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Letters on an Elk Hunt

Elinore Pruitt Stewart

Book Overview: 

This is a sequel to Letters of a Woman Homesteader in which Elinore Rupert (Pruitt) Stewart describes her arrival and early years on a Burntfork Wyoming ranch in 1909-1913. The letters are written to her elderly friend, Mrs. Coney, in Denver. In the present collection of letters, Elinore describes a lively excursion on horseback and wagon into the Wyoming wilderness during July-October 1914. Her traveling companions are her husband “Mr. Stewart,” their three oldest children, and kind-hearted, opinionated neighbor Mrs. O’Shaughnessy. Mr. Haynes (organizer of the hunt) and his friend, Mr. Struble (the cheerful big man of the party) lead the group, and are also joined by physician Dr. Teschall, “a moving-picture man” Mr. Harkrudder, Professor Glenholdt seeking “the tip-end bone of the tail of a brontosaurus” and his students (“two geological fellows” who “talk of nothing but strata and formation”). Also joining the group is Mr. Murry with his tiresome accordion.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Page_20" id="Page_20">[Pg 20]at our expense; but we were amused ourselves, so we didn’t care. They would drive along slowly until we almost reached them; then they would whip up and raise such a dust that we were almost choked.

Mrs. O’Shaughnessy determined to drive ahead; so she trotted up alongside, but she could not get ahead. The young people were giggling. Mrs. O’Shaughnessy doesn’t like to be the joke all the time. Suddenly she leaned over toward them and said: “Will ye tell me something?” Oh, yes, they would. “Then,” she said, “which of you are Tea and which Coffee?”

Their answer was to drive up faster and stir up a powerful lot of dust. They kept pretty well ahead after that, but at sundown we came up with them at the well where we were to camp. This well had been sunk by the county for the convenience of travelers, and we were mighty thankful to find it. It came out that our young co. . . Read More