The Hunt Train had been making good time and Kentucky Hunt had decided to slow the wagons. There was no need to exhaust the oxen more than necessary, and pushing harder would still make their arrival at the river too late to safely cross before dusk.
It was therefore about seven in the evening when the train came to the riverside. Camp was made, and many had their thoughts on the caulking of the wagons, and the crossing that awaited them in the morning. This was not foremost in the mind of Reverend Amos Gilbert, a stern but friendly Baptist preacher from Cincinnati, however. He knew that the preparations would take several hour of the next Sabbath morn, so he approached Boss Hunt.
“What can I do for ya, Preacher,” Kent Hunt asked as the clergyman neared the centre fire.
“I have had a lot of opportunity the spend time with the Tolberts, and their girl Henni-Sue is ready to give herself over to the Lord. So I was thinking, that while you and your boys, and Sam Kelly and such are getting the wagons ready to cross, that I might take the Tolberts, and some of the young folks and ladies and have a little meeting.”
“Who will get your wagon ready, Preacher?” the Kentuckian asked.
“I suppose that the Jew – Weiss, and Kelly would do it,” the Ohioan responded.
“I have no objections, but if your wagon ain’t ready, I’m not hold’n the train up to wait for you.”
“More than fair,” the preacher responded.
The next morning the riverside was a hive of activity. Two hives in fact, as the Hunt Company men, and several of the wagon owners caulked wagons, and wrapped belonging for the crossing on one site, while William Tolbert and his wife, Henni praised God as their thirteen year old daughter, Henni-Sue was baptised by Gilbert.
Hunt and Gilbert both done with their respective ministrations, turned to each other and nodded. Soon the wagons were crossing the river, and the Hunt Train continued its journey to the Willamette.
Written for Daily Writing Prompt #31: Wagon Train
See also: Gladiators, Awaiting Discovery and The Rest part of my Oregon Trail Stories.