These two quotes actually form the foundation for my fictional explorations of Leadville during the Silver Rush period:
"... it seems to me that a man cannot help becoming like the country out here."and
"A murderer is safer in Leadville than a Horsethief."Taking the latter quote first ... I figure that since murder didn't rate as high on the scale of importance as thievin' a horse, my protagonist, Inez Stannert, has a fair bit of latitude in investigating matters of "life and death." Provided the death doesn't involve a horse.
As to the first quote, I just love exploring how individuals responded to and became like "the country," as George puts it. To me, "country" includes not just the extreme physical conditions, but also the extreme "social climate." People came to get rich, to escape the past, to reinvent themselves, to save souls, to raise families, to make a living, and so on. Wonder what G.E. would've thought had he known that, 130 years after he penned his personal missives, someone completely unrelated to him would take creative inspiration from his observations and his words ...