It became known in scientific parlance as the "Edison effect,"
There was a swish of skirts upon the rough platform outside, and a young woman entered with the manner of feeling perfectly at home there. She was rather tall, rather strong and capable looking, and she was bareheaded, and carried a door key suspended from a smooth-worn bit of wood.
"Don't get into a perspiration making up the mail, Pete," she advised calmly, quite ignoring both Grant and the Indian. "Fifteen is an hour late--as usual. Jockey Bates always seems to be under the impression he's an undertaker's assistant, and is headed for the graveyard when he takes fifteen out. He'll get the can, first he knows--and he'll put in a month or two wondering why. I could make better time than he does myself." By then she was leaning with both elbows upon the counter beside the post-office, bored beyond words with life as it must be lived--to judge from her tone and her attitude.
"For Heaven's sake, Pete," she went on languidly, "can't you scare up a novel, or chocolates, or gum, or--ANYTHING to kill time? I'd even enjoy chewing gum right now--it would give my jaws something to think of, anyway."
Pete, grinning indulgently, came out of retirement behind the pigeonholes, and looked inquiringly around the store.
"I've got cards," he suggested. "What's the matter with a game of solitary? I've known men to put in hull winters alone, up in the mountains, jest eating and sleeping and playin' solitary."
The young woman made a grimace of disgust. "I've come from three solid hours of it. What I really do want is something to read. Haven't you even got an almanac?"
"Saunders is readin' 'The Brokenhearted Bride'-- you can have it soon's he's through. He says it's a peach."
"Fifteen is bringing up a bunch of magazines. I'll have reading in plenty two hours from now; but my heavens above, those two hours!" She struck both fists despairingly upon the counter.