Gritty red dust clouded the air and stung their faces as Pa pulled the horses up to the starting line. Jenary braced her hands against the sides of the rough boards of the wagon. A part of her still dreaded the rough ride to the land Pa talked about, yet Jenary felt a butterfly spark of impending excitement flutter in her tummy.
A blast of gun fire echoed, signalling the start of the race. The crowd shouted, "Oklahoma or Bust!" The race was on.
Mother held on to her bonnet as Pa shouted. "Yeehaw! Giddyup, Sade! Come on Prince!" His voice seemed lost, yet added to the chorus of hundreds of yelling people. Whips cracked in the air.
Excited horses lurched forward and the wagon bounced along the bumpy ground. Wagon boards creaked and shuddered. Spring less wheels jarred the bench where Mother sat. Jenary had heard Pa tell about the open land into Oklahoma Territory. He had warned them about the deep ravnies and streams, and the crossing of the Cimarron River. It was her and Billy's job to take care of their belongings in the wagon.
Jenary closed her eyes. For a moment she was afraid to open them. What if the wagon flipped or crashed? Would it hold together until they crossed the Cimarron River?