• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Advertising
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Tawtry house
 The major gains a friend and makes...
 Truman Flagg's story
 Escape of the prisoners
 A baby lost and recovered
 The wilderness
 The major re-enters active...
 Donald sets forth on a perilous...
 St. Aubin's startling informat...
 Pontiac declares war
 Major Hester is taken prisoner
 Donald at Johnson Castle
 Paymaster Bullen and his wonderful...
 A white medicine man
 Donald and Christie cement...
 Quickeye and the "Zebra"
 A brave girl captive
 Surprise and destruction of the...
 The Totem saves Donald's life
 Bitter disappointment at Fort...
 In search of a lost sister
 Amid the ruins of Fort Sandusk...
 Discovered and pursued by...
 Christie's brave defence of his...
 Donald fires the mine and saves...
 Friends in captivity
 How the paymaster navigated Lake...
 The paymaster in war-paint and...
 Donald and the paymaster escap...
 Imminent danger of the schooner...
 Pontiac recognizes the Totem
 Last cruise of the paymaster's...
 Fort Detroit is reinforced
 Ah-mo, the daughter of Pontiac
 A night of fighting and terror
 Brave death of the old Major
 The curse of the Magic Circle
 A winter in the wilderness
 An adopted daughter of the...
 The princess answers Donald's...
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine














Group Title: At war with Pontiac, or, The totem of the bear : a tale of redcoat and redskin
Title: At war with Pontiac, or, The totem of the bear
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00084232/00001
 Material Information
Title: At war with Pontiac, or, The totem of the bear a tale of redcoat and redskin
Physical Description: vi, 320, 32 p., 8 leaves of plates : ill. ; 19 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Munroe, Kirk, 1850-1930
Finnemore, J ( Illustrator )
Blackie & Son ( Publisher )
Publisher: Blackie & Son
Place of Publication: London ;
Glasgow ;
Dublin
Publication Date: 1896
 Subjects
Subject: Youth -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Pontiac's Conspiracy, 1763-1765 -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
War -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Indians of North America -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Bears -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Friendship -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Totems -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Prisoners -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Soldiers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Juvenile fiction -- Detroit (Mich.)   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1896   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1896
Genre: Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Glasgow
Ireland -- Dublin
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Kirk Munroe ; with eight illustrations by J. Finnemore.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00084232
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002392358
notis - ALZ7255
oclc - 01871471

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
    Half Title
        Page i
    Advertising
        Page ii
    Frontispiece
        Page iii
    Title Page
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
    List of Illustrations
        Page vii
    Tawtry house
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    The major gains a friend and makes an enemy
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 10a
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Truman Flagg's story
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Escape of the prisoners
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    A baby lost and recovered
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
    The wilderness
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
    The major re-enters active service
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    Donald sets forth on a perilous mission
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
    St. Aubin's startling information
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
    Pontiac declares war
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 68a
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
    Major Hester is taken prisoner
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
    Donald at Johnson Castle
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
    Paymaster Bullen and his wonderful tub
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 92a
        Page 93
        Page 94
    A white medicine man
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
    Donald and Christie cement a friendship
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
    Quickeye and the "Zebra"
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
    A brave girl captive
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
    Surprise and destruction of the boat brigade
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
    The Totem saves Donald's life
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
    Bitter disappointment at Fort Detroit
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
    In search of a lost sister
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
    Amid the ruins of Fort Sandusky
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
    Discovered and pursued by savages
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 172a
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
    Christie's brave defence of his post
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
    Donald fires the mine and saves the blockhouse
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
    Friends in captivity
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
    How the paymaster navigated Lake Erie in a tub
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
    The paymaster in war-paint and feathers
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
    Donald and the paymaster escape
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 226a
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
    Imminent danger of the schooner Gladwyn
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
    Pontiac recognizes the Totem
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 244a
        Page 245
        Page 246
    Last cruise of the paymaster's tub
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
    Fort Detroit is reinforced
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
    Ah-mo, the daughter of Pontiac
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
    A night of fighting and terror
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
    Brave death of the old Major
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
    The curse of the Magic Circle
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 294a
        Page 295
    A winter in the wilderness
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
    An adopted daughter of the forest
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
    The princess answers Donald's question
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
    Advertising
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
        Page 344
        Page 345
        Page 346
        Page 347
        Page 348
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text
















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AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


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BY KIRK MUNROE.


Crown 8vo. Cloth elegant. Olivine edges. 5s.
The White Conquerors of Mexico.
A Tale of Toltec and Aztec. With 8 page Illustrations by W. S.
STAOEY.
Mr. Munroe gives most vivid pictures of the religious and civil polity of
the Aztecs and of everyday life, as he imagines it, in the streets and market-
places of the magnificent capital of Montezuma.' -The Times.
"There are, in truth fine scenes in this narrative, and stirring deeds:
heroism and self-sacrifice, as well as cunning cruelty. The story runs
along the true lines of the ideal story for the young."-SEducational Review.


LONDON: BLACKIE & SON, LIMITED, 50 OLD BAILEY, E.C.















































































M122
DONALD IS UNEXPECTEDLY SAVED FROM A TERRIBLE DEATH.










AT WAR WITH PONTIAC

OR, THE TOTEM OF THE BEAR


A TALE OF REDCOAT AND REDSKIN



BY

KIRK MUNROE
Author of "The White Conquerors of Mexico", &c.


WITH EIGHT ILLUSTRATIONS BY J. FINNEMORE














LONDON
BLACKIE & SON, LIMITED, 50 OLD BAILEY, E.C.
GLASGOW AND DUBLIN
1896



















TABLE OF CONTENTS


CHAPTER PAGE
I. TAWTRY HOUSE 1
II. THE MAJOR GAINS A FRIEND AND MAKES AN
ENEMY 8
Ill. TRUMAN FLAGG'S STORY 16
IV. ESCAPE OF THE PRISONERS 22
V. A BABY LOST AND RECOVERED 29
VI. THE WILDERNESS 36
VII. THE MAJOR RE-ENTERS ACTIVE SERVICE 43
VIII. DONALD SETS FORTH ON A PERILOUS MISSION 51
IX. ST. AUBIN'S STARTLING INFORMATION 57
X. PONTIAC DECLARES WAR 65
XI. MAJOR HESTER IS TAKEN PRISONER 72
XII. DONALD AT JOHNSON CASTLE 79
XIII. PAYMASTER BULLEN AND HIS WONDERFUL TUB 88
XIV. A WHITE MEDICINE MAN 95
XV. DONALD AND CHRISTIE CEMENT A FRIENDSHIP 108
XVI. QUICKEYE AND THE "ZEBRA" 111
XVII. A BRAVE GIRL CAPTIVE. 120
XVIII. SURPRISE AND DESTRUCTION OF THE BOAT BRIGADE 127
XIX. THE TOTEM SAVES DONALD'S LIFE 136
XX. BITTER DISAPPOINTMENT AT FORT DETROIT 146









CONTENTS


CHAPTER PAGE
XXI. IN SEARCH OF A LOST SISTER 153
XXII. AMID THE RUINS OF FORT SANDUSKY 161
XXIII. DISCOVERED AND PURSUED BY SAVAGES 169
XXIV. CHRISTIE'S BRAVE DEFENCE OF HIS POST 178
XXV. DONALD FIRES THE MINE AND SAVES THE BLOCK-
HOUSE 186
XXVI. FRIENDS IN CAPTIVITY 195
XXVII. HOW THE PAYMASTER NAVIGATED LAKE ERIE
IN A TUB 204
XXVIII. THE PAYMASTER IN WAR-PAINT AND FEATHERS 213
XXIX. DONALD AND THE PAYMASTER ESCAPE 222
XXX. IMMINENT DANGER OF THE SCHOONER GLADWYN 230
XXXI. PONTIAC RECOGNIZES THE TOTEM 239
XXXII. LAST CRUISE OF THE PAYMASTER'S TUB .. 247
XXXIII. FORT DETROIT IS REINFORCED 256
XXXIV. AH-MO, THE DAUGHTER OF PONTIAC 263
XXXV. A NIGHT OF FIGHTING AND TERROR 271
XXXVI. BRAVE DEATH OF THE OLD MAJOR 279
XXXVII. THE CURSE OF THE MAGIC CIRCLE 287
XXXVIII. A WINTER IN THE WILDERNESS 296
XXXIX. AN ADOPTED DAUGHTER OF THE FOREST 306
XL. THE PRINCESS ANSWERS DONALD'S QUESTION 313














ILLUSTRATIONS.



Page
DONALD IS UNEXPECTEDLY SAVED FROM A TERRIBLE DEATH,
Frontis. 143

"LIKE A FLASH THE MAJOR'S STRONG RIGHT FOOT SHOT OUT," 10


THE INDIAN CHIEF MEDITATES TREACHERY TO THE ENGLISH
OFFICERS,. .............. .. 69


"THESE TWO PADDLED THEIR WAY AGAINST THE SWIFT CUR-
RENT OF THE MOHAWK,. . . .. 98


DONALD AND HIS TWO COMPANIONS ARE PURSUED BY INDIANS, 173


"THE INDIAN FELL LIKE A LOG, WITH BULLEN AND THE TUB
ON TOP OF HIM," ............ 227


PONTIAC DISCOVERS THAT DONALD IS TATTOOED WITH THE
MAGIC CIRCLE, . . . .. .245


"MAHNG PITCHED HEADLONG INTO THE AWFUL DEPTHS OF
THE SEETHING CALDRON,".... .. . ... 295
















AT WAR WITH PONTIAC
OR, THE TOTEM OF THE BEAR


CHAPTER I.

TAWTRY HOUSE

A GLORIOUS midsummer day was drawing to a
close; its heat had passed; the tall forest trees,
whose leaves were pleasantly rustled by the cool
breeze of approaching night, flung a bridge of trem-
ulous shadows across the surface of Loch Meg, and
all nature was at peace. The tiny lake, though
bearing an old-world name, was of the new world,
and was one of the myriad forest gems that decked
the wilderness of western New York a century and
a half ago. It was embraced in a patent recently
granted by the English king to his well-approved
servant Graham Hester, whose bravery and wounds
had won for him an honorable retirement, with the
rank of major in a Highland regiment, ere he was
forty years of age. Being thus provided with an
(M122) B







AT WAR WITH 1PONTIAC


ample estate, Major Hester, with his young wife and
half a dozen trusty followers, left the old world for
the new, and plunged into its wilderness. Though
somewhat dismayed to find his property located a
score of leagues beyond that of his nearest white
neighbour, the major was at the same time gratified
to discover in that neighbour his old friend and com-
rade William Johnson, through whose diplomacy
the powerful Iroquois tribes of the Six Nations
were allied to the English and kept at peace.
On a crest of land overlooking and sloping gently
down to the blue lakelet which Major Hester had
named in honour of his wife, he erected a substantial
blockhouse of squared timbers. Behind it were
ranged a number of log outbuildings about three
sides of a square, in the centre of which was dug a
deep well. Having thus in a time of peace prepared
for war, the proprietor began the improvement of his
estate with such success that, within three years
from the felling of the first tree, several acres of
gloomy forest were replaced by smiling fields. A
young orchard was in sturdy growth, a small herd of
cattle found ample pasturage on the borders of the
lake, and on all sides were evidences of thrift and
plenty.
The military instinct of the proprietor caused all
forest growth to be cleared from a broad space
entirely around the rude fortress that held his life's
treasures; but within the enclosure he left standing







TAWTRY HOUSE


two superb oaks. These not only afforded a grateful
shade, but gave a distinctive feature to the place
that was quickly recognized by the surrounding
Indians. Thus they always spoke of it as the house
of the two trees, or two-tree house, a name that soon
became Tawtry House," under which designation
it was known from the unsalted seas to the tide
waters of the distant Shattemuc.
Tawtry House not only offered a ready welcome
and bountiful hospitality to the occasional hunter,
trader, or traveller tempted by business or curiosity
into that wild region, but to the Indians who still
roamed the forest at will and had established one of
their villages at no great distance from it. With
these, by the exercise of extreme firmness and an
inflexible honesty, Major Hester succeeded in main-
taining friendly relations, in spite of their jealousy
of his presence among them. At the same time, his
wife, through her gentleness and ready sympathy in
their times of sickness or distress, gained their deep-
seated affection.
Although the Iroquois were thus at peace with
their English neighbours, there was a bitter enmity
between them and the French settlers of Canada,
who had espoused the cause of their hereditary foes,
the tribes dwelling along the St. Lawrence and on
both shores of the great fresh-water lakes. Most
prominent of these were the Ottawas, Hurons or
Wyandots, Ojibwas and Pottawattamies, who were







