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The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Stories

Miggles
We were eight, including the driver. We had not spoken during the passage of the last six
miles, since the jolting of the heavy vehicle over the roughening road had spoiled the
Judge's last poetical quotation. The tall man beside the Judge was asleep, his arm passed
through the swaying strap and his head resting upon it-- altogether a limp, helpless-
looking object, as if he had hanged himself and been cut down too late. The French lady
on the back seat was asleep, too, yet in a half-conscious propriety of attitude, shown even
in the disposition of the handkerchief which she held to her forehead and which partially
veiled her face. The lady from Virginia City, traveling with her husband, had long since
lost all individuality in a wild confusion of ribbons, veils, furs, and shawls. There was no
sound but the rattling of wheels and the dash of rain upon the roof. Suddenly the stage
stopped and we became dimly aware of voices. The driver was evidently in the midst of
an exciting colloquy with someone in the road--a colloquy of which such fragments as
"bridge gone," "twenty feet of water," "can't pass," were occasionally distinguishable
above the storm. Then came a lull, and a mysterious voice from the road shouted the
parting adjuration:
"Try Miggles's."
We caught a glimpse of our leaders as the vehicle slowly turned, of a horseman vanishing
through the rain, and we were evidently on our way to Miggles's.
Who and where was Miggles? The Judge, our authority, did not remember the name, and
he knew the country thoroughly. The Washoe traveler thought Miggles must keep a hotel.
We only knew that we were stopped by high water in front and rear, and that Miggles
was our rock of refuge. A ten minutes splashing through a tangled by- road, scarcely
wide enough for the stage, and we drew up before a barred and boarded gate in a wide
stone wall or fence about eight feet high. Evidently Miggles's, and evidently Miggles did
not keep a hotel.
The driver got down and tried the gate. It was securely locked. Miggles! O Miggles!"
No answer.
"Migg-ells! You Miggles!" continued the driver, with rising wrath.
"Migglesy!" joined the expressman, persuasively. "O Miggy! Mig!"
But no reply came from the apparently insensate Miggles. The Judge, who had finally got
the window down, put his head out and propounded a series of questions, which if
answered categorically would have undoubtedly elucidated the whole mystery, but which
the driver evaded by replying that "if we didn't want to sit in the coach all night, we had
better rise up and sing out for Miggles."
 
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