Columbine Cattering

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What we know

1845 - 1872
First wife of Joe Cattering1. Died in childbirth. Buried in Sugar Boy Mine with her dead child. No living children.


A woman in her condition, Rachel Cole declared,
has no business on the top of that mountain.

Columbine wasn’t sure if she was meant
to overhear that remark—or if she cared to.

She didn’t want to be more than a day’s
journey from Joe when the time came.

Babies come when they come, Joe’d say.
Might as well enjoy the company.

Just as the silver would pour itself into Joe’s palms,
so too would her waters pour themselves over her thighs.

Dreams realized.

But just as the silver refused to be pried from
its dark granite bed, so too did her child refuse
to be pried from her blood-torn womb.
She single-jacked1 the child from beneath the pain.

Screamed aloud.

Joe, singlejacking for his silver, was buried too deep
in the mountain’s loins to hear her.





Portal caption and links

An illustration of removing a child from the womb with forceps.

Lucy Rainer understood dragging death from her loins.
Doc Nancy understood how to draw the secret deaths out.
Zandra Miller had very different reasons for doing so.

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Portal for secret connections
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