by Marlin Spike
Usually its seven days on the American River to Sacramento and quite relaxing, usually!
|Death on the American River
The only reason it took me two weeks to travel from my diggings to the riverboat that would deliver me into the presence of my dear wife is a story onto itself! Yes! I entrusted Fearsy to watch over my son, Robben, while extracating all that is rightfully ours on a claim, duly filed and legal in the State of California.
Rich it is beyond my simple expectations. When the side of a mountain collapsed, changing the waterway and releasing hiden bounty, geologically buried until an act of Nature released a natural, buried ,organic treasure, pushed up by the forming of the Earth itself!
Gold, measured by pounds became ours. So Fearsy, my compatriot and friend and yet-more, did show a flicker of emotion, when we saw what lay before us!. He is a Brother, like no man has experienced. My life has been in his hands on several occassions andI am still here! .
Now, he guards my son from a wilderness of greed, avarice, and selfishness, where all people doubt that when help is asked for and delivered it is done without a price! Friendship, fellowship and comradrie? All doubt! I am living testimony that friendship found is real and everlasting but in the gold country it is a rarety, more so than the gold being hunted.
Downstream on the American River , under a normal sun, would have brought me but one week and a day to where the American meets the Sacramento River and town itself! I had been waylaid by miscreants, whose soul purpose on this wonderful planet, is to fill their pockets with stolen money.They rationalize that all people of wealth, stold it and are thieves just like themselves! I have no mercy for this kind of thinking! They boarded,without invitation, our simple vessel for one purpose! To rob, steal, and maybe kill, for their lack of creative skill ,to come into their own financial gain criminally! They attempted to kill me and the passengers on this very small river vehicle that was delivering us down river. My next destination was a paddle wheel steamer that runs from Sacramento to San Francisco. My wife, who I had not seen since Christmas last, only a year this time, was waiting in, " The City"!
I was sorry to have shot two of them. They wanted more than I could give. The surviving two were conscious by the time I gave them to the sheriff in Sacramento. Everyone aboard thanked me in abundance for being a kind of protector. I didn't see it that way. I saw effeminate men whose wealth was made off the backs of people like me. If I had not been aboard, they would have been free of their money and their life. I felt sorry for the distressed highwaymen.
Not for the rich double speaker, who is a thief but breaks no laws. He is a politician! When the law doesn't work for them they change the law! Why do manipulators appear victorious always? Money, food, women, a robust contenence broadcasting non-chalance!
I paid the bail for the surviving two would be robbers. They agreed, after only a slight hesitation, to work for me, instead of against me! They trusted my word and found their way to Fearsy and my son, who needed all the help they could find at the mine.
These men are still with with me to this day. One never leaves my wife's side. The other never leaves my son's. I have Fearsy, and he has me. We all have the truth in us. Gold is in our hearts for those who can bear it!
My re-union, and re-acquaintance with my wife at our new house on Nob Hill is another story! And so is what my daughter brought to my attention on the day of my return from the Forgotten Claim of the Motherlode!
My eyes grow weary. When I next pick up my pen it will be to continue from where I have left off. Almost home.