Traveling to Gold Fields Makes a Tough Life Worse

Leaving the home place, family finds trouble and tragedy in Colorardo's gold fields.

| Good Old Days

"Tilda, I wish you would quit egging your pa to go to the Colorado gold fields. You know he has an itchin' foot and is only too anxious to have an excuse to move on again. When his folks died and left him the home place in Ohio all stocked, I thought maybe he would stay put for a spell. But it wasn't long until he said things were gettin' too civilized, and we moved to Indiany. We just got settled, and he wanted to push on farther, and we came to Wisconsin. The worst of it is, every move we make we get poorer."

"Ma, I feel bad about it, but John is just bound that we are going. I don't feel a rough mining camp is any place for two little boys, and I know the baby is too young to take. He says since I'm nursing her she'll be all right. I've tried telling him my milk will go back on me, but he thinks I'm just making it up. Did you ever see bluer eyes than this girl has, Ma?"

Susan looked at her eldest daughter, a beautiful young woman with a nice figure, quantities of red-bronze hair, dark blue eyes and a peach-blow complexion. She had been a merry, light-hearted girl until she had married John.

"I don't know, Tilda, I'll think and pray about going. I do wish John would quit his gambling and drinking."

Matilda had gone for a visit with her Aunt Rach, who was very romantic and had persuaded her to marry John. It had been a sorry marriage because John was cruel when he drank.

The next morning John came in and said to Tilda, "Well, old woman, get ready! I just bought a yoke of oxen for $100. We'll go next week so you'd better get things ready. Don't take anything you can get along without – some of these days you'll be wearing silks and satins!" Matilda had a feeling of premonition of some impending disaster that hung over her like a dark curtain, but she was relieved to learn that her parents had made up their minds to go on the gold hunt, too. The little boys were all excitement and would lean over the crib and tell their baby sister all the wonderful things that would happen.

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