Marie M. Cardon Guild correspondence, 1898-1913, 1964, Folder contents: (1) Correspondence and autobiographical information, undated, 1964.
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My father [Philippe Cardon] and few others started on their journey as soon as their oxens where [were] so that they could drive them[.] they would go about fifteen miles from the Mississippi River and camp there, and wait until all the rest would come, so they would form a large company of 75 or 80 Wagons, but some of the cattle were very wild and onmanagable [unmanageable] so that it took a few days, or over a week before all were ready to leave the bank of the river. The young men of course had the very wildest of the cattle for the older men had the most tamed ones. My three older brothers had Each a wagon, and from three to four yokes of cattle to each wagon, as they were very heavy loaded, beside the roads were very rough in thoes [those] early days; the cholera had then appearently [apparently] ceased[.] the Saints felt full of hope and co[u]rage, again and when all were ready to start for the desert plaines [plains], our leader instructed us the night before, to try and make as early start as possible in the morning so that all would be able to reach our first camp before dark, as some of the cattles [cattle] were pretty wild and unmanagable, and an early start would be very necessary, in order to allow for enmergency [emergency.] so the next morning we had our breakfast at daybreak and made as an early start as possible[.] my oldest Brother John [Paul Cardon] took the lead as he was the first one to start, then followed our next two brothers, and John [Daniel Pons] and David [Charles] Ponse [Pons], the two sons of Elder [Bartholomew] Ponse [Pons] who died a few days previous from the dread disease Cholera[.] all were rolling along toterably [tolerably] well for a short time, but when they got to the foot of a steap [steep] hill then the trouble began, though my Brother John had gone up the hill O.K. and had reached a small burcy, called Westport and which stood on the top of a high hill about 12 miles form [from] the Mississippi River but soon on e [one] of my brothers got in to trouble[.] his cattle would not pull up hill and they pr[e]fer[r]ed to go any way but up hill[.] they certainly refused to go and finely [finally] one of the yokes broke down and the Ponse [Pons] boys had also got one of their yoke broken and A wagon tongue[.] there they had to stope [stop] and let some one else pass them, and the poor boys had no chance to get either yokes or wagon tongue to replace the broken ones unless they could get them from our camp and that was a long distance from where they broke down[.] there were no other way but to ask us girls to go to our camp and have some of the brethren who had their oxen gentle and tamed. And bring them and also bring some yokes and wagon tongues here[.] I could not refuse to go; and the Ponse [Pons] Brothers also asked for their sister Mary [Maria] Ann to go along with me. so we started believing that we would reach our camp in the afternoon in time to get someone to bring the nescessary assistance, so as to anable [enable] our brothers to reach camp in the evening; we walked as fast as we could walk but the most of the way was up hill, and we reached Westport about 3 P.M. We knew not how far our camp was from there so we continued our journey in hopes of soon finding our camp[.] we walked down on the other side of Westport until we came to a crick [creek], we managed to cross it as best we could and followed the wagon road, then we overtook my oldest Brother John who was unable to get up the long dugg way [dugway.] he had been there between two to three hours and could not move his cattle up the long duggway, and when we girls came up to him and told him our errand he seemed to feel very glad and asked also for help as he was heavey loaded and the cattle had not been used to work at all[.] they were just brought out of the range, While I were talking to my brother two men came from Westport finely dressed seemingly being well to do[.] they stopped a few minutes and my brother wanted me to ask these gentlemen how far the first Morman [Mormon] camp was, they said it was not very far and that they were going to that camp as their family were there, and that they were going direct to that camp and that they were Mormons and they were willing to assist us to reach our camp if we would allow them, and brother said that we had better accept their offer as it would be more safe for us girls, beside it was getting late in the afternoon, I asked these men if they thought that we could arrive at our camp before night[.] they said oh certainly we can be there easely by Sundown[.] So then, we started and walked quite fast but, I felt as though something was not alright and I thought I would ask different questions concerning the arrangements and organization pertaining our journey etc. etc. but I found out that he the one I was speaking too [to,] was not at all acquainted with aneything about the journey for even the name of the Captain nor aney of the Elder’s name[s], we were walking side by side, and Miss Ponse [Pons] was just about one yeard [yard] ahead of me walking side by side with the other man and as I found out that neither of these men could speak French nor understood it, I spoke to Miss Ponse [Pons] and told her that I thought it best for us girls to go right back and stay with my brother until some of our people would come and help us out. But she laughed at me and said what on earth had come in to your head now, O, I told her that I feared that thoes two men were not honest and that I felt horrid, and wished that we had never started with them, well she said I never saw such a girl as you, you always bourrow [borrow] trouble half way or meet it half way[.] Why she said Why, why don’t you wait until it comes before you worry? She asked if the man by my side had said aneything [anything] improper to me, I said no.
