Summary: Part II, Chapter II: The Flower of Utah

The chapter recounts the Ferriers’ life after the Mormons save them. The group settles and builds Salt Lake City. Ferrier, who proved useful on the journey, is rewarded with a large tract of land, and he works hard and builds his fortune. Ferrier is respected alongside Young and the four Elders of the Mormon community: Stangerson, Kemball, Johnston, and Drebber. Only Ferrier’s refusal to wed distinguishes him from the other Mormons. 

Twelve years later, Lucy, now a beautiful young woman, almost gets trampled by a herd of cattle, but a stranger named Jefferson Hope saves her. Hope, a miner and pioneer, becomes a regular visitor at the Ferrier house, and he and Lucy pledge themselves to one another. Hope leaves on business but vows to return in two months.

Analysis: Part II, Chapter II

Life takes a turn for the better for John and Lucy Ferrier, but the foreshadowing of trouble ahead intensifies in Chapter II in several ways. Always in the back of John’s mind is the fateful “deal” he made with the Mormons in the last chapter, along with the threat it implies: whatever John Ferrier builds in his new life, the Mormons can take away. The threat is not stated explicitly in this chapter, but it looms over John’s life and grows just as the Mormon temple looms over Salt Lake City, growing “ever taller and larger.” Readers will also recognize the names of two of the most powerful men in the Mormon settlement (Drebber and Stangerson), which creates a sense of dramatic irony and adds to the foreboding, given what readers already know about the fates of Enoch Drebber and Joseph Stangerson.

Ironically, the Ferriers’ prosperity itself signals potential problems, as John not only builds a solid life but also becomes one of the richest and most well-known men in Salt Lake City, while Lucy grows into a beautiful woman. The Ferriers seem to have everything, a perception that has the potential to breed jealousy. John’s refusal to marry also runs contrary to one of the Mormons’ most deeply held beliefs, and this too foreshadows trouble. To complete the picture and add even more to the rising action, Lucy meets and falls in love with the handsome and capable Jefferson Hope. Readers will know what Lucy could not possibly know: that Jefferson Hope is a future murderer. This and Hope’s combined tendencies toward action and intense emotion raise the stakes of the story and warn readers that Jefferson Hope and the Ferriers are rushing headlong into tragedy.