I am doomed ~ Marrant's Journal Entry

It is not fair.  Life.  Just when we were someplace interesting, we are to be thrown back into the humdum doldrum of life amongst those who may as well be dead.   Where everything can be predicted.  Like the ticking of clocks, one rises at a certain hour, goes to school, eats lunch, returns to school, does schoolwork, has supper, plays piano in the parlor to the tick tick ticking of a clock.

I want to scream, yes, I shall scream, I shall go out back by the river and scream and scream and scream.

Were I to do that at Grandmother's, she would clasp her hand over her tidy chest, raise her monocle to her eye and stare at me then call for the doctor, I suppose.  Grandfather would look over the newspaper and mutter something about quiet.

Quiet.  As I sit here writing, Mary is singing and packing, running out and hugging Mother, then running back and repacking.  She cannot wait to leave, she has hated it here from the beginning.

There are things one could dislike, it really depends on how you look at things.  The streets are dirty, and there are sometimes people lying in places where one would not think to find a soul asleep.   What I likea about Deadwood is that it is never the same, never boring, never predictable.

You sometimes see the same people - like Auntie Bluebird - oh how I shall miss her, the way she sings while cooking makes the food taste most delicious, unlike anything anyone else can make, because nobody hums like she, nobody says the things she does or looks at you so that first you want to shrink away and then she laughs and you do too and the biscuit she hands you is like it came straight from heaven.  Or those girls that live next door to her, how they poke at her pig and use swears that are so different than those that come out of the mouths of the men across the way who sell liquor - same words but out of those ladies lips, they are almost heavenly to me, they turn the little hairs on the back of my neck straight up!

You never know who else you might see- all kinds of people come through, more every day, so many that my sketch pad is full as I have never seen so many unusual faces of all kinds and colors and sizes and expressions.

And the river, just as it is getting warm and I can wade in, carrying my shoes, laces tied together, all dangling around my neck, my socks stuffed in (they hardly stink so bad as America is using some soaps Auntie made that smell stronger than my feet ever did).

There is some kind of freedom in seeing the blue blue sky, having a sweet breeze touch your hair,  feeling cool water between your toes with smooth round rocks tickling the soles of your feet as you can watch a fish swim by maybe close enough to grab if you were able to practice some more  - Grandmother will never allow any of it - it will be shoes and socks, hats and gloves, corsets, young lady lessons - I am doomed. 

Freddie was teaching me some more German, he can't help it if it isn't even French, and I was going to teach him how to paint real good.  Now he'll have to find something better to do, and there's nothing better to do than paint.  Grandmother won't let me paint unless it's with lessons and I paint flowers in vases.

I cannot bring Buttercup, Grandmother would not like him.  I am not to worry about what will become of him, though I do not know how I cannot.  He has been my companion - if he was smaller, I could put him in my trunk.

Mother and Father say they will be fine without us.   I have my doubts.  I will miss them terribly.  Not America. 

It is time to pack.  Before I do that, I am going to go down by the river and have myself a good cry.

Good bye Deadwood.  You are dusty and dirty and dangerous.  I love you.

Someday I'll be back.

Hurrah!!!!! --- We are Saved!!! Mary Alderton's Journal Entry

Dear Dear Dear Dear Darling Diary,

There is a God who answers prayers!!!!   I have every day been on my knees morning noon and night, well not noon, that would be foolish as I am not about to wear out my skirt or my knees, but morning upon wakening and night afore sleeping, I have prayed, well perhaps not prayed, but asked tears running down my cheeks although not too many as Mother says crying as much as I were doing wrinkles one's face early and I would not want to age myself early, not until I was married and had born a child or two, but in any case, my prayers and tears have worn Papa down been answered and Mar and I are to be sent away from this HORRIBLE and TERRIBLE place, back home where there is a boarding school we might attend during the day and then sleep in the safety and warmth of  civilized beds at grandmother and grandfather's,  without dirty and dust and drunkards and guns shooting and half naked women and no suitable men about and I am nearly beside myself with joy although Mar sulks for no good reason.

We shall have clean clothes, new dresses, a variety of meals instead of the same old things,  friends friends friends, parties and dances, tea parties, ribbons for our hair, parties (did I say that?), breakfast, lunch and supper.

Of course I shall miss Papa and Mama but they will come to visit and we can write.

Grandmother and Grandfather are very civilized people.  Grandmother has a dressmaker and Grandfather has more than three canes and several fine suits. 