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


allied in a defensive league against their powerful
enemies. Their ancient hatred of the Iroquois, ani-
mated by the traditions of generations, was ever
fanned into a blaze by Jesuit priests eager for the
triumph of their faith, French traders anxious to
monopolize the immensely profitable fur business of
the new world, and French soldiers determined at
any cost to extend the empire of their king. Thus,
on one pretext or another, war parties were con-
stantly coming and going, destroying or being de-
stroyed, and it well behooved the adventurous frontier
settler to intrench himself strongly behind massive
timbers and stout palisades.
Under these conditions and amid such scenes, in
the year 1743, when Tawtry House was still sweet-
scented with odours of the forest from which it had
been so recently hewn, was born Donald Hester, as
sturdy a young American as ever kicked in swaddling
clothes, and the hero of this tale of the forest.
On the midsummer evening with which our story
opens, Major Hester and his wife walked, hand in
hand, beyond the palisades of their fortress home,
enjoying the marvellous beauty of their surroundings
and talking of many things. Already had this wil-
derness home become very dear to them; for, repre-
senting years of toil, and privation as it did, it was
their very own and the heritage of their boy, now
two years of age, who toddled behind them in charge
of a ruddy-cheeked Scotch nurse. While they re-







TAWTRY HOUSE


joiced over what had been accomplished, they planned
for the future, and discussed the details of many pro-
jected improvements. At the outlet of the lake a
grist-mill should be built, and the low lands beyond
should be drained to afford increased pasturage for
their multiplying herd.
As they talked there came a sound from the forest
depths that caused them to pause and listen. Borne
faintly on the evening breeze, was a distant firing of
guns, and they fancied that it was accompanied by a
confusion of yells from human throats.
"Oh, Graham! what can it mean?" exclaimed
Mrs. Hester, as she clasped her husband's arm and
glanced instinctively back, to make sure of the safety
of her child.
"Nothing that need alarm you, my dear," answered
the major, reassuringly. It is only a token of some
jollification among our Indian friends: a war dance,
or a scalp dance, or the advent among them of a new
lot of wretched captives, or something of that kind.
I remember Truman mentioning, more than a week
ago, that another war party had gone out. I do wish
though that the Senecas would take it into their
heads to move their village farther away. I used to
think five miles quite a respectable distance, but
now-"
I would that this horrible fighting were ended,"
interrupted Mrs. Hester. Will not the time ever
come, Graham, when these poor heathen will cease







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


from their dreadful wars, and live at peace with each
other, like civilized beings?"
"Like civilized beings, my dear ? laughed Major
Hester. "Yes, I think I may safely prophesy that if
the time ever comes when those nations which we
call civilized give over fighting, then even the red
Indians may be persuaded to follow their example.
As for their methods of warfare, they are but the
counterparts of those practised by our own savage
ancestors a few centuries ago; while in their torture
of captives they are only reproducing the acts of
civilized Romans, medieval knights, and the Holy
Inquisition. It is not long since, even in England,
Elizabeth Gaunt was burned to death at Tyburn for
yielding to the dictates of compassion and giving
shelter to a political offender; nor are the cries for
mercy of the martyrs tortured at Smithfield stakes
yet forgotten. The burning of New England witches
is recent history, while the dismal record of devilish
tortures inflicted by white men upon Indian captives
is unbroken from the days of Columbus. Did not
Frontenac cause an Iroquois warrior to be burned
alive in order to terrorize his fellows? Did not-"
The honest major was so warmed to his subject
that he might have discoursed upon it indefinitely,
had he not been startlingly interrupted. He and his
wife were retracing their steps toward the house, and,
as before, the Scotch maid, with her toddling charge,
was some paces behind them. At a wild scream







TAWTRY HOUSE


from the girl those in advance turned in time to see
the flying form of a young Indian, who had just
emerged from the near-by forest, fall headlong at her
feet. His naked body was pierced by wounds, and
his strength was evidently exhausted. As he fell, a
second Indian, in whose right hand gleamed a deadly
tomahawk, leaped from the woodland shadows, and,
with a yell of triumph, bounded toward his intended
victim. He was closely followed by two others.
As the Scotch girl stood motionless with terror,
little Donald, evidently believing this to be some new
form of game provided for his especial edification, ran
forward with a gurgle of delight, stumbled, and fell
directly across the head of the prostrate Indian. But
for the child's sudden movement the keen-bladed
hatchet in the hand of the foremost pursuer, already
drawn back for the deadly throw, would have sped
on its fatal mission.
With a cry of anguish Mrs. Hester sprang toward
her baby; but quicker than she, with a leap like that
of a panther, Major Hester gained the spot first,
snatched up his child, and, over the body of the
young Indian, sternly confronted his scowling pur-
suers.













CHAPTER II


THE MAJOR GAINS A FRIEND AND MAKES AN
ENEMY

FOR some seconds the three Indians, who were
panting heavily from the effect of their long chase
through the forest, gazed in silence at the white
man who with the child in his arms so fearlessly con-
fronted them. Then the foremost of them, an evil-
looking savage who bore the name of Mahng (the
Diver), motioned the major aside with a haughty
wave of the hand, saying: "Let the white man step
from the path of Mahng, that he may kill this Ottawa
dog who thought to escape the vengeance of the
Senecas."
Without retreating an inch from his position, and
still holding the little Donald, who crowed with
delight at sight of the Indians, Major Hester re-
plied: -
"Not even if the whole Seneca tribe demanded it
would I allow this man to be murdered in the pres-
ence of my wife. Nor, since my child has saved
his life, will I deliver him into your hands for
torture. He has sought my protection, and it shall
be granted him until he is proved unworthy of it.







THE MAJOR GAINS A FRIEND


Let the sachems of your tribe lay this grievance
before Sir William Johnson. If the white chief
decides that the prisoner must be restored to them,
and so orders, then will I give him up, but not
before. Now go, ere my young men, who are
already approaching, reach this place and drive you
from it with whips, like yelping curs."
Being sufficiently acquainted with the English
language to comprehend the purport of these re-
marks, the scowling savage made answer:--
"Who gave the white man the right to step be-
tween an Indian and an Indian? This land is Indian
land. The long house in which the white man
dwells belongs to the Indians, as did the forest
trees from which it is built. If the Indian says
stay, then may you stay; if he says go, then must
you go. Let one of your young men but lift a hand
against Mahng, and this ground that has known the
tread of the white man shall know it no more for-
ever. His house shall become a hooting place for
owls, and Seneca squaws shall gather the harvest of
his fields. Restore then to Mahng his prisoner, that
there may be no bad blood between him and his white
brother."
"Never," replied Major Hester, who was suffi-
ciently versed in the Indian tongue to catch the
general drift of these remarks.
He had hardly uttered the word ere Mahng stooped,
darted forward with deadly intent like a wild ser-







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


pent, and sought to bury his gleaming hatchet in
the brain of his still prostrate foe.
Like a flash the major's strong right foot shot
out; the heavy, hob-nailed walking-shoe caught the
savage squarely under the chin; he was lifted from
the ground, and, falling on his back, lay as one who
is dead.
The remaining savages made as though to take
instant vengeance for this deadly insult and, as they
imagined, murder of their leader, but their impulse
was checked by a stern command from behind.
Glancing in that direction, they saw themselves
covered by a long, brown rifle-barrel, held by a white
man clad in the leather costume of the backwoods.
At the same time half a dozen labourers who, home-
returning from the fields, had noticed that something
unusual was taking place, came hurrying to the
scene of disturbance. Wisely concluding that un-
der these circumstances discretion was the better part
of valour, the Senecas picked up their helpless com-
rade and, retreating as rapidly as their burden would
permit, disappeared amid the darkening shadows of
the forest.
The tableau presented at this moment by those
who remained was that of the tall major standing
above the prostrate form of the escaped captive, hold-
ing his laughing child in one arm while his trem-
bling wife clung to the other. Close beside them
knelt the terror-stricken maid, with her face bur-




































































m 122
"LIKE A FLASH THE MAJOR'S STRONG RIGHT FOOT SHOT OUT."







THE MAJOR GAINS A FRIEND


led in her hands, and a few paces in the rear were
grouped the labourers, armed with various implements
of toil. In the foreground, Truman Flagg, the hun-
ter, white by birth, Indian by association and educa-
tion, leaned on his rifle and gazed silently after the
disappearing savages. As they vanished in the
forest, he remarked quietly: -
"'Twas handsomely done, major, and that scoun-
drel Mahng deserved all he got. But ef he's as dead
as he looks, I'm fearful that kick may get you into
trouble with the tribe, though he's not a Seneca by
blood, nor overly popular at that."
"You know him, then?" queried the major.
"Not edzackly what you might call know him;
but I know something of him."
"Very well; come up to the house and tell me
what you know, while we consider this business.
Some of you men carry this poor fellow to the tool-
house, where we will see what can be done for him.
Now, my dear, the evening meal awaits us, and I
for one shall partake of it with a keener relish that
this unfortunate affair has terminated so happily."
"I pray God, Graham, that it may be terminated,"
replied Mrs. Hester, fervently, as she took the child
from its father's arms and strained him to her bosom.
The whole of this dramatic scene had transpired
within the space of a few minutes, and when the
men approached to lift the prostrate Indian they
found him so recovered from his exhaustion as to







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


.- e :able to stand, and walk feebly with the aid of
some support.
Major Hester's first duty, after conveying his
wife and child to the shelter of the blockhouse,
was to visit the guest so strangely thrust upon
his hospitality, and inquire into his condition.
He found him lying on a pallet of straw, over
which a blanket had been thrown, and conversing
with Truman Flagg in an Indian tongue un-
known to the proprietor. The hunter was bath-
ing the stranger's wounds with a gentleness that
seemed out of keeping with his own rude aspect,
and administering occasional draughts of cool well-
water, that appeared to revive the sufferer as though
it were the very elixir of life.
"What do you make of the case?" asked the
major, as he watched Truman Flagg apply to each
of the many gashes in the Indian's body a healing
salve made of bear's grease mixed with the fra-
grant resin of the balsam fir. Will he pull through,
think you?"
"Bless you, yes, major! He'll pull through
all right; for, bad as his hurts look, none of em's
dangerous. They warn't meant to be. He was
nighest dead from thirst. You see, he's been
under torture most of the day, without nary a drop
to wash down his last meal, which war a chunk
of salted meat give to him yesterday evening.
He'll pick up fast enough now, though. All he







THE MAJOR GAINS A FRIEND .13
needs to make him as good as new is food and
drink, and a night's rest. After that you'll find
him ready to go on the war-path again, ef so be
he's called to do it. He's the pluckiest Injun
ever I see, and I've trailed, fust and last, most
of the kinds there is. Ef he warn't, I wouldn't
be fussin' over him now, for his tribe is mostly
pizen. But true grit's true grit, whether you find
it in white or red, and a man what values hisself
as a man, is bound to appreciate it whenever its
trail crosses his'n."
"A sentiment in which I must heartily concur,"
assented the major. "A brave enemy is always
preferable to a cowardly friend. But is this Indian
an enemy? To what tribe does he belong ?"
"Ottaway," was the laconic answer.
"Ottawa!" exclaimed the major, greatly dis-
concerted. "Why, the Ottawas are the firmest
allies of France and the most inveterate enemies
of the English. Are you certain he is an Ot-
tawa?"
"Sartain," replied the hunter, with a silent
laugh at the other's evident dismay. "And not
only that, but he's the best fighter and best man
in the whole Ottaway tribe. They call him
Songa, the strong heart, and I consate Sir Will-
iam would be passing glad to exchange one hun-
dred pounds of the king's money for his scalp
to-morrow."







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


"Why don't you earn it, then?" asked the
other. "Surely one hundred pounds could not be
gained more easily, nor is it a sum of money to be
despised even by an independent American woods-
ranger like yourself."
For answer the hunter rose slowly to his full
height, and, holding a candle above his head, so
that its light shone full on the proprietor's face,
regarded him intently for a score of seconds.
"You don't mean it, Major Hester! Thank
God, you don't mean it! for your face belies your
words, and proves you to be an honest man," he
said at length. "Ef I thought you meant what
you just said, and was one to tempt a poor man
to commit a murder for the sake of gold, I would
never again sit at your table, nor set foot in your
house, nor look upon your face, nor think of you
save with the contempt an honest man must always
feel for a villain."
"No, Truman. I did not mean what I said,"
replied the major, holding out a hand that was
heartily grasped by the other. "I spoke out of
curiosity to hear your reply, though I might have
known it would have the ring of true steel. Now
I must return to my wife, and if you will join us,
after you have done what you can for this poor
fellow, we will consult concerning the situation,
for it is no light thing to hold Songa the Ottawa
as prisoner in one's house."














