AN ISLAND REFUGE
AN ISLAND REFUGE
CASCO BAY IN 1676
AUTHOR OF TOBY TYLER," 1"TIE BOYS' REVOLT," "JENNY WREN'S
BOARI)IN( -HOUSE," "JERRY'S FAMILY," ETC.
ESTES AND LAURIAT
By ESTES AND LAURIAT
All ri-gts reserved
Typographzy and Printing by
C. H. Simonds & Co.
Electrotyfing by Geo. C. Scott & Sons
Boston, U. S. A.
J. THE ALARM II
TI. THE DEFENCES .. 24
III. TII ENCOUNTER 37
IV. TIIE ATTACK 54
V. IN THE DARKNESS 74
VI. SuccoUR. 96
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
"JOHN GLANCED BACK TOWARD THE SHORE AND SAW
THE LITTLE PARTY ON THEIR KNEES" rontispiece
"IT'S ME, PARSON! DON'T SHOOT!" 14
WHITE HEAD (WHERE THE SENTINEL WAS PLACED) 21
THE SIGNAL FIRE 27
PARSON BURROUGHS 30
"TIERE'S NO QUESTION BUT THAT THEY HAVE BEEN HERE" 43
"A BLINDING FLASH!" 49
THE SHELTER OF ROCKS AROUND THE SPRING 57
SAMUEL JORDAN 63
"ON THE BLUFF JOHN WATCHED KEENLY" .69
THE WOMEN DRAGGING FIREWOOD 76
" IN THE STRONG LIGHT OF THE FLAMES So
" THE OUTLINES OF TwO MEN WERE REVEALED IN THE GLOOM 89
"ON THE BLUFF STOOD MRS. WALLIS, MUSKETE IN HAND" 93
" TOM'S FINGERS TWINED THEMSELVES AROUND THE CLERGY-
MAN'S MUSCULAR HAND ". 99
"A VESSEL!" . 105
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
CASCO BAY IN 1676.
O N the evening of August 1, 1676, at the garri-
soned house of George Munjoy, on that point of
land now known as Munjoy's Hill, in the city of Portland,
Maine, and then called Falmouth Neck, were assembled
ten men, six women and sixteen children, who had come
to this place of refuge under the leadership of their pastor,
the Reverend George Burroughs.
All the Indian tribes from the Piscataqua to the Penob-
scot Rivers had again, and on a larger scale than before,
opened war against the settlers, being incited thereto by
the Narragansetts, who, smarting under the loss of their
property, were doing their best to excite the neighboring
tribes against the colonists.
In this section the Narragansetts found a willing ally
in Squando, whose particular cause for enmity against the
white people is thus told by Belknap:
There dwelt near the River Saco a sachem named
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
Squando, a noted enthusiast, a leader in the devotions of
their religion, and one who pretended to a familiar inter-
course with the invisible world. These qualifications
rendered him a person of the highest dignity, importance
and influence among all the eastern Indians. His squaw,
passing along the river in a canoe, with her infant child,
was met by some sailors, who having heard that the
Indian children could swim as naturally as the young of
the brutal kind, in a thoughtless and unguarded humour
overset the canoe. The child sunk, and the mother,
instantly diving, fetched it up alive; but the child dying
soon after, its death was imputed to the treatment it had
received from the seamen, and Squando was so provoked
that he conceived a bitter antipathy to the English, and
employed his great art and influence to excite the Indians
On the 9th of August, two days prior to the assembling
of this sad-visaged party in the Munjoy garrison, a well-
known Indian named Simon, who had been imprisoned at
Dover, awaiting his trial on the charge of murder, appeared
at the farmhouse of Anthony Brackett, and. was by him
accused of having stolen a cow a few days previous.
Simon denied the charge, but promised to bring the
culprits to Mr. Brackett's home on the third day. Agree-
ably to the promise he came, accompanied by five other
Indians, and was admitted to the house by Mr. Brackett
himself, who had no suspicion that mischief was intended.
Instantly the farmer was seized and bound; his wife,
five children and a negro servant were made prisoners,
and Brackett given the alternative of serving Simon and
his companions as slaves, or being instantly killed.
This done, the Indians made their way around the cove
to the Presumpscott River, where they murdered in cold
blood Robert Corbin, Humphrey Durham and Benjamin
Atwell, who were making hay.
It was because of this sudden and unprovoked attack
that the little party were gathered on this particular
evening in the Munjoy garrison. The alarm had been
spread by Richard Pike, and all who were able to do so
had followed his advice as to the place of refuge; but he
himself did not join the fugitives until late in the evening.
The minister and two boys Thomas Larrabee, a lad
of fifteen years, and his cousin, John Brackett, a trifle
more than one year older were doing their portion of
the guard duty outside the building and within the
stockade, when Pike came up the hill, darting from one
tree to another, as if his footsteps were being dogged.
Is it a white man ?" Thomas Larrabee asked, ner-
vously fingering the trigger of his flint-lock; and Mr.
Burroughs, brave and fearless to the last, opened the gate
to reconnoitre, saying as he did so, -
Stand here, boys. If I should fall, close and barricade
the gate without regard to my fate."
Half concealed within the shadow of the stockade the
sinewy clergyman, skilled alike in the saving of souls and
the hunting of the red foe, awaited the coming of this
visitor, whom it was more reasonable to suppose an enemy
than a friend.
.4A ISLAND REFUGE.
The dark form darted from one place of shelter to
another, then across the path, exposing his form for an
instant, and the minister's musket was raised deliberately,
to be lowered an instant later as a familiar voice cried,
It 's me, Parson Don't shoot "
"Pike? Mr. Burroughs said, interrogatively.
Yes." And a moment later the two men were inside
the stockade, while Tom and John were setting in place
the heavy bars against the gate.
",Tell me all that has happened," Mr. Burroughs said,
in a whisper. "It is not well the women should be yet
further distressed now, for I know the news you bring
will be terrible to hear."
So it is, Parson," Pike said, with a sigh, as he wiped
the perspiration from his brow. "So it is, an' except
that we have a few more hours for preparation, we are
no better off than the poor fellows who have gone to
their last accounts, for the indications are this place
will be surrounded before morning, and you know what
that would probably mean. How many men have you
"Ten, counting boys who can do men's work."
"And we are likely to have an hundred of the red
heathen here before morning."
"There is no reason
which may happen. Tell
"The wives of Corbin
dren, escaped in a canoe,
Constable Ross, his wife
John Munjoy and Isaac
Thomas Brackett was s
children are prisoners.
why we should dwell on that
me what has been done ?"
and Durham, and Atwell's chil-
but were pursued and captured.
and children are captured, and
Wakely are dead and scalped.
hot down, and his wife and
Nathaniel Mitton was toma-
hawked almost before he could speak."
"Are the Indians on the Neck?"
Yes, and closing in on this place."
"How many did Simon have with him ? "
"Only five; but they have since been joined by a
large party. I myself counted thirty-one around the
ruins of Anthony Brackett's house."
AA ISLAND REFUGE.
And our defences are not sufficient against so great
a number," Mr. Burroughs said, half to himself.
Before any reply could be made to this remark, the
inmates of the '.uI..hI; having discovered that Pike had
arrived, came out into the yard, regardless of possible
danger, to learn what sad tidings he brought.
It is not well that you come here," the minister said,
hurriedly, as he checked the people who were gathering
around the new-comer. Humphreys, persuade the
women folks to return inside. Mr. Pike shall go there,
and tell his story. It is n't unlikely that every tree in
this vicinity hides a foe, and all except those who are on
duty should remain under cover."
It was not difficult to induce the frightened, trembling
fugitives to return to the shelter of the house ; but to pre-
vent them from giving audible evidence of grief was
impossible, and John said to Thomas, as the last one
disappeared within the dwelling, leaving the two boys on
If the savages are anywhere near they won't have
very much trouble in discovering our place of refuge.
Parson Burroughs is stern enough with us boys, but he
has nothing save buttered words for the women and
It is well he should be soft with them, Tom. Don't
grumble because of a kindly word spoken now, when
perhaps an hour later the end will come for us all."
"I am not grumbling, except that there is no reason
why we should give the savages such good 'notice of our
Most likely they know where to find us when we are
wanted, so we need n't fear that any harm has been done
by the outcries. It stands us in hand to -keep vigilant
watch; and, since the parson may be inside some time,
leaving us alone, we should look to it that there may be
no complaint of carelessness on our part. Watch the
north side and the lower end, while I attend to the
It is too early in the night for an attack by the skulk-
ing Indians, and I want to talk with you about what
should be done," Tom said, as he laid his hand softly
upon his companion's arm.
According to my way of thinking, there's too much
talking' going on already, and not enough action. Let
those who are inside defend us with their tongues, while
we make use of our eyes," John said, curtly, as he began
patrolling that portion of the stockade which he had said
he would guard, and his companion was thus forced to
act upon his suggestion.
During nearly an hour the two boys were left to act
the part of sentinels, and then Mr. Burroughs, accom-
panied by Pike and Humphreys, came from the building,
the minister i ,-., in a kindly tone, as he laid his hand
on John's shoulder,
"Go inside and rest you, my lad. We'll do our share
of this work now."
"I am willing to hold my post, sir, a good while longer,
so that you may be free to decide what we shall do, for
if I heard aright, there is little chance of our being
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
able to make a successful resistance here against the
It is only too true," the clergyman replied, sadly.
"Will you excuse me for speaking what is in my mind,
sir ? "
You have acted like a man, John Brackett, and have
the right to be heard."
Perhaps the plan is not a wise one, but of that you
can soon judge. I know where two boats were hauled up
amidst the bushes this morning, and in them we might
take refuge on one of the islands. There we should be
better able to guard against a sudden attack."
"The idea is a good one, my boy; the only objection I
can see to it would be the lack of water. So far as I
know there are no springs on any of them."
"There is one on James Andrew's Island, sir, and in
two hours from now we could all be there."
"The boy speaks well," Pike said, approvingly. "At
that place we may be able to hold out until Jocelyn can
send us assistance.from Black Point. The idea is worthy
It shall be laid before the others," Mr. Burroughs
said, quickly. Do you and Thomas remain on guard yet
a little longer, John, while we decide what shall be done."
Then the three men returned to the house, and Tom,
abandoning his duties as sentinel for a moment, came to
"So you have taken command of the garrison, have you,
Master Brackett ? "
"Now, don't be disagreeable, Tom. I only spoke to the
minister of what has been in my mind ever since he said
it would be impossible for us to hold out here."
"But did you keep it there securely, fearing lest I
should have some credit for the idea? "
Now you are unjust, as well as disagreeable. I should
have spoken to you about it but that it was dangerous for
us to spend our time talking, when we should be watching,
as it is now. You may have all the credit, so far as I am
concerned, providing the women and children are gotten
to a place of safety."
"There were many moments when you could have said
what was in your mind. I do not like to be left out of
any portion of the business, as if I was a child, not to be
trusted, and you a man, tried and proven."
Tom, this is no time to be either angry or jealous. It
is only for us to do our duty as men, and what matters it
who -i._-, a plan which may prove of benefit to all ?