I cannot pack fast enough - good-bye Deadwood, I hope to never see you again!

Deadwood - located in Phoenix Pass, Second Life (not really in South Dakota)


They have all gone mad

Dear Journal,

This place has driven the entire family mad!  First of all Mother sensibly did not like the abode   hovel    building we were abiding within and so we had to move which I had hoped oh so sincerely would mean back to Colorado as, if one is going to go through the bother of packing up and placing things on a wagon, one might as well get on with it and go somewhere a bit more settled and civilized but NOOOOOO where did we go?  You will not believe it, nor did I.. across the street!  Yes, all that work and there we are, across the way smushed between a boarding house and a restaurant.  This is madness.

True, it is an improvement if we must stay.  The house is bigger though still I must share the room with Marrant and her paints but we are near the river which is better than near the door to the mine with all those dirty miners and the shooting range with all the loud bangs night and day.  And the man who runs the boarding house is very handsome. And not wed.  He is a little old, but not so much.  I believe he must have money to run a boarding house.   We are also near Auntie Bluebird's kitchen and she is much nicer than America though even darker skinned.  And her food is delicious.  If from her I can learn to cook, surely I will be able to find a husband worthy of me.

But I wander from the madness.  Mother, Father, America and Marrant are all mad.  They insist I have done awful things. Am I gone mad also?  No one will tell me what exactly it was that I did.  Father eyes me sternly in that manner he has and says, "You know what you have done," and "I should expect this from your sister, not from you."  Then he begins to raise his voice and say something about boys and young girls and turns red and storms out.  Mother merely nods in agreement with Father and tells me I must not "talk back" when all I do is ask for an explanation.  America, to be expected, says nothing but laughs in that silent way she has, right behind Mother and Father!  Marrant says I did wander to the river in my sleep and met up with a boy!  Surely I would remember that!

My punishment is not so dreadful anyways, except the disappointment of Papa who has never before raised his voice at me, his favorite I am sure.  And it is fine to see Marrant doing my chores as I sit in my room and read my cooking book and magazine - I do not really need to leave and it is only another day before I can.  Papa has forgotten about the writing of the entire Bible, which is good as I did run out of papers and inks rather fast.  Further, I did slip out to a baking contest, Father thinking I was Marrant. She was left behind, doing my chores and hers, muttering and kicking things as so she did, while America grinned and Mother felt her way around the new home.   They are mad.

Deadwood - located in Phoenix Pass, Second Life (not really in South Dakota)


It is not Fair!!

Dear Journal,

It is not Fair!  I was only playing with Frederick who is Robinson Crusoe (I must find a copy of the book to see if there is a Mother Crusoe).  We did nothing wrong.  Out on his raft on the river, doing nothing wrong.  Up comes this lady, who I asked him was she his mama?  He understood and indicated no.  She is ordering us off the raft, out of the river and saying soldiers are coming to tear down the little tiny dam he made.

What possible harm can a dam do anyway?

I try to tell him about the soldiers.  Of course, he thinks I mean we should play soldiers.  But he is fairly smart for a boy who does not speak English.  After we get off, up comes this ugly man.  He says Indians are coming.  So I have to tell that to Frederick.  Of course, he thinks I mean we should play Indians.  He is such a child. 

Then the man says he will defend us from Indians only if I give him Buttercup to eat.  What?!!!  No!!!!  Up comes another man, who starts using swear words at the other man.  Then they both have this look upon them as if which they are going to spit or punch, as I have seen the cats back home do to each other if there is a food bowl in between them.

The lady has me and Frederick go into the laundry house, which is clean I must say, but very wet.  (I wonder, is that what happens if you have a laundry?  There is water everywhere?  And where was the soap?)  The lady comes in too and bolts the door and then BANG there are guns firing.  Buttercup goes behind the stove - what a guard dog she would be.  Frederick dives behind some boxes and I am under a bed.  The lady, I do not know where she went. Upon the floor I think.   After a while there is silence. What an adventure!

Me and Frederick crawls out and from the window we can see one man on the ground and the other standing there.  It is the dog EATER!  I shriek and run back in, dragging Buttercup who had followed me.  The lady says it is fine, the man has gone away.  But then I see something as bad, perhaps worse.  The shape of America approaching!

