Friday, January 28, 2011

Journal entry

[No date]

I’ve lost track of the time. It seems like weeks have passed but the airship has docked. Passengers have disembarked.

I was almost discovered! I’ve been mostly staying in the hold, hidden behind the large transport boxes. If I hadn’t been close by the stairs, I might not have reacted in time.

It was so careless of me. I was stretching and enjoying crackers I had found. I heard the captain and another voice, Watson, I think I have heard him called. The hold door opened and I could see legs descending the steps. Crumbs flying, I crouched down. Did I leave any signs of my presence? No time to check.

Surely he heard the pounding of my heart, but the normal ship noises must have masked me.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Time has passed. The newness and the excitement of taking action have long been replaced by boredom and hunger. Danger is still my constant companion. I wait, I watch. I can hear but I am powerless to act.

Poor Minnie. I don't know how to help her since I have neither a gun nor a boat to escape. Lady Copperhead is too clever.

What is it about this voyage? What is going on? What do they plan to do upon arrival? What are they searching for?

So many questions, but as a journalist (may I call myself that?), I try to keep an open mind and consider all possibilities.

I am hungry. Dirty. Tired of lurking in shadows.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My plans -- part three

I did it; a part of me is still in shock, but my hero, the intrepid reporter Nelly Bly would sneer to know that I mourn the loss of my feminine identity.

My hand brushes over my close cropped hair. I can now move with unaccustomed freedom in boy's clothing. It takes a few moments for me to recognize my reflected image in glass storefronts.

I can do this. I must get on that airship and a disguise is the best way.

Well, a disguise and not getting discovered, that is.

I will impress my editor, gain recognition and respect, and report to the world about the Golden Prim.

The voices in the library mentioned a meeting place and time so I made plans to get there before everyone arrived. Hiding behind shipping boxes, I found the right time to scurry aboard.

The captain of the airship is a female! Rather intimidating female. I must not be discovered. Below, in the hold, I hide behind more boxes and wait.

I must get on that airship -- part two

In my excitement, I stepped back onto a creaking board. Did anyone in the director's office hear me? I froze. The light from the hole darkened for a few minutes as someone walked? stood? by that part of the wall, but I did not see any one looking in.

After a few minutes, the meeting must have broken up because I could now hear voices behind me beyond the closet door. A few must have remained behind in the director's office. I crept forward and resumed my listening post.

They were talking about details of the expedition, where and when.

As I waited for everyone to leave, it struck me that as a young female, I would never be permitted on such an airship. Never.

But a boy could hide more easily. No skirts to hamper movement. Not fair, but boys have much more freedom in society.

The trouble is, I would have to look like a boy. Nelly Bly wouldn't hesitate, and neither shall I.

What is going on?? -- part one

[These next few entries are notes transcribed from an odd assortment of crumpled pages. ]

My editor somehow learned of my complaints and I was called into her office where I was resoundingly reminded of my lack of reporting experience. She's right; good stories won't just fall into my lap. I left her office chastened but with a renewed determination to ferret out a mystery.

I think I may have discovered a mystery. And at the library, no less.

One afternoon I was in the stacks doing background research on a possible story when I could hear faint voices on the other side of the wall. I followed the voices to the director's door.

That was strange; it was not a regularly scheduled library meeting. In fact, the director typically is not in his offices that time of day.

I tried to hear what was going on, but afraid I would be discovered outside the door so I looked for another, better spot to hear what was going on. Probably a boring budget meeting, but my curiosity was piqued.

I simply had to hear what was being said. Looking around, I saw a closet. No one observed me as I entered the closet and shut the door quietly behind me.

The voices were louder, but I still couldn't quite make out what was being said. Making my way past a few brooms and buckets . . . ugh, why are cleaning closets always so dirty and cobwebby . . . I was in luck! There was a small knothole and I peered through it.

From my limited vantage point, I could see an elegant female in purple, a handsome gent, some scholarly types, and the most interesting man with tatoos on his face. Sir JJ had his back to me (for which I was grateful. That man is far too observant.) There might have been others in the room.

Judging from the voices, people were upset and didn't all seem to know each other. Sir JJ must have had a book in front of him because I could hear him turn pages and he read from it.

He mentioned something called the "Golden Prim" and that seemed to surprise everyone. The elegant lady is some kind of heiress, I think, to the Golden Prim. She appeared upset. People were shouting. There's a book by a Professor Scott.

Try as I might, I couldn't quite get what all was going on, but I did learn something important: there will be an expedition to get the Golden Prim. I MUST find out more.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Something Curious

How long will I be considered a cub reporter? How much longer must I get the metaphorical pats on the head by seasoned reporters here at the Primgraph?

I want to be taken seriously. Nelly Bly in America is taken seriously, and her style of journalism is making the powers that be to sit up and watch themselves.

I know there must be something going on at the library, but I can't quite find out what. Sir J.J. Drinkwater is so mysterious. I've seen unsavory types sitting at library tables or walking around the stacks. They are not after the latest novel by Trollope or Dickens, I am certain.

There's a woman who comes around on occasion who has an air of danger about her. I admit to the pages of this journal only that she scares me. I have heard she is called Lady something, but she does not appear to be a member of the aristocracy. Who is she?

Late one night I went back to the library because I'd forgotten my notebooks, and I heard strange noises -- doors being closed, footsteps, and moving about -- down in the basement where no one generally goes. What is going on? I started to go downstairs when I was met by Sir J.J. who brushed right past me.

Why would the director of the library be in the basement late at night? Who else was there with him?

What is going on? I must find out.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bored and Restless

Besides that mysterious woman who stole a book a while back, not much has happened. I am afraid I will never be promoted to full reporter status at the Primgraph if I don't uncover something. What would my hero, Nelly Bly do? Why, she'd find a story. She'd report on mistreated workers, injustices in the library, whatever miscarriage of justice she found.

Sir JJ does not make it easy for aspiring cub reporters. He is unfailingly polite and fair to everyone. The library is progressively fair, and if there's a miscarriage of justice around the Caledon library, I haven't seen it.

Rather dull around here. I want excitement and adventure.

Sir JJ does have that air of mystery about him though. I bet he is hiding something. Something more interesting than new system of library fines or reshelving books. I hereby resolve to watch his movements more carefully.