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Postcard From New York

Archivist note: This article is from an older recovered archive and might be obsolete or in need of updating.

Most recent revision is shown below, by Lopxie.

March 18, 188x

dearest gilhooly,

it was so sweet of you to send me a letter at mara’s, which arrived with the postman just as i darted out the door to catch the morning blimp. babbage sounds terribly exciting at the moment, i so hope i may return soon!.. but i feel it is terribly important for me to find my father, or at least see some of the world about me. i know i am only young, but i fear life may quite pass me by, before i am quite ready…

and so i find myself in quite the largest town i have ever seen, that of new york. the bustle is extraordinary and quite overwhelming! airships soar over enormous buildings five storeys tall, belching steam and fumes… horses and steam carriages clatter past plangently, filling the musty air with dust or the pungent aroma of burning coal… folk in finery and folk in rags rudely shoulder their way through thronging crowds spilling onto roadways… and amid it all, the beggars and the urchins panhandle for scraps and pennies, some drowning their hardship and sorrows with large drafts of poor quality spirits.

and it was here amid the mingling noise, excitement and squalor that i hoped to find my father. mr underby, in one of his less kind moments, told me that i should find my father a helpless drunkard, sprawled across the rough pavings of the bowery. my searched proved quite fruitless… so many folk in need, it was quite impossible to tell if my father were among them…

and then i quite literally stumbled upon a girl slightly younger than i, clad in a ragged dress, sitting in the gutter sailing a leaf with her little brother. i asked her if she knew of a man with perhaps rather blond hair, who came from abroad and had an air of… something unusual about him. she said no, and then i asked her if she knew of a place where we might find a little soup and bread, for by now i was rather starved (missing miss mara and miss star dreadfully)… she said she knew of somewhere where i might be able to earn a few pennies, as she worked at a cotton mill. i followed her there, though it was rather too dangerous for anyone to work there, or so i thought… here is a little sketch i drew.

then i wandered away through the tenaments, where the poor folk eke out a tenuous existence. one can’t help but feel rather sorry for them. one wishes one could do rather more. i thought again of miss mara, and how she helps so many. it makes me wonder at my place in it all.

i do not sense my father’s presence here… knowing of my nature, and what i know of his, i believe that i would surely feel if he were near, would sense change in the air as i so often do when someone is close. i should not be surprised if underby were not so truthful, when he told me my father was quite alive and might be found here, and that he sought only to upset me to his own end! i find such trickery rather strange, knowing underby has suffered loss at a frightfully young age… which has made him and everyone a slave to his monstrous emotions… if he has a weakness, i think it may be that he quite allows his feelings to rule everything, which must be quite exhausting.

anyway, i shall continue searching, that i may set my mind at ease a little, and at least know one way or the other whether my father lives. i want to see if he is a kind and gentle man, and how he came to be inveigled in underby and my mother phaedra’s mad plan of a moonchild to end the old ways. then perhaps my life shall have renewed purpose, and perhaps i may even have someone who cares for me. come what may, it shall all be a thrilling adventure!


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