Louie had anchored himself in a small cove off the Mississippi. He didn’t want to set foot ashore, afraid the Chickasaw might not take too kindly to his trespass.
Then, from all around him, came a great racket, like a strong wind was tearing through the wood around him, only, the air was still.
All of the fowl hiding in the trees and bramble suddenly took to wing, screeching and cawing at each other.
It was one of the most downright peculiar things Louie’d ever seen.
However, the water beneath his boat suddenly flowing in the opposite direction quickly outstripped it.
But when the sandy shore started to shake like frying grease, he knew he’d never see its like again.
And thanks to the falling tree that crushed his boat, he nearly didn’t.
As he hit the frigid water, he remembered the only sound advice his father had ever given him. “Swim with broad strokes, boy.”
Broad strokes, he reminded himself as he swam toward the beach.
Ashore and thankful to be alive, he hoped that Chickasaw would understand his predicament and not kill him on the spot.
Escaping one death into another would just be too much to take.
The New Madrid earthquake of 1811 was probably the most powerful earthquake to happen in the continental United States in recorded history. It was actually series of four 7.0 and higher quakes that reshaped the Mississippi coastline from New Madrid all the way down to the bluffs of what would become Memphis.