In the 1860's ten thousand Chinese laid the footprints of the "smoke dragon" across the savage Sierras and the desert, to complete the spanning of a continent by rail. This story is the fifth in THE LAND OF THE FREE Series, which dramatizes the gifts of various national groups to the development of the United States.
Labor was the Chinese contribution, millions of man-hours of work, for the bulldozers of that day were puny shovels. But it was exciting work to Hip Wo, fifteen-year-old leader of a construction crew. The reader bates his breath as Hip Wo sets a charge of dynamite in the side of a cliff, or climbs a railway trestle in a race against the moment when straining timbers will drop a train into the river.
"There is a thing to be done, and a way must be found to do it." The Chinese proverb which inspired Hip Wo explains the qualities of his people, who helped make America what it is.
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