This story is the basis for Chanara's Gift, those that have read that story will find similarities in this story. I wrote Yankton as more of an examination of our modern culture with that of the nineteenth century.
Even if you have read Chanara's Gift, I think you might enjoy this story as well as it cuts off in a different direction.
Yankton…Chapter One Looking Back
Everybody's been after me to write a book about my amazing adventure, me, uh not so much, but Montana and Melonie have been badgering me to such a point lately I guess I don't really have much of a choice. Actually, I think they just want to see their names in print. They have also convinced me to incorporate their view of things in this story as well so WTF, let the "games" begin.
I'm told that a good writer should cleverly include his name and personal details in his story so as not to appear too blatant about it, but screw that, my name is Brian Yankton, and I live in Laramie Wyoming, right now I'm sitting at my laptop with three women fussing around behind me. One is my slave-driving sister Melinda; the other two are Abbie Carter or "Montana" as she insists on being called, and finally Melonie Bishop. Both of these ladies are well over one hundred and fifty years old, yet look remarkably attractive and healthy (now I've got your interest) Abbie was born in 1852, and Melonie in 1855. In a sense, this story is more their's than mine, for me, nothing much has really changed, I'm still the same guy who returned to the year 1876 from the present, almost like taking a vacation on a western movie set except the people I was forced to kill really died. I've always been a big history buff, anything that dealt with history, whether it be the old west, the civil war, or world war two, I'm up for it. One of the things I've always read about the kind of people who lived in the old west was that they were tough as nails, Christ! They had to be; now I know that is so very true, Melonie and Abbie are living testaments to that fact.
At first, I thought about calling this book "The Incredible Journey" but someone beat me to it writing a story about a couple dogs and a cat searching for their owners, so Melonie said, "Just call it "Yankton" much as Louis L'Mour did with Bowdrie, and Catlow. (as a side note, she has fallen in love with this guy, insisting on reading everything he ever wrote) So without further ado, here's our story;
April 2013 and I was back from a war, my original plan of making the marine corps a career went to shit, disgusted with the asinine rules of engagement, new directives involving gays and women in the military, along with a command that seemed to be more interested in political correctness that the safety of the troops, I was at the head of a long line of experienced people choosing the "door" than remaining in the corps. I was getting out as a sergeant, amid a lot of anguish from my superiors facing the potential loss of experienced men. So here I was, my mother and sister were glad to see me home, and all in one piece, I had planned to take a couple of weeks to decompress from the "Stan, then look at my options. At my mother's insistence, one of the first things I did was to visit her boss Dr. and professor Marshall Wainwright. Dr. Wainwright taught advanced physics, and calculus at the University of Wyoming here in Laramie, my mother had worked as his personal secretary and "right hand man" since 1990, she had been one of his students so when he asked her if she was interested in a job, she jumped at it. Over the years, mom really grew in that position, she learned an incredible amount from him, and he has always been an incredible friend of this family especially when dad died. Now it looked as though Dr. Wainwright was ready to cash in his chips as well, Mom was very upset over the fact that the professor was dying of cancer.
According to her, he had developed prostate cancer that went right into his bone marrow, giving him a month or so to live. He was resting at his home under HOSPICE care, mom was over there everyday as well, doing whatever she could to see that he was comfortable in his last days.
When I visited him, I was surprised that he still looked as well as he did, we exchanged pleasantries, and talked about my stint in Afghanistan. "I was there once myself," he said, "When I was a boy my parents took a trip to India, one of our first stops was Afghanistan, back then things were a lot more peaceful, there are parts of Wyoming that remind me a lot of that pitiful country." The professor seemed quite agitated to tell me something, and with a brusqueness that was very uncharacteristic of him, ordered my mother out of the room, and to close the door. He had me pull up a chair close to his bed and began to relate to me what would be the most incredible story leading to an adventure that comes maybe once in a lifetime.
"Son, I've got no family left, I was an only child, and of course my parents have been dead for some time now, what I'm about to bequeath to you is something you must swear to me that you will never repeat to anyone, not even your mother, I love her dearly, but this is something I can take no chances with. I've watched you grow Brian, into a fine young man, oh you had a few problems, but who hasn't." At this point, he reached over to his nightstand and removed a brown envelope that appeared to hold a number of papers, and handed it to me. "Take this and read it, tell no one, this is very important, I must have your word on this." "I swear not to tell anyone," I promised. "As I said, you've grown into a fine gentleman, and someone who I believe can take what I've got there, and keep it a secret. A number of years ago I invented a time machine, I was playing around with a couple algebraic formulas and came to the stark conclusion that Einstein was wrong, and for four years, I worked, and formulated a new theory that made time travel possible. It was then a simple matter to translate this theorem into an actual working machine. My face must have told the professor I didn't believe him, "It's true son," he continued. "It's an actual working time machine, currently it's located at my summer house in Deadwood South Dakota hidden in an old mine tunnel. It's not exactly like something you would see in the movies or anything; you can only travel to two times, 1876, and 1944, and only to Deadwood. What you have there in that packet are the passwords and details of the machine itself, house keys etc.
