October 20, 1849

Dearest Luanne

It’s still summer, been that way for a year now. It don’t feel right though. The leaves ain’t got them colors of pumpkins and squash like they do back east. I been waitin for the crunch of the leaves under my feet for twelve months. Guess I oughta stop waitin.

It’s a differnt kind of purty here. When the sun sets down behind them mountains, why - it’s like the sky catches fire! The sky is so big here, you’ld be amazed by how wide open it is. But when the sun has gone to bed I get to missin you the most. There ain’t no lightnin bugs to catch. Remember how I’d catch them in my hands and open a crack in my fingers for you to see? I was catchin the stars for you. I miss sittin up late on your Mama’s porch, holdin your hand, and listenin to your soft purty voice. All them dreams of fine houses and fancy clothes. I keep that picture of you in my head, sittin on the porch swing, your eyes closed, dreamin dreams and smilin.

I swear I’m gonna make them come true. I ain’t found no gold yet, but when I do I’m buyin you the biggest house in town so you can throw them big parties you wish for. I sure do miss you LuLu. This ain’t no place for a lady like you or I’d come fetch you straight away. It’s a hard way to live. I keep busy mostly during the day. Jimmy’s put me onto a new lead for a strike. Me and him’s gonna pool our money and make a go of it and stake a claim. Soon, Lu. I’ll be home soon with my pockets full of gold for you. I’m bringin you the stars.

I want you to do somethin for me. Go outside and catch one of them lightnin bugs. Catch yerself a star, make a wish on it, then send it on up to me. I’ll be here workin to make it come true. Write me soon Lu. Give me somethin to keep me goin.

Yours

George

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