I am sorry—that is what I would like to start by saying. I am sorry. And I’m not the liar that I was.
Miles Beamer is still reeling from all that happened after he went West in 1867. From how quickly the version of reality he constructed for himself tightened around him, trapping him into things he is sorry for now, blinding him to things he should have seen.
Perhaps by putting the events down on paper, he can make some sense of them. Make sense of how a relentlessly optimistic young man who only wanted to have an adventure—which is what he was, then—could have gone so wrong. Make sense of the tense alliance he formed with Billy, whom he had known since they were boys, but since the war, knows not at all. Make sense of Molly, the factory girl with an interminable cough who was his most dependable friend, always ready to help and gently advise, and eager to get caught up in the games he played—until he went too far. Perhaps, by tracking down the one person who might have the power to forgive him and sharing this account, he can attain some measure of absolution.