After Jim and Isabella had their talk about his drinking, they retired to their respective rooms and slept.
In the morning, the mercury was to 20-below. “I never saw such a brilliant atmosphere…The air was filled with diamond sparks and quite intangible…It was still and cloudless, and the shapers of the violet mountains were softened by a veil of the tenderest blue.”
The stage to Greeley pulled up and Mr. Fodder* was already inside. He told Isabella that, one day, he’d like to go hunting with Jim, if she thought it would be safe. She did, and introduced the two men. Mr Fodder put out his hand “cased in a perfectly fitting lemon-colored kid glove.” This glove and handshake, she adds in a footnote, would later lead to the events that cause Jim’s death. But doesn’t provide many details in the note, other than implying that Fodder started it. The stage pulled away. Fodder keeps talking on about Jim, so much so that “… I never realized that my Rocky Mountain life was at an end, not even when I saw Jim, with his golden yellow hair in the sunshine, slowly leading the beautiful mare over the snowy Plains back to Estes Park, equipped with the saddle on which I had ridden 800 miles!
“A drive of several hours brought us to Greeley, and a few hours later, in the far blue distance, the Rocky Mountains, and all that they enclose, went down to the Prairie Sea.”
And there ends her story of the American West.**
* we met him weeks ago - but that’s really not that important.
** as for me, I’m going to take a little break on Isabella stories while I catch up on some other things. However, I have plenty of other trips to choose from once I have some time again.