Susan Page Davis is the author of more than 50 novels and novellas in the historical romance, mystery, and suspense genres. She is the mother of six and grandmother of nine. A Maine native, she now lives in western Kentucky with her husband Jim. Visit her website at: www.susanpagedavis.com
A Westward Journey
by Susan Page Davis
The trip west was made by thousands in the 1850s. The long, arduous trip began full of promise. For many it ended in tragedy. My husband’s ancestors, the Perkins family, traveled across the plains in 1856, heading for California. They took a southern route, through Arizona, with a wagon train of about a hundred people.
Their first close encounter with the southwestern Indians scared great-great grandmother Mollie Perkins, who was twelve years old at the time. She and her mother, aunt, and nine-year-old sister Delilah had walked ahead of the wagon train, having no fear, as they hadn’t seen any Indians for several days. As they approached a ravine, hoping to find water there, or at least some shade beneath the willows, they found themselves suddenly surrounded by Indians. Terrified, they walked back the way they had come. When the Indians heard sounds of the wagon train, they disappeared into the brush.
One night the wagon train was camped. Mollie’s sister had torn her dress, and her mother sent her into the wagon to get a needle and thread. Delilah went into the wagon to get it, and when she rummaged for it, she accidentally fired a gun, shooting herself in the abdomen. She died two hours later and was buried there by the trail.
In Another Christmas Story, my novella in the Westward Christmas Brides collection, the story opens with another tragedy. Beryl’s father has been shot in a hunting accident and is critically wounded. His dire condition forces Beryl and her little brother, Sam, to leave the wagon train and stay with the family that runs the nearest trading post on the Oregon Trail. Their mother has previously passed away, and with their father’s death imminent, Beryl has to make some hard decisions. Will she take Sam on to Oregon, as her father had planned, or go back East to live with relatives there? In the meantime, they are stranded by bad weather with the Lassen family for the winter. Beryl can’t see what’s ahead, but God has plans for her and Sam’s future.
Westward Christmas Brides, take the journey into the American west alongside nine women who are chasing their dreams—Cynthia, for security; Beryl, for a new family; Adeline, for freedom; Molly, for marriage; Beth, for a new start; Belinda, for a place to heal; Suzette, for adventure; Juliet, for peace; and Caroline, for a future for her children. Celebrate Christmas alongside these pioneers as love finds them in nine distinctly different romances penned by leading Christian fiction authors, including Wanda E. Brunstetter, Vickie McDonough, Melanie Dobson, and more.
Thanks you, Susan, for joining us and telling us about your novella in this collection. I am certainly glad that I didn’t live back then. There are too many conveniences that I love in the here and now. 🙂