Front Matter How I Came to Write my Story Who I am My Great Loss My Worldly Wealth Plans for the Future The Gold Fever My Great Disappointment Cured of the Gold Fever My Opportunity How I Might Work My Way Keeping My Bargain At Pueblo A Welcome Time of Rest Outbreak of Gold Fever Opportunity for Money Middleton Agrees With Me Middleton's Proposition Gold Seekers Land Claims Our Ranch Building a Dwelling Corn and Gold Dreams of a Harvest Disappointed Prospectors Returning Evil for Good Striving to Save Our Corn Defending Our Own A Council of War Interview With The Enemy Missouri Miners Make Sport How to Collect The Debt Possession of Cattle Night Before the Battle A War of Words The Prospectors Try to Kill Us A Real Battle A Truce Terms of Peace The Enemy Surrenders The Prospectors Depart The Growth of Our City Farming Or Mining My Share of the Harvest Middleton Goes on a Journey Auraria and Denver Middleton Turns Trader Middleton's Plan A Weighty Problem Middleton's Partner A Change of Homes Arrival At Auraria The Town of Denver We Hire a Shop I Regret Turning Merchant How We Transported Goods Middleton's Advice The Tide of Emigration Finding Goods By the Roadside Gold in Colorado How the Cities Grew A Post Office in Auraria Letters From Home Our Business Flourishes Denver Outstripping Auraria Claim Jumping The Claim Club The Turkey War The Need of Government Union of Denver and Auraria What Others Thought of Us Territory of Colorado Good Citizenship Civil War Breaks Out Need of a Jail Denver in Flames Our Loss By Fire Mrs. Middleton Consoles Us Good Resulting From Evil Middleton's Honesty Rebuilding Denver The Flood Destruction of the Town In Great Peril The City Destroyed Our Lives Are Spared Fears Regarding the Future Uprising of the Indians Begging for Help A Famine Threatens Horrors of an Indian War My Duty at Home Beginning Over Again My Story is Done

Seth of Colorado - James Otis

The Flood

During the dry season Cherry Creek is a mere thread of water, over which a man may step without risk of wetting the soles of, his boots, and it was only after the spring freshets that it could fairly be counted as a stream.

Now during those days of May the creek lay as unruffled and as threadlike as I had ever seen it. No one dreamed of a flood. In fact, not a man, woman, or child gave more than a passing thought to that tiny stream of water which trickled through our city.

[Illustration] from Seth of Colorado by James Otis

It chanced that on that night I was sleeping in the shop, having worked there until midnight, and rather than spend the time walking home, I had lain down upon a pile of burlap.

I had hardly more than closed my eyes when I was aroused by a loud rumbling noise like continuous thunder, which jarred the very earth, and for the space of twenty seconds I sat bolt upright on my make shift bed, peering into the darkness, terror-stricken, wondering what manner of tempest was upon us.

Amid the uproar I could distinguish the sound of rushing water, and running to the shop door, I threw it back just as a mighty wall I can compare it to nothing else—tore with lightning-like speed and curling crest down the channel of the creek, the water which formed it spraying out on either side, while great waves rolled up where I had never seen water before, except when it came down from the clouds in rain.