Well he dare not then[.] What makes you think that those men mean us harm? Well I said that I felt that our lives were in great danger[.] I felt in dispare [despair], then she said as long as they behaved we might as well keep a going as to go back, we are now along [a long] way from your brother and according to what they told us we will soon arrive at the camp[.] well I said to her [“]Miss Ponse [Pons] have you a pocket knife with you to defend yourself? She laughed out right and said that I was the strenyed [strangest] person she had ever met, and what did we want of a knife? She said that she did not have one. When the men behaved like gentlemen; of course we talked and preten[d]ed that we were joking with each other for fear that we should arrouse their supision though we were quite sure they did not understand our Language; Well, I tole [told] Miss Ponse [Pons] that I had a good knife which I would use to good advantage in case that anething [anything] would turn out improper; for we came [to] America pure and keep a with the health of God. We kept walking right along[.] finely [Finally] I spoke and asked the man by my side How soon he thought that we would reach our camp—and he answered that it would not be very long now but I said that they had told us that we would arrive before Sundown, he answered and said that he hardly thought it was as far as it appeared now to be; but perhaps we had not walked as fast as we might have done and it now would not belong [be long] before we would arrive to our Camp, well the sun went down and soon the stars began to show their light; and as Miss Ponse [Pons] had been laughing at me for meeting trouble half way, I did not widh [wish] to mention the subject again. but my mind were [was] hard at work in planning out a defense in case that we would be attacked, by those men. I remembered the promise that the Elders had made unto us concerning our trials on our long journey and that God would be with us and keep us from all harm if we would be faithful to our covenents, and that no one could harm us in as much as we had faith in our rede[e]mer yet I knew that faith without work is dead, as work and faith must go together[.] I then took my knife out of my pocket so that I would have it ready for use at any instant that I should need to use it. We then had walked along way since dark through woods and pines and it was so dark that we sould [could] not see a yeard [yard] away from us. All that we could see was the glitter of the stars through the branches of the trees when all at once Miss Ponse [Pons] spoke to me, with a trembling voice and said. O, I wish that I had taken your advice, when you wanted us to go back to your brother, but it is to[o] late now for we are lost girls. This man by my side says we’ll have to stay with them tonight, I said no; I guess not for I have a knife ready to kill them both if they attempt to lay a hand on us. This knife, had been the knife of that German Lady of whom I spoke of dying on the quarontine [quarrantine] and that my Sister Catherine and I had tried so hard to save her life and before she died she told us that she had no relations and she had a small trunk and she wished us to accept of it, and if there where [were] aneything that would be of aney use to devide all among ourselves for we had done all that we could do in her sickness; so after we had dressed her in her best suit and the funeral was over we divided what few articles she had and I got this knife, and I put it in my jacket; without ever thinking of having aney particular use for it; but the day before we left the Mississippi River for our journey, it appeared that I had the knife in my hand, my brother Phillip said to me let me sharpen it for you, Oh, I said I do not want it sharpened; but he insisted in me leting him sharpen it, and said that we had along [a long] and tideous journey and we had a rough wilderness to travel through, and I might have use for it, so I let him sharpen it for me. And After he was through he handed it back to me again and I put it in my po[c]ket. I now soon found out that this knife might be the means of saving our lives as it was very sharp, and one of the blades was long enough to accomplish my plans. We now realized our serious position but we kept calm, and we still walked but we expected to be carried away at aney moment, as the man who was by Miss ponse’s [Pons’s] side had told her that they did not intend to take us to our camp in the first place. When she told me this, I then called our heavenly father to look down upon us with mercy and to be with us in this hour of great need of his assistance, and asked him in the name of his holy son Jesus to deliver us from these inhuman villians [villains.]
