• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Preface
 The attack
 The ambush
 The fort
 The mine
 The cave
 The escape
 Back Matter
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: Stories of American history ; 9
Title: Ezra Jordan's escape from the massacre at Fort Loyall
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00083406/00001
 Material Information
Title: Ezra Jordan's escape from the massacre at Fort Loyall
Series Title: Stories of American history
Physical Description: x, 109 p. : ill. ; 19 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Otis, James, 1848-1912
Estes & Lauriat ( Publisher )
Colonial Press ( Printer )
C.H. Simonds & Co ( Printer )
Geo. C. Scott & Sons ( Printer )
Publisher: Estes and Lauriat
Place of Publication: Boston
Manufacturer: Colonial Press ; C.H. Simonds & Co. ; Electrotyped by Geo. C. Scott & Sons
Publication Date: 1895
 Subjects
Subject: Youth -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Escapes -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Battles -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Massacres -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Diligence -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Courage -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Indians of North America -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Orphans -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Juvenile fiction -- Fort Loyal (Me.)   ( lcsh )
History -- Juvenile fiction -- United States -- French and Indian War, 1755-1763   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1895
Genre: novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by James Otis ; illustrated.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00083406
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002394802
notis - ALZ9709
oclc - 10089156

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter 1
        Front Matter 2
    Half Title
        Half Title
    Frontispiece
        Frontispiece
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
    List of Illustrations
        Page v
        Page vi
    Preface
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    The attack
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
    The ambush
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
    The fort
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
    The mine
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
    The cave
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
    The escape
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
    Back Matter
        Back Matter 1
        Back Matter 2
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
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r- k- X B ,Va-dwi ; r
The BdJdwin Lbrari

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EZRA -JORDAN'S ESCAPE
FROM THE MASSACRE AT FORT LOYALL









EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE


FROM THE


MASSACRE AT FORT LOYALL



BY

JAMES OTIS
AUTHOR OF "TOBY TYLER," "THE BOYS' REVOLT," "JENNY WREN'S
BOARDING-HOUSE," JERRY'S FAMILY," ETC.


Klhstrattrb



BOSTON
ESTES AND LAURIAT
1895



































Copyright, 1895,
BY ESTES AND LAURIAT
All rights reserved





















Typograplzy and Printing by
C. H. Simonds & Co.
Electrotyfing by Geo. C. Scott &6 Sons
Boston, U. S. A.
























CONTENTS.





PAGE
PREFACE 7

CHIIAPTER I. THE ATTACK. II

CHAPTER I. THE AMBUSH. 26

CHAPTER III. THE FORT .42

CHAPTER IV. THE MINE .

CHAPTER V. THE CAVE 78

CHAPTER VI. THE ESCAPE 92














LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.





"EVER PRESSING ON TOWARD THAT UNKNOWN GOAL WHERE
SHE WOULD BE IN SAFETY ". Frontispiece
PAGE
THE OLD HOUSE WITH THE INDIANS 13
EZRA FINDS THE CAVE 21

THE LAWRENCE GARRISON HOUSE 25
"WIHO COMES THERE?". .. 31

" FROM THE THICKET BEHIND THE FENCE CAME A SOLID SHEET
OF FLAME" ... 37
" You ARE ALL I'VE GOT" .. 43
" MANY WILLING MOTHERS WERE READY TO TAKE CHARGE OF
THE ORPHAN BABY .. 51
"WE SHALL DEFEND OURSELVES TO THE DEATH" 57

" MARY WAS A DIFFIDENT CHILD .. 63
EZRA DISCOVERS THE TUNNEL .71
"I SWEAR IT" 75
"A CLOUD OF SMOKE ENTERED THE TUNNEL" .84
"THEN THE FULL GLARE OF THE MORNING" 89

THE RUTH AND ELLEN .. 97
PLAN OF FALMOUTH NECK, 1690o 10
"MURDEROUS ROGUES" .O. 109













PREFACE.


N telling this story a few words of explanation seem
necessary for a better understanding of the events
narrated, that tedious detail may be avoided where it
would seem to be out of place.
Fort Loyall was situated in the then town of Fal-
mouth, settled in 1633, on the site now occupied by
the city of Portland, in the State of Maine.
Regarding this settlement, in the year 1690, Mr. John
T. Hull says :
It was but a small village, a collection of scattered
houses near the foot of what is now India Street, and
along the street that led by the seaside. But little
inroad had been made upon the primeval forests, except
in the immediate vicinity of the rude habitations which
our forefathers had built as homes for themselves and
families. The ferry and town-landing was near the
foot of what is now Hancock Street, whence the advent-
urous traveller commenced his perilous journey which
took him to Spurwink, Black Point, and the scattered
settlements farther on.
Opposite the town landing was the store and dwell-
ing-house of Sylvanus Davis, the principal trader in the
town. Near the corner of Fore and India Streets was
the only public house, kept 'by Richard Seacomb, who








PREFA CE.


was duly licensed for that purpose. At the foot of
Broad, now India Street, was the principal defence of
the settlement, Fort Loyall.
"It was situated on a mound, or rocky bluff, over-
looking the harbour, the base of which was washed by
the waters of Casco Bay. It comprised a number of
buildings, built of logs, and surrounded by an outer
barrier of fence in a palisade form, on which, at intervals,
were wooden towers for defence and observation. Loop-
holes cut in them, and its outer walls, gave its defenders
an opportunity to use musketry to advantage upon
assailants. The area of the fort was about half an
acre. It mounted eight cannon.
In other parts of the town were four garrison-houses,
which were intended as places of refuge when was heard
the savage war-whoop of the approaching foe. One of
these garrison-houses was located on Munjoy Hill, near
the present Observatory, one was near the foot of
present Exchange Street, and one was on the rocky
bluff, the site of the present Anderson houses on Free
Street. The location of the other is unknown. That
one on Munjoy Hill was built of stone, and commanded
by Lieutenant Robert Lawrence, who married George
Munjoy's widow. The others were probably constructed
of logs.
"In 1680 Thomas Danforth, who had been appointed
by the Massachusetts Council President of the Province
of Maine ... believed that the town could be
more easily defended by having a compact settlement








PREFA CE.


made in the vicinity of the fort, and in order to induce
the inhabitants to thus locate their houses, he granted
to all who would apply, house lots on Broad (now India)
Street, Queen (now Congress), and the other streets
which had been laid out in that part of the town.
It was one of the conditions of these grants that
homes to be occupied by settlers should be built within a
short time, as a settlement of that kind would contain
within itself a means of defence against the foe. In
consequence of these grants of land given by President
Danforth, in a few years a village arose where before
there was unhabitable forests.
Some of the houses were erected at a distance from
the main settlement, but most of them were adjacent to
each other and Fort Loyall."
In 1681 the General Court of Massachusetts appointed
a committee to inquire into the condition of Fort Loyall,
and ascertain what was necessary for its maintenance.
The committee reported that there should be no less
than thirteen men stationed at that post, viz.: a captain,
sergeant, gunner, and ten private soldiers. The Court
ordered that the fort be maintained at the charge of
the colony, and that the province pay the wages of six
of the soldiers.
Six months later it was ordered that the garrison of the
fort should be maintained entirely by the inhabitants of
the province, and the following year a tax was laid upon
sawmills in the vicinity to provide the necessary revenue.
SAfter the beginning of the second Indian war, known







PREFACE.


as King William's War, in 1688, the inhabitants of
Falmouth, fearing for their safety, and knowing full well
the fort was but insufficiently garrisoned, petitioned the
Massachusetts colony for relief; but in vain. The towns
in the immediate vicinity of Falmouth assumed the
responsibility, and garrisoned the fort with more than
a hundred men, and Captain Simon Willard was ap-
pointed Commandant by the Massachusetts colony.
Unfortunately, however, the Government of Massachu-
setts decided to protect the eastern frontier settlements
by striking a blow at the French possessions in Nova
Scotia, and in furtherance of this decision Sir William
Phipps sailed from Boston, April 28, 1690, stopping at
Casco Bay only sufficiently long to take from Fort Loyall
Captain Willard and nearly all his men, leaving the
fortification almost wholly unmanned at a time when
it was well-known the French and Indians had already
made an attack upon the adjoining town of Casco.
Owing to this unfortunate withdrawal of forces, there
were not above seventy able-bodied men left in the little
settlement on the shores of Casco Bay when the enemy
advanced in its victorious march upon the devoted village.
THE AUTHOR.












EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE

FROM THE MASSACRE AT FORT LOYALL



CHAPTER I.

THE ATTACK.

THE fifteenth day of May in the year of our Lord
one thousand six hundred and ninety.
After Ezra Jordan's parents had been killed by the
Indians, and his great grief was somewhat subsided, he
believed he was a singularly fortunate boy in being
" bound out" to so kind a master as Robert Greason,
and that his lines had fallen in very pleasant places when
he was, as a member rather than a servant, admitted to
the Greason home.
Although Ezra was but fourteen years of age, he had a
decidedly manly way of looking at affairs, and one idea
which animated him was that he should, by his persistent
and unwearying labour, give to the master of the house-
hold as much as he received. Therefore it was that
when Richard Greason spoke of his "bound boy," he
would almost invariably add,-
"Although Ezra has been ,with us only a year, he








EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


seems as near as any of the other children, and little
Mary believes him to be in truth her brother, for he is
more attentive to her childish whims and fancies than
either Joseph or John."
On this particular morning in May it was very much as
if Ezra Jordan had forgotten or abandoned his habits of
industry, for instead of continuing the work of piling up
the rocks in the field which bordered the stream, to form
a wall, according to Mr. Greason's directions, he sat idly
looking around him upon that ever-recurring but never-
the-same miracle, -the bursting of the apparently lifeless
trees into bud and blossom.
The morning air was warm with its promise of coming
summer, and even a boy who had as many reasons for
working as Ezra, could well have been forgiven for spend-
ing his time in gazing upon the beauties of nature every-
where around him.
From the placidly flowing streams to the heavily
wooded hills beyond, was a picture of peace with the
promise of future prosperity, and perhaps Ezra was
calling to his mind what the Greason farm would look
like after it had been wholly cleared, when his revery was
rudely disturbed by the same shrill, startling yells he had
heard on the night his father and mother fell beneath the
murderous tomahawk.
Surrounding the house, as if they had sprung up from
the very earth, was a band of painted, feather-bedecked
Indians, shrieking and yelling like so many demons;' and
coming directly toward Ezra, her face pallid as if sud-








THE A TTA CK.


denly blanched by death, was four-year-old Mary Greason,
terror lending strength to her tiny limbs.
Ezra understood the meaning of the scene around the
house only too well. He had reason to know how futile
would be any hope of mercy from such a foe, and as he
fled once before, so he fled now, tightly clasping little
Mary in his arms, as he whispered, -


















"Don't cry, darling! Don't make a noise, and perhaps
we can get away! "
The child ceased her piteous moans as she buried
her face on the shoulder of the "bound boy" who was
to her as a brother, and Ezra ran swiftly and nervously,
never daring once to glance behind him, until they were
in a tangle of bushes, where the cries of the victims
were lost in the distance or had been stilled by death.








EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


It was difficult for the two to make their way through
the dense foliage where the thorns of the blackberry
bushes scratched the unprotected flesh until tiny streams
of blood covered the face of one and the hands of the
other, but yet Ezra pressed on, shielding with his own
body the child who clung to him.
He stopped only when his breath was so far spent that
it seemed absolutely impossible to proceed another step,
and then Mary began to cry even more piteously than
before.
Ezra, uncertain whether his flight was known to the
enemy, and realizing that such sounds would attract the
attention of the savages if they were within hearing
distance, did his utmost to pacify the frightened child.
The Indians will catch us if you make a noise,
darling; try not to cry, and Ezra will drive the wicked
men away! "
I want mother! What made her tumble down so
quick ?"
Poor Ezra! He knew only too well why "mother
tumbled down;" but he did not dare give way to his
present grief, or that memory suddenly brought to him,
lest the child should be yet more noisy in her sorrow.
Go quietly with Ezra, so the Indians won't hear, and
in a little while he will give you something to eat."
This was an unfortunate suggestion, for Mary began to
imagine she was hungry, and insisted in words all too
loud that she "have dinner now."
It was in the highest degree dangerous to remain so








TIE A TTA CKI


near the scene of the tragedy; but despairing of making
her understand how necessary silence was to the safety
of both, Ezra pushed forward once more, this time hold-
ing the child by the hand.
Before they had traversed a hundred yards on this
second stage of the flight, the boy heard a movement
among the foliage which told beyond a question that the
enemy were in close pursuit, guided, probably, by the
sound of Mary's voice.
Glancing hastily around, he saw the hollow trunk of a
tree which had been uprooted by the wind. It would at
least afford a place of temporary shelter, while capture
was certain if they continued on with so much noise.
There was no longer time to coax Mary into silence;
clasping his hand firmly over her mouth, he crept into the
log, half-carrying, half-dragging the child with him.
Mary struggled to free herself, and Ezra's heart
reproached him sorely for frightening her, but the sound
of footsteps near the place of hiding told that the
murderers were close at hand, and he gave no apparent
heed to her struggles, save to make certain she could not
wrench herself from his grasp.
He heard the Indians plainly as they walked to and fro,
or conversed in guarded tones, while probably waiting for
the fugitives to speak again in order to make certain of
their whereabouts, and while he crouched there, hardly
daring to breathe, Mary was struggling with all her
feeble strength to escape from his detaining grasp.
"Keep still, please!" he ventured once to whisper;








EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


but she was too much alarmed to give heed to his
prayer.
When it seemed to Ezra as if fully an hour must have
elapsed, the sound of cautious footsteps could be heard,
apparently moving away from the upturned tree, and then
all was silence.
But for the fact that Ezra Jordan had been taught by
cruel experience, the struggle for life would have ended
then and there; since, had he ventured out in the belief
the enemy were abandoning the search, he could hardly
have failed to meet them.
It is not probable the Indians pretended to leave the
spot in order to tempt him out, for had they felt certain
he was in the immediate vicinity it would have been a
simple matter to find him. True it is, however, that they
returned at the very moment Ezra was on the point of
taking his hand from Mary's mouth, and the wretched
fugitive waited in painful suspense many moments longer,
listening to those who had murdered his foster-parents
and brothers.
Finally all was silent in the forest once more, but Ezra
waited until he believed an hour had elapsed, when he
released his hold of Mary.
The poor baby had struggled so long, and in such a
condition of terror, that, instead of speaking when it was
finally possible for her to do so, she remained silent, save
for the sobs which shook her tiny frame.
Now Ezra had additional cause for fear. He believed
he had done the child some grievious injury by holding








THE A TTA CK.


her prisoner, and, for the first time since taking flight,
gave way to tears.
It seemed as if his show of grief had more effect on
Mary than his entreaties, for in a few moments she began
to pet him, begging he would not cry, and very shortly
her request was granted.
"I won't, baby, if you'll promise to come with me and
not make a speck of noise."
Will we go to mother? "
The biggest kind of a lump came into Ezra's throat as
he thought that never again in this world could the baby
"go to mother," but he forced it back like a hero, as
he replied,-
We must n't go straight back or the Indians will catch
us. If we can find a place,- a long ways off, where we
can hide without so much chance of being caught as here,
we'll wait till night, and then go home."
"Baby's hungry," and little Mary patted Ezra's cheek
caressingly, as she had been wont to do as a preface
to some request.
If you'll come with me like a good girl, and not talk
out loud while we're anywhere near here, I'll get you
something to eat."
Mary was ready to promise anything; the long stay in
the hollow tree had rested her in a certain degree, and
she was eager to seek a more pleasant halting-place.
Ezra took every precaution which suggested itself when
he emerged from the log, to assure himself the Indians
were no longer in the vicinity, and then, without the








EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


slightest idea as to where such a course would lead him,
walked bravely off in a direction opposite that by which
he had come.
The baby clung closely to him, and more than once did
he bend over, at the expense of many cruel scratches from
the thorns, to save her from pain.
No sound of human beings could be heard; the birds
sang and the squirrels scolded in the security of their
woodland homes, and the boy, whose one thought was for
the safety of his foster-sister, felt wonderfully strength-
ened by the apparent friendship of the many forms of life
around him.
So far as he believed, the only road to safety lay in
travelling as long as possible directly away from the place
where he had seen those whom he loved stricken down,
and when Mary grew so tired that she refused to take
another step, he lifted her in his arms again, staggering
under the burden, but ever pressing on toward that
unknown goal where she would be in safety.
How long he walked amid the tangled foliage which
oftentimes completely barred his passage, forcing him to
make long detours, he could not have told; but when he
was so weary that it seemed he must fall under the baby's
weight, she insisted more peremptorily than before for
"sumfin to eat."
It was too early in the season for berries, but Ezra
knew wintergreen plums might be found, and after a
short search succeeded in gathering sufficient to satisfy
the child. Hungry though he was, the manly boy never so







THE A TTA CK


much as thought of taking any portion himself, and when
Mary had eaten as many as she then desired, he saved the
remainder, to be given when she asked for more.
The search for the plums had rested him in a certain
degree, and he persuaded Mary to accompany him yet a
little further.
Alternately carrying the baby, and holding her hand as
she toddled by his side, the flight was continued until the
two arrived at the shore of a stream. It was not much
wider than an ordinary brook, and quite as noisy, but yet
too deep to be forded, and while the child dabbled her
pink fingers in the water, he looked around for some place
in which to spend the night.
Already had the sun disappeared behind the trees, and
the lengthening shadows told Ezra he would have scant
time in which to make preparations for spending the
hours that must elapse before it should be possible to
continue the flight.
He did not dare remain in the woods, lest wild animals
should attack him, and was speculating upon an attempt
to get Mary into the topmost branches of a small tree,
when he espied a hole, quite large enough to be called a
cave, in the bank of the stream a few yards away.
The baby was perfectly willing to accompany him on an
exploring expedition, and clapped her tiny hands in glee
when they were within the excavation, which, although
not large, afforded ample space for their requirements.
Ezra knew he had found that which he so sorely
needed, and by bribing the baby with the remainder of







EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


the wintergreen plums, induced her to remain there alone
while he gathered what would serve as a bed.
A small quantity of dry leaves, a few pine boughs such
as he could break from the trees, and his preparations
were made.
He crept into the place where he and Mary would be
screened from view of all who might pass, save those who
travelled by boat, and made the child's bed. The boughs
were laid first, over them strewn the leaves, and above all
his coat. The night was far from warm, but he would
not feel the cold if he knew the baby was comfortable.
Perhaps Ezra had never felt more strongly the desire
for earnest prayer, and on this night he repeated over and
over again the petition his mother had taught him, until
Mary complained that he was "huggin' her too tight,"
and mussin her face with water."
Ezra dried his eyes furtively, lest she should discover
he had been crying, and then, wrapping her in the coat,
took her in his arms as he swayed his body to and fro,
that she might fancy he was rocking her.
Mary was soon in the land of dreams, happy among the
elves who painted bright pictures for her especial pleasure,
and during all that night Ezra, who deserved the name of
"lion-hearted" if ever a boy did, watched over her ten-
derly, not daring to close his eyes in sleep lest something
should happen which might necessitate a hasty removal
from the cave.
During the long hours he decided that as soon as the
sun rose he would set out once more, following the course







THE A TTA CK


of the stream until arriving at a house, and with the first
gray light of coming day, he stole softly from the cave to
search for something with which to appease the baby's
hunger.
He found more plums, and in such abundance that he
felt he was warranted in devoting a few to his own use,
and was returning to the cave to awaken Mary, when
the sound of paddles from the stream at a point above
where he stood caused his face to grow pale with fear.
He believed the Indians were still searching for him,
and clambered hastily into the cave to make certain the
baby could not betray their whereabouts by a cry, when
the sound of a voice brought him to the mouth of the
excavation, trembling with excitement.
It was a white man whom he heard speaking, and as he
stood endeavouring to peer into the gloom, a canoe, in
which were four persons, appeared from around the point.
Hello !" he cried, and at the sound of his voice the
men seized their weapons, but laying them down again
instantly he showed himself upon the bank, and the frail
craft was swung toward the shore.
The settlers of Maine were ever on the alert for danger,
and the sight of a frightened-looking boy on the bank of
the stream told, quite as plainly as words could have done,
that the red enemy was upon the war-path once more.
Get into the canoe," the leader of the party, Robert
Lawrence, said hoarsely, after Ezra had told his story.
"The inhabitants of Falmouth must be warned, for it is
against them the real attack is to be made."








EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


But I've got the baby with me," Ezra -cried, as he ran
swiftly up the bank, not waiting for a reply, and a few
seconds later he and Mary were being conveyed to Fal-
mouth as rapidly as four paddles in the hands of sturdy
men could bear them.
It was but little information Ezra was able to give those
who were thus assisting him.
He had no good idea as to the number of Indians in the
party which had attacked Robert Greason's home, but
stated quite positively that he had seen more than
twenty."
After learning all the details it was possible for Ezra to
give them, the men continued their journey in silence.
There was food in plenty for Mary and her companion,
and the speed was not checked, save, when arriving at a
bend in the stream, the little craft was momentarily
halted, that the ...._- might make certain there were
none of the enemy in advance.
Yet it was not until nearly nightfall that the bow of
the canoe grated on the shingle at the foot of Broad
Street, and the dwellers of Falmouth were once more
startled by the terrible information that they were prob-
ably about to be attacked.
Although there were only five houses on either side of
this road, nearly a quarter of a mile long, Ezra thought,
as they walked up Broad Street, that he was in the
midst of a populous village, for he had never seen
so large a settlement before. Then, arriving at Queen
Street, Lawrence led the little party sharply off to the








THE A TTA CIC 25

right, up a yet steeper hill through the woods, until they
arrived at what was known as the Lawrence Garrison
House, -a stone building as to the first story, and a
wooden over-hanging structure above that, formed of the
stoutest timber and pierced here and there with loop-
holes.












