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By James D. Houston

Snow Mountain Passage is a strong retelling of our such a lot dramatic pioneer story--the ordeal of the Donner get together. throughout the eyes of James Frazier Reed, one of many group's leaders, and the imagined "Trail Notes" of his daughter Patty, we trip besides the ill-fated crew decided, in any respect expenses, to make it to the California territory.
James Reed is a proud, headstrong, but committed husband and father. As he and his kinfolk shuttle within the "Palace Car," an important, specifically built--and eventually cumbersome--covered wagon, they thrill to new points of interest and deal with clash and relentless risk. but while a struggle among Reed and one other driving force leads to loss of life, Reed is exiled from the gang and heads over the mountains by myself. The destiny of the opposite households, together with Reed's spouse and 4 young ones, is sealed once they set out throughout a brand new, untested path in the course of the Sierra--their ultimate mountain move. Arriving on the foothills simply because the snows begin to fall, they're left stranded for months--starving, freezing, and fighting to survive--while Reed trips throughout northern California, making an attempt desperately to discover capacity and males for a rescue get together.
a unprecedented story of satisfaction and redemption, Snow Mountain Passage is a brilliantly imagined and grippingly informed tale immediately from American history.

*National Bestseller

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Charlie grabs his hand in either one of his, seeming at the verge of tears. “Fella instructed me a person had come via walking. I questioned if it may be from our social gathering. yet I swear, Mr. Reed, I observed you laying right here and that i infrequently famous you in any respect. ” Charlie can’t disguise his alarm. within the different man’s face Jim sees how he needs to glance to others now. He touches a hand to his gaunt and thinning positive aspects, his disheveled beard. The hair his daughters lower away has grown a section yet no longer adequate to hide the unhealed welts, uncooked and pink. Charlie is watching on the welts. “We had a number of tough days,” Jim says, nodding towards a close-by heap of blankets and oilskins. “Walter and me, we got here forward. ” Charlie’s eyes are choked with questions he doesn’t ask. “… to get extra help,” Jim says. “How lengthy on the grounds that you’ve eaten? ” “We ate final evening. a few parents the following cooked up a few meat. We’re alright now. i believe I’m o.k.. Walter may well nonetheless be ailing. He ate until he threw up …” The phrases come gradual. His throat feels closed and ragged. Charlie hunkers subsequent to him, opens a shoulder pack, and pulls out what was once going to be his lunch, a number of biscuits, a strip of jerky. “Here,” he says with a smile. “‘Bout time for breakfast. ” “Walter,” Jim calls, “you prepared for breakfast? ” The heap turns, emits a depressing groan, falls silent. “You’re a very good fellow,” Jim says as he breaks off a bit of biscuit and starts to bite, slowly and intentionally. “One of the simplest. ” He hasn't ever tasted one of these scrumptious biscuit. With every one chunk his spirits upward thrust. He seems at Charlie in amazement, surprised to work out him the following, a well-known face. If Charlie were with them at the Humboldt, if the corporate by way of that point had no longer damaged up into such a lot of items, issues could absolutely have long gone otherwise. via a few miracle Charlie had made no enemies. not anyone bore him a grudge. He regularly did greater than his percentage, greater than someone anticipated, in view that he was once no longer a kin guy. he's a bachelor, a loner, touring with out a wagon, who has had a few wins and a few losses in existence, and the losses exhibit round his eyes, a depression cheerfulness. For a couple of years he was once a service provider in Chicago, yet fell on demanding occasions and made up our minds to move west hoping for a transformation of success. He nonetheless clothes like a service provider, in his broadcloth coat, spectacles, bowler hat. He nonetheless has approximately him an oddly wealthy and well-fed glance, even the following during this wasteland valley, ruddy cheeks, somewhat abdominal pushing at his buttons. while Charlie and invoice McCutcheon left the corporate a month in the past, a few anticipated he used to be long gone for strong. McCutcheon could be again, they stated, simply because his spouse and baby are with us. yet why on this planet might Stanton come again into this unforgiving land? “Would you? ” Elizabeth Graves as soon as requested, with an accusing eye. “If you used to be a unmarried fella and no ties to somebody, nor any relations calling? ” yet the following he's, 100 miles north and east of the castle, with seven mules loaded and extra males, due to Captain Sutter, Indians hunkered within the sunlight, gazing and ready. McCutcheon got here down with a fever, Charlie tells him, and needed to remain at the back of.

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