We’re looking at change. Every other week we give a sideways glance to the newfangled ideas cropping up in the 1870s. This week, we’re in Two Pan, and even though we hate change, we’ll grudgingly admit…some improvements are long overdue..
“Why do you have six children?”
Violet Spinrad nailed the young woman with a look. She hoped her stare would shut up the amply-endowed, nosy little bar nymph. She was only at the Salt Lick Saloon to see if any of the women would hire her to make a fine dress for them.Violet needed the money, so she kept her pride-filled words to herself.
“Haven’t you ever heard of rubbers?” Amanda Lou dug through a chest and tossed a wax-paper packet on the dresser in front of Violet. “They used to make ’em from pig colon, but when Goodyear vulcanized rubber in 44, we were freed from all that ‘with-child’ crap.”
Violet wanted to examine the packet, but she was a decent woman. She stared straight ahead.
“Course, you got to wash them real good,” Amanda Lou sighed. “Then anoint them with petroleum jelly and put them away to use later.” She gave a wink as she tapped a narrow wooden box on her night table.
Violet wanted to ask if it worked, but she was a decent woman. She stared straight ahead.
“Bricker didn’t tell you about any of this did he?”
Violet looked at the woman. She couldn’t help herself. What did this bar-strumpett know of her husband.
Amanda Lou gave a sad shake of her head. “I hear the gals over at Opal’s Palace use vaginal sponges and womb veils…a little cap that fits up in there.” She gave a jab to her corset- covered abdomen.” Whichever you use…it’ll keep you from having another kid.”
Violet couldn’t help herself. It wasn’t decent to talk in the open about such things…but….but…. …She picked up the packet. “I’ll make you a smocked blouse in trade for this.”
Amanda Lou, nabbed the packet from Violet’s hand . “Sorry. These things are worth more than gold out here. I’ll pay you to sew a crinoline skirt for me. Besides…” she smiled and gave Violet a light pat on the shoulder. “You don’t have to worry about Bricker. He’s never coming back.”
Part 2: In three weeks.