Date: 10-31-09 04:55
Wakanda fidgeted. She had sent the message a day and a half ago. The telegraph was very slow, much slower than the telephone (but there was no telephone on the reservation.) But a lot faster than the mail. Still she worried as she waited.
She had already reached Professor Collins. He had been delighted. The artifacts she had described would be a grand addition to the Natural History Museum in Boulder. The information she could get about the soil and minerals in the African forest would be invaluable. In fact there was rumor of diamond deposits in the region. If she could find those and buy the land from the natives.....
Yes Professor Collins had been VERY excited.
Which caused her skin to crawl. It was also the reason she trying to contact her grandfather. He had a better feel for balance of things She knew what was right and wrong, but he seemed to be able to see the greater scheme. She had seen what happened when greed got the better of people. Her Mother's people lived on the reservation because of greed.
Professor Collins had wired her money to buy "diamond land" and it felt wrong. In fact the whole trip felt wrong to her. However the thought of exploring new lands maybe discover a new mineral or medicine overwhelmed the foreboding and advice from her grandfather put things in better perspective. He always encouraged her to experience new adventures. This was surely going to be an adventure.
She went outside the telegraph office to clear her head and looked up at the darkening sky. The city did not allow her to see much. The thick smoke obscured the stars and the sounds of the city annoyed her. People yelling and animals calling, motor cars rumbling and honking, loud music all made a disharmonious cacophony. She was used to the din of crickets, wolves and owls and the lights of Chinese lanterns and stars. She put her hands over her ears and closed her eyes. Sleep had eluded her ever since she had arrived here but now she became aware of the world touching her. She could feel the brisk air and the gentle tap of soot falling from the smoke, the swish of people passing and the fact that a person had stopped beside her.
"Miss? Are you alright?"
Wakanda dropped her arms and let the noise back in.
"Yes. I'm fine" she replied as she opened her eyes. She smiled at the concerned young clerk from the telegraph office.
"I'm just not used to all the noise."
He smiled back.
"I'll bet it is a lot quieter out West."
"Yes" she replied straightening her hat, "Yes, it is"
He held out a piece of paper.
"Your reply came."
She took the paper and read it.
Learn what is taught. Take what is given. Bats will lead. Follow the bats. Be careful.
She read it again and smiled.
She folded the piece of paper and put it into her coat pocket. She picked up her purse and made her way back to the hotel.