Richards, L. L. Greene, "Favie's Scrapes and Scrambles," Juvenile Instructor, 1 Nov. 1900, 727-30; ibid., 1 Dec. 1900, 790-93; and ibid., 15 Dec. 1900, 826-29.
"To the West, to the West" was theme of their song.
As weary and footsore they journeyed along,
O'er rivers and sterile plains;
Those pilgrim exiles, the "Pioneers,"
With all their burdens and cares and tears,
They sang, and in lofty strains,
Their praises rang out on the silent air,
For they knew their God and His peace were there.
They sang of the faith which had made them strong,
Of hope and charity, and their song
Was one that the Lord might hear;
Leaving the world with its hard, rough ways,
They sang of the future's brighter days,
With gratitude, love and cheer.
And the song of their hearts was an earnest prayer,
For God and His angels and peace were there.
Having vacated his house, which he had sold, Brother Kane with his family commenced life on the camp ground, as the company was not ready to start.
The next day or two Brother Kane spent helping several widows to get their things on to the camp ground, and assisting the brethren in organizing the company. On the 11th they started to travel.
That day they had to climb a long, steep hill. They doubled teams and took one up, then returned with teams for the other wagon. Norman, their young neighbor, was helping them off; he hooked up and forgot to put the chain through the iron on the tongue of the wagon. When part way up the hill, the tongue dropped and the wagon went rolling backward down, down, down! at a rapid rate.
What the feelings of Brother and Sister Kane must have been can scarcely be imagined, for two of their children, Nellie and Lillie, were in the wagon, which was loaded with boxes and goods of different kinds. The road being full of ruts and stumps, was very rough; and as the little girls were bounced and batted about among the boxes, Nellie threw her arms around her baby sister to shield her as much as possible from being bruised and hurt.
"Oh, Nellie! do you fink we are going to be killed?" Lillie asked.
"I don't know, dear, but if we are, we will go together," said Nellie heroically.
And Nellie almost felt a satisfaction in the thought that if they were to be killed, it was herself and not one of the other children who was taking care of Lillie at the time, so great was her love for her little sister.
Today it is a pleasant curiosity, and is becoming a not infrequent thing, to see the "automobile," with smiling occupants and no apparent assistance, gliding along the street. But its course and motion are controlled by the power of man.
Very different was that fast ride of Nellie's and Lillie's, nearly fifty years ago, as the wagon they were in went whizzing, twisting, bounding and leaping down the long, steep, jutted hill, beyond the reach of human power to guide or check its mad flight.
But, "God and His angels and peace were there."
The wagon in its wild course down the hill was about to strike a huge stump which would have shattered it in pieces, and likely have killed or injured the children, when fortunately the iron in the end of the tongue caught a snag in the road, which cramped the wagon in such a way that it soon stopped, having turned completely crosswise of the road.
The wagon was damaged some; the people who witnessed the "runaway" were badly frightened; and that snag was looked upon as a most providential interruption. The children escaped with only a few slight bruises.
The company camped that evening, and the next morning drove to the ferry on the Missouri river before breakfast.
After a great many of the company were taken across, brother Kane's turn came. The boat leaked and the water had to be bailed out all the time. There were many things to attract the attention of the children, and while the family were crossing, somehow three-year-old Lillie fell overboard into the wide, deep dark river. A nail on the edge of the boat caught the hem of her dress, which prevented her sinking out of sight, and a brother by the name of Edwards reached down and lifted her out of the water. She was unhurt except strangled and frightened somewhat. But Rhoda and a dear kind-hearted girl who was called Satsie, cried over Lillie because of the accident, and agreed that some influence was trying to kill her, and that one or the other of them must keep hold of her after that. And many times, during the long, hot days that followed, as the company journeyed over the great desert, when Lillie would cry because the sand burnt her feet, and still she did not want to ride when all the others were walking, Satsie and Rhoda would take turns carrying her. And often Favie carried her and drove his team at the same time. Or he would place the little one upon the broad back of one of his oxen and let her ride there.
One day it seemed as though the sun was more terribly hot than usual. And in the afternoon, all of a sudden a fierce thunderstorm came on, and the company had to stop and unyoke their oxen and tie them to the wagons to prevent their running off.
Sister Kane climbed into one of their wagons, and under its cover, with her children crowded in around her, sat watching and listening to the storm. A deafening clap of thunder and a blinding flash of lightening came very near to them, and as it cleared away, they saw that it had struck and killed a large bull which was fastened to the back of a wagon only a few steps from their own.
Favie, who was out with the men herding the loose cattle, ran to the wagon to see if any of the family were hurt, and found them only shocked and pale. The company all felt thankful that it was an animal and not a human being that had been struck.
After awhile the storm passed over and the teams were again hitched up and a short drive was made before the company camped for the night.
The evenings were usually welcome, restful times for those weary travelers. The evening meal was enjoyed with greater relish than that of the morning or mid-day, for it could be eaten more leisurely, and pleasant chat could be carried on while it was partaken of. But in the morning it was necessary to hasten all preparations for the day's journey, that they might go as far as possible before the sun had risen high and made the air and ground so fearfully hot.
