Chapter from GOLDEN SANDS OF NOME - BOOK I
This book is a work of fiction, based on fact. It seems my great grandfather had a mining claim consisting of forty acres along Last Chance Creek approximately three miles from Nome, Alaska during the gold rush of 1897 to 1905. He was there from 1902 to 1904 when his mining claim was jumped and he could not get it back. I wanted to know why and went to the Loussac Library in Anchorage, Alaska, about one hundred forty miles from my home in Sherman. What I found there was astounding, the worst scandal ever in Alaska
Based on the information I found about all of the above, I have invented a tale of what I imagined my great grandfather went through at that time. I have taken the liberty of using some of my ancestor’s names but most people in this book are simply figments of my imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons still living and/or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is purely coincidental.
The publisher does not have any
control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third party
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The ship was rocking and heaving in the heavy seas and fierce relentless winds. Robert McCloud was being examined by the ship’s doctor. He had been ill almost since the voyage began, two weeks before. The doctor looked very concerned and told Robert that in his opinion, the symptoms would clear up as soon as they reached land or calmer waters.
He said Robert needed fluids more than anything, but Robert was unable to keep anything down almost the entire trip. He seemed severely dehydrated and his heart sounded very erratic. Dr. Palmer stopped Robert’s daughter, Christy as soon as he found her, several feet away from the cabin waiting. He told her he was afraid her father was very ill indeed and might not live for very long. She hurried to the cabin in a panic.
Her father was on the bunk in the cabin when Christy came bursting in, crying. “Oh father,” she sobbed, “Please don’t leave me! What shall I do? Where shall I go? How can I live?”
“Daughter, don’t cry. I’ll be all right soon. It’s just this damnable trip on this rolling boat that my body can’t seem to cope with”.
Christy hugged him and told him how much she loved him and calmed down somewhat.
The motion of the boat became noticeably worse and she became sick as well. “How long before we get to Alaska, father?” she asked.
“Possibly another two weeks, honey.”
“But it’s already been two weeks and I don’t think I can stand any more of this.”
The boat lurched and bounced on. Soon they docked at Dutch Harbor, where the water was calmer, so the ship could stock up on coal and food supplies. They had to spend several days there since the boats near Nome were all stuck in the ice.
Several days later, father died of heart failure in spite of the calmer waters, and was buried at sea. Christy clung to life but wished she too could die and avoid the pain and misery of ocean travel and the loss of her father.
They were underway again a few days later and eventually they reached land; they were at Cape Nome, but there was no dock and the water was too shallow for any of the large ships to get within a mile of shore, so all the passengers had to be rowed ashore in lifeboats with the luggage, or hoisted up on a platform by a shore based crane, which then swung them over the surf to shore. Those who came in small boats had to either wade ashore in the icy frigid water or be carried on one of the men’s backs as they waded ashore in rubber boots, to the beach.
In the meantime, after her father was buried at sea, the captain of the boat sought Christy out and informed her that her return trip was not paid for and if she wished to go back to where she came from, not very near San Francisco in California, she would need the full fare OR, she could go for free if she would agree to share his cabin and his bed. She, of course, declined. The captain was a sleazy and ugly natured character, both in looks and disposition. Besides, she said to him, she had nowhere to go. Her mother died just two years before, and her father sold their small farm and all their belongings just to have enough money for the trip for both of them and his grubstake as well, so he could begin his gold mining adventure.
end of CHAPTER 1 - hope you enjoyed it and buy my book...Mary Lovel