You are on page 1of 7

Deadwood Free Press Vol.

2 Issue 26 November 13, 1878

Vol. 2 Issue 26 November 13, 1878

Fire Leaves Despair, Death, Destruction


Orphanage fire claims former council member, five orphans
Fire brought tragedy to Deadwood as it
swept through the Jeni Trefusis Memorial
Orphanage and claimed the life of former
teacher and town council member Mar-
rant Vita as well as five small orphans.
The lady was found clutching one of the
orphans, clearly trying to save its life and
yet dying in the attempt.
All at the scene were moved to tears,
even your newspaper photographer who
conducted interviews and took pictures and
collected memorabilia, who was crying on
the inside.
The fire was believed caused by a fallen
lantern, though investigation is ongoing.
Certainly there must have been fuel associ-
ated with the blaze, for it took off swiftly
and took control even more swiftly. No foul
play is suspected.
The fire was discovered as people were
returning from a Halloween gathering at
the pass, most specifically by Sheriff Glen
and Dr. Morri Devon.
They desperately hurled water at the
building, but the fire was relentless.
Many people in town were either fast
asleep or still at the pass. Those bravely
and gamely hurling water at the fire beast
included the Devons, Judge Rod Eun,
Deacon Dryke, and a young woman, Miss
Violet, and a young man.
There could have been other casualties, Efforts to revive Miss Vita were not suc- “It’s a damn massacre up here,” the family to tragedy a few Christmases ago.
but were not. Sheriff Glen was overcome cessful, despite the pleading cries of her despondent judge stated as he wrapped “Why does everyone die on a holiday?”
by heat and smoke, but able to return to the niece, Miss Elizabeth, a child. “She took the slain in blankets. she asked sadly, loudly wishing she’d been
fight. The young man was badly burned in too much smoke.. and got too many All died and were carried from the build- home instead of at the pass.
when flames caught on his shirt, and he burns..... poor Marrant,” said a choked- ing to great tears by all present. While as we say, no foul play is yet sus-
recovered through in great pain; mean- up Judge Eun. Thankfully, Miss Vita’s young niece pected, if anyone saw someone dressed
while, it was briefly feared Dr. Devon It was also the judge who found four Miss Elizabeth was at the pass at the time like Santa Claus around the orphanage
might deliver of child in the commotion. orphans in their beds; a fifth was held of the incident, and unhurt; she is cared for but before the fire is asked to contact Mr.
In other words, this was a scene of vast by Miss Vita: Chastity, Charity, Felicity, in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Streeter. Streeter at the newspaper for investiga-
chaos and tragedy. Prosperity and Tranquility. The young lady had lost her original tion.

Hundreds of Citizens Mourn Brave Woman, Babes


“She had her moments ... but as far as we know she never actually got around
to successfully killin’ anyone.”
Hundreds of Deadwoo d residents Addison Streeter.
marched in procession behind the bodies “I can’t think of a better person to look
of the slain orphanage mistress Marrant after these babies wherever they have gone.
Vita and the five children killed in the fire. I know she will be happy where she is, but
All were laid to rest at Mt. Moriah in a I wish she was here. I wish all of them
mixed climate: for while tears fell like rain, were.”
shining on those tears was the sunshine of Mrs. Diogenes Kuhr stated, “Marrant
our promised Resurrection. God bless her, was was sorta like a good
Mourners wept for the babes, whose lives example of what we all here are: beset with
had barely begun, but also for Miss Vita, weaknesses, but all in all, Marrant was
who was a well-known figure in town and good people. I never known a gal who had
an early settler. such a high ideal o’ what romance an’ love
“Marrant and I came to town about the could be...an’ she had her moments ... but
same time two years ago. She was teacher as far as we know she never actually got
here a long time, and after she was done around to successfully killin anyone.”
doing that she looked around and saw a “An’ then in spite o’ all her weaknesses,
need, taking on the orphanage when few an choices what warn’t so good, she din’t
others would,” stated the first of many
speakers to pay Miss Vita tribute, Mrs. Continued on page 3

