Rolling Stones Page: 44
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44 Rolling Stones
Roy, the Ried Wolf. Mrs. Conyers comes up and thanks
mean'JohnTom without the usual extremities you always
look for in a woman. She says just enough, in a way to
convince, and there is no incidental music by the orchestra.
I made a few illiterate requisitions upon the art of conver-
sation, at which the lady smiles friendly, as if she had
known me a week. And then M1r. Little Bear adorns the
atmosphere with the various idioms into which education
can fracture the wind of speech. I could see the kid's
mother didn't quite place John Tom; but it seemed she
was apprised in his dialects, and she played up to his lead
in the science of making three words do the work of one.
"That kid introduced us, with some footnotes and ex-
planations that made things plainer than a week of
rhetoric. Hle danced around, and punched us in the back,
and tried to climb John Tom's leg. 'This is John Tom,
mamma,' says he. 'He's a Indian. IHe sells medicine
in a red wagon. I shot him, but he wasn't wild. The
other one's Jeff. He's a fakir, too. Come on and see the
camp where we live, won't you, mamma?'
"It is plain to see that the life of the woman is in that
boy. She has got him again where her arms can gather
him, and that's enough. She's ready to do anything to
please him. She hesitates the eighth of a second and takes
another look at these men. I imagine she says to herself
about John Tom, 'Seems to be a gentleman, if his hair
don't curl.' And Mr. Peters she disposes of as follows:
'No ladies' man, but a man who knows a lady.'
"So we all rambled down to the camp as neighborly as
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Henry, O., 1862-1910. Rolling Stones, book, 1912; Garden City, New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth139359/m1/74/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.