So I found this free google ebook, Wyoming: a story of the outdoor West, written in 1908 by William MacLeod Raine. I’ve been making erasure poems with it, and they’re turning out very dark. Examples:
She was within two hundred yards of him, still going rapidly, but not with the same headlong rush as before, when the curly head disappeared in the sage-brush. It was up again presently, but she could see that the man came limping, and so uncertainly that twice he pitched forward to the ground. Incautionsly one of his assailants ran forward with a shout the second time his head went down. Crack! The unerring rifle rang out, and the impetuous one dropped in his tracks. As she approached, the young woman slowed without stopping, and as the car swept past Curly Head flung himself in headlong. He picked himself up from her feet, crept past her to the seat beyond, and almost instantly whipped his rifle to his shoulder in prompt defiance of the fire that was now converged on them . Yet in a few moments the sound died away, for a voice midway in the crescent had shouted an amazed discovery: “By God, it’s a woman !” The car skimmed forward over the uneven ground toward the end of the semicircle, and passed within fifty yards of the second man from the end, the one she had picked out as the leader of the party. He was a black , swarthy fellow in plain leather chaps and blue shirt. As they passed he took a long, steady aim. “Duck!” shouted the man beside her, an3 dragged her down on the seat so that his body covered hers.
puff of wind fanned the girl’s cheek . “Near thing,” her companion said coolly. He looked back at the swarthy man and laughed softly. “Some day you’ll mebbe wish you had sent your pills straighter, Mr. Judd Morgan.” Yet a few wheel-turns and they had dipped forward out of range among the great land waves that seemed to stretch before them forever. The unexpected had happened, and she had achieved a rescue in the face of the impossible. “Hurt badly?” the girl inquired briefly, her dark-blue eyes meeting his as frankly as those of a boy. “No need for an undertaker. I reckon I’ll survive, ma’am,” “Where are you hit?” “I just got a telegram from my ankle saying there was a cargo of lead arrived there unexpected,” he drawled easily.
“Hurts a good deal, doesn’t it?”
“No more than is needful to keep my memory jogged up. It’s a sort of a forget-me-not souvenir. For a good boy; compliments of Mr. Jim Henson,” he explained. Her dark glance swept him searchingly. She disapproved the assurance of his manner even while the youth in her applauded his reckless sufficiency. His gay courage held her unconsenting admiration even while she resented it. He was a trifle too much at h is e ase for one who had just been snatched from dire peril. Yet even in his insouciance there was something engaging; something almost of distinction. “What was the trouble?” Mirth bubbled in his gray eyes. “I gathered, ma’am, that they wanted to collect my scalp.”
Wyoming: A Witness
see the man came
the second time
his head dropped
He picked up her feet,
and whipped them
a few moments died in the woman
the uneven black
dragged her body
a cheek dipped in blue
an ankle of lead
“Hurts a good deal, doesn’t it?”
a trifle he wanted to collect
More creepy Wyoming erasures to come.