1
Deadwood Free Press Vol. 2 Issue 26 November 13, 1878

Letters to the Editor


Editor,
You foul son of a bitch. Marrant Vita
was not cold before you started announc-
You are a foul, disgusting, heathen son
of a bitch who would sell his own children
for a glass of whiskey, and I hope you rot
Editorial
ing you would do a book about her of pho-
tographs you stole from the second floor
in Hell.
A Concerned Reader Let’s Treat the
of the orphanage. And you have bragged Deadwood
how you will write a book about her being
a prostitute, which she surely was not. She Mrs M, I thought you would get a laugh
Indians Properly
may never have even been with a man, out of this, but of course, Jesus Christ, don’t
and you are prostituting her memory by typeset it. Not that you would hahahahaha
making a prostitute of her. - Neil I draw your attention to today’s story known that government does not provide
((from the Real Life New York Times)) enough for the Indians. It is our opinion
about Mr. Livingston and his wanton that Mr. Livingston was at least partly
misuse of taxpayer dollars in terms of the leveraging what the government did send

Friend Remembers Deceased Crow Creek Indian Agency.


We’ve all passed along Crow Creek to
and from Fort Pierre, so of course we all
to benefit not only the Indians but every-
one.
It is through Mr. Livington’s good graces
know Mr. Livingston. How many of us that Indian children are being taught how
I will always treasure Marrant Vita in She would sew pockets into my dresses have benefited from the fine free foods he’s to be Americans and to leave savage ways
my heart as not only my first friend in and tell me all about her day. I loved every given us? I know I have. behind. If he, in his best judgment, chose
Deadwood, but a true golden person that minute of it. She would bake cakes and tell We are thus dismayed to hear that the to take some US dollars and apply them
the world now is robbed of. me about the cute men she would see walk- authorities, for political reasons, are pursu- for the benefit of the local economy, that’s
I remember how innocent she was when ing down the street. She had good taste, ing him for allegations of corruption. a good thing.
I first met her. How much it made me I have to admit. It is alleged that only a fraction of the It’s fair to say that many of our business-
laugh when she would try to impress the I wish I could go into every memory I $170,000 spent on Indians since 1870 actu- people have benefited from buying things
men, and would walk about in her cute have with her, but she probably might come ally reached them. It is alleged that Liv- from him that they would have otherwise
little sweaters she wore. back from the dead and shoot me for tell- ingston forged documents for his own ben- had to pay higher prices for. The fact that
She wasn’t a mother that I know of, but ing her innermost thoughts. efit, failing to give Indians their due and Indians provide virtually free labor helps
she would have been a perfect mother ... I will just say this. Marrant, you were a selling items for his own personal gain. hold down prices. We all benefit from
and, well, sometimes I even wished she was beautiful person, and I hope the afterlife Read the story, and you will see all sorts that. Has anyone failed to buy something
my mother. She loved the kids and was so gives you what you couldn’t obtain in this of things that look bad in print, and even because they fear the price is too low?
patient with them. life. You will forever be in my heart. worse when exaggerated by the extra noise We hope Mr. Livingston received a fair
We were fast friends, but our lives prob- Goodbye old friend. created by being published in an authorita- investigation and trial based on what he
ably never should have crossed. She was tive Eastern newspaper. actually did for the Indians, not whether
shy and sweet, and I was loud and bitter. By Taj Nishi, Bella Union Clearly, the inspectors from Washington he bothered to follow each and every rule
have a very idealized view of life if they for every law. There is a higher law to be
think someone working for the govern- respected.
ment has to play only by the rules. It’s well

A make shift orphanage has been set up on the second floor of the

Town Hall until the orphanage on Main Street can be cleaned and

reopened. Shown is Miss Jemima and son Earl sitting in the kitchenette

area. Behind the curtains are beds for eight to ten children, divided into

a boys’ and girls’ side.