We are standing face to face with death, Tom, and there
should be no thoughts in our minds save what we owe
those who depend upon us for more than life."
You are right, John, and I am worse than a child,"
Tom said, manfully, laying his hand for an instant on his
friend's shoulder. I was jealous, not lest you should
be thought a better man than I, for that you have shown
yourself already, but lest I should be thought a coward."
"That you never have been, Tom, as every one knows,
and I am certain you will never give cause for anything
of the kind to be said against you. Now let us do our
AN, ISLAND REFUGE.
full duty as sentinels, for no one can say how many of
Squando's painted followers may be peering over the
stockade, watching for an opportunity to strike a yet
more cruel blow."
Two hours later the little band of fugitives, crowded
into the two small boats of which John had spoken,
pushed off silently from the shore, and not until they were
more than a musket-shot away did the bravest of them
Simple as such a change of location would seem at this
day, it was then fraught with no slight amount of peril.
Once they were a quarter of a mile from the shore,
there was little danger to be apprehended from their
savage foes; but before them were sufferings and priva-
tions to be endured, even under the most favourable
Their stock of provisions was not sufficient for one
day's consumption, and the amount of ammunition yet
smaller in proportion.
Once they had taken up their station on James Andrew's
Island (which is now known as Bangs Island), they were
cut off from all source of supplies so long as the Indians
remained on the main-land, and in almost as forlorn and
helpless a position as is the mariner who has been cast
ashore upon some wave-washed rock.
God has been good to us, in that He has permitted
that we should escape, for this time, at least, from our
foes, and His loving hand will be extended over us
wherever we may be," Mr. Burroughs said, reverentially,
THE ALAR A.
when the frail crafts were rocking on the ocean swell, and
not one who heard him but felt a certain sense of security
in a greater or less degree.
The men and the older boys pulled vigorously at the
oars, while the women did their best to keep the leaky
crafts free from water, and the younger children moaned
or cried until terror was banished by the kindly mantle of
An hour and a half passed, and then the two boats
were drawn up in a sheltered cove, the nearest place, so
John Brackett declared, to the spring of which he had
The night was not so dark but that approaching
crafts from the main-land could be seen, and
by stationing a single se'liti,-1 : .i i"
bluff known as White Hea.d. i:l:
fugitives could feel assure:l -' '
against the possibility .-
of a surprise.
When all had -
been safely landed, _',,
and the mothers ---
were lulling their -,
babes once more
to slumber, MIr.
Burroughs motioned his companions to kneel; and there
on the rocky shore, beneath the clear sky, with the soft
murmur of the waters everywhere around, the fugitives
prayed for the safety of those who were yet exposed to
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
the merciless attacks of the savages, for the souls of
those who had just been sent from the world by the
tomahawk or bullet, and for protection from the cruel
enemy for themselves.
It was a long prayer, but yet it seemed short to
every member of that party, whose hearts went out in
In the darkness it was not possible to make any prep-
arations for spending the remainder of the night. The
two boats were drawn on shore and turned bottom-up,
to afford shelter for the women and younger children,
while the rest of the fugitives, save the sentinel on the
bluff, sought such rest as could be found among the
Tom Larrabee and John Brackett had held no conver-
sation since the flight from the main-land began, because
during the journey they were in different boats; but
when the poor preparations had been made for the shelter
of the women, the two boys found themselves alone
together, as if by chance.
"I reckon we can't do better than lie down in these
fir bushes," John said, as he took his friend by the arm,,
"Are we to stand any portion of the watch to-night ? "
I think not. Our share was done at the garrison,
and, to tell the truth, Tom, I am so sleepy now that
it seems as if it would be impossible to keep my eyes
open, even though I knew the savages were creeping
up on us.
THE ALARM. 23
Tom no longer remembered the fancied cause of com-
plaint which he had had against his friend, and the two
laid down side by side upon the rocky slope, soon forget-
ting in slumber the dangers and sufferings which awaited
them on the morrow.
SHE sun had not yet risen on the following morning
when the fugitives were gathered at the head of
the cove in which they landed the night previous, to give
thanks for their preservation.
To Tom and John there was new meaning in this
morning service, such as they had never understood
before. Perhaps because they had never before felt so
great a need of something higher than an earthly power
to assist them.
Contrary to his usual custom, Mr. Burroughs did not
prolong the devotional exercises, and as soon as they
were concluded he called upon John to lead the way to
the spring of which he had spoken.
This was readily found just above the beach, and,
as he drank a copious draught, the good minister said,
pointing a few rods distant to that side of the refuge
nearest Peak's Island,-
It is there we must erect a breastwork. It will only
be necessary to roll a sufficient number of rocks from
the beach up this sharp ascent in order to make such a
defence as will give us comparative safety in case of
But why in this spot, Parson ?" Pike asked, wonder-
ingly. "We could command the beach better if we were
further down the bluff."
"I am not allowing that there is much danger our
enemies will come upon us from the shore, friend Pike.
These red heathen are not so brave as to face us in fair
battle. If we are attacked at all, it is my belief the
savages will land on Peak's Island, and attempt to shoot
us down from there."
"Right you are, Parson! I. never thought of that;
but then, I am such a stupid dolt, it is n't strange.
Unless we can add to our store of provisions in some way,
there will be no need for the red-skins to come,- hunger
will drive us out."
"There are fish in the sea."
"Yes ; but in case the enemy landed on Peak's Island,
what chance would we have of catching them ? "
None whatever, friend Pike. You still fail to realize
all the natural advantages of the place. I propose that
we throw up a wall at the mouth of the cove, and thus
form a pond wherein we can keep fish and lobsters for use
in time of sorest need."
Pike brought his hand down upon his knee with
resounding force, but made no reply to the remark, save
when he whispered to Tom, -
The Parson 's got a head on his shoulders the like of
which can't be found in the colonies. He's always shown
himself a master-hand in caring for the welfare of our
souls, and now he proves just as able to look out for our
bodies. With him in command we shall hold our own
here until assistance can be had from Black Point."
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
Mr. Burroughs set about his preparations for the work
of the day like a man who believes every moment to be
The scanty store of provisions was set out, and a small
portion given each member of the party, while the bless-
ing invoked upon the food was as generous as if a veritable
feast had been spread before the fugitives.
The hungry ones were eating slowly, as if by much
mastication of the food they could force themselves to
believe the quantity larger, when a warning shout from
the sentinel on the bluff brought each man, woman and
child to a standing posture in consternation.
A craft of some kind has just put out from Purpoo-
duck Point! the watcher on the bluff shouted, and the
little party pressed feverishly up the incline, fearing lest
their foes were about to begin an attack before prepara-
tions could be made to receive them.
Twenty minutes later their fears were somewhat allayed.
It was not a canoe such as Indians would have used, but
a stoutly-built boat, in which were four persons.
Now hope began to spring up once more in their
breasts, growing steadily until Mr. Burroughs cried in a
They are white men who have escaped from the sav-
age foe! Bring hither such dry grass and twigs as can be
hastily gathered, that we may make a smoke and thus show
where we are."
"There will be four mouths more to feed from our
store," Pike grumbled, as he obeyed the command.
"Yes; and four pairs of willing arms to a
defence," Mr. Burroughs added.
The signal fire was built, and half an
George Lewis, George Felt, Henry Storer
Davis landed upon the island.
Their story was quickly told. They had
secreted themselves on the sh.'! c. f Back
Cove when the attack was nma.lc ui'pon
Corbin's farm, and after the Indi-
ans had gone once more tc.. -i .
Bramhall's, on the southern si.:le
of the Neck, they sought
refuge in the garrisoned
house ; but only to dis-
cover it had been aban-
Just before daybreak
they had crossed over to -
Purpooduck Point, found '
John Wallis's house
abandoned, and evident
signs that the Indians had
searched it. Knowing some
of the inhabitants had escal
assist in the
;- : :*
)ed, they set out to seek
them among the islands of the bay.
Regarding the attack, they could tell nothing more
than was already known, but were thoroughly convinced
a large force of Indians yet remained in the immediate
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
Mr. Burroughs explained to them what it was he
proposed to do in the way of defence, and then said, -
It shall be for us to wall up a portion of the cove in
such a manner that it will serve as a storehouse, and in
the meantime do you four take as many fish and lobsters
as is possible. Those which are alive when you land we
will keep; the others can be eaten at once."
Without loss of time every member of the party who
could take part in the work set about gathering rocks,
and by noon that circle of beach stones and pebbles which
can be seen to this day was thrown up, affording a
commodious pool in which could be kept a supply of fish
sufficient to last many days.
Lewis and his companions were successful in their
share of the labour, and when they returned to the shore
had quite as large a load as the boat could carry.
The future looked far less dark to the fugitives when
the pool was stacked with fish and lobsters, and a hearty
meal of the same sort of food, which had been prepared
by the women, was smoking on the rocks at the foot of
After the much-needed meal had been eaten, Pike, with
three others, went out to continue the work of fishing,
and Mr. Burroughs led his little flock in the labour of con-
structing breastworks on the slope, his great strength
serving to nerve his companions, as well as to assist
materially in rolling the large blocks of stone up the
By nightfall the condition of the fugitives was changed
for the better.
The defences were not yet completed, but were in such
a state of forwardness as would serve in good stead if an
attack was made, and hastily-constructed shelters had
been put up for the women and younger children, where
they would at least be screened from the wind.
Weary, almost to the verge of exhaustion, but rejoicing
in their escape from a terrible death or painful captivity,
the homeless ones threw themselves around the camp-fire,
which had been built in a depression of the land, lest it
should be seen from the opposite shore, and there gave
themselves up to the luxury of rest, all save he who
acted the part of sentinel.
There is little chance we shall starve, even though we
be kept here a week, now that the fish-pond is well
stocked," Pike said, in a tone of satisfaction; but Davis
It were better we had more powder and less food,
for Squando will not return to his wigwam until this
settlement has been wholly destroyed, and he knows as
well as we how many have succeeded in escaping."
"How much ammunition have we, Parson?" Pike
Perhaps as much as will serve for five rounds to each
man, and no more," Mr. Burroughs replied, with an
evident effort to speak in a cheery tone.
"Five rounds And we have fourteen muskets. If
Squando should land on Peak's Island our doom would
be sealed in less than an hour."
"Very true, friend Pike ; but the same God who has
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
thus far preserved us miraculously, still holds us in the
hollow of His hand."
That does n't prevent us from needing powder, nor
did it save the thirty or more poor souls who have either
been killed or reserved for what is worse than death."
Heaven intends that we shall help ourselves, friend
Pike, and we have done so to the best of our ability thus
far. It is impossible to
obtain ammunition, and we
must do the best we can
\,Ji "John had fifty pounds
i yesterday," Mrs. Wallis said,
A! quickly, and unless our
S^' ../ i home has been searched by
si''' some one who knew the
',. ." secret of its hiding-place, I
," question if it can have been
..' ri carried away."
*I.I "But that is at Purpoo-
duck, and he who ventured
there would never return," Pike said, in a tone of
Mr. Burroughs remained silent.
