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COBWEB CORNERS: The puppy in Cripple Creek

By Mel McFarland

Jan. 14, 2018
       This interesting tale, described in a local newspaper, took place around 1890. The outgoing Midland passenger train stopped at Colorado City and rolled away on its journey westward.
       As Conductor Tuttle started through the train on an inspection of tickets, he found in the first car, nestling in the cushions, a black-eyed, black-haired, rosy-cheeked little lady of about five summers. A contented expression was on her cherub face. Her look, manner and attitude displayed the air of the businesslike woman.
       She was on a mission and she was determined to carry out.
       Thinking it strange that a youngster should be traveling alone, the conductor approached and asked her some questions. It was then he recognized her as the daughter of a local businessman.
       "Where are you going, little one?" he asked.
       "Please, sir, I'm going to Cripple Creek. I've got a nice little doggie there and I'm going to get him and bring him home to papa and mama. I want to pay my fare, too; how much is it?"
       And with all the seriousness in the world. the little one undid a small purse and produced from its depths 35 cents, which she tendered in payment of her ride to the district.
       "Where's your papa?" Said Tuttle, thinking he might be on the train.
       "Oh, he's home."
       "And your mama?"
       "She's home, too. I'm alone, going to get my little dog."
       Struck by the nature of the little one attempting to ride alone, still wishing to find out what could have induced her to make the trip; the kind ticket puncher sat down beside her and questioned her closely. He failed, however, to come at her reasons, other than that she was after her dog.
       Along with her purse, she carried a paper sack. It held a lavish supply of popcorn and candy, all of which she offered to share with the conductor.
       When the train reached Manitou, the conductor got off and telephoned the girl's father, who instructed that she be sent back by the next train. The instructions were obeyed, and before many hours the wearied little traveler was back home, without a puppy.

(Opinion: Cobweb Corners)

       Editor's note: Local historian Mel McFarland has been writing his Cobweb Corners column in the Westside Pioneer since 2004. To see past columns, go to the Pioneer's Archives. Either look for desired articles under the Cobweb Corners category for any year, or search by keywords in the Find box.

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