In the back of Kiah’s bible, in small, tight, handwritten script, on the blank pages, is a journal of events from Kiah’s point of view.
Sept 1 YOL 1879
Met a chinawoman, walked her to town. Went by parsonage. No one there. Our bedroom was as my love left it.
Sept 2 YOL 1879
Town giving sacrifice to false Crow god, turned against itself like the Israelites after Solomon. Lord sent the Chinawoman, two Rebs, and a Jew barber. They will be sufficient.
Sept 3 YOL 1879
They were sufficient. But now little Sarah Leifson is sick, as if starved. The Lord has yet not seen fit to save her.
Sept 4 YOL 1879
Up all night to hallow this church ground and to learn the cause of the Leifson girl’s illness. But it eludes me.
Sept 5 YOL 1879
The Rebs, the Chinawoman, and the Jew are dispatched Westward to find some answer to the starving. I heard the crying again today.
Sept 8 YOL 1879
The Leifson girl is dead. Others are coming. I have opened the church to them, and feed them with such as I can find, but it does no good. The church smells like death. Lord, see to it your servants return with assistance, and right soon.
Sept 11 YOL 1879
The ones sent West have not returned. Did they give up and depart for Perdition? I will know. The sufferers here have died and are buried. Borrowed a mule. Going West to Scully.
Sept 13, YOL 1879
Had a dream. The crying. A snake eating itself. Going East at the bidding of my Lord to battle a great evil. I can only hope the Lord sends help to his humble servant.
Sept 16, YOL 1879
Arrived in Boonesville. Populace strangely well-provisioned. Strange trading, but no great evil. Festival coming.
Sept 17, YOL 1879
Slept behind church. Visited Garrett Farm. Dimwitted husband. Kindly, private wife. Something not right.
Sept 18, YOL 1879
The crying. All night. Slept at the Garretts. Snooped. Keep hearing about a J.A. Only the lord fed the multitude and that from multiplying food. Food is coming from nowhere.
Sept 19, YOL 1879
I took of what was offered at the Garrett’s. Ate the bread, locked myself up. Nothing yet.
Sept 20, YOL 1879
One of the Rebs showed up, wanting me to help the Jew.
Sept 21, YOL 1879
The Chinawoman is dead. Trampled by a horse. The Lord bless and keep her, and the Angels give her peace.
Sept 23, YOL 1879
Helped the Jew. Back to Boonesville, with a China Man now among us. They don’t know I hear the crying all the time now.
Sept 26, YOL 1879
Blur of blood and smoke. Broke up festival’s devil feast and found its cause. Stole the basket. Hid out in church. Talked to much and got ambushed. Abominations with hungry bellies. That basket steals the food from other people’s stomachs! When they starve, they rise as devils! Little Sarah Leifson was a monster. J.A. came. Burned the basket. He’s my son.
Sept 27, YOL 1879
The skinny Reb banished Jeremiah Adams, by telling the boy his own name. Li got hurt. Went back to Alder Creek and fixed him up. New fella around. I forget his name.
Sept 29, YOL 1879
The crying is back. Told the skinny Reb everything. Moved a consumption patient into the parsonage.
Sept 30, YOL 1879
An Indian healer, a banker, and a walking murder victim come to town today. The Indian killed the walking murder victim. Not sure what to do about the banker.