There was probably not a man among them who did
not believe Pike had spoken literally the truth; and even
had any doubted the statement, all would have been
positive when the sentinel on the bluff cried,-
The red heathen are at their cruel play! That must
be Bramhall's house from which the light comes."
Crowding up the slope of the hill, the fugitives saw the
flames rising from the direction mentioned, and while
they gazed with sorrowing hearts at the destruction of
the property which had cost so much labour, at one point
and another tongues of fire darted into the night air
until five of the dwellings were enveloped in flames.
That shows whether it would be possible to go to
Purpooduck or not," Pike said, with a sigh; and Mrs.
Wallis clasped her hands tightly, as she gazed in the
direction of her home, expecting each instant to see the
yellow, dancing shafts of light which would tell that the
labour of years was being wantonly destroyed.
If the Indians are on the Neck, they cannot reach
Purpooduck for some time," John Brackett said, as he
laid his hand on the minister's arm. It is not likely
Squando's men are in two bands, and even if they are,
Tom Larrabee and I will make the attempt to find Mr.
Wallis's powder, providing you give us permission to go."
Bravely spoken, my lad," and Mr. Burroughs drew
the boy toward him affectionately. It is a generous
offer, but too dangerous a mission to warrant me in
allowing you to undertake it."
Yet you believe Squando's men can soon overpower
us if they come to Peak's Island ?"
"That is true; but the sacrifice would not be avoided
if you went on such an errand and failed."
"But if we succeed, Mr. Burroughs ?"
"There is hardly any possibility of that."
Still, there is a chance, and even if anything should
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
happen to Tom and I, we wouldn't be missed. If we
could give our lives to the purchase of yours, it would be
a good bargain."
Mr. Burroughs did not reply, and John, eager to make
the attempt, however many dangers might be in store for
him, appealed to Pike.
I aint sayin' but that it would be a great thing if you
could do it, lad. If we had fifty pounds of powder, with
these 'ere breastworks in good shape, Squando's men
might be held off till there wasn't enough left of 'em to
do much mischief ; but as for goin' to Purpooduck, it
aint to be thought of. Look at them fires! How many
Indians do you s'pose are dancin' round them this very
minute ? "
"That is exactly what John is thinking about," Tom
said, quickly. While they are dancing around the fires
we can pull from here to the Point, find the powder, and
be on our way back before they get across."
But some of them may cross before you reach there? "
"That is a chance we must take," John said. "So
much good can be done by getting the powder that it
seems as if we would be warranted in running almost any
risk. Tom's life and mine are as nothing compared with
the safety of the party, and I believe it is our duty to
So do I," and Tom stepped to the side of his friend.
The men looked at each other in silence. There was
not one among them, with the probable exception of the
minister, who was willing to make such a bold venture,
however great the reward, and yet all realized the
importance of the attempt.
If you won't say we can go, Mr. Burroughs, will you
promise not to oppose us ? "
I cannot send you, my boys, on a mission from which
even I myself might well shrink; neither would I prevent
it save by advice."
Then we shall go," John said, stoutly. "If we suc-
ceed, we have, perhaps, saved the lives of all. If we fail,
it will be two more, who can well be spared, added to
Motioning to Tom, he started toward the shore; but
Mr. Burroughs arrested his movements by sinking upon
his knees, the others following his example.
Big sobs came into the throats of the boys, as they
were thus commended to the especial care of their
Heavenly Father by one of His ministers, and when, the
supplication having been brought to a close, they arose to
their feet, John found it necessary to brush the moisture
from his eyes furtively, so dimmed was his vision by the
"We'll have to get out of here as soon as we can," he
whispered to Tom. It would n't take much of this sort
of thing to make a regular coward of me."
"We can't go any too soon," Tom replied, nervously, as
Mrs. Wallis pressed his hand warmly and then covered
her eyes with her apron. It was good of you to think
of giving me the credit of offering to make this venture."
"You may not say that later."
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
"I shall, no matter what happens; and if but one of us
is to come back, I truly hope it will be you, John."
If one remains behind, both will," John replied, firmly;
and before he could say anything more Mrs. Wallis had
advanced to give them the necessary instructions for find-
ing the concealed hoard of powder.
In the cellar, at the right-hand corner as you go down
stairs, is a potato-bin, in which are what appears to be
pieces of plank and some old clothing. Beneath this
rubbish you will find the powder, if it has not been
Make certain before you land that there are no sav-
ages in the vicinity, boys," Mr. Burroughs said, as he took
each by the hand. Don't risk your lives unnecessarily,
and in case you find the enemy in possession, return with
Pike and Lewis were making ready the lightest boat
for the use of the young heroes; and, after advising them
as to what they should do under each and every possible
emergency, Mr. Burroughs collected from his companions
as much powder as he thought prudent to part with.
Here is ammunition for ten charges each," he said, as
he handed the horns to John; but the latter declined to
If we can't get through without fighting, sir, we
shan't get through at all, for there will be too many
against us," the boy said, firmly; "and, besides, you should
not spare so much. A couple of rounds apiece will, do
The clergyman understood the force of this argument,
and returned the ammunition to those from whom he had
Some of the women brought food; but this also John
declined to receive.
If we are not here before morning it is hardly likely
we shall come at all, and the dinner we have just eaten is
sufficient for us until then," he said.
It was as if each one wished to give the boys some
parting advice, and both of them felt that the longer they
remained the less would be their courage, therefore John
whispered to the minister, -
It is doing us no good, sir, to stay here listening to all
this talk, however kindly it is meant."
I understand what you mean, my lad. You shall go
at once," and the good man led the way toward the shore.
The remainder of the party followed, as if they were
assisting at a funeral, and, as can be fancied, the boys
were in the gloomiest possible frame of mind when they
pushed off from the shore, for, despite Mr. Burroughs's
efforts, much in the way of leave-taking was insisted upon,
as was really only natural, since no one expected to see
the brave young adventurers again.
It was impossible to close their ears to the sound of sobs
from some of the women as the little craft was pushed
off from the shore, and Tom whispered, nervously,-
"We can't strike anything that will be much worse
than this. It begins to seem as if I was already dead,
they are so certain we are going to be killed."
36 AN ISLAND REFUGE.
The less we dwell on that, the better. I count on
going through with the job and coming back all right,
and there will be plenty to occupy our minds, I reckon,
without thinking of the people here."
Although he did not intend to do so, John glanced
back toward the shore they had just left, and there saw
the little party on their knees.
"Pull the best you know how, Tom," he said. "The
sooner we get to work the more comfortable I shall feel,
no matter what danger may be encountered;" and, under
the impetus of their sturdy strokes, the little craft bounded
away from the island, as if eager to convey her crew to
where savage foes awaited them.
SEN minutes elapsed from the time the boys pushed
off from the shore before either spoke, and then
Tom said, in a low tone,-
If anything happens to me, John, and you live, don't
remember against me my unreasonable words of last
Of course I shan't; but, Tom, as I said before, there
isn't much chance that one of us will get through and
the other be left in safety. The only danger which
threatens is from the savages, and if they appear, it is
most likely death for both. But of such an ending to
our journey it isn't well to think. Have you ever visited
John Wallis's house?"
"Once, quite a long while ago."
"Do you remember it well enough to be certain which
"I can make no mistake about it. You surely have
seen the buildings ?"
Only from a distance, and if there is more than one
dwelling at Purpooduck, I should be at a loss to say
which it was we ought to visit."
Do not fear that we shall go astray. I think we had
better land some distance to the westward of it, and make
AN .ISLAiND REFUGE.
our way up the shore on foot. There would be more
chance of escaping if, in event of being surprised by the
savages, we could first take to the undergrowth."
You are right. We will land half a mile this side of
the Point, even though time is precious to us. I fancy
the Indians, after destroying the buildings on the Neck,
will go to Purpooduck."
So Mr. Burroughs believed; but I think you are both
mistaken. While there are plenty of settlers to be
attacked, Squando will not spend much time simply for
the purpose of burning a house. Of course he knows
there is no one at Wallis's, if the place has been
ransacked as George Lewis reported."
In that case we shall encounter no danger, and those
whom we left behind will have given us the names of
heroes without anything having been done on our part
to deserve it," John 'replied, with a faint smile, and added,
as he glanced over his shoulder at the Point, I think it
will be safest not to talk any more. Sound travels very
far over the water, and we have been rowing rapidly."
Already the island they had just left was lost to view
in the darkness, and a black line against the horizon told
they were nearing that portion of the main-land they
wished to visit.
Half an hour passed in almost perfect silence, save for
the soft lip, lip, lipping of the sea against the bow of the
boat, or the tinkling of water as it fell from the blades
of the oars through some incautious movement of the
Now the gloom of the land was directly before them,
and one not accustomed to the fanciful play of shadows
on the sea-shore at night would have said the little
craft was within a few feet of the rocks.
John motioned for his companion to cease his labours,
and shifted his own oar from the rowlocks to the stern,
where he sculled so softly that their approach could not
have been heard by the keenest of their foes.
There is no beach on this portion of the coast, and if the
sea had been in other than its most placid mood, it would
have been impossible to effect a landing. Even though
the waters rose and fell only with the gentlest undula-
tions, it was necessary to seek for some spot where they
would be partially protected from the surf, and much
time was lost in finding the proper place.
Two jutting rocks formed a haven hardly wider than
the craft herself, and between these she was steered, Tom
jumping ashore with the painter instantly an opportunity
to do so was presented.
There was no slight danger the boat might be forced
from her moorings if the crew were absent very long, or
if the wind increased; but this was a peril which could
not be guarded against, and after making her fast by
rolling a heavy rock on the end of the painter, the boys
began the most difficult and laborious portion of the
The tangled foliage scratched their hands and faces
and tore their clothing, while the rocks and ledges, over
which they were forced to scramble, impeded progress
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
until at times it hardly seemed as if they were making
At short intervals it was necessary to stop and listen
for sounds which might betoken the enemy's presence,
and when an hour had been spent in what seemed very
like useless labour, since they apparently made no prog.
ress, Tom whispered,-
It would have been better had we taken fewer pre-
cautions, and steered boldly for the Point. The savages
have had ample time to come over from the Neck since
Bramhall's house was fired."
"I believe you are right; but it will do no good to talk
about it now when it is too late to make any change.
We must be getting near the house."
"I don't see any signs. Here's a path at last, and it
must lead either to Wallis's or the road."
Don't go too far without stopping, for our mission
would soon come to an end if we should run upon a
party of Squando's men."
"They won't be expecting any one from this direction,
and we needn't spend all night trying to find out where
"We can spend an hour or two in such work very
profitably, rather than come full upon them with no
chance of beating a retreat," John whispered, pressing
his friend's arm in a kindly manner, lest his words might
Tom moved more slowly, and halted whenever John
gave the signal; but nothing had been heard that could
cause alarm when they finally stood before the door of
the deserted dwelling.
Unless the savages had been positive white people
would return to the house, it was not probable any of
them were in the building, and, after taking a long look
around to make certain no living being was in sight, John
It was not so dark but that the boys could see
evidences of a visit from Squando's men.
Articles of furniture had been hacked and hewed with
tomahawks, clothing torn and scattered around the
apartment, and everything of a breakable nature piled in
fragments in the centre of the room.
