Monday, January 11, 1858
As Gilbert road back into Nevada City, Nurse Jane strongly insisted that Gilbert spend at least three weeks off of his feet. She had fixed the wounds but she said that his “internal organs” need time to heal proper on the inside and that complete rest is the only way this can happen. With considerable aches and pains after the long ride back to town; Gilbert knew what he must do.
First he made sure that Darley is stabled and setup at the American Livery Stables at 30 Broad Street. Knowing he’ll try and check in on Darley at least every other day. He then makes his way over to the Hotel d’Paris and gets himself room and board for the week. The first couple of days fly by as Gilbert naps the days away, getting the rest his body so greatly needs after the gun fight on the cliff. Nurse Jane is diligent about checking on him every afternoon and Gilbert is thankful for the company. Near the end of the first week, poor Gilbert is getting rather bored. His friend, Samuel Davis, stops by and Gilbert spirits are lifted when Samuel agrees to purchase paper, envelopes, paper, and a fountain pen for Gilbert so he can write his little sister Mary Jane. When Samuel returns the next day with the letter writing equipment; he informs Gilbert that he has taken a job as a freelance reporter for the Nevada Journal – on temporary assignment in Sacramento covering the statehouse beat. Gilbert is sad to see his friend leave, but understands that a man with such smarts as Samuel will be good at writing important reports for the paper. Gilbert wishes his farewell and promises to write Samuel while he is in Sacramento.
At the start of the second week of his interment, Gilbert is downstairs paying his bill and Nurse Jane walks in. She makes an awful ruckus about Gilbert being up on his feet and rushes him up to his room and back into bed. Gilbert only imagines what she would have done had she known that Gilbert had just returned from the American Livery Stables and paying Henry Clements for looking after Darley. After a few days, Gilbert once again grows tired of watching the snow fall outside his window. He’s happy that he can spend time having Nurse Jane buy him a nice vest, Gilbert fells a bit bad that he sent her out a couple times claiming he didn’t like the pattern of the first few, but really he was just trying to pass time and enjoyed her company. That week, he also spent some time talking to Jess, and she helped Gilbert by buying him a brand new Sharps Carbine, a couple boxes of ammo, a cartridge belt, and rifle scabbard. Jess certainly knew her weapons; she has bought him a carbine telling him how it would be better for him with his riding skills. Gilbert had always been better with a rifle back home and was glad that he could finally afford one now that he was out West. He was even happier when Jess pointed out the window to show him that she had setup 3 bottles in the empty space behind the National Gymnasium. She opened the window slightly and Gilbert took some target practice before anyone could figure out where the shooting was coming from.
As the days dragged on Gilbert convinced Jon Jost to buy a pair of chaps for Gilbert so he could get back to ranch work as soon as the snow melted. He had a promise of work at Van Young spread up in Grass Valley and Gilbert couldn’t wait to get out there. Finally, Nurse Jane examined Gilbert and declared him fit and ready to get off of his feet. Gilbert let out a yelp of excitement and got dressed as quick as he could. As Gilbert was eating lunch downstairs, Garrett walked in and Gilbert convinced him to join him for a night on the town to celebrate his release! Gilbert took Garrett to get a bath, shave and a haircut, with Gilbert paying for it all. They spent the night drinking and dancing with the saloon girls. Gilbert didn’t mind spending his reward money to finally celebrate. Gilbert wasn’t quite sure how Garret ended his night. But Gilbert ended up spending it with Hazel, a lovely women he met somewhere during the night. They became such good friends that night that Gilbert shared his Gold Eagle coin with her.
A couple of mornings later, Gilbert loaded up Darley, purchased some rations and headed out to the Van Young ranch…