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And then came the emigrants, the first white-covered wagons, the first white women, looking out from the shade of their sunbonnets. The squaw wives wondered at their pale faces and bright hair. They came at intervals, a few wagons crawling down the valley and then the long, bare road with the buffaloes crossing it to the river and the occasional red spark of a trapper's camp fire.

No sight could have been more beautiful in our eyes than that village of white tents in the waste of yellow sand. Our wildest imaginings could have pictured nothing more perfect, more peaceful. Tea was ready, in the huge dining-tent, where folding chairs were grouped round a white-covered table.

A week later Jane in a white shirt-waist and white apron came down with her white-covered basket into the glare of the town's white lights. The night was warm and she wore no hat. Her red hair was swept back from her forehead with a droop over the ears. She had white skin and strong white teeth. Her eyes were as gray as the sea on stormy days.

At the foot of their mother's white-curtained bed stands the little fir-tree; tiny candles are burning all over it like little stars, and glittering golden fruits are hanging among the dark-green branches. On the white-covered table are laid Fritz's sword and Gretchen's big doll, they being too heavy for the tree to hold.

It was linked to the road by a curving driveway marked on either side by whitewashed stones. On verandas enclosed in glass Wharton saw white-covered tables under red candle-shades and, protruding from one end of the house and hung with electric lights in paper lanterns, a pavilion for dancing.

Some of these were in town, coming in on horseback or in their white-covered wagons, and bringing wife or daughter. The men were long-bearded and venerable of aspect; the women had peaceful Quaker faces, framed by the prim close bonnet of their peculiar garb. These quiet folk, too, were anxious-eyed. They would not resist evil, but their homes and barns were dear to their hearts.

Out along the road from town comes a train of white-covered wagons slowly crawling northward, with stores and supplies for the army up in the Indian country, and down here to our right front, covering the flat between fort and depot, blocked out in regular rows and groups, dotting the plain with gleaming canvas, is the camp of the th regiment of cavalry.

But all night long the creaking moan of the ox-carts went on, giving the prairie a yet closer resemblance to "an inland sea." The summer passed uneventfully. Day after day we watched for the white-covered mail-waggon, pails dangling underneath it, dogs trotting behind, rousing as they passed countless wild brethren from every quarter of the prairie.

The white-covered table was moved slightly, and in the darkness some further manipulation was performed. "Observe," came the strident voice "we now have upon the screen here a minute moving picture. This little device, which is not protected in any way, is of my own invention, and proved extremely useful in the Arkwright jewel case, which startled Chicago. It has proved useful now.

But a few months of pioneer life permanently darkened my rosy ideal of the white-covered wagon, the charming picnics by the way, and the paradise at last. I found many of these adventurers in unfinished houses and racked with malaria; in one case I saw a family of eight, all ill with chills and fever.