"There's no question but that they have been here,"
John said, in a whisper, as he stopped for an instant to
survey the scene of destruction; "but I can't understand
why they did n't fire the house before leaving."
Perhaps they intended to wait until night, when the
flames would make a braver show. It won't pay us to
stand here talking, though, and the sooner we finish our
work the better."
You're right!" and John went quickly toward the
door which led to the cellar. "We shall have to feel our
way, for it must be black as a coal down there."
Once on the rough stairway the boys were forced to
guide themselves by sense of touch alone, for not a single
ray of light could be seen; but Mrs. Wallis had described
the location of the powder so explicitly that they had but
little difficulty in finding the spot.
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
The old clothing and fragments of boards were pulled
aside, and John almost shouted, so great was his joy and ex-
citement, when his hands came in contact with a stout keg.
"It's here, Tom! It's here! Squando's men have
been all over the place without finding what they would
have considered the most precious of all John Wallis's
There 's no reason for you to speak quite so loud, for
I haven't gone deaf since we landed. Let's have it out
and be off! Fifty pounds will be quite a load to carry
through the scrub. I wish now that we had left the boat
nearer at hand."
Once it had been lifted from its hiding-place, the
precious keg was easily taken up the stairs, and when
they were in the open air, John said, -
We can't divide this load, and the only way is to take
turns carrying it. Help put it on my shoulder, and I '11
give you a chance to spell me later."
It thus became necessary for Tom to take care of both
muskets, and while he remained in the rear, upon him
would devolve the duty of protecting the powder-bearer
in case an attack was made.
While one might have counted twenty the boys retraced
their steps at a rapid pace, each believing the mission was
to be accomplished without danger, when an ominous
sound from the rear caused them to dart forward
suddenly, as if under the impulse of a heavy blow.
The savages are coming! John cried, despairingly.
"We cannot fail of being discovered, and shall have
them at our heels before we gain the cover of the
"Throw down the powder!" Tom cried, nervously,
hastening his steps so much that he literally trod upon
his companion's heels. "There is no possibility we can
escape with it, and our lives will be the forfeit of trying
to carry it."
"But it means safety for all on the island."
"And they will never see it if we are shot down
between here and the shore. Throw it away!"
"We must hold on to the last," was the brave reply.
So we have. The 'last' can't be far off if you
persist in clinging to that keg!"
Tom had seized one end of the burden, trying to force
John to loosen his hold of the precious load, when to the
latter came a thought which seemed like an inspiration.
"You take the keg!" he cried, suddenly. "You can
reach the boat without difficulty if I stay behind and hold
the savages in check. Don't hesitate! Give me the
muskets Throw it on your shoulder, and be off at full
speed! I promise to keep them back until you have had
time to pull from the shore!"
Like one in a frenzy, he had torn the weapons from
Tom's hand, and was lifting the keg to his companion's
"Now hold hard, and run the best you know how! "
But you have only two rounds of ammunition, and
what kind of a fight can you make with them ?" Tom
replied, hardly conscious of the fact that the powder was
on his shoulder.
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
I'll take yours," and John wrenched Tom's horn from
its fastenings. Now I have four, and in the darkness
they will think a dozen men are hidden here."
But they will learn the truth before morning, and then
you will soon be finished."
If I can hold them back an hour, and surely that will
be easy, you can get away! "
If my life is sufficient to save those who are on the
island, I am getting a good price for it. Run, Tom!
Don't you understand how precious even the seconds
But I can't leave you here to be killed! "
"You must, old fellow! It would be death for both
if you stayed, and by this means all will be saved but me,
whose life is worth the least."
"Why not try to follow me,- for a while, at least ?"
John knew how necessary it was his friend should leave
the dangerous spot at once, and realized that perhaps he
might refuse to go if he believed there was no chance
of life for the one left behind.
"I will follow you later. Whistle when you have
pushed the boat off from the shore, and if I answer, wait a
few moments. In case you get no reply, pull toward the
island at full speed, to save those who are waiting for us !
The Indians are coming! Go! Tom, dear, if you would
help our friends, go now !"
Tom started at full speed through the bushes just as a
loud shout from the rear betokened that the savages had
discovered their trail, and a few moments later certain
noises told the young hero that the enemy was nearing
Tom will have plenty of time to get away," he muttered
to himself, as if such assuring fact was needed to give
him courage. "It is only a question of how long I can
make the murderers believe a large force is near at hand."
An instant later the head of a savage, outlined against
the sky, could be distinguished, and taking careful aim,
One of the four rounds was spent from the small store,
but the bullet had done its work, and there was one
enemy the less.
The boy reloaded carefully, and when both weapons
were again ready for use the silence was profound.
"I've stopped them for a while," he muttered to him-
self, and then came the thought that he might retreat
a short distance in the direction taken by Tom.
It is what I ought to do," he muttered. "He might
meet" with an accident, and I be fighting here to no
He stole cautiously forward a hundred yards or more,
then ran the same distance, and came to a sudden halt.
By some singular chance one of the Indians had fol-
lowed almost in his footsteps, and he wheeled just in time
to see a shadowy form hardly more than a dozen feet
This time there were two reports.
The Indian fired at the same instant John did, but he
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
was yet in motion and the bullet went wild, while the
boy, by leaning against a tree, .was able to take fairly good
Two rounds gone, and two foes the less.
I might have given a good account of myself if I
had n't refused the ammunition Parson Burroughs wanted
to give me," he thought, as he reloaded. "I don't believe
the rest of the villains will care about coming through
the bushes in the darkness."
Again he fled, and now for the first time came the idea
that possibly he might succeed in saving his own life.
During five minutes he ran at full speed, and then
stopped suddenly to listen.
Not a sound could be heard. The silence was as pro-
found as if he was the only living thing on the main-land.
One, two, three minutes passed, and nothing broke the
stillness of the night.
Once more he ran at his best pace, and as he halted he
heard in the distance a low yet piercing whistle, which
he recognized as Tom's.
"The powder is safe, whether I ever get out of this or
not," he said, triumphantly. I shan't have died for noth-
ing, if they overtake me this instant."
He hesitated a few seconds, as if deliberating whether
he should do that which would cause his friend to wait
for him, and just then life seemed very sweet.
Why should n't it be possible for him to escape, now
that he probably had so long a start of the enemy ?
There seemed to be more than one chance in his favour,
and he answered the signal.
Again Tom whistled, this time in token that he 'had
heard the reply, and John was on the point of starting
forward once more, when there was a blinding flash
directly before his eyes, followed by a report which
sounded as loud as if from a cannon.
He dropped to the ground, believing he had done so
voluntarily, and cocked one of the muskets.
With a grunt of satisfaction, a
dark form rushed through the
bushes, and John fired.
The savage fell, and the boy
S sprang to his feet, but this time
he did not stop to reload until
1 he was a hundred paces from
the spot, and then raised his
owder-horn before realizing that it
., I as empty.
Three rounds had been fired, and a
S ./ gle load-which was already in one
S u the muskets alone remained.
If there are many behind I shall have stopped Tom
for nothing," he said to himself, and for an instant he
believed he ought to warn his friend that it would be
dangerous to wait longer.
If I do so, the savages will know exactly where he
is, for I 'm certain he won't leave without first trying to
persuade me to keep on. Now that I've been foolish
enough to stop him, I must make one more effort, and
the last stand shall be made where he can see me fall.
After that he will pull his best."
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
Again he ran, but this time it was as if his limbs
refused their duty. His feet seemed strangely heavy,
and his head swam.
He became aware of a moisture on his hand, and, as
he rubbed it across his cheek, discovered that it was
sticky, with a peculiar odour.
On he staggered, no longer running easily, but lurch-
ing from side to side, and not until he pitched forward
so that he would have fallen but for the fact that his
shoulder struck against a small tree, which served to hold
him upright, did he realize the truth.
He had been wounded by the bullet which was fired
at such short range, and when he fell it was from the
impact of the missile, not of his own volition.
"Pull for your life, Tom!" he shouted, with all his
remaining strength. "I am wounded, and can go no
"Hold on a minute longer, John, my boy; you are
almost here! "
Tom's voice sounded close at hand, and the wounded
boy staggered a few paces onward to find himself at the
water's edge, within a dozen feet of the boat.
Tom saw him approaching with uncertain steps, and
leaped ashore in an instant.
"Take the muskets; we mustn't lose them!" John
said, in a feeble tone. "You had better not wait for
Then he pitched downward upon the wet sea-sand, and
Tom half-carried, half-dragged him into the boat, pushing
her off once more just as two musket-shots rang out with
The bullet struck the stern of the craft, but, so far as
Tom could ascertain, did no further mischief.
In fact, he was too deeply occupied in his efforts to
pull the craft out of range to spend much time trying to
learn where the leaden messengers had found lodgement.
So long as he was not disabled he had quite as much on
hand as it was possible for him to do in rowing the heavy
In the bottom of the craft, his face turned upward
toward the stars, but giving no signs of life, lay the boy
who had been willing to sacrifice all that others might be
saved, and Tom muttered, as the tears rolled down his
"They may have killed the poor fellow, but there'll
be no chance to scalp him. It was well we landed where
we did, for now those murdering heathen will have to go
back to the Point and most likely on the other side -
to get their canoes before they can give chase."
It is safe to say that Tom Larrabee never rowed faster
than during the hour which followed, and the perspira-
tion was running in tiny streams down his face when he
heard the welcome voice of the sentinel on the bluff of
James Andrew's Island, -
"Hello o o! Is it well with you ?"
"No! he shouted, as if in a rage. "We have got the
powder, but John is dead! "
Now that he was in comparative safety once more, it
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
was as if Tom's nerves, so long strung up to their highest
tension, 'suddenly relaxed, and he was hardly conscious of
the fact that he rowed around the point of the island to
the sheltered cove.
He was dimly aware that several men were on the
beach to pull the boat's bow up as she struck, and then
everything was a blank.
When next he understood what was passing around
him, he was lying on a bed of pine boughs, in one of the
shelters which had been erected for the women, and Mrs.
Wallis was giving him some pungent mixture from a
Where's John?" he asked, suddenly assuming a
"Just the other side of the hill."
"Is he dead ?"
No; and Mr. Burroughs thinks there is a chance he
may recover. The bullet has been cut from his side, and
the wound has ceased to bleed very much. If he could
be properly cared for, there would be little question of his
How long have I been here ?"
"Not more than half an hour."
Is the sentinel on duty ? "
I suppose so."
"He must keep a sharp look-out, for the Indians saw
our boat when we pulled out from the land, and may be
coming in pursuit."
The men will attend to their duties properly while
Mr. Burroughs is the leader. George Felt and Henry
Storer started in one of the boats for Black Point an hour
after you left, and if they succeed in reaching there, Mr.
Jocelyn will surely send a vessel to take us away."
Does the minister believe they can get there in such
a small craft ? "
"If God permits, they will succeed, and if not, His will
Tom staggered to his feet, making no comment on this
He was none the worse for his portion of the night's
adventures, save for the sense of utter exhaustion, and
refused to listen to Mrs. Wallis when she urged him to
lie down again.