Here was only the Lawrence
family, but before the good woman -
of the house had ministered to
Mary's childish wants, the party of four was increased by
eight of the neighbours, who, alarmed by the terrible in-
telligence, had left their homes to seek safety in this build-
ing, which had been built with a view to defence.













CHAPTER II.


THE AMBUSH.

ONCE inside the garrisoned house, Ezra understood
that there was enough work to be done, even
though he might not act the part of one of the defenders,
to keep him busy, and would have set about it immediately
but for Mary, who insisted on his remaining with her.
Ezra, eager to assist in the preparations for defence,
was trying to persuade her to go with some of the women
or other children, when Mrs. Lawrence said, as she stroked
the baby's hair lovingly,-
Do as the poor little thing wishes, my boy. There
are enough here for the work on hand, and you will be
doing your full share if you keep from her mind thoughts
of the trouble which has come upon her."
"It is n't seemly a boy should be doing a girl's work
when he is needed by the men," Ezra replied, in an apolo-
getic tone. "I can't do Mary any real good by holding
her-"
It is what she wants, and after all that has happened
her wishes should be gratified as far as possible," the
good woman replied, wiping the moisture from her eyes,
as she realized that before many hours had passed her
own children might be as much alone in the world as was
little Mary Greason.








THE AMBUSH.


Ezra resigned himself to the task without further
remonstrance, and while boys of his own age aided the
men by moulding bullets, he sat in one corner, whispering
softly to the baby, until her eyes closed in peaceful slum-
ber, and even then he remained silent and motionless,
regardless of the fact that his limbs were benumbed and
aching, lest by changing his position he should awaken
her.
Not until nearly midnight was the house in such a state
of defence as its master believed necessary. Then one of
the women took Ezra's burden from him, and he presented
himself to Robert Lawrence with a request to be allowed
to do his portion of the guard duty.
Go to sleep, lad, for I am certain you need rest quite
as much as does the child you have been nursing. Thank
God, we have men enough, unless the foe should come in
larger numbers than now seems probable, and boys need
not be called upon yet."
Is there no work to be done, sir ?"
"Nothing that I would burden you with after your sad
experience and wearying flight. Lie down by the fire,
and when the time comes that you can be of service, none
will summon you more readily than I, who love a willing
worker."
Ezra could do no less than obey, and, stretching himself
out at full length amid a number of boys about his own
age, was soon lost in slumber.
It seemed as if he had but just crossed the border of
dreamland when a sudden opening of the door aroused








EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


him. He saw a man enter, whose garments were wet
with dew, and approach the master of the house, who was
lying asleep upon the floor.
"Lieutenant!" the new-comer whispered, and instantly
Lawrence was on the alert.
"What have you found, Storer? "
Enough to keep slumber from your eyes this night.
A hundred or more Indians are creeping up the hill from
the shore of the cove, and we may expect a busy day
to-morrow."
"A hundred!" Lawrence cried, as he sprang to his
feet. "Then this movement must mean even more than
we feared."
"I reckon the French have sent them down upon us,
and we can count on their not only being well armed, but
plentifully supplied with ammunition."
"Word should be sent to the fort at once."
." Then we must rouse up some one, for none of our
men on the outside can be spared now."
"I will take the message," Ezra said, in a low tone, as if
fearful lest some of the sleepers should awaken, and thus
deprive him of an opportunity to be of service.
Have you ever been to the fort ?" Lieutenant Law-
rence asked.
"No, sir; but I can readily find my way after you have
told me where it is located."
"It is work which should be performed by a man, now
that the enemy is so near," the sentinel said, curtly.
But I can do it as well, and the men may be needed
here," Ezra persisted, as if asking a great favour.







THE AMBUSH


You are right, lad, and shall be entrusted with the
mission," Lawrence replied, decidedly. Make your way
to the place where we landed this evening, and then go to
the left along the shore. If you succeed in gaining the
fort, tell Captain Sylvanus Davis what you have heard re-
ported, and add from me that we are likely to be hard
pressed by sunrise."
Ezra looked around the room an instant, seeking Mary
with his eyes, but, not finding her, departed without the
least show of hesitation, although he knew the garrisoned
house was by this time nearly surrounded by foes who
knew no mercy.
"There is little chance he will ever reach the fort," the
sentinel said, grumblingly, as he turned to resume his duty.
" It may be impossible to send word an hour from now,
and, without assistance from the outside, our time of re-
sistance will be short."
"The boy has already shown himself capable of eluding
the Indians, and God knows he has had bitter experience
enough to be aware of all their wiles. He was right in
saying that every man was needed here, and if one is to
fall while trying to gain the fort, better for those in our
charge that it be one who is not able to perform a soldier's
full duty on the morrow."
Ezra was troubling himself but little with thoughts of
the danger which threatened, although fully alive to all
the perils he might encounter. He understood what an
important service it was possible for him to render to those
who had assisted him and Mary, and, with Lieutenant







EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


Lawrence, believed his life was of less importance than
that of one of the men.
On leaving the garrison he stole softly through the
thicket near a fence, which would serve him as guide,
stopping every few seconds to listen for sounds which
might betoken that the Indians were in front of him.
From the rear came calls as of night birds, and he
understood they were made by the foe, who were gather-
ing around the doomed building, but nothing could be
heard in the direction he had been told to pursue.
Not until he was fully a quarter of a mile from the
garrison did he quicken his pace, and then it was to press
forward at full speed, halting not until arriving at the
water's edge, where he had gained his first view of the
settlement of Falmouth.
Now he stopped only long enough to make certain of
the location of the fort, after which he ran swiftly, as
heedless of fatigue as when he was carrying little Mary
from the savages who would have murdered her, until he
was halted by a cry.from one of the watch-towers.
"Who comes there ? "
"A messenger from Lieutenant Lawrence."
The heavy gate was swung open after a short delay,
and when Ezra entered it was to find himself confronted
by two men with levelled weapons.
It is only a boy one of them said, as he lowered his
musket, while the other busied himself with refastening
the gate. Are you the lad who brought the news of the
murder of Greason ?"








THE AMB US.


Yes, and now I am charged with a message for Cap-
tain Davis."
"Who sent it?"
Lieutenant Lawrence."
"What is it ? Are the enemy near?"
The captain can tell you that after I have delivered
my message," Ezra replied, in a tone which was intended
as one of apology for not satisfying the curiosity of the
men.
So we are getting ourself up for a soldier, eh ?" the
second sentinel said, with a laugh. "The commanding
officer must receive the news before the privates, who are
expected to do all the work with none of the pay, can be
told? "
I was directed to repeat the message to Captain
Davis, and it would not be right to make it known to
others first."
You speak well, lad, and the words should shame men
who grumble because others are set in authority over
them. Is it me you want to see? I am Captain Davis,
in command of this fort."
The captain had come from one of the buildings in time
to hear a portion of the conversation, and as he spoke he
laid his hand on the boy's shoulder in a manner calcu-
lated to inspire confidence.
Shall I deliver Lieutenant Lawrence's message here,
sir ?" Ezra asked, looking up at this man who appeared so
gentle and friendly.
"Ay, lad, that you may. Although it was right you








EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


should first deliver the words to me, I do not keep from
my men anything which they have reason to know."
"The Indians are surrounding Lieutenant Lawrence's
garrison. The sentinel reported that he had seen more
than a hundred, and it was thought you should be in-
formed."
The captain and his men received the startling informa-
tion in silence, Ezra fancying the soldier who had spoken
the loudest gave evidences of fear, and then the former
said sharply,-
Carry the news to the Ingersoll garrison, Prout, and
ask if men can be sent here to-night, in order that assist-
ance may be given Lawrence early to-morrow. Where
are you going, lad ? he added, as Ezra started toward the
gate.
Back to the lieutenant."
"You will remain here. -There is no reason why you
should encounter the same peril twice; besides, if the
Indians are gathering, the garrison is surrounded by this
time."
"But I must go back, because Mary is there."
"That you may when we send a body of men up the
hill, as will be done when we can collect sufficient force."
Ezra would have been willing to encounter the danger
in order to be at the garrison in case Mary should awaken
and ask for him, but the captain spoke in such a decided
tone that he could do no less than obey.
The building nearest the gates served the double pur-
pose of guard-house and a lounging-place for the sentinels,







THE AMBUSH.


and here Ezra took his station, for, from this point, no
party could leave the fort without his knowledge, there-
fore he would be able to join the relief sent up the hill,
even though he was forgotten by the captain.
He had no desire for sleep ; but if his eyelids had been
heavy, slumber would speedily have been banished by
those who came to the fort for protection.
The soldier sent to the Ingersoll garrison had believed
it his duty to warn the inhabitants of such houses as he
passed, and within ten minutes from the time he left the
fortification the fugitives began to arrive.
Some came wearing a look of determination, as if
resolved to do valiant battle for their lives and property;
others were almost panic-stricken, while not a few were
giving full sway to mingled grief and terror.
Ezra noted with considerable surprise that the women
were the calmest, save when one or more of the most cher-
ished articles, which had been caught up at the first alarm,
were found to be missing, while the children fretted and
sobbed because of having been forced to leave their beds
at such an unseemly hour, or tried to appear brave and
unconcerned, according to their several dispositions.
The day had come, and the soldiers of the fort were
eating breakfast, when the armed men from the Ingersoll
garrison arrived, and then Ezra thought he would soon be
able to return to the baby, whom he believed needed his
loving care.
A party of thirty, the greater number of whom had
hardly more than arrived at the age of manhood, were







EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


ranged in line under the command of one whom Ezra
heard addressed as Lieutenant Clark; but to the impa-
tient boy it seemed as if the word to march was very long
delayed.
The forenoon was more than half spent when the troop
finally passed out of the fort, with no. slight amount of
noise, despite the positive order of the commander that
silence should be maintained; and the young messenger
who marched in their midst understood even better than
they seemed to, what the result might be in case the
enemy decided to make a stand in the gloomy recesses
of the forest.
Up the now deserted Broad Street, then through Queen
Street to the foot of the hill, the men marched without
hearing or seeing any signs of the foe, and the majority of
the party had begun to believe the news brought at such
an unseemly hour was wholly false, or greatly exaggerated,
when the word to halt was given.
They had arrived at the narrow path, fenced in on both
sides, which led to the Lawrence garrison, and Lieutenant
Clark, on the alert for danger, however careless his men
might be, observed that the cattle in the lane, instead
of running toward the house to avoid the party, stood
hesitating, as if afraid to proceed in either direction.
"Be cautious, boys !" he said, in a low tone. "There
is something suspicious here."
"It is nothing worse than your own fears, Lieutenant,"
some one shouted, laughingly. There are men in the
Lawrence garrison, and it is n't likely they would allow the








