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Scott Holmes <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 10 Dec 2021 10:38:47 -0800
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On reading the essay in the latest journal, I was reminded that Twain 
defined a "Pioneer Land", in Roughing It,  in financial terms.  He wrote 
of "high prices charged for trifles",  his encounter with "A young 
half-breed with a complexion like a yellow-jacket asked me if I would 
have my boots blacked." and one's style of dressing.

One's status in this new Pioneer Land is dependent upon these factors:  
Yes, we had learned in Salt Lake to be charged great prices without 
letting the inward shudder appear on the surface—for even already we had 
overheard and noted the tenor of conversations among drivers, 
conductors, and hostlers, and finally among citizens of Salt Lake, until 
we were well aware that these superior beings despised “emigrants.” We 
permitted no tell-tale shudders and winces in our countenances, for we 
wanted to seem pioneers, or Mormons, half-breeds, teamsters, 
stage-drivers, Mountain Meadow assassins—anything in the world that the 
plains and Utah respected and admired—but we were wretchedly ashamed of 
being “emigrants,” and sorry enough that we had white shirts and could 
not swear in the presence of ladies without looking the other way.