I must see John," he said, doggedly. At such times
as these a big fellow like me, who is only tired, should n't
be allowed to act like a baby."
Neither have you done so. You two boys have
accomplished what none of the men, except, perhaps, Mr.
Burroughs, would have dared attempt."
John is the one who deserves the credit. But for him
I should have run away without a thought of the powder,
when the Indians first came up, and I want every one
here to understand that he has done it all."
Then Tom went in search of his friend, but met the
minister, and was by him urged to lie down again.
It is necessary he should sleep," the good man said,
as he put his arm around Tom's neck affectionately; "and
it would do more harm than good for you to talk with
54 AN ISLAND REFUGE.
him now. Wait until morning, when there will be less
danger. Lie down and sleep, if possible, for you will be
called upon in the morning to do a full share of the work,
and it cannot be performed unless you are rested."
Then the minister explained the nature of John's
wound, insisted that it was not necessarily fatal, and
finally succeeded in persuading Tom to return to the
shelter he had just left.
W HEN Tom awakened next morning he was feeling
none the worse because of his adventures on the
previous night, but he experienced a certain sense of
shame at having occupied one of the shelters erected for
His first thought was of John, and it was not necessary
to go very far in search of the invalid.
Twenty yards from where Tom had spent the night the
wounded boy was lying upon a bed of boughs, protected
by the hastily-constructed lean-to, and watched over by
two of the women.
It was not possible for Tom to enter into any conversa-
tion with his friend, because the invalid was now sleeping
soundly, and the watchers on the alert to prevent any
one from approaching sufficiently near to awaken him.
It seemed to Tom as if his friend must be in a more
dangerous condition than was at first supposed, for he
noted the fact that the children were kept at a long dis-
tance from where the wounded boy lay, and the older
members of the party spoke only in whispers when they
were in the vicinity of this particular camp.
Is John any worse, sir ?" Tom asked of Mr. Bur-
roughs, who was already at work on the wall which would
AN ISLAiZVI REIPUGE.
serve as a breastwork, although breakfast had not yet
"I cannot think so, my boy; but it is of the highest
importance he should get all the sleep possible, and to
that end we are very careful to avoid making any noise
which might disturb him. How are you feeling this
"As well as ever, sir, and not one whit the worse for
having gone to Purpooduck. Is there anything I can do,
sir ? "
Plenty. Take hold with us in this wall-building. It
isn't likely we shall be allowed to work many hours
Why not, sir ?"
"Three canoes filled with Indians put out from the
Neck just after daybreak this morning, and have landed
on Peak's Island. We shall probably hear from them
Tom's face paled slightly.
"Do you think they will attempt to come over here,
sir ? "
"There is not much danger of that so long as we keep
a strict watch.- Their purpose probably is to attack us
from a distance, and pick off as many as they can."
You are giving them every opportunity for a shot at
I hardly think they will begin operations until after
reconnoitering the ground thoroughly, and we have
probably two hours during which it will be safe to show
THE A TTACI.
ourselves. Then it becomes a question of ammunition
and marksmanship. Thanks to you and John, we are in
good condition to defend ourselves until assistance can be
received from Black Point."
Mr. Burroughs did not cease his labour during this
conversation, but continued to roll the heavy rocks up
the steep incline; and Tom, who was the only idle male
member of the party, could do no less than assist in the
Mr. Burroughs's orders were that no breakfast should
be served while it was possible
to continue the work of
--i ;.i ..:. strengthening the defences.
S When the Indians began
offensive operations there
'. .-.- would be ample time for
eating, since all hands must,
perforce, stay under cover.
.-., ; ^The women and children
had strict orders to remain
Where they could not be seen
by the savages, and a shelter of
rocks had been put up around the
spring, so that it would be possible to get a supply of
water without being exposed to the enemy's fire.
When Tom had been working an hour, a signal shot
rang out on the clear morning air, and the attack had
Mr. Burroughs was the mark selected for the opening
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
of hostilities; but the Indian who fired the shot must
have been unskilful in the use of fire-arms, since the
bullet flattened itself against the rocks fully two feet
from the living target.
Get to shelter, men! the minister shouted, moving
leisurely himself, as if disdaining to show any signs of
fear to the savage foe, and five minutes later all were
crouching behind the breastworks with muskets, ready to
send leaden messengers of defiance whenever one of the
Indians should show himself.
Shot after shot came from the thicket on the island
opposite, but no reply was made by the colonists.
They reserved their ammunition until it should be
possible to make every bullet tell, for although there was
now, thanks to John and Tom, powder in plenty, lead was
When half an hour had elapsed, and no damage been
done by the enemy, five men were told off to guard the
breastworks, and the remainder, among whom was Tom,
went behind the bluff, where breakfast was awaiting them.
As a matter of course, the reports of the muskets had
awakened John, and his nurses had quite as much as they
could -do to prevent him from joining the defenders.
He was leaning on one elbow, listening intently, when
Tom passed the rude hut, and the latter cried, cheerily,-
I don't see but that you are getting along all right."
So I am, only Mrs. Wallis does n't seem to think so.
Come here, and tell me what has been done."
"That won't take a great while," Tom replied, as he
seated himself by the invalid's side. The wall has been
built, and the spring enclosed, so that we can get water
without exposing ourselves. Three canoe-loads of Indians
have landed on Peak's Island, and are doing their best
to pick us off; but unless there is better shooting done
than has been, we are not in very great danger. How
are you feeling ?"
A little weak, and there is a good deal of pain; but
Mr. Burroughs thinks I '11 pull through all right. We
got the powder, did n't we ?"
"We did for a fact, old fellow and if you come out all
right it will have been a mighty good job."
"That's what it is, anyway. I don't count for much
in these times, and it would have been well worth the
venture if the powder could have been gotten here at the
price of both our lives. But I ought to be doing my
share of the work, instead of lying here like a baby."
There's nothing to be done, John. Five men are
enough behind the wall while the savages stay on the
other island, and you can see that we have n't a very
great amount of business on hand, from the fact that half
of us can afford to spend the time eating breakfast."
"Still, I ought to be there."
"There's no 'ought' about it. You couldn't be of
the least benefit at the wall, and you can do yourself a
big amount of good by remaining here quietly. Fretting
is only going to make the matter worse, so far as the
wound is concerned. Now lie still, and the first chance
I have to get back here, I '11 come. Anyway, you shall
be posted on everything that happens."
A.N ISLAND REFUGE.
"Don't neglect your work to come to me; but when
there's nothing else to be done, I'd like to have you
here a while."
It doesn't seem likely we shall be very busy during
the rest of this day, and you shall see all of me you wish,"
Tom replied, cheerily; and then he joined the men at their
Before the repast was ended, the sentinel on the bluff
gave warning that another canoe, filled with Indians, was
pushing off from the main-land, and Tom did not have as
much leisure during the remainder of the cay as he had
As nearly as could be estimated, there were not less
than thirty Indians on Peak's Island after the crew of
this last craft landed, and some of them had evidently
improved in marksmanship, for more than once the leaden
missiles came in dangerous proximity to the white men,
while the least incautious exposure called forth a shot.
Two of Parson Burroughs's flock were slightly wounded
before the afternoon was half spent, and one of the women
received a bullet in the shoulder, as she carelessly ap-
proached the spring from the upper side, without taking
advantage of the shelter.
With four persons wounded, and the younger children
to care for, the women had even more labour to perform
than the men, and John began to realize that it was now
possible for him to render considerable assistance.
While the sentinel remained on the bluff there were
but eight men and boys behind the breastworks,-a num-
ber amply sufficient unless the savages should attempt to
cross over; and yet, the more that could be mustered for
service the better, inasmuch as it was absolutely neces-
sary to inflict some injury upon the enemy; otherwise,
judging from the effect of this short engagement, they
would soon reduce the defenders of James Andrew's
Island so materially that it could easily be taken by
John had considered the matter in all its bearings, and
believed he could be of material assistance in this odd
engagement where, thus far, not one of the enemy had
When Mr. Burroughs hurried from the fortification to
where the culinary operations were carried on, in order to
get his share of the dinner, the invalid called to him.
None of Parson Burroughs's flock had ever seen the
time when their minister was too busy to give heed to
their complaints or requests, and the good man, on being
summoned, stopped in front of the lean-to, as if nothing
demanded his attention save the invalid himself.
Except for this bullet-hole I could help you a good
deal," John began.
Yes, my lad; but you have already performed your
There is still work to be done, and why should not I
have a part ? The pain keeps me from sleeping, and I
am forced to lie here with my eyes open, doing nothing.
What is to prevent me from taking the sentinel's place ?
I can keep a good look-out, even though I am wounded,
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
and one more able-bodied man may be behind the
"There is no reason, John, why you should think of
anything else but your own condition."
"That neither benefits myself nor any one else. If I
could be of some service, however slight, it would go a
long ways toward helping me get the best of the wound.
It would be no labour on my part to keep the look-out, and
I should feel that I was of some little service at a time
when every one is needed."
Perhaps you are right, my boy. I will see what can
be done after I have had something to eat."
The result of this conversation was that John was car-
ried that being the price Mr. Burroughs insisted he
should pay for the privilege of acting as sentinel -to
that portion of the bluff where he could have a full view
of the surrounding waters, and at the same time be shel-
tered from the bullets of the enemy.
I don't blame you for wanting to come out from
among the women, who will insist on coddling up a fel-
low," Tom, who assisted in bringing John to his place of
duty, said when the others had left them alone; "but at
the same time I believe you should have stayed in the
"Well wrapped up as I am, I can come to no harm
here more than there, and it seems as if I was doing
some portion of the work. How are the wounded men
getting on ?"
"Bravely. If Samuel Jordan had half as much courage
THE A TTA C.
as you, he never would have left the breastworks, for the
bullet simply passed through the fleshy part of his arm,
and has done nothing more than spill a little blood, of
which he had too much."
Have you heard when they expect to hear from Black
Point ? "
It will probably take a week, so Mr. Burroughs says,
Sand unless they send a vessel to carry
.I F*- us all away, I cannot see how we are to
get any great amount of benefit from
S them. In these times it isn't likely
S. Mr. Jocelyn is going to spare many men,
and what can be done here unless there
.' is force enough to make a charge upon
Sthe savages ?"
_VI; "Did n't you succeed in killing any ?"
"I don't think we hit one. Peak's
Island is heavily wooded on this side,
S and by changing their positions immedi-
Sately after firing, it is impossible for us
( fto guess where any of them are lurking."
An unusually rapid discharge of mus-
ketry caused Tom to take a hasty leave
of his friend, and when he arrived at the breastworks
he found that Richard Pike was seriously wounded in
Although he had had but little experience in such war-
fare, Tom understood at once how soon the Indians might
be victorious if this sort of fighting was continued.
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
In less than a day after the attack had really been
made the number of the defenders was lessened by four,
and it did not require much mental calculation to fix upon
the time when it would be a simple matter for the enemy
to carry the place by assault without exposing themselves
to great danger.
Others beside Tom had the same idea, as could be told
from the gloomy expression on their faces, and even Par-
son Burroughs seemed disheartened when Pike was carried
to the rear, probably to die.
Keep well under cover!" he cried to the men.
