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The Eldorado of the West (Part II)

Submitted by ridiculous at 2010-03-11 10:39:27 EST
Rating: 1.92 on 24 ratings (24 reviews) (Review this item) (V)

Part I: http://www.ubersite.com/m/124673

Jack opened his eyes into the haze of the little shared cabin. Tobacco was heavy in the air and the light shining through the gap where the roof met the gable posts displayed the swirling smoke. With a groan of the stiffness every prospector knows Jack swung his feet off the cot and onto the hard packed earth. The little cabin was already heating up, just some additional encouragement to get up at dawn. He leaned forward and looked on the cot above. Frank had already gone.

“Jason, git up. Glitter won’t find itself.” Jack rubbed the sleep from his eyes.

“Jason?” He stood up and turned to see his other son’s cot empty too.

“He git up maybe ten minutes ago.” The man who spoke was Edward Bristol, the very same man who had filled the tiny shared cabin with smoke first thing in the morning.

Edward was a carpenter by trade, had been for nearly twenty five years. He hadn’t wanted to be a prospector but was nearly forced by circumstance. After the first influx of men with gold fever back in forty eight there had been another rush on the hills and valleys of California. The second rush was the one that made or broke most business owners in California; tradesmen. Edward Bristol belonged in the group of small businessmen that were crushed by the influx of new business and cheap foreign helpers.

Edward had been the first man that Jack had met when he came to the little group there on Feather River. He’d been friendly and offered him some beans for dinner. Later, it had been Edward that had spoken to Jack about joining the group of prospectors. He had sold Jack on community ideals like looking out for one another, sharing the wealth to make sure everyone had enough and strength in numbers. They were all pretty ideas that Jack agreed with, then. Jack knew just how hollow those words were, now. He had seen this very group chase down Ben Spurlock and shoot him in the back because they thought he was hiding something. Truth of the matter was Ben wasn’t hiding something, it was someone: A half Chinese daughter that stayed with her mother in Sacramento.

“Thanks Ed. How’s that tooth this mornin’?

“Bleed’n like a virgin whore.” Ed spat some blood on the floor to emphasize the point and took another long draw from his pipe. The puddle of blood soaking into the dirt at the foot of his bed was impressive. Chunks of phlegm and bits of Ed’s rotten teeth were intermingled in the disgusting pile.

“You aughta get round to town and see the dentist” Jack stood and reached for his shirt which he had rolled up like a pillow on the canvas cot.

“You payin’ for it?” Ed wiped some of the spittle from the graying grizzled beard on his chin.

“You know I would if’n I could, Ed.” Jack set his tired and filthy brown hat on his head and stepped out into the warm morning light.

“Sure you would.” Ed said cynically before he coughed and spat again.

Jack walked through the camp unfurling the rolled shirt and shaking it hard in the morning air. One thing Jack appreciated about California, probably the only thing, was the morning air. It had rained last night and the smell of pine needles and that indescribable freshness of a new day overwhelmed his senses. The smile that crept onto his face was the smile of a man with a secret, a life changing secret.

The camp was arrayed in a semicircle around the clearing. Six weather beaten cabins like the one Jack, Ed and his boys lived in. Each cabin had six bunks and there was always one or two open. Especially in Jack’s Cabin, Edward’s habits were not generally appreciated and he snored like a lumber mill. Jack and the boys didn’t mind too much and Jack had made it clear that they weren’t to talk too much or offend anyone in the camp so his sons had accepted their cabin mate without a word of protest.

Jack approached the north bank of the river and saw Jason, his youngest, down at the waters edge washing up. Jason was talking with Margaret Mayfair; she was Bruce and Kathy Mayfair’s only daughter and Jason’s age. They were new in the camp but seemed like good people and Jack and Bruce had come to an understanding regarding the children early on, having bumped into Bruce in town Jack invited him for a Scot’s ale in the saloon. Soon they had decided that unless things started getting too serious between the kids, they would leave them to decide what they did.

