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From the Central Series
- Wilhelmina Newman
- Monsieur LaPlante
- Annabelle Rumsford
- Mrs. Rumsford
- Captain Obadiah Smith
- Mr. Stevenson
- Sister Catherine
- Sister Frederica
- Zachariah Hopkins
- Jacques Paul André
- Reginald and Mrs. Montjoy
- Jack Bold
Chapter By Chapter Summary
Chapter One: An Unexpected Traveler
Chapter Two: Gold Rush
Chapter Three: A Warning
Chapter Four: Riddles and Rhymes
Chapter Five: Clues in the Pages
Chapter Six: Panic at Night
Chapter Seven: Missing
Chapter Eight: Hitting a Snag
Chapter Nine: A Gamble
Chapter Ten: Lost and Found
Chapter Eleven: Magic Night
Chapter Twelve: Desperate Search
Chapter Thirteen: The Key
Discusses steamboat travel during the 1850s. Topics covered:
- The Mississippi River being the main route across the United States, stretching 20,000 miles and winding from Minnesota to southern Louisiana.
- Steamboats being referred to as "floating palaces" or "moving hotels" for being as fancy as the finest hotels and houses in America.
- The main cabin being the social center because of it's fine furnishings, entertainment and the separate cabins for women and men.
- Card games being the primary pastime in the gentlemen's cabins, with travelers running the risk of playing with professional gamblers.
- The dangers of traveling by steamboat, from boiler explosions causing steamboats to catch on fire to colliding with other vessels on the river.
- The use of whistling for steamboat pilots to communicate with one another and prevent any collisions between steamboats.
- Difficulties with navigating a boat through the Mississippi River, which meant steering a steamboat required careful observation and good judgement.
- The discontinuation of the steamboat era due to the safer and more efficient ways of traveling in the early 1900s, and the continuation of steamboat traveling in several cities along the Mississippi River.