climbed up past a hot spring on the side of the cliff and around the side of the cliff over jagged rocks, until we came to a place where we went almost straight up, clinging to little pine trees and watching every step to see that we made no mistake.
Rae got frightfully dizzy, and we were afraid she wouldn’t make it, but she did with Orville’s assistance. Finally we reached the top, and such a wonderful view. To the north we could see the Gallatin Range, still snow covered, and to the south, beyond the Continental Divide, the jagged teeth of the Tetons. The whole Geyser Basin lay spread out like a map at our feet, I don’t know how far down, it looked like a thousand feet, but it probably wasn’t.
It was a joke about the falls. When we got to them, there was only a dry creek bed. Of course they are snow fed, and most of the snow has melted. We found some water in a little rock pool which was cold and nice; otherwise, we would have had a rather dry lunch. We had sandwiches, cookies, olives, pickles, cake, candy, and other good things, so much that we couldn’t eat it all. We staid up there until nearly three, took pictures, and played around, and then came down through the canyon.
That was worse than going up—much. The canyon is filled with great jagged rocks broken off the face of the cliff by the water. There was a little patch of snow right at the foot of the cliff in a spot which the sun doesn’t strike. Rae and Orville got home long before the rest of us. We certainly had a grand good time but were frightfully tired.
However, we fussed up in good clothes, and I had about every dance tonight, even if my feet were sore. Doc was in, but his Gibbon girl came up on a truck tonight, and he had a date with her.
Thursday July 20
Dick and I walked to the Inn tonight and cut the program as I didn’t have to perform. I was frightfully sore and stiff all day, and my feet felt numb at the ankles. I danced though, and had a wonderful time.
Lloyd asked for a date and asked me to get one of the girls for a friend of his. He mentioned Cora, but she had a date with Matt, so we went down to the tent and got Vess, as Gordon wasn’t in. We went down to Riverside for a while until it got too cold, and then we started back to camp the long way. Lloyd and I both felt like cutting up, and we started to play hide and seek with the others around Grotto, dodging from tree to tree like Indians. The moon goes to my head these nights, and I want to dance and play in it. Vess and the other man gave up the chase, however, and went home by Honeymoon Row, so Lloyd and I went back the front way, inspected the office and store and then played around in the moonlight for another hour before we went home.
Just after supper tonight, Mird came down to the tent and asked me to go with a bunch to Excelsior in Mr. Wolcott’s car. Garnet and Louisa Fischer went too. Wolcott is so interesting to talk to. He saw Excelsior play the last time in 1888 and told us about it. He also told us a pathetic tale about the only girl he ever loved. She married a swaddie who was stationed in the Park in the early days and who deserted her. She died at Fountain Station in giving birth to a baby girl and bequeathed her baby to him. He came in in snow shoes when he got the message, saw her buried in the snow, and took the baby out. He educated her, and she is like his own daughter. He also went back in the spring and saw the mother properly buried. He told us tales of early days with the Wylie Company and of building permanent buildings at different camps in the winter. Some of his bear stories are great.
Had another date with Lloyd tonight, but we fought as he tried to be fresh, and then he was rude when I told him where to stop. I don’t see why the boys have to spoil things just as they begin to be interesting. I thought I had made Lloyd understand my position last Tuesday, but he evidently did not, so we had a very interesting fight. Probably this is the last date with him, but I simply won’t be mauled and pawed over—and some of the things he said were unforgivable. He’s such a dear too, when he’s good. It’s too bad.
Sunday July 23
Nothing much doing today. We were going swimming but changed our minds. Lloyd started to rush Cora today, but I don’t think he’ll find that she will agree with his ideas about girls any more than I do. Wonder if that’s why he and Johnnie fought.
Monday July 24
Such fun tonight. It was Gene’s 21st birthday, and the kitchen gang had a party at Kwitcherkik Inn in celebration after the dance. Shorty Green asked me, about 11th bid I think, as Rae had turned him down and he felt terribly, because he thought he wouldn’t get to go to the party. So I took pity on the poor little thing. The party consisted of Bill and Nance, Kewp and Elsie, Spooks and Clara, Gene and Garnet, and Frank Vetter and Billie Wilson.