THE AMBUSH.


enemy to gather so near. If you are afraid, we can go on
without you."
There was a sting in this reply which caused the officer
to forget his prudence, and he shouted angrily, -


k-51


We have men here as well as there, and no one has
cause to say I ever showed myself a coward. Forward,
company!"
The men leaped forward with cheers, as if engaged in
play, and it seemed to Ezra, who had been left in the rear,


1.
.I r
...., 6~6~


'M'







EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


as if from the thicket behind the fence came a solid sheet
of flame. He heard the screaming of bullets, the war-
whoop of the savages, and then these were drowned by
the cries of agony, as the scalping-knife and tomahawk
were used by a foe who outnumbered the white men at
least five to one.
During a single instant Ezra stood as if suddenly
stricken motionless by the terrible scene, and then, as if
in a dream, he heard a man cry, who looked at him,-
There may be time to reach the garrison! It is
useless to make any attempt at fighting !"
The boy darted forward, thinking only of the child
whom he had once saved from a terrible death, and
who might be in need of his help now.
The distance from where the ambush had been laid, to
the garrisoned house, was not more than five hundred
yards, yet a bullet might have brought him low before he
could have traversed half that distance, but for the fact
that the savage foes were too intent on slaughtering those
close at hand.
Ezra, the man who had called to him, and one other,
were allowed to go free, but before they gained the
shelter of the Lawrence house a few wounded soldiers
were following, and behind them came a great portion of
the force which had been in ambush.
Lieutenant Lawrence did not wait behind his shelter
until the bloody work was concluded, but, at the first
sound of danger, came out with nearly all his following,
and the Indians abandoned the pursuit rather than expose
themselves to the fire of the settlers.








THE AMB USH


Darting through the open door of the house, Ezra caught
up Mary in his arms, as if thinking she would be safer
there than anywhere else, and he was thus holding her
when the first of the wounded fugitives gained entrance.
Then it was as if the lower floor of the building had
suddenly been converted into an hospital.
Of the thirty who came from the fort, Lieutenant
Clark and thirteen of his men lay dead in the lane, and of
those who escaped, but three were unwounded.
Not until one of the women insisted sternly that the
younger children should go to the upper story where they
could not witness the distressing scene, did Ezra allow
Mary to be taken from him, and then it was as if he had
suddenly awakened to the fact that he might be of
assistance.
"Give me some work to do, please," he said to Lieu-
tenant Lawrence. If I cannot care for the wounded, I
may take a man's place as sentinel."
"So you shall, lad," the officer, said, quickly. "Find
Storer, tell him to come to me, and do you fill his post,
wherever it may be, providing it is not one of too great
danger."
The lieutenant had not time for further conversation.
On every hand were men face to face with death, moan-
ing for water, for a prayer to be said, or an opportunity to
send a last word to some loved one.
Ezra made his way into the open air, and on the stock-
ade built around the house found the man whom the lieu-
tenant desired to see.








EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


Storer's duties consisted of standing guard at a point
least likely to be attacked by the enemy, and when Ezra
made known his errand, the man said, as he handed the
boy his musket,-
If you found your way to Fort Loyall in safety last
night when the forest was filled with savages, I reckon
you can be trusted to keep watch here. Don't let any-
thing escape your eye, and shoot at the first suspicious
thing you see. Do not wait to question, for then it may
be too late ; but be careful of your aim !"
It was as if Ezra had but just taken his station, and
Storer had not yet reached the building, when the new
sentinel saw a shadowy form amid the bushes a hundred
feet away.
The musket was discharged; a shrill cry rang out, and
then came a volley of bullets from every quarter, showing
that the garrison was entirely surrounded.
From that moment until nightfall every uninjured man,
and several of the wounded who were not wholly disabled,
was kept busy answering the shots which came from the
thicket, but not one bullet in twenty found its target as
had Ezra's.
More than once was the boy tempted to run into the
building in order to assure himself little Mary did not
need his services; but the thought that, by so doing, he
would be. abandoning his post of duty, deterred him, and
he remained doing battle as valiantly as any of the men
around him, until some one cried, grimly,-
"Hurrah for Greason's lad "







THE A MB USH.


The cheers were given with such a will that the savage
foe must have feared that reinforcements had arrived, and
Lieutenant Lawrence came running out to learn the cause
of the uproar.
It is time you were relieved, lad," he said, approach-
ing Ezra, with a look of approval on his face. "I will
send Storer back as soon as he can be spared."
"If I am of any service, why not let me stay, sir ?"
"Judging from what the men say, you are of great
service, my boy; but however willing you may be, some
care must be given yourself. It is time you had food
and rest."
"I am neither hungry nor tired, sir."
"Then it is because you are not aware of the fact.
The sun will set in two hours, and you need sleep now, for
it may not be possible to gain any later."
It was difficult for Ezra to believe the day was so
nearly at an end until he glanced at the sun, which was
now very near the tree-tops, and instantly he reproached
himself with having remained away from Mary so long.













CHAPTER III.


THE FORT.

W HERE there was so much to be done the children
were forced to care for themselves, and to Ezra's
unpractised eye it seemed as if little Mary had been sadly
neglected during his absence.
Immediately upon his arrival in the room above the one
which had been converted into a hospital, she ran toward
him with a glad cry of joy, and clasping her arms around
his neck, held him tightly, as if fearing he would leave her
again.
Ezra caressed her tenderly. She was the only link
which bound him to the two homes he had known, and
without her it seemed as if he would be entirely alone,
even though surrounded by those who were ready to act
the part of friends.
From the moment when the attack had been made
upon Mr. Greason's home until the present Ezra had
hardly had time to realize his and Mary's lonely position.
During the journey in the boat the one thought which
occupied his mind, to the exclusion of everything else, was
the possible appearance of more savage foes; nor did he
feel entirely at ease until the arrival at the Lawrence
garrison-house. Then, everything was so new and
strange that he thought more of what was around him
42











THE FORT.


than of himself or companion. After that came the
hurried march, the terrible events of the ambush, and the
afternoon of incessant watching and fighting, which pre-
vented him from dwelling upon present matters.
Now, however, that he and Mary were alone, as it
were, and the weariness of body was beginning to make
itself felt, he realized fully the position in which they
were placed.
You are all I've got, Mary dear," he said, in a
whisper, clasping the tiny child yet more closely; "and
I am the only one who loves you. We are all that is
left for each other, ain't we ?"
"All 'cept father an' mother an' Joe an' John."
"But they are not here, darling," Ezra said, with a long-
drawn sigh, "and until they come you and I are alone.
Have the people been kind to you ?"
Mary hardly understood the question, save that it
referred in some way to her doings of the day, and she
gave her companion a most doleful account of her lone-
liness, until he really began to believe she had been ill-
treated.
The longer he talked, however, the more did the weari-
ness of body assert itself, and his eyes almost closed in
slumber, despite his efforts to keep them open, until he
begged Mary to lie down with him.
Under less unhappy circumstances the child might not
have been content to make any attempt at going to sleep
while it was yet daylight, but the moans and groans from
the room below had both awed and frightened her, and







EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


she was perfectly willing to act upon the suggestion made
by her foster-brother.
Ezra, who slept but little during the hours of darkness
he remained in the cave with the baby, and not more
than an hour on the previous night, had hardly stretched
himself out at full length on the floor, with Mary nestling
by his side, before the terrible reality of his surroundings
was lost in the blissful unconsciousness of slumber.
Had he remained on duty behind the stockade he
would have heard the proposition which Lieutenant
Lawrence made to his men, as follows:
"From all we have learned since the ambush of poor
Clark and his party, there cannot be less than three
hundred Indians in the vicinity. There is no question
but that the garrison will be attacked within the next
twenty-four hours. Our present force is too small to give
us any hope of holding the place against the enemy, and
it is my belief that our wisest course, for the protection of
the women and children in our care, is to seek refuge
in the fort while there is yet an opportunity. I am
unwilling, however, to abandon this place if the majority
of you think the risk of going through the woods and
town greater than that of remaining. Storer, what is
your opinion ?"
"The same as yours, lieutenant. If this 'ere crowd of
painted savages close in on us in good earnest, there's
little hope, even though we had food in plenty, which we
haye n't. According to my reckoning there is enough to
feed our party for twenty-four hours, and then it becomes







THE FORT.


a question of starvation or surrender. We all know what
the' last means with such an enemy."
"There would be none too many of us if every able-
bodied man in the settlement was at the fort," Captain
Davis's cousin, who had been but slightly wounded at the
ambush, and was doing his full duty with the members of
the garrison at the Lawrence house, said, when Storer had
ceased. "There we shall be safe, for it is most likely the
captain has brought in provisions from all the houses in
the settlement since poor Clark was murdered. By keep-
ing up a show of resistance here, we do not benefit them
or ourselves, and I believe we should abandon the place."
One after another of the men expressed his opinion
in similar terms, and the lieutenant said, gravely,-
"The move must be made early in the evening, other-
wise we shall be too late. Let four men come with me,
and we will make preparations for destroying this build-
ing after abandoning it."
It was impossible for the inmates of the garrison to
convey to the fort all the powder on hand, and with this
explosive the lieutenant determined to destroy his home,
lest it should serve as a shelter for the foe.
That portion of the powder which could not be taken
away was placed in the middle of the cellar, and confined
in kegs in such a manner that the full force of the explo-
sive should be felt when it was ignited. Then a slow-
match was laid from there to the room above, and in
silence preparations were made for departure.
Storer, who had been detailed to see that the women








EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


and children were gotten in line, for it was necessary the
helpless ones march. in a compact body, that they
might the better be defended, came in the course of his
duties to Ezra, and a kindly look was upon his face when
he touched the boy on the shoulder gently, as if unwilling
to arouse him from his peaceful slumber.
"Am I needed?" Ezra asked, springing up quickly,
and then stooped to lift Mary, who was beginning to cry
at having been so rudely disturbed.
"Ay, lad, that you are; but not to play the part of
soldier yet. We have decided to take refuge in the fort,
and shall start as soon as I can get the party together.
Take your baby and come done stairs."
What is to be done with the poor fellows who are
wounded ? Ezra asked, ever mindful of others rather
than himself.
"We shall carry those who are yet alive and can-
not help themselves; but death has been busy, lad,
since you laid down, and there are not enough left of
the poor fellows to hamper us very much in our move-
ments."
Mary would have walked, but Ezra insisted on carrying
her.
This abandonment of the garrison seemed a token of
defeat, and, knowing how large was the number of Indians
lurking on the outside, the boy had good reason to fear
that the journey to the fort, short though it was, might be
the last any of the party would ever take.
Therefore it was that he pressed the child yet more







THE FORT.