I well prepared my aim with my knife in my right hand; they now both stoped in front of us and said, Well dear young Ladies, we are sorry to disappoint you but we are now along way from your camp and we wish to have you stay with us tonight, and if you wish to go to your Camp in the morning we will take you; but before they could say another word, I boldly told them to hold their hands off us or we would take their lives, unless they would let us go uninjured We would kill them both, they seemed to be paralized just then and if they had made an attempt to lay an un evil [an evil] hand on us I was ready to cut both their throats; for my plan was set for action; but the villains could not even speak one word, us girls started to run for dear life; we followed the path before us as we were in the woods and did not know where to go for protection[.] Just think my beloved children for one moment how we felt in the middle of the night in a new country and not knowing w[h]ere to go for protection[.] words can never discribe our [text missing].
We held each others hand and ran for our lives[.] I still held my knife opened in my right hand but I finely [finally] gave up as my strength was gone, and thinking that perhaps those villians would not follow us, I said to Miss Ponse [Pons], I can not walk aney more let us sit down for a minute or two for I am dunup [done up] so we both thought of stopping for a moment but before we were seated on the ground we heard foot steps in our path not far off us and we then started with all our strength and run as fast as we could[.] we got through the woods and in to the wild prairies. We were running still and we passed a small log cabin and two men were laying down at the front of this cabin. I suppose they heard us coming, in fact we were about one yeard [yard] from them when we saw them[.] they halfway raised up, and both spoke at once and said, good evening Ladies[,] but in our fright we never answered but failt [felt] still worse than before, thingking [thinking] that we might yet be caught, as we knew that the two villains where after us, we thought that perhaps these two last ones might be as bad as the other two or perhaps worse so we ran now truly in wild dispare for our lives, it was not so dark when we got our [out] on to the prairies, but the dwe [dew] had fallenheavely and the grass was wet, we soon got our clothes drip[p]ing wet traveling through the tall grass, and we became almost unable to walk, at one time we thought of sitting down and wait until day light, before we would walk aney further, but after we sat down we began to realize our situation[.] we know of those two villians being in our track and we were not sure but what they were close in our path and even if they had lost sight of us and would not find us, we were not sure of our lives as there might be some wild beasts come upon us for we had neither food nor water since we had left the Mississippi River and we walked ever since as fast as we could and run a great part of the time, and if we would sit down for aney length of time we were liable to go to sleep, and we might yet be overtaken by those villians or some wild beast would devour us if they came upon us while we were asleep, so we thought it best to walk west as near as we could and as we were quided [guided] a little by the stars it would not be long before day light now so we walked still hand in hand[.] I still held my knife opened in my right hand, we came to a creek and there we found some sticks[.] we tokk [took] one each thingking that we might need them in our wanderings about, After a while we came to a hallow [hollow], and as we looked up a head of us we saw a light and we felt sure it was the morning star[.] it appeared as though it was glittering through some trees as though the breeze just moved the branches, but as we came nearer we found out, in stead of being the morning star, it was a house and the people there in were having a dance, and as they prominaded around it kind of shaded the light from the windows, as we were quite distance when we first saw it, as soon as we came to the house we rang the bell and some of the dancers came to the door and they kindly invited us to come in[.] we thanked them kindly, but in our dispare we dared not tell them that we were lost and of what had happened for fear that those two inhuman men might soon come there and inquire after us, so we told those young people that we were diserious go to the first Mormon Camp from the Mississippi River, and that our parents were following us up but they had broken a wagon wheel and that had been detained conciderable in repairing the wheel, and the company had gone ahead to form a camp in a suitable place and we girls whished [wished] to go ahead and find the camp and get something to eat ready for our parents, well dear ladies they said to us, you have passed the first camp long since[.] you are now twelve miles and one half from the first camp and it is two miles and one half from the