Alfred Regency, Esquire

Archaeological Investigator,
Cambridge University

"The second Mayor was Melton A. Jones, (in office 1875 - 1876.) Melton held the office when El Paso's government experienced it's first real crisis."

Kelley Ward, A brief history of early El Paso law enforcement.

3rd March 1875

Finally, El Paso is behind us, and Utah ahead. Vale, Dwaine Coburn and Tom Tom Two Hawks. I shall always remember you, particularly those final hours. It is like waking from a fevered nightmare to a fresh Summer day, only to find that rain has stopped play.

My companions and I have accepted a commission from Halstrom Industries, to escort a box of papers from Denver to their home, Salt Lake City, Utah. For this simple deed, the three of us will be paid the princely sum of $250, and another $250 on delivery. From this, I conclude that the documents are somewhat important to Mr. Halstrom. I look forward to exchanging ideas with a scientist like myself.

Of course, I am nobody's delivery boy. Oh no! I travel to Utah for more enlightened reasons.

News has come to me recently from friends who are organising our exhibit at an Exhibition (inspired by our Crystal Palace, I suspect) being organised in Philadelphia. Apparently, we will be building a Georgian house, which will be very jolly. I think that we are very generous to attend at all, if you take into account the fact that the Fair celebrates 100 years since we granted independence to this young country.

Be that as it may, my friends told me that one Edward Palmer has had some success collecting specimen for the Fair from Utah. Mostly, he has produced artifacts from Indians called Paiute. However, they also reported that he had displayed some items from the fabled Anasazi.

So, to Utah I direct my eager feet, ready to enter any adventure that will give me the opportunity to undertake some proper archaeological collecting. Indeed, I will use my share of the proceeds to finance explorations into the Anasazi ruins.

And so, I bid farewell to dusty old Denver. I have held my last soirée with the few respectable inhabitants of that tiny town. I have taken my farewell of Mr. Backland, whose last piece of advice was to 'watch out for wooden nickels'. While I realised that Utah was largely treeless, I did not realise that they were using timber as a medium of exchange. Fascinating! I shall certainly try to collect some while I am there.

It is unrestricted, unconventional thinking like that which constantly surprises me in this country. There is a quiet desperation about it, and I believe that it may be their downfall in the end.

And so, to Salt Lake City, Utah. Of course, first we must get there. This is no mean feat in this country. Like everything else here, nothing is simple.

I am writing this by the light of a candle stub, somewhere East South East of our destination. I am resting against the upturned roof of our carriage, which hit a hole and overturned some hours ago, killing one of the horses. Our driver, 'Wrong Way Joe', has taken the remaining horse and will return in the morning with assistance.

While this may seem a calamity, there are some consolations. During our journey, I have made the acquaintance of a lady, one Mrs. Phelps, a school teacher by trade. It is so rare to meet a lady of refinement in this country. Conversation with Mrs. Phelps is refreshingly polite and interesting. Her manner is that which could almost carry her with distinction back home.

Of my other companions, there is not a lot that I can say. Lu Lu Belle serves to make Mrs. Phelps' little beacon shine brighter, in the same way that Hank's presence is the shadow to my own light. I must say, though, that even Hank seems a bastion of civilised behaviour compared to the last passenger in our carriage.

He has only introduced himself as 'Doc', an appellation that I find abhorrent, since he is quite clearly not a qualified medical practitioner, nor a man of letters. He smokes, he drinks, he coughs in a highly irritating and affected manner: all in all, a beastly man. With a modicum of luck, he will not be with us long.