Land of Goshen, Part Fourteen
11 December 1905
Recovered from the logs of the Riverboat Hastings
Manfred's house burned down last night. I fear Old Tom, Dr Price, and their boys had a hand in it, but official word from the Rev Halzberg is they were at a pot luck at the time. No chance of getting a different song from those birds. There was a body in the house, they believe it was M himself, but was badly burnt and hard to tell. Report this morn says they found him in a circle of candles and books, looked demonic, some of the books were covered in strange symbols. Got asked if I knew anything after police were told we had received a strangely marked bell from him. I told them we had got a decorative bell, sure, but it weren't good for use and we no longer had it. They seemed content with that.
I put in for a move downstream. I want no more of this business in Allegheney.
Land of Goshen, Part Thirteen
5 December 1905
RECOVERED FROM THE LOGS OF THE RIVERBOAT HASTINGS
Asked after Manfred as I hadn't heard from him in a few days. No-one in town has seen him, but Old Tom spit when I mentioned his name. I fear he and his boys have linked M and his bell to that business with the red Indian, there had been word he'd been raising ghosts on the river, and turned on him. These logs are the only place I know are safe to record what they're doing now. Word has it the Wozniak estate has been all but shunned. Old Tom came around asking if I'd heard anything on the river about Joanna and the boy. I told them I hadn't, and made sure to remind him that the river was starting to improve. I don't believe he was listening. Whatever they have in their heads, I don't think it will come out now but through their hands.
Land of Goshen, Part Twelve
30 November 1905
PORTIONS OF THE DAMAGED DIARY OF JOANNA WOZNIAK, AS RECOVERED BY THE POLICE DEPARTMENT OF ERIE, PA, ON THE EVENING OF MAY 28, 1974.
Brandon and Marilyn came last night to bring food and check on Abe and I. Marilyn expressed concern about the community back home, says the river is getting worse and tensions are rising. Fishermen haven't caught anything edible in days. The Reverend compared it to the plague of blood in the Nile, Marilyn fears men will come looking for us. She had me sore afraid, but I told her there was nowhere else for Abe in his condition. I told them how he seemed to do better when I could bring him to the creek out back, but it was a small comfort and I can't do it anymore. They were staying the night, so Brandon offered to carry Abe to-day so we could travel to the Monongahela and see if that works better. Abe seemed hopeful.
We set out at first light in their carriage. Brandon carried him down into the water, and I went along to comfort Abe while Marilyn tended the lunch and towels. When we entered the river, two lumps of water formed and stood upright and greeted us! Brandon dropped Abe and fell backward toward the shore, then ran to Marilyn. I was terrified, but took courage and tried to hold Abe while introducing ourselves. They knew him, called him Aaboukingon, said he was their brother from the next leg of the river. They saw me trying to hold Abe's head above water and stated that his nature as a spirit will not let him drown. I stayed cautious all the same.
The water circled round Abe and I, it felt like it was trying to squeeze us, but it never hurt. Abe regained all his color and strength and stood on top of the water itself. I heard Brandon and Marilyn muttering on shore. The river spirits and Abe spoke for a time in a language I could not understand--Abe told me at home it was the tongue of his people, I did not ask whether he meant spirits or the Indians--before addressing me again. The spirits told me that Abe and his river would be okay for a time, but he needs to return or he will die. They then left.
We had a quiet lunch on shore. It was a lovely day for a picnic. Marilyn and I talked while the men tended to the horses, and she expressed concern about Abe really being a pagan spirit. She encouraged me to let him return to his river, as it seemed best for both of us. After we returned home and they left, with one more urging from Marilyn for me to let Abe go and come home, Abe determined to stay with me and assured that the spirits were overeager. He believes he will be fine if we visit the river frequently.
Land of Goshen, Part Eleven
29 November 1905
Recovered from the logs of the riverboat Hastings
Foul smell from the river again today, many dead fish. Old Tom insisted the entire community is cursed because of some red man. He brought around a reverend to bless the boat and say a prayer for the river. We humored him, it certainly don't hurt, but I grow concerned about his obsession with this man; reminded him not to do anything brash. He waved me off.
Current was slow.
Land of Goshen, Part Ten
27 November 1905
From microfilm records of the Pittsburg Dispatch
After much public discours in the city of Allegheney and many opinions sent to this very paper on the matter of the younger lady Wozniak, the esteemed patriarch of that estate issued a stern public condemnation over the week-end of her "illicit and unchristian behavior of late". She has been officially dis-owned by that family and is believed to be now living on the grounds of her lover.
The condemnation was announced on Saturday afternoon, and was incorporated into the Sunday sermon of the Reverend Liam Halzberg. Rev. Halzberg called on the community to reject the bewitching influence of the Red Indian and on Miss Wozniak to repent and return home. Mr. Wozniak expressed concern over rumors of a local body seeking to return Miss Wozniak to Allegheney by force and urged his neighbors to pray with patience for her safe return.
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