second[.] you certainly must have lost your way intierly, you had better come in and stay until daylight and then you will be assisted to find your Camp, but we could not make up our mind to that, for they were all dressed up gaily and we two poor lost girls must have looked horrid but we kindly thanked them for their kind hospitality, but we thought if they would kindly direct us in the direction of the second camp, we then would be able to get some one to take us back to our camp. So they kindly came with us a few steps and showed us as best they could discribe the road to the second Camp. We walked for about half a mile and on our right hand we saw a small cabin the door was open it being very warm weather. it was but a small room. We saw a man in bed appearingly [apparently] sick[.] he had a towel tied over his forehead, and an nother man was sitting near, the door reading. We felt sure that it would be alright for us to go and ask if we were on the right road to the mormon second Camp. but we dared not say that we were lost for fear those two men might come along there, and as the door was opened and the cabin was lighted they would be alright to get information concerning us, so we told this man who was sitting up with the sick man, that we wanted to get to the camp as quick as possible so as to get a fire started and get a cup of Coffee ready for our parents, for they had some bad luck with their wagon and they could not keep up with the rest of the Company; This man came out side the door and he was very kind[.] he told us that we were on the right road and he returned to the house, we thanked him very much for his kindness, and we started of[f] to find our camp, but we soon made up our mind, that it would be better to go back to the house where there was a dance as there were ladies there and we would surely be safe with them; and we then went back quickly as we could walk and rang the bell again[.] they come to meet us at the door. We then thought it best to tell them our adventure and that we were lost, and if they would let us stay there until daylight we would be very grateful unto them. They kindly told us to go in; Just then the man who was sitting up with the sick man, had heard our story to these ladies and spoke and said I knew these young ladies were lost and that some thing was [w]rong with them, and this is why I watched them after they left my house and I found out that they only went a short way after they left and soon I heard them running back. I was close to the road but they did not see me. I knew by the way they looked and spoke that they were in dispare, and I have come to find out and see if I could be of any assistance to them in their troubles what ever it maybe; he was a good man, thoes ladies at the dance house told us that they knew him well and if we prefered to stay with them until day light we were very welcome, as they had already told us, but if we wanted to go to camp this man who had been watching us. They would recommend him to us as an honest man, and he would be as a brother to us, and he would bring us safely to where we wished to go, so we thought it best to go. We kindly thanked them fortheir kindness to us; and started on our way[.] I then tried to keep up courage in thinking that we would now soon be to a Mormon Camp and would be alright, Miss Ponse [Pons] seemed not to be quite so gave out as I was. I began to look back on the advent when I held my knife ready to kill thoes men whom had assualted us and the thought made me feel almost sick, I never spoke one word after we left those kind ladies at the house, but before then I had done about all the talking. Miss ponse [Pons] now was telling the man who was taking us to Camp about our adventure as we walked along. When all at once a voice familliar to us spoke out and said; is that you miss Ponse [Pons] and what in the world brings you here so early? What has happened? this man had crossed the Sea with us, and we knew him and his wife. He was out as night watch, over the cattle to keep them together as much as was necessary. There were three others also who had crossed the Sea with us; This first man who had recognized Miss Ponse’s [Pons’s] voice and spoke said that he would take us to Camp and have his wife get us some breakfast so the gentleman who so kindly had offered his assistance to take us to camp said that he would now return and look after his brother who was sick and he hoped that all would be well with us. We very kindly thanked him for his assistance. We soon got to Camp. The Man’s wife got us some toast and a cup of Coffee and she insisted that we should lay down a little while, as her husband had to go back and help the other three men bring the cattle, so we laid down for a while for we were warren [worn] out intirely. When he returned he unloaded his wagon and arranged so he could take us back to our Camp. But the Captain had already fixed his bugy so we finely arrived there between eleven and Twelve O’clock A.M. nearly noon.
