The Wrath of Bodie

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May 5th 1879: My brothers and I were huddled in the corner of our bedroom covered with blankets to keep warm. We had gathered together in the late hours of the night to see if we could hear our parents discussing what would happen next. I knew that money was low and something had to be done before we completely ran out of money. I heard them say Bodie, and right away I knew what our new lives would be like. We hadn’t heard much of this new mining camp, but we had heard of all the violence that occurred. The sighting of gold had brought out a new side of people; they would do anything to have money for food. Merely surviving was the main priority now. It was late now, and my older brother, John, told me to go to bed. He waited for me to crawl under the covers and tucked in the sides of my sheets to keep me from becoming cold.

That night I could hear my younger brother whispering his prayers. The last line I heard before I drifted off to sleep frightened me: “Goodbye, God, I’m going to Bodie.”

August 13th, 1879: The journey to Bodie was very tiring and tough on my family, but we were thankful to make it there alive. I could not write during that time, for we traveled during the day and there was no candle to write by once the sun fell. The wagon we traveled in was filled with the possessions and memories of the life that we picked up and left in hopes of finding a new one. When we first arrived, Bodie was filled with chatter and children chased each other through the streets. This sight of the town quickly disappeared as a new disease that we knew as Cholera took away the life of the city. The disease spread and areas of the town were quarantined. Many of the children that we saw on the first day were not seen soon after that and we assumed that they were sick too. Our new life was quickly falling apart, all for a treasure that seemed to cause more grief, when it was supposed to save us.

August 16th 1879: Daddy looked very tired today. He has been working nonstop in the mine, so we don’t get to see him much. And on Sundays when he is home, he is always sleeping. Mama seems really worried about him, but she don’t say nothin’, she knows it’s the only reason why we have food to eat.

People have started dying from the disease. I was so scared when I first heard, that I started crying. My brothers were scared too, although they wouldn’t admit it. I guess they had to be manly about it.

School was supposed to start last week, but they said it wasn’t safe yet. I wonder if it will open up anytime soon, I want a friend to play with. Playing house by myself is about as much fun as the trip to Bodie was.

August 21st 1879: I didn’t feel so good when I woke up this morning. Mama has been keeping a close eye on me. She kept me inside the house today, I wasn’t allowed out of bed either. She worries like grandma used to. But I must say, I’m scared, What if it is Cholera?

August 23rd 1879: Mama says I’ve got a high fever today, I can tell. It feels like the middle of winter, but in August. I feel so weak. By now, I know I’ve got the disease. My tummy feels like it is on fire and I don’t feel like eatin’ at all. I’ve been in the bathroom all day, I have been vomiting violently and I have cramps everywhere. Daddy came home early today. And I asked him, “ Daddy, do you think I will I end up dead like most of the other children?” He never responded, but I saw the tears in his eyes before he walked out of the room.

That night I prayed especially hard. I asked God to please save me from the wrath of Bodie.





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