During the dance, Garnet and Bill started a new stunt. Bill declared that Garnet proposed to him, and that they must get married. So they called each other Friend Husband and Friend Wife the rest of the evening, and Gene and Nance had to console themselves with each other.
We sang songs and did stunts, and Mrs. Todd baked a birthday cake, brought in sandwiches, and passed the “brew,” a concoction which the kitchen gang makes with any kind of fruit juice which they happen have left.
I had a grand time and was so glad that Shorty had asked me.
Tuesday July 25
Had another good time tonight. The Wyoming and Montana Press Associations have been having a joint meeting over at Canyon Hotel, and a lot of the members were here on their way home tonight. They all looked interesting, and after the program I introduced myself to a bunch of them and said I simply couldn’t get past their red ribbon badges. One of the men I spoke to happened to be the president of the Wyoming Press Association, a little fat man, with a bald head and a jolly twinkle in his eyes. He wanted to dance, and we went into the hall together and started. I didn’t get away from him all evening, as he wanted to talk so badly in between dances, and he loved to dance too. Then he treated me to ice cream and met some of the rest of the girls. He also offered to get me a job out here, and I may take him up. His name is J.E. Hanway, and he is editor of the Natrona County Tribune at Casper, Wyoming.
[Note from Editor: Beatrice got that job three years later, as soon as the War was over.]
Wednesday July 26
Got teased tonight about my dude. Ozie and Owen were over after supper, and we thought sure they were going to make dates, but Owen lost his nerve. They declared that they had a notion to duck me last night.
Forgot to say that they did duck Lloyd last night. The barber and Al were responsible, but some of the pack rats were back of it. They resent the fact that Lloyd orders them around when the dudes arrive and leave—but heavens, it’s only his job. He was game about it, but they tried to put him in before he got his watch and purse out of his pockets, and he kicked Al in the eye. Al bears the marks today, all right.
After Owen and Ozie left, Bobby came tearing down to get Dick or Cora for a ride to Excelsior, and as they weren’t here, I got to go again. Mrs. Corson and Clara were the other members of the party. I wished we could have gone on to Firehole Lake as I have thoroughly explored Excelsior.
Thursday July 27
Mary and I found a purse in one of the tents today that had nearly $500 in money and jewelry in it. The woman had gone, but Miss Johnston gave it to Al, who was being shipped to Roosevelt, and he is to give it to her. I wish we had put a note in saying who found it, as Al will probably get the tip.
Allen came in tonight for the first time in fifteen days. He has had a wonderful trip and is perfectly satisfied with his luck for once. He went to the top of Mr. Washburn, saw the Sulphur Mountain country and Sulphur Springs, was at Roosevelt for a couple of days, and saw all that part of the country which doesn’t come in the regular trip. Also, his dudes tipped him liberally.
We went for a walk before the dance, climbing the hill above the auto enclosure to get the view and see the sunset. It was threatening rain, but the sun came through a rift in the clouds near the horizon, making the whole sky like a huge golden bowl, and casting a weird yellow light over everything. In the south, the sun struck a rain cloud and there was just a tiny patch of rainbow, but so brilliant you could see all the seven colors. We found a lovely log from which to view the sunset, and it was certainly worth the climb.
I was late getting back, and they had called me for the program before I got in. I never get to sing when Allen is in, but I sang for him in the dance hall before we went out, and Martie played for me. Indeed, it was while I was singing that he came to find me. I’m really getting quite a case. He has the dearest southern drawl, and he’s so thoughtful and nice.
It rained after the dance, so we had “sittin’s up” at the tent, as Cora says.
Friday July 28
I don’t know when I have laughed as much as I did tonight. Red Maxwell has been trying to get a date with Dick ever since the 4th, but she has always been busy. Tonight she and Cora were sitting watching the camp fire, and he strolled down that way with Harry Ison and sat down, so they couldn’t get away from them. However, Dick managed to be with Ison who is a perfect dear, and Red was with Cora when they came home. They brought another driver with them for me, but he started for marshmallows and never did find his way back.
