Who would have thought that I, Anne Whitmore, beloved daughter of a wealthy Boston businessman, would be bouncing along in this dirty, uncomfortable Conestoga wagon, wearing this dreadful, faded homespun dress and the most unfashionable bonnet I could have imagined?
My hair is filthy and stringy. My nails are short and chipped. I have scratches and bug bites all over my body. I have become the family maid and caregiver to my ungrateful, complaining parents. We are headed West to who knows where with robbers, Indians, and broken wagon wheels for excitement. And now, how can I ever keep my promise to my grandmother?
I want to remember my pleasant life in Boston with its fresh sea breezes, the refreshing carriage rides in the park, our fine home with a maid and butler, and hopefully, a proposal from the banker’s son—not the constant, choking, gritty dust of this hot, endless prairie as we ride into an unknown future.
Yet I have watched the Quaker family who are at peace with each other. Eli the carpenter, their tall, handsome son with the sparkling blue eyes, is so kind to me in spite of my tatty appearance. How very different he is from the banker’s son.