And by noon the sun would beat down upon them with such force that to sit or lie in whatever shade they could find, seemed better than to eat.
A boy about Favie's age, who drove a team just back of his, lay down under the wagon during the noon rest one day, and went to sleep. And so fatigued was he that he slept on, no one noticing him, when the teams were again hitched up and ready to travel. They started, and William, (that was the name of the poor boy,) slept on; the wheel of his heavily loaded wagon passed over his body and killed him. There was great sorrow in the camp over that sad death. But the only thing that could be done was to dig a grave, make a coffin out of some goods boxes, hold very short funeral services, bury the dead, and leave him there.
The camping for evening was generally interesting; the wagons being so arranged as to form a circle. The fires were kindled by some of the people, while others unyoked the oxen, or hunted up fuel of any kind that could be found, to help cook their supper.
Favie was a great hand for pancakes, "flap-jacks," he used to call them; and he had learned in some way how to "flap" the cakes over when they needed turning. Satsie could not do it, nor Rhoda, nor any of the girls; they had to have a knife to turn the cakes. But Favie would catch hold of the handle of the frying-pan, give it a little shake and a toss, and over would go the cake so slick and so quick that all hands were amused at the action.
After supper, there would be singing, always of a comforting and cheerful nature. The young woman, Satsie, was from Wales, and would sometimes do her part towards helping to entertain by singing a Welsh song or hymn. That would please the young people very much.
Satsie was a great favorite in the Kane family. She had come to them in Kanesville, during the time of their sore affliction, when the dreadful sickness of which you have been told was upon them. And she had been so faithful and kind that she was now regarded almost like one of their very own household.
OH! who can tell the mighty age
Of the Rocky Mountain, so strong and tall?
Who understands the wonderful page,
Writ by the sun and the storms' wild rage,
On its rough and massive wall?
Oh! glad are the echoes the travelers wake,
While heavenward sending their grateful cheers,
As the summit they gain and their first view take
Of the valley where lies the Great Salt Lake,
And the home of the Pioneers.
Sometimes, while traveling in the heat and dust, the children would get so hungry and thirsty that they would look for almost anything along the road with which to refresh themselves. Someone found out that even prickly pears with much careful cleaning could be made safe for eating and were quite pleasant to the taste.
Rhoda and a girl a little older than herself were one day walking together and came to a bed of the prickly pears. They knew they must not stop long, but thought they might each take just one pear and clean and eat it.
The other girl proposed a race to see which could the more quickly clean and eat her pear, to which Rhoda agreed. In her anxiety not to be beaten, Rhoda's competitor began eating her pear before she had thoroughly cleared it of its prickers. The result was a very painful one. The young girl's lips and tongue were badly pierced by the prickers which she had left on the fruit, and were sore for a number of days.
It was a good lesson to the children, who took more pains than ever to see that no prickers were left on a prickly pear when they began eating it.
A poor old line-backed cow gave out one day and had to be left. When the worn-out animal dropped down, a troop of birds flew about, and some of them settled upon her. One little magpie was so impudent and daring as not to fly when Nellie shook her apron at them to drive them away from the cow. So the little apron was quickly dropped over the saucy magpie, and Nellie held it fast.
That was quite an item among the young folks in the train. Stories were told about parrots and magpies learning to talk. How their tongues had to be cut; how they could be taught to sing and say funny things, and how knowing and interesting they would be. Nellie was going to have her bird learn everything that could be taught to birds, for it was certainly very intelligent. When she caught it, the very first thing it tried to bite her hand. But she fed it some bits of bread, and treated it very gently, and it soon learned that she was its friend; or she thought so, at least.
Favie promised to hunt some sticks and tacks and strings and make a cage for it; and Nellie was going to make a great pet of her "Mag," and keep it forever, or as long as it would live.
All the children wanted to hold it in turn. Nellie was always very generous, and willing to share her pleasures with others. But she did not quite like to risk letting the little girls take Mag.
Lillie coaxed pitifully to be allowed to hold it just one minute. Nellie could not refuse her baby sister's pleading, and so, after giving Lillie very careful instructions just how to do, she placed her bird in the little hands. No sooner were Nellie's hands removed from the bird than, as if it knew perfectly the state of affairs, it nipped Lillie's finger, when she quickly let go of it. Like lightening the bird flew away to join its former friends who were so much more to it than the new ones who were trying to adopt it and make it feel at home with them.
A brother Fuller and a young man named Mackey, from Salt Lake, met the train in which the Kane family traveled, and brought some ox teams to help the company into the valleys. The help was much needed and greatly appreciated.
Now the travelers were nearing the mountains, and the warm season was about spent. Occasional cold storms began to make the traveling disagreeable in a different way to that experienced in the heat and dust of summer. But there were still some bright, pleasant days, which were greatly enjoyed.
They camped one night by a small mountain of bare rocks. Afterwards, as they traveled on and came to the foot of the "Rocky Ridge," they met a band of Shoshone Indians.
