At a pass in Bergens Park, Isabella finds a forge. Not only do they fix Birdie’s shoe, they also have extras for sale. Isabella is keeping the spare nails in her purse.
She stopped at a ranch for lunch. There she met Colonel Kittridge, another lunch guest, who said that his valley, which is 12 miles away, is the loveliest in all of Colorado. It’s off the main road. He invites her to come see it.*
“I went up a long ascent in deep snow, but as it did not seem to be the way, I tied up the pony, and walked on to a cabin at some distance, which I had hardly reached when I found her trotting like a dog by my side, pulling at my sleeve and laying her soft grey nose on my shoulder. … We had eight miles farther to go — most of the way through a forest, which I always dislike when alone, from the fear of being frightened by something which may appear from behind a tree.”**
She comes upon a cabin, which is occupied by a Mr. Thornton, an English gentleman, who has “a worthy married Englishman as his manager.” Other cabins are being built and he hopes to make it a resort.
The current cabin is “long, low, mud roofed, and very dark.” It is divided into three sections. The middle one is full of raw meat and gear. The other end contains the kitchen and eating area, including sacks of beans and flour. The opposite end is where the long-term residents live.
They put up a sheet as a partition for Isabella and “made me a shake-down on the gravel floor.” It was all very rough and comfortless, but Mr. T, who is not only a gentleman by birth, but an M.A. of Cambridge, seems to like it. … Seven large dogs, three of them with cats upon their backs, are usually warming themselves by the fire.”
* To me, this sounds like a “why don’t you come up to my room to see some etchings” situation but Isabella seems unconcerned.
** Aha! She can feel fear. And like all courageous people, presses on despite it.