I like to write books as I have said. I have edited and wrote a book for you to wake up and read this morning. Pour your coffee or tea and relax since its Saturday. Well you’re waiting for pancakes or eating pancakes you can whip out a device and read this story. If you want me to write a book about a topic leave a comment and I well reply and we can figure it out. Hope you have fun reading it. If you have any questions or comments post a comment.
I woke up in the Empire Hotel. Dad was stirring next to me. I got up and we went down. Our whole family had moved from San francisco out to Diggins. Mom and sister had a General store. Dad and I mined for gold.
We ate some eggs and then took out a pick and shove and I took out my gold pan. I made sure my two shooter was in my belt. It was hot in Hangtown and I wanted to take off my bandana, the dust would get in my mouth. We went to one of our claims. We had found more gold than most of the others. It was starting to get crowded. More were hearing about the Gold Rush And it was getting more crowded.
“You go up stream,” Dad said.
I went up panning every once in awhile, looking for a good deposit. I then saw a nest. I knew it could be a Magpie. I climbed up the tree and looked in. I was right. This one was real good. There was a big gold nugget in the center. Lots of gold was on the edge. I slept it away and put it in my pouch. I walked deeper and I saw a Coyote pack. It was small, only three, but they looked like they were hungry. I pulled out my gun. They got ready to attack.
“Coyotes,” I yelled.
Soon two men came and shot them. They each gave me a little gold. I walked back and showed Dad.
“Good, help me pan.”
We panned. Then we put the normal backpacks on and walked down stream to our oher claim. We had six caims, the rules were, we had to go once every month and no one could use it. We got to the long tom. You used the long Tom by putting dirt and some water down and it got stuck in the riffle bars. I worked, bringing buckets of water up. We got a little gold. We gave up on it and found Mom with more from the eggs from the chickens than normal.
“We hit the jackpot,” Mom said.
“How many?” Dad asked.
An egg could sell for 3 dollars. That was great money.
“Can I sell?”l I asked.
Mom normally ran the store with sister sometimes making bread, cheese, crackers, shirts, or anything else we sold.
The normal few people dipped in. Dad went out.
“Fresh Eggs at Andys,” Dad called.
Andy was my name, we chose it, I wasn’t sure why, but we had put the big letters up and after that we couldn’t change the name.
“Could I get a bag of flour and four eggs?” one asked.
He handed me 25 dollars and went on after I handed him the produce.
I went into the back and drank some water.
The store was making more money than Dad and I were. We made 200 dollars a day, sometimes more.
We had rooms in the Empire Hotel we had bought. That was helpful, but soon we would return to San Francisco. I got up and came to the store. Dad was going to mine and I would work in the store. We had gotten a cow. I was working on building a pen for it. The chicken coop had 8 chickens. I worked on pegging posts in and finally got it. I collected the daily eggs. Sister washed them. I milked the cow and Mom worked on the cheese. I got the cow eating grass and sat down. A miner came up. I was working on some butter.
“Could I get a blanket?”
He handed the bill and I handed him blanket.
“You can go out.”
I went out to the diggins and at once heard what everyone was talking about. Dad was with our miner buddies. They were around Jamoka Jacks fire and tent.
“You missed all the fun Bullwhip,” Early Fred said.
“Oh, I heard, big deal in Town,” I said.
“Do you know when it is?”
I shook my head.
“Blast,” Bear Billy siad.
“No one knows?” I guessed.
“Get me some of that Jamoka,” I said.
Jamoka Jack poured me some in a tin can, it was smoking.
“You guys can’t addict my boy to Jamoka,” my Dad complained draining his can after he said it.
They laughed, “You’re addicted yourself, Pitch.”
“Anyone struck it rich today?” I asked.
“That one from Diamond Springs, claims he is a doctor. He stole two gold pouches and ran off last night.”
“One from Coloma, he found a gold nugget first day panning.”
“Luck,” I said.
“Yep,” Jamoka said.
“I’m not mining today,” Jamoka said getting up.
“I’m not either, I’m taking a ride on my horse,” Fred said.
“I’ll go upstream,” Billy said.
Dad and I walked back.
Everyone was around asking when the fight was.
Than someone came on horse. They were very rare around and everyone gathered.
“I have found traces of Cut Bag,” he said.
“Where?” I asked.
“He’s panning in Diamond Springs.”
The next day I woke up and found the Town buzzing. Dad and I ran down. I pulled out my two shooter. I pushed through and saw the man.
“Who’s digging the grave?”
No one volunteered.
“Kid you do it, and your Pa.”
“We pay an ounce every three inches,” he said.
Dad and I walked up to the hill and started digging. I found a speck.
“Dad, I don’t think we’re going to need the money.”
“What is it?”
I showed him.
