Chapter 1: A Boston Man [FIRST DRAFT]

Boston in 1848 was a bustling, busy, and active place. A place where many men come to make their fortune. One of these men is me! My name is Fredrick Richter. I came to Boston after living in London and attending college, I dropped out to pursue my dream of business in America. I started a taxi service, and after many years of blood, sweat, and tears, I gathered a large fortune and retired comfortably. I like to describe myself as a man who has devoted his life to making others around him happy, comfortable, and successful. And on the way bring people to Christ. Hence the carriage taxi service. I have hundreds of people a day in my carriages who can’t do anything but sit comfortably and listen.

But sadly my life has long been without action, and have had no real adventure since I moved here. So, here I am. In my study, musing over last week’s newspaper, as I have not yet bought today’s. I read ‘Gold found in California’ as the headline. I read the article, completely invested. When I finish I decide to get the next edition. I grabbed my hat and stroll down my street to its corner where there is usually a newsie there. There is a young boy shouting “Gold, lots of gold. In California, learn all about it here”. I walked over and handed the boy a nickel. The headline read “Gold Rush”. This is exactly what I would love to do. To be out west searching for gold, sleeping under the stars, riding horses. A vacation to warm California would be brilliant. I sit on a bench in a nearby park, musing over the idea of going to California. But I come to the conclusion that it would be quite lonely on my own and I would have a much better time with someone to talk to. My friend Walter Grayson is an elderly man, in his seventies. He is an American man that I met a few years ago at the race track, and ever since we first met we have been the best of friends. I think that he could use a change of scenery, as he is usually cooped up in some building, or taking a walk in the same park every day. I hail a carriage, which happened to be one of mine, and I tell the driver to take me to a small private yacht club that was owned by a personal friend. I arrive there in twenty minutes and ask the man at the lobby desk if Walter Grayson was in. He told me that he would be found in the club room. I provided my membership and went to find him. He was playing pool with some other members, but when he saw me he handed his cue stick to a spectator and said for him to finish. He then walked over to where I was standing.

“Fred good to see you, how are things with you this week.”

“Very good Walt, Have you seen the papers?”

“Yes, why?”

“Doesn’t that sound spectacular?”

“Does what sound spectacular?”

“The Gold Rush in California!” I exclaim excitedly.

“Not particularly, I find galloping around the west searching for gold a complete and utter waste of time, money, and resources,” Walter spoke as if his hands were getting dirty just talking about it.

“But think about it. Days in the sunshine, riding across vast landscapes, sleeping under the stars.”

“Sleeping outside? Have you gone mad Fred? I am over seventy, do you really think that sleeping outside would be entertaining for a man like me?”

“Trust me. It would do you good. The sun would help you in countless ways, and the exercise is something that you desperately need.”

“Are you considering going to California?”

“Yes, and I am adamant about convincing you to come with me.”

“Ha, good luck.”

“Look Walter, I am fifty-five, I thought that my days of adventure were mostly over, but when I read this, I thought of all the things that I have missed out on, I have sailed, played polo, golfed, and countless other activities and sports, but none have fulfilled the void of action that I need.”

“That kind of travelling and activity is extremely uncomfortable, weary days of walking and dragging, pulling, and physical activity.”

“You won’t have to do any mining of your own, you can buy a horse, you have always loved to ride, and I merely think that you need the travel, sunshine, and experience, and I would enjoy the company. And don’t think of this trip as a quest for gold, because I doubt we will find much! But let us use this as an opportunity for adventure and healthy vacation.” I could see that when I spoke of horse riding, his eyes perked up.

“I might think about it, though I would have to spend a large amount of money to make the journey comfortable. But, I am making no promises.” I was satisfied with that, so I dropped the conversation there and started on other topics.

I go the library the following and asked for books on gold mining. The lady at the front desk directed me to section four, aisle B3. I found a few good books on what you needed and how to use the different instruments like a sluice and a gold pan, so I wrote all the things down things that I thought I might need. As I left the library, I decided to the hardware store, to get a solid idea of how much this venture would cost me. I wandered around the city doing research on everything, how to get to San Fransisco, how much will it cost me, where to go after that, and anything that I might need. I ended the day with a very good idea of how to get to San Fransisco and what I will need for my adventure. I talked to several different ship companies, and hardware store owners and they gave invaluable information

When I got home my housekeeper was very concerned about me, for I had not been back for lunch, and I hadn’t had my supper or tea, and it was now seven o’clock. I sat down with a heavy appetite and my housekeeper served me a wonderful quail with potatoes and wine. And I slept very well that night.

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