The Hundredth Meridian

The Hundredth Meridian
The Hundredth Meridian\r\nby Chilton Williamson, Jr.\r\nGreen Hills of Grayest Sand\r\nOld Jules is more than tlie title of a book\r\nby Mari Sandoz it is the name of one of\r\ntlie monsters of American letters: the Simon\r\nLegree of the pioneer honsehokl\r\nwho, married four times, drove one wife\r\nto the insane asylum and struck the\r\nfourth in the face with a handful of fourfoot\r\nwire stays, after which she tried to\r\npoison herself with strychnine. ("I learn\r\nthe g - - d — balky woman to obey me\r\nwhen I say, 'hold [the bull calf].'") A former\r\nmedical student and scion of a\r\nproud upper-middle-class family in\r\nZurich, this immigrant from Switzerland\r\narrived in the Nebraska Panhandle in\r\n1884 at the age of 25 to settle on a dugout\r\nclaim, equipped with little more than a\r\nVettcrli single-shot rifle, the stamp collection\r\nhe had begun as a boy, a team of\r\niiorses and a wagon, and a spade. Jules\r\nSandoz had scant use for the "American"\r\npioneers coming into the country but affection\r\nfor the Sioux Indians, who admired\r\nhis marksmanship and took him\r\nalong on extended hunhng trips in the\r\nSand Hills. He became a surveyor and a\r\nlocator, settling fellow Swiss (including\r\nseveral of his brothers) on claims of their\r\nown; ran the local post office from his\r\nhouse; resisted the wealthy "English" cattlemen\r\nwho fenced the land and tried to\r\ndrive the farmers off their own claims (by\r\nlead colic, when intimidation didn't\r\nwork);...

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