Friday, June 29, 2012

Story about William Jordan Flake Following the Prophet

From "To the Last Frontier," written by Lucy Hannah White Flake, William Jordan Flake's wife

    In the winter of 1873 William (Jordan Flake) was asked by Brigham Young, the Great Western Colonizer, to go with a party of twelve men on an exploring trip to Arizona. They had pack horses to carry their bedding and provisions and each one was mounted on a good saddle horse. They crossed the Colorado at Lee's Ferry, traveled south, passed the San Francisco Mountains and into the Upper Verde Valley. They passed through the vicinity of where Flagstaff is now located. They encountered deep snows and extreme cold weather. The snow in one place was so deep it was up to the shoulders of their saddle horses. The men took turns breaking the trail through these drifts. The lead horse would make six jumps then drop behind to catch his breath while the second horse would take six jumps. In this way they traveled all day.
     When Brigham Young sent the party out, he told them that they would have grass for their horses every night. The men had great confidence in his word and faith in his promises, but on this day it looked impossible for this promise to be realized. About four o'clock in the afternoon they looked down into a valley and there saw a small patch of green grass where the wind had blown the snow away. They headed their poor tired horses for it and that night they had the promised grass.
     After about two weeks of this intense cold and hardship, the men decided they had had enough of Arizona and started to return. At a certain place Adam Greenwood and William turned off to come to Beaver. Provisions were scarce and as they were only two days from home they gave what they had to the others who still had several days travel ahead of them.
     By night William and his companion were pretty hungry. Brigham Young had also promised the company that if they would not waste game which was plentiful in those days, that they should have meat when they needed it. They hadn't seen any game for two or three days and were getting hungry for meat.
     The two men had camped for the night. Had unsaddled their horses, built a campfire and were wondering how they were going twenty-four hours more without food. As they sat there warming and resting their tired limbs Adam said, "Bill, President Young promised us meat when we needed it, didn't he? Well, we need it now, if anyone ever did."
     "We will get it," my husband answered, confidently, "I never knew of one of Brigham Young's promises to fail."
     "Well, this is the one time when his promise will fail to the ground," said Adam.
     The two men were hovered around the fire. The sun was setting. Suddenly they saw at a distance a big white hare standing in the snow. William said, "Well, Adam, there is your meat."
     Adam remarked, "Bad as I want meat, I wouldn't go that far through this snow after it. If we are to have meat tonight, it will have to come to us."
     I have heard William tell many times how that big mountain hare came as direct to their fire as an arrow could fly. When it got near enough he hit it with a hard snowball he had made; it gave one jump into the air and was lying there in the snow kicking when he went to it, picked it up and wrung its head off. They had plenty of meat for supper and breakfast. They reached home that night.

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