" Courage is of no avail in a warfare like this; it is suffi-
cient that we remain on the alert, ready to shoot at the
first show of a target, and foolhardy to expose ourselves
unnecessarily, for the last party of savages who landed
on the island are better marksmen than the first."
Or else they are improving with practice, Parson,"
some one added, grimly.
There is no reason why we should give them so much
opportunity. Avoid showing any portion of your
But by drawing their fire we are encouraging them to
We cannot afford such tactics. Blood for powder is
too high a price; and, besides, they seem to be better
supplied with the latter than we with the former."
A faint cry from the sentinel on the bluff attracted the
attention of the men, and Tom was sent to ascertain the
THE A TTA CK.
What's the matter?" he asked, as, having made a
long detour in order to screen himself by the rise of the
land, he approached John.
There is another canoe putting off from Purpooduck
Point. I believe I can count five men in it, and the
chances are they are savages."
I reckon you are right," Tom said, grimly, as he
gazed in the direction indicated. "That gives them about
thirty-five to our eight, and if they try to sneak up on us
in the night, landing on both sides of the island at the
same time, as Pike seemed to think they would, we shall
have hot work."
1 am afraid something of the kind will be attempted.
Squando has not sent so many of his tribe here for noth-
ing, and most likely they know exactly how much mischief
has been done. You had better tell Mr. Burroughs at
once what we can see."
When Tom returned to the barricade with his informa-
tion, consternation was written on the faces of all save
The Lord's will be done!" Mr. Burroughs said,
devoutly. It is not possible for us to improve the con-
dition of affairs in any way, and we must be prepared for
whatever may be in store for us. That, however, is no
reason why we should relax our vigilance."
"We shall need all our wits about us this night,"
George Lewis said, gloomily, and for the first time since
these heavy troubles had come upon him did Parson
Burroughs speak sharply.
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
The battle is not always to the strong, nor the race
to the swift. To grow despondent is to question the
wisdom of God."
It aint questioning anything to look the matter square
in the face," Lewis replied, in a defiant tone. Here are
eight of us against thirty-five painted heathen, and we
well know what the result will be if they attack us on
both sides in the darkness."
A report of a musket from the bluff where the sentinel
was stationed caused the defenders to start in alarm, and
Mr. Burroughs said, hurriedly, with more evidence of
agitation in his tones than he had as yet displayed,-
Hurry back, Thomas, and learn if it was John who
Tom obeyed, cautiously, for there came to his mind the
thought that possibly the Indians had crept upon the
wounded sentinel, and the shot which startled all was his
John, lying on his wounded side, musket in hand, was
peering down intently into the water, when Tom arrived
at a point where he could see him.
Apparently there were no Indians in the immediate
vicinity, and the boy ran swiftly toward his friend.
"Was it you who fired? he cried.
Yes ; I believe I saw an Indian swimming across from
the other island. It was something that looked like a
man's head, and coming against the wind. I fired, and it
It was an Indian Tom cried, excitedly, as, ventur-
THE A ATTACK.
ing nearer the edge of the bluff, he looked down. Your
bullet struck the mark, and there is one heathen less for
us to deal with."
John had no desire to gaze at the evidence of his skill
as a marksman.
He understood from what his friend said that the body
of the savage could be seen in the water, and it gave
him a very good idea of the danger which was to be
That is the way they will come across after dark," he
said, half to himself. "There is no moon to-night, the
sky is cloudy, and a hundred of them might be swimming
directly beneath the cliff without our being able to see
them. Tom, ask Mr. Burroughs to come here, will
you ? "
"What is up now ?"
You shall hear when he comes. Don't say anything
to the men about what I have just done. Not all of them
have the same courage as Mr. Burroughs, and if a portion
grow faint-hearted now, it will be disastrous to all."
Tom soon carried the message to the clergyman, who,
knowing full well that John would not have made such a
request unless he had good reason, hurried to comply.
The sentinel explained what he had done, and then gave
word to his fears, adding in conclusion,-
Unless you can think of some better plan, Mr. Bur-
roughs, we ought to be able to light up these shores when
it grows dark, else the savages will effect a landing before
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
You are right, my lad. Some precautions must
be taken, but exactly what they should be I do not
It will be possible to gather a large amount of wood,
and stack it on the beach before nightfall. Those who
are doing the work will be in no danger, since they can
move along the shore on this side of the bluff. A fire
there might be fed from above, and while it would not
light all the waters between the two islands, at least a
portion of the danger can be guarded against. It is a
poor plan, I know, sir, but may be better than nothing."
"You are a good boy, John. A dozen men like you
would be more than a match for twice the number of sav-
ages that are now on the opposite island;" and Mr.
Burroughs hastened away to make preparations against
the new peril which seemed imminent.
Although as a rule the men had implicit confidence in
any plan which might be suggested by Mr. Burroughs,
they set about this one of John's with evident reluctance.
While all were willing to admit that it was of the
utmost necessity everything in their power should be done
to prevent the savages from crossing unseen, hardly one
of them was satisfied that the scheme would prove of any
The only thing we shall gain by it is a lot of hard
work, and the forcing of the Indians to land farther to
the eastward," Lewis said, grumblingly.
"If that is done we shall be decidedly the gainers,"
Mr. Burroughs replied, cheerfully; "for it is impossible we
THE A TTA CK.
shall be able to guard the whole shore, and if we can
restrict their landing to one particular point, but few will
be able to gain a foothold here without our knowledge."
Had he done nothing more than argue with his com-
panions it is probable the task would have remained
unfinished; but the minister was one who firmly believed
in uniting words with deeds, and set the example with
such vigour that the others had no alternative but to
On the bluff, striving his best to hide any evidence of
pain when his friends were near, John watched keenly the
opposite island and surrounding waters.
The Indians were wary. Now and then a dark form
could be seen as it flitted from one sheltered spot to
another, but at no time was there an opportunity for the
boy to discharge his weapon with any hope of hitting the
That the Indians were puzzled by the discovery that
the greater number of the white men had abandoned the
breastworks, could be told from their movements during
such times as the sentinel was able to get a glimpse of
From the agitation of the foliage, with now and then a
painted form swiftly moving across some open space,
John knew Squando's men had approached as near the
water's edge as they thought prudent, in order to learn
what the white party were doing.
Once he discharged his musket, having taken careful
aim, into a portion of the underbrush which seemed liter-
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
ally alive with the energy, and from the commotion
which followed it seemed positive the bullet had taken
Before the night had fully come, a huge pile of inflam-
mable material was stacked on the beach just beneath the
face of the bluff, ready to be ignited.
While performing this work the men had become more
fully convinced of the perils in store for them during the
night, and each tried to devise some plan by which the
landing of the savages might be guarded against.
No additional casualties had occurred, and when the
night was so far advanced that it was no longer possible
to distinguish small objects at any distance from the
shore, Mr. Burroughs said, gravely, -
"The most imminent of our danger now threatens. It
is proper each man should be fully sensible to all the
perils which await us. That the Indians will make a
desperate attempt to gain a foothold on this island before
morning there can be no question. Thus far the only
feasible plan which has been proposed for our defence is
that of the fire suggested by John, which I am now going
to light, and which I will endeavour to keep burning by
throwing fuel from the brow of the cliff."
And a mighty fine mark you will make for the sav-
ages, Parson," some one cried.
I shall take all possible precautions, friend ; but it is
work that must be performed, and there is no reason why
I should not do it as well as any one else. Two of you
can be sheltered from bullets by the rocks on the shore
THE ATTACK. 73
just above the cove, and I wish, if you think best, you
would select those who will fill that important position."
But what is to be done after we get there ? "
"The work which each must perform to-night,-that
of straining every effort to prevent the savages from land-
ing," Mr. Burroughs replied, curtly; for the question
seemed an idle one, when he who asked it, as well as all of
his companions, must have known the answer before the
words were spoken.
IN THE DARKNESS.
DAVIS and Lewis were the men selected to stand
guard on the beach behind the rocks referred to by
Mr. Burroughs, and they hastened to reach a sheltered
spot before the beacon-fire should betray their movements
to the enemy.
Previous to igniting the huge pile of fuel, the minister
first assured himself that the women and children were
together in one of the depressions of the land, where they
would be out of danger from flying bullets, and then paid
a visit to the sentinel.
"It is time we put your plan into operation, my lad, and
I am on my way to the beach. Be careful not to expose
yourself to the savages, for your only duty is to keep
watch over the waters between here and the main-land,
and such work can be performed without danger."
It will also be possible to learn if the Indians are
daring enough to swim across within the rays of light, sir.
It is better for me to expose myself than that they
should be allowed to land."
"As I said before, John, you have already done your
full duty," the minister replied, gravely. "Weak and
suffering as you are, I insist upon your keeping out of
this night's work, save in the matter of acting as
IN THE DARKNESS.
John made no reply to this positive command, and, as
if to change the subject, asked, abruptly,
How is Richard Pike, sir ?"
"It is hardly time to decide whether he will recover
from the effects of the wound, which was a serious one;
but not more so than yours, my boy. I should be better
pleased with myself if I had not consented to your going
on duty while you must be suffering great pain."
Anything of that kind, sir, does n 't count at a time
like this, and while there are so few of us to hold the
enemy in check it seems necessary every one should do
But not to the extent of endangering his life. If,
happily, our fears regarding this night's work prove
groundless, I shall see to it that you are relieved from
duty, and you must make no protest if some of us come to
take you back where the other wounded men are lying."
I am no worse off here, sir, than there, and I am
doing work which would otherwise be performed by an
You have done nobly, John, and if God permits that
we escape from this danger, full credit shall be given you
"But I have done no more than has Tom, sir."
I have heard the story from him, and cannot agree
with you in such a statement ; but this is not a time which
can safely be spent in talking. I am going to kindle the
fire, and repeat that you must shelter yourself, so far as
possible, from those on the opposite shore."
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
It would be well if you followed your own advice, sir.
No harm will be done in case I die, while if anything hap-
pened to you, the worst would befall those who are left
Before John ceased speaking the minister was lost to
view in the gloom, and ten minutes later a rapidly-increas-
ing glow could be seen creeping far out over the waters.
An instant later John heard the reports of two muskets
from the breastworks, followed by a splash in the water,
and he under-
ually be success-
.. volley from the two
S"rs on the shore behind
-- h I''lers, and then came a
r t'mm, ,of profound silence,
Sboken by a triumphant
shout from Lewis.
"There's three of 'em who won't land, and if it hadn't
been for John Brackett's plan they would have been
ashore by this time, with us none the wiser."
Each of the defenders was on the alert.
The position now appeared less desperate, and where
none had seen a ray of hope before, all begun to believe
IN THE DARKAESS.
it might be possible to keep the enemy at a safe distance
during the hours of darkness.
A noise in the rear of the sentinel caused him to start
nervously, but his fears were allayed on looking around,
when he saw Mrs. Wallis, with several of her female com-
panions, dragging fuel up to the bluff, that the fire might
"This is no place for you!" John cried, excitedly.
"Mr. Burroughs's orders were that the women and
children should remain together, and out of reach of the
It is the place for us," Mrs. Wallis said, emphatically.
