Jesse Meeker and Riley Fourkiller establish the first ranches along Osage Creek in northwest Arkansas where they raise horses and mules. They trade with Zenas Leonard, an old mountain man, and then Jesse helps Captain Randolph Marcy blaze the 1849 California Trail and chases the murderers of Lieutenant Harrison, grandson of President William harrison. Back home, the family has to deal with nightriding hoodlums and after an attack on their home, Jesse sells out and moves his family back to the Village on the Middle Fork. The family first travel the Cherokee Trail (not the Trail of Tears) west with gold seeking Cherokees. They stay at Bent's New Fort, trading horses and mules with travelers on the Santa Fe Trail. When Jesse returns to Arkansas, Zenas and his brother Jake stay, managing William Bent’s horse herd. They winter at Bent’s Picketwire Ranch and Zenas gets his first experience handling wild cattle. During the Civil War, he helps Mr. Bent haul material along the Santa Fe Trail. Hoping to settle in New Mexico Territory, he loses a herd of horses to Indians, trades along the Trail, and has an adventure with crooked gamblers and a stolen herd of horses.
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|Location||Call Number /
|Newark Public Library||WEST CRO (Text)