CHAPTER III


TRUMMAN FLAGG'S STORY

TRUMAN FLAGG was a son of one of those hardy
New England families which, ever pushing into
the wilderness in the extreme van of civilization,
were the greatest sufferers from the forays of
French and Indians, who every now and then
swept down from Canada, like packs of fierce
Northern wolves. In one of these raids his par-
ents were killed, and the lad was borne away to
be adopted among the Caughnawagas, who dwelt on
the St. Lawrence, not far from Montreal. With
these Indians he lived for several years, and hav-
ing a natural taste for languages, acquired, during
this time, a fair knowledge of the tongues of
most of the Northern tribes, as well as a smat-
tering of French. He also became well versed
in woodcraft, and so thoroughly Indian in ap-
pearance and habit that when he was again
captured by a marauding party of Maquas, or Mo-
hawks, it was not detected that he was of white
blood until he was stripped for the ordeal of the
gantlet, in an Iroquois village. His identity







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


being thus discovered, his latest captors washed
from him his Caughnawaga paint, repainted and
reclad him in Mohawk fashion, and treated him
in all respects like a son of the tribe. Having
thus exchanged one form of Indian life for an-
other, Truman Flagg remained among the Iroquois
long enough to master their languages, and re-
ceive the name of Honosagetha, or the man of
much talk. Finally, he attracted the attention
of Sir William Johnson, and became one of the
general's interpreters, as well as a counsellor in
Indian affairs. After awhile the forest ranger
so fretted against the restraints of civilization
and town life, as he termed that of the frontier
settlement clustered about Johnson Hall on the
lower Mohawk, that when Major Hester, search-
ing for an experienced guide and hunter, offered
him the position, he gladly accepted it. Since
then, save when his services were required as a
messenger between Tawtry House and the river
settlements, he had been free to come and go as
he pleased, provided he kept his employer fairly
well provided with all varieties of game in its
season. Thus he was able to spend much of his
time in roaming the forest, passing from one
Indian village to another, keeping himself posted
on all subjects of interest -A. ,,hese wilderness com-
munities, and ever watching, with eagle eye, over
the safety of the Tawtry House inmates. He







TRUMAN FLAGG'S STORY


was a'simple-hearted fellow, of sterling honesty,
and a keen intelligence, that enabled him to ab-
sorb information on all subjects that came within
his range, as a sponge absorbs water. Although
of slender build, his muscles were of iron, his
eyesight was that of a hawk, and as a rifle-shot
he had no superior among all the denizens of the
forest, white or red. During three years of mu-
tual helpfulness, a strong friendship had sprung
up between this son of the forest and the soldier,
whose skilled valour on old-world battle-fields had
won the approbation of a king. Now, therefore,
the latter awaited with impatience the coming of
the hunter, whose advice he deemed essential be-
fore deciding upon any plan of action in the present
crisis.
When Truman Flagg appeared, and reported
his patient to be sleeping soundly after having
eaten a hearty supper, the major asked what he
knew concerning the young Ottawa, and was an-
swered as follows: -
"As fur as I kin make out, major, Mahng, the
fellow you laid out so neatly awhile ago, is a
Jibway, while Songa is an Ottaway, and son of
the head chief, or medicine man, of the Metai, a
magic circle of great influence among the lake
tribes. Not long ago both Songa and Mahng
courted a young Jibway squaw, who was said to
be the handsomest gal of her tribe. They had
(M122) C







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


some hot fights over her; but from the first she
favored Songa, and so, of course, the other fellow
had no show. Finally, Songa married her and
carried her away to the Ottaway villages. On
this, Mahng swore to be revenged on both of 'em,
and as the Jibways and Ottaways is good friends,
he come and jined the Senecas on purpose to get
a chance at Songa. Here, seeing as he belongs to
the totem of the wolf, which is strong among the
Senecas, and as he isn't in noways a coward nor
lacking in good fighting sense, he soon made a
name for himself as a warrior, and could raise a
party agin the Ottaways any time he chose.
Most of the fighting that's been going on since
you came here has been stirred up by Mahng, and
ef the whites gets drawed into it, it'll be his
doings. With all his smartness he never met up
with Songa, or leastways never got the best of
him, till this last time, when, fur as I kin make
out, they caught him and his squaw and their
young one travelling from one Ottaway village to
another. They say Songa made the prettiest fight
ever was seen, killed half a dozen of Mahng's
party, and held 'em all off till his squaw had made
good her escape with the child. Then he give up,
and they brought him in. They waited till he
got well of his hurts, and then they set out to kill
him by as mean and devilish a lot of tortures as
ever I see."







TRUMAN FLAGG'S STORY


"You don't mean to say," interrupted the other,
"that you were one of the spectators at a scene
of torture, and did nothing to prevent it?"
"Sartain I do, major. It's part of my business
to see such things. It's also part of my business
to keep the peace, so fur as I kin, betwixt Injuns
and whites, which it would have been broke very
sudden ef I had interfered with an Injun execu-
tion of an Injun captive. They was only acting
'cording to their light, and I acted 'cording to
mine."
"I suppose you are right," assented the major,
"but I am glad I was not in your place, and sorry
that the savages should have had the encourage-
ment of your presence at one of their devilish
orgies."
"They've had that many a time, major, when I
couldn't help myself," replied the hunter, soberly.
"They didn't get any encouraging from me this
day, though, for they didn't see me. I was too
snugly hid for that. But to make a short story,
they tormented that poor chap in one way and
another until I thought he must be done for, and
all the time he never uttered a sound except to
jeer at 'em, nor quivered an eyelash. Once, when
they saw he was nearly dead with thirst, they
loosed his hands and gave him a bowl of cool
spring water; but as he lifted it to his lips, they
dashed it to the ground. After that they held







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


another bowl of water close to his face, but he
never gratified 'em by making a move to try and
drink it.
"Finally, they made a circle of dry wood around
him and set fire to it. Then I thought it was all
up with the poor fellow, and his torment would
soon be over. I was just saying this to myself when
something swift and still as a shadder brushed
past the place where I was hid. I had just time
to see that it was a woman, when she cleared the
woods like a flash, ran to the stake, never minding
the flames more'n ef they'd been a shower of rain,
and cut Songa free.
"He gave a great leap, like a deer, out of the
ring of fire that was slowly roasting him, knocked
down two or three warriors that stood in his path,
and gained the woods, with her close beside him,
almost before any one knew what had happened.
A score of rifle balls whizzed after them, but they
wasn't hit, and they had a clear start of a hun-
dred yards afore the crowd took after 'em. Mahng
was the only one who could keep 'em in sight,
and when they separated at the foot of the lake,
he taking up one side, and she the other, Mahng
trailed the one he hated most, which was Songa."
"How did you happen to see all this?" inquired
the major. "They must have passed from view of
your hiding-place very quickly."
"Oh, I jined in the hunt, too," replied Truman







TRUMAN FLAGG'S STORY


Flagg. "I thought some one might find it handy
to have me 'round. Besides, I was feeling cramped
and in need of a bit of exercise."
"Well, it was handy to have you around," said
the major, heartily, "and it will be long ere I for-
get the gratitude with which I saw you at that
critical moment. I am thankful, too, that the
poor fellow escaped and sought the refuge he did,
though what I am to do with him is more than I
can imagine. I wish with all my heart that he
were well on his way toward the Ottawa villages.
But who was the woman who rescued him so splen-
didly, and what do you suppose became of her?"
He claims her as his squaw," replied the hunter,
"and ef she's where I left her, she's setting watch-
ing him at this moment."
"You don't mean it! How can she be?" cried
the major, jumping to his feet.
"I do mean it; and she can be beside him be-
cause I let her in myself, not half an hour ago,
and locked the door after me when I come out."
"Then come with me at once, for I must go
and see them," exclaimed the proprietor, starting
toward the door.
"Hold a bit, major. Don' you think that
maybe Songa has earned a few hours of uninter-
rupted rest?" asked the hunter.
"Yes, you are right, he certainly has," replied
the major, as he again sank into his chair.














CHAPTER IV


ESCAPE OF THE PRISONERS

MRs. HESTER, who had been putting her child
to sleep, entered the room in time to hear the
conclusion of the hunter's story, which she found
intensely interesting. Like her husband, she was
filled with a desire to see the brave woman who,
daring all for the man she loved, had, alone and
unaided, saved him from a horrible fate. With
him, though, she agreed that it would be cruel to
disturb the much-needed and bravely earned rest
of their guests. Thus it was decided that they
should wait until morning before visiting those
whom Fate had so strangely thrust upon their
hospitality. In the meantime, were they guests
or prisoners, and what was to be done with them?
Long and animated was the discussion of these
questions, which were finally settled by the major,
who said: "They are both. For this night they
are our guests. To-morrow morning I shall set a
guard over them, for their protection as well as
our own. Thus they will become prisoners. If
by the time the Ottawa warrior is sufficiently
recovered of his wounds to travel, I have received


*







ESCAPE OF THE PRISONERS


no word to the contrary from Johnson, I shall let
him go, and bid him God speed. If, however, I
should receive orders to continue to hold him, or
even to deliver him over to his savage captors,
which God forbid, I can conceive of no alterna-
tive save that of obedience."
"Oh, Graham! You wouldn't, you couldn't,
deliver that splendid Indian and his brave wife
to the awful fate that would await them!" cried
Mrs. Hester.
"I don't think that I could give up the woman
nor that I would be required to, seeing that she
was not a prisoner of war; but with the man it
is different. He is a chief in the tribe who have
proved themselves most inveterate foes of the
English, and, from what Flagg tells me, I should
judge a man of extraordinary ability. His death
at this time might prove the future salvation of
hundreds of white men, women, and children. To
allow him to escape may involve us in war. The
decision either way will be fraught with far-reach-
ing results, and I am thankful that it does not
rest with me. Whatever Johnson may order in a
case of this kind must be obeyed, without regard
to our private views, for he is the accredited rep-
resentative, in this section, of the king, God bless
him, whom we are sworn to serve. At any rate,
we may rest easy this night, and for two yet to
come; for, even if the Senecas lay this grievance







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


before the governor, it must still be several days ere
I can hear from him."
"Oh dear!" sighed Mrs. Hester, "I suppose
you are right, Graham, of course, but the contin-
gency is too dreadful to contemplate. I believe I
would even go so far as to help these poor people
to escape, and so defy the governor, rather than
allow them to be given up; for I know the wife
will insist on sharing her husband's fate, what-
ever it may be."
"I don't believe you would, my dear, if you
first paused to consider what effect your action
might have upon the future of your own boy,"
replied her husband, gravely.
Before retiring for the night the major and
Truman Flagg cautiously approached the tool-
house, and, listening at its single open window,
which was merely a slit cut through the logs at
the back to serve as a loop-hole for musketry,
plainly heard the heavy breathing that assured
them of the safety of the prisoners. Then the
major bade his companion good-night, and turned
toward his own quarters. He had gone but a
few steps when the hunter overtook him and
handed him the key of the tool-house, saying that
he should feel more at ease with it in the propri-
etor's possession. As they again separated, he
remarked that, being so very weary, he feared he
should sleep late the following morning.







ESCAPE OF THE PRISONERS


In spite of this, Truman Flagg was up and
stirring while it yet wanted an hour of dawn.
Lighting a small dark-lantern and moving with
the utmost caution, he made, from various places,
a collection of food, clothing, and arms.
"It's what the major in his heart wishes done,
I'm sartain," he muttered to himself, "and what
the madam would never forgive me ef I left
undone. I could see that in her face."
Having completed his preparations, the hunter
stepped lightly across the parade ground, as the
major called the enclosed square, and opened the
tool-house door, which he had softly unlocked, in
anticipation of this time, the moment before hand-
ing its key to Major Hester. Carefully as he
entered the building, its inmates were instantly
wide awake and aware of his presence. With a
few whispered words he explained the situation
to Songa, adding that while the white chief had
no authority to free a prisoner, he was unwilling
that one whose life had been saved by his child
should be restored to those who would surely kill
him. "Therefore," continued the hunter, "he bids
you make good your escape while it is yet dark,
taking with you these presents. He would have
you tell no man of the manner of your going, and
bids you remember, if ever English captives are
in your power, that you owe both life and liberty
to an English child.






AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


"To you," he added, turning to Songa's heroic
wife, "the white squaw sends the greeting of one
brave woman to another. She bids you go in
peace, lead your husband to the lodges of his
people, and restore him to the child who, but for
her child, would now be fatherless."
As the young Ottawa, assisted by his loving
wife, slowly gained his feet and painfully straight-
ened his body, whose stiffened wounds rendered every
movement one of torture, he answered simply:--
"The words of my white brother are good.
Songa will never forget them. If all white men
were like him, there would be no more fighting,
for the hatchet would be buried forever."
While both the hunter and the squaw rubbed
the sufferer's limbs with bear's grease, and so in
a measure restored their suppleness, the latter
said in a low voice, that was yet thrilling in its
intensity: -
"Tell my white sister that through her words I
can understand the love of the Great Spirit for
his children. They have sunk deep into my heart,
where their refreshing shall ever be as that of cool
waters."
In the first faint flush of the coming dawn two
dusky figures slipped, with the silence of shadows,
from among the buildings of Tawtry House, sped
across the open, and vanished in the blackness of
the forest. At the same time Truman Flagg, well







ESCAPE OF THE PRISONERS


satisfied with the act just performed, though won-
dering as to what would be its results, returned to
his own lodging, flung himself on his couch of
skins, and was quickly buried in slumber.
He was awakened some time later by the voice
of his employer, calling, "Come, Flagg! Turn
out! the sun is all of two hours high, and here
you are still sleeping. You ought to be ashamed
of yourself."
As the hunter emerged from his cabin, yawning
and stretching, the major continued: "I am on
my way to visit our guests, or prisoners, as I
suppose we must now call them, and want you to
act as interpreter. Whether guests or prisoners,
we must not allow them to starve, and if they are
half as hungry as I am at this moment, they must
feel that they are in imminent danger of it."
The honest soldier was amazed to find the door of
the tool-house unlocked, and still more so to discover
that the place was empty. "What does it mean?"
he cried angrily. "Have we a traitor among us?
or is it witchcraft? Surely no human being, wounded
so nigh unto death as was that Indian but a few hours
since, could have effected an escape unaided."
"You forget that the squaw was with him," sug-
gested the hunter.
"True; though how she could have unlocked the
door passes my understanding. Are you certain
that you locked it after admitting her?"







28 AT WAR WITH PONTIAC
"I am sartain," replied Truman Flagg, "for I
tried it afterwards."
A prolonged, though unavailing, search was made
through all the buildings and the adjacent forest
that morning. While it was in progress the ma-
jor appeared greatly chagrined at the turn of events;
but his outward demeanour concealed an inward satis-
faction that he had not been obliged to abuse the laws
of hospitality, by treating his guests as prisoners.
As for Mrs. Hester, she rejoiced so openly at
their escape that the hunter was finally emboldened
to confess to her his share in it, and deliver the
message of the Indian woman.













CHAPTER V


A BABY LOST AND RECOVERED

IN the scouting of that morning Truman Flagg
took an active part, and he alone of all who were
out discovered the trail of the fleeing Ottawas. Fol-
lowing it far enough to assure himself that no un-
friendly forest ranger had run across it, he turned
his steps in the direction of the Seneca village.
Here, although he was received with a certain cool-
ness, arising from his participation in the incident
of the previous evening, no affront was offered him,
and he had no difficulty in acquiring the information
he desired. Thus he was able to report to Major
Hester, on his return to Tawtry House, that Mahng
not only lived, but was in a fair way to recover
from his injury, and that by means of swift runners
the grievance of the Indians had already been laid
before Sir William Johnson.
This report was confirmed on the following day,
by the appearance of a delegation of Seneca chiefs,
who brought a note from the governor, and de-
manded that Major Hester deliver to them the
Ottawa captive. Sir William's note, though ex-
tremely courteous, was very firm, and contained an







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


unmistakable order for restoration to the Senecas of
their lawful prisoner. It also chided the major for
interfering between Indians, at a risk of disturbing
the friendly relations between the English and their
Iroquois neighbours.
With the reading of this note an angry flush
mantled the soldier's bronzed cheeks, and he seemed
on the point of expressing his feelings in forcible
language. Controlling himself with a visible effort,
and bidding Truman Flagg interpret his words, he
replied to the chiefs as follows:-
"Brothers: I have listened to your demand and
find it a just one. The talking-paper of the white
chief bids me deliver to you a prisoner known as
Songa the Ottawa. The orders of the white chief
must be obeyed, as I would obey this one were it
possible to do so, but it is not. Listen. As I
walked before my lodge, a stranger, whom I had
never seen, ran from the forest and fell at my feet.
He was bleeding from many wounds, and exhausted
from long running. An enemy followed, and
sought to kill him; when my son, a little child,
threw himself across the stranger's neck and saved
his life. Was not that a sign from the Great Spirit
that he wished the stranger to live? Could I do
less than was done by that little child? You know
I could not. You know that no Seneca warrior
would allow a man to be killed who sought his pro-
tection in such a manner. So I lifted this stranger






A BABY LOST AND RECOVERED


and took him to my lodge. At the same time I told
his enemy that I would keep him until an order
could be brought from the great white chief for him
to be delivered up. Now you have brought that
order, and, were the stranger still in my lodge, I
would deliver him to you; but he is not. He left
me that same night. How, I know not. He was
sore wounded, and was lodged in a secure place,
but in the morning he was gone. I am told that he
is a medicine man of the Metai. May he not have
been removed by the magic of his circle? No matter.
He was here and is gone. You look to me for him,
and I cannot produce him. That is all. I have
spoken."
A dignified old Seneca chief arose to reply, and
said: "We have heard the words of my white
brother, and we believe them to be true, for his
tongue is not crooked. He alone of all white men
has never lied to us. He says the prisoner is gone,
and it must be so. But it is not well. Our hearts
are heavy at the escape of so brave a captive.
What, then, will my brother give us in his place,
that the heaviness of our hearts may be lifted?"
"I will give you," replied Major Hester, "two
guns, and ten red blankets, twenty pounds of
powder and fifty pounds of lead, one piece of blue
cloth, one piece of red cloth, and five pounds of
tobacco. Is it enough?"
"It is enough," answered the chief, while the eyes






AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


of his companions glistened at the prospect of this
munificent present. "But," he continued, "there
was a woman. What will my brother give for
her?"
"Nothing," answered the white brother, promptly,
"for she was not your prisoner."
"Ugh! grunted the Indians.
"There is also Mahng," continued the savage
diplomat, whose rule of action was that of his white
colleagues in the same service; namely, to give as
little and get as much as possible. What will
my brother give him to help the healing of his
wounds ?"
I will give Mahng a handsome present when-
ever he shall come to receive it, that there may be
no bad blood between us," was the answer; and with
these concessions the Indians expressed themselves
as well content.
The proprietor of Tawtry House kept his word
in regard to the presents; but Mahng never came
to claim those set apart for him. Instead of so
doing, he sent word to Major Hester that no gift,
save that of his life's blood, would ever atone for
the insult of that kick, nor wipe out the enmity
between them.
"So be it, then, if he will have it so," replied the
soldier, with a light laugh, when this was reported
to him; but his wife turned pale and trembled as
she recalled the undying hate expressed by Mahng's







A BABY LOST AND RECOVERED


scowling face. Nor was the Ojibwa's threat an
entirely idle one, as the settlers discovered to their
sorrow, when several of their cattle were killed, an
outbuilding was burned, and finally the major him-
self had a narrow escape with his life, from a shot
fired by an unseen foe. Finally, these things be-
came so annoying that Sir William Johnson notified
the Senecas to drive Mahng from their country,
or hand him over to the whites for punishment,
unless they wished to forfeit the valuable annual
present, sent to them by their great Father of Eng-
land, an instalment of which was then due.
As the Diver was by no means popular in his
adopted tribe, he was promptly carried across the
Niagara river, and forbidden ever to set foot on its
eastern shore again, under penalty of death. Hav-
ing performed this virtuous act, the Senecas moved
eastward to the long council-house of the Six
Nations, which was located in the country of
the Onondagas, where they were to receive their
presents and share in the deliberations of their
confederacy.
It was two months after the incidents above de-
scribed, and several weeks had passed without an
Indian having been seen in the vicinity of Tawtry
House. So absolutely peaceful were its surround-
ings that the vigilance of its inmates was relaxed,
and during the daytime, at least, they came and
went at will, without a thought of insecurity.
(M122) D







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


This peace was rudely broken one morning by
shrill cries from the Scotch nurse maid who, an hour
before, had strolled with her infant charge toward
the lake. She now ran to the house in an agony
of terror, and uttering unintelligible screams. It
was at first believed that the child was drowned, but
finally the distracted parents gleaned from the girl's
half-coherent words that she had left him in safety
at some distance from the shore, for a single minute,
while she stepped to the water's edge for a drink.
When she returned he had disappeared, nor was
there any answer to her calling.
For two days search parties scoured the surround-
ing forest, but without avail. There was not an
experienced trailer among them, Truman Flagg
being with Sir William Johnson at the Onondaga
council-house. Toward the close of the second day,
while Major Hester and most of his men were still
engaged in their fruitless search, the heartbroken
mother walked listlessly to the place where her
child had last been seen. She had already been
there many times, unconsciously, but irresistibly
attracted to the spot.
On this occasion, as she was about to turn back,
there came to her ear the cry of an infant. Like a
tigress robbed of her young, and with blazing eyes,
the bereaved woman sprang in the direction of the
sound, and in another instant her child, alive and
well, was clasped to her bosom. He had been hid-







A BABY LOST AND RECOVERED 35

den beneath the low-spreading branches of a small
cedar, and she snatched him from a bark cradle,
exquisitely made and lined with costly furs..
Like one pursued by a great terror, she fled to the
house with her precious burden, nor would she per-
mit one to take it from her until her husband's
return.
When they examined the child they found him
without scratch or blemish, save for a curious and
inflamed disfiguration on his left arm, just below the
shoulder. Though this soon healed, it was long
before its mystery was explained; but when Truman
Flagg saw it, he pronounced it to be the tattooed
mark of an Indian totem.













CHAPTER VI


THE WILDERNESS

IN a new country the changes effected during six-
teen years are apt to be greater than those of a life-
time in long-established communities. Certainly this
was the case in North America during the sixteen
years immediately preceding that of 1763. The
bitter fighting between England and France for the
supremacy of the new world that began with
the signal defeat of the English army under Brad-
dock, in 1755, was ended four years later by Wolfe's
decisive victory on the Heights of Abraham. A year
later France retired from the conflict and surren-
dered Canada, with all its dependencies, to the Eng-
lish. These dependencies included a long chain of
tiny forts, about some of which were clustered thrifty
French settlements that extended entirely around the
Great Lakes and south of them into the valley of the
Ohio. Among these were Niagara at the mouth of
the river of that name, Presque Isle on the site of the
present city of Erie, Sandusky, Detroit, Mackinac,
Fort Howard on Green Bay, and Fort St. Joseph near
the southern end of Lake Michigan. While from
its commanding position the most important of these







THE WILDERNESS


forts was the first named; the largest, and the one
surrounded by the most thriving settlement was at
Detroit. Here the fort itself was a palisaded village
of one hundred compactly built houses standing on
the western bank of the Detroit river. Beyond it, on
both sides for nearly eight miles, stretched the pros-
perous settlement of French peasants, whose long,
narrow farms reached far back from the river, though
in every case the tidy white houses and outbuildings
stood close to the water's edge.
The English settlements at the close of the war with
France had not crossed the Alleghanies, and in the
province of New York the western bank of the Hud-
son was an almost unbroken wilderness. Through
the country of the Six Nations, and by their especial
permission, a military route, guarded by a line of
forts, had been established, though it was clearly
understood by the Indians that all these should be
abandoned as soon as the war was ended. This route
began at the frontier town of Albany. Here the trav-
eller left the clumsy but comfortable sloop on board
which he had perhaps spent a week or more on the
voyage from New York, and embarked in a canoe or
flat-boat, which was laboriously poled against the
swift current of the Mohawk river. Thus he passed
the old Dutch town of Schenectady, Johnson Hall
and Johnson Castle, Forts Hunter and Herkimer, and
at length reached the head of river navigation at Fort
Stanwix. From here a. short portage through the for-