Red complained that he never had recovered from his treatment on July 4, and as Perla had left a dish of stewed apricots on the center table, Cora proceeded to feed him. Of course he made a monkey of himself, and of course we laughed. Then Rae came in and Red, Rae, and I began on some monkey stuff we had been carrying on at the store. We insisted that dudes are a nuisance, that if we were running the camp it would be run right, and swore everyone to secrecy, after which we administered the rites of the Dude Exterminators Union. One a.m. was the time set and the countersign was a cross upon the lips.
I can’t begin to make it sound as funny as it was when Red said it all. Several times, when we simply couldn’t keep from laughing, tearful complaints came from Spooks and Mird at Lone Dog, begging us to “Lay off the chin music” so they could get some rest. Of course we didn’t pay any attention to them, for they often come home in the middle of the night, and you can hear Mird for a mile while he’s undressing.
But suddenly the flap of our tent was lifted and in came those two boys in their night clothes! Mird in the most tattered and torn night shirt with his feet and legs bare and his hair on end, and the Spook looking like his name, without his glasses, in a suit of pajamas that were too small, and carrying a candle. All he needed was to have his chin bound up and chain around his waist and he would have been the living image of Marley’s ghost as pictured in our old edition of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I laughed until I was weak.
“Women!” he said, “This unseemly levity must cease.”
And Mird added, “Don’t you know we have to get some rest?”
Dick and Cora were furious. “You get out of here,” Cora said, and Dick never said a word, but she made a dive for the wash room and came back with two pitchers of water. “Outside—get out,” she said, and when the boys had backed out, she dumped a pitcher of water all over Spook, who was so astonished that he stood still and let her do it.
We could hear him telling Jimmy and Ed about it after they came in—“The woman actually threw water on me and I’m all wet,” he said.
We’ll undoubtedly all be called tomorrow, for of course we simply howled, it was all so ridiculously funny after the girls had cooled down. As for Red and Harry, they didn’t know what to say or which way to look.
Saturday July 29.
We had the aftermath of the fun last night in a calling today from Miss Johnston, who said the boys complained because we made so much noise, and they said they couldn’t work if they couldn’t sleep. Believe me, when she spoke to me, I told her that most of the noise that was made in that street came from Lone Dog, and that if it came to tattling among Savages, we could do our share if we thought it the thing to do, which we didn’t. I’d certainly be ashamed to complain if I were a boy—but what can you expect of that pair. I told Miss J. that if any of the dudes ever complained of us, we wanted to know, but that it certainly was rather small of the boys. She agreed.
Tonight right after supper, Cora and I went down to the bear dump and were so fortunate as to see eleven bears there at one time. Mrs. Mueller, Katherine, and Roy also saw them, and Roy went to camp to call the crowd, but when they got there, all but four had gone.
Tonight George Chidlow was in and came home with Cora and me, and we tried to see some bears by flashlight at the dump. We told him about last night, and he and Gordon were just waiting for Spooks and Mird to start something. They said none of the older drivers would have stood for last night, and they ached for a chance to take the two of them to the trough. Guess the kids got wise, for they were awfully quiet as soon as they knew who was out there. They may have carried out their threat to go and sleep in Honeymoon Row.
Sunday July 30
As Rae had to work, I had a special treat today—a trip to Lone Star Geyser in the Carpenter’s coach. Shrader, the barn pup, drove. Rae was to have gone with him, and so I sat with him as I was taking her place, but we didn’t get on. Riddle, the Carpenter kid, was with Cora, and Dorothy and Ed filled the back seat. It was a six-mile drive, beyond Keppler’s Cascades, and about a mile and a half off the main road. The cone of the geyser is enormous, but the geyser itself doesn’t amount to much. We saw it play twice. The fellows were rough but good fun, and we enjoyed ourselves. We also took a lot of pictures.
As we drove in past the Inn, we saw a bunch of our kids playing baseball, and they came and begged us not to tell Miss Johnston that they were playing on Sunday.
