From the Journal of Leon Gibbs
By Jeff Baker
December 4, 1875
I never imagined this! We had to take a different trail after the river flooded and we were slowed down when one of the wagon wheels broke and put us way off schedule and we lucked-out in finding a small settlement where we could stay over the winter. Pa has a job here on one of the farms and Katie and I have tried to keep up on our schooling. Like how I am writing all of this.
I had seen snow back east of course, but nothing like this! The mountains here in Colorado are huge and right now covered in snow with only the green tops of the trees sticking out. It will be Christmas here soon and it sure looks like it!
December 5, 1875
Ma told us to stay close to the house today. Usually, we can walk into town but Ma thinks more snow is coming—she can feel it in her bones. The house we are staying in is right at the edge of town, and nothing is too big. A few houses, the store, the church and Doc Pomus’ office. And we have school in the morning in the old saloon they closed. Not much here. Ma said she wants to head on to California in spring, but I think Pa wants to stay. The people in town know us now; no more being called Bub and Sis as if we were strangers. But we are here for the winter, I believe.
December 8, 1875
Katie ran off! She is only eight! I am a lot older, I’m eleven! So I am going out to find her!
December 9, 1875
We are both back home, safe and sound! I still don’t know why Katie took off like that but it was dark and snowy and I could see her foot tracks in the snow when the Moon came out from behind a cloud. I walked a few yards from the house into the trees and then I heard a low kind of noise I had never heard before. And I heard Katie talking away. That was when I saw them. She was being carried by what I first thought was a man covered in snow. Then I realized it was covered in fur with snow stuck to it. Long, brown hair, which covered much of the face of the thing except for the red, gleaming eyes and big, shiny teeth.
It walked over to me and I was too scared to run. It handed Katie to me and pointed back into town with a hairy arm. I half-walked, half carried Katie back to the house where Ma was.
When Pa came back from searching, he about had a fit that I had gone out on my own but he was so relieved that we were both okay. I didn’t get a whuppin or nothin.
But the thing I remember the most is, when Katie and I were just outside the house, I turned around and the hairy man was still standing there. He waved his arm and turned as he walked into the snowy night.