Rather than disturb them, Jack went to the waters edge a bit upriver and, squatting down, began to splash the glacial water on his face and chest. He glanced down river again and could see Jason and Margaret, squatted side by side and grinning at each other. Jack made a note to himself that it was about time to have another conversation with Bruce. Jack’s skin prickled as an icy realization washed over him. He looked back to the kids and was about to call out to the boy when she shoved him hard. He landed on his butt and she stood up and stormed off proclaiming:

“Jason Williams, you might think you have to make up stories for me to like you but I won’t tolerate a liar!”

“But it’s the truth!” Jason pleaded to her back as he stood up wiping the dust off his behind. Jack stood up and started a furious march towards his son.

“Jason! Get your good fer nuthin’ ass over here!” When Jason met his fathers eyes and saw the look on his face he paled.

“What in the hell did you just say t’ her?” Jack already knew the answer.

“Uh.. well nuthin’, sir.”

“You even think ‘bout lyin boy and I will tan your hide like you never imagined!” Jack was shaking with rage. “You told her, ‘bout yesterday, din’t you?”

“Yes, sir.” Jason’s eyes were on Jack’s feet. He didn’t see the fist coming.

Jason hit the bank of the river, tumbled over it and into the water. When his head came out of the water Jack’s voice was tightly wound fury.

“God dam’ it all to hell. I told ya to keep it secret. What’s in your head telling that little loud mouth split tail?”

“I didn’t think it’d do no harm. You know we’s friendly and all. I told her it’s secret!” He attempted to explain. “It won’t do no harm pa!”

“Boy, you’re lucky she thinks yer full o’ more shit than a Christmas goose. Git up and git ready ta work. And damn it all, if she opens her mouth before we can get out o’ this camp I’m gonna beat tha life right out o’ yer sorry bones! You better pray Frank finds us an assay today so we can git tha hell out of here!”



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Submitted by orphelia at 2010-06-07 14:43:26 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

What FJ said I agree with, ridic.
Do you actually read through at all though and whet do you look for when you do?
I think if you read it through you'd get that it doesn't really flow.
And you used 'Edward' to start a paragraph twice. How many times do I have to tell you?
Where are you anyway :(

Submitted by Wisher at 2010-05-31 23:30:38 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

This is what I wanted to read again, besides last.

Submitted by Poots at 2010-05-31 13:59:14 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

sure you would.

Submitted by SkullBiter at 2010-03-20 12:50:31 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by RoadSong at 2010-03-12 16:49:16 EST (#)
Rating: 0

Submitted by ridiculous (user info) at 2010-03-12 04:02:21 PST (#)
Ranking: 0

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Submitted by RoadSong (user info) at 2010-03-12 04:25:13 EST (#)
Ranking: 2

"What’s in your head telling that little loud mouth split tail?”

~~~

Heh grandfather used this term!

~~~~~

Mine too, and the Christmas Goose line. Rednecks of the world unite!:)
~~~
um, my family was more like the "Beverly Hillbillies". I call myself a California Hillbilly with pride!

Submitted by ridiculous at 2010-03-12 07:02:21 EST (#)
Rating: 0

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Submitted by RoadSong (user info) at 2010-03-12 04:25:13 EST (#)
Ranking: 2

"What’s in your head telling that little loud mouth split tail?”

~~~

Heh grandfather used this term!

~~~~~

Mine too, and the Christmas Goose line. Rednecks of the world unite!:)

Submitted by RoadSong at 2010-03-12 04:25:13 EST (#)
Rating: 2

"What’s in your head telling that little loud mouth split tail?”

~~~

Heh grandfather used this term!

Submitted by spuj at 2010-03-12 03:49:15 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Auto Awesome Ridiculous Story +2

Submitted by YourNameHere at 2010-03-12 03:11:31 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by ridiculous at 2010-03-12 02:18:56 EST (#)
Rating: 0

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Submitted by Wisher (user info) at 2010-03-11 17:40:30 EST (#)
Ranking: 2

The smile that crept onto his face was the smile of a man with a secret, a life changing secret.

