"You know, I'd like to send you," he said; "but I don't see where the money is to come from. And since I've got this nomination, I want to run as well as I can. My friends expect me to do my best for them. It's a duty, you know, and nothing less, for a few men, like me, to get in the legislature. We're going to get a railroad bill through this session that will straighten out a good many things. Be patient a little longer, Annie."
"I want to go home," was the only reply he got. "You must get the money, some way, for me to go home with."
"I haven't paid a cent of interest yet," he cried angrily. "I don't see what you mean by being so unreasonable!"
"You must get the money, some way," she reiterated.
He did not speak to her for a week, ex- cept when he was obliged to. But she did not seem to mind; and he gave her the money. He took her to the train in the little wagon that had met her when she first came. At the station, some women were gossiping excitedly, and Annie asked what they were saying.
"It's Mis' Dundy," they said. "She's been sent to th' insane asylum at Lincoln. She's gone stark mad. All she said on the way out was, 'Th' butter won't come! Th' butter won't come!'" Then they laughed a little -- a strange laugh; and Annie thought of a drinking-song she had once heard, "Here's to the next who dies."
Ten days after this Jim got a letter from her. "I am never coming back, Jim," it said. "It is hopeless. I don't think I would mind standing still to be shot down if there was any good in it. But I'm not going back there to work harder than any slave for those money-loaners and the rail- roads. I guess they can all get along with- out me. And I am sure I can get along without them. I do not think this will make you feel very bad. You haven't seemed to notice me very much lately when I've been around, and I do not think you will notice very much when I am gone. I know what this means. I know I am breaking my word when I leave you. But remember, it is not you I leave, but the soil, Jim! I will not be its slave any longer. If you care to come for me here, and live another life -- but no, there would be no use. Our love, like our toil, has been eaten up by those rapacious acres. Let us say good- by."
Jim sat all night with this letter in his hand. Sometimes he dozed heavily in his chair. But he did not go to bed; and the next morning he hitched up his horses and rode to town. He went to the bank which held his notes.