Transcript for "Mettie Mortenson Rasmussen, reminiscences."
I shall never forget the day the Indians in all their war paint rode up to us with the scalps of a brother Babbit and another white man they had killed on their spears. We felt mighty humble as we crept behind Mother. When food became scarce and flour was rationed out in small quantities, Mother would cook and fix it some way so that we got the most good from it instead of giving each their portion of raw flour as some did. I especially remember our stop at Laramie, on account of the cups full of bright colored beads that we children gathered from the ant beds. I suppose they were from the discarded buckskin for then as now the Indians richly embroidered their buckskin.
Cold and storm came early that year and as we neared the mountains suffering became intense, especially from hunger and cold. I think every one had their darkest hour then, our family certainly did. One day the boys pulled the cart out of the line and lay down beside it saying, "mother we can't go another step". We children stood by crying, thinking of the terrors in store for us. Mother hunted through the cart and found a little brandy, maybe three or four tablespoons full. She mixed it with water and divided it and gave them each a little with a crust of dry bread. The train had gone on way ahead of us but oh! how thankful we were to reach camp after dark.
The night that so many died, a big strong looking Sweedish woman who was in our tent, lost her mind. My brothers helped shovel the snow and picked the frozen ground to bury in one grave 14 bodies and the last one of mother's hand woven linen sheets was covered over them before the dirt was put in. The thing I regret most in all that terrible time was, taking a piece of bread from a dead womans pocket. She was a woman I had walked with day after day and I knew she had this bread she had not eaten.
We were helped the last miles of the journey into Salt Lake but after what a lot of suffering. I wish we might have been allowed to forget it.