shades of James Michener!
My word! I know I will enjoy John Sayles’ novel, A Moment in the Sun – but it has been awhile since I’ve read a book containing 953 pages!
In the drawing Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty stand side by side on the shore. We see them from behind, but know, by their dress, whose pensive vista we are sharing.
There is a breeze coming in, the flame from the Lady’s torch, held tentatively at her hip, blowing toward us slightly. The vast ocean stretches before them, and the sun, rays crepuscular on the rolling waves, is only a sliver above the far horizon. Filling the darkening sky above and dominating the page is a question mark.
We are looking west.
We can’t see their faces, of course, can’t tell if they are seeking adventure, longing for treasure, anticipating unknown horrors. That will come later.
Just a snippet from the section titled Gold Fever:
. . .–he understands that it will be luck and not skill that brings fortune in the North.
Though skill might keep you alive through the winter.
“Store clerk outta Missouri, wouldn’t know a mineshaft from a hole in the ground, wanders off the trail to relieve himself? Stubs his toe on a nugget big as a turkey egg.”