Aprul 10, 1836
Dear Miss Lucia
Today I got up and woodent you know but there was a great rattlesnaik curled up alongside me. Good thing I had my furs and blankets around me, who knows what might have happened if I had not curled up sinde them last night.
Well my gun was clear over on the other side of the camp, over by Jed’s tent, and I hollorered over to him and come and shoot the snaik. Well Lucia I’ve told you before about Jed and snaikses. He don’t like them on account of how when he was a boy his brother put a garner snaik in his bed one time. Anyway I had forgot about that and all I was thinking of was, well there was my gunn beside Jed so that is why I hollored to him.
When Jed, he heard the word snaik boy he rose out of them blankets like he was going to get raptured and he bellowed, “WHAR?? WHAR?? and he grabbed his gun which was right beside my gun and jumped out of his tent in his nightshirt and he began shooting into my tent and boy I didn’t think he had good enouff ieyesight to see right through the tent cloth to where that rattlesnaik was curled up beside me and I hollored “JED!!” just as another bullet whizzed past my feet. I found out later Lucia that bullet had nicely clipped the nail of my little toe so I didn’t have to trim that there toenail for quite a while after.
“WHARZ THE SNAIK STORMIWEATHER!!!” Jed bellowed across to me, still dancing around in his nightshirt and mocassins.
“JEST COME OVER TO MY TENT DOOR AND YOU’LL SEE HIM!!” I bellowed back.
Of courss by this time all of the expeteishun had woke up and various heads were poking out of tents all around the camp and then M. Larson Millercschentt, who is our Captin grumbled about bein woke up by gunfire, he says it startles him.
So Jed come over to my tent and poked his gun barrul inside and he aimed and fired and got that rattlesnaik so good that I don’t think it ever knew what hit it.
Jed, he went all to peics after that and Georgia had to make him a cup of hot chocolate before he could simmer down enough to get dressed. He says he don’t like snaikses at all.
So I climmed out of bed then and took that snaik and flanged it over into the bushes at the edge of the camp.
As you know Lucia, we has been on this expeteishun for about a month now, I think. I never knew there were so many trees in the world until we started cumin out west. There’s a lot of them, you know. Big ones. With panthers in them. I was all snuggled up in my furs and blankets last night when I heerd the most awful hauwling you ever did heer and it was such a jolt to me becuss I was jest starting to drift off to the land of dreams and honey, that my socks rolled all the way clean down to my toes.
Well I didn’t put them back on becuss my feet, you know they are all the way at the bottom of me and I was purty comfortable. So I jest layed there and listened to the noise and then hollored to the tent next to me, where Raitrau Glassauwnt was bedded down and since he has been on a couple of these things before he jest said to me, “Hesh up Stormiweather it is just a panther and it ain’t hungry.”
So I asked him, “How does you KNOW he ain’t hungry?
And he just hollored back to me, “Cause that ain’t a panther’s hungry hauwl!”
Well that made sense to me and I started to close mine eyes again when Georgia she began to yell at all of us, “WHERE IS MY PURPLE HOTPAD??!!”
I groaned, Lucia I did. So did Raitrau. So did Eisenwurt Hauffer in the tent on the other side of me. I think probably we were all groaining. We ain’t been on this trip long but boy I tell you if Georgia looses something from her kitchen supply packs it makes a miserabel time for us all until it is found.
Georgia, she went on and on about her purple hotpad until the captin told her we would find it in the morning.
Well brekfast is over now so I had better skoot. The captin he is tellin us all to get ready to pack up and leave. The sun is just peakin over the tops of them trees. I’ll tell you more about the hotpad later.
Hope you ar havin a goode day and are your sunflowers cumin up yet?
We ar probably not going to see anyone goin east for a couple weeks so I’ll just put this with the other ones until I do.
(written three days from Wiggleseewausee, an old Indian campground near an offshoot of the Ohio River, near an old beech tree.)