Sunday, May 16, 2010

Galveston, 1900

"All over Galveston freakish things occurred. Slate fractured skulls and removed limbs. Venomous snakes spiraled upward into trees occupied by people. A rocket of timber killed a horse in midgallop.

"At the expensive Lucas Terrace apartment building, Edward Quayle of Liverpool, England, who had arrived in Galveston with wife three days earlier, happened to walk past a window just as the room underwent a catastrophic depressurization that blew the window outward into the storm. Mr Quayle rocketed to his death trailing a slipstream of screams from his wife.

"At another address, Mrs Willima Henry Heideman, eight months pregnant, saw her house collapse and apparently kill her husband and three-year-old son. She climbed onto a floating roof. When the roof collided with something else, the shock sent her sliding donw into a floating trunk, which then sailed right to the upper windows of the city's Ursuline convent. The sisters hauled her inside, dressed her in warm clothes, and put her to bed in one of the convent cells. She went into labor. Meanwhile, a man stranded in a tree in the convent courtyard heard the cry of a small child and plucked him from the current. A heartbeat later, he saw that the child was his own nephew - Mrs Heideman's three-year-old son.

"Mrs Heideman had her baby. She was reunited with her son. She never saw her husband again."

- Isaac's Storm,
The Drowning of Galveston

Erik Larson

No comments:

Post a Comment