Silver City Massacre

Silver City Massacre by Charles G. West

Book: Silver City Massacre by Charles G. West Read Free Book Online
Authors: Charles G. West
We’re burnin’ daylight.”
    â€¢Â Â Â â€¢Â Â Â â€¢
    Thanks to Elvira’s fierce defense of her uncle’s wagon, the Indian raiders had not gotten the opportunity to plunder it. So she was able to save the cooking implements that she and her sister had used but that she had not taken with her when they had hurried off to rescue Ruthie. Most of the possessions that were burned were not of necessity to her now, including all but a few pieces of her clothing. Most of what she carried away with them were her brother-in-law’s clothes, which she found more suitable for the task ahead of her.
    The wagon of Ruthie’s parents suffered the most fire damage, leaving the young girl with little more than what she was wearing when she was captured. Elvira told her that she would improvise suitable clothing for her from the trunk of clothes that belonged to her sister.
    â€œWe’ll be all right,” she assured Ruthie. “What I can’t make, we can buy.” She gave her a mischievous wink of her eye. “Damn Injuns didn’t have enough sense to steal our money.”
    Before they set out, there was a short discussion between Joel and Riley to decide if it was necessary to go to Fort Hall anyway, even after learning the fort was no longer there. Ruthie and Elvira had no interest in staying there. That much was certain.
    â€œSure as hell, there must still be a tradin’ post there if we need anything in the way of supplies,” Riley said. Upon considering that which they had gained from the misfortune of Elvira and her friends, they decided they were well supplied. “Hell, we’ve even got us a coffeepot now—won’t have to boil it in that bent-up pot no more. And we can save a little time if we head west through those mountains runnin’ alongside us instead of ridin’ on into Fort Hall. If I ain’t lost my recollect altogether, there ain’t no more mountains for a long spell on the other side of those we’re lookin’ at. So we can follow that valley right to the Snake.”
    That seemed agreeable to everyone, so they started out toward an obvious pass in the mountain range to the west. Joel and Riley drove their little herd of horses ahead of them. Without being asked, Elvira pushed the chestnut up on the flank and kept the herd going in the right direction. Riding one of her father’s horses, Ruthie followed along behind. Riley looked at Joel and grinned.
    It ain’t a big herd, but it is a herd,
he thought.
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    Riley’s memory was reliable. When they found their way through the mountain chain, they rode out on a gentle valley floor. After camping at the foot of the hills for the night, they started out again the next morning, holding a northwest course until finally reaching the Snake River on the evening of the second day.
    â€œThey weren’t foolin’ when they said it wasn’t an easy river to cross, were they?” Joel murmured to himself.
    Overhearing him, Riley said, “No, especially if you’re talkin’ about crossin’ it with a wagon and a team of horses. You ain’t seen this river at her meanest yet. About a hard day’s ride west of here, it don’t even look like the same river, a place where somebody named it Shoshoni Falls, after the Injuns, I reckon. Damnedest waterfalls you’ve ever seen—and fish, this river is full of fish—best place to catch salmon is at the falls. You see, the falls are too high, the fish can’t swim up it, so they’re just waitin’ there for you to catch ’em. The easiest place to cross is about three days from here at a spot called Three Island Crossin’, and it ain’t an easy crossin’, just the best one.”
    â€œDo we need to cross over at all?” Elvira asked.
    â€œWell, most trains did,” Riley replied. “It’s a sight easier

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