There are not many women out there in the wild country. It is not particularly sane for me to go, but it seems I simply can’t help myself. The ones I leave behind chide me for my restlessness but it only makes me laugh. I can feel from the hum of the train that the furnace is full up on coal, the engine so hot that the metal swells against its fittings. I sit looking out the window wondering where you are. Are you having doubts? Did you get held up on some last minute errand? Did the horse pulling your carriage to the station have a heart attack in the middle of the street?
My heart thrums against the restriction of my corset, my legs sweltering in all their petticoats. The bustle, the little black leather boots primly laced over the ankles, the white gloves buttoned over the wrists, the collar keeping my throat in its airless grip. I am pretty good at wearing the garments of my civilization, but I am even better at being divested of them. I will ride this train all the way to its terminus, all the way to where the Chinamen have not yet laid tracks. Alone if I have to, but I’d much rather you came with me. I very much hope the top hat I see moving swiftly through the crowd out on the platform is yours. Catch this train; it’s going somewhere good.
A jolt shudders through the length of the entire machine–oh is there anything like the feel of imminent departure? Is there any sound more stridently arousing than the steamy wail of that whistle?
All aboard. Last call.