When we arrived to our Camp, there was a great rejoicing for nearly everybody thought that we were dead or that thoes inhuman men had taken us some where, where we could not be found by any of our people, My dear Mother was unable to speak above a whisper[.] the men were all out in search of us, my brothers had all managed to reach camp that same night, and when my brother John arrived at Camp and told our parents about thoes [those] two men promising to bring us safely to our Camp, in saf[e]ty, and saying that they were Mormons and that their families were at this Camp getting ready for the desert plains and that they also promised that we would arrive at our Camp before sundown, then every man turned out in search of us, calling us by our names, and they kept a fire burning all night, but hearing nothing, concerning us they began to think that thoes men had run away with us or perhaps they had killed us or maybe they had left us in the woods and some wild beasts had devoired [devoured] us; But God had watched over us and he had been true to this promise, when he had spoken through his servants when they blessed us and sealed thoes promises upon us and prophisied in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Ghost. That if we would do what was right and keep ourselves pure before our heavenly father that he would be with us in time of need; We had already passed through maney a trials for the sake of the everlasting Gospel, and the Greater our trials and the more faith we had in our Redeemer. For we knew that he lived and I will testify in his Holy name that he is ever ready to answer us when we are humbel before him and sincere in heart; It seemen [seemed] as though we still had some more trials to encounter right along through our journey, but we go out of all our trials in trusting in the devine [divine] love and guidance of our heavenly father; For whom so ever will trust in him. Shall not be disapointed. For he is ever ready to answer us when we have faith in him. We finely were about to start now for our long journey. When my Brother Bartholomew or Thomas, my youngest brother was sudenly taken sick with the Cholera we had to pos[t]pone our journey, again until my brother would recover[.] we done all that could be done, we had him administered too [to] by the elders and they prophesized that he would recover and that dread disease would depart from his body and they comanded the disease to depart from my brother, in the name of the father and the Son and the Holy Ghost and by the power of the Holy Priesthood which was vested in them and they sealed these blessings of health and stren[g]th upon him, and he very soon got well so that we were able to start the next morning and we fixed him as comfortable as possible in our wagon and started. All seemed in harmoney and all was glad and happy; We traveled 25 miles that day. Which was considered quite a distance; for the roads were very poor and the cattle were stil very stuborn and hard to drive; besides the drivers most of them had never attempted to yoke up cattle or even had seen how they were being yoked; truely some of them appeared as though they never could learn anything out side of their onely profession either weaving, working in the mines, or at a certain traid [trade]. Which they learned when in their younger days. And it seemed as though it was almost empossible that this long and tideous journey could ever be accomplished. But we had the promise that we should, at least, my father’s family, reach the end of our journey in due time and with health and stren[g]th if we kept our covenent and have faith in our redeemer; Therefore we had the safest guide that heaven and earth can claim. And we relied on this power and kept up good co[u]rage and all was going along as well as could be expected. When my father had the misfortune to sprain his ankle very badly so that he was laid up intirely. All my brothers had a team to drive and so I had to drive my father’s team nearly all the way to Salt Lake City, It was pretty hard job for me, but I made up my mind never to grumble and take everything just as they come, after being rescued from som [so] many incidents I felt that come what would I would not murmur; One evening after we reached a Camping place about two hundred miles journey, We all felt tired but we were very happy. We had prayer and singing every night and morning. Our Captain Mr [Robert Lang] Campbell was a noble man and he understood his business thouroly[.] He was jolley and kind, every body loved him for his kind ways. This was his third time that he had crossed the plaines for the porpose of bringing a Company of Latterday Saints in to Utah, after the singing our president spoke very incouraging to the Saints and urged them to be faithfull to their covenents, and be kind to each other and be as brothers and sisters and be united for we were on a journey of trials and not of luxsery. Never the less we had great cause to rejoice and be excidingly happy for the privi[le]dge of being called to Zion and there have the opportunity to learn God’s laws in these last despensation. After the benediction all went to bed as usual; But not to sleep long for about 12 o’clock we were awakened by Indian yells all around our Camp. But they did not come in to the Camp, but they stampeded all our cattle, there was not one left the men hearders [herders] were powerles intirely to stop them. They brought the news to our President of the incident; As a matter of course we all dressed our selves as quick as possible. Not knowing but what we would be attacked next but they did not molest us; At day break next morning our President called all the men to gether to find out who could swim as it was found out that all our stock had been driven across a large river, and as that was the only way left for us to get our stock, was for some of the men to swim across the river as we had not even a horse left us. My Brothers Phillip, John and Paul volenteered to go and also abo[u]t seven or eight others, they started very early and went to where they saw the place where the cattle were driven across and got ready to swim and all go across and they found our stock among the brush and they drove them back across, and counted them out and found that none had been separated; After all the stock had been driven across the boys thought of having a little fun and have a good swim, but my brother Philip being a very fair swimmer he turned around and plaied [played] with the boys and was in for a jolley