•:*¨¨*:•

Dang, now I gotta print these, way good. {K and M Mayfair, their names reminded me of "The Witching Hour" by Anne Rice, now I gotta read that again~~ but this time on my Kindle. {I don't like that robot~sounding woman that reads for you, but may have to use her tonite since so sleepy.}

Great writing.~~~ keep going

~~~~~

Thanks, I will try not to dissapoint.
The names just popped into my head, I have read the Vampire Cronicles but the association didn't even occur to me.

Submitted by VelvetElvis at 2010-03-12 00:52:55 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by willartstorg at 2010-03-11 18:00:06 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by Wisher at 2010-03-11 17:40:30 EST (#)
Rating: 2

The smile that crept onto his face was the smile of a man with a secret, a life changing secret.

•:*¨¨*:•

Dang, now I gotta print these, way good. {K and M Mayfair, their names reminded me of "The Witching Hour" by Anne Rice, now I gotta read that again~~ but this time on my Kindle. {I don't like that robot~sounding woman that reads for you, but may have to use her tonite since so sleepy.}

Great writing.~~~ keep going

Submitted by FALLEN at 2010-03-11 16:45:32 EST (#)
Rating: 2

so help me FJ if sico camwhores like you told him to...

Submitted by triangle_man at 2010-03-11 13:53:09 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by ridiculous at 2010-03-11 11:26:04 EST (#)
Rating: 0

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Submitted by sicosemen (user info) at 2010-03-11 11:19:08 EST (#)
Ranking: 2

Yes, you do. I'm still waiting for the pictures of one of my pictures printed and loaded off on.

~~~~~

I can make that happen. That is if 'Loafed off' is reffering to dookie nuggets. If not well.. pretend this comment never happened.

Submitted by F.J.Bell at 2010-03-11 11:25:23 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Post a picture of you sucking on your finger, wearing mascara and flaring your nostrils, then we'll have a deal.

Submitted by S.I. Co. at 2010-03-11 11:19:08 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Yes, you do. I'm still waiting for the pictures of one of my pictures printed and loaded off on.


Submitted by F.J.Bell at 2010-03-11 11:13:33 EST (#)
Rating: 2

It's just some advice, to be ignored as seen fit. And I have an ulterior motive because I'm trying to practise reading and critiquing other people's stuff.

I am a fag though. Although I haven't actually had an encounter with a dude in quite a while. Do I need to top up my ghey?

Submitted by S.I. Co. at 2010-03-11 11:09:44 EST (#)
Rating: 2

F.J.'s a fag. Because I know that you have a strong liking to taking dry dick in your pock marked asshole I'm sure you welcome his critique but I may suggest that you don't change a thing as I find these enjoyable. Surely he's just a bit jealous that someone else with talent has come around here. Did I mention he's a fag?

Submitted by F.J.Bell at 2010-03-11 11:06:58 EST (#)
Rating: 2

It's two large paragraphs of back story in the middle of dialogue. If all the details ARE necessary, try to perhaps drip them in gradually rather than delivering them in a big chunk that takes all the pace out of the conversation.

Submitted by ridiculous at 2010-03-11 11:03:22 EST (#)
Rating: 0

F.J.,
Clunky how? I know you have likely heard it from other newbs in the past but I really am looking forward to any critique. Regarding Ed: He will be important.

Thanks in advance.

Submitted by F.J.Bell at 2010-03-11 10:52:43 EST (#)
Rating: 2

The two paragraphs about Ed are a bit clunky. Decide how much of that information is essential to the story and cut out what you don't need. I suspect most of it.

Other than that, very enjoyable. The dialogue's excellent.

Submitted by joedaddy at 2010-03-11 10:45:36 EST (#)
Rating: 2

damn young'ns


You know, Moe, my mom once said something that really stuck with me. She
said, `Homer, you're a big disappointment,' and, God bless her soul, she
was really onto something.

-- Homer Simpson
There's No Disgrace Like Home