June 29, 2007
Dearest Mr. Wilberforce,
I write to inform you that we have been successful in making initial contact with the people of the future. Mr. Williams has met a young woman who we all believe will be a valuable source of information, though obviously a certain amount of circumspection is to be expected on his part. Her name is said to be Tammy, and she is approximately eighteen years of age. Little else is known at this time, though Mr. Williams says she has spoken, tantalizingly, of a "cell phone," which we assume is a device for listening to one's corpuscles, perhaps under a microscope. Mr. Williams says that he told Tammy he did not possess a "cell phone;" she then told him that she would "be seeing [him] around." Theories vary on what this exchange might denote.
I have not personally been able to observe "Tammy;" Mr. Williams, in his laconic way, reports that she wears trousers, has brown hair, and her flesh is frequently bare. While we all expected that fashions would have changed by this time, the group found this news quite curious, and badgered the poor man for many hours about what degree of flesh-baring was entailed. The news about the trousers is intriguing, however, and is suggestive of, perhaps, Sapphic tendencies in the women of the future.
We have also relocated our base camp yet again since my last report, as Professor King has fallen ill and needed to be nearer a source of fresh water. We have still been unable to locate any horses or servants, and in fact Mr. Ashby was quite severely assaulted when he attempted to ask a slave about his provenance, leading us to discontinue this line of inquiry until we have heard more about the outcome of the War. Ashby's bones were set by Dr. Benegelow, and we press onward, but with the Professor being ill and Mr. Ashby without full mobility, progress is difficult. We are presently based in a large, mainly windowless, structure at the edge of town, which appears to be abandoned. Many of the surfaces inside are labeled with the words "Cub Foods," which the group regards as thoroughly puzzling. It is thought that persons of the future might keep bears as pets, though why they would need such a large building to store feed for such animals (and why they would, having constructed such a space, subsequently leave it empty) remains a mystery. Or perhaps "cubs" refers to some other animal, perhaps foxes. In any case, there are neither cubs nor foods inside, yet it is sheltered from the elements and more or less comfortable.
The time machine has been left in the abandoned barn where we first moved it; we will need transportation, and likely additional men, in order to bring it any further. For the time being, we are making do by sending Mr. Williams on foot to deliver messages, which is why there has been such a long lapse in communication: the time and resources delivery of a message requires have become rather more dear to us than previously.
Mr. Williams hopes to convince Tammy to obtain some supplies for us, if she can be made to understand the kinds of items we require. Food is a high priority (it is believed that Mr. Ashby's food, which he was in fact procuring from the garbage of the city, is responsible for the Professor's illness), as well as money. As you seem to have ignored my previous intimation, I would like to inquire more directly as to whether it would be of too much difficulty for you or one of your agents to set up a savings account in our name in or near Iowa City. Certainly by this time, enough money might have appreciated from even the most miniscule initial deposit to enable us to obtain many necessities under our own power, provided that we knew to withdraw the money from the correct bank. We shall begin conducting inquiries at the local banks immediately.
Hopes are high for this "Tammy" as a source of information. We must certainly appear quite strange to her, but if she has already been willing to speak to Mr. Williams, then there is hope of further conversation. Unfortunately, we do not know how to speak to her again, not knowing her family name or place of residence. Mr. Williams believes that she will turn up again near where he made contact with her before, but he is perhaps a bit too taken by her feminine charms to be an objective judge of the situation.