Doc was in, and I met him in the dance pavilion just after we got back. Had a date with him tonight too. We walked down the road past Morning Glory a ways and then came back to the hill above Honeymoon Row. Talked about his ambitions a while. He is a football player for his college and such a big virile red-blooded sort of a fellow that I can’t help liking him. Not as I like Allen though. Doc is a bit of a brute, but we get along.
Tuesday August First
Clara, Cora, and I went over to Iron Creek this afternoon for a swim. Had a most glorious time. Tonight, Cora dressed up as a boy in Lloyd’s yellow corduroy pants, which we washed for him yesterday, and took Dick and me rotten logging. We said our beau’s name was Tommy and that he came up on a truck from Riverside. We interrupted all the rotten loggers we could find, sat on Pink and Martie’s bench, etc. We got scared though, when Riddle started to chase us, and we ran.
When we got the tent, Fuller and Gordon were there, and you should have seen them stare. “Tommy” was some kid.
Cora had a date with Lloyd last night and was scared to death for fear we’d run into him and he’d recognize the rig.
Wednesday August Second
Lloyd was so disappointed because we didn’t take him swimming yesterday, that we got up a special party for him today. It was composed of Jim, Ed, Mird, Dorothy, Cora, and I. We asked Mird because he hinted strongly, and Jimmie went as chaperone, as he didn’t take his suit.
We went down to the Little Firehole river where a hot spring comes up in the bottom of a pool, making the water just right. Had a wonderful time. Lloyd is a perfect fish in the water. Lloyd walked down with Cora and back with me—perfectly impartial.
Tonight I fussed up in my party dress and planned to make a hit at the dance, but Allen came in, and I didn’t dance at all. Instead, we walked way down to the road, climbed the hill, and finally found a “soft” rock by the Artemesia where we studied astronomy and talked, as people will when they are quite congenial, as we are.
When we got back, Gordon and Vess were having a tete-a-tete in the tent, so we strolled around until the rest of the gang arrived. Then someone proposed that we go with the boys to water the horses. We girls sat in the coach (Allen’s) while the feeding was going on, and then the boys came back and insisted that we pretend we were taking the Park trip with them. Had a lot of fun. Came back to the tent and had a feed to top off a most enjoyable day. Dick was with Ed, and Cora with Gene Eleson. They had been viewing Riverside while we watered the horses. The boys didn’t go home until after midnight and it will be a wonder if we don’t get called. Thursday, August 3. Mary and I had a good deal of work today, but after dinner, Allen and I started on a hike. I had intended to make it a picnic but didn’t have time to rustle anything to eat, so Friend Man had to be satisfied with my company. He seemed to be. We went down the cow trail and then followed the west bank of the Firehole, where there are ever so many little springs and several mud geysers, like the paint pots.
We went to the junction of the Firehole and the Little Firehole with Iron Creek, crossed a marsh on logs, and then an old rickety foot bridge into Biscuit Basin. Saw the Jewel and the beautiful Sapphire Pool, and the Biscuits, which are like little loaves of bread, brown on one side. Allen got a number of pictures of the pool and some of me. He has a little vest pocket camera with an extra fine lens.
We came home on the east bank of the River, following the shore and I guess we have seen it all. We found the dearest little bird’s next under the edge of a log, in a strawberry patch.
Danced a while tonight, and then went out with Allen again. Doc was in, but no time for him when I.J.A. is here too. We climbed the Searchlight Tower, and I had a fight up there with Spooks, who got us a calling from Miss J. today because we were noisy last night. It’s a different story, of course, when we want to sleep and he and Mird want to sing in the middle of the night after they come in from dude chasing—oh, entirely different.
From there, Ivan and I went out to the hill back of Mrs. Mueller’s, but as I was tired to death, Friend Man brought me in at 11 with orders to go to bed, and believe me, I was glad to go.
Friday, August Fourth
Doc came over this afternoon. I was on my way to the laundry to iron when I met him. I guess he wanted me to go to the Plunge, but he put it so backwardly that I wouldn’t go.
Mrs. Mueller wouldn’t let me iron at once, so I came back to the tent, and Doc was still there. Cora had promised to go to the Plunge. Doc was wearing the red ribbon off a candy box as a tie, and it looked so tacky that I gave him my red tie, after he showed me how to tie the horse thieves’ knot.
