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Sheets, Geo M. (ed.) / The Wisconsin literary magazine
Vol. VI, No. 1 (October 1908)

D. F.
Propinquity: The engineer and the Mexican girl,   pp. 6-13


Page 6


                  PROPINQUITY
THE ENGINEER AND THE MEXICAN GIRL
                          D. F. ?10.
   Sunday dinner was over; the gorged surveyors emerged one
at a time from the cook tent and ambled lazily to the shade of
the oaks. To them, a recognition of Sunday according to the
biblical law was a rare experience. They lolled in the luxury
of it. After them came Mrs. Cort, the wife of the party's chief,
who desired to know their opinion as to the likelihood of her
husband returning before evening. Receiving only vague, un-
satisfactory answers, she retired to her tent to pet the cat, write
letters, and keep up the never-ceasing guard against prowling
tarantulas.
  The sound of falling acorns, the subdued purr of the little
stream, the intermittent, rasping calls of jays, and occasionally
the whistle of quail, broke the Sabbath stillness of the valley.
High above the camp, the Coast Range Mountains reared their
majestic heads, thick matted with dense growths of scrub oak
and chemiselle. A quarter of a mile below, the stream entered
the precipitous canon, where, in the previous week, the surveyors
had acquired the heavy weariness which now oppressed them.
Over all lay the warm, drowsy October haze. It softened every
detail of the sheer peaks towards which the party was slowly toil-
ing. It hung on every side a thin, transparent curtain.
  George Gray, the taciturn head chainman, facetiously referred
to by the others as the head man of the projected railroad, re-
clined against the sprawling roots of a huge, squatty oak, puf-
fing steadily at the knotty little brier which he filled, ever and
       [6]


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