closely to him, believing their time on this earth was
numbered by hours rather than days.
It was ten o'clock when the sad-visaged party issued
forth from the garrison, after half a dozen men had
scouted in the vicinity of the path leading to Queen
Street, and reported the way clear.
The moon was shining brightly, thus dispelling the
fears of an attack, unless the foe should become aware of
the sudden removal, and make an attempt to pick off vic-
tims as they passed through the forest.
Hardly a sound could be heard. The women, pale and
terrified, but yet courageous, repressed all show of grief,
lest even a sob should proclaim their movements and thus
bring death upon the party. The wounded, carried on
hastily-constructed litters, nerved themselves to bear in
silence the torture caused by the jolting received at the
hands of their hurrying comrades, and the men, muskets
cocked and primed, deployed in wide circles as scouts,
risking their own lives, time and time again, to insure the
safety of the helpless ones who looked toward them for
protection.
In the front ranks, staggering under the weight of
Mary, and leading by the hand a wild-eyed, terror-stricken
boy of half his own age, Ezra trudged manfully on, only
his pale, quivering lips telling of the fear which weighed
upon his heart.
Incredible though it seems, when one realizes the num-
ber of Indians and Frenchmen (for there were white men
among that band of painted savages), who had taken up







EZRA JORDANA'S ESCAPE.


their station on the narrow neck of land solely for the
purpose of murdering the settlers, the march to the fort;
through woods which afforded ample lurking places for
those who would kill, down past deserted buildings where
a dozen ambushes might have successfully been laid, was
made in safety.
The scouts ahead had warned the sentinels at Fort
Loyall of the coming of the fugitives, and the gates were
thrown open wide at their arrival, to be closed without
loss of time instantly the last unfortunate had gained the
shelter.
"The garrison will be destroyed," Ezra heard Lawrence
say to Captain Davis. There was ample supply of pow-
der in the cellar; we laid a slow match, and I, myself,
lighted it. The explosion should occur very soon."
"And you will be homeless, lieutenant ? "
"It is the will of God. I could not hope to save the
buildings, and would rather have destroyed them were
they a hundred times as valuable, than that they should
serve the purpose of the enemy. I am under your com-
mand, captain, and will thank you to assign me a place of
duty which has at least the merit of being dangerous."
The remainder of the conversation was lost to Ezra, as
he was forced to join the sad throng which took posses-
sion of the living rooms in the fort.
The buildings in the enclosure were literally crowded
with refugees, for not only were the forces from all the
garrisoned houses there, but every settler who could reach
the fortification, and Ezra no longer found it necessary'to






THE FORT.


devote himself to the care of Mary, for many willing
mothers were ready to take charge of the orphan baby, all
of whom realized most keenly that before many hours
elapsed their own babies might need a stranger's pro-
tection.
One room was devoted to the children and those who
were to act the part of nurses, and here Ezra understood
that he could leave Mary in safety,
Ii. for it was his duty to offer his ser-






/ Imp,,,
"1 l' .,,- ,.iIe .


,r. r l I I~"'..-
^4


Ul01huL[th nmure
than two hundred were now within the walls of Fort
Loyall, the fighting force was not above seventy men,"
and every arm that could raise a musket would soon be
needed.
You shall come with me, lad," the lieutenant said,
when Ezra presented himself to Captain Davis. I like
such courage as you have shown, and will give you good
opportunity for work."







EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


SLieutenant Lawrence, together with those men who
had accompanied him from the garrison, was stationed
behind the outer barrier on that side of the fort toward
Fore Street, and here it was believed the attack would be
made, for there was no question but that the Indians and
French, being in such great numbers, would soon assault
the fort.
Ezra joined these, and it gave him no slight gratifica-
tion to observe that the soldiers welcomed him as one of
their number.
He had already proven his ability and willingness, and
they were glad to avail themselves of his services.
"You already know what these painted devils can do in
the way of butchery, lad," one of the men said, as he
gave Ezra a musket and powder horn; "but now you'll
have a chance to see them in a regular fight."
Do you think there is any danger they can overpower
us ?"
"Not if there were twice as many, my boy. If they
make a soldierly assault, we can mow them down with the
cannon, of which there are eight, and as for scaling this
palisade while we have our eyes open, it is out of the
question."
"How long before Lieutenant Lawrence's house will be
blown up?"
"It begins to look as if we had made some mistake
there. The explosion should have taken place within
half an hour after we left, but so far nothing has hap-
pened. That can't work us any harm while we stay in







THE FORT.


the fort, though, and it may be the lieutenant won't lose
the garrison after all."
Observing that the remainder of the party were silent,
Ezra suddenly thought it possible he might be infringing
some of the rules, and asked, quickly,-
Is it forbidden for us to talk here ?"
"Not a bit of it, lad. The savages know well enough
where we are, an' there's no reason why every mother's
son of us shouldn't do as he pleases, except so far as
going outside the fortification is concerned."
"What are to be my duties? "
"Stand guard until you are relieved, like the rest of us.
I don't allow it is necessary to keep very strict watch, for
the sun will rise in less than an hour, an' these demons
don't feel like fighting except it can be begun by a sur-
prise. It is now too late for anything of that kind."
Ezra did not believe his whole duty would be done by
spending the time in conversation with this man, and he
made a tour of such portion of the stockade as the force
to which he belonged had been given guard over.
The other members of the party greeted him kindly,
but none attempted to enter into any lengthy conversa-
tion, and he wondered why all appeared so reserved, until
it was sufficiently light to see the expression on their
faces.
Then he noted the fact that nearly every one wore an
anxious look, which seemed out of place if what the first
speaker had asserted was true.
Before half an hour passed Ezra got a clue to the real







EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


situation, by overhearing a portion of the conversation
between Captain Davis and Lieutenant Lawrence.
"Yes, I am convinced there are good grounds for my
fears," the captain said, evidently in reply to some ques-
tion. "The scouts report having seen men who were
not disguised by paint, and heard others speaking in the
French language."
"But that does n't prove we are confronted by a por-
tion of the French army."
I think it does. What sachem could have mustered
as many men? These Indians are from Canada, you must
admit that if you have seen one, and it is only reasonable
to suppose they are in the pay of the French."
"Even then we should be able to hold our own."
I should have few fears if there were no white men
against us, for we have a fairly good idea of what the
Indians will do; but when it comes to coping with well-
trained, well-informed army officers, who make of fighting
a trade, then I feel I am too weak."
"At all events, if the worst does happen, we are
certain of humane treatment in case of being forced to
surrender, which is more than could be said if our victors
were Indians."
"If we surrender it will be to the Indians, and we shall
see no white men," the captain said, in a low tone, and
from that startling remark the remainder of the conversa-
tion was conducted entirely in whispers.
Ezra could not understand the meaning of all that had
been said, but he realized that instead of being assured of







THE FOR .


their safety, the captain was doubtful of the result, and
his spirits fell decidedly.
While the day was breaking he paced to and fro, trying
to devise some plan for the protection of Mary in event
of a disaster; but he had arrived at no satisfactory con-
clusion when, a few moments after the sun rose, he was
startled by triumphant shouts in the distance.
"The heathen are at their work of destruction," said
the man who had first spoken to him, as he approached
Ezra's side, and, looking in the direction indicated by an
outstretched finger, the boy saw a dense smoke rising
above the trees.
"That must be the Doughty house, which stands near
the burying-ground, but the others will soon follow."
It was as if the Indians had made up several parties in
order that each dwelling might be set on fire at the same
moment, for before Ezra could have counted twenty he
saw the smoke rising from half a dozen different direc-
tions, and the lamentations of the women in one of the
log-houses told that they had learned what was being
done.
"That wipes out the Falmouth settlement, an' unless
the Massachusetts Colony give the people in this province
considerably more aid than has been given in the past, it
will become a wilderness again," the soldier said, bitterly.
"A hundred men were taken from this fort to strike the
French in Nova Scotia, and we left here at the mercy of
any who choose to come musket in hand."
During at least half an hour Ezra stood watching the







EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


flames, which could be plainly seen, and while he sor-
rowed for those whose homes were being destroyed, he
could not but rejoice that no blood was being spilled as
an accompaniment to the scenes of devastation.
He was aroused from this sad business by Mary's
voice, as, standing in the door-way of the building devoted
to the women and children, she summoned him to her
side.
It was necessary, or at least he thought so in the
absence of more important duties, to remain with her
nearly an hour, and then he was summoned to join the
defenders at the palisade.
A body of Indians, or those who resembled Indians,
were marching down Broad Street in something approach-
ing military precision, and Ezra heard one of the men
mutter, half to himself,-
Two-thirds of 'em are Frenchmen! Who ever saw
an Injun march soldier fashion, as the most of them are
doin'? It '11 be hotter here than we bargained for."
Ezra took up his station near. Lieutenant Lawrence,
and there waited the order to fire, but it did not come.
The enemy halted while yet beyond musket range, and
one-unmistakably an Indian--advanced with a demand
for the surrender of the-fort.
Captain Davis, who had stepped to Lawrence's side,
gave the latter a significant look, and then sprang upon
the palisade to reply.
"Who asks for our surrender ? he asked.
I, Hopegood."







THE FORT.


"How long has it been since you followed the fashion
of the pale faces in making war ?"
"We fight as we like. Do you surrender ?"
No Davis cried, emphatically. "Go back to those
who sent you, and say we shall defend ourselves to the
death! "
A ringing cheer from the men inside the enclosure, and
the Indian turned stiffly, walking away slowly, as if to
show that he was not afraid to remain within view of the
enemy.
Lawrence, take command of the forces on this side
the palisade, with the exception of the gunners. They
will go to their stations without delay."
He spoke loudly, so that all might hear, and the lieu-
tenant asked, in a lower tone,-
"Do you expect they will give us open battle? "
"They are forming into line now. Look! To your
pieces, men, and train them on the road! We have said
we would defend ourselves to the death, and the moment
has come when we must begin that defence."













CHAPTER IV.


THE MINE.

THE battle was begun without delay, and if there had
been any among the defenders of the fort who ques-
tioned the fact that the French were in command of the
assaulting party, those doubting ones must have been
speedily convinced when the engagement was commenced
in military fashion.
The fort was surrounded on the three sides which could
be approached by land, and a sufficient force stationed
near the water's edge to cut off any possibility of retreat.
The engagement was opened by heavy firing on the part
of the assailants, but the eight cannon, passably well served
by Captain Davis's men, held the enemy in check.
When night came it was apparent to all that the
besiegers would be forced to adopt different tactics if they
hoped to be successful.
It was just at the close of the first day's battle that
Ezra once more overheard a portion of a conversation
between Captain Davis and Lieutenant Lawrence.
The boy was doing soldier's work near one of the obser-
vation towers, and the two men halted in the rear of this
structure, where they probably fancied their words would
not be overheard.
"It is true we have a portion of the French army
60








THE MINE.


against us, however disguised the men may be, and yet
thus far we have rendered a good account of ourselves,"
Lawrence said.
Yes; and can continue to do so under the same cir-
cumstances."
"You speak as if you feared a change of plan."
"I not only fear it, but feel positive one will be made
before morning."
What do you anticipate ? "
"They will attempt to undermine the fort, in my
opinion. There is no other way by which we can be
beaten. An assault would be foolhardiness on their
part."
Your views are gloomy, Captain," and the lieutenant
did his best to speak in a careless tone.
I would not share them with any of the men, sir, lest
I should weaken the soldiers by disheartening them.
With you it is different, and depending upon you as I do
for counsel and support, I think it proper you should
know all my fears."
There is no question but that a mine might be suc-
cessfully laid, in which case, because of the women and
children with us, it would be necessary to surrender,"
Lawrence replied, speaking half to himself. If it was a
case of yielding to the Indians alone, we had better fight
until each man is dead; but I cannot believe Frenchmen
would refuse to accord us the usages of war."
We will hope not; and perhaps, my dear Lieutenant, I
am unwise in burdening you with my gloomy forebodings.








EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


The mine is not begun yet ; perhaps it never will be.
The fort is not taken yet, and we may never be forced to
surrender."
Have we provision and ammunition in plenty ? "
There is no fear on that score. We could remain a
month without great privation. It is my intention to
allow the men as much rest as possible to-night, and to
that end I shall post a dozen or more sentinels, giving
each man two hours of duty. You will govern yourself
accordingly."
Half an hour later Ezra was told to join the line of men
who were going for their evening rations, and that after
that he was at liberty to spend the time as he chose until
again summoned, or in event of a general alarm.
Can I keep Mary with me to-night, Lieutenant ? he
asked.
"I think not, my boy. It is essential the men should
be by themselves in one place, where they can readily be
summoned, and, besides, the child will be better off among
the women. There is no reason, however, why you should
not see her as often as you please."
It was a warm welcome Ezra met with when, having
procured from the cook his supper, and eaten it, he
visited Mary.
The child's eyes were red and swollen with long weep-
ing, and Ezra questioned her closely as to the cause of
her grief, believing she had been ill-treated by those in
whose charge he was forced to leave her.
She insisted, however, that every one had been kind to








THE MINIVE.


her, and he finally discovered that she was sorrowing
because of being forced to remain away from her parents.
More than once did Ezra determine he would explain to
her that she could never again see her father or mother
on this earth, but each time he began his heart failed him,
and when he finally left, relinquishing the child to those
who would care for her, it was
with promise that at the earliest
possible moment he would take
her to her parents. !' ''"
"If I could stay with her all '
the time, I 'd feel more like tell- ''
ing the poor little baby," he said
to himself, as he walked slowly "
toward the quarters assigned the
men from the Lawrence garri- '
son. She has got to know it i l t' .
pretty soon, of course, but I'll
wait till this fight is over, so I can
be with her while she's feeling '
the worst. I wonder why some
of the women have n't told her."
There were good reasons why the little girl had not
been made to understand the absence of her parents.
First, all the women within the enclosure were too
anxious regarding their own, to give any more time than
was absolutely necessary to others; and, again, Mary was
a diffident child, almost bashful, remaining by herself the
greater portion of the time, rather than joining the other








EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


children in the fort. Perhaps the good people fancied she
understood what great trouble had come upon her, and
refrained from speaking of it, lest they should augment
her grief.
At all events, she remained wholly in ignorance of the
fact that her parents and brothers were dead, and it would
be Ezra's duty to make her understand her loss.
He slept that night as only a weary boy can sleep, and
on awakening next morning it was with a feeling of
chagrin that he had not been called upon to do sentinel's
duty, for having once been treated as a man, he believed
he should still be considered one, so far as the defence of
the fort was concerned.
It was necessary that the fighting force of the besieged
be on duty early, for the attack was continued in a differ-
ent fashion from the beginning.
Now the Indians were carrying out their method of
warfare, attempting to set fire to the palisade and build-
ings by means of blazing arrows.
It was not difficult to prevent a serious conflagration,
but the labour was incessant during the forenoon, and
when a dinner of fried salt pork and corn bread was set
out, Ezra was too weary to go in search of Mary.
Seating himself on the ground directly behind that
portion ot the palisade he had been defending, by the
side of Storer, he ate heartily of the frugal meal, and
when it was consumed to the last crumb, said to his com-
panion,-
"They are making a good deal of work for us, but I







THE MINE.


can't see that anything has been gained toward getting
possession of the fort."
Neither has there, my lad, but according' to my way of
thinking' they did n't expect to do much damage, with all
their blazin' arrows."
Then why have they sent them in so thickly ?"
"To keep us busy, an' prevent us from looking' around
very much."
"What do you mean by that?" and an expression of
perplexity came over Ezra's face.
If you will take notice, there are none but Indians in
front of us now, and the painted Frenchmen are keeping'
out of sight. It is my belief they are making' mischief
elsewhere."
"What do you think they are doing? "
"I allow they're diggin' a mine, an' once that has been
done we shall be given the choice of walking' out of the
fort, or of goin' up with it."
"Do you mean that the white men would blow us up ? "
Just as certain as we sit here, if they get the chance.
France is at war with England, so whatever they do to
this 'ere fort is all fair and above-board."
Ezra was silent while one might have counted ten, and
then he asked,-
"Why don't we stop them from making a mine ?"
"Because we can't, lad,-an' that's a fact. If they are
working' at all, it is under the eastern bluff, where we can't
get at 'em without cannon or muskets, an' it would be worse
than foolish to think of making a sortie while they out-
number us five to one."








EZRA JORDAA'S ESCAPE.


There was little time for conversation, since the Indians
were still continuing their tactics, and during the re-
mainder of the day every man inside the enclosure was
kept busy fighting the flames when not engaged in the
almost futile effort to pick off one of the foes.
As yet no great amount of blood had been shed, when
the ammunition expended is taken into consideration.
During the previous afternoon, and all of this day,
the almost incessant fire of musketry was kept up, and
yet, so far as could be told, the enemy had suffered a
loss of but two men, while in the fort only eight had been
wounded.
When night came and he was relieved from duty, Ezra
again visited Mary, remaining with her during the entire
evening, and promising more than once that when it was
possible for them to leave the fort he and she would go
"back home."
And that is where we will go," he said to himself
when he left her once more. "I can tell her the story
there, and she will understand it. After that I '11 take
her to Boston; I can surely earn enough there to pay
what it will cost for her living."
The third day of the siege did not differ materially
from the second, except that perhaps the Indians were
less persistent in their efforts to set fire to the buildings,
more of the besieged were wounded, and that a smaller
number of the enemy participated in the engagement.
The remainder, in company with the entire force of
Frenchmen, were probably, at least so the defenders of







THE MINE.


the fort argued, at work under the brow of the hill
toward the east.
Mr. Hull, who has c--it'- i much time to obtaining
particulars of this destruction of Falmouth, says r-.nr'.l-
ing the attack on the fort :
During these days of siege the red-crossed banner of
England -.'je.:-l over the fort. On both sides the firing
was sharp and heavy. The roar of the cannon ,:-:h. .it_ in
the surrounding forests, the reports of musketry, the
flaming houses of the inhabitants, the war-whoops and
yells of the savages outside the palisades, the cries and
:.-r.. of women and children inside the fort, who saw their
husbands and fathers fall before the bullets of the French-
men, or brought in wounded to die in the arms of their
loyed ones, were scenes of terror that can hardly be
described or imagined.
"The defenders of the fort were but a small and f-.-i 1.-
band, yet they firmly stood repelling the assaults of the
foe. Whenever a Frenchman or Indian exposed himself,
a musket bullet found its way to him. The F!*li.-h
wasted much ammunition in vain to ,.ii.-' .i ,; their be-
siegers, who, in j,1d':vrl-iniK.- the fort, were in such a
situation that they were protected from its cannon.
Captain Davis encouraged his men to renewed exertions,
knowing well that if the fi-.:'t surrendered to the Indians
no quarter could be expected; but they preferred to meet
their deaths l-':-i,:ndiiu, themselves and faiil-l-, on the walls
of the fort, than trust themselves to the mercies of their
savage foes. It was found that the mine commenced by







EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


the enemy under the walls of the fort was proving a suc-
cess, and that in a day or two the results expected would
be accomplished, and the further defence of the fort be
useless."
The morning of the fourth day of the siege brought to
Ezra the severest of his trials.
He had gone to see Mary before joining the others at
the palisades, and found her more impatient to "go home"
than ever. There was nothing he could say to quiet her;
she refused to believe it impossible for them to leave the
fort, and insisted he could take her away if he was so
disposed.
Again and again Ezra tried to explain why it was
they must remain; but Mary, in a childish outburst of
grief, refused to listen to him, and finally, in order to
check her sorrow, if only for awhile, promised faithfully
that they should set out on the following morning.
Then he went to his post of duty, and was assigned a
station by the side of Storer, who, gloomy and apparently
preoccupied, was making every effort to pick off some of
the enemy, regardless of the fact that in more than one
spot near him the flames had fastened upon the logs.
"I guess you didn't see this," Ezra said, as he extin-
guished the fire by beating it out with a stick.
"It makes no difference whether I did or not," was the
reply. The end is about come for us. If you look
through the loop-hole you will see them loading an ox-
cart with birch bark. They can easily push it up to the
palisade, hiding themselves behind it, and a spot of flame







THE MINE.


such as you have put out will amount to very little along-
side of what comes from that contrivance."
But one glance was needed to show Ezra the contriv-
ance of which Storer had spoken; but however desperate
the danger might be, he did not think it sufficiently great
to warrant the man in thus giving up all hope, as he
apparently did.
"There is plenty of water yet," he said, cheerily.
Yes; but we can only throw it at random, and fight-
ing a lot of flames such as would come from that bark is
going to be a different matter from a bit of fire here and
there thrown on the end of an arrow. Besides, it seems
certain the mine is finished, and I reckon we will hear
from the Frenchmen before this day comes to an end."
Do you believe the fort will be surrendered?" Ezra
asked, in alarm.
"It is all that can be done, lad. Matters would look
hard for us without the mine; but with that our chances
of successful resistance are gone."
"And would Captain Davis surrender us to the Indians ?"
"He will, most likely, hope to make a trade with the
Frenchmen. It is death if we stay here, and it cannot be
any worse than that outside."
"I had rather be shot than given over to the Indians."
"So had I, lad, twenty times to one; but I don't think
it is going to be as bad as that. If the Frenchmen agree
to take us prisoners of war, we sha'n't have such very
hard lines."
Ezra made no reply.








EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


From what Storer had said, and from the expression on
the faces of those around him, he understood that the
defence of Fort Loyall was virtually at an end, and
although his companion spoke hopefully regarding their
chances of being considered prisoners of war by the
French portion of the besiegers, he could not believe
the Indians would allow their prey to escape their
savage practices.
The boy stood behind the palisade, looking out upon the
cart, with its combustible load, which was being pushed
slowly toward the fort, those who furnished the motive
power being protected from the bullets of the besieged
by the vehicle itself, but taking little heed of what he
saw.
He thought now only that the surrender was an assured
fact, and repeated over and over again to himself, -
Mary sha' n't be given up to the Indians. I don't
believe they can be kept at a distance after the fort has
surrendered."
He no longer thought of doing duty as a soldier.
The one idea in his mind was that Mary was to-be saved
from the savage foe, and that he must do it unaided.
Amid the crack of musketry, the triumphant yells of
the Indians, and the roar of the cannon, he stood as if
alone, trying to devise some means of escape.
Hurriedly, and regardless of the bullets which came
over the palisade rendering certain portions of the en-
closure almost untenable, he ran to that side of the fort
which faced the water.







THE MINE.


A hasty survey of the coast, and he realized that any
attempt to escape in that direction would be useless. A
score of Indians, or white men masquerading as such,
were stationed on either side, sheltered by the bushes and
hastily-constructed barricades of stone, to intercept any
fugitives who might attempt flight by water.
Once more dashing across that part of the enclosure




'il'l'i ili LII "| r 1' ' : '', ." I v












he darted into first one house
^and then another, until he believed his
search was ended.
Under the building used as a cook-room was a rude
cellar, in one corner of which a hole had been dug into
the wall, probably as a storage-place for milk.
It was hardly more than a tunnel, eight or ten feet
long, three feet wide, and about four feet high. This
had been shored-up with poles in such a fashion that there







EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


was no danger that the earth above it would give way,
and Ezra said to himself, as he surveyed it, -
Mary and I could live there two or three days. The
Indians would not stay much longer than that after the
fort surrendered, and we ought to be able to give them
the slip. Anyway, it is a good deal better than going out
to be killed, as I am certain the people will be when they
surrender."
It did not occur to him that the Indians might, and
probably would, burn all the buildings of the fort. He
only thought of the present, and this excavation seemed
to offer a timely place of refuge.
The occupants of the fort, realizing that their defence
was rapidly drawing to a close, were panic-stricken, and
no one paid any attention to the boy when he carried
from the kitchen what he believed would be a large supply
of both fried and raw pork, corn bread and Indian meal,
and water in a small keg.
This done, Ezra felt more comfortable in mind; but
there was yet a fear that at the last moment he might be
separated from Mary.
Therefore, instead of returning to his comrades, he
went directly to the house occupied by the women and
children, arriving there just as the ox-cart was pushed up
to the palisade, and those who had brought it thus far
began hastily digging a trench behind it for their safety.
The huge logs, which had resisted so many assaults
by the flames, speedily succumbed to the intense heat to
which they were subjected, and in less than ten minutes








THE MINE.


from the time the match was first applied, a light sheet of
flame was rising along the stockade for a distance of at
least a dozen yards.
Five minutes more passed, during which the doomed
occupants of the fort gazed steadily at the formidable
enemy which confronted them, and then was heard what
at that moment sounded welcome to all, the command in
French for the surrender of the fort.
"Thank God we have to deal with soldiers, not with
savages!" Captain Davis shouted, and, seizing a white
blanket from a pile of household goods near at hand, he
leaped upon the palisade, waving it.
Are you French soldiers who demand our surrender ? "
he asked.
"We are," some one replied.
Will you give us quarter for the men, women and
children, both wounded and sound, liberty to march to
the next English town, and a guard for our safety and
defence ?"
There was a short interval of silence, and then an officer
in uniform came out from the thicket in which he had
evidently been concealed. Advancing to within hailing
distance, he shouted,-
You shall have that which you ask if you surrender
immediately."
Are you the commander of the French troops ?"
Davis demanded.
"I am."
"Swear by the great and everlasting God that you will








EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


give our men, women and children, wounded as well as
sound, safe guard to the next English town."
"I swear it," the officer said, solemnly, holding up his
right hand, and with a low cry of intense relief, the cap-
tain replied,
I surrender this fort under the conditions named to
you, sir."
It can well be fancied that all those inside the enclosure
had heard this brief conversation, and a spectator would
have found it difficult to believe the little party had been
forced into submission, so great was the relief of all that
they could surrender as prisoners of war, without danger
of being delivered up to the Indians.
Ezra, who, with Mary in his arms, had retreated to the
door of the cook-house, stood as if undecided what to do.
There was such a general rejoicing among those around
him that it seemed as if his suspicions had been un-
founded. The French commander had sworn solemnly to
protect his prisoners, and there appeared every reason to
believe he would do so.
Yet Ezra hesitated, and while he stood thus undecided,
still clasping Mary tightly, the gates of the fort were
thrown open.
The band of shrieking, yelling Indians poured in as
does the sea through a newly-made break in the reef, and
the defenders of the fort, who had thrown down their arms
in submission, were at the mercy of these howling demons.
There was no question of safe conduct and a guard for
defence.







THE MINE.


It was as if the French officer's words had never been
spoken.
The tomahawk and the scalping-knife were given full
freedom, and Ezra saw Major Lawrence and Storer fall as
the first victims in this terrible massacre, before he could
take a single step toward seeking his place of refuge.
While hurrying across the floor of the cook-room, he
heard the shrieks of agony and prayers for mercy from
those wounded unto death, and the tumult was yet at its
heightwhen he crept into the narrow excavation, which
seemed more likely to prove a grave for Mary and himself
than a place of refuge.
And there he remained while that company of two
hundred men, women and children, all save Captain
Davis and ten or twelve others, were murdered in cold
blood.











CHAPTER V.


THE CAVE.

T HE screams of agony, the yells of triumph, the
reports of muskets and the groans of the dying
were ringing in Ezra's ears as he ran at full speed across
the floor of the cook-house with Mary in his arms; but
these terrible sounds were in a measure shut out when he
plunged into the cellar.
It was reasonable to suppose he would have some little
time in which to secrete himself and the baby, for it was
not probable the savages would take the trouble to search
for fugitives while the supply of victims near at hand was
so great, and Ezra looked around the cellar once more, to
make certain there was nothing within it which would
add to Mary's comfort or serve his purpose.
What did you come down here for ? the child asked,
wonderingly, uncertain, now the dreadful sounds could no
longer be heard, as to whether there had really been
anything to cause alarm.
"Did n't you see what the Indians were doing? Ezra
asked, almost fiercely.
"They fired guns an' screamed."
"Yes, baby darling, and they were killing all the people
who have been so kind to you and me. They will murder
us if we can't hide; you must keep very still after we get
in that hole, for if you don't, the cruel men will catch us."







THE CA VE.


Mary drew back in alarm when Ezra gently pushed her
toward the dark, tunnel-like excavation, and the boy
whispered, nervously,-
Please try not to be frightened, Mary. If you don't
go in there and keep very quiet, we shall both be hurt by
the Indians, and you will never see me again."
Hearing this, which sounded very much like a threat,
the baby began to cry, and Ezra looked hurriedly around
like a hunted animal. Unless he could still her, there
was little chance of escape, and he said, pleadingly, kiss-
ing her again and again,-
"Please, please, Mary darling, don't make a noise now!
If you keep still and go in there with me, we may hide
from the wicked Indians."
It was not until he had spent several moments, which
seemed to him like an hour, in coaxing, that he could
persuade the child to do as he wished, and then she was
silent, save for the suppressed sobs which shook her tiny
frame.
Tenderly, but hurriedly, Ezra carried her to the extreme
end of the tunnel, and whispered,-
"Wait here a minute, my darling, while I stop up the
hole, so no one can see us. I'll be right back."
The baby clung to him convulsively a few seconds, but
made no outcry when he forcibly released the hold of
the tiny fingers, in order that he might complete the
work which, if successful, would save them from a cruel
death.
A cask, half filled with brine used for salting meat,







EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


stood near the mouth of the aperture, and this he con-
trived to pull across the opening, leaving only sufficient
space for him to crawl over the top. A boat's sail on a
short spar was near at hand, and this he threw into the
excavation, after which he entered himself.
He could hear faintly the shrieks and groans, telling
that the murderous work was not yet completed; but he
understood from the time which had elapsed since the
moment of surrender, that the number of victims must
have been greatly lessened, and soon the demons would
be searching for those who might have found a hiding-
place.
One look upward and a momentary clasping of the
hands, as if in prayer, and Ezra made such arrangements
for concealment as were yet possible.
Pushing outward the sail which he had thrown into the
tunnel, he stood the spar upright behind the cask, allow-
ing the canvas to drop over the opening, completely
shutting it out from. view.
It was a poor method of concealment, for the secret of
the tunnel must become known in case any extended
search was made, but it was the best, and, so far as he
thought, the only chance of saving the baby's life, for
there was every reason to believe she would be killed if
captured.
Making his way to the further end of the excavation he
took Mary in his arms, and whispered such words of
comfort as came to his lips, hardly realizing what he said.
The only idea in his mind was to keep her quiet as long








THE CA VE.


as possible; but while thus encouraging her, he had very
little hope of being able to escape the death which
seemed so near. There was a chance, however slight, of
saving their lives, and he would do everything in his
power to seize it.
Perhaps it was fortunate the baby's sobs were so heavy,
for they speedily sapped her strength, and before the two
had been in the tunnel half an hour her regular breathing
told the blessed spirit of slumber was granting relief from
the horrors by which she was surrounded.
It was while she was thus unconscious of danger that
Ezra was startled, although he had been each moment
expecting something of the kind, by hearing the sound of
voices outside his place of concealment.
The enemy was searching for new victims, and during
the few moments which elapsed the trembling fugitive
suffered all the pangs of supreme terror.
Had the murderous savages been less eager to com-
plete their work of destruction, two more lives would
undoubtedly have been sacrificed in that day of wanton
slaughter; but so much blood had already been spilled
that the Indians were eager for something new, and Ezra
heard a harsh,- commanding voice summoning the search-
ers from the cellar.
There was an impatient reply; a crash, as if something
had been overturned, and then sounds as of men ascend-
ing the stairs.
Ezra would have crept to the mouth of the tunnel, to
make certain the foe had gone, but for the fact that in








EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


order to do so it would be necessary to move Mary, who
might thus be awakened; therefore he remained motion-
less.
Not a sound reached him from the outside, and he
began to wonder whether, now their dreadful work was
completed, the enemy had left the vicinity.
Had it been possible for him to see what had been
done, hope would have fled, leaving behind only the
certainty of speedy death.
With the exception of four men and seven or eight
women and children, who were bound hand and foot to a
post at the gateway, all the former occupants of the fort
were dead, their mutilated bodies lying where they had
been stricken down by bullet or hatchet, and the Indians
were setting fire to the buildings within the enclosure.
The cook-house was one of the last structures devoted
to the flames, but the smoke pouring out of the door told
that it would soon be destroyed, and in the cellar were
two helpless children!
In the tunnel Ezra sat with Mary in his arms, listening
for what he hoped might not be heard, and careful to
make no movement, although his limbs were cramped
painfully, lest the child should be awakened.
As the moments passed in silence hope grew stronger
in his breast, until he allowed himself to think he had
really succeeded in saving the baby's life.
Then he became coriscious that his eyelids smarted as
if inflamed by smoke, and..that it had suddenly become
difficult to breathe.