time for a few minutes; But while pulling one an nother about in their fun, my Brother stepped backward in to a whirlpool and was carried off instantely one of the best swimmers attempted to rescue him but the current was very swift and he was carried quite a distance before he could be rescued and when they got him he was about dead, the boys done all that could be done to revive him but he was so far drowned that they had to carry him to camp as quick as possible and all that human hand could do was done; The Elders administered unto him also; His life was saved after much work and faith in God. We never forgot the promis[e] that was made unto us. and we exercised all our faith in our Redeemer, and he soon began to breath[e]; The first word he mut[t]ered was why did you not let me sleep, instead of causing me such great agoney? Deathe is easy to a drowning person, to what the sufferings are to be brought to life again. I often heard him say after he got well, how terrible sick he felt when life seemed to returne unto him[.] he said words could never express the misery and pain. Which he suffered; We got all our cattle and what few horses we had and started again on our jurney, We made consederable progress each day considering the very bad roads, some days we would travel until late at night on account of having to find a good camping place, where grass and water could be found, However we were progressing along very in coragingly [encouragingly] and we now had journaied the distance of about three hundred miles though we often had to stope and treat the Indians with provisions clothing & etc. in order to keep in the good side of them, for often they looked as though very little would bring out their savage nature and we would have but little or no chance to defend our selves; If the[y] should break out upon us, they well knew that we were but a handfull among them, as the plains were covered with diferent trib[e]s of indians and our people were not well equiped in arms or amunsion [ammunition], and we would stand no show among them[.] and as our Captain Mr. [Robert L.] Kambell [Campbell] had crossed the desert plain twice before he knew that kind treatment to Indians at such a time were far better than fighting them, so we would stop our train of wagons and give them what we felt able and even more for a great maney were not very well prepared to devide with the Indians for they had but limited supplys to serve them for the long and tideous journey which was before us all[;] in fact, but how ever we divided with the red skins right along in order to make sure of our lives from their savage atact [attack].
On arriving at a fair place for camping one evening about three hundred & 50 miles journey, after starting to get supper and milking our cows, (we were very much blessed in this;) My father had purchased two fresh milk cows for our use on the plains, as we had quite a large family to look after, Eight of our family and five of a poor family which my father had volentered to bring to Zion on his means, so that we were 13 in number and we found out that we had been very lucky to have these cows as we had more milk than we could use and could well divide a portion to thoes who had none[,] besides we had all the butter that we needed. We would put the morning’s milk into the churn and put the dasher in it and tie a clean towel around the top so no dust could possible [possibly] get in and fasten the churn at the back of the wagon and when we arrived our butter would be ready gathered at night when we arrived at camp so this made it very nice for us to have fresh butter every day. Well as I said supper was started and I had just taken the bucket or pail to milk the cows when here arrived three strangers on horse back. they come right up unmounted their horses saluted my father and mother and all of us[.] they tied their horses and one of them come up and asked me the priviledge to be allowed to milk the cows but I decidedly refused, If [I] felt that I would not allow him, for it would bring me under an obligation, which I considered would be a little unwise for me to acept; My father asked me to let him, but I said no. The three strangers however staid and tried to make themselves as agreable as possible with my parents and brothers and in fact they staid until supper was ready to be served and we could not but ask them to sup with us as we were out on the plains where there were no place for these men to get a meal, so my father invited them to partake of our Camping Hospitality; Which they gladly ac[c]epted: Father certainly had no idea what ever what they were there far [for], after supper they went and staked out their horses and returned and seemingly wanted to convers with my parents, but as they could not understand each other, they finly [finally] went to Elder [Serge Lewis] Baliff [Ballif] who could speak German, French and English. and they asked him to talk to my parents and to my sister and I[.] and they said that if they could get our parents consent and we girls to become their wives when we would reach Salt Lake. That they would get a caraage [carriage] for father[,] mother and we girls to ride in stead of riding in a loaded Cattle Wagon Which was not very pleasent, all this was very true but we did no[t] expect to go to Zion in such a luxcerious [luxurious] way beside all this we were not to be bought nor sold, We Latter Day Saints do not believe in selling our souls nor our children for money, nor property, and as a matter of fact they saw already Elder Balliff for he knew all about our principals and made it appear to those men that he had interpreted word for word concerning their proposals, at the same time we all were almost tempted to laugh right out at the idea, for strangers to come in to a Lattterday Saint Camp and thinking og [of] buying your ladies, they must have thought that money and caraages would be of inducement but they found their mistakes very quick when they offered us a large some [sum] of money we merely laughed at them and treated them with Scorn, though they told Elder Balliff that they would not ask us to marry them untill they would prove them selves worthy of us and join the Church, but such was intirely against our principle; But their long ride was not very successfull, for the next morning they could not find their horses and they left on foot. Though they had lots of money with them yet, they felt pretty sad of the matter. How ever we started on our journey and thought no more about them.