I quickly made it our claim. We then filled buckets up. Dad kept digging well I brought them to the river. Our three buddies helped and Jamoka pulled out his cradle. We used our long tom and they brought buckets down as we dug. We got it six feet deep and everyone had made quick claims around us. We went down for our pay.
“But you got gold, from it,” the leader said.
“Give us it,” I said.
He handed over two pounds of Gold. We walked back and heaven them on the table. I then walked to the three guys. They had three pouches.
“You guys can split one of ‘em,” I said.
“Fine,” Dad said.
We each took one and split it. We sat down and Early Fred pulled out a tin of crackers.
“Found ‘em in my room, want some?” Fred asked.
“That’s like 15 cents,” I said.
He shrugged and we started eating.
I saw a miner walk by us. He was smoking a cigar.
“Hey folks you know when the fights happening?”
“When?” I asked.
“One week from today,” he said huffing some out some smoke.
“Thanks,” Jamoka said.
He walked up and started mining. Then I saw another fellow which I couldn’t see his face dip down a couple up from him.
“That’s our claim, Dad.”
We both jumped up and I pulled out my gun.
“Stay put,” I said.
Dad pulled out his and went to the other side.
“What you doing, I’m mining in my claim,” he said.
“This is our claim,” I said.
He looked around and ran. I put my gun in my belt and chased after him. I heard horses behind us. Probably Early Freds, it was nearing.
“Grab my hand, Andy,” he called.
I looked back and grabbed his hand. He pulled me up and I got on the back. We sped up and soon I saw the man. Dad was almost there. We caught up and I leapt on top of him.
Later, the town decided to get him locked up and after I returned to the shop.
Dad got some coffee and we sat and drank.
We had small tin cans we drank. Mom gave back, bustling in her dress.
“One of you feed the animals,” Mom said.
“I’m going to change,” we both said.
She glared at us, “Both go and then come back.”
We ran to our room and stripped out of our clothes. I put some short jeans and put on a vest. I then wrapped a bandana around my face. I walked down and put some chicken food in the cracks. I then untied the cow and pulled him out into the field. He munched and walked around. I took him to the water trough. I went to bed and in the morning Dad left early. It was hot and I poured some water on myself.
The fight came to be. Mom and sister were trying to sell crackers during the fight. The two men were doing quite well jabbing. Than one got one knocked out and we all applauded.
“I’ll get you Jamoka,” one said following the winner.
“I well get the bread,” another said from behind him.
“Cheese on me,” a third said.
I ran into the back. I got my belt and put the gun in it. I had a feeling I would need it.
“Two rolls of bread please,” one said.
“And two ounces of butter,”
“And a pound of coffee beans,” another said.
“And a pound of cheese,” one said.
“Ok, that well be. 36.15.”
Than one pulled out a one shooter. He painted it at my sister. I was sitting in the back.
“Charge us 30.”
“No,” I yelled and pulled out the gun.
I ran and pointed it at the man.
He saw it and put his hands up.
“That well be 40 dollars.”
One started to speak and I yelled, “Pay your bills.”
I went back to the back and then handed over a couple nuggets.
I was head of security and animal feeding. Dad went out to mine everyday. My new friend Jackson helped me.
I had named him Wild Jackson.
I walked down to the shop and let him in. He got the produce, 8 eggs. I milked the cow well he fed the chickens. We gave his Dad food to pay for his work.
“Regular spots,” I said.
He went inside and helped my Mom. Secely keeping an eye on the customers. I sat on a stool in the corner with my gun. I wore a cowboy hat since it was hot.
“I would like a shovel,” one said.
“That’s our last one, its 39 dollars.”
He looked at my sister. I got out of my chair and Jackson stopped putting the eggs in a carton.
“Are you sure you’re saying the right price?”
He unhitched his bag and pulled out a two shooter. I pulled out my gun and pointed it at him.
“Pay the price buddy,” I said.
He saw it.
“I was seeing if it was loaded,” he said.
“40 bucks, pay up.”
He handed us the gold he had. The next man came up. He was followed by six others.
“Give us all the gold before we kill you,” one said.
They couldn’t see me so I climbed out with six gold bags. I carefully pulled out bull behind all the shops and onto the main street. I ran with him. I saw Dad with our other bodies too. They all wore leather jackets. Early Fred was on his horse riding at them. I got to them. The bull plowed two over I tied her up. Everyone gathered around. The two were knocked out. All five of us had our guns pointed. It was equal, but the crowd had pulled guns too.
“Why did you threaten my daughter?” Dad asked.
“We didn’t,” one said smirking putting his gun behind his back.
Another stepped up, “Didn’t we just do that?”
“Peeves,” the main guy yelled hitting him with the butt of his gun
We tied the men up and had a jury. Turns out they had robbed lots. We got two sacks of gold which didn’t help us much.
We kept buying food from San Francisco. We bought three fruit trees to produce some produce. We bought lots of crackers and coffee beans every month.
