The Westerman family works to overcome the trials of homestead life.
Mary Jean Kelso
Tom watched Maria as Rigor's crony dragged her from her perch atop the wagon. She clung tightly to the cold metal bar that ran around the seat that was designed to keep the driver and his companion from sliding off.
"Come on," the man tugged her. She kicked at him and clipped him in the chin. He fell to the ground. He had already pulled her past the edge of the seat. Maria was forced to cling to the seat rim and try to pull herself back up onto the top, or lose her grip and fall to the earth beside him.
The man cursed, got to his feet, and came back to grab her ankles and pull her the rest of the way off the wagon.
A young girl's scream, a baby's wail and a toddler's cry broke the quiet of the countryside near Moriarty, New Mexico. Although unheard by neighbors too distant to help, their voices screeched a heartrending cry.
Their mother lay writhing in pain at their feet.