Diary Entry 10

Tony and I have decided to stay a couple of days with the Sequoias. Their tribe leader Xu has graciously invited us to spend as much time as we wanted here provided with help out with the chores. Tony is out hunting with the boys. Xu’s wife Palesa gave him a grocery list of things to bring back for dinner. Palesa was very insistent that Xu find everything that was on the list.
I have been sitting around most of the day. I did help prepare breakfast and wash the dishes. This tribe has a large number of toddlers and smaller children. I am amazed their infant survival rate is so high. A large majority of the women here look as if they are pregnant and couple of them look as if they were about to give birth any day now.
Xu’s wife Palesa already has two children and it looks as if she is going to have another. I like Palesa she has a sense of humor and a very happy disposition. I asked Palesa if it is hard raising her children out here in the wilderness. Palesa assured me that it was actually very simple. Not one child has died since the Sequoia tribe was formed. This is amazing because I have seen at least a dozen girls have babies back home since the virus and only two of them delivered babies that survived more than a week. Aleece is one of those babies.
I hope Aleece and her Mom Casey are safe and happy somewhere. Aleece must be getting very big by now. I wonder if she is crawling yet.

Diary Entry 9

Tony and I are taking our time returning to Bear Country. By now a new tribe leader would have been elected. I hope it was Sheriff Pete. All the soldiers that survived the ambush headed back towards Ft Shasta. Their walk was going to be a long one. I wished them luck in their journey and asked them to be safe. I again apologized for the trouble I caused.

Tony and I didn’t travel very far yesterday or today. We stayed in a hunters cabin last night. It was barely livable but it was better than sleeping out in the open on the hard ground. I have had enough sleeping on the ground to last a lifetime. The cabin was near a stream. Tony was playing around trying to catch a fish with his hands and accidentally scooped a fish out. He spent the next hour in the ice cold freezing water trying to catch another one and never came close. The one fish barely gave each of us three mouths full but it was good.

Today we went exploring. I don’t think we covered more than a couple of miles. Tony and I stumbled across a tribe of naturalist called the Sequoia. Relax they were friendly. Their tribe leader offered us a place to stay for the night. Tony’s out bathing in the creek with the men. I plan to go with the women as soon as he gets back.

Diary Entry 5

Like the day before and the day before I spent my day digging up rocks, washing rocks and building a wall. Yates’ soldiers did the same. We tried to communicate with each other when the guards weren’t looking. It was a challenge. Getting caught would have meant a beating. I watched the guards dish out punishment without cause time after time. The guards seemed particularly cruel to a couple of slaves that could apparently do nothing right. I felt sorry them. I wanted to help but I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. I watched the other slaves go about their work as if nothing cruel was happening around them. No one flinched. The most common reaction was to carefully move out of the way without drawing attention from the guards. I think it’s a coping mechanism put into place after weeks and months of trying to avoid punishment. I found myself doing it.
At the end of the day after the guards had finally decided we had done enough work we were led back to our place of sleep. We were given the same stale biscuits and a drink of water. I tucked myself up against the wall beside a couple of Yates’ soldiers. The wall was one of the safer places to be. The closer to the fire the more likely you were to be harassed by the guards. I don’t remember falling asleep. I woke up ready to fight the moment I felt his hand grab my mouth.