California Trail Discovered
Series: The Whitcomb Discoveries
Current Status: Editing
Note: The cover shown here is a mockup and not the official cover. One will not be created until the book is published.
A teen vows to discover who murdered his parents but must first survive the perils of traveling West with his guardian before he can find his way back home.
Note: Teachers and homeschoolers using this book as part of their social studies and/or language arts curriculum will find S.T.E.A.M. lessons for the novel at the link below.
An Inside Look at California Trail Discovered
Chapter One - The Fire
February 10, 1846
Princeton Township, Bureau County, Illinois
Daniel flailed his arms and struggled to free himself from Morgan’s grasp as he stared at his childhood home, now engulfed in flames. “Let me go!” His voice cracked. “Ma and Pa are in there!”
Morgan adjusted his grip around Daniel’s broad chest. “I already tried to get them out.” His voice came thick and heavy. “There was no way. Sorry, son.”
Daniel pounded on Morgan’s arms, but his father’s business partner held fast. Daniel’s breath came in short gasps as he watched a chain of neighbors pass water buckets up the hill from the creek behind his home. Splashing buckets of water onto the flames did as much good as spitting on a garden to make it grow during a drought.
A full moon cast ghoulish shadows onto the ground while flames licked the sides of the house and billowed out the roof. Numbness rose from Danie's feet to his arms. His whole body shook. "I should've gotten here sooner. I went to our blacksmith shop after supper..." Daniel tried to explain, but a wave of shock and hysteria cut off his thoughts. "Oh, God!" His voice cracked again.