We soon built a cabin outside and sold our rooms in the Empire Hotel.
I got up every morning and fed the chickens and milked the cow. It was much more crowded in Hangtown these days and we know made 500 a day. We raised our prices since we could. The fresh produce was killing it. We sold the fruit for 50 cents each. They sold out every day.
The year was now 1851. People were starting to leave, but some were just getting here. We decided to sell off the place. We packed up our bags. Mom sold off the store for 700 dollars. I sold the cabin for 700. The cow was 400 and the chickens were 200. We made 2,000 dollars. We loaded our gold and money into bags and sent out on a boat to San Francisco. We bought a new place with a house on top of a store. The first day was hard of the berkey opening. I set my four shooter down on the table. We had lots of Gold we planned on saving to when the time was right to sell it for a high price.
The bakery made good money. Dads work did too. He made tin cans.
One day when I was taking the flour off the stagecoach. I brought it to the storage room and paid the man. I walked outside to take a break and eat a muffin when I saw someone on a horse.
“Jamoka Jack!” I called.
“It’s me come on over.”
He rode over and tied his horse up.
“What are you doing?”
“Helping my Mom,” I said.
“Where’s your Pa?”
“Making tin cans.”
“That’s the kind of work I want, could I work for him?”
“Sure just come back at 5 tonight,” I said.
The road off and I walked back in. I got on my bike and road off. I wanted to ask Jamoka something. He was sitting down.
“Why you come back?”
“Do you know anyone else that came here?”
He shook his head.
“My wife is looking for a house, I’m looking for work. Haven’t had time.”
“Come to the shop.”
He came and tied his horse up. I got him a seat and handed him some coffee they called it here.
Dad came back and hired him. They moved in next door.
The day started like normal. I went downstairs. They had two children. One was named Fred, the boy who was 4, the other was Lily who was 7. I was now 23. I didn’t want to get married. I liked working in the shop. Lilana, my older sister had moved out. She was now 27 and wanted to get married.
“Open it up,” Juliana said.
I lifted Fred up and switched the sign. It was 1865. I heard the clang of the cans started to be made next door. I first sold here, keeping an eye on Fred. He liked to sit in the corner and sleep. I sold some food. The Civil War was going on East and everyone was hoping slaves would be set free. I then walked Fred outside and took him nextdoor. Three more years past and Liliana got married. Her husband’s name was Blake. He was a cool guy and they came back to working. Fred got old enough to sell and he sat on the stool everyday and his sister would pick out the food well the other three baked. I worked next door selling.
We made quite a profit. One day someone came in asking for gold.
“I’ll pay 100 an ounce.”
I looked at Dad and he held up 12 fingers and then mouthed, only 12.
I handed the man a bag and he was quite surprised. I had drawn the small gun we kept. He started to run off.
“Catch that man.”
I jumped over the seller’s table and ran after gun in hand.
I saw a police officer on foot run and tackle him. We took the gold and explained to the officer.
“You will be given 200 from him.”
The money arrived and we split it.
Juliania and Blake had bought a new house. They slept their some nights.
Finally it was time to sell off the gold. It was 1875. My parents were getting ready to retire and I would have to shut down the tin can business.
We sold all six bags of Gold for 10,000 dollars. Someone also wanted to buy the tin can company for 2,000 dollars. I accepted and Dad retired. Jamoka wanted to work a couple more years so he took to security. I think he just liked holding a gun in his belt. We had a big security leather jacket for him. When it was hot and he took it off.
“It’s like the diggins,” he said on the sixth straight day of being 100.
Many of the retired slaves had come out here. When every they came in we gave them half of their first two times. One woman came in. She started crying.
“Thank you so much, this is some of my only food. I can barely afford my rent.”
We smiled and she left.
Dad had taken to whittling. When he finished his second one I told him to sell it, (I had asked him on his first and he had insisted on keeping it, it didn’t look that good either.) He finally agreed and I put it up. It was bought at once for 30 dollars. Dad wanted to keep it so I let him. Mom retried too and went to sewing. They both had a corner in the shop where their items were sold.
There was always rats around in the store. I gave Fred a stick and let him sniff them out. We needed a cat, everyone did. I knew there were lots of boats out in the harbor. I decided to look. I looked around for a while and then found a ship. On the side of it said
y Wi m with some scratched out letters in between. I walked inside and found cats everywhere. I took four home and then bought the ship from the harbor master.
“I need the wood from a boat, can I have the y Wim?” I asked.
“She’s been in port for ten years, but ok,” he said.
I then carefully took five cats at a time back. Mom helped me and with a little of Dads help we finished selling half the cats on board. I went past the rest. They were happy to get off it. At the end of the day we sold out and the line decreased. I counted the money. We sold them for 15 each. Soon at the end of the day we had sold 68 cats for 1,020 dollars.