Shove Buttercup again behind the stove, and me dives beneath the bed.  For what seems hours I do hide, not so in fear that America would harm me physically.  But tattle she will.  She thinks she is Mama and Papa in one.  And yes, certain enough eventually she is right inside the laundry house.  I hide as best I can, holding my breath.  Frederick hides also, I think as because he senses my fears.  I am in fears she finds my wool dress sopped again, she will blab to Mama and Papa and I will be never let out again for the rest of my life which would be horrid.

To be in that house with only Mary to talk to, and only the walls to see!  When it is so much more interesting out here.  Not so beautiful, perhaps, as Colorado.  But close.  Things are green and there are deer and people, and one can only draw and paint so much looking outside a window which if one complains of its cleanliness, one must clean it oneself with a rag handed to one by a smirking America who will also say something smirking from her lips.

But of course, the lady who helped us shows America where I am and there is naught to do but emerge from beneath the bed.  I think America's eyes will explode from her head when she points at my skirt and my shoes, of course, are ruined.  Thank goodness I found my eyeglasses which had slipped from my ears yet again, but slid down my blouse and were caught on my underwears rather than floating away down the river! Should that have happened it would have been the end for me!  Blinded again, for I cannot see beyond my nose without them and as has been told me over and over and over, they cost a fortune.

America after splathering my ears with sharp words of this and that sends me and Buttercup home ahead of her, shouting behind us as we go-- I think she could have beat me home but she considers herself a grown up though I think she is but four or five years older than Mary and me.   Her false dignity, I thought, had saved me!

As into the house I went, there was father asleep in his chair - ah good!   But no, he awoke - ah bad!  But he calls me Mary!  Aha, in a flash I see a way to keep myself from being imprisoned forever.  Mary does not want to leave the house anyway, so what bother to her would it be?   And so I continue to encourage him in his confusion, and - as Mary - I confess to my wrong-doing and suggest my own punishment, to be housebound.  Ah, good!

Outside I hear America talking to the dog and so into Mary's and my room I do run, careful not to awaken her.   As I remove my drenched clothing and dry off, then prepare for bed, I hear America and Father - the truth of my identity may be revealed.  Ah, bad!

But no, Father says he knows his daughters and he will not be corrected - hurrah!  I am saved!  It is hard not to smirk and smile as I look down at my sleeping sister, who has so often turned things around on me,  passing her own naughty doings off as mine - and so I do smirk and smile as I slip into my bed.

And then I hear America  suggest  to Father that while Mary is room bound, I, Marrant Alderton, am to do her chores as well as my own!!!  This is not FAIR, for this will as good as confine me also to the house as long as Mary is!  I believe in my heart of hearts, America works for the devil!

It is not FAIR, it is NOT fair!    I am determined I shall find a way out for if I am housebound, I shall go mad!

Roleplay dialog on this is here

Deadwood - located in Phoenix Pass, Second Life (not really in South Dakota)


I speak French

Dear Journal,

What a interesting place is Deadwood!  

I am now allowed outside, all the way to the newspaper office and to the Grocer's!   Also, I have taken Buttercup and gone a bit further into the hills.  There is the door to the MINE nearby!!!!  Sometime I am going to take a lantern in there.  Men leave it at night.  Night is when all are asleep.  This would be an excellent adventure!

But for the most exciting thing!  There is a little boy I have met, name of Frederick.  He is only a child.  But he speaks French.  He has taught me and I have taught him some words.  This will help when I am older and go to France.  I will live in Paris and paint.  One must speak French. 

I can say "fut" for foot and "dog" for "dog" and "goot" for "good" and more which I have forgot to write down. It will be difficult, but I will have him teach me to say  "I come from America", "do not bother me",  "I am an artist",  "where is the cafe?" "Buy my art" and other necessary things a young woman artist must know in Paris.

Mary is not leaving the room.  She does not like it here. She was crying a lot. But America told her if she kept it up her face would wrinkle and her nose would stay red.  That made her stop! 

America is banging on a pan now, it must be time to prepare supper.  I will write here later!

Deadwood - located in Phoenix Pass, Second Life (not really in South Dakota)


Marrant's Journal Entry - Of dogs and humans

April 11, 1876 -

This week the most exciting thing that has happened was the finding of Buttercup. Though perhaps he found me. As Mother and Father now allow visits to the Grocer's (which is thirty-four steps away, I counted!) it so happened that outside, returning from there with purchases for supper, I heard strange panting noises.

At first I thought Daisy might have followed. Upon turning, I did see a massive (my word of the day, as Father requires) beast all grey and wolf-like, and me with a basket - as if I were Red Riding hood herself.  He did not attack nor ask about my grandmother (who is back home as of this writing) but wagged his tail most cheerily. 