"If boys like you and Thomas Larrabee can accom-
plish as much as you did last night, we women should be
able to contribute in some degree to the defences, and,
with all the men on the lookout, every additional pair of
arms may be of service."
But there is great danger in coming here, because the
fire from below must light up the cliff to a certain
"We can surely venture where a wounded boy is not
afraid to remain," Mrs. Wallis replied, decidedly; and
then, having dragged their burden to the edge of the
cliff, the women went in search of more fuel.
Before they were many yards from his station, John
heard Mr. Burroughs expostulating with them for ventur-
ing into a place of danger, and then came such a reply
from Mrs. Wallis as the minister would not have received
undei any save the present condition of extreme peril.
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
While there are enough to care for the helpless, we
shall continue to do all we can to aid in the defence,
regardless of danger. When men who have received
wounds no more serious than the prick of a pin crawl
back among the children to be nursed, it is time the
women took their places."
John understood that Mrs. Wallis referred to those who
had gone to the rear when there was no actual necessity
for doing so, and did his best to hear the minister's reply;
but in this he was unsuccessful.
There came to his ears only a low murmur of voices,
and then a sudden, rapid discharge of musketry from the
shore caused him to forget all else save the cruel danger
During ten minutes or more a heavy fire was main-
tained, and then all was silent again.
There were no cheers of victory, no lamentations of the
wounded, and it was impossible for the young sentinel to
so much as guess at what had occurred until Tom, wrig-
gling along the ground in order to avoid any more show
of his body than was absolutely necessary, arrived at his
The parson sent me to see if you were all right," he
said, in a low tone.
"Of course I am. What was going on down there a
little while ago ? "
Are you certain your wound is no worse ? Mr. Pike
said if you got excited and moved around much, it might
begin to bleed again."
[N THE DARAINESS.
"There is nothing the matter with me," John replied,
curtly. Tell me, what caused the sharp firing? "
Lewis and Davis noticed some drifting stuff between
the islands, but did n't pay any attention to it until Mr.
Burroughs discovered that it was working up against the
current. Three of us crept down and fired into it; we
put two Indians out of the way, and three succeeded in
swimming back. I reckon Lewis and Davis will be more
careful after this, for it can't be pleasant to be caught
napping as they were."
The most cautious men should have been sent there,
for it is the point from.which the greatest danger is to be
"In a crowd like ours, thinned down as we have been,
it is n't a question of picking out the best or the worst for
any particular work. Mr. Burroughs and Mr. Pike were
the ablest men we had, and now with one of them so far
gone that it is believed he will die before morning, we
have n't got any very choice material to select from."
You are still able to do your share, Tom," John said,
in a meaning tone.
Now don't talk that way, old fellow. You know I
amount to precious little, as I proved when we went for
You were willing to go, which is more than could be
said of the others, and did your share of the task as well
as I did mine."
"That isn't true, and I know it; but we won't talk
about it now. When the minister sent me here to see if
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
you were all right, I concluded I 'd try my hand at feeding
the fire, because it 's likely to be a dangerous job, and if
anybody is wiped out, it had better be me than the
And you are insisting that you are not one of the
best of the party," John said, as he clasped his friend by
"My work doesn't amount to anything, and the minis-
ter's does," Tom replied, almost
impatiently, and then he stole away
in the gloom to perform the dan-
i,:',' Thanks to the labour of the
women, a sufficient amount of ma-
trial had been collected to keep
ithe fire bright many hours, but in
Order to throw it over the cliff it
was necessary he who worked
"should expose himself in the
'-- "'- strong light of the flames at in-
John's heart literally sank within
--1",him as he saw his friend clearly
outlined d by the glow of the fire, and
then shutting his teeth tightly, with the
musket pressed against his shoulder, he watched the op-
posite shore intently in order that he might fire at the
first flash which could be seen from Peak's Island.
While one might have counted ten he remained silent
IN THE DARKNESS.
and motionless, Tom meanwhile darting to and fro swiftly,
and then came in rapid succession the reports of half-a-
The sentinel readily distinguished the flash of the guns,
and fired, even as he heard the screaming of the bullets
above his head.
Then, turning, he tried in vain to find Tom with his
Are you wounded ?" John cried, in a tone of appre-
hension, and the reply was reassuring.
Not a bit of it. There's no need of keeping at work
while they are watching so closely, and I thought I would
give them a little rest. I got a big pile of wood on the
fire before they began shooting."
While speaking, Tom was cautiously making his way
once more toward his friend, and he had just reached
the latter's side when Mr. Burroughs hurried up to learn
the cause of the fusilade.
John explained what had occurred.
That was a work which I intended to perform myself,"
the minister said, as he laid his hand on Tom's shoulder.
" There is no reason why you should incur so much
danger, my boy."
"More reason for me, than for you, sir," Tom said,
stoutly. "What would happen in case you were killed ?
It would be only one musket the less if I went under."
"Your life is as precious as mine, lad."
"But not as necessary to the safety of us all," John
added, quickly. I think Tom is right, sir, and I wish
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
you would let him do as he has begun. There is plenty
of danger on the beach if you are afraid you won't get
your share, and some of the men may need encourage-
Mr. Burroughs remained silent a few seconds, and then,
turning abruptly, walked down the slope, leaving the two
This was not a time for them to indulge in much
They had already discussed their duties for the night,
and now each lay on the ground, watching such portion
of the waters as was lighted by the fire.
Ten minutes had passed without a sound to break the
silence, save when a child moaned in its sleep, or the
nurses spoke to the rapidly-sinking Pike, and then Tom
Is the wound giving you much trouble, old fellow ?"
It aches terribly sometimes; but you must n't say a
word about it to the minister, else he would send me back
with the others, and almost anything is better than stay-
ing where a fellow can neither see nor do anything."
Mrs. Wallis said it was as much as your life was
worth to be here when you needed careful nursing."
I am of some service now, and as for my life, that
does n't matter, providing the others get out of this place
The conversation was interrupted by the coming of
Mrs. Wallis, who said in a low tone,-
Richard Pike is relieved from his sufferings."
IN THE DARIKNESS.
Although some such announcement was to be expected
after the wounded man began to sink into a stupor, it
was none the less painful to hear, and Tom strove bravely
to choke back the sobs.
It was the first death since they escaped from the
main-land, and there was every probability that it would
not be the last before succour came.
John made no reply. In his mind was the thought
that he would be the next regarding whom such an
announcement might be made, for he had been steadily
growing weaker, and did not dare trust himself to speak,
lest his secret should be discovered.
"I wish you would ask Mr. Burroughs to come to us,"
the good woman said to Tom, after a brief pause, and the
boy hurried away toward the shore.
Before a dozen seconds had elapsed an exclamation of
alarm and fear was heard from one of the watchers on
the beach, and then came sounds of men running to and
fro, mingled with the reports of fire-arms and the scream-
ing of bullets.
That it was not a hand-to-hand struggle with the enemy
John understood by the hurried and prolonged move-
ments, and what other danger could threaten he was not
able to conjecture.
For an instant there came into his mind the thought
that he should join his comrades, but before he could act
upon the idea he realized that he had no right to leave
his post of duty.
Sitting up as best he could, he searched eagerly with
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
his eyes everywhere within his range of vision, but saw
nothing, yet the tumult increased rather than diminished.
"God save us! What has happened ?" Mrs. Wallis
"I don't know; but it must be something which we
did not suspect. Your place is with the other women
For an instant it seemed as if the good woman was
paralyzed with fear; and then, turning suddenly, she ran
swiftly back to where Pike's lifeless body lay.
"Come with me, John," Tom shouted from a distance.
I can't get there; and, besides, I 'm bound to stay
here on guard."
"The Indians have landed on the other side of the
island! Tom cried, his voice sounding nearer and nearer
as he approached his friend. While we were watching
here, they circled around in the canoes and landed below
A wail of terror went up from the children, and the
two men who had been but slightly wounded now ran
toward the boys, their faces pale with fear.
You don't seem to be in very bad shape," Tom said,
with quiet scorn, as they approached. While there was
no particular danger for yourselves, you could skulk in the
rear with the children ; but at the first thought that you
may be hurt, the bullet-holes close up very suddenly."
A man may be too badly wounded to move around
much, and yet he can make one final effort to save his
life. How many savages are there on the island ? "
IN THE DARKNESS.
"I don't know. Mr. Burroughs and four others have
gone to meet them, leaving the remainder of the men to
guard this shore. If you want to save your lives, join
one party or the other, for we shall have work enough to
do within an hour, if we live as long."
The two who had so suddenly been aroused into activity
went swiftly toward the shore, and Tom said to his
"The last order the minister gave before he left us
was for me to get you away from here. There is likely
to be plenty of hand-to-hand fighting before we are all
wiped out, and you must go back with the women."
That is exactly where I shan't go. Now, if ever, is
the time when the savages will swim across. They have
sent only a portion of their crowd to take us in the rear,
so they can get over unmolested. Throw more wood on
the fire, Tom, and then watch the water-way."
But those who are already on the island will -
Never mind them now. We shall know when they
are near enough to do mischief, and at present we have
plenty of work here."
While speaking, John had crawled nearer the edge of
the bluff, and the last word had but just been uttered
when he discharged his musket.
"They are coming!" he said in a low, quick tone.
" One armful of wood will serve for a while, and then you
must do your share of stopping the swimmers."
When Tom had thrown a small quantity of fuel over
the bluff on the fire, he ran quickly to John's side, and it
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
seemed to him as if the water was literally alive with
In the rear the reports of muskets could be heard, tell-
ing that Mr. Burroughs and his companions were hotly
engaged; from the beach below came the same ominous
sounds, and yet the boys had so much to occupy their
attention that it was as if they were unconscious of all
that was taking place save in their own immediate
Each fired as rapidly as his weapon could be reloaded,
and, so far as was ascertained, not a single savage had
succeeded in gaining that portion of the shore illumined
by the flames.
How it was with the other defenders there was no
opportunity of learning.
They were straining every muscle to beat back the
persistent foe, and did not so much as turn their heads
when the sound of footsteps was heard behind them.
"I have brought poor Pike's musket,"-and the boys
knew it was Mrs. Wallis who spoke. I can load a gun,
and you will be able to fire oftener."
John had just discharged his musket, and, sliding the
empty piece backward, he took the loaded weapon.
By the time Tom had checked a swimmer, Mrs. Wallis
had John's musket ready, and, thanks to the assistance
she gave, the two boys found it possible to -put an end to
the efforts of Squando's men in this direction.
Shout to them, Tom," John said, when there were no
longer any targets to be seen in the water, and he had an
li THE DARKNESS.
opportunity to look about him for the first time. It will
encourage those who are getting the worst of ic.
"Hurrah! We have shut them off from this side!"
Tom's voice rang out clear and distinct above the reports
of the fire-arms. Two of us, with one woman to help,
can keep this part of the island free from the murdering
Now, more wood on the fire," John cried, and in this
work Mrs. Wallis assisted, the flames rising higher and
higher, as if exulting in the victory.
Run down to the beach and see if you are needed
there. If not, find the minister. I can do the work here,
with Mrs. Wallis to help."