THE CA VE.


"They are burning the building!" he muttered to
himself, cold drops of perspiration standing on his fore-
head. "I never thought of their doing anything of the
kind, and yet I ought to have known they wouldn't go
away without destroying everything! I have brought the
baby here to be burned to death, when a tomahawk would
have caused her less suffering "
Unable to remain inactive any longer because of the
terror in his heart, he started suddenly to his feet, and
Mary, rudely awakened, began to cry.
Even though he had at that moment given up all hope
of life Ezra took her in his arms quickly, begging her not
to make a noise. He had just said to himself that the
tomahawk would be more merciful than the flames, yet
even now his one desire was to remain hidden -from the
cruel enemy.
Sit still here, darling, while I see what can be done,"
he whispered, when the child ceased her outcries for a
moment. "Don't make the least little bit of noise, and
by to-morrow the Indians will go away."
"Will they kill us first ?"
Not if we stay hidden where they can't find us; but if
you or I cry, they'll be certain to know where we are.
Now wait here."
"Where are you goin' ?"
"Only to the end of this hole. I won't leave you
alone, but there is some work I must do."
The child released her hold of his neck, as if satisfied
with the explanation, and Ezra went swiftly to the mouth
of the tunnel.








EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


SHe pushed aside the covering of canvas and a cloud of
smoke entered, causing him to pull it back in place very
quickly.
There was no longer any question but that the building
was in flames, and he asked himself how long it would be
before the fire reached their hiding-place.
A few moments' thought convinced him that they were
in no great danger, so long as the structure remained
standing, for there would be a draught from the cellar to
the outer air while
-- the frame-work was
;." in place. It was
when the heavy logs,
j''ll half consumed, but still
burning, should drop
apart, filling the cellar
with a mass of glowing
embers, that the time
of suffering would come. Hardly conscious of what he
did, the boy went back to the baby, who clasped her arms
around his neck tightly, as if only in his embrace did she
feel safe.
He tried to school himself to the fact that he must
soon die, and had he been alone might have succeeded,
but the idea of the sufferings the baby would be enforced
to endure before life departed caused a mental anguish
too great to admit of continued thought.
"She shall not be burned! he cried, leaping to his
feet. I had rather the Indians killed her quickly "







-THE CA VE.


"Don't, Ezra! Don't let'm kill Mary!" the child
sobbed.
"They sha'n't, my darling! They sha'n't-; but I must
do something soon or we will be burned to death, and I
don't even know what ought to be done "
Now it was Ezra who cried. He had kept up a brave
heart until the last ray of hope seemed to have departed,
and the tears would no longer be repressed.
But it was as if with the show of weakness courage
sprang up once more, and while the baby was trying to
console him in her childish way, by fondling his face, he
rose to his feet ready to renew the struggle.
"I can dig out of this place, and in the night it may be
possible to get away without being seen "
The roof of the tunnel was shored-up with sapplings,
while at either end was a sort of hoop which held them
firm. It was not difficult to wrench one of these from its
place, and, breaking it in two pieces, he had a tool with
which to dig.
Thus armed, he stood motionless a few seconds, revolv-
ing the plan in his mind, and then came the happy
thought that if he could reach the surface, by ever so
small a hole, a supply of fresh air would be obtained, and
they might remain there unharmed until the building was
entirely consumed.
"We shall be saved, baby darling he cried, excitedly,
as he bent over to kiss her. I am going to dig a hole
so the smoke won't choke us, but you must be careful not
to so much as talk, for if I can make a vent through here,








EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


it will be more easy for the Indians to hear us. Keep as
quiet as a little mouse, and we will soon go back home."
"To see mother, an' father, an' brothers?"
"We will go home, darling, but perhaps it will be a
little while before we see them all again. Now promise
to lie still while I work."
I'll be good, Ezra."
"That's my darling!" and, with a loving kiss and a
close embrace, the boy began his work.
He realized that by attempting to bore straight upward,
he might bring down the solid wall upon them, therefore
the excavation was begun at an angle, which would
increase the labour but offer more elements of success.
As nearly as he could judge, the top of the tunnel was
not more than five or six feet from the surface, and thus
the hole he proposed to make would be nearly half as long
again. To dig this with only a sharpened stick would not
be possible if it was to be very large in diameter, because
of the soil which must be removed. He hoped, after
excavating a short distance, to be able to force the stick
through to the surface, leaving an opening of an inch or two.
Such a hole would not be likely to attract the attention
of the enemy, unless it was made directly where they
were sitting or standing, and he had good reason for
believing the Indians would not remain so near the
burning building.
At first he allowed the loose dirt to fall where it would,
but soon the bulk was too great, and he was forced to push
it back toward the mouth of the tunnel'with his feet.








THE CA VE.


At the expiration of half an hour he found it necessary
to make better disposition of the gravel, and some time
was spent in scraping it back upon the curtain of canvas.
"That will keep the heat out," he said, in a half-
whisper to Mary. If I can dig a hole through, it won't
make much difference if we block up the mouth of this
place entirely."
SEzra had not concluded his labours when a shock was
felt, as if a heavy body had fallen close at hand, and the
boy knew the frame-work of the building had collapsed at
last.
The air of the tunnel had been growing more close and
painful to inhale each moment, and there came a great
fear to Ezra's heart that they would be stifled before he
could effect his purpose.
Now he no longer attempted to perform the work
methodically, but strained every muscle in the effort to
force the stake through the hard soil.
The perspiration was streaming from every pore of his
body, and Mary had begun to complain bitterly of the
heat, when the barrier suddenly gave way, and the stake
was shoved far above the surface.
He withdrew it suddenly, fearing lest it might have
been seen, and tried to peer out, but in vain. Nothing
could be seen, although he inhaled the fresh air, and felt
that a draught had been created.
Believing the loose soil had filled up the aperture in-
stantly the stake was removed, Ezra thrust it out once
more.








EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


Again it went through easily, but on withdrawing it all
was darkness as before, and he was on the point of mak-
ing a third trial when the thought suddenly flashed upon
him that by this time it was night, and that the aperture
being at the surface, could not be lighted by the glow of
the embers, so nearly on a level with it.
"It 's done, baby darling! he whispered, excitedly, as
he threw himself down by Mary's side. There is a hole
through, and in a few minutes the heat will go away.
We can breathe now, and it don't seem likely the Indians
will know what has been done. Are you hungry ?"
Mary suddenly remembered that she was, and Ezra
brought out the small store of provisions, feeding her until
she was satisfied, before refreshing himself.
What a blessed boon the water was to him now! He
had refrained from drinking any while at work, -lest it
should be needed for fighting the flames, but now life was
assured a few hours longer, and he had earned the right
to minister to his own wants.
Shortly after the meal Mary fell asleep, and Ezra
would have followed her example but for the fact that he
felt it was necessary to remain on the alert.
There did come a time, however, when slumber so far
overcame him that he lost consciousness at short inter-
vals, but his eyes were opened instantly Mary moved,
though ever so slightly.
Seated beneath the aperture where both he and the
baby could have full benefit..of the fresh air, he saw the
narrow darkness at the- end of the hole change to a gray







THE CAVE. 91

light, then the full glare of the morning, and he knew
another day had come.
Eagerly he listened, hoping that the enemy had de-
parted, but before many moments elapsed, enough was
heard to convince him they still occupied the site of the
fort.
The noises were not such as would have been made by
preparations for departure, and Ezra's heart grew heavy
as he thought of spending a long day there when the hole
he had made might be discovered and examined at any
moment.












CHAPTER VI.


THE ESCAPE.

THE heat from the mouth of the tunnel told that the
frame-work of the building was not yet consumed,
and Ezra wondered, without being able to explain the
matter to his own satisfaction, why the canvas had not
been burned away. It was charred so that he could pass
his finger through it without difficulty, but yet remained
as a covering for the aperture, thus keeping out consider-
able heat and nearly all the smoke.
Fearing lest Mary should become fretful because of the
long delay, Ezra talked with her in whispers at great
length, explaining what they would do as soon as it was
possible to leave the hiding-place, and picturing in glow-
ing colours the pleasure which would be theirs when the
enemy had departed.
Then he served another meal, prolonging the same as
much as possible, after which he rocked her in his arms
by swaying his body to and fro until she fell asleep.
In such simple efforts he passed the forenoon, fearing
each instant lest the vent-hole would be discovered, but
hearing nothing calculated to cause additional alarm.
After he judged the day was half spent, not a sound
came from the outside, and he finally whispered to
Mary,-







THE ESCAPE.


I believe the Indians have gone away. When night
comes I will creep outside and see."
"Then shall we go home?"
"We will leave here," he replied, evasively; "but per-
haps we can't go straight there."
Why not ? "
The Indians may be near there, and we must keep
out of their way, you know."
The child was neither hungry nor tired, therefore she
was well content to wait, and, greatly to Ezra's relief,
displayed no impatience at the enforced inactivity, except
now and then to express a desire for a candle, so I can
see you."
We shall soon be where you can have everything you
want," he said, hopefully, for, the silence remaining un-
broken, he believed they had really escaped from the
savage foe.
He understood only too well, however, that they would
be exposed to great danger while making their way to
some settlement, but that peril was in the future, and
just then his only fear was concerning the present.
Eager as he was to make certain the enemy had
departed, the moments passed laggingly, and it seemed as
if the afternoon was twice as long as it should have been,
when finally the light at the mouth of the air-shaft faded
away, until it was no longer possible to see anything
outside the place of refuge.
After this he waited until he judged two hours had
passed, and then was ready for the venture.







EZRA JORDAN'S ESCAPE.


It had not been an easy matter to persuade Mary she
must remain in the tunnel while he went on a tour of
discovery, but by dint of much perseverance he finally
succeeded, and then, moving with infinite caution, he went
to the mouth of the tunnel.
On removing the fragments of the canvas, he found, to
his surprise, that the cellar was still filled with embers.
The huge logs had burned slowly, and were yet far from
being consumed.
Then, again, the charred timbers blocked the way to the
open air, as he found on attempting to make his way
upward, despite the pain caused by clambering over the
glowing coals, and after half a dozen fruitless attempts he
returned to Mary, surprised and dejected.
It had never occurred to him that he might be im-
prisoned there by the fire, and now in his disappointment
it seemed as if every avenue of escape was cut off.
Why don't you go out ?" Mary asked, petulantly, eager
to be in the open air once more, and Ezra did not dare tell her
it was impossible to pass from the cellar without assistance.
While trying to devise some story which would satisfy
the child, without allowing her to fancy he was dis-
heartened, the thought occurred that he could readily dig
through the soil, and the labor would not be excessive
if he followed the course of the air-shaft.
He sprang toward the aperture to begin work without
delay, when he stopped suddenly, realizing that he should
be absolutely positive the enemy was not in the vicinity,
otherwise his discovery would be certain.




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