It was a camp such as few American boys had ever seen and of a type that no boy will ever see again. Everywhere along the cuts and hillsides and in sheltered spots the men had made temporary quarters by burrowing into the clay or soft rock and making dugouts and canvas-roofed huts, with earthen sides for walls. But not all were so enterprising as this. Some laborers were camping in old hogsheads.
Of a sudden the interior of the dim-lit, canvas-roofed shack was illuminated as if by a searchlight, and she turned her head to see that the whole out-of-doors was visible and that the night itself had turned into day. With a cry that died weakly amid the chaos of sound beating over her, the girl ran to the window and looked out. What she beheld was a nightmare scene. The well was afire.
He was a handsome fellow, lighter of complexion than most of his countrymen, owned a sunny smile and spoke English fluently, all of which things made him a favorite among the American customers and consequently an asset to the house. So when dusk came and the booted miners began drifting into the long canvas-roofed hall, the proprietor scanned the crowd for him with some anxiety.
Carriage after carriage rolls up through the dense throng of curious but silent spectators and discharges its load of richly-dressed occupants through the carpeted, canvas-roofed lane of belted police, through the massive portals of the church, past the welcoming "masters of ceremonies," two society swells, who know everybody and where everybody is to be seated, and by them are presented to one of half a dozen stalwart young officers in all the glitter of shoulder-knots, helmet-cords, aiguillettes, sabres, and belts, and these martial ushers receive the wondering ladies on their arms and escort them with much ceremony to the designated pews, wherein they are deposited with the precision of military bows, and the escort returns forthwith, clanking down the aisle followed by curious eyes.
The old man protested at first but on the repeated use of Kut-le's name he finally nodded and Alchise carried Rhoda into the campos. A squaw kindled a fire which, blazing up brightly, showed a huge, dark room, canvas-roofed and dirt-floored, quite bare except for the soiled blankets on the floor. Rhoda was laid in the center of the hut. The old buck knelt beside her. He was very old indeed.