Thursday, October 13, 2011


The first of the rescued reached Salt Lake on November 9th, a day of tears and thanksgiving. For many days afterwards the others were straggling in, some riding the wagons, some still grimly hauling their battered carts, still defiantly on their own legs. Margaret Dalglish, that gaunt image of Scotch fortitude, dragged her pitiful handful of possessions to the very rim of the valley, but when she looked down and saw the end of it, safety, the City of the Saints, she did something extraordinary. She tugged the cart to the edge of the road and gave it a push and watched it roll and crash and tumble and burst apart, scattering down the ravine the last things she owned on earth. Then she went on into Salt Lake to start the new life with nothing but her gaunt bones, her empty hands, her stout heart.
Wallace Stegner, Ordeal by Handcart.

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