But after travling for a number of days we were about then five hundred miles on our Journey to the great Salt Lake. When we Camped near a hollow place Thickly covered with willows and brush, and though we had men out at night always to look after our stock and never before had we lost one single head, but this night in particular Elder Ballliff lost seven heads of his cattle, the men all turned out as soon as the breakfast was over but failled to find any trace of them what ever, but while he Elder Balliff was out late in the afternoon hunting for his cattle, who should he meet in among the brush but the very same men above mentioned; With horses and side saddles beside the ones [they] were riding themselves. They were intending to watch for we girls to come out and get wood and water as they knew that we usaly went out instead of our father, who was still very lame, o[u]r brothers as they generally had all they could do to look after the stock Etc. Elder Balliff inquired of these men if they had seen anything of seven head of cattle as he described then [them] very particullarly to them but they said that they had not seen them. Elder Balliff was rather surprised to see these men with extra horses and Ladies side saddles on them, he thought that some thing was up. He remarked to them, What brought them out in such a place in the wilderness, with horse equiped in such a style for Ladies appearently and in reply they confided in him their earnd [errand] and told him that if he would do them a great favor they would help him to find his lost cattle or if they could not find them they knew of some large cattle owners and they would buy him good cattle to replace those he lost, but onely on conditions that he would assist them on their plan, they said that they were there for the porpos [purpose] of watching an opportunity when we would be out for water or wood and they had their plan so arranged to take us up with out any one would find it out until it would be too late to find our where abouts, all they asked of him was this that he would so contrive to have us girls to go out in the evening just a little before dark. Mr. Balliff told them that he was not the man to sell his Honor for money or cattle nor yet would he be a criminal in deceaving pure verteous [virtuous] young Ladies and beside distroying the peace of aged parents and families; He thanked them for the offer made to him but said he would keep his conciance clear. They then asked if he could not healp them in any way; for him not to say anything to aney one concerning the matter but he left them with out one word and come direct to Camp and told my father all of what he knew concerning thoes men, and to see that he did not allow us to leave the Camp under no circumstances what ever. We girls staied in Camp that evening and the next few days. We did not attempt to go far [for] wood or water with out some one with us, and we staid close to our parents, as we now felt sure that these men were determent [determined] to get away with us if possible. Just because we were Mormon Girls. Perhaps they were some of the decendants of the mob who had in former days killed our Prophat [Prophet] Joseph Smith and his Brother Hirum [Hyram] and they masacred maney an innocent persons just because they were Latterday Saints[.] I will now tell yoy [you] my beloved Sons and Daughters, that the day is near at hand when such men as thoes Who assaulted us and followed us five hundred miles across the desert plains on porpus [purpose] to distroy us, and rejoice over their victory, that is if they had been able to gain and accomplish their vicious plans, to distroy the Servents of God, even us Girls Who had left our home for the sake of the everlasting gospel of Christ. I have often thought of it were possible that these men were the very ones Whom had in the first place tried to get away with us girls When We Were on our Way to our first Camp from the Mississipp[i] River[.] I could never ricognize them, again as I never for once looked at them after they first spoke about taking us to our Camp. I onely raised my eyes to their face then, and after we started, I was so very anxious to reach Camp that both Miss Ponse [Pons] and I Walked quite fast, and as I asked the man Who Walked by my side maney questions concerning matters pertaining to our Leaders, etc. etc. I never once raised my eyes to his face, and in feelling doubtfull of these two men’s honesty I felt rather anxouis to reach Camp as soon as possible, therefore I could never Identify them afterwards.