arisen to the dignity of two sleeping apartments and a dining-room (alias, kitchen)!
There were five or six Ladies present; 20 or 30 gentlemen, and 10 or 12 Indians. We got up a right good dinner, for the prairie; and every thing passed off charmingly (I Hope!!!). O was kept very busy, being the prime minister for the whole "out-fit." I had been out of bed but two days and was so weak I could scarcely stand, yet I think I did my duty to people and things that day - even to prompting the bride at the all important moment! Standing a little behind the bride I had a fine opportunity to hear the congratulations! The styles were quite varied! Our humorous Judge [Samuel F.] W[atts] really surprised me with his rhetorical eloquence! Wish I could remember just how his congratulation was worded.
What a wide gap there seems to be in my existence since I left off journalizing!
May 4th was the date of the last jotting in my old journal. And now it is July 2nd -two months, lacking two days!.
It seems two years! Mon Dieu! It has been a life-time of pain and suspense!
I had every thing packed and was dressed myself, expecting to go West to my friend, as promised. It was a mistake. I will not go at all now. Enough about myself! Let us see if we cannot find a more pleasant topic. I hear the North Platters are in preparation on anticipation of quite a brilliant commemoration of the 4th of July. One year ago today and we were getting ready to start into the Post on the morrow! Ma foi! What has one year done.
[John Y.] Nelson, of [George Pfouts] Belden fame called to see me a weed or so since. I was quite anxious to meet him; nor do I find myself disappointed in my expectations. He is an original of no mean order; and on the whole, a kind hearted man, I think.
What must I do with myself today? I have been chopping weeds in the yard. A wild turkey comes every morning to fight the Dr.'s [Carver] tame one. He, the wild gobbler, has proven himself master, and struts about the corral in fine style. We will not shoot him. Day before yesterday, Pa called me out to see a beaver quietly feeding on the bank of the creek. I went in about 15 feet of it. The sleek pretty creature did not seem at all frightened; but went on pulling and eating the weeds and wild roses, as though no interloper upon his primeval wilds was near.
Made a fine shot at a rabbit this morning, as I was coming from the field. I have made twelve shots at rabbits this spring and killed eleven. I wounded one, but as I did not get it, I count the shot lost. Two of the number I killed at 100 yds. and four or five, between 75 and 80 yrds. Killed one on the jump, which is reckoned right good for rifle shooting.
Twilight, June 3rd [sic]
I have been sitting alone in the gathering gloom! Alone, save the shadow-forms stealing up from the dead, but unforgotten past! Familiar voices mock my lonely heart with the for-off echo of their remembered sweetness, until the tortured spirit cries out in its wild, impatient agony! Yet this is weakness! Afternoon --4th of July
"For what art thou, more than they fellows,
that thou shouldst not weep?"
Peccavi [I have erred]! Yet, do I alone remember? Fata obstant [obstinate fate]! 87E [One] eELa [year] LX8 [ago] &872X1& [tonight] --The Sun was brighter and Heaven's blue seemed bending bluer above me! Such is life!
"Fate leads the willing and drags the unwilling." Better led than dragged.
I have been celebrating "the 4th" in rather an odd manner: bows, and over my boot-tops in mud. I worked away until I got down to the clean gravel when I put a barrel in and then bailed until the water looked entirely pure. Then my Indian friends came: viz. The bridal pair, Weepola and her children -- after they left, I raked the yard a while -- and now I am sitting on the ground at "my cabin door", trying to write by way of company -- what a scrawl! My fingers fel stiff, and I am so nervous I feel more than half foolish.
One year ago today I was one of quite a merry party in at the Post. We were watching the horse race about now!
I was quite ill and weak, bodily -- but with all I was freer from care than I had been in many long months!
I could laugh with a careless spirit one year ago! --I was "driving dull care away", and looking forward for brighter days! Am I alone to blame for the change that has come?