The following is Chapter Twenty-Nine of my story about a pair of free black siblings making the journey to California in 1849:
Chapter Twenty-Nine - Tensions on the Trail
August 11, 1849
Since leaving Fort Hall five days ago, our wagon company has been traveling along the south bank of the Snake River. The surrounding terrain seemed to be wide, flat and dotted with sage. Vast cliffs - Elias called them buttes - rose on either side of the river, transforming the terrain into a basin. Thank goodness my fellow travelers and I have interesting vistas to occupy our minds. Had the surrounding terrain been a lot more monotonous, I believe the tension that permeated from the wagon party would have driven some of us insane. For the first time since this journey began, I find myself wishing it was over.
August 13, 1849
Our journey along the Snake River continued. During our midday break, Mr. Anderson spotted Mr. Moore conversing rather freely with one of his soiled doves, Miss Watkins. Mr. Anderson demanded that Mr. Moore keep away from his two companions or be prepared to pay for their services. I could repeat his exact words, but they were so vulgar that I find myself reluctant to put them to pen. Unfortunately, two of the Gibson children were close enough to hear everything. I shot a quick glance at Mr. Cross and noticed that he seemed amused by the entire confrontation.
August 14, 1849
A semi-mutiny has occurred within our wagon party. A small group led by Mr. Goodwin demanded that Mr. Anderson, Miss Guilbert and Miss Watkins be cut from the wagon party. As far as he was concerned, they could wait for the next wagon train to come by. One of Mr. Goodwin's supporters turned out to be Mr. Moore - not surprisingly. I was shocked that he would endorse Mr. Goodwin's idea of the two women being cast into the wilderness with Mr. Anderson. However, he revised the demand, suggesting only the women be spared.
Both Mr. Robbins and Mr. James refused to cast out any of our traveling companions. Mr. Robbins also added that if any member of our party wanted to travel alone; he, she or they were welcomed to do so. No one took up his offer. Yet.
End of Chapter Twenty-Nine