Editor and Publisher


Neil Streeter

Reporter
Addison Leigh

Contributing Writer
D. A. Kuhr

Typesetter
S. Morigi

2
Deadwood Free Press Vol. 2 Issue 26 November 13, 1878

Hundreds of Citizens Mourn... continued


Continued from page 1

give in to that, an say “that’s all I kin be..I from the slain lady’s niece, Miss Eliza- makes all life so wondrous; that maketh memory of their Christlike innocence and
cain’t be no more than that.” She rose up beth. the life of each little child a marvel; be it, love. Speak to them with your lives.”
an’ took on good works, makin the lost an “I just... want to say..... I sorry I said that it breathe but for a moment; still that Music was provided through the voices of
discarded chillun her own famly. Probably I hate you, Aunt Marrant... I don’t, I just life, lost so soon to earth, ceases never in Clay Kungler, Miss Echo Devon and Dr.
was a better family than most o’ ‘em would ... like wearin’ black.. an... I sorry I said eternity.” Devon. The concluding song was sung by
had even if’n they hadn’t been tossed aside babies smell. Well, they do, but it isn’t so The Reverend continued, “Each of these Mrs. Diogenes Kuhr, and is perhaps as
by the world. I’m a thinkin we kin learn a bad if you changes them babies and this sainted woman are lovely good a place as any to leave this sad tale.
bit from how Marrant lived her life an how An’... if I got to have 9 babies like the ripples in a pond, but unlike ripples on Sleep, baby, sleep, No longer weep; Near
she died well,” Mrs. Kuhr said. fortune teller said, I will. An’ thank you for earth, their lives shall go on forever in thee sits thy little brother, Close beside thee
Miss Jem, the Deadwood Snow Queen taking me in when nobody else would.” God’s Home. ... Hear the happy sounds of is thy mother, Sleep, baby, sleep.
formerly of the Gem and now of the The Rev. Baird Bravin constantly this woman and these babies being reunit- Sleep, baby, sleep, No longer weep; Israel’s
orphanage, praised her former employer: reminded the mourners that Miss Vita and ed with their loved ones in Heaven. Listen Shepherd watches o’er thee, No rude danger
“Ah jes’ wants to says, it warn’t jes chillens the babies were cradled together and with to them speak ... They watch us from the lies before thee: Sleep, baby, sleep.
she taked in. She done taked me in when God, and reunited with all their families. Above to see if you will listen. They wait Sleep, baby, sleep, No longer weep; Germ
ah hads no place ta go. An gib me a job “They have shed this burdening, to see if you will do them honor with your of beauty, bud and blossom, Rest upon thy
which ah preciate. An she done took in unwieldy clay, and now live nursed by their lives. Miss Vita and the little babies look Savior’s bosom: Sleep, baby, sleep.
coloreds an celestials an’ .. well she done mothers and fathers and all of the angels. from above and want to see what your lives Sleep, baby, sleep, No longer weep, Life
right, dat all.” As the Rev. Lewis preached in a famous and your actions say. has many a raging billows Rest upon thy
Of course the saddest reflections were Stowmarket sermon, “It is this thought that “Don’t let them down. Live life in downy pillow: Sleep, baby, sleep.

3
Deadwood Free Press Vol. 2 Issue 26 November 13, 1878

Ministers appeared to be Serving


Greed, Not God
Two men arrested for robbery
Two men, giving the appearance of cler- moments, attempting to cover
ics, were arrested last Sunday night in con- their identity with masks.
nection with a robbery at the Bella Union The shorter and dirtier of the
Saloon a few hours earlier. two pounced upon employee
Gamblers at the Bella Union describe Aunty Jem, held a gun to her head
two men: one tall and well-dressed, the and demanded valuables from the
other short and squalid in appearance. assembled patrons. The taller of
They were hovering in and out of the the two ran upstairs, collected a
front entrance of the Bella Union Saloon large sum of money from the safe
on Sunday afternoon. Both appeared to box and ran out the door with
leave the vicinity, then reappear within partner and hostage.
A couple hours
later, peace was
distu rb e d by
shouts of anger
on Main Street
as two battered
men, dressed as
clerics were heard
to threaten a local
gaming dealer,
demanding the return of combination of blood loss, ignorance, and ries and is aiding local deputies in their
property. Oddly enough, potent pain pills donated to the clerics for search for the guilty.
b oth clerics dropped “relief of the poor” by Deadwood Doctor Both “clerics” proclaim their innocence
insensible to the dust Morri Devon. and the money has not been recovered.
before one fist flew or shot One of the two men bore a striking The card dealer, one “Copper,” is wanted
was fired. Help was sum- resemblance to the earlier bank robber. for questioning, but cannot be located.
moned. Both men were Thus, both were arrested by Deputy Trini Anyone with information regarding the
found to have multiple McMillan and are being held in Deadwood whereabouts of him or with any informa-
gun related injuries and jail pending further investigation. Aunty tion about this incident should contact the
were felled it seems, by a Jem has returned to town with minor inju- Sheriff or Deputy at once.