It was funny tonight. I guess Doc wanted a date, but he didn’t ask, and as I wasn’t particularly keen, I didn’t intend that he should have one unless he did ask. We were all standing at the desk in the office before the dance started, and he asked Cora and Perla for the second and third dances, but he didn’t say anything to me. Neither did he make any move when the dance started, so Miss Independence and Cora went in without him. We started to dance together, but Tony Grass and another driver broke that up and off we sailed, each with a partner. Doc came in in a few minutes with a very blank look and said he had been looking everywhere for me. Later he had a dance and afterward remarked, “See you later,” but if that meant a date, I couldn’t find him after the dance, so Rae and I came home. We left the tent a few minutes, and while we were gone, he came down, stuck his head in, told the kids he was looking for a girl, and then went up to the kitchen to get a feed. Rae and I came in while they were away and went to bed. It couldn’t have happened slicker if I had planned it, and I’m rather glad on the whole. Serves him right.
As it was Pinkey’s birthday, we Savages celebrated with a dinner tonight after the drivers had had their supper. The Newcastle girls were in charge. They shaved down candle stubs to the proper birthday cake size and decorated the table with paintbrush and other wild flowers. It looked beautiful. Mrs. Todd cooked a special dinner and an enormous birthday cake, and we all sat down at once, dining room, kitchen, and tent gangs. We had several speeches and it was a very festive occasion. Martie had the seat of honor on one side of Pink and I on the other.
Saturday August Fifth
Doc would hardly speak this morning, and I guess he’s sore. I notice that he didn’t bring back my tie though, but wore it out. Ozie has Dick’s and her slippers that George Chidlow gave her.
Sunday August 6.
This afternoon Dick, Cora, and I went to the Plunge for a swim. We didn’t know whether Vess and Perla would approve or not, so we decided to slip our things out without their knowing. They are rather strict Sabbatarians, or at least Perla is. So we had a lot of fun over our flank movement, and a great time when we got to the Plunge. Lloyd and Ozie were over, and both pretended to be shocked because we were swimming on Sunday. Had a circus with Lloyd.
Tonight at church, Matt sat with us and talked for quite a while afterward. He and Cora quarrelled the other night, and we thought perhaps he was getting up nerve enough to make up. We wrote letters, and then, as the other girls had dates, I went out to the camp fire with Garnet, Gula, Clara, and some of the rest.
Tuesday August 8
The big crowds are expected tonight and from now on, and the tent force had to get busy this afternoon and make up the extra wall tents on Pine Street. Mary was sore because I went to work without her, but she was so tired that I hated to call her, and there really wasn’t work for all of us.
The great trouble was in getting the pack rats to work. Bill came over and helped me do my work (?) by sitting around, and Mird also butted in. Cora came up and started teasing Bill, whereupon he chased her up the street and kissed her.
After Mary came we helped with the work on Broadway and then moved Bill, who had one of the Pine Street tents, into the tent occupied by Mird and Spooks.
We girls planned to go to the curio store tonight, and just as we were ready to start, they informed us that they still didn’t have enough tents and that two more of the big four-compartment tents on Broadway would have to be done. We were mad. Shouldn’t kick, as it’s the first hard day we’ve had, but we might just as well have done it last week, or anyway this afternoon. Getting woolen blankets was the big problem.
Mird Mecklem was shipped out this morning bright and early to the Thumb. Seems that he tried to switch tents for some of the Texans and got things in a general mix, so Lady Mac sent him on. We had pretty heavy work today and more extra tents to make up this afternoon.
Lady Mac told us that Catherine Hornby, the pretty little girl who made such a hit with me at Riverside the morning we came in, because she looked so nice as she waited tables, had eloped with a swaddie corporal from Thumb. Bill had quite a case on Catherine coming up on the train, and they have corresponded some this summer. She is the daughter of the manager at Thumb and intended to spend her summer catching butterflies for the science professor of her college. But she seems to have been doing other things too. I thought Bill might like to hear the news, so went to the meat house to tell him, and he consoled himself by making a date with me for tonight. As I thought nothing else would turn up, I gave him a date, and then when I got back to the tent, Gordon said Allen was coming. Just my luck.