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


est led him to the waters of Wood creek, where he
might again embark and float with the sluggish cur-
rent to the Royal Blockhouse on the shore of Oneida
lake. Crossing this, and passing under the walls of
Fort Brewerton at the source of the Oswego river,
he would descend the swift waters of that stream
to Fort Oswego on the shore of Lake Ontario.
From here his course in any direction lay over
the superb waterways of the great inland lakes
whose open navigation was only interrupted by a
toilsome portage around the great cataract of the
Niagara river.
Beyond these few isolated dots of white settle-
ments and the slender lines of communication be-
tween them, the whole vast interior country was
buried in the shade of an unbroken forest that
swept like a billowy sea of verdure over plains,
hills, valleys, and mountains, screening the sunlight
from innumerable broad rivers and rushing streams,
and spreading its leafy protection over uncounted
millions of beasts, birds, and fishes. Here dwelt the
Indian, and before the coming of the white man the
forest supplied all his simple needs. Its gloomy
mazes were threaded in every direction by his trails,
deep-trodden by the feet of many generations, and
forming a network of communication between all
villages and places of importance. So carefully did
these narrow highways follow lines of shortest dis-
tance and easiest grade, that when the white man







THE WILDERNESS


began to lay out his own roads he could do no better
than adopt their suggestions.
With the coming of the whites, the life of the
Indian was subjected to sudden and radical changes.
Having learned of the existence and use of guns,
knives, kettles, blankets, and innumerable other
things that appealed to his savage notions of com-
fort and utility, he must now have them, and for
them would trade furs. So the fur traders became
important features of the forest life, and their busi-
ness grew to be so immensely profitable that its con-
trol was one of the prime objects for which England
and France fought in America. The little forts that
the French scattered over the country were only trad-
ing-posts, and at them, so long as their builders ruled,
the Indians were treated with a fairness and courtesy
that won their firm friendship and made them stanch
allies in times of war. But when the French power
was broken, and the Indians, without at all under-
standing why, found that they must hereafter deal
only with English fur traders, all this was changed.
There was no longer a war on hand nor a rival
power in the land, therefore the necessity for con-
ciliating the Indian and gaining his friendship no
longer existed. The newcomers did not care so
much for furs as they did for land. For this they
were willing to trade rum, but not guns, knives,
powder, or bullets. These must be kept from the
Indian, lest he do mischief. He no longer found







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


in the white man a friend, but a master, and a very
cruel one at that.
It was now considered good economy to withhold
the presents that in war time had been so lavishly
bestowed on. the Indians, and the one problem that
the English sought to solve was how to get rid of
the undesirable red man as cheaply and quickly as
possible. The little trading-posts, in which he had
been made a welcome guest, were now filled with
red-coated soldiers, who called him a dog and treated
him as such. He became ragged and hungry, was
driven from the homes of his fathers, and finally
began to perceive that even the privilege of living
was not to be granted him much longer. He grew
desperate, and his hatred against those who had
driven away his kind French friends and brought
about all his present misery became very bitter. He
saw plainly that if he did not drive these red-
coats back to the sea whence they came, they would
soon sweep his race from the face of the earth.
There seemed to be only a few white men and many
Indians; but while the former were united under
one great leader, the latter were divided into many
tribes with many little leaders. If they, too, would
only find some great chief, under whom all the tribes
could unite, how quickly would they wipe out the
hated redcoats and teach the English to respect their
rights. Perhaps as soon as they began to fight for
themselves the white-coated soldiers of France would







THE WILDERNESS


come again to help them. At any rate, certain white
men told them this would happen, and they were
believed. If only they could find a leader!
Gradually, but with convincing proof, it dawned
upon the unhappy Indians that a great leader had
arisen among them, and was ready to deal the deci-
sive blow that should set them free. To tribe after
tribe and to village after village came messengers bear-
ing broad belts of wampum and the crimson hatchet of
war. They came in the name of Pontiac, war chief
of the fierce Ottawas, head medicine man of the power-
ful Metai, friend of Montcalm, stanch ally of the
French during the recent war, and leader of his people
at the battle of the Monongahela, where stubborn Brad-
dock was slain with his redcoats, and even the dreaded
"long-knives from Virginia were forced to fly.
Far and wide travelled the messengers of this
mighty chieftain, and everywhere was his war hatchet
eagerly accepted. Far and wide went Pontiac him-
self, and wherever his burning words were heard the
children of the forest became crazed with the fever
of war. Finally, the fierce plan was perfected. The
blow was to be struck at every British post west of
Niagara on the same day. With the fall of these,
the triumphant forest hordes were to rush against
the settlements and visit upon them the same cruel
destruction that had overtaken their own villages
whenever the white man had seen fit to wipe them
from his path.







42 AT WAR WITH PONTIAC

While this movement had gained ground until the
fatal storm was just ready to burst, it had been
conducted with such secrecy that only one white
man even suspected its existence, and his name was
Graham Hester.













CHAPTER VII


THE MAJOR RE-ENTERS ACTIVE SERVICE

ON the breaking out of the French war, Major
Hester accepted his friend's invitation to remove his
family to Johnson Hall, and make that his home dur-
ing the troublous times that would render Tawtry
House an unsafe place of residence. This he did
the more readily on account of his wife's health,
which was so precarious that, while the major was
confident he could defend his forest fortress against
any ordinary attack, he feared lest the excitement of
such an affair might prove too much for the frail
woman who was dearer to him than life.
Alas for his precautions! During the wearisome
eastward journey, the travellers were drenched by a
fierce storm of rain and hail that was followed by a
chilling wind. So furious was the tempest that it
was impossible to wholly protect the invalid from it,
and in less than a week thereafter the noisy bustle
of Johnson Hall was silenced for an hour by her
funeral. So deeply did the rugged soldier feel his
loss, that he vowed he would never again set foot in
the house that had been hers, and that, as soon as he
could make provision for his children, he would seek







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


in battle for the king, that reunion with his loved
one that death alone could grant.
The children thus deprived of a mother's tender
care were Donald, now a sturdy lad of twelve years,
and Edith, a dainty little maiden two years younger.
The former was wise beyond his years in forest lore,
which he had eagerly imbibed from the tuition of
that master of woodcraft, Truman Flagg. At the
same time he was sadly deficient in a knowledge of
books and many other things that go to make up the
education of a gentleman. Him, therefore, the major
decided to send to New York to be fitted for the col-
lege then known as King's," but afterwards famous
under the name of Columbia."
Against this decision the lad raised strenuous objec-
tions, declaring that his sole ambition was to become
a soldier, and that such a one could learn to fight
without the aid of books.
"True, my son, so he can, after a fashion," replied
the major, gravely. "But, in the art of war, as in
every other art, all our teachings come from those
who have preceded us, and the most important of
these are recorded in the books they have left for our
consideration. Again, as the soldier of to-day is the
modern representative of the chivalrous knight of
olden time, he must needs be a gentleman, and an
uneducated gentleman would be as sorry a spectacle
as an unarmed soldier in battle. So, my dear boy,
accept thy fate kindly and make a soldier's fight







THE MAJOR RE-ENTERS ACTIVE SERVICE 45

against the enemy named ignorance. Upon the day
of thy graduation from King's College, if my influ-
ence can compass it, which I doubt not it can, a com-
mission in one of His Majesty's American regiments
shall await thy acceptance. I shall send our little
lass with thee, and both she and thyself will be
entertained in the household of Madam Rothsay, the
widow of a dear friend of mine, who has agreed to
receive you and fulfil, so far as may be, a mother's
duty toward my motherless children."
The major escorted his children as far as Albany,
where he embarked them, together with the Scotch
nurse who had cared for both of them from their
birth, on board a packet-sloop that should carry them
to their new house. Having thus made provision
for the welfare of his dear ones, the lonely man pro-
ceeded to fulfil the destiny he had planned by join-
ing as a volunteer aid the army which, under General
Johnson, was charged with the capture of Crown
Point on Lake Champlain. In this campaign it was
largely owing to Major Hester's soldierly knowledge
and tactical skill that the French army, under Baron
Dieskau, which had advanced as far as the southern
end of Lake George, was defeated. For this victory
Sir William Johnson was raised to a baronetcy and
presented with a purse of five thousand pounds.
Through the war Major Hester fought with one
army or another, always in the forefront of battle, as
he was a leader in council; but never finding the







AT WAR WITI PONTIAC


boon of death which he craved. At length he stood
with Wolfe on the lofty Heights of Abraham, and in
the fall of Quebec witnessed the fatal blow to French
power in America. In all this time he had never
returned to the forest house that he had last looked
upon in company with his beloved wife. Whether
his resolution not to visit it would have lived to the
end can never be known, for in the second year of
the war a marauding party from an army, which,
under Montcalm, had just captured and destroyed
Oswego, reached Tawtry House and burned it to
the ground.
After the surrender of Canada, Major Hester vis-
ited his children in New York City. Here he found
his boy, grown almost beyond recognition, domiciled
in the new King's College building, then just com-
pleted, and doing well in his studies, but keenly
regretting that the war was ended without his par-
ticipation. The white-haired soldier also found his
daughter, Edith, now fifteen years of age, budding
into a beautiful womanhood, and bearing so strong
a resemblance to her mother that he gazed at her
with mixed emotions of pain and delight.
During his stay in the city, the major was fre-
quently consulted upon military affairs by the Eng-
lish commander-in-chief, Sir Jeffry Amherst, who
finally begged him to accompany the expedition
which he was about to send into the far west,
under the redoubtable Colonel Rogers, of ranger







THE MAJOR RE-ENTERS ACTIVE SERVICE 47
fame, to receive the surrender of the more distant
French posts.
"Rogers is impetuous, and needs a man of your
experience to serve as a balance-wheel," said Sir
Jeffry. "Besides, I want some one of your ability
and knowledge of Indian affairs to take command of
Detroit, the principal settlement and most important
trading-post in the west. So, Hester, if you will
accept this duty, you will not only be serving the
king, but doing me a great personal favour as well."
Willing to continue for a while longer in active
service, and having no other plan, Major Hester
accepted Sir Jeffry's offer, and set forth on his long
journey, joining Rogers at Fort Niagara, where, with
the aid of cranes and ox-teams, the rangers were
laboriously transporting their heavy whale-boats over
the steep portage around the great cataract.
At length the little flotilla was again launched,
and as it skirted the southern shore of Lake Erie,
its every movement was watched by the keen eyes
of Indian scouts, concealed in dense forest coverts,
and reported in detail to the chief of that country;
for never before had a body of British troops ven-
tured so far into the interior. Finally, in one of
their camps the rangers were visited by an impos-
ing array of Indian sachems, headed by the great
chief himself, who demanded the reason of their
presence in his country.
When Rogers, in reply, had stated the nature of







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


his business, the chief began a speech, in which he
forbade the further advance of the English. Sud-
denly his eye rested upon Major Hester, who had
just left his tent to attend the council. The speech
of the Indian came to an abrupt pause, and gazing
fixedly at the white-haired officer, he inquired if he
were not the chief who dwelt in the great house of
the two trees in the land of the Senecas.
I did dwell there," replied the major, greatly
surprised at the question.
"Does my brother of the two-tree house wish to
journey through the country of the Ottawas?" de-
manded the chieftain.
"Certainly, I do," was the reply.
For peace or for war?" queried the savage,
laconically.
For peace," answered Major Hester. "The war
is ended, and we do but journey to take peaceable
possession of those forts which the French have
given over to the English."
"Ugh! It is good! Let my white brother
travel in peace, for Pontiac knows that his tongue
is straight, and that what he says must be true
words."
With this the haughty chieftain, followed by his
savage retinue, left the camp, and not another Indian
was seen until Detroit was reached, though, as was
afterwards learned, a strong body of Pontiac's war-
riors had awaited them at the mouth of the Detroit







THE MAJOR RE-ENTERS ACTIVE SERVICE 49

river, and were only restrained from attacking the
flotilla by their leader's express command.
Neither Major Hester nor Colonel Rogers knew
what to make of this curious behavior on the part
of the powerful Indian who had evidently been
determined to oppose their progress. The former
could not recall ever having seen him or held inter-
course with him, though, after he assumed command
of Fort Detroit, Pontiac paid him frequent visits,
and always evinced a strong friendship for the hon-
est soldier, who invariably treated him and his peo-
ple with consideration and fairness. Frequently, too,
Pontiac complained to the major of the outrages per-
petrated by other English commanders, their brutal
soldiers, and the horde of reckless traders who
swarmed through the country. He declared that if
they were continued, the Indians would rise against
their oppressors and sweep them from the face of
the earth.
Fully appreciating the state of affairs, but power-
less to alter it for the better, save in his own jurisdic-
tion, Major Hester appealed to Sir William Johnson,
begging him to visit the western country and use his
powerful influence to quiet the growing discontent.
This Sir William did with great pomp and ceremony
in 1761, finding himself just in time to quell, by
lavish presents and still more lavish promises, a gen-
eral uprising of the Algonquin tribes. The peace-
ful relations thus established lasted but a short time,
(M 122) E







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


however, and within a year the aggressions of the
whites had become more pronounced, and the situa-
tion of the Indians more desperate than ever. Pon-
tiac had disappeared from the vicinity of Detroit,
and for many months Major Hester had not seen
him. At the same time he was well informed of the
cruelties practised upon the natives, and foresaw that
they could not much longer be restrained from retali-
ating in their own bloody fashion. Being unwilling
to fight on the side of injustice and oppression, he at
length prayed Sir Jeffry Amherst to relieve him
from his command. This request was granted, and
late in 1762 he was succeeded by Major Gladwyn,
an officer with a brave record as a fighter and un-
hampered by any troublesome consideration of the
rights or wrongs of Indians. Although thus relieved
of his command, certain duties arose to detain Major
Hester for several months at Detroit; and the momen-
tous spring of 1763 found him still an inmate of that
frontier post.














