Exhaustion and Low Spirits

I am tired. I am tired of being tired. I am tired of my feet aching. I am tired of my back hurting. I am tired of carrying my stupid bag and my even stupider (and heavier) case with my talbotype and my sewing kit and my toiletries, none of which I can use out in the wilderness. I am tired of my hair looking (and probably smelling) like a bird's nest. I am tired of never washing my face, especially since I felt a very nasty spot begin to form on my chin this morning.

I AM TIRED OF BEING COLD. So very, very tired of being cold.

I am tired of "using the facilities" in the great outdoors. They never speak of this in adventure novels, nor mention it in the pictures, oh no. But it is a reality. Nature calls when you are out in nature, and it is one of the most degrading, uncomfortable things I have ever experienced. I shall not even go into much detail here, but I feel obligated to mention it, while I am listing my woes.

Dry leaves are the worst sort of "paper" imaginable. The crumbly nature presents several problems, which I am sure you can imagine, Dear Reader. Added to that discomfort is the fact that Mr. Miller can hear everything going on behind the bushes I step behind, and vice versa. I will say, however, that my thigh muscles have grown much stronger in the last several days.

Moving on: I have had a constant headache since we have been on the run. When I complained of this to Mr. Miller some days back, he pointed at my head, then mimed the way I drink coffee, my saucer held by the edges in my left hand, and the littlest finger of my right hand very slightly raised as I sip from my cup. Apparently I had become too accustomed to drinking coffee morning, noon, and night, and its sudden absence from my diet is affecting my head badly. I am not quite sure why, but I do believe him, as I have been feeling it.

Did I mention I am tired of the cold?

Tomorrow afternoon, we should be coming to the edge of the forest; that is, if Mr. Miller has steered us straight. We shall camp there for the night, then make the nearly day-long trek into the next town in the morning. Hopefully we can find shelter there, and oh, how wondrous it will feel to be clean, and to sleep in a real bed! To have running water, and toilets, and coffee! There are some moments when I am so low that the only thing which forces me to put one foot in front of the other again and again is the thought of a chair by a fire, and fragrant cup in my hands, warming me to the core.

Lunch is over, and on we must go. I intend to get a message to Professor Eberhart when we reach town, probably by post. I wonder if I could arrange it so there is no "from" stamp on the envelope; if Belleclaire or one of his men are still at the school, I would hate for them to find out where we are after all we have done to evade them.

(I feel I ought to add that things between Mr. Miller and myself are now mended. If I ever speak ill of him, even in my thoughts, it is because I am a bad mood, and I know it is not right or fair. He did what he had to do the other night; I understand that. It was terrible and frightening and nightmare-inducing--yes, I have been sleeping more poorly than usual since then--but necessary. I literally owe him my life now, and what greater thing can a friend ask of another friend?)

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