Practically beggared by financial reverses, the Reeds and the Blakes, neighboring families in an eastern town, leave for the California gold fields. After many days of weary travel they fall in with an emigrant train and continue westward. During the journey Jack Blake pursues his courtship and Mary Reed. Before the emigrants have completed more than two-thirds of their journey they find themselves in a territory peopled with hostile Indians. The Reed wagon and the Blake wagon become separated. Without any anticipation the redskins fall upon the handful of white men. Mary's mother is killed and herself, her father and brother barely escape with their lives. Even a worse fate overtakes Jack Blake. Every member of his family except himself is massacred. The surviving members of the Reed family settle in California, but the older Reed's sorrow for his dead wife preys upon him so heavily that he loses interest in the affairs of life. Surrounded by rough men, Mary accustoms herself to the ...
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