The Adlers
founding family of the town of Adler's Rest

A Sims 2 Legacy Family
Begun May 2006

Generation 1:  1825

Summer 1825

My name is William Adler. It's the summer of 1825. I came out west to make a new start, but not because I wanted to.

(Fortune aspiration/Earn 100,000 simoleons/Neatness 9 Outgoing 8 Active 8 Playful 0 Nice 0)

I live in this shack I threw together from the boards of the wagon I drove out here. I sold the horses to some guy who didn't care that I couldn't prove they were mine to sell.

I hate this place. There is nothing to do, the people are simple-minded, and nearly everyone is as poor as I am so there's no point in robbing them.

So why am I here? When I left Philly, I agreed never to return there, and they agreed not to send me back to prison. I'm not sure who got the better end of the deal. My face is known in most of the major cities back east, and I was fed up with their rules anyway. I figured, if I go where there are no people, I can make my own rules.

I may have been too hasty when I set out on this little adventure of mine.

I'd been in and out of jail most of my life. The judge said it was because I lacked positive role models. My father was a pickpocket; he taught me everything I know. I have him to thank for what I am today, whatever that is. My mother... well, I don't really remember her. I won't even bother going into what the judge says about my relationships with women.

This place where I settled is near a crossroad. There's nobody around for at least half a mile, but there is a town about four miles away. People here are gossipy and spend most of their time visiting each other; apparently nobody has anything useful to do. I find them irritating for the most part. The women are insipid, the men are lazy and mean. However, I met a woman named Andrea who had a sparkle that I liked. The day I met her, she got in a fight with that Benjamin character and put him in his place. I like a woman who can reason with her fists. I asked her what Benjamin had done to her. She said she just didn't like his face.

Autumn 1825

I did some day labor up in town and made enough money to tear down my wagon hut and build an actual cabin. It isn't much, but it's solid. These cabins can last a hundred years if they're built right. Not that I plan on staying a hundred years.

I even rigged a cistern in the roof of the outhouse so I could have a shower. The water gets rather cold.

I learned quickly that the town has a well-established, though small, criminal element, and I got to know the right people quickly. Petty theft, construction scams, and the occasional embezzlement generate small amounts of cash for the intelligent, motivated con, but the real money is in the stagecoach line that passes through town. Travelers expecting to make their fortunes in the river towns along the Mississippi are eager to part with their money, and government surveyors have lots of cash to burn. I've also heard rumors of a railroad being built near here, potentially bringing many fools and their money.

The nice thing about living alone is you can sleep pretty much wherever you want.

With such income prospects in my future, I think I'll stay for at least a little while. I should give my homestead a name, though. I think I'll call it Adler's Rest.

Let me tell you about Andrea. She's the other reason I haven't already left this place. She's the only daughter of a farmer and his wife, and as such has been given far more freedom than a young woman should have in this day and age. I took her to a restaurant one night where we had a nice quiet meal.

As I folded my napkin and started thinking about paying, ever the law-abiding citizen, she caught my eye. With a little twitch of her head towards the door and a mischievous smile, I realized she wanted to run out without paying, and my grin was the only encouragement she needed. We darted out the door and behind the building into the darkness where the hostess couldn't find us. Laughing, we collapsed against each other. I think I fell in love right then.

Andrea isn't like other women I've known. She isn't quiet and shy, she doesn't "know her place". She's also not a very good cook, but we get by. What she does have is a brilliant intelligence, a snappy wit, and a sense of daring that sometimes exceeds my own. It didn't take me long to confess that what I do for a living is steal money from people too dumb to hang on to it. I braced myself for the slam of the door that has more than once followed such a confession, but instead she grew thoughtful. "Nobody ever suspects the woman," she mused. I proposed on the spot, surprising myself as much as I surprised her.

She thought it was an excellent idea.

We started spending our evenings at the local saloon, playing poker. Andrea is such a good bluffer, she doesn't need to cheat. People don't seem to mind losing their money to a pretty woman. I'm not pretty like my wife so I have to stash a couple of aces up my sleeve on occasion.

Andrea also enjoys hustling out-of-towners at pool. The locals who know us well never clue the visitors in; they just sit back and watch the fun.

She *really* likes winning at pool. Sometimes I'll lose to her on purpose.

Spring 1826

It's been six months since we got married, and we're very happy, and comfortable enough financially. Andrea is an excellent accomplice--I mean wife.

We added to the cabin, bought some furniture, and life couldn't be better.

Then Andrea announced she was pregnant. A baby! I have no business being a father. I'm barely a suitable husband. The only thing I ever learned about fatherhood is that it's important to teach your kids the art of pickpocketing early. That and when you hit your wife, make sure it doesn't show. What was that about lack of good role models?

I'm absolutely terrified and have toyed with the idea of just moving on. They might be better off without me.

Autumn 1826

Andrea has convinced me to stay. She's pretty nervous herself and she says she can't raise this baby alone. If we screw up its life, at least we can share the blame. If worst comes to worst, her parents and brothers can help, too. I hate relying on other people but for the sake of the baby I will try.

The baby. Our baby. Baby baby baby. It doesn't seem real.

Andrea has trouble leaning over a pool table in her condition so we spend a lot of time at home. Her brother made us this chess set. We're both getting pretty good at it. Of course, as with poker, much of my talent lies in the more diversionary tactics.

She hates when I cheat against her. I say I'm just keeping my skills sharp. Besides, she's so cute when she's angry.

Winter 1827

Baby Caroline was born in the middle of the night in January 1827. She has my eyes and hair but Andrea's dark complexion (Andrea's father is Navajo). I think she's the most beautiful, fragile little flower I've ever seen. I could just eat her up. Do not tell my poker buddies I said that.

I no longer think about leaving. How could I leave this piece of myself behind? How could I leave Andrea? I understand now: my life is here. This child, this homestead, these are my legacy. Anything else I have done in my life doesn't matter. This is what matters. The place and the family that bear my name will endure long after I'm gone, and it's up to me to make sure they start off well.

The Adler Homestead, 1827

To be continued......