Commemorative Book Sale Announced:


Proceeds of Vita, Trefusis book to benefit Orphans
Editor Neil Streeter has announced a Mr. Streeter previously authored the
substantial though unannounced percent- Jeni Trefusis Black Rose of Deadwood
age of sales from the book “The Soiled Speller, a book that allows for study of
Doves of Deadwood” will be donated to the alphabet, including photographs of
The John Tanner Fund for Orphans and the famous young soiled dove who died a
Disadvantaged Young Women of Home- Christian martyr while ministering to the
stake Mining Co. in memory of slain poor. Streeter said the book was destined
orphanage mistress and former town for children, of course, but also adult learn-
council member Marrant Vita. ers. The book is for sale at the newspaper
Vita died in the Jeni Trefusis Orphanage office on Main, and features several photo-
fire which also claimed the lives of five graphs of the young woman both after her
baby orphans. conversation, and before, she wore highly
Streeter said he had already been work- inappropriate clothing which is only pic-
ing with Vita on a book about the visions tured in the interests of accuracy.
that she and Miss Trefusis had shared of Mr. Streeter stated that the only pho-
Mary Magdalene, the Heavenly former tographs found in the orphanage of Miss
Soiled Dove who was close, very close, to Vita are of her in nightdresses and bath-
Jesus. The book is being updated because ing, and so in her memory the new book
of Miss Vita’s death and is expected to will feature several such pictures though of
be offered for sale in time for Christmas course in only the highest taste.
giving. It is hoped the new book will be instruc-
tive to young women. An excerpt is printed
herein:

Jeni and Marrant lay there togeth-


er on the hillside, their ripe firm
breasts heaving in the sun from the
exertion. Jeni was the first to roll
over onto her side, and was reaching
for her corset when suddenly her eyes
were blinded by a bright light. Both
women instinctively cowered. best they could, looking down in confusion They did not see, but instead felt, a smile
A woman’s voice as calm as wind on the town of Deadwood, and then up at ... “The only hurt I bring is the challenge
but strong as hurricane spoke to a glow. of a new and better life. Through Jesus you
them, seeming to come from all “I am Mary Magdalene.” can find salvation...”
directions, lovely and lilting “Be not Both women dropped to their knees,
ashamed of thy white thighs, for I which was familiar to them and looked Publication date: Dec. 10. Preorders for
bring you the Word of God.” up in horror. books and reprints of pictures accepted at
Both women covered themselves as “Do not hurt us!” cried Marrant the offices of the Deadwood Free Press.

