By J Arvid Ellison
They should have judged the prairie with more respect. It was wild, mercurial, unpredictable, and dangerous. Storms, stampedes, and savagery confronted them at every turn. Some did not survive. For those who survived, they would never be the same. Perhaps they should have waited a month or two before they started to follow the well-worn path to their American dream.
Lawrence was traveling forward to forget the past. So was his family. The winding trail that followed the Platte River was a long cord that connected his and their dreams for the future, with the disappointments of the past. He was, with his parents and sister, along with a wagon train of pioneers, riding unwittingly into the chaos of a full-scale Indian uprising. Hail, arrows, bison, and bullets flew thick and furious through the rarefied air above the rolling prairie. Then a human disguised as a mud-caked, leaf-laden phantasm emerged as if from the very earth? A young woman beaten down by circumstances. She surprised many, worried some, enraged others, and
changed Lawrence. She was not what anyone expected.