Tom obeyed without a word. He understood how
valuable time might be just then, and it seemed as if he
had but just started on the mission when his voice was
heard from the beach.
"It is nearly all right here, John!" he shouted; and
now to find the parson "
Nearly all right! Mrs. Wallis repeated. That
means some of the poor fellows have fought their last
",A portion of us must go," John replied, softly.
The tone of his voice alarmed his companion.
You are faint, my dear boy! You have exerted your-
self too much !"
Not too much, Mrs. Wallis, for I have done no more
than was absolutely necessary; but I feel queer, and my
hc.i' whirls dizzily. Can't you keep watch till I get
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
straightened out a bit? Don't lose sight of that point of
rocks where the shadows are deepest, for it is there the
most of them have -"
The only guide Tom had as to the direction in which
he should proceed were the reports of the fire-arms, which
had ceased to be as frequent as at first, and with these as
a guide he was as likely to run into the arms of a foe as a
Precious though time was, it became necessary he
should proceed with caution, and when he reached that
portion of the island where he fancied the combatants
might be found, he picked his way from one clump of
bushes to another, moving as stealthily as a cat.
For the instant a silence of death reigned, and he was
beginning to fear his friends had all been slain, and that
the savages were creeping up on the survivors of the
small party, when there was a dash through the under-
brush, the noise as of a heavy body falling, and an instant
later confusion of sounds which momentarily bewildered
Not for many seconds did he remain motionless.
It suddenly flashed upon him that the noise was caused
by a white man and an Indian in desperate encounter,
and he pressed forward eagerly.
Not a word was spoken by the combatants.
It was a struggle in the dark, and the death of one or
the other must ensue before the battle came to an end.
It seemed to Tom as if he would never be able to find
IAN THE DARAAKNESS.
the ..it.,.--1!.- men, even though they were making so
much noise, and great beads of perspiration stood out on
his brow when the terrible thought presented itself that
he might arrive too late.
He had just made his way through a clump of bushes
more dense than any he had yet encountered, when the
outlines of two men were revealed in the gloom.
It was several seconds before he could distinguish one
from the other, and then it was as if his heart suddenly
leaped into his mouth, for Mr. Burroughs was before
Tom did not speculate as to the reason why these two
should be thus engaged in comparative silence, instead of
using their fire-arms. It was enough for him that the
ANA ISLAND REFUGE.
beloved minister was in danger, and he sprang forward
with clubbed musket, watching eagerly for an opportunity
to deliver a blow.
Large and sturdy though the clergyman was, his antag-
onist towered above him, and at the moment when Tom
was ready for action, Mr. Burroughs was so nearly van-
quished, that the Indian had succeeded in bending him
backward over a sapling.
The savage was making every effort to strangle the
minister, for he did not dare release his hold sufficiently
long to use the tomahawk which hung from his belt.
Neither of the men seemed aware of the boy's presence,
and Tom had good opportunity to deliver a blow.
The butt of the musket descended with a crash, drown-
ing the low cry from the savage, and the battle was at an
During several seconds Mr. Burroughs stood like one
who has suddenly been stricken motionless, and then,
springing forward, he seized Tom by the shoulders, bend-
ing him backward until it was possible to see the boy's
You have saved my life, lad, and I thank you for it!"
the minister said, in a voice which was far from steady.
" It is not so valuable to me, but may yet be of service
to others. You are as brave as your friend."
I am afraid not, sir. John thinks of everything, and
but for him I should n't have ventured here."
Is it well with the others ? "
"Two were killed on the beach, and there may be a
IA.- 7THE DARKNESS.
few wounds; but the savages did not succeed in swimming
across. Are there any more here ?"
I know of three who will not trouble us again; but
there may be others close at hand, and we are talking too
loud. Let us move this way," and the minister turned
toward the shore.
"Where is your musket, sir ?"
Somewhere in this direction. I was loading it when
that Indian came upon me; I turned to flee, and tripped
over a root. He was going so rapidly he could not pre-
vent himself from falling when I came to the ground, and
we had a short struggle. Then I succeeded in freeing
myself, and was attempting to find the musket which had
fallen from my hands, when he sprang upon me, probably
incited to take me prisoner by the knowledge that I was
unarmed. Here is the weapon," Mr. Burroughs added,
as he stooped to pick up the musket. The Indian's is
here also, and we had better take it with us."
Tom held out his hand for the gun, but the minister
slung it over his own shoulder, and continued the inter-
rupted work of loading his musket.
This done, the two made their way out toward the
beach, when they came suddenly upon one of their own
"Where are the others, Mr. Brackett?" the minister
Near at hand. I thought I heard a disturbance close
by here a few moments ago."
"So you did, and Thomas saved my life when he
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
brought it to a close. Have you seen anything of the
Nothing whatever. How many can you account for? "
"We have disposed of the same number, and it isn't
likely any more landed. I have seen the canoe they came
in, and it wouldn't have carried more than six at the
"We will pray God there may be no more, and give
Him our most devout thanks that we have come off vic-
torious without loss. Thomas tells me two of our number
have fallen at the other end of the island. I will hasten
back there, while you, and those who came with you,
remain here on guard till I send other instructions."
"Be careful of yourself, Parson," Brackett whispered.
And holding Tom a moment by the shoulders, he added,
in a low tone, You have shown yourself a man, my lad,
and if Falmouth ever recovers from this blow, your name
shall be known as that of a brave boy who saved the life
most dear to us."
The minister was already striding up to the shore, and
Tom followed in silence, but there was in his heart the
exultant thought that he had proven himself as worthy of
praise, and done as much in behalf of the fugitives, as his
Mr. Burroughs led the way first to the barricade on the
beach, which was now held by one man, and from him
learned that Tom's information regarding the loss of life
at this point was correct.
IN THE DARKNESS.
I don't believe the heathen will make another try for
it to-night," the man said, triumphantly, "and you'll find
what is left of us up at the stone wall. I can hold my
own here while the fire burns so bright."
At the breastworks the minister stopped only long
enough to whisper a few words of consolation to the rem-
nant of his flock, or to encourage them to be of good
cheer, and then he pushed on to where John had been
On the bluff stood Mrs. Wallis, musket in hand, and on
the shore beneath her the friendly light flared and glowed
as if to show its 'fealty to those who were so hardly
"Where is John?" Mr. Burroughs asked, his voice
Where he is free from pain and all fear of a savage
foe," was the solemn reply; and the sentinel motioned
toward a still, dark form covered with a woman's apron.
T HERE was no time to be spent in mourning those
who had yielded up their lives for the safety of the
Loving hands laid the earthly form of John Brackett
by the side of Richard Pike, and then it was necessary
that the living should turn their attention to measures of
protection for themselves.
Those who had fallen on the beach remained there,
owing to the fact that it would have been far too danger-
ous to attempt to bear the bodies up the slope while the
savages opposite were on the alert, and living and dead
alike held possession of the barricade near the water's
To Tom it was as if the desire to preserve his own life
had suddenly fled, and he moved from one point to another
without heed as to whether he exposed himself to the fire
of the savages, until Mr. Burroughs said, drawing the
mourner affectionately to him, -
It is your duty, my dear lad, to guard well your own
life, not because it is sweet to remain here on earth, but
that you may continue the work you have begun so
bravely. The women and children depend upon us to
save them from a painful death, or terrible captivity, and
while they are exposed to such imminent danger it is
criminal of us to be careless regarding our safety."
I did not intend to be careless, sir. It can make but
little difference what becomes of me, now John is dead;
and, besides, the danger is over."
"That is where you are mistaken, my boy. Our peril
is greater at this moment than it ever has been. The
savages can readily guess how sadly our number has been
diminished, and now is the time when they may best
strike a decisive blow. You saved my life to-night, and
must continue every effort to guard it for the benefit of
others. It is a sin to repine for John, and wicked to
neglect for a single instant the helpless ones in our
In no other way could the minister have appealed so
strongly to the grief-stricken boy, and during the remain-
der of the night he performed the labour of two men,
apparently insensible to all fatigue.
It was as if the savages had lost courage through their
failure to carry out the plan begun by the landing of men
at the farther end of the island, for no other attack was
made during the hours of darkness.
That they remained on the alert, however, and with no
thought of abandoning the siege, was shown whenever one
of the white party incautiously exposed himself, for then
a shower of bullets was sent from the island opposite the
refuge; but, fortunately, the leaden messengers went wide
of the mark.
It was Tom who, alone and unaided, kept the fire burn-
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
ing brightly on the shore, and his musket was the first to be
discharged whenever any of the enemy showed themselves.
The condition of the fugitives was most desperate when
the sun rose next morning.
The lifeless bodies of four of the brave defenders lay
awaiting burial, and of the remainder, one of the women
and all the men and boys save Mr. Burroughs and Tom
The Lord has dealt hardly with us, my lad," the good
man said, as he stood by the sentinel's side on the bluff
just as the sun was coming up from behind the restless
waters. It is not for us to complain, since He doeth all
things well, and that which seems a grievous blow is
turned by Him for our good."
How can the killing of poor John avail us ?" Tom
In our ignorance we cannot say, my lad; but it is the
hand of God, and who shall question His ways ?"
I shall never agree, sir, that there was any necessity
for such a murder He was as brave as he was generous
of heart, and the savages "
Tom could say no more. The big sobs which arose in
his throat prevented further speech, and the tears, so long
restrained, came like a torrent.
Not until the first passionate outburst of grief had sub-
sided did Mr. Burroughs make any attempt at consola-
tion, and then, with his arm around the mourner's neck,
he carried all the boy's sorrows to the Master whom he
so faithfully served.
Almost unconsciously Tom's fingers twined themselves
around the clergyman's muscular hand, and when the fer-
vent prayer was ended, his heart was freed from some
slight portion of its pain.
V ..,d 1, P 41
,, !"\' ,
"Now, my boy, we have thought of ourselves too
long, and our duty is to the living."
But will John shall "
The last service we can perform for those who have
given up their lives for ours will be done later in the
AN ISLAND REFUGE.
forenoon. They shall not be neglected by us, my boy,
even though our feeble works can give them no greater
store of happiness than they are now enjoying. When
the day is older we will give thanks to our God that He
has permitted us to live with and know such heroes as
He has just taken to Himself."
But little attention was given to breakfast on this
The lifeless forms, which lay on the rising ground
within view of all, were vivid reminders of the uncertainty
of human life, and the dangers to which they were yet
After the meal had been partaken of,-sparingly by
some, and entirely neglected by others,-Mr. Burroughs
went around among the wounded, to make certain they
were as comfortable as possible under the circumstances,
and then the last sad rites were begun.
One wide, deep grave had been dug just behind the
wall of rocks, in order that watch might be kept while
the bodies of the heroes were being interred; and when
this ceremony was concluded, the little band was forced
to continue the unequal warfare.
Tom pleaded, as an especial favour, that he be allowed
to remain on duty at the bluff, where John had suffered
and died without giving words or moans to his agony,
and the remnant of the party were stationed much as
before, save that two of the women, Mrs. Wallis being
one of the number, took their stations behind the wall to
do the work of those who were missing.
The day passed without further alarm.