Prologue The Oregon Trail, 1859
Five-year-old Susanna Ward stood in the middle of the wagon ruts looking at the mound of dirt. Even though the dirt had been pounded down to almost level with the trail, Susanna could see where the hole had been dug. Behind her, she could hear the hushed voices of the women who were preparing supper and the men who were all talking in low, somber tones.
Last night Susanna had been watching her little brother, Caleb, while their mother, Sophia, was helping the other women prepare beans, bacon, and biscuits for the communal supper. Her father, Byron, had been with...