The Private Diaries of
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Ever since arriving in the Yukon, you've wondered where that prospector stashed the gold you hunted down for him. It's rumored to be in a dangerous area, under water near a place you must not enter. At least that's what that Scotsman told you after his monkey handed you this sheaf of papers. The two of them walked away with a rather ugly woman before you could find out more.

Itís my birthday already. It was a fine day for it all in all, and I was in good spirits throughout, as my friends did all the chores and muck work. In camp that night, under the starry sky, we celebrated. Ted passed around something he called Conyak. Itís no whisky, but itíll do I suppose. Squirrelfoot, made me a coonskin hat. Nice thought, but youíd think a injun would do a better job- Iíll have to accidentally lose it I think, before it starts to smell. Last but not least, Jeremiah bought me a spyglass while he was away getting the dynamite. He even tried to show me some famous planet with it, but I wasnít able focus quite right by then.

Itís a sad day when one of your best friends dies. We were hiking out of the mountains when a mountain lion runs across the trail. The dogs chased after it, Theo catches one dog but I just get a handful of white fur. Squirrelfoot advises caution in that strange accent of his- youíd think a mountain chiefís son could talk more proper like. By then, thereís a terrible howl and roar- we rush over to find a splatter of blood and torn up underbrush, Theo yells that he sees it and fires his Colt, but it was just a trick of the light, we find nary a sign of dog nor cat. We called and called, but it was to no avail.

It all started when we were trying to start a fire for the night. Squirrelfoot was having trouble getting it lit, due to all the wood being so water logged. Jeremiah, being the helpful critter he is, offered to help. 'Ah don need yur wee paws messin up my work'he said, brushing Jeremiah aside. Well, of course what happens next is Jeremiah pushed screams a challenge and pushes back. Squirrelfoot takes a swing and then proceeds to get beaten like a red headed step-child. It weren't pretty. After, Ted pulled out a sewing kit to get a needle- in the quick glance of it that I had, I'd nearly swear on my mother's grave he had some frilly stuff in that kit too. He was deft enough sewing up S-foot where he needed it. I'll bet his face is totally black and blue tomorrow.

One thing that makes traveling way the hell and gone away in the wilderness is times like today. The trailíd been following a rocky creek for a while, when the stream opens up to a wide pool, and into this pool at the far end is a fine, fine waterfall- falling 25 ft into a rocky, foggy bottom. Theodore says in his grandiose way 'The beauty of the American wilds never ceases to amaze my wondering eyes'. And some more pansy crap that I used to just take for aristocratic styling. Now I know better. Still, we broke for lunch next to the pool, eating some soup, enjoying the scenery and the pleasant weather that has followed us thus far. The Indian fellow even competently showed Jeremiah how to spear salmon in the pool.

Iím glad my impression of Theo from our time in Cuba is holding up. Heís been a rock solid companion and a real gentleman, though he didnít seem to approve of my dalliance with that barmaid last night (I must admit, I canít remember her name, so maybe he has a point..) His good nature and charisma came in real handy when we meet the mountain Indians- I thought we was goners for sure, and me with my birthday coming up so soon. But Theo just gave them primitives a big smile and his spare rifle as a gift to their chief, and we were saved.

Got everyone down for some poker. Took a bit of wrangling, but convinced them that winning at poker is quite better way to get even than tussling again. In any case, we all had a grand time, especially after some South Virginia moonshine was produced. I'm pretty sure I won some money, got some good hands all night- though I'm not entirely sure. My vision was a bit blurry there at the end. I'm pretty sure I had 5 jacks at one point, and the diamond one wanted to kill me. I folded that hand. I'm pretty sure Santa Claus was going to win anyway. He was there, I swear.

Jeremiahís been gone only the past couple of hours, but I already miss his good humor. And here I was hoping to teach the newbie some poker, but ainít much fun without enough folks playing. Anyway, lord knows we need what heís there for, so I forgive the little guy his absence. I just hope he behaves himself at that little Fort heís heading to, but knowing the scum that hangs out in outposts, heíll get into petty-ass little fights for implied insults to people near him. Heís got to remember that Fangs isnít there to watch his back no more Damn I miss that dog.

The day dawns clear, though my hangover is fierce. While Jeremiah prepares coffee, bacon, and grits, the dogs starting barking something fierce as a well dressed man enters my camp. Seems Theodore has finally arrived- just a day after his reply letter said he would. Itís unlike him to be late, but he says he was delayed by a run in with some bears. I can only imagine what this run in was, he wonít talk about it.

The four of us walked into a little trading post. Theo went off with Squirrelfoot, telling of his plans to be president of the US some day. I walked with Jeremiah a bit, looking for news. We found this one eyed, one legged man with a colorful bird on his shoulder- claims to have just come from the gold boom town on the Klondike. Says the roads there are paved in gold, showed us his 12 gold teeth to prove how common it was. Used the letter Ďrí to much I reckon.

Everything is gloomy. The dog's lonely without his litter mate- nothing's more pitiful than a sad, wet dog. And by wet, I mean absolutely soaked from this sudden, incessant rain. I ain't seen anything like this downpour since I was caught in that hurricane in New Orleans 21 years ago. Don't want to write too much, a wet diary don't last to long.

I seen a truly disturbing thing today. We was breaking camp after breakfast, Jeremiah doing dishes like usual and me packing the sleeping rolls. Theoís off doing his usual morning ablutions. I finish up and climb hillock to see what I can see of the trail ahead. What a surprise it was to see a flash of pink in a little clearing we passed on the trail not long before finding our campsite. Taking a closer look with, I see the pink is in truth a pink dress, and a purple ladies umbrella and what I believe to be a mirror. Looking closer, I recoil- nearly dropping my Ďscope in surprise. This Ďladyí has a rather familiar looking pistol by her side- not to mention a distinctive bushy mustache.

Seems Tedís luckier at Holdíem than Iíd expect. Claims heís going to spend his winnings on some right lady from Tennessee he knows. Jeremiah found a what looks to me like a fish skeleton in a rock. Heís really into fish now I guess. Itís called a fosill or something. Squirrelfoot thinks itís bad mojo, but I donít really trust his instincts. Ainít no sense writing around it anymore, today I almost fell down a gulch thatís what I did. Was hanging by a sapling over a 100 foot drop, before Grips pulled me out. I can still see it, second by second, as Iím crawling back on the ridge, and Grips is slipping and falling down the cliff instead. Iíll miss him.