Etown Experience, 3 of 7

Eliza paused to stare at the wooden structure that stretched across the mountainside like a great long-legged wooden centipede.

“What is it?” she wondered aloud.

A passing miner stopped, as if glad of an excuse to talk. “It’s a flume, Ma’am,” he said. “It’s supposed t’bring water from the Red River down here so we can wash the gold outta the hillsides.”

She glanced at him. “You said ‘supposed to.’ Did it not work correctly?”

“Not enough, ma’am,” he said. “They call it Davis’s Folly, for the man that thought it up. Mosta the water seeped out ’for it got here.” He peered into her face. “You Molly Lambert’s friend?”

Eliza frowned, but he grinned at her companionably. “Don’t take offense, ma’am. A new face in Etown’s bound t’draw some attention.” He pulled off his hat, as if suddenly aware of it. “I hope you’re planning t’stay a while, ma’am.”

Copyright © 2015 Loretta Miles Tollefson

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