CHAPTER VIII


DONALD SETS FORTH ON A PERILOUS MISSION

No rising sun ever witnessed a fairer scene than
that presented by the little wilderness settlement
of Detroit on the sixth of May, 1763. All nature
was rejoicing in the advent of spring and donning
its livery of green. The broad river, flowing south-
ward with a mighty volume of water from four in-
land seas of which it formed the sole outlet, was
lined as far as the eye could reach with the white
houses and fertile fields of French farmers. From
these, spirals of blue smoke curled peacefully, and
the voices of cattle answered each other in morning
greetings. A darker mass of buildings on the west-
ern bank denoted the palisaded village in which
dwelt the British garrison, their wives and chil-
dren, and some fifty fur traders, with their Canadian
employees. The houses within the palisades, about
one hundred in number, were mostly low, wooden
structures, roofed with bark or thatch. The village
was square in form, and while one side opened on
the river, the other three were enclosed by wooden
walls, twenty-five feet in height, with log bastions
at the corners, and a blockhouse over each of the







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


three gateways. Several pieces of light artillery
were mounted on the bastions, and anchored in the
river lay the armed schooners Beaver and Gladwyn.
At some distance from the fort, both up and down
the river, rose the smoke of populous Indian villages,
for all the natives of that section were in from their
winter hunting, and gathered at this point for trade.
Over the placid waters light canoes occasionally
darted from bank to bank. A boat brigade, bound
for the far north, was just starting from the fort,
and the Canadian voyageurs, gay with fringes, beads,
and crimson sashes, caused the morning air to ring
with a tuneful chorus as boat after boat shot away
and stemmed the current with lusty oars.
Not far from the point of this noisy embarkation
was another, though much less ostentatious scene
of departure and leave-taking. In the stern of a
birch canoe, paddle in hand and evidently impa-
tient to be off, sat one of Rogers' buckskin-clad
rangers, who was about to revisit his distant New
Hampshire home, for the first time in three years.
Near by, on the strand, stood two men, both tall and
possessed of a military bearing. One, who wore
the undress uniform of an officer, was elderly and
white-haired, while the other, slender, and clad
much as was the ranger in the canoe, was in the
first flush of splendid young manhood. As these
two stood hand in hand, the younger said: "Can I
not persuade you, father, even at this last moment,







DONALD SETS FORTH ON A PERILOUS MISSION 53

to change your mind and accompany us ? Poor Edith
will be so dreadfully disappointed."
"I fear she will, Donald," returned Major Hester,
with a sad smile, "but as this life is mainly com-
posed of disappointments, the sooner she learns to
bear them with composure, the better. I had indeed
looked forward to taking this journey with you, to
clasping my dear girl in my arms once more, and
ere the year was ended to rebuilding Tawtry House,
in which to establish her as mistress. With the
war ended, I fondly hoped that a certain degree of
happiness were still possible to me, and looked
forward to securing it by some such means as I have
just outlined."
"And is it not, father?" broke in the youth,
eagerly. "Surely you have done far more than
your duty here, and-"
"No man has done that, Donald, so long as there
remains an unperformed task for which he is fitted,"
interrupted Major Hester, gravely. "So long as I
believe a crisis in Indian affairs to be imminent, and
that by remaining here I may be able to avert it, at
least until the reinforcements which it is now yours to
hasten can arrive, it is clearly my duty to stay. So
off with you, lad. Don't run any risks that can just
as well be avoided, and don't try to avoid any that, if
successfully taken, will serve to speed your errand.
Farewell, my son. May God bless you and keep you
and bring your enterprise to a happy termination."







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


After the canoe had departed, Major Hester as-
cended one of the water bastions, where he watched
it until it became a tiny speck, and finally vanished
behind the projecting land then known as Montreal
point.
Donald Hester had striven so manfully with his
studies that he was finally graduated from King's
College, well toward the head of his class, during
the previous summer. Thereupon he had been re-
warded with his heart's desire, an ensign's com-
mission in the Royal Americans. To the new and
fascinating duties of his chosen profession he at once
devoted himself with such ardour as to draw favourable
comment from his superiors. After serving at sev-
eral posts he had, to his great delight, been trans-
ferred to Detroit, where the soldier father and soldier
son, each more than proud of the other, were joy-
fully reunited after their years of separation. Here,
too, he renewed his boyhood's intimacy with forest
life, and eagerly resumed his long-neglected studies
in wilderness lore and woodcraft.
Although Donald was generally liked by his
brother officers, he had no taste for the dissipations
with which they sought to relieve the monotony of
their lives. In place of these, he chose to take gun
or fishing-rod and go off on long excursions in his
canoe. On one of these occasions, when far down
the river and in vigorous pursuit of a wounded duck,
he had the misfortune to break his only paddle short







DONALD SETS FORTH ON A PERILOUS MISSION 55
off. In a moment he was helplessly drifting with
the powerful current toward the open waters of Lake
Erie. In this dilemma, his only resource was to
paddle with his hands, and attempt by this tedious
method to force his craft to the nearest shore.
While he was thus awkwardly engaged, there came
a ripple of laughter from close beside him, and he
started, up just in time to gaze squarely into the
laughing face of an Indian girl, who instantly im-
pressed him as the most graceful creature he had
ever seen. She occupied, with a girl companion, a
beautifully painted and ornamented canoe, which
had slipped up to him with the lightness of a thistle-
down. As the young soldier caught sight of her
she was in the very act of tossing a paddle into his
own helpless craft.
Then the strange canoe darted away like an arrow,
while the only answer to the young man's fervently
expressed thanks was a merry peal of laughter,
coupled with an exclamation, of which he caught but
the single word "ah-mo." These were wafted back
to him as the flying canoe disappeared behind the
point of a small island. With a desire to learn
something more of the bewitching forest maiden,
who had come so opportunely to his aid, Donald
urged his own craft vigorously in that direction,
but when he rounded the point there was no trace to
be seen of those whom he sought.
So deep an impression had the olive-tinted face,







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


the laughing eyes, and the jetty tresses of the girl
who tossed the paddle to him made upon the young
ensign, that they haunted both his sleeping and his
wakeful hours; but, plan as he might, he could not
succeed in seeing her again, nor did his cautiously
worded inquiries serve to elicit the slightest infor-
mation concerning her.
Perhaps it was well for the efficiency of the ser-
vice that about this time Major Gladwyn selected
Donald to be the bearer of certain despatches to Sir
William Johnson, concerning the reinforcements and
supplies that he expected to receive by the spring
brigade of boats from Niagara. Major Hester, who
had intended to return East about this time, sud-
denly decided to remain at Detroit a while longer.
He therefore intrusted a number of private de-
spatches to the young courier, both for Sir William
and General Amherst. Besides its more important
despatches, Donald's canoe was freighted with a
large packet of letters from members of the garrison
to distant friends and loved ones. Thus it set forth
on its long and perilous voyage followed by fond
hopes and best wishes from every member of the band
of exiles left behind.













CHAPTER IX


ST. AUBIN'S STARTLING INFORMATION

WIIEN Major Hester slowly and thoughtfully re-
turned to his quarters after witnessing the departure
of his son, he found sitting on the doorstep, and
patiently awaiting his coming, a Canadian woman.
Beside her-stood her stolid-looking husband, whom
the major recognized as a well-to-do farmer of the
settlement, to whom he had granted some trifling
favours while in command of the post.
Good morning, madame. Good morning, St.
Aubin. To what am I indebted for the honour of
this early call? What can I do for you?" asked
the old soldier, in answer to the humble salutations
with which they greeted his approach.
"Ah! monsieur, we have come," began the
woman.
Certainment, we have come," echoed her husband.
"Jean!"
"Pardon, Marie."
"We have come with despair on account of the
previous abounding kindness of monsieur, to di-
vulge him "
"A secret! A secret terrible!" exploded the old







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


man, who was nervously standing first on one foot
and then on the other.
"Jean! "
"Oui, Marie."
"If you have an important secret to confide, had
we not better enter the house?" suggested the
major, who saw from the excited earnestness of the
worthy couple that something very unusual had
occurred to agitate them.
They accepted this invitation, and the major
finally gleaned from their combined and interjectory
statements that on the previous day Madame St.
Aubin, visiting the Ottawa village, had surprised
a number of warriors in the act of cutting off the
long barrels of their guns, until the entire length
of each weapon was not more than a yard. More-
over, she had overheard an Indian, who was some-
what under the influence of liquor, boast that ere
many days he would have English scalps with which
to fringe his leggings.
"Has any one else seen these things or noted
symptoms of uneasiness among the Indians?" de-
manded the major.
"Yes. Basil, the blacksmith, has been troubled
for days by Indians begging for loans of files and
saws, for what purpose they would not state."
"But why do you not carry this matter to Major
Gladwyn, who is in command, instead of to me, who
now possess no authority?"







ST. AUBIN'S STARTLING INFORMATION


"Because, monsieur, the commandant makes of
us a jest and cares not to listen. Aussi, because we
care not for him; but to you, monsieur, who have
formerly turned many of our sorrows into joys, we
wish not that harm should come. For ourselves,
we have no fear. The savages will not harm the
French. But for the English, whom they love not
- well, there it is different."
"You think, then, that the fort is in danger?"
"Of an attack, monsieur. Yes."
"How soon?"
Who can tell? Perhaps in one week. Perhaps
even to-morrow."
"Will you come again this evening, before the
gates are closed, and bring any further information
you may gain during the day?"
"We dare not, monsieur. All the French are
now too closely watched. This morning we sell
eggs. In the evening it would be known that we
had no business."
"If I leave the post an hour after sunset and walk
just beyond the church, will you meet me there and
deliver to me your information ? "
"If it is possible, we will; for the thing that
monsieur demands must be granted on account of
his, ofttimes of the heart, kindness."
After the departure of these people, Major Hester
thoughtfully made his way to the quarters of the
commanding officer, whom he found at breakfast.







