While the Civil War rages far away, Claire and her father set out on a journey from the Dakota Territory, hoping to catch up to the large caravan of Métis fur traders that left the day before. Their destination? The bustling city of St. Paul, where Papa wishes to open a photography studio. But with only Bone Bag, their one-horned ox, to pull their squeaky cart, they soon realize they may have to make their treacherous journey alone. Braving bad weather, packs of wolves, dangerous river crossings, starvation and exhaustion, can Claire and her father survive the deeply rutted ox cart trails?
If I had known how much my life was about to change, I would have spent that last day in Pembina differently. I would have said goodbye to my friends and visited the places that reminded me of Mama, especially the elm tree where she was buried. I would have sat at her grave telling her how much I missed her, and that I’d come back someday to visit.
But since I didn’t know any of that, I spent most of that day with Freda Two-Feathers, who was a half-breed like me.
Papa hated that word.
“You are Métis,” he’d say. “You are not half of anything, Claire.”
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