Tonight, at Lady Mac’s request, we tent girls washed silver and glasses as there were so many dudes in camp that they had to re-set the tables in the dining room. Just as we got through, Allen came after me and helped finish the last pan. Said he had lots of practice the few days he was at Roosevelt, as they were short of help up there. There was nothing for it, so I told him of the mix-up, and that if Gordon had just told me sooner, I could have saved the time for him. He said he hadn’t told Gordon to tell me he was coming as he didn’t believe in making dates ahead, and it was all right. I hated it though, for we are having a feed tonight, and he has never been in on one of our tent parties, so I fixed it up with Cora to look after him, as she had no date, and we arranged it that way.
Then we went out over the hill and up the trail back of Riverside to the meadow beyond the Wylie Spring where we picked strawberries, and talked of many things, as we always do. The head of the chemistry department at SMU is in camp with the Texas party. His wife is sick, and I waited on her in one of our tents today. She asked about all the boys, and especially about Allen, and I had a lot of fun teasing him. He wanted to know what she said about him.
We went down for the program and the dance, as I had to perform in connection with some of the Texas talent. Heavens, but there was a jam.
And after all the fuss, Bill broke the date. I could have killed him. Had almost a notion to go to the kitchen and see if he was still working, but just as I started in the dining room, Doc came along with some drivers, and I was afraid he’d ask for a date, so I ducked. He saw me at that and wanted me to go in to the kitchen with them for a raid, but I told him I was waiting.
I hated to go on to the tent, and I’d have staid out if the camp hadn’t been so full, but there were no bungalows empty, and I was afraid to risk the other tents because the drivers sometimes use them. It began to rain, and after roosting in 46 for a while, I went down to 60 and attempted to crawl in under the curtain. Couldn’t do that so put on a bold face and went in, telling them that Bill was sick, and I had sent him home. Believe me, what I’ll do to him will be plenty.
Well, we had a good time anyway. I helped make sandwiches and constituted myself as chaperone. Seeing my tow-headed scissorbill with another girl didn’t go down very well, though.
Thursday August 10
|Pinkey and Jim doing the job they “love”|
After supper tonight, Ivan and I walked out the wood road by the light of the little wee moon. He sure is the nicest man I’ve met up here, and I like him more every time I see him.
At the dance, I decided to pass things off with Bill as a joke, for it’s no use fighting up here. The camp is too small and the summer is too short. So I happened to stop near him on the dance floor, and I asked him if he knew any good reason why he shouldn’t be taken out on the formation and shot at sunrise. He said, “Not a one. Do you want me to explain?”
And I said, “I certainly think explanations are in order.” So presently he came for a dance, and he said he had to work until 10:10 and didn’t think that I’d wait.
“Then you certainly should have sent me word,” I said, “for you put me in a very embarrassing position, seeing that I had to turn down another date in order to keep the date with you.” He expressed the utmost contrition, of course, and we had a nice dance.
Came home with Allen after the dance, and we had another party. Jay Walker came down with Cora on a dare from some of the older drivers, Gordon was here with Vess, and Rae was with Red McMahon. Allen wanted to know if we had such feeds every night of the week. We had candy, cookies, and sandwiches.
Friday August 11
Not much excitement today, but very much so tonight. I darned Lloyd’s socks this afternoon and took them down to him at the office, as he thanked me so sweetly last night for the other stuff we had done for him. He pays with Pink Lady chocolates, though, which is more than Bill does.
[Note from Editor: The Sweet Candy Company of Salt Lake City applied for a patent for Pink Lady chocolates in January 1915, claiming they had been making them since 1912.]
After supper, Cora and I went to the dump hunting bears. We saw two, and it was quite exciting. Walked back with Lee and King, two of the Texas boys. They must have girls at home, for they never make dates. We think they are mighty nice and wish they would. As we reached camp we found that the boys had a big bear treed by the bath house. George Miller, Chip, and some of the rest baited it there for nearly two hours before they finally let it down. We hated it, as teasing them makes them mean.
