Early in the summer of 1860 I had a bad attack of gold fever. In Chicago the conditions for such a malady were all favorable. Since the panic of 1857 there had been three years of general depression, money was scarce, there was little activity in business, the outlook was discouraging, and I, like hundreds of others, felt blue. Gold had been discovered in the fall of 1858 in the vicinity of Pike's Peak, by a party of Georgian prospectors, and for several years afterward the whole gold region for seventy miles to the north was called "Pike's Peak." Others in the East heard of the gold discoveries and went West the next spring; so that during the summer of 1859 a great deal of prospecting was done in the mountains as far north as Denver and Boulder Creek. Those who returned in the autumn of that year, having perhaps claims and mines to sell, told large stories of their rich finds, which grew larger as they were repeated, amplified and circulated by those who dealt in mining outfits and mills. Then these accounts were fed out to the public daily in an appetizing way by the newspapers. The result was that by the next spring the epidemic became as prevalent in Chicago as cholera was a few years later. Four of the fever stricken ones, Enos Ayres, T. R. Stubbs, John Sollitt and myself, formed a partnership, raised about $9,000 and went to work to purchase the necessary outfit for gold mining. Mr. Ayres furnished a larger share of the capital than any of the others and was not to go with the expedition, but might join us the following year. Mr. Stubbs and I were both to go, while Mr. Sollitt was to be represented by a substitute, a relative whose name was also John Sollitt, and who had been a farmer and butcher and was supposed to know all about oxen. Mr. Stubbs was a good mechanic, an intelligent, well-read man, and ten years before had been to California in search of gold. Our outfit consisted of a 12-stamp quartz mill with engine and boiler, and all the equipments understood to be necessary for extracting gold from the rock, including mining tools, powder, quicksilver, copper plate and chemicals; also a supply of provisions for a year. The staple articles of the latter were flour, beans, salt pork, coffee and sugar. Then we had rice, cornmeal, dried fruit, tea, bacon and a barrel of syrup; besides a good supply of hardtack, crackers and cheese for use while crossing the plains, when a fire for cooking might not be found practicable. These things were all purchased in Chicago, together with the fourteen wagons necessary to carry them across the plains. Then all were shipped by rail to St. Joseph, Mo., where the oxen were to be purchased. The entire outfit when loaded on the cars, weighed twenty-four tons. I stayed in Chicago till the last to help purchase and forward the outfit and supplies, while Stubbs and Sollitt (the substitute) went to St. Joe to receive and load them on the wagons and to purchase the oxen.
Pappity Stampoy wrote this popular book that continues to be widely read today despite its age.
The Stampeder, by Samuel Alexander White, first published in 1910. Britton's steam-yacht tore out its lungs in protest at the black smudge of a coasting vessel reeling straight across its bows. The siren bellowed thrice in a choking fury of warning and denunciation till the echoes boomed over the Algerian harbor and floated high up to the Mustapha Superieure, where English lords slept at peace in luxurious hotels. Disconcerted by this tremendous volume of sound, the coaster vacillated, veered and yawed as if under some drunken steering-hand, to leap forward unwarily and bury her weather-beaten prow in the white side of the Mottisfont. The terrific impact swept the yachts forecastle clear of snoring sailors, and, after shooting the temporary owner lieadlong from his berth, commenced to polish the companionway passage with his features, an operation which he instinctively though not wholly wakefully resented by a frantic grasping for something substantial."
They say there are five stages of loss. In a way, that's what I'm going through of sorts. But I find myself stuck in two of them, anger and depression. 1) DenialI lived there when she left with Seviride at the airport. Thinking she loved me like a sappy sack of dumb sh*t. 2) Anger Blew past denial when I found her listless body on the beach. To say I was pissed when I found out she was pregnant would be an understatement. 3) Bargaining Didn't get a chance for that one since the FBI took her away, hiding them both from the Croatian Mob. 4) Depression Some would say this is the reason for my perpetual day-drunk state. What they don't understand is, I like it. It helps welcome the night and numbs me from my unending sex-fest. I suppose those people think I should shower too. 5) Acceptance Everyone keeps telling me to move on. Are you f*cking kidding me? If they only knew she's not even freaking dead! For me, that final stage would be elusive anyway. She was my rush. With every second that ticks away, I live day-by-stinking-day in the rotting pit of my Hell without her.
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