Wednesday, August 3, 2016

"EL DORADO WEST" [PG] - Chapter Thirty-Five

The following is Chapter Thirty-Five of my story about a pair of free black siblings making the journey to California in 1849:

Chapter Thirty-Five - Through the Carson Valley

September 18, 1849

This journey along the Carson River has proven to be a godsend in compare to our previous journey across the Forty Mile Desert. Unlike the Humboldt River, the Carson has provided plenty of fresh water for our party. Unfortunately, the terrain is rather rugged, but our wagons have managed to hold up so far, despite the boulders and rocks. Even Mr. Cross' half wagon has managed to survive. So far And no one has complained about not following Mr. Goodwin's party.

Speaking of which . . . I find myself thinking about Benjamin. I realize that Mr. James has made it clear that the "cutoff" now being used by Mr. Goodwin's party will only bring them grief. But a part of me cannot help but wonder if Benjamin, Mr. Goodwin and the others will reach California before us. If not, will they reach California? Will we?

September 20, 1849

Elias has stumbled across a dead body along the river bank, at least three miles ahead of the wagon party. The body belonged to a Paiute brave. And he had been killed by a musket ball. Probably some emigrant, who was traveling ahead of us. Some of us wondered if other braves had found the body. If so, they could be seeking retribution for the death of one of its own. However, Elias assured us that he was the first to stumble across the body. The brave had not been buried, according to his people's customs. He was forced to hide the body, so that no one - namely the Paiutes - will ever connect the dead body to our party. It's a pity that the brave will not be buried according to his custom, but it was for best. For our survival . . . well, according to Mr. James. However, Mrs. Gibson brought up the possibility that more Paiutes may await for us, as we cross their land. Dear God in heaven!

September 22, 1849

We have finally reached a meadow, which is part of what Mr. James calls Hope Valley. After the hell of the Forty Mile Desert and the rough terrain of the Carson River Range, this part of our journey is a godsend. Nearby is a wide lake from which we can gather plenty of water for the journey ahead. According to Mr. James, we have finally reached the California Territory. In fact, we have been in California for several days. Now, we have one last obstacle - the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

End of Chapter Thirty-Five

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