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


Gladwyn, though a brave man and a thorough
soldier, was a high liver, inclined to dissipation,
impatient of advice, and held an undisguised con-
tempt for all Indians. To crown all, he was ex-
tremely jealous of the ascendancy over the native
tribes gained by his predecessor in command, whom
he cordially disliked and wished out of the way.
On the present occasion he greeted him in courteous
terms, but coldly and without rising.
"This is indeed an early call, major. I suppose
I am indebted for the pleasure to the fact that Ensign
Hester took an early departure, according to in-
structions, and your paternal instinct led you to
speed his journey. I must confess my surprise that
you did not accompany him. I suppose you are
waiting for the opportunity of a more comfortable
passage by schooner. For my part, I prefer the
excitement of a canoe voyage; but I suppose as one
grows old-"
"A soldier never grows so old as to forget his
duty, Major Gladwyn," answered the elder officer,
stiffly. "And I can assure you that only a strong
sense of duty causes me to linger in a place where
my presence is so evidently undesirable. But I
have not interrupted your breakfast for the purpose
of discussing personalities. I desire to lay before
you a bit of information that has just come to my
knowledge, regarding certain suspicious movements
among the Indians, who, as you must be aware, are







ST. AUBIN'S STARTLING INFORMATION


gathered about the post in unusual numbers. They
are cutting off their gun-barrels to such a length that
the weapons may be concealed beneath their blankets.
I have this direct from St. Aubin, whose wife, visit-
ing the Ottawa village yesterday, discovered its
inmates to be thus engaged."
"It must have been an interesting sight," replied
Gladwyn, carelessly, "but I fail to perceive what
possible interest it can have for me. I suppose the
rascals have learned that they can shoot just as
effectively, or rather as ineffectively, with short gun-
barrels as with long, and so have wisely decided to
do away with useless weight. By Jove, Hester, I
have laughed more than once at the shrewdness of
our traders who sell cheap flint-lock muskets to the
redskins for as many otter or beaver skins as can be
piled between stock and muzzle, and have these trade
guns built with an increased length each year.
Rather clever, is it not?"
"It is a bit of infamous cheating that will sooner
or later recoil on our own heads," replied the other,
hotly. "But that is neither here nor there. The
question is, whether or not the Indians mean to
attack this post, and whether it is prepared for an
attack in case they do?"
"If they only would, my dear sir, I for one should
welcome it as a cheerful break in the deadly monot-
ony of our lives in this forsaken place. As for
preparations, you should be among the last to ques-







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


tion that the troops of His Most Gracious Majesty
of England are always prepared to meet any num-
ber of naked savages under any circumstances."
"That was Braddock's opinion," remarked Major
Hester, grimly, "and he paid for it with his life.
But granting that we are able to withstand an attack,
are we prepared for a siege?"
"Oh come, major!" exclaimed Gladwyn, rather
testily, "that question is rather a severe test of one's
credulity. As if it were possible for a parcel of
howling redskins to conduct a siege! No one knows
better than you that their only method of fighting is
a surprise, a yell, a volley, and then a retreat. They
are absolutely incapable of sustained effort." /
"Are you acquainted with Pontiac, the present
war chief of the united tribes?" inquired Major
Hester, coldly.
"Certainly I am, and a more conceited, ignorant,
boastful, treacherous, cowardly, and utterly worth-
less bit of red humanity than he I have yet to meet.
I have already warned him away from this section
of country, and if he persists in remaining where
he is so little wanted, I shall be obliged to teach him
a lesson."
"Very well, major, if these are your unalterable
opinions regarding the present state of affairs, I have
nothing more to say, save to wish you a very good
morning," replied the elder officer, as he turned to
leave. "However, "he added, "I shall still consider







ST. AUBIN'S STARTLING INFORMATION


it my duty to report any further bits of information
that may come to me."
"While thanking you, I beg you not to incon-
venience yourself to do so," remarked Gladwyn,
frigidly, and with this the interview ended.
That evening, while a dull glow still lingered in
the western sky, though the shadows of dusk were
fallen on the fort and its surroundings, Major Hester
passed the sentry at one of the gates and walked
slowly, as though for an aimless stroll, as far as the
little French-Canadian church. On reaching it he
detected a dim figure in its shadow and asked in a
low tone, "Is that you, St. Aubin?"
"No, monsieur," was the answer, in a girl's voice,
"but I am his daughter, and am come in his place,
as he is detained by company. He bade me deliver
a message to you alone and then hasten back."
With this the girl almost whispered in the ear of
the old soldier a few words that caused his teeth to
clench and his heartstrings to tighten. She had
hardly concluded, when an approaching step from the
direction of the fort caused her to spring aside and
fly with the swiftness of a deer.
"Who goes there ? challenged Major Hester.
"Pardon me, major," answered the well-known
voice of the commandant. "I had no idea I was in-
terrupting a tete-a-tete. In fact, I did not associate
you with trysts of this kind."
"That will do, Major Gladwyn," interrupted the







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


other, sternly. "I have but this minute learned that
on the morrow Pontiac, with sixty of his warriors,
all having guns concealed beneath their blankets,
will demand to hold a council with you. The
leader will make a speech, at the conclusion of
which he will present a belt of wampum. Your
taking of that belt will be the signal for a general
massacre of every English soul within the limits of
Fort Detroit, save only-the one to whom the chief
has presented his calumet."
"Do you believe this cock-and-bull story, Hester? "
demanded the startled commander.
"Even now is the war dance in progress," was
the reply. "Listen! '
At that moment a waft of night air bore to their
ears the sullen booming of distant war drums and
the wild chorus of quavering yells with which the
frenzied savages across the river greeted Pontiac's
declaration of war against the hated English.
"By Heaven, Hester! I believe you are right,"
cried Gladwyn, as he listened to these ominous
sounds. "At any rate, I will accept your warning,
and make such preparations as will show those
devils that we are not to be caught napping."













CHAPTER X


PONTIAC DECLARES WAR

ALTHOUGH Gladwyn caused half of his force to be
kept under arms that night, and doubled his sentries,
nothing occurred to disturb the settlement. In the
morning, as the rising sun dispelled the fleecy mist-
clouds from above the river, a fleet of canoes was
seen crossing from the eastern shore. These effected
a landing at some distance above the fort, and soon
afterwards the wide, open common behind it was
animated by the presence of hundreds of Indians.
There were stately warriors in paint and blankets,
young braves stripped to the waist-cloth for a game
of ball, maidens whose cheeks were ruddy with ver-
milion, robed in embroidered and beaded garments
of fawn skin, and naked children, frolicking like so
many puppies. Save in the occasional scowling face
and preoccupied air of some dark-browed warrior,
and a slow but noticeable gathering of these 'near
the principal gate of the fort, there was nothing to
arouse suspicion or indicate that these visitors had
any save the most friendly feelings toward the
whites.
Pontiac having sent word to Major Gladwyn that
(M122) F







66 AT WAR WITH PONTIAC
he desired to meet the white chief in council, about
ten o'clock the Indian leader and some sixty of his
principal men were seen approaching in single file
from the direction of the bridge across Parent's
creek, a mile and a half north of the fort. As they
drew near the great gateway, it was noticed that in
spite of the heat of the day every warrior was
wrapped to the chin in his gayly colored blanket.
The faces of all were streaked with ochre, vermilion,
white, and black paint, while from their scalp-locks
depended plumes of eagle, hawk, or turkey feathers,
indicative of their rank or prowess in battle.
As the great gate was swung open to admit this
barbaric procession, they entered the fort with stately
tread and in grave silence, led by the mighty chief,
who, with proudly lifted head and flashing eyes,
looked every inch a forest king. Suddenly he
started, uttered a deep ejaculation, and half turned
as though to retreat. On either side of the street
down which he must pass to the council-house was
drawn up a motionless line of red-coated soldiers.
Above them their fixed bayonets glinted ominously
in the bright sunlight. Behind them every house
was closed, and at the street corners stood groups of
stalwart fur traders, surrounded by their half-savage
employees, all armed to the teeth. In all these
rigid figures there was a grim air of determination,
though no sound was to be heard save the measured
throbbing of an unseen drum.







PONTIAC DECLARES WAR


It is no wonder that Pontiac started. In a single
glance he saw that he had been betrayed and that
his plan was known. Still, his hesitation was but
momentary and hardly noticed ere with immobile
face he resumed his march toward the great council-
house that stood near the water's edge, on the fur-
ther side of the town. As the procession of fierce
warriors, decked in the fullest glory of savage
habiliment, moved slowly down the street, fright-
ened faces gazed furtively at them from behind half-
closed blinds, while the regular tap of the unseen
drum seemed to assume an angrier tone, as though
impatient to break forth in the furious rattle of a
"charge."
In the council-house the Indians found Gladwyn
and his officers seated in a semicircle at the
upper end, waiting to receive them. They also
noted that each of these, besides being in full uni-
form, wore his sword and a brace of pistols. At this
additional evidence of the discovery of their design,
and that they had placed themselves completely
within the enemy's power, the warriors exchanged
uneasy glances, and seemed inclined to make a rush
for the door rather than seat themselves on the mats
prepared for them.
"Why," demanded Pontiac, "do I see so many of
my white brother's young men standing outside with
guns in their hands ?"
Gladwyn replied that it was customary for his







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


soldiers to go through with an armed drill every
day.
When the Indians were finally seated, one of them
filled, lighted, and handed to Pontiac the great
chief's own superb calumet. Its red stone bowl,
which held a quarter of a pound of tobacco, was
carved with rare skill, and its long stem was curi-
ously inlaid with shell-work, besides being orna-
mented with quills and feathers. After each
member of the council, white as well as red, begin-
ning with Gladwyn, had slowly drawn a whiff from
this mighty calumet, and it came again to Pontiac,
he rose and said:-
"In token of the peace which I desire shall always
exist between the red man and his white brother I
now present this pipe to these friends, that they may
keep it forever. That its message may be heard
with open ears, I deliver it to the care of the oldest
among you, to him whose hair is white with the
wisdom of many years."
Thus saying, the chief stepped forward and laid
the gorgeous calumet across the knees of Major
Hester, while a grunt of approbation came from the
throats of those behind him. Gladwyn, who alone
of the assembled whites knew the meaning of this
act, cast a startled and suspicious glance at the vet-
eran soldier thus singled out for some other fate than
death, while the recipient himself was noticeably
embarrassed by the incident.










































































M122
THE INDIAN CHIEF MEDITATES TREACHERY TO THE
ENGLISH OFFICERS.







PONTIAC DECLARES WAR


But the attention of all was immediately occu-
pied by other things. Holding a splendid belt of
wampum in his hands, Pontiac was now addressing
Gladwyn with the eloquence for which he was so
justly famed. He recounted the many outrages
suffered by his people at the hands of the English,
and especially their fur traders. Against these he
demanded protection. He spoke for nearly an hour,
during which time his every gesture was keenly
watched by the English officers, who feared that in
spite of their precautions he might still attempt
some desperate move.
Pontiac was in a dilemma. It was customary at
the close of a speech to present the belt of wampum,
which the speaker always held, to him who was ex-
pected to reply. To omit this formality would be
equivalent to a declaration of war. It had been
understood that his followers were to fall upon the
English officers the moment he should make this
presentation, and there had been no opportunity to
alter this prearranged programme. So the great
chief hesitated, held out the fatal belt, and then
made a motion as though to withdraw it. Gladwyn
extended his hand. As he did so, there came a rat-
tliig clash of arms from a passageway at the lower
end of the hall and a deafening din of drums.
Pontiac started, dropped the belt of wampum,
thrust a hand within his blanket, as though to draw
a weapon, reconsidered, folded his arms, and stood







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


motionless. In an instant all was again silent, and
Gladwyn rose to address the council as though noth-
ing out of the ordinary had happened.
He told the Indians that he would consider their
grievances, and would do all that lay in his power
to afford them protection, so long as they deserved
it. At the same time he threatened them with a
terrible punishment should they undertake to remedy
their wrongs by any act of aggression against the
whites. Then he dismissed the council, and the
crestfallen warriors were allowed to leave the fort.
Before departing, Pontiac notified the English com-
mander that.he should come again in a few days for
another talk; but Gladwyn only turned contemptu-
ously away, without deigning a reply.
Two days later the common behind the fort was
again thronged with Indians, representing four
tribes, and from out the throng Pontiac again ap-
proached the gate. It was barred against him, and
when he demanded admittance, Gladwyn himself
replied, ordering him to begone, as neither he nor
his rabble would again be received.
Furious with rage, the chief strode away, and
ordered his warriors to withdraw beyond gunshot,
but to see that no Englishman was allowed to leave
the fort. Then launching a canoe he crossed the
river to his own village, which he ordered to be
removed to the western bank.
While he was thus occupied, his infuriated fol-







PONTIAC DECLARES WAR 71

lowers were engaged in the murder and scalping of
two English families who dwelt beyond reach of the
fort. That night the inmates of Detroit, armed and
sleepless, listened with heavy hearts to the doleful
sounds of the scalp dance, mingled with the exult-
ing yells of the war dance, and while prepared to
sell their lives as dearly as possible, wondered how
long their frail defences would withstand the fierce
onset which they momentarily expected would be
made against them.
Daylight found many of them, exhausted by the
night's vigil, dozing at their posts. Suddenly the
blood-curdling war-whoop arose from all sides at
once, a rattling volley of rifle-shots pattered against
the palisades, and a swarm of yelling, naked figures
leaped from the surrounding obscurity. It seemed
as though the impetuous assault must succeed from
mere force of numbers, for the Indians were counted
by hundreds, while the whites were but a handful.