After the dance, Mike Stoyek bought Cora and me ice cream, and we walked up to the kitchen looking for cake. We found it and also found Bill, who, after sticking around a while, asked me for a date. I knew that at least five dude girls and two Savages had turned him down, but the moon was too good to waste, so I took him up.
Mike, however, thought he had done his duty, for he went home and that left Cora without a man. She was going home, but Bill said Kewp and Gene were hunting girls and he thought we’d find them watching the Giant. We went to find them, but they weren’t there. So we went over to Riverside, and Bill tried rotton logging with two girls at once and declared it was most successful. We certainly acted dippy and had a heap of fun out of it anyway. I was glad it happened as it did, for I don’t believe the summer has improved Bill any, and he might act like Lloyd did.
We came back to camp up Honeymoon Hill, and as we reached the tent saw two enormous bears by the wood pile, headed for the garbage cans. Allen says he saw three among the coaches as he went to water his horses night before last.
Told King about it tonight, and he said, “Do y’all believe ev’ything that Allen man tells yuh?”
“Well, hardly,” I said.
“Ah came up f’om Texas with him, an’ he sho-nuff can tell the ha’d luck ya’ns,” King said.
Saturday August 12
Just a little let up in the work today, but not much. Next week will be the big week for Mary and me as we have the bunk house with all our new tents, and there are more big crowds.
Tonight Bobby started to take Rae home, and all the rest of the Deaux Drops tagged, as she doesn’t want him to have any opportunity to think he’s big enough to be a regular rotton logger. We went down to the Giant and sat on the formation back of it where it slopes down to the Firehole just like a beautiful hard white beach.
The moon was perfectly gorgeous. We sang and sang the “Ring three cheers for the Deaux Drops” song to every girl in the crowd. Dick ditched Ed and came and joined us, and we thought we’d be able to charm Cora in too, but she wouldn’t come. Then we marched around the formation with:
Left, left, I had a good home and I left
I left my wife with ten small babies
But what care we for the New York ladies,
Change to the right boys, Left, (etc.)
We found Mart and Pink on their bench as usual and serenaded them with all the songs in our repertoire. Finally we went back to camp.
Monday August 14
Spent my time writing letters in the office tonight and catching up with my correspondence. Doc was in and I danced with him, but he had a date with Cora. This is about his last trip as he has to go home early.
Rae and I washed today and enjoyed a two pound box of Pink Lady chocolates from Lloyd, which we shared with Mrs. Mueller and Katherine. Had our usual row with Mrs. M., and she slapped Rae but apologized afterward, which was remarkable.
We always have an interesting time with drivers down there, and today was no exception. It’s such a fine place to see “who’s in.” Pretty near as good as down at the stile.
Tuesday August 15
Saw Doc in the office this morning and told him that I wanted him to be sure to write in my address book today and also have his picture taken. We met him again as we came from lunch and jollied him because he had his elbow all covered with red. He started to come down to the tent then but stopped at the Cornerstone to write in Tillie’s book.
I ironed all afternoon, and it was such a dark and gloomy day that I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get a picture of Doc after all. He came about 3:30, wrote in all the books, copied several of our camp songs and Mird’s letter from Thumb which came to Miss Johnston the other day, and made himself at home for the rest of the afternoon. Actually talked more than he has in all the time I’ve known him, and he’s mighty interesting when he gets started. Had a list of examination questions from his vet college which he read off together with the answers and funny comments of his own.
He still had the red on his arm, and while I scrubbed it off, Cora took a picture of us. Then I took one of Doc alone, and Cora took one of the two of us.
Allen came in on a late coach, and I didn’t see him until after program. He was writing letters, and Cora and I sat down to tease him. He said he was sick and was going to bed, and I pretended to agree that that was the best thing for him to do.
However, he was still in the office when I came out from the dance. We went down to watch Riverside play with the searchlight. The searchlight makes the most wonderful rainbows in the steam when seen at certain angles. We saw one with about four bands of the colors side by side.
As Allen still complained of being sick, we went home. Perla was ironing, and we stopped to talk a while and then went over to water the horses. When we came back, he fussed around a while longer and I told him to go home, for heaven’s sake, as no man should ever say I kept him out when he was sick. So he went.
