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By the time Grandma and I moved there, Ringling stood as only a spattered circle of houses around several large weedy foundations. The adult population was about 50 persons, almost all of them undreamably old to me, and the livelihoods were a saloon, a gas station, a post office, Mike Ryan's store, the depot, and exactly through the middle of town the railroad tracks which glinted and fled instantly in both directions. (126)…

Zola walked along Park Street looking into shop windows, measuring her dollars and cents against the prices of dresses, slippers and hats on display. John turned over three dollars of his daily wages to her and out of that she paid the rent for the flat, the money for food and what was left she could expend on clothes. There was very little left. In the old days, she had made good money, and her closets were always gay and fragrant and colorful with dresses and wraps. (100)…

The camp of the Small Robes, where all the bands' warriors had assembled, was on a grassy flat near the point where the Yellow River joined the Big River. It was here that the first big treaty was signed, nearly thirteen winters ago. Fox Eyes could remember sitting almost on the exact spot where he now stood, listening to the Napikwan chief spell out the conditions of the treaty.... [T]he Napikwans did not honor the treaty. They spoke high words that day, but they proved to be two-faced. (138)…

For the next week, questions of who and where the murderer was took our country hostage. Because we didn't have telephones yet, and because Annie Ketchal didn't want to deliver the mail in the middle of the night until they caught the killer, we relied on her to fill us in each day on the news. But there was little to report. In fact, the only reports she did have were rumors, most of which were absurd. It seemed that of the sixty-nine people who made up the population of Alzada, everyone over the age of fifteen was a suspect, whether there was any hint of a motive or not. (202)…

The birds stayed away from the weeds where she and Baptiste hid from Charlie Kicking Woman. They sat up on the hill in a thatch of rustling grass where they could watch Highway 200 and the Flathead River. To the east, Louise could see the Mission Mountains, the distant threads of snow that marked them. She could see the corner of her grandmother's house. Baptiste spotted Charlie first. Charlie's first stop was her home. (74)…

The way he remembered the scene afterward, Louis was lying face upward with blood on his shirt front. He had been shot in the back of the head. The warden had plunged his face into the dirt and lay still. The old lady had covered her head again and was wailing for the dead. That was how he remembered it, and he could not explain how his mother had been able to move without being seen or heard. That was inexplicable. (127-28)…

While on our way to the hunting grounds, like a fool, I agreed to join with some of the young men in a horse-stealing raid against the Blackfeet, in whose country we then were. The old men told us not to go, as we had women in our camp, but we did not listen to their advice. We moved the camp three days ahead and then about fifteen of us started back.... After a time, we cut a Blackfoot trail. We followed it a considerable distance, until we discovered that it was swinging in the direction of our own camp. We turned and rode like the wind, but the Blackfeet got there first.... One woman was killed and my wife was wounded mortally. (363)…

First there was the smoke, only slightly darker than the gray air. It rose from behind a bluff where the river curved to the south. The sun was behind it, and it looked orange and sharp-edged.... Then the black horse smelled it and stiffened beneath the rider. It was a smell not of smoke but of burnt things, and the smell was heavy in the air. Even though the bluff stood between the horse and the smell, he stopped, his shoulders and forelegs trembling. (379)…

Dad covered the two miles from our ranch to Albion quickly, parking the pickup amongst the herd of similar mud-splattered vehicles, and we piled out. Albion consisted of only three buildings—the school, the post office, which also had a small store and rooms in the back for the postmaster-storekeeper, and the town hall. (84)…

She liked to hold Paul with one arm and me with the other and walk down Last Chance Gulch on Saturday night, forcing people into the gutter to get around us, and when they wouldn't give up the sidewalk she would shove Paul or me into them. You didn't have to go very far down Last Chance Gulch on Saturday night shoving people into the gutter before you were into a hell of a big fight.... When her hair glistened, though, she was worth it. (25-26)…
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