October 5, 1888
|Big Spring Oct. 5, 1888
Dear Mr. "von" Fahrlander
I want to write you now to inform you that we arrived the following morning at 11 o'clock in Big Spring, and dear Mr. Schmiedeskamp was already there all right and gave us a good reception. It is a beautiful area here, almost the same as in the Missouri Bottoms, but that is enough said about the country here for I now have to write you something about the antelope and jackrabbits.
You do not have to wonder about this letter and the fact it is written so poorly for if one encounters such terrible animals as antelope and jack rabbits, one gets very excited. Well, here we go, but before I do so, briefly something concerning the shameless letter you sent along with me. If I had known what was in it, I would have thrown it in the Missouri River before I had come to Omaha. If I and Wilhelm had made the "ringer" (?) that you painted in the picture, I would not have objected, and all the cigars were pressed to powder. Well, I can start now.
The very first day we ran across a jackrabbit I believe if the bullet had not missed him it would have hit him for sure, but the next day things were different as you can see from the ear I will be sending you. I was the victor. Well, I will just send you the tip of the ear. It was almost half a foot longer with only about six inches missing, but the following day as you can see from my writing, things were getting much more awkward. Well, we went up the river with the "buckie" - that is, a river without water. So I said to Bill, "What is that over there on the sand in the river?" "Those are antelope", he said. Therefore the order of the day was to jump up. We got as close as 150 paces to them before they noticed us, then we fired, each one of us seven times. But the result was the same as with the first jackrabbit, that is, the bullets missed without hitting anything, and after that we were fortunate enough twice to get close to them, fired another half dozen bullets at them, missing them as well. Therefore we put it off until the next day, which was Friday. Then we wanted to get them and take off their pelt. Unfortunately it was raining that day, so I stayed home to write you this letter. However, we intend to get an early start tomorrow so that we can "pelt" them before evening, and then the next day will be Sunday and on that day no one does any work here.
Telling you this hunting story, I would have almost forgotten to write you when you are supposed to pick us up here in Council Bluffs. Well, next Tuesday night we will leave here and we will be in Council Bluffs the next morning around 11 or 12 o'clock. You can come then to pick us up. This lousy antelope shooting causes me to make so many mistakes in my writing that you will hardly be able to read it end. So try to be in Council bluffs next Wednesday and do not forget it.
Best regards to all of you.
You can read this letter to Ida, and tell her not to become impatient, for I will be back again soon.