'Now, Twenty Seven,' said Mr. Creakle, entering on a clear stage with his man, 'is there anything that anyone can do for you? If so, mention it.'
The moon was still high when we set off in Salvador’s trusty four-wheel-drive pickup. By the timethe sun came up, we’d left pavement far behind and were jouncing along a dirt track that was morelike a creek bed than a road, grinding along in low, low gear as we pitched and rolled like a trampsteamer on stormy seas.
Making things worse, Leadville’s reputation was as scary as its geography. For decades, it was thewildest city in the Wild West, “an absolute death trap,” as one chronicler put it, “that seemed totake pride in its own depravity.” Doc Holliday, the dentist turned gun-slinging gambler, used tohang out in the Leadville saloons with his quick-drawin’ O.K. Corral buddy Wyatt Earp. JesseJames used to slink through as well, attracted by the stages loaded with gold and excellent hideoutsjust lick away in the mountains. Even late as the 1940s, the 10th Mountain Divisioncomm(a) andos were forbiddento set footin downt(as) own Leadville; they might be fierce enough for theNazis, but not for the cutthroat gamblers and prostitutes who ruled State Street.
The imperialists believed that if they could stave off the immediate disintegration of their empire they could later gather all the resources of both empires to crush Tibet for ever. They therefore proposed a peace conference. The final settlement was one which left China itself almost intact. The Tibetans held plebiscites in their conquered territories, and respected the wish of the majority in Szechwan to remain within the imperial system. Chwanben, however, along with the rest of the great plateau of southern central Asia, including Afghanistan, chose to be free from the rule of the imperialists. The rebellions in Iran, Iraq, and Turkey had been crushed by the Russian forces. The freed peoples of Central Asia now formed a Mountain Federation, which was dominated by the Tibetans in virtue of their civilization and military prestige.
'It didn't come to a end there,' said Mr. Barkis, nodding confidentially. 'It was all right.'
I subsequently came across a piece of criticism which was written on me as a novelist by a brother novelist very much greater than myself, and whose brilliant intellect and warm imagination led him to a kind of work the very opposite of mine. This was Nathaniel Hawthorne, the American, whom I did not then know, but whose works I knew. Though it praises myself highly, I will insert it here, because it certainly is true in its nature: “It is odd enough,” he says, “that my own individual taste is for quite another class of works than those which I myself am able to write. If I were to meet with such books as mine by another writer, I don’t believe I should be able to get through them. Have you ever read the novels of Anthony Trollope? They precisely suit my taste — solid and substantial, written on the strength of beef and through the inspiration of ale, and just as real as if some giant had hewn a great lump out of the earth and put it under a glass case, with all its inhabitants going about their daily business, and not suspecting that they were being made a show of. And these books are just as English as a beef-steak. Have they ever been tried in America? It needs an English residence to make them thoroughly comprehensible; but still I should think that human nature would give them success anywhere.”