The Great Galveston Disaster, Containing a Full and Thrilling Account of the Most Appalling Calamity of Modern Times Page: 362
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362 AN ISLAND OF DESOLATION.
The stores were ruined and deserted, and the blight of
destruction was visible as far as the eye could reach. As horrible
as all this was, it was as nothing to the hopeless faces of the
miserable men, women and children in the streets.
I will not undertake to describe them, but as long as I live I
will never forgot them. Many I knew personally, and these gave
greeting, but God, it was nothing but a handshake and tears. It
seems that everybody I had ever known here had lost somebody.
The tears in their eyes, the quiver of their voices, the trembling of
lips ! The brand of agony was upon their faces and despair was
written across their hearts. I would plunge a dagger through my
heart before I would endure this experience again.
The readers of this must pardon the personal nature of this
narrative. It is impossible to write without becoming a part of
the story this tine. I met Elma Everhart, formerly a Dallas boy.
I had known him from childhood, and all his people. Indeed, I
had once been an inmate of their home in Oakcliff. I hardly knew
him when he stopped me, he had grown so much. He said:
" Katy and her baby are at Dickinson. That town was destroyed,
but they are alive. I anm going there and leave Galveston forever."
A TERRIBLE FATE.
I knew he had woe in his heart, and I queried.
"I am the only one left," he answered. "Papa, mamma,
Lena and Guy-they are all gone."
I remember the last time I saw this family before they left
Dallas. I remember Lena, one of the most beautiful children I
ever saw. I recall her beautiful eyes and long, dark curls, and I
remember when she kissed me good-bye and joyously told me she
was coming to Galveston to live! And this was her fate.
With all myold fondness forthe ocean, recallinghowI havelain
upon the sand hour after hour, looking at its distant sails and listening
to its mysterious voices, recalling happy moments too
sacred for expression, when I think of that sweet child as one of
its victims, I shall hate the sea forever.
And yet, what can this grief of mine amount to in the pres-
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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/m1/420/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .