There were also evenings when the weather was fine and the men would remain outside our door after supper, talking and singing, and when I hurried with the dishes to join them. One of the men would sing a song and others would follow: songs of the West that are long since dead; songs with dozens of verses, all sung in the same tune, low and melancholy, unrolling stories of adventure, of the joys and sorrows of cattle men, of dying cowboys, of disaster, range songs and songs of love....
At last the music ceased. There was silence, broken only by the wind rustling gently through the tree tops.
Agnes Smedley, Daughter of Earth, The Feminist Press, New York, 1973, p.121-122.
PLACE: Colorado, U.S.A.
CIRCUMSTANCE: in a Colorado mining town.
It was May when I arrived, but at night the snow still flew before the wind and beat the rope hanging from the school bell against the side of the house: a dull, ghostly sound mingling with the hoarse wailing of the wind and the creaking of the bell above.
Agnes Smedley, Daughter of Earth, The Feminist Press, New York, 1973, p.124.
PLACE: New Mexico, U.S.A.
CIRCUMSTANCE: a teaching position in New Mexico.
Far beyond the desert to the east a range of red and blue-grey mountains thrust themselves from the earth, barren and forbidding. There stood spirit mountain where the wind, rushing and sobbing through the desolate caves, was said to be the spirits of the dead haunting the scene where once a battle had taken place between tribes of Navajos from the north and Apaches from the south... And if you kept going, sometimes you heard through the crystal-clear air the sad, monotonous singing from a camp of Indians who had wandered over from Mexico. The singing seemed a part of the desert, and could only have found birth there. Wistfulness. Yearning. Desolation.
Agnes Smedley, Daughter of Earth, The Feminist Press, New York, 1973, p.178-179.
PLACE: Arizona, U.S.A.