By James D. Houston
James Reed is a proud, headstrong, but dedicated husband and father. As he and his family members shuttle within the "Palace Car," an immense, especially built--and finally cumbersome--covered wagon, they thrill to new points of interest and take care of clash and incessant threat. but whilst a struggle among Reed and one other driving force leads to demise, Reed is exiled from the crowd and heads over the mountains by myself. The destiny of the opposite households, together with Reed's spouse and 4 little ones, is sealed after they set out throughout a brand new, untested path throughout the Sierra--their ultimate mountain cross. Arriving on the foothills simply because the snows begin to fall, they're left stranded for months--starving, freezing, and struggling with to survive--while Reed trips throughout northern California, attempting desperately to discover skill and males for a rescue occasion.
a unprecedented story of satisfaction and redemption, Snow Mountain Passage is a brilliantly imagined and grippingly informed tale immediately from American history.
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What a tonic, after the place he’s been and what he’s left in the back of, the lengthy, silent, dusty days and the tedious passage of collapsing wagons. right here on the fortress, huge issues are at stake. His nation’s honor is at stake. He has obvious the waterways and the bottomland and the boundless herds of video game, visible adequate to understand that he needs to ultimately sign up for the struggle to safe all of it for the state it rightfully belongs to. And here—tonight! —he can develop into the officer answerable for an organization that would march with the California Battalion. there's glory in that sound, and he's tempted. He says, “How faraway from right here to Monterey? ” “Four or 5 days on horseback. ” “I’d say six,” says the Scribbler. Jim says, “How approximately l. a.? ” “No telling. may well take a month. looking on climate. ” A month to la? A month to come back? he's tempted. Tempted. yet he can’t say sure. It’s too quickly to be a captain. Too quickly to struggle. The wagon social gathering won't cease. they've got no notion what awaits them the following. Jim wags his head, to transparent away the brandy fumes, and tells them what's in his middle, tells them he has to journey north back, no longer south. “I can't converse for Mac,” he says, “though i believe he'll be driving that means too. in fact, we’ll search for recruits as we cross. If we will signal them up, why we convinced will. ” The Scribbler isn’t chuffed. “A lieutenant, then,” he cries. “I will placed you down for a lieutenancy. And everytime you meet up with us, Jim, there’ll be a spot! What do you are saying? ” “Ay,” says Jim. “That’ll just do advantageous. ” there's one other around of beverages, a around of toasts to the places of work they've got created for themselves. “To the lieutenant! ” “Hurrah! ” “And congratulations! ” “We salute you, sir! ” “Salutes to all! ” “Bravo! Bravo! ” Now Jim is shouting with them, toasting, ingesting deeply. The brandy makes his eyes rainy with patriotism and comradeship. they start to gloat and boast, consuming to deeds prior and but to come back. Their shouts and noisy delivers drown out the patter of rain that starts off to fall upon the fortress, a mild rain at the beginning, soaked up via wooden and thirsty soil. steadily the sound turns into a clatter, because the puddles shape and rain spills off the roof to splash down into the puddles. quickly water falling at the roof is sort of a drum, and the surface splatter is so loud they cease to hear. “What’s that? ” says Jim. “Sounds like Indians,” one fellow says, “doing a harvest dance up there at the roof. ” all of them chortle. “Could be Mexicans,” the Scribbler says. “Maybe they've got us surrounded. 100 Mexicans pissing at the wall. ” “Rage and blow,” McCutcheon says, “you tornadoes and also you cataracks. Spout until you could have soaking wet our steeples and drowned our cocks. ” “The steeples, yes,” says the Scribbler. “Drench the steeples! yet Lord, don’t drown our cocks! ” one other around of laughter. And one other raucous around of beverages, then a few quiet sipping as they pay attention some time to the 1st rain any of them has heard because crossing the Sierra, sobered through the recent strength of this downpour, puzzling over how lengthy it is going to final and taking into consideration the roads they’ll need to go back and forth day after today.