April 3 1876
Mother and Father have suggested Mary and I keep a notebook of our adventures to Deadwood. Because I do not like writing, at first I thought not. But they did not say we had to write only. So I will use mine for a sketch book.
The trip was long. It was hard. Mary cried the first half. Mother did not. Neither did father. I only cried because Daisy could not ride with us. But now she is here so that is fine.
We did not see any wild Indians nor get killed. Father keeps comparing everything to Mother's books. It is not like Mother's books. In Mother's books, you are warm and comfortable when you read them. America and her mother make biscuits and warm milk with honey. You sip and eat and read. You can sleep in your own bed when you are tired with Daisy at your feet. It is not bumpy. You do not wish you could stop because you need to go to the lady's room because you have your chamber pot in your own room.
On this adventure, the stagecoach stops when they come to a station. Not before, not even if you really really need it to stop. Then everybody has to use the "facilities" (as Mother calls them) and you only have a minute and it takes at least five minutes to get through all the layers of leggings and pantaloons and slips and lining and the skirt and little bustle.
Now I do not really mind all this. It is an adventure. (But it is not like reading the ones in Mother's books - Father can be so silly sometimes).
When we got to Deadwood, I ran ahead. That was a mistake. Deadwood is not like at home where there are nicely dressed ladies and men on the street. There are hundreds of people here but practically none are ladies. They hardly smile except the lady at the restaurant. The men do not tip their hats. They growl like dogs or just stare at you, even if you are running by lost.
Fortunately for me, America saw me and yelled my name and thus ended my lostness. Unfortunately for me she yelled at me for being alone and "where is Mister and Mrs. Alderton" and "did yo' lose yo' own sistah too?" came out of her mouth more than I should have liked, rather than a sweet and friendly "Welcome Miss Alderton!" America does not do sweet to me nor Mary, and she certainly does not "Miss" us hahahaha.
America left to go find them and I went up in the loft to her sleeping place. I wish it was mine. It is big and away from everyone. My room is downstairs and tiny, about the size of our closet at home. I do not mind sharing it with Mary because we have shared living space from before we were born. But I know it bothers her. She says I talk in my sleep about wizards and elephants and that sometimes I even laugh or scream. She may be imagining this, as I do not recall any of this. My only worry was where to put my drawing and painting supplies, as Mary does not like the "fumes" and she laughs at my pictures which she says do not look like anything real.
After Mother and Father and Mary got to the house, which is cozy and right on the main street which pleases Father as he says he will be able to see all the shootings and perhaps set his camera up right there so as to capture pictures for the newspaper, Mary indeed was bothered by the size of the house, of her room and the dust although it looked clean to me. She stayed to sweep and beat her mattress while the three of us had a nice chicken soup dinner at a restaurant down the street (where the lady talked funny but smiled). Then we walked about and up the hill.
The view was beauteous as you can stand up there and see no houses but some small cabins. You can look for miles and all you see is green trees and blue skies. At home you might see the sky but the trees would be mostly hidden by the buildings except those in the park. I did see a squirrel, which made me feel at home. At first I thought it was Albie, the squirrel who is my friend from our home, but I do not think Albie followed us this far. Albie is a bit fatter though he could have lost weight because of traveling so far.
Father says I can have a small corner in the newspaper office to set up my easel and painting supplies. As soon as I do that, I shall paint a picture of Albie the Second, from the sketch I have made in this notebook.
Father and Mother say we are not to wander about, but we can go with them or America. I do expect to make friends and then I can wander.
I must go back to the hills again.
Deadwood - located in Phoenix Pass, Second Life (not really in South Dakota)