Wednesday August 16
A Yellowstone summer wouldn’t be complete without a bit of a romance, and a proposal or two. Mine was lovely, but I am a bit flabbergasted—up in the air as it were. Is he sincere? Does he really love me? Do I really love him? Those are the questions that keep running through my head all the time and it’s what I’ll have to settle before next week I suppose.
But I ought to begin at the beginning. This was just a wonderful day—that’s all.
It was work, of course, this morning, and Cora told me that she and Harry Ison, Dick and Ed were going for a walk down the cow trail this afternoon, and that I should see Allen about going too.
My boy kept making love to me the whole afternoon, but I laughed at him, of course. Finally, as we came home along the regular cow-trail, he began to quote:
The time I’ve spent in wooing
In seeking and pursuing
The light that lies
In woman’s eyes
Has oft been my undoing
until I got quite sore. When we got back to the tent, both he and Ison stuck around and looked at our pictures, and we arranged to trade the pictures taken today.
Ed got sore, and he and Dick vamoosed after we took our rotten logging pictures, so they aren’t included. Drivers and pack rats simply don’t mix on any expedition, that’s all.
Right after supper, Cora and I started for the Inn to get some shoes of mine, and as we reached the main road, who should yell to me but Dr. Staufft and Nellie Frank Smith. They are here for two days, and I promised to look them up after the dance.
I didn’t see Ivan again until after the program, and then I asked him if he wasn’t going to bed. For answer, he got my coat, and we went down to the tent and then out to Riverside, over Honeymoon trail. They were getting ready to show Riverside by searchlight again, so we went on a way and found a place just meant for us, on the bank of the Grotto overflow, where a felled log lay between two trees.
Allen tried to find out why Doc and I were off, but I wouldn’t tell him. I really don’t know what we were talking about. He has asked me several times before how much I liked him, and generally I have answered, “Whole heaps, or I wouldn’t be here with you now!” So suddenly, he became very serious and said, “Would you come to Texas with me, if I came to Indiana after you?”
It took my breath, and I couldn’t talk for a minute. He put his arms around me and drew me up close, and said again, “Would you?”
“Oh,” I said. “That is too serious a matter to talk about lightly.”
“I am very serious, honey,” he said.
”Do you really think you could put up with me?” I asked.
“I know it.”
“But you hardly know me, the real me, at all.”
“I’m a pretty good judge of character. Will you come?”
Then I said, “Ivan, I can’t answer you right away. When I give myself to the man I love, I must be sure of him and awfully sure of myself. I’ve got to know that we really love each other, because I don’t believe in divorce. It’s for life.”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he said.
That was the most beautiful minute, I think, that I ever lived. Even if I don’t marry him, it will always be a precious memory, and I’m sure I don’t know whether I will marry him or not.
“Is there anything I can do that will make you sure?” he asked once, “Any test you can put me to?”
But I couldn’t say there was. “I shall know,” I answered. And I feel that I shall.
Two or three times he pressed me to answer him at once, but I can’t. I’m not sure. For instance, Lloyd excites me much more than Ivan does. I just feel sort of safe and sure with Ivan, but it seems as if there should be some of the passion that Lloyd arouses too, as well as the safe, sure sort of love, if one is going to marry. So I may answer him next week. I don’t know.
I wish I could discuss it with the girls, but a serious proposal one doesn’t discuss, until one is certain one way or the other. But oh, I’ll never forget the way the moon shone through the pine trees, and the rush of the Firehole River, and the hiss of the little hot river from the Grotto. It sure was an ideal proposal, and I’m happy, happy that he cares enough for me to ask me.
But when I will be ready for him to come, and how long it will take to resign from the Truth, and when I will give him my answer are questions that will have to work themselves out. How can I know how he’ll feel when he finds out that I’m older than he is? I don’t know how much, but I know it’s three and maybe four or even five years. Won’t that make a difference? Those are just some of the things that I think about over and over. I shall have to confide in Rae, I think, or go mad about it all.
|Ivan Jackson Allen|