There’s nothing like a good mystery to capture our imagination and flight Malaysian airlines Flight 370 has certainly done that. Such puzzling disappearances, however, are not new. The Old West had some very intriguing mysteries of its own. I especially like the following mystery because it’s also a love story.
In the late nineteenth century, A wagon train with a half dozen teams disappeared without a trace in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The team leader was Edward Earle, a widower who left behind a five year old daughter named Elizabeth.
Elizabeth’s aunt took over her care, but the child never stopped waiting for her father to walk in the door. As she grew older the question continued to haunt her; how does a wagon train simply vanish?
At the age of twenty, Elizabeth took a teaching job to relieve her aunt of her care. Around this time a young man by the name of Henry Merryweather began courting her, but she showed little interest in him or marriage.
Certain that her father’s mysterious disappearance was holding her back Merryweather set out to find the missing wagon train. It was now fifteen years later and his chances didn’t look good, but he was convinced that solving the mystery was the only way to win her heart.
After days of exploring the area where the wagon train was last seen he noticed a dam and small lake. The young trees told him the lake had been formed fairly recently. Looking up he realized the lake had been created by a major landslide.
Could this be the answer to the mystery that had haunted his beloved all these years? After much digging he found a horse’s hoof. Convinced he was on the right track, he hired several men to help him dig. It was a backbreaking job but they finally uncovered the wagon train that had been buried all those years. Among the articles found was a strong box containing seven hundred dollars in cash belonging to Elizabeth’s father. It also contained stock which had been worthless at the time of his death but had since gained in value.
Much to Merryweather’s profound relief Elizabeth was indebted to him for solving the mystery that had haunted her for so many years. Not only did he win her hand in marriage—but also her heart.
Let’s hope we don’t have to wait fifteen years to find out what happened to Flight 370.
What mysteries have kept you guessing?
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Margaret has published more than 46 books and is a N.Y. Times Bestselling author and two-time Romance Writers of America Rita Finalist. She writes historical novels set--where else?--in the Old West! She has written for a day time soap and is currently working on a new series. Not bad for someone who flunked 8th grade English. Just don't ask her to diagram a sentence.