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Monday, January 30, 2017

MOVING ON - CHAPTER 5 - Once Again a New Beginning

Papa bought me 3 New Suits
CHAPTER 5 - Once again a new beginning

Our business was finished and our money was in our suitcase. Our goods we wanted to take with us filled a car half full. We had a compartment to stay in which helped us to be more comfortable. It had a lock on the door if we wanted to lock it.

Our money case we kept with us at all times. I was packing my six guns in my hostler and a derringer in my vest. Mercy had a small 32 in a pocket in her dress.

I also hired an ex-Pinkerton man to keep an eye out for anyone who might look suspicious.

We were made more nervous when the train broke down in the middle of nowhere.

One of the baggage car guards climbed a telegraph pole and sent a message to the nearest station requesting help.  By the next day we were on our way again.

Because of the breakdown it took us five days to make the trip. I had some hot water brought in so Mercy and I could wash up. We felt better after our sponge bath. The kids were scrubbed up lastly for they were getting nasty is the best way to put it.  Crawling around in the floor of the train dirtied them up rather quickly.

We arrived in Sacramento worn out and needing a bath. Traveling with three kids was something I promised myself I would never do again. I threatened to throw them off the train more than once but manage to rescind the threat before I carried it out.

Papa met us with some wagons and armed men. I asked, “Why the men with guns?”  Papa said, “I am carrying some money and I figured you might have some also, so I am just being careful.”

I answered, “You're right about that, is there a bank in town we can trust?”

“Not with for our money there isn't.”

I told him, “It sounds like we need to go into the banking business.”

Papa agreed as we pulled up to the house he had built for us.

He called the kids over to him and said you must be feeding these kids very well for they have grown since I last saw them. He asked, ‘Have you been teaching them to work?”

I told him, “Yes but I've been teaching how to use their head mostly.”

He said, “I guess that is important also.”

The men started unloading our goods and Mercy showed them where she wanted everything put.  In an hour we were moved in and ready to start living in Sacramento.

One of the guards took Mercy to the general store and she bought enough food to feed a small army. Though I never said anything I couldn't help but wonder what we had got our selves into.

Then I realized Papa was wearing a suit and it wasn't even Sunday or a funeral. As he walked about I saw he had a pistol under his coat in a holster. Later I found out he had a small derringer in his vest pocket.  Papa's wife was carrying one also and he was learning my half brothers how to shoot just like he taught me. He said when he took the kids for the next lesson he would take mine also.

The next day Papa came by in a buggy and said, “Let's go.”

I climbed in and he took me down to a tailor. In short order he had me fitted for three new suits.  He said I could carry my gun under the coat and it wouldn't show.
He said he had found a building he wanted me to buy and it would make a good bank with a few changes. Then I realized the reason for the new suits. He wanted me to look the part of a banker.

He had outfitted Mercy with a derringer and told her not to hesitate to use it to protect herself and the kids.

It didn't take long to see why Papa was doing all these unusual things. The gold fields were playing out for small claim prospectors and only the large mining operations were still running at a profit.

A lot of the prospectors had drifted to Sacramento and they were broke and looking for women. When they had money the whores were available but with no money they were out of luck.

Women were assaulted on the streets until they began to carry guns and knives. Papa said things were getting better but it was going to take some more time before the law got the upper hand.

He insisted that a guard go with the women when they went out. I realized the reason for the wall around our house he had built and the mean dogs that roamed the premises. Oh, those dogs took to Mercy and the kids right off so I knew anyone would have to go through them before they could bother my family at home.


1 comment:

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