The Great Galveston Disaster, Containing a Full and Thrilling Account of the Most Appalling Calamity of Modern Times Page: 320
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320 HAVOC MADE BY THE ANGRY STORM.
"There were no burial services. The men who did work were
simply doing what they could to relieve the air of them. They
were not gentle, but how could they be gentle, when the bodies lay
there with their black faces, with their terribly swollen tongues and
the odor of decomposition threatening those who lived ?
"In the debris from Galveston was everything. I was struck
with the idea that this must have impressed the people that the
world had come to an end. For twenty-five miles on the land into
the interior this disorderly element raged. It destroyed and it
mangled, and when it ceased really the sea had given up its dead
and the secrets of life were revealed, for walking among the debris
I found a trunk. It had been broken open by the waves.
"Letters were blurred by the waves. I picked up one, and it
began, 'My darling little wife,' and I closed it and threw it among
its fellows on the drift. She was dead. She had kept this letter.
Their sacred relations were exposed by this terror to those who
would read them. There were dozens of men who picked up those
letters. No one read them, for man is not so bad after all.
WRINGING THEIR HANDS IN AGONY.
Two women-I talked to them-had left two children each
in Galveston in the destroyed district, and they sat through that
whole five hours' trip wringing their hands and trying to curb the
volcano of lamentation which lies in the mother's heart when those
of her flesh are imperiled or dead.
"We passed corpses. We passed the corpses of men and
women and children. The moon was out, floating real brilliantly,
and the boat cut past, barely missing a woman with her face
turned toward God and the sky. I fervently prayed I might never
the the like again. And when we reached the wharf, torn and
skinned so that we had to creep to land, I saw beneath me, white
and naked seven bodies.
" My very soul turned cold at the grewsome sight. Horrible I
The contemplation of it yet makes me sick, though I have seen
things since then that make me and would make the world sick,
if I were able to describe them, unto death."
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Lester, Paul. The Great Galveston Disaster, Containing a Full and Thrilling Account of the Most Appalling Calamity of Modern Times, book, 1900~; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth26719/m1/378/: accessed June 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .