Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Allison Tisdale

April 23, 1874

Dearest Diary,

I cannot recall a time when I have gone so long without changing my clothes or a decent bath! My traveling frock is brown! (It was sage green) My cheeks are stiff and stained with dirt and tears. The others on the train don't seem to mind the soot at all, but I am not a seasoned traveler, and have yet to become used to the grime. 

I've reread Mr. Hancock's letter over and over again, hoping to see a bit more of his character in his letters. He seems to be very modest and gentlemanly. He keeps catching me off guard, however, every time I read his inquiry as to my being an eastern lady. Are the western raised women not of the same standards as those of us raised int he east?

To pass the time, I "people watch." Mamma always told me that staring is impolite, but on a train, it is almost impossible! There are such interesting characters! Only yesterday, the was a round, balding man that boarded the train. He is sleeping just now, slouched over in his seat just across the isle from me. His cheeks are as pink as I could ever have imagined on a man, and his mustache is long and untrimmed. Every time he breathes, it floats up and then back down to rest against the corners of his mouth! 

There was another lady who boarded yesterday - she's sitting in the seat behind me.She has the most ridiculous hat I have ever laid eyes on. Large plumbs of ostrich feathers cover the crown and dangle down into her face. She keeps blowing on them to get them away from her nose. I suppose they must tickle.

A young girl, about my age actually, sits in the seat across from me. She appeared to be rather normal when I first spotted her and patted the seat across from me so that she would sit - we're both traveling alone. But when she began to speak, I had to school my features. She asks the most outrageous questions!

"Do you like cats with long hair? My cat had long hair. She died shortly before I had to leave. So sad."

"Are you much older than you look? I'm told that I look much too serious for eighteen. you look like you could be twenty-five at least!"

"Do you like blue or black ink? I stained my other traveling costume with blue ink while I was in the carriage. It's useless now. I shan't be able to change clothes at all!"

I have no idea what to think of her. I don't even know if I answered any of her questions. She just rattled on and on about her own answer to the proposed question. When she finally tired of talking incessantly, her head fell back against the seat cushion and she began to snore rather loudly. I could only sigh with relief. I can only hope that my Mr. Hancock is normal enough. But then again, what is normal? I'm sure I'm not.

Till I write again,

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