Montana Authors Project

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Ours was one of the last areas in the nation to receive power, and by the time it arrived our community had long since become self-reliant where it mattered. Most [neighbors] had rigged up "light plants" for power, using windmill-driven or gasoline-fed generators to charge rows of wet-cell batteries lining a dirt basement beneath the house. (24)…


Last night I saw a dream. In that dream I watched a war dance where they sang the Flag Song, "You are a man that is good, your flag you've raised." I want to see that day with you, so if you think of me I will be among the Wolf Teeth Mountains.…


Baptiste slapped his thighs and Champagne ran faster. They were running dead speed, the ground passed quickly beneath them, pale rocks, twigs, sage, the highway, the railroad tracks gleamed beneath them. She felt light. Her hair whipped her face. She had never ridden a horse so fast. She heard the spray of gravel, the hard ground was passing. She held her breath and held on. (44)…


I only dreamed that high cliff we were on overlooking Wisdom and the Big Hole drain. I dreamed us high enough to not see men, dreamed old land behind us better left and we were vagabond.…


It is not known just when in the 1860's the first white pioneers trickled into our area of south-central Montana, into what would come to be called the Smith River Valley. But if the earliest of them wagoned in on a day when the warm sage smell met the nose and the clear air lensed close the details of peaks two days' ride from there, what a glimpse into glory it must have seemed. (19)…


The Company lowered the wages of the miners fifty cents a day due to the low price of copper on the market, and a premonition of tragedy lay over the town. The I.W.W.'s wanted a strike, but the more conservative officials of the Miners' Union counseled delay and hoped for better things. There commenced a struggle within the union between the conservative and radical elements. A big meeting was to be held at the Miners' Union Hall on North Main Street opposite the Post Office, and nearly all of the miners in town attended. (142)…


Snow had frozen a crust across each back, down each side, smoothing away evidence of the dark hair beneath. Pounds of ice sheathed their heads and hung in cones from their noses to the ground, breath grown solid in the bitter cold.... It was the only noise the cows made as Dad walked among them. They stood motionless, though his steps creaked and squawked against the snow inches from their lowered heads. Eyes sealed tight under an inch of milky ice, they waited, blind and dumb, rigid with shock. (54)…


The breath-giving kiss in the morning mist The art of loving is enticed by a beautiful feeling. Want you to feel beautiful. In the heat of the day, Come and take me away To the mouth of the Medicine Tail Coulee. From the Little Big Horn River, Water will you give me, From beyond reflection, into your feeling?…


She would go to the Dixon Bar and have a beer, maybe two. She thought about the burn of hard, clean whiskey. She thought about dancing and drinking and drinking until the dim bar glowed. She was so happy she would dance barefoot to Dixon. Suddenly the world was good. She stepped off the porch like a whisper. (115)…


This is the final resting place of engines, farm equipment and that rare, never more than occasional man. Population: 17. Altitude unknown. For no good reason you can guess, the woman in the local store is kind.…

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