San Francisco was getting bigger and our bakey even more. We sold out before lunch everyday. We moved three times for new kitchens.
I got out of my bed in the four story house. All our families lived there. It was 6:07. 53 minutes until we opened. I got some clothes on and climbed down to the floor where Lilana and Blake lived there and Fred had his room there. There were two rooms of storage. The next level held all the parents and Lily. I walked down the floor to the bottom. There was a kitchen and than two serving areas. Mom and Dad had their areas where they sold. Mom made small blankets and they sold for lots. They were rare and we had lots of the rich request them. Dads were even more popular. His waitlist was a mile long.
I had my four shooter still from the diggins in the belt. Mom wasn’t down like she normally was. Dad was crying in a corner and Lily and Liliana had their heads in their hands. I looked around and saw Juliana crying too. I knew what had happened at once. It was just me, Dad, and Liliana. My temperature dropped 60 degrees.
I felt tears stream down my check and I wiped them off with the red bandana Mom had given me on our way to diggins.
“Let’s get to work,” I said.
“She’s been taken away already,” sister said than put her face back in her hands.
“Mom would have wanted us to keep going through the hard times,” I said trying to seem calm, but my voice wasn’t.
I shook my head and she got up. I knew the truck was bound to come with our supplies for the next week.
I walked outside to the road. I looked around. Than saw the truck heading up the hill. I saw cars already parked all around. I tied the red bandana to my neck and walked in.
Cars always parked in the truck lane.
“Move, move,” I said trying to hold back more tears.
They made just enough space for the truck. I opened up the area which it backed in and we unloaded. The normal man got out. Dad and Jamoka Jack helped me unload the bags of flour, milk, chocolate, eggs, and other ingredients we needed.
We started whipping food up. I went outside and got the truck down the hill. I stood outside to make sure everything was under control. I checked my watch. I saw Dad leave in our van. I then heard everyone start yelling. I knew it was seven, but just to be sure I checked my watch and the hour hand pointed to seven. I unlocked the door and let each of the 7 cars go and the people from them ran inside. I waited outside. I looked inside and saw the food being given. The first car left and then they trickled out. The last car pulled away and I motioned for the next seven. They didn’t need it and hey pulled right in. Slowly all 7 rows got out. We sold out and I locked the door after going in.
Lily rushed to me.
“The cats have been frantic, we just let them outside and they disappeared, could you get another,” she said.
“Sure,” I answered.
That night I went to bed. In the morning I woke up at four. I heard lots of animals howling. I got up and put on my watch. I knew something was up. I went downstairs and found Fred.
“Why you down here?”
“There’s going to be an earthquake.”
“Animals sense earthquakes,” he said.
“Lets pack than,” I said.
We got the others up and each got a bag. Blake had a pickup truck which we piled with suitcases. I looked at my watch, and found it It was 5:04, the date was April 18th. Little did I know that in 8 minutes there would be something that impacted California for years.
“Where should we go?”
“Let’s wait it out,” I said.
7 minutes past. It was now 5:11 and 47 seconds. Than I felt a huge rumble.
“It’s an earthquake,” I yelled.
Dad was on the ground from a jolt and Fred and Jack were helping him get up. Blake was getting my sister in his truck. Lily ran in, and Juliana followed.
“Get in,” I yelled.
They heaved Dad in whose legs were hurt from a rock on the ground. Jamoka Jack jumped into the front. I started driving and closed his door. Blake followed me. I went up the hill since fires were coming from the bottom. We got up on a peak and I saw a huge fire in San Francisco. We got out.
“What should we do?” I asked.
“Lets keep going,” Blake said.
“Lets go to San Mateo,” Fred said
We got to San Mateo and found it in ruins.
“Lets keep going,” I said.
We got way down and finally slept. There were fires everywhere
“We have to go inland,” I said.
We were now in San Jose.
“Do you know of any place we could go inland?” I asked.
“If you get out of San Jose you have Patterson which is about 4 hours in a car away.”
I looked at Blake.
We fuled up with some of the remaining fuel and left. It was a long ride across the dirt country. I switched with Jamoka Jack and than Dad took over. We all switched, Fred drove for a little. We got halfway and stopped to eat. We ate some bread and canned beans. We then went to bed. The next day we made it to Patterson. We got a hotel room, not one, but three acutely. We told our account of the earthquake.
“Nothing happened here expect a building crashed, we felt it though. Big one.”
After a year we decided to go back. We made the long journey to our old house. It was partly there. Everything was still there.
We went to rebuilding and soon finished. The same truck wouldn’t come anymore so I went into Town. I bought up lots of flour, milk, and eggs. I got a little choleate too. I brought it back and they started whipping up. Cars started coming again. We became the most popular store. We now cooked all day and I delivered to houses.
It became close to normal. Soon Dad followed the same path as Mom, and it was back to sadness.