Deadlands: 1879 Still Search'n

[Redmark's Log] Entry One

(In)auspicious Beginnings

01/07/79

Turbid Waters,

                I continue to have hope that most people I meet on this journey will be good ones, but I begin to despair. In the three moons it has been since leaving home, I have found that most people have forgotten the land entirely. They do not treat themselves, their beasts, or each other well. What things they saw as ‘other’ were treated even worse.

                It’s my own fault, really. One day, I found a piece of newsprint nobody wanted, and before I could use it to make bedding out of for Boo, Mr. Oakes saw the photograph on it. He got all fired up about going to New York City, and we had to go now, right now. I almost forgot my bag!

[Place Transcription of NYT article here.]

                Following Mr. Oakes has brought me to the isle of Manhattan. This required many sleeps on the train. I felt that this was unpleasant. Mr. Oakes said that it would be swifter than a wolf. This may be so, but it was noisy and smelled bad. Traveler could rest in Denver after her encounter with the Lakota, though. So, not all bad.

                Mr. Oakes spent his time asleep or hunting squaws. Boo was most impressed by all the crawly holes and discarded food. I threw many shiny and intricate things from the train. This made Bear grumble less and the adults quarrel amongst themselves more. This is good.

                In this place, now called New York, the Union has built an awe-inspiring city. It has people and buildings beyond counting. Among its wonders are a great copper hand bearing a torch, multiple railheads (though no cattle or horses), trains that rode on tracks lain in the sky, great wagons for carrying people called “trolleys”, big schools, bigger libraries, and the place that Mr. Oakes wanted to go.

                I found this place to be unpleasant. It was called “Christie’s”. No one would tell me where Christie was. Nor why I was not allowed to see him or her. Worse, the place was mostly filled with boring people who frowned at me and did not like to answer questions.

                Mr. Oakes was there to see a boring (heavy) not-gold yellow metal box from the byzants. So he did and I helped by not touching anything and keeping Boo in my pocket.

                There was a lady that was trying to talk up the piece, but it sounded to me like she had only read about it. There’s no shame in that, but you should say when you don’t know. For example, I asked her who the byzants were, and she told this long, confusing story about the people who followed Vóhko'xénéhe.

                She seemed to think that he and they lived a long time ago, and this is so … but it was only one and two hands turns ago, not many, many ‘years’. I didn't bother to tell her that she must be wrong – why would the Dog Soldiers make such a useless thing?

                Because I had ‘behaved’, Mr. Oakes took me to see

                When night came, the city was too big to walk out of. Mr. Oakes hired a room for us at a club on the intersection of the fifth avenue and the twenty-first street. After he started to snore, I snuck out of the room and went to the gathering place instead. Even at this late hour, there were many men were smoking the sacred herb. Few of them had pipes, and none of those were the correct kind. Nor were they in all in the same council. Most kept to themselves, and consumed much medicine water. No wonder – they all smelled very sickly.

                I had seen this sort of thing before, so I became curious about the mustachioed man who was using a metal thing and cursing at it. At first, I thought that cursing at it was how he made it worked, but after a time I understood that this was not so. There were … metal fingers that stuck out of the front, which made metal fingers inside strike the paper page fed into it with ink.

                When his paper ran out, he noticed me. I introduced him to Boo, and he did not speak English like a Union. More like Mr. Oakes, but not the same. He was nice, and reminded me of a tale-keeper. His stories were funny, though, and he said that people paid him money to write them on his machine.

                I traded him a hickory stick that I was saving for making a spear with for two books. “Sketches New and Old”, which he wrote himself, and “The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today”, which someone else helped him write some years ago.

                About this time, I felt tired enough to sleep even here, so I fed Boo, wrote this note, and have found a decent place to sleep near the horses.

Redmark wrote this.

Comments

jeofail

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.