1:24 pm - Thursday April 26, 2018

Round The Table-by O Henry-Novel and Ebooks

Novel Name:Round The Table

Written by:O Henry

Category: Children, Fairytales, Fioction

Page 1:

“Find yo’ shirt all right, Sam?” asked Mrs. Webber, from her chair under the live-oak, where she was comfortably seated with a paper- back volume for company.

“It balances perfeckly, Marthy,” answered Sam, with a suspicious pleasantness in his tone. “At first I was about ter be a little reckless and kick ’cause ther buttons was all off, but since I diskiver that the button holes is all busted out, why, I wouldn’t go so fur as to say the buttons is any loss to speak of.”

“Oh, well,” said his wife, carelessly, “put on your necktie–that’ll keep it together.”

Sam Webber’s sheep ranch was situated in the loneliest part of the country between the Nueces and the Frio. The ranch house–a two-room box structure–was on the rise of a gently swelling hill in the midst of a wilderness of high chaparral. In front of it was a small clearing where stood the sheep pens, shearing shed, and wool house. Only a few feet back of it began the thorny jungle.

Sam was going to ride over to the Chapman ranch to see about buying some more improved merino rams. At length he came out, ready for his ride. This being a business trip of some importance, and the Chapman ranch being almost a small town in population and size, Sam had decided to “dress up” accordingly. The result was that he had transformed himself from a graceful, picturesque frontiersman into something much less pleasing to the sight. The tight white collar awkwardly constricted his muscular, mahogany-colored neck. The buttonless shirt bulged in stiff waves beneath his unbuttoned vest. The suit of “ready-made” effectually concealed the fine lines of his straight, athletic figure. His berry-brown face was set to the melancholy dignity befitting a prisoner of state. He gave Randy, his three-year-old son, a pat on the head, and hurried out to where Mexico, his favorite saddle horse, was standing.

Marthy, leisurely rocking in her chair, fixed her place in the book with her finger, and turned her head, smiling mischievously as she noted the havoc Sam had wrought with his appearance in trying to “fix up.”

~Well, ef I must say it, Sam,” she drawled, “you look jest like one of them hayseeds in the picture papers, ‘stead of a free and independent sheepman of the State o’ Texas.”

Sam climbed awkwardly into the saddle.

“You’re the one ought to be ‘shamed to say so,” he replied hotly. “‘Stead of ‘tendin’ to a man’s clothes you’re al’ays setting around a-readin’ them billy-by-dam yaller-back novils.”

“Oh, shet up and ride along,” said Mrs. Webber, with a little jerk at the handles of her chair; “you always fussin’ ’bout my readin’. I do a-plenty; and I’ll read when I wanter. I live in the bresh here like a varmint, never seein’ nor hearin’ nothin’, and what other ‘musement kin I have? Not in listenin’ to you talk, for it’s complain, complain, one day after another. Oh, go on, Sam, and leave me in peace.”

Sam gave his pony a squeeze with his knees and “shoved” down the wagon trail that connected his ranch with the old, open Government road. It was eight o’clock, and already beginning to be very warm. He should have started three hours earlier. Chapman ranch was only eighteen miles away, but there was a road for only three miles of the distance. He had ridden over there once with one of the Half-Moon cowpunchers, and he had the direction well-defined in his mind.

Sam turned off the old Government road at the split mesquite, and struck down the arroyo of the Quintanilla. Here was a narrow stretch of smiling valley, upholstered with a rich mat of green, curly mesquite grass; and Mexico consumed those few miles quickly with his long, easy lope. Again, upon reaching Wild Duck Waterhole, must he abandon well-defined ways. He turned now to his right up a little hill, pebble-covered, upon which grew only the tenacious and thorny prickly pear and chaparral. At the summit of this he paused to take his last general view of the landscape for, from now on, he must wind through brakes and thickets of chaparral, pear, and mesquite, for the most part seeing scarcely farther than twenty yards in any direction, choosing his way by the prairie-dweller’s instinct, guided only by an occasional glimpse of a far distant hilltop, a peculiarly shaped knot of trees, or the position of the sun.

Sam rode down the sloping hill and plunged into the great pear flat that lies between the Quintanilla and the Piedra.

Filed in: Children, Classics

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