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Page:Memoirs of Henry Villard, volume 1.djvu/141

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CHAPTER VIII


At Cherry Creek.—1859


MY credentials from the company to their local representative, Dr. J. M. Fox, solved at once the important question where I should be able to secure satisfactory board and lodging. The doctor offered to provide both for me in the office-building at a low charge, and there I lodged and took my meals during the next three months. My host was a Missourian, about thirty years old, formerly a medical practitioner, but for some years in the employ of Russell, Majors & Waddell. He was a very intelligent and resolute man, though somewhat inclined to lethargy. He never failed in attentive kindness to me. More than twenty years later, it was in my power to show him my gratitude by taking him into my employ in various positions in California, Oregon, and Montana, one of which he fills at this writing.

Let me describe our abode. It had a splendid position on the edge of a high bluff rising abruptly from the bed of Cherry Creek, and commanding a grand view of the mountains. It was the rudest sort of one-story cabin, built of cottonwood logs, thirty feet long and fifteen wide, and divided by a log partition into two equal compartments, the front one being devoted to office purposes, and the rear one used for cooking, eating, and sleeping. Its roof consisted of logs covered with dirt and gravel. Ingress was had through two doors without locks. It had no windows of any sort; indeed, there was no window-glass then or for months afterwards to be had on Cherry Creek. If the outer light was wanted, the doors had to be left open. Mother Earth furnished the floors, as no lumber

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