 He then followed the remaining twenty-nine steps.  America would not allow him in, nor would Mother.  A bowl of water and some chicken remains from mid-day lunch kept the beast happy.  While America was gone for errands and Mother lay napping, I set about scrubbing down the beast and did find lovely black and white hairs beneath his crust of  grey.  He told me his name is Buttercup.  It makes no sense,  Mary said I made that up, America laughed and Mother looked perplexed.  Father merely said, "that's nice," and nodded upon looking up from a book.  But truly, Buttercup did say his name to me in dog barks.

Dogs are so much nicer than people, most of the time, unless pushed to rudeness by mistreatment.

 Dogs are not false - they mean it when they smile, wag their tales and great you - if they do not like you they growl.   Dogs easily become your friend and are happy to see you all the time.  Dogs do not talk about their friends - or even their enemies behind their backs. Dogs do not say hurtful things about other dogs. They do not laugh at each others mistakes.  Dogs forgive easily - they don't sulk and seek revenge for days and months if you step on their paw by mistake or even on purpose.   Dogs don't gossip or laugh at others.  Dogs don't tell anyone the things you tell them in confidence.  Dogs do not get drunk and fall down and throw up all over (and I think if they did, at least they could be trained not to throw up on someone's porch). Dogs do not shoot other dogs nor rob banks. Those that do attack are merely defending their homes, their children and their lives, as anyone would do.

Dogs run together in packs but usually they will welcome strangers in.   I suppose sometimes dogs do turn upon the weakest in their pack but one would think humans could be as good as or better than dogs, instead of worse.

If ever I would marry, I think I would insist my husband were at least as good a person as Buttercup is a dog.

Deadwood - located in Phoenix Pass, Second Life (not really in South Dakota)


Mary's Journal Entry - Bored Bored Bored

April 8, 1876

Dear Stupid Journal which Mother and Father insist I write into.

I am bored bored bored.  There is little to do here.  Here is my schedule.

6 a.m. arise and make our beds, wash and dress.
6:15 help lazy America who is ALWAYS up before we are and snorts "'bout TIME you lazy girls gits up" as if getting up before there is any SUN is normal and who should be doing it herself because she is a servant prepare breakfast
7:00 have breakfast
8:00 help lazy America who should be doing it herself because she is the servant not ME clean up after breakfast
8:00 - 9:00 Read a book Father has suggested and discuss with others. (BORING) Because it is the Centennial, he is making us read Uncle John's story of his first visit to the Centennial.  

 (If we MUST read something, I would much rather it were a cookbook or a fashion book or a story of a courting followed by a wedding.  But of course Father does not see the merit in that.)

9:00 - 10:00 help lazy America who should be doing it herself with whatever she cannot seem to do herself, and listen to her telling us her view of our future which does not bode well.  (the other day she told me I would marry a PIG FARMER! and then called me out to introduce me to an ANCIENT celestial who raises pigs.  She snickered and winked at me and nudged Marrant, who tried not to giggle but did.  I am NOT marrying a PIG FARMER unless he owns 100 pig farms and is young and handsome and is NOT a CELESTIAL!

10:00 - 11:00 Most often needlepoint for mother, who insists on trying. Helping her means wiping the blood from her fingers and telling her she is doing well even though her design looks RIDICULOUS.  She has designs that are done for the blind with little holes that tell her where to stitch.  They do not work so well.

 11:00 - 11:30  Study the dictionary. Father's assignment is for us to find a NEW word a day and use it in a sentence at least once.  Today I have found the word INSOLENT. 

11:30 - 12:00 help lazy America prepare mid day meal.  Really, she thinks she is the boss of everyone, including Mother who is TOO NICE!  When I have my own house, I shall NOT put up with such INSOLENCE, and I did so tell her she was being INSOLENT!

And so on and so on.  After helping lazy America clean up, we must then do afternoon math work, which shall be helpful Mother says, in running a household so fine.  We are allowed a breath of fresh air and a short walk with an ADULT not alone before supper which of COURSE we must help lazy America prepare.

I do NOT understand why we bothered to bring her if she is to always need our help.  Can she not serve four people three meals, do laundry and housekeeping and simple chores without requiring the assistance of two?  There are, after all, twenty four hours in each day, and it is not as if she needs beauty sleep. Four hours should suffice.  Perhaps six on Sunday.

Deadwood - located in Phoenix Pass, Second Life (not really in South Dakota)