I've willed the house and property to you and you alone, your mother will be taken care of in other ways, so don't worry that she looks as though she's getting short shrift on anything, now move a little closer, I've got some things to cover. Therefore, for the next hour I listened to Professor Wainwright as he described his time machine, how it worked, and his trips back to 1876 Deadwood. "The machine works, I've been back to old Deadwood half a dozen times, as well as 1944 Deadwood three or four." The professor went on to add, "I've always been interested in the old west especially the gold rush days of old Deadwood, so I programmed the machine to March first of 1876 and located an area adjacent to Deadwood I was sure was never inhabited or had any structures located on it. Throwing caution to the wind, I stepped into the chamber and ended up near a rocky outcrop overlooking the city. I carefully hid the machine with military netting and brush then explored the area until I managed to find a box canyon with an abandoned mineshaft. Taking careful measurements and surveying the area I decided this would provide an ideal location to build a cabin utilizing the tunnel as well."
We took a short break while the professor took his medicine to dull the pain, then after he began to feel better, he continued. "I contracted with a couple miners to enlarge a couple side shafts in the tunnel as well as a building contractor to construct a sturdy cabin with a solid wood and steel door as well as a blacksmith to build me an iron security door."
During all this time," stated the professor. "I was always deeply concerned my machine would be discovered, but thank God it never was. It was during this time a met a very independent lady who went by the moniker of "Montana." We came to be quite good friends, she knew there was something very unusual about me, if you decide to go back there, look this woman up she works at the Gem Theatre, and mention the password "Ford Chevy," she will know you're a friend of mine. I told her to expect you." This was big news to me. "So you had this planned all along," I asked. The professor nodded weakly, "When I was diagnosed with in operate able cancer; I thought of you, I hope I wasn't being too presumptuous?" I thought a moment then slowly shook my head, "No sir, you weren't."
"At the same time I traveled to the year 1944, which was the year I was born, and managed to purchase the property which apparently had remained abandoned for all those years, the cabin had naturally fallen in but the iron door was still in place and still locked. Being wartime, it was difficult to find carpenters, but I finally found a couple older gentlemen who were able to construct a modern house with modern plumbing and wiring, now I was able to recharge the time machine without coming clear back to the present, which causes a heavier drain on the battery, keep that in mind if you decide to time travel." Something had been on my mind since he had been talking about all this construction, and property acquisition, "What were you using for money to get all this construction done, and property purchased," I asked. The professor made a feeble attempt to laugh, but replied, "I spent damn near all my savings buying gold coins, which I used to buy the initial property, and pay the workmen to enlarge the tunnel, and construct the cabin. I set up a temporary stall where I sold the miners beer and decent liquor I brought from the present, along with over-the counter drugs such as aspirin, first aid antiseptic as well as a few other modern treatments.
With Montana's help, I sold the whores modern contraceptives, condoms, aspirin, Midol, and Tylenol, for gold dust and coins, which I then brought to the present for which gold is well over fifteen hundred dollars an ounce. I was a rather convoluted process, but one you would do well to follow. He then paused to take a deep sigh, then finished with, "So now there is a secure cabin in 1876, as well as a modern house existing in modern Deadwood, it's at the end of Van Buren Street; the address is in that envelope. Oh, one more thing Brian, the whole thing may seem like a wasted effort, but I was able to be in Deadwood when news came in that Custer had been massacred, and be sitting in Nuttal and Mann's saloon when Hickok was shot, I actually witnessed Jack McCall come right up to him and pull the trigger, two days before, I actually had the opportunity to sit in on a game with Wild Bill. I talked with Calamity Jane and Charlie Utter. Son, when you're standing right in the midst of history in the making all the money and effort you expended to get there make it all worth while."
He went over a few more details with me detailing how he then moved the machine into the mine tunnel here in the present, and how he installed small solar panels and old aero motor generator back in 1876 to assist with charging the battery. Then his nurse chased me out, but not before he gave me another small envelope, obviously a letter, "Give that to Montana, she'll understand." A week later professor Wainwright was dead. Several days after the funeral, one in which I wasn't sure my mother would make it through; we sat in his attorney's office to hear his last will and testament. My mother inherited the bulk of his estate, but I was awarded his house in Deadwood, no doubt about it, road trip time.