4
Deadwood Free Press Vol. 2 Issue 26 November 13, 1878

News Briefs
((from the RL New
Stupendous Indian Fraud
York Times)) Discoveries Made at Crow Creek Agency
Deadwood, Dakota, Oct. 13 - A shoot-
Sudden Appearance of Commissioner Hayt at the Agency and the
ing affray occurred here this afternoon
between Mrs. Lovell, a notorious woman,
Result: Theft, Perjury, and Every Kind of Fraud by Collusion of the
and John Rogers, an employee in Gregory’s
Restaurant, which resulted in the death
Agent and the Trader.
of the former and the fatal wounding of
the latter. The quarrel was caused by a
Special Dispatch to the ((RL)) New York Times.
dispute in regard to the ownership of cer-
tain ground which has been in question for
some time. Mrs. Lovell assaulted Rogers Fort Thompson, Dakota Terr, via Yank- that besides his large landed interests, he the Indian his own potatoes. The trader’s
in his own house. ton: is a part owner in three silver mines in warehouse was inside of the stockade, and
Commissioner Hayt, from Washington, Nevada. 10 feet from the government warehouse,
Deadwood, Dakota, Oct. 14 - A severe is now visiting the Indian Agencies in this Livingston and his ‘pards’ owned two and the former was stocked from the
fight took place this afternoon at Brigand section. Today he dropped down on the cattle ranches, with the stock, rations, etc. latter.
Camp, 15 miles south of the city, between Crow Creek Agency, and found Inspector regularly supplied from the Crow Creek Of course, all the stolen property was
the Sheriff and posse and two road agents, Hammond’s sealed book ope. and Cheyenne agencies. They were both reported issued to the Indians. Whole
in which one of the latter - Tom Price - was It reveals fraud and robbery to an extent seized by the Government. They conducted bands of Indians had their rations cut off
wounded four times twice fatally, and is unheard of on the Missouri River. a hotel, supplied regularly with beef, milk, a dozen times a year for alleged offenses,
now in the hands of the authorities. Last March, the Crow Creek, Lower and potatoes from the Agency, and forced and the rations were not accounted for to
His companion escaped. The sheriff is Brule and Cheyenne Agencies were all the employees to board there. the government.
still in pursuit, with the prospect of recov- seized by the Military authorities. They used the Agency blacksmith shop There were rations and annuities drawn
ering the treasure taken from the coach A secret investigation into their affairs, and material for their private gains. All for 300 more Indians than there were on
on Sept. 26. which is still incomplete, has developed a their private stock were fed at govern- the agency. The money appropriated by
conspiracy between the agents and traders ment cribs. Livingston sold the agency Congress, during Livingston’s administra-
Deadwood, Dakota, Oct. 29 - “Baldy” that even startles the natives. Dr. Livings- wood to the steamboats and the hay to the tion, for the management of the Agency
Ford, a notorious gambler, last night shot ton, of Crow Creek, was taken without Black Hills wagon trains. Crow Creek is and employment and incidentals, amount-
and instantly killed John Russell, a Texan warning, and his office safe captured a stopping place on the Fort Pierre route ed to $170,000. He stole all he could. His
cattle man, at Sturgis City, 12 miles from before he had time to remove the evidence to Deadwood. employees were all very ignorant men, and
this place. The only cause assigned for the of his wealth and of his guilt. The Indian annuities and rations were any excuse for non-receipt of wages was
murder is that Fort was intoxicated and The mountain of testimony is still piling stolen and sold. Two steamboats of Indian accepted. They were glad to get rations
wanted to kill somebody. Ford is in jail. up against the ring, and Livingston in par- goods for the Lower Brule Agency were and clothing. The false vouchers, and they
ticular, and is simply overwhelming. It unloaded at Crow Creek, under the protest are not yet all discovered, already number
beats all former developments for thiev- of the steamboat captain, who insisted they 150, ranging from $50 to $1,500.
ing, perjury and forgery. The details show belonged to the Brule Agency. One laborer, whose name, Hooker, was
that they stole everything in sight, and The Indians put up large quantities of freely used on fraudulent vouchers, was
prostituted the whole agency machinery hey and wood, and were paid in their own so badly frightened by the Ring that he
to their private use. Feeding and civilizing rations and annuities. The ring would then went into a loft and shot himself through
the Indians was a secondary matter. charge the government for this hay and the heart.
The affidavits, false vouchers, forged wood, get paid for them, and then sell the The instances of perjuries are too numer-
payrolls, and ring letters laid before Com- same hay and wood to the steamboats, ous to mention. Livingston was an Episco-
missioner Hayt prove that Livingston military posts, and bull-whackers, and get palian appointment. He gave fonts and
began his robbery in 1870, when he was paid a second time. The crops raised on the stained glass windows to the chapels.
first appointed. Since then he has accu- reservation were sold, and the proceeds This is only a skeleton of the worst case
mulated a fortune. It is a matter of record not accounted for. The trader would sell of plundering ever made public in the
indian service in the West.

