PART II. The Country of the Saints.
2. CHAPTER II. THE FLOWER OF UTAH.
On the farm thus acquired John Ferrier built himself a
substantial log-house, which received so many additions in
succeeding years that it grew into a roomy villa. He was a
man of a practical turn of mind, keen in his dealings and
skilful with his hands. His iron constitution enabled him to
work morning and evening at improving and tilling his lands.
Hence it came about that his farm and all that belonged to
him prospered exceedingly. In three years he was better off
than his neighbours, in six he was well-to-do, in nine he was
rich, and in twelve there were not half a dozen men in the
whole of Salt Lake City who could compare with him. From the
great inland sea to the distant Wahsatch Mountains there was
no name better known than that of John Ferrier.
There was one way and only one in which he offended the
susceptibilities of his co-religionists. No argument or
persuasion could ever induce him to set up a female
establishment after the manner of his companions. He never
gave reasons for this persistent refusal, but contented
himself by resolutely and inflexibly adhering to his
determination. There were some who accused him of
lukewarmness in his adopted religion, and others who put it
down to greed of wealth and reluctance to incur expense.
Others, again, spoke of some early love affair, and of a
fair-haired girl who had pined away on the shores of the
Atlantic. Whatever the reason, Ferrier remained strictly
celibate. In every other respect he conformed to the
religion of the young settlement, and gained the name of
being an orthodox and straight-walking man.
Lucy Ferrier grew up within the log-house, and assisted her
adopted father in all his undertakings. The keen air of the
mountains and the balsamic odour of the pine trees took the
place of nurse and mother to the young girl. As year
succeeded to year she grew taller and stronger, her cheek
more rudy, and her step more elastic. Many a wayfarer upon
the high road which ran by Ferrier's farm felt long-forgotten
thoughts revive in their mind as they watched her lithe
girlish figure tripping through the wheatfields, or met her
mounted upon her father's mustang, and managing it with all
the ease and grace of a true child of the West. So the bud
blossomed into a flower, and the year which saw her father
the richest of the farmers left her as fair a specimen of
American girlhood as could be found in the whole Pacific slope.