One of the Indians rode close to Favie's team, and his pony jumped over the oxen, either from fright, or because the rider made him do it. That frightened the oxen, and also Satsie and Rhoda, who were riding down the hill in Favie's wagon. Rhoda jumped out of the wagon, but fortunately was not hurt. Quite a commotion was caused by these incidents. The train stopped, as the Indians wanted to talk and trade with the men. Brother Fuller bought a pony of one of the Indians. And that evening when they camped, Brother Mackey tied Favie on the pony, and they made sport for the company.
Among the camping places at which the travelers rested were places called Pacific Springs, Little Sandy and Big Sandy. Then they came to Green River, which is six hundred miles long. The water of the Green River is very clear but has a greenish cast. Both Big and Little Sandy run into Green River.Near their camping place on Green River was a trading post, owned by a Frenchman whose name was Batteese Leauscheau. This man had married two squaws.
He came to the train to see if he could buy or sell or trade something with the travelers.
Batteese, as he was called, was very dark complexioned, but he had a good-natured look, and his voice was soft and pleasant. He wore buckskin pantaloons and shirt which were trimmed with fringe of the same material, and moccasins which were beautifully ornamented with colored beads. Very likely his clothes were made by his wives.
Brother Kane and some of the others bought some dried cod-fish and bacon of Batteese; and after talking awhile and telling some stories about the country and his own life there, he went back to his double-roomed cabin. Favie went with him, and found that Batteese and his wives were very hospitable and seemed to live comfortably and happily together.
Part of the train, becoming anxious to get to the valleys, began making long, hard drives, leaving the others behind them. But they found that did not pay, for their poor, worn cattle soon gave out entirely, and the men were then obliged to stop and let them rest. The more patient ones, among whom was Brother Kane, soon overtook those who had tried to hurry. And like the tortoise with the hare, the more careful drivers might have passed on and left the more hasty ones; but they were generous and charitable, and helped their brethren along, because of their crippled teams.
It was past the middle of September now, and cold rain storms made the traveling very tedious and difficult. One afternoon old Turk, as they called one of the best oxen in Brother Kane's team, gave out, and they had to go on and leave him. When they camped, Brother Kane went back to see if Turk would drive up, and found him dead.
Besides the value of the ox in helping to draw the wagon, and the loss to the family in that regard, it seemed like losing a near friend to have one of the faithful animals, that had shared the hardships of the journey, die and have to be left. But many sad experiences of that kind had to be met by the pioneering Saints.
Eighty-one Elders from the valleys, on their way to several mission fields, camped near Brother Kane's company on Green River one night. Then there was singing and talking and quite an old-fashioned good time. And the poor travelers were revived and encouraged, and felt that sometime they should reach the resting place from which these Elders had come.
Another time, Brigham H. Young and William Huntington's camp was near enough to Brother Kane's so that he walked over and stayed all night with them; and got from them some flour and bacon to help feed his own company, with some of whom provisions were beginning to get quite low.
There were in the company a few horse and mule teams. One morning those animals were not to be found. After awhile some Indians came with them and said they had found them. The Indians rode along by the wagons for awhile, and wanted very much to trade for some of the girls in the camp.
One young woman very foolishly and laughingly accepted an invitation to ride on a horse belonging to one of the Indians. No sooner was she seated on the animal's back than all the Indians (five or six in number) gave a wild whoop and started the horse up the hills away from the train.
The Indians all ran with and after the horse in great excitement, whooping and yelling and urging the horse on, with the frightened girl still upon its back.
The train had to stop, and the men had great trouble in rescuing the girl.
The Indians were angry, and for several days they followed the train stealthily, determined to capture the girl and keep her.
Very strict guard had to be kept over the wagon in which the girl had to be closely hid.
Not only had the young woman's thoughtlessness placed herself in danger, but any other girl in camp was liable to be taken off in her stead.
It was discovered that Rhoda was watched by one of the young "braves" and she too had to be kept out of sight in the back of a covered wagon.
On the first of October there was so heavy a snow storm that the company had to remain in camp all day.
Come, Weary ones, rest ye! The journey is done.
You have traveled afar, towards the low setting sun.
Lie down on your beds for a while and take breath—
But sink not, beloved, in the cold sleep of death!
Rest the poor, aching limbs which so patiently trod,
In the gathering place of the people of God:
Rest, rest! Then arouse ye; the race is not run;
Though the journey is passed, still there's much to be done.
It might have been a good thing for the almost worn-out teams, and people as well, that the snow storm came, and compelled them to lay by a day. For although it was cold and disagreeable camping in the mountains in a snow storm, it was not so bad as giving completely out would have been.
The next morning, the 2nd of October, was pleasant, and for several days then, they traveled slowly on.
Always, when their teams were so overdone that they could go no farther, or their provisions just gone, recruits from the valleys would meet them and give them help and new courage to press on. So they traveled through the snow in the mountains, and crossed the rivers they came to, passing up and down in the canyons, until, on the 12th day of October, they came into the City of Great Salt Lake.