5
Deadwood Free Press Vol. 2 Issue 26 November 13, 1878

A guide to the Western Horse, Part 3


Now that you know the nomen- coloration--from cross breeding
clature for the different ways that with Arabian and Spanish stock.
different horses look, let’s have a They are large and sturdy, usually
little chat about the most common 16-17 hands high, with a broad chest,
breeds you will find in traveling and short neck, small ears and broad
working in the American West. forehead. They tend to have a wide
girth and slightly shortish legs. The
Percheron is a willing and intelligent
Light Horses worker, easily trained and generally
adaptable to many different climates
and conditions.
The American
One of the types that is most fre-
quently seen in these parts is the
The Belgian
breed that is simply known as the In recent years, America has begun
“American” horse. It is descended importing the Belgian or “Brabant”
from horses brought to the east coast horse, which is slightly lighter in
from Great Britain. They were build than the Percheron, but which
crossed with English Thoroughbreds are still incredibly strong. Gener-
to get a large, good-looking, all- ally darker in coloration, Belgians
purpose animal. American horses are not liked by some horsemen who
are strong, smart, and generally claim they exhibit an “ungainly”
even tempered. They can be read- appearance. Nonetheless, they are
ily taught smooth, pleasant to ride very solidly built and well suited to
gaits, and may be used either for farm work. The Belgian horses also
pulling light vehicles, or as saddle are notable for their unique sense of
horses. They began moving west humor, which is often directed at the
with the pioneers after the Ameri- human owner.
can Revolution, and now are very
common in the West.
The Clydesdale
The American This elegant and distinctive heavy
horse was bred in Scotland in the
Quarter Horse 1700s and brought to this country
initially in the 1840s. They are as
Quarter horses are a type that large as Percherons. but exhibit
was bred to be able to run a quarter a longer, more graceful neck and
mile faster than about any other longer legs. The air of elegance is
beast. They originated as “Ameri- enhanced by the “feathering” on
can Quarter Running horses” bred by The Plantation Walking Heavy Horses their hooves which is usually of a contrast-
English colonists in the 1600s, and when ing color. Coloration in general tends to
they were interbred with Spanish horses, Horse be lighter. The Clydesdale displays a very
they just got stronger and faster. That The Percheron distinctive high step in trotting, which adds
Spanish blood almost helped make them In the late 1700s and early part of this to its appeal as a “fancy” draft animal for
pretty much the best cow horses. Heavily century, settlers in Tennessee and other With increasing size of and use of an urban setting where the owner is trying
muscled and a tad on the compact side, “over the mountain” areas of the south machinery on the American farm, begin- to create an impression.
they are admirably suited to the work of began selectively breeding Narragansett ning in the middle of this century, hus-
rounding up and moving cattle, roping, and Canadian pacers to produce a horse bandmen increasingly have switched fro By D. A. Kuhr
etc.--they are an essential part of the West-that had a smooth gait combined with the use of oxen to heavy horses for draught
ern agricultural economy. incredible stamina. These walking horses purposes. The first heavy breed imported
are comfortable to ride and display a very in significant numbers was the Percheron,
even-tempered disposition. Consequently, which began coming to this country in
The Appaloosa the Plantation has a popularity in the
West as a trail horse, though some riders
1839. Originally bred in France as a war-
horse, it picked up some its most charac-
These strong, fast animals were bred by find they are not too sure-footed in truly teristics--such as the predominance of grey
the Nez Perce indians, who started with rugged mountainous terrain.
Spanish horses in the 1700s and selectively
bred them to get the spotted coats that
are the symbol of this type. They are not
particularly big, but are hardy and can live
The Spanish Horse
off forage that would make a more civilized Descended from the animals ridden
equine flare its nostrils an go on strike. by the conquistadors and still ridden by
Known sometimes as the “palouse” horse, the vaqueros and many Indian tribes, the
they are emblematic of the Nez Perce resis- Spanish horse is small, and deep-bodied,
tance to white encroachment. with a broad forehead nd narrow face,
closely-placed front legs, and a low-set
tail. They have an unusually long stride
The Morgan and tend to have a gentle disposition when
domesticated (many that survive today are
Originating in America in the 1790s, feral, but can be caught and broken). They
this breed is reliable, graceful and heavily make an excellent ranch and riding horse.
muscled on the quarters. They are durable Nonetheless, the type is disappearing as
and tireless, and do well under fire, which American horsemen are tending to mix
is why they were a popular military mount them with other types, such as the Morgan
in the late war. Most commonly, they and the American. It is not clear if they
generally have handsome dark coloration will still be around in a recognizable form
(though lighter shades do show up) and a in the next century, unless perhaps it is
very upright stance that enhances the sense on some of the Indian agencies or in the
that they are intelligent and alert. wild.

