||Lord would protect His own, and Indian Summer beckoned Invitingly. In the beginning, there were no great difficulties. Fort Lara-mie saw the Willie Company on September 1; the Martin Company arrived several days later. The expected supplies were not at the Port, so rations Here reduced. A buffalo herd caused the Willie Company's that were desperately needed as draft animals and for food. In the arid desert, the carts began to warp and collapse, and the axles wore through. They were patched with strips of leather from boots and pieces of tin from their meager supply of utensils. The creaky wheels were greased with bits of precious bacon or with soap. A plea for assistance was sent to Salt Lake City, with two fast-travelling missionaries who passed by. The two companies continued to travel about ten days apart. They grew exhausted and weak due to insufficient food, but they plodded on. In early October, winter set in. Progress was slow and soon provisions were nearly depleted. Smaller grew the allowances. Strong men became weak. Women and children suffered terribly as blizzards raged, and snow-covered mountains had to be climbed. In the face of freezing weather, a portion of bedding and clothing was discarded, when It was needed most. The load was too heavy for these poor way-farers to bear. Every day took its toll of lives. Graves were dug in the snow, for the frozen earth was unyielding. Fathers denied themselves food so their families might survive, but the strain proved too much for their frail bodies, and they quietly died, as a candle flame that has beer, extinguished. Desolation reigned. The Willie Company found some protection near a clump of willows, and there they camped, no longer able to erect their tents or decently bury their dead, too weary and weak to move further in the ten Inches of snow. The Martin Company turned off the road and found refuge in a ravine, near a bend In the Sweetwater River. Here death took such a heavy toll the place was like an overcrowded tombi They had not completely despaired, and there was otill a flicker of hope that the messengers would be instrumental in their deliverance. In Salt Lake City, it was Cctober 4. General Conference had convened. President Brigham Young received word of the stranded Saints. He halted the Conference proceedings and took practical and vigorous action, organising rescue parties to leave on the morrow. He made preparations to receive the afflicted ones aa they arrived in the Valley. The audience responded as true Saints would.