The Great Galveston Disaster, Containing a Full and Thrilling Account of the Most Appalling Calamity of Modern Times Page: 371
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Thousands Died in their Efforts to Save Others-Houses
and Human Beings Floating on the Tide-An Army
of Orphans-Greatest Catastrophe in Our History.
X AW HEN did you first realize that you were in danger?"
That, ordinarily, would seem to be a foolish question to
put to a man who had escaped death as it rode on the storm, and
yet it was not a foolish question, but the natural one. For the
Galveston people had for years argued out the question of the
danger attending the living on the island. True, Indianola, awful
even now in memory, stood out as an alarm to those who live
down by the sea. True, tliere had been storms and storms in
Galveston. True, their were people on the great mainland who
contended that wind and water would bring disaster to Galveston
whenever the two acted in concert and from the right direction.
But the answer to the Indianola alarm was that the situation
of that unfortunate town exposed it to a storm fury ; that it was
a fair mark ; that it was almost level with the water and all that.
The fact that there had been storms and storms at Galveston only
confirmed the people in their security. For as each had passed
away without carrying any great number of lives with them, why
should not this do the same ?
As to the people on the mainland who had prophesied disaster,
why, they were merely timid and ignorant people. Therefore the
question "when did you realize that you were in danger" was a
reasonable one. And the answerwas the same in nearly every case.
There might have been a difference as to the moment when these
people, penned like rats in a cage, first felt the terror of impending
death, but invariably the answer was that the storm was almost
at its height before the realization came. In many cases only the
falling houses brought the realization.
One little girl at a grocery store out on avenue P, from which
street to the Gulf, the storm swept the island like a broom,
Here’s what’s next.
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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/m1/429/: accessed January 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .