James Richmond's
California Story

Not Exactly Mother's Home Cooking

June 8, 1860 Hired out on a hay ranch. Good fair wages. Concluded we better get to earning something before going farther. An old Batch runs the ranch. He is a dirty queer old customer he is. I donít just relish my board. Gets a hogshead of flour at a time. He keeps it in one corner of the room, at all times uncovered . The mice have free access to it. I noticed our bread was well sprinkled with dark specks. I felt I must call his attention to it so I said "Mr., I donít wish to find fault with your cooking, but I think the bread would relish better if the mice were kept out of the flour." He looked at me with indignation and said, "Young man," said he "you are a little too particular to have your victuals digest well. Just try and be thankful it ainít rats." I trust I am, for mice are bad enough if you have plenty of them. I wonder what Mother would say to this bread?

June 30, 1860 Changed my place of work. Was afraid the mice would get my digestive apparatus out of order. Am now baling hay on another party. We have good clean fare.