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A Waif of the Plains
Bret Harte

Page 1 of 205


A WAIF OF THE PLAINS 

by Bret Harte 

CHAPTER I 

A long level of dull gray that further away became a faint blue,
with here and there darker patches that looked like water.  At
times an open space, blackened and burnt in an irregular circle,
with a shred of newspaper, an old rag, or broken tin can lying in
the ashes.  Beyond these always a low dark line that seemed to sink
into the ground at night, and rose again in the morning with the
first light, but never otherwise changed its height and distance.
A sense of always moving with some indefinite purpose, but of
always returning at night to the same place--with the same
surroundings, the same people, the same bedclothes, and the same
awful black canopy dropped down from above.  A chalky taste of dust
on the mouth and lips, a gritty sense of earth on the fingers, and
an all-pervading heat and smell of cattle.

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