When gold was discovered in 1849, thousands of people, mostly single men eager to make a quick fortune, journeyed the Oregon Trail west to California. Before the Gold Rush, from 1845 to 1849, the travelers were mostly families seeking more fertile farmland and a better way of life. They were few in number and consequently not much of a threat to the Cheyenne and other Indians who roamed the plains. For a brief time, white settlers and the Indians lived in relative peace.
This imaginary, but plausible, story of "The Lost Rag Doll" takes place during these fleeting, peaceful years. Independence Rock in the background sets the scene-the Oregon Trail along the Sweetwater River in what is today southwest Wyoming. Fresh wheel tracks suggest the recent passing of a wagon train. A Cheyenne scout, a faint smile upon his lips, has found the rag doll that a little girl on the wagon train has left behind. Perhaps he will bring it back to his own daughter, who will cherish it and keep alongside the wooden dolls she made herself.
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