6
Deadwood Free Press Vol. 2 Issue 26 November 13, 1878

Take a Spin on the See previous issues for the perils of this young
heroine and her adventures

The Perilous Journeys of


Floor Wheel Mary Sue Sweetlyness
Episode 6

By Miss Adele Leeland

Mary Sue Sweetliness felt odd lying voices began to carry over the wind.
there, unable to move her head, arms or Craning her ears to hear, a call here,
legs. In fact, she was not even sure they a murmur there, was it singing? Mary
still existed. Sue instantly forgave the long wait. How
Was she dead? could she do otherwise in the company of
Was she a floating spirit above its corpse seraph’s, come to bare her on to her heav-
waiting for freedom by the side of the river; enly home upon their shoulders? Never
her family and friends swallowed up by had the sound of manly voices, the rustle
nature’s tantrum the night before now of their feet in the grasses coming nearer
looking for her on the other side of God’s and the soft skitter of stones upon the road
heavenly gate? contained so much music.
A beatific smile crossed her lips as, in her “Son of a bitch! Charlie, come look
mind, she imagined what a vision of serene here!.”
immortality she must appear. “OW!,” Mary Sue cried out, her hair
“At last, I shall see my beloved,” she held fast in the mud, “P-Peter?”
thought, anticipating the moment when Fer fuck sakes?” spat his shuffling
St. Peter himself would descend from lofty cohort, “What the hell is she doing?”
heights, take her hand in his and lead her The two men knelt down incredulous
up the golden ladder. shoving the lantern in her face, doubly
Deadwood gaming houses may well These games are for those who don’t trust Heart fluttering in anticipation, Mary attacking the distressed damsel with harsh
wish to consider a fine line of the latest a human dealer or who may wish to enjoy Sue put her mind in a place of peace lest St. lamp light and putrid odor as waves of
technology, floor wheel machines import- the latest technology. Floor machines are Peter come upon her with an inappropriate putrid gasses emitted from unwashed
ed by Judge Eun as part of an extention normally found with a large color wheel in frown. Quickly she prepared. She found crevices and unkempt beards stiff with
of his Number 10 mercantile exchange. the center of the machine in which you bet she had lips and bit them to deep pinkness dried tobacco juice, burning her eyes and
on the color the wheel will stop on. and held her breath a few moments – long nasal passages. “She’s worse than a half
enough to blush her milky white cheek. dead grasshopper stuck in molasses!”
And lastly, she composed her facial fea- laughed one man obliviously to the other
tures in a pleasing arrangement. as they futilely tried to tear free the skirts,
What one should do in such circum- starched petticoats and flaxen curls, held
stance she could not tell. It did not seem fast as cement in the dried mud of the creek
appropriate to call out after all, St. Peter bed.
might have a great many appointments “Sheet” grinned the man ignoring her
after such a storm. No, she would pass the sobs of protest “Only one thing I can think
test of patience. of to do” he said with a wink, gesturing
If hours existed on the other side, she towards the pail hanging off his cart.
did not know – but they passed. First “Nooo,” Mary Sue screamed, a plaintive
one, then another, and then another. The whistle of protest emitting from her very
sun tracked over head and began its slow soul, setting aloft a cacophony of winged
decent. Mary Sue came to the end of every river birds.
recitation and prayer she knew. It was “Shad up!” the man yelled back, “Would
dark? How much time had passed now? ya rather we cut em off Idjit?”
Her eyes tracked to the right and the left, “I bet she were drunk” chuckled the
up and down, searching for a landmark other as he stood up, scratched a particular
and finding none. A large bird settled near spot on his scalp and went for the bucket.
and let out a startling squawk. Strident, heart breaking shrieks filled
“Uh!” as eyebrows shot up and met in the air as pail after pail of friged river
the middle. water accuratly shloshed over the target.
“He is only tardy, she reasoned, and “I am in hell!” bubbled Mary Sue through
that is hardly the worst sin,” she muttered, a mouth full of river water and sand.
not entirely believing it as an unpleasant Doubled over with laughter, the grimy
itch settled upon her nose. “Oh bother!” strangers once more closed hands upon
she exclaimed, contorting her face - most her soggy garments, at last ripping her
would agree she thought, that should ones loose from the river bed, leaving much
nose itch in heaven, one should be provided of her skirt and a good portion of flaxen
mean by which to grant comfort. strands rooted in the dried mud like golden
At long last, when the last vestiges of saplings.”
light streaked purple over a blanket of “Not yet, Darlin,” Said the man, laugh-
stars and evening breezes stirred their lazy ing. “Not yet.”
finger tips through the soft grasses, low

To be continued...

Related Interests