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This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. August Works by A. Abdul Kalam. Penguin India. Retrieved 10 August India A Vision for the New Millennium. India: Penguin Publishers.
India: From Midnight to the Millennium and Beyond
I have my own news to convey but I know the only news you want to hear right now is what became of your claim. Do not be vexed. You must realize I had to find a way to survive. Not even Annie knows the hiding place. Joseph, when you return, you can give up prospecting and use the gold you buried in the house to buy some cattle or sheep. Yes, the snows get deep here and they can close in on grazing animals but you, on a horse, with a dog, would make quick work of the round-up. You can be sure that the cash from the sale of the claim felt alive and kicking as I walked over to a group of newly arrived wagons.
I struck up a conversation with some of the women. Yes, plain, quiet me can be a church bell if I need to be. When I made it obvious that I was a respectable sort, I asked if the men could gather round. I addressed my inquiry to a kindly looking man. Joseph, do stop interrupting me!
I admit that I enjoy the sense that you are reading over my shoulder as I write, but you must not rush me. You want to know why I would carry a fortune in a dress pocket when I was going to meet strangers. And the reason I knew the man was kindly was because he was holding his young boy on his hip and tickling him.
I told the assembly that I needed some construction done on my house. I wanted it greatly enlarged, with a second story. I wanted the walls to be made of proper brick with framed windows and I wanted the inside to be canvassed and papered. The father holding his boy asked if he might know how I would pay.
No, Husband, I did not show the money. Just read! The men were happy for the work. Mining equipment is always more expensive than anyone expects. Annie helps me run the place. She does not want me calling her an Indian. She says she is a Shoshone. Can you imagine such cheekiness?
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She is about as ladylike as a wild cat. At first I was put off by her ignorance. She was actually afraid to tread on the stairs, never having seen any before. But I have come to put great store in her ferocity. My boarders would sooner have her drop them out the second story window she is no longer afraid of the stairs than have her catch them trying to steal anything.
Last month, before the big snow, she and I were scrubbing laundry alongside the stream.
She noticed some young boys getting too close to the butter box that was cooling there in the ripples. She threw pebbles at the lads. I do not know what her real name is so I gave her the name of the little sister I had for a time. It is pleasant to hear the name flit about the hallways of this house whenever I need help.
By now you know a mail courier stopped by the Denver jail and asked if inmate Maddox was receiving his letters and the jailor said you are. Maddox awaits a reply. To that I say, good. I do not care if you are being teased.
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It was teasing that got you into this bad luck. Send me word in your own hand that you fare well enough. Our marshal here in Clear Creek has reason to go to Denver soon, and he will check on your wellbeing himself. I long to abandon this boarding house and go with him, but of course I cannot travel alone with the marshal, especially now as he is widowed.
Last night when the house was filled with snoring, I went downstairs to the dirt floor where your gold is hidden. I just wanted to touch what you had touched and smooth over again what you had smoothed over. I am building my courage to write to you of everything that has happened. No, I am not being courted by some young fool.
No, I am not in debt and tempted by your cache. Here is one interesting fact for you. It was rumors of gold that caused Julius Caesar to leave the known world and set off across the ocean to invade the island of Britain. Are you surprised I know such a thing? As surprised as you are to learn that there is a plank street in Clear Creek and there is a wild Shoshone woman helping me wash clothes and fry up bacon and cabbage for our boarders?
I told him that before he cleared out he had to give me something of value to cover the debt. I suggested the calf skin boots he was wearing but he pretended not to understand. He said he owned several books and he opened his valise so I could see my options. One book was a treatise on temperance and I said I was already well familiar with that topic as my deceased husband had felt favorably about the cause. Another was a published lecture on how to dig irrigation ditches for desert farming.
Grant in military uniform, standing by a tent. Annie is calling that she is ready for help with the laundry. I do not go into the various rooms to collect dirty clothes.
If a boarder wants his shirts and socks washed, he needs to leave them in a basket by the back step on Monday morning. I will go down now and see how many of the men remembered such a simple instruction. They will grumble this evening at dinner that I failed to remind them.
Lord, that Annie can scream. If the mail carrier comes tomorrow, you will get this letter without a proper ending but you will not care. But now I have read it often enough that the pages are well thumbed and smudged. Before Julius Caesar set off for Britain he asked some merchants who traded in the northern realms to tell him about the habits of the wild men of Britain. He was informed that the Celts do not fear disease or death.
They fear that the sky could fall down upon them. Not afraid of suffering or death. Only the heavy hand of the air above.