CHAPTER XI


MAJOR HESTER IS TAKEN PRISONER

IN spite of the apparent fury of the attack, and
the expectation of the garrison that a fierce assault
was about to be made on their slender defences,
nothing of the kind was contemplated by the Indians.
They were not trained to that form of warfare, and
when they found that Gladwyn was not frightened
into a surrender by noise and an exhibition of force,
they contented themselves with maintaining a vigor-
ous fire from behind barns, fences, bushes, slight ridges
of earth, or any object of sufficient size to shelter
them from the steady return fire of the soldiers.
One cluster of buildings, within half-gunshot of the
fort, sheltered a large body of Indians, who from
this point of vantage directed a particularly galling
fire at the loop-holes in the palisades. By it several
of the defenders were wounded, until finally a cannon
was brought to bear upon the hornet's nest, and a
quantity of red-hot spikes were thrust into its muz-
zle. A minute after its discharge flames burst from
the buildings, and the savages who had occupied
them were in precipitate flight, followed by jeering
shouts and a parting volley from the soldiers.







MAJOR HESTER IS TAKEN PRISONER


For six hours was this travesty of battle main-
tained. Then the Indian fire slackened, and finally
ceased altogether. Believing the affair to be merely
a temporary outbreak of a few hot-headed savages,
that must quickly blow over, Gladwyn took advan-
tage of this lull in the storm to send out two Cana-
dians under a flag of truce to investigate the cause
of dissatisfaction. At the same time he proposed,
while negotiations were in progress, to secure a
supply of provisions with which to stand a siege.
A gate being opened for the departure of the am-
bassadors, most of the Canadian inhabitants of the
fort seized the opportunity to leave it, saying that
they could not bear to remain and witness the ap-
proaching slaughter of their English friends.
In a short time Gladwyn's messengers returned,
saying that Pontiac was willing to arrange terms,
but would only do so with Major Hester, and had
expressed a strong desire for a visit from that officer.
"Go back and tell him I will see him and his
whole cowardly crew hanged, before I will intrust
the-life of a single Englishman to his treachery!"
exclaimed the commander, angrily.
"Hold, Gladwyn!" protested Major Hester.
"It is better that one life should be risked than
that all should be endangered. Nor do I think I
should be in any serious peril. I have always got
along with the redskins, and have thus far found
Pontiac reasonable."







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


"I forgot. He did present the calumet to you,"
replied the other, with a meaning intonation.
"Do you dare insinuate -?" began Major Hes-
ter, with a dangerous glitter in his eye.
"No, Hester. No, I do not. I am ashamed of
myself and humbly apologize! cried Gladwyn.
"If you insist upon placing yourself within the
power of yonder savages, I shall know that you do
so from the loftiest sense of duty, with a full knowl-
edge that you jeopardize your life, and with a cour-
age that I fear I for one could not exhibit."
"Thank you, Gladwyn. That was said manfully
and like a true soldier. I shall accept this mission
because it is plainly in the line of my duty to do so.
If I never return from it, I charge you to carry a
father's blessing to my children."
The fine old soldier, in full uniform, was accom-
panied to the gateway by all the officers of the post.
There every one shook hands with him, bidding him
at once God-speed and farewell, while the soldiers
lined the ramparts, and as he emerged from the gates
saluted him with a rousing British cheer.
The major was escorted by the two aged Canadians
who had been sent out in the first place, and the
little party had not covered more than half the ground
between the fort and Parent's creek, beyond which
lay the Ottawa village, ere they were met by another
Canadian running and breathless. He implored
them to turn back, saying that he had just been







MAJOR HESTER IS TAKEN PRISONER


through the Indian village and was convinced by
what he saw and heard that no Englishman could
set foot within its limits and live. But Major
Hester steadfastly refused to retreat, and insisted
on fulfilling his mission.
At length they crossed the creek, mounted the
ridge beyond, and saw outspread on its further slope
the most extensive Indian village ever known to
that region. The moment the hated English uni-
form was seen by the inmates of the many lodges,
they swarmed about the ambassadors by hundreds,
the men with scowling brows, the squaws and chil-
dren snatching up sticks, stones, and clubs as they
ran. For a moment the stout heart of the old sol-
dier quailed, for he imagined he was to be subjected
to the terrible ordeal of the gantlet.
At the same time not a trace of emotion appeared
on his face, as calmly folding his arms he stepped
a pace or two in front of his shrinking companions
and boldly confronted the throng of yelling savages.
In another moment they would have overwhelmed
him. Suddenly the stately form of Pontiac appeared
among the rabble, and at the sound of his imperious
voice they slunk aside like whipped curs. Instantly
the tumult was allayed. In the silence that fol-
lowed, the great chief greeted the British officer with
a grave courtesy, shook his hand, and conducted him
into the village.
The Ottawa encampment was a confused assem-







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


blage of tall, cone-shaped lodges, built of slender
poles supporting great sheets of bark or overlap-
ping folds of fine matting so closely woven from
rushes as to be thoroughly rain-proof. Scores of
graceful birch canoes, such as the northern tribes
excel in making, were drawn up on the river bank;
paddles and spears leaned against the lodges,
smoke-blackened kettles and other rude cooking-
utensils were scattered about the smouldering fires,
and a throng of wolfish-looking dogs added their
discordant baying to the clamour of children.
At the council lodge, which was conspicuous from
its size, Major Hester was offered a seat on one of a
circle of mats. As he took it, the other mats, as well
as every inch of standing-room, were immediately
occupied by a throng of warriors, while the entrance
was crowded by many others, all eager to catch a
glimpse of the Englishman.
After the tedious ceremony of smoking the peace
pipe was concluded, Pontiac delivered a short ad-
dress of welcome, to which the major responded.
He demanded to know the cause of the morning's
outbreak, and assured the Indians that their just
grievances should be remedied, provided they gave
up for punishment all who had been implicated in
the murders of the previous day.
The major resumed his seat upon the conclusion
of his remarks, amid a profound silence that lasted
for many minutes. Finally, determined to learn







MAJOR HESTER IS TAKEN PRISONER


the worst without further delay, he again rose and
said, that having no answer to his questions, he
would now return to the fort and report to the white
chief that his red brothers desired not peace, but war.
Upon this Pontiac signed to him to resume his
seat, and turning to the two Canadians, said: -
"Go to the fort and tell Major Gladwyn that the
white-haired chief will sleep among the lodges of
his red brothers. Tell him that the hatchet dug up
this day will not be buried so long as an Englishman
remains in the land of the Algonquins. Tell him
that every fort from the Thunder of Waters to the
Great River has this day been cut off, so that no aid
may come to him. Tell him that the soldiers of the
French king are already hastening to fight beside
their red brothers. Tell him that he may go now
and go in peace; but if he tarries beyond the setting
of another sun, the wolves of the forest shall feast
on the bodies of his red-coated soldiers, while their
scalps shall dry in Ottawa lodges. Go, for Pontiac
has spoken."
With trembling alacrity the Canadians obeyed the
mandate, and with their departure Major Hester
realized that he was indeed a prisoner in the hands
of a relentless foe. While wondering as to his
ultimate fate, he was conducted by Pontiac to a
comfortable French frame-house standing just beyond
the Indian village, and informed that this was to
be his lodging.







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


"Here," said Pontiac, "shall my brother dwell
in safety; but let him not set foot outside. My
young men are angry, and their guns are quick to
shoot. Even in the dark their eyes are opened wide
by the sight of an English scalp."
"I suppose that as your prisoner I must submit
to your orders," replied Major Hester, "though why
you don't put an end to this farce and kill me at
once I fail to comprehend."
"Did the white-haired chief kill me when I slept
in the house of the two trees ?" demanded Pontiac.
"When did you ever sleep in Tawtry House?
Certainly you never did with my knowledge and
consent."
Many years have passed, and there has been much
fighting since that time; but surely my brother has
not forgotten Songa the Ottawa? "
"No. I remember him well; but what has he to
do with this present affair?"
"I," replied the chief, drawing himself proudly
up to his full height, "am Pontiac; but I was Songa;
and as Major Hester saved the life of Songa, so Pon-
tiac saves the life of Major Hester, by detaining him
in this place while the English fort is wiped from
the face of the earth and all within it are put to
death."













CHAPTER XII


DONALD AT JOHNSON CASTLE

SOME two weeks after the events just narrated, a
youth, tanned to the swarthiness of an Indian, whose
hair was long and unkempt, and whose well-worn
suit of buckskin evidenced hard and prolonged travel,
paced impatiently to and fro in the anteroom of Sir
William's private office at Johnson Castle. Although
his moccasined feet made no sound on the uncarpeted
floor, his movements seemed to annoy the elder of
two officers who, in handsome uniforms, occupied
a window-seat at one side of the room, and were
evidently waiting for somebody or something as
patiently as their natures would permit.
"Confound the fellow!" he exclaimed. "Why
can't he sit still and possess his soul in patience, like
the rest of us, instead of tramping up and down like
the wild beast he looks? "
"He doesn't make much noise about it," laughed
the other.
"No, hang him! I wish he did. That cat-like
tread of his is unendurable."
"He looks anxious, and doubtless has urgent busi-
ness with Sir William that suffers from delay."







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


"Nonsense, Christie! you are too good natured.
His business probably concerns payment for some
game he has brought in for sale; for I take it he
is one of these American hunters we have heard so
much of lately. Whatever it is, it certainly can't
compare in urgency with ours, and yet we have sat
here like lambs for nearly an hour, while he has
waited barely half that time. By the great horn
spoon! If his serene highness does not admit us
to his presence in a few minutes more, I shall beard
him in his den, and demand audience in the name of
the king. It is simply maddening to think of Cuyler
carrying the Rothsay party farther and farther away
with each minute, and having the beauty all to him-
self. Of course you don't care, since it was decided
that they travel by the north shore of the lake, while,
as I understand it, your beastly post lies somewhere
on the south shore. With me, though, it is different.
My destination being the same as hers, I naturally
expected to be her travelling companion and enjoy
a fair share of her charming society. Now what
with dancing attendance for a week on Sir Jeffry,
and this abominable delay, I fear my chances of over-
taking the expedition are very slim. By the way, I
heard somewhere that the little Rothsay's name is
not Rothsay, after all. Do you know if that is true,
and if so, what her name really is ?"
"I believe it is Hester, Edith Hester," answered
the young officer, who was addressed as Christie.







DONALD AT JOHNSON CASTLE


"I wonder how you always manage to find out
such things ? remarked the other, reflectively. By
Jove!" he added, "Hester is the name of that major
duffer whose message to Sir Jeffry caused my delay;
I wonder if they can be relations ?"
Cave. Rustico liquid subolet," warned Christie,
with a significant glance toward the third occupant of
the room, who had paused in his restless walk and
was regarding them intently.
Before the elder man could reply, he stepped to
where they were sitting and said quietly to the young
officer who had just spoken: -
"Pardon my presumption in thus addressing a
stranger, sir, but I feel it my duty to remind you
that the word rusticus may receive several interpre-
tations. In one sense, it cannot be exchanged be-
tween gentlemen without creating ill feelings. Its
use by Terence -"
Ere the sentence could be completed, and while
the bewildered officers were gazing at this backwoods
expounder of the classics much as they might have
regarded an apparition, a door was flung open, and
Sir William Johnson appeared with an anxious ex-
pression on his ruddy and usually jolly face.
"Ah, general," exclaimed the officer who had
just declared his intention of bearding the general
in his den, "we had begun to think "
Glad you had, sir Glad you had! Pray keep
it up for a few minutes longer while I confer with
(M122) G







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


this gentleman. His business is of such a nature
as to take precedence of all other. Hester, my dear
fellow, step this way."
"Rather a go eh, Bullen?" remarked Ensign
Christie, as the two men stared blankly at the door
just closed in their faces.
"Well! By Jove!" gasped the other. "If His
Majesty's officers were never snubbed before, two
of them have been given a jolly big dose of it
this time. All on account of that leather-jerkined
young savage, too. I swear I'll have my man
insult him and give him a thrashing at the first
opportunity."
You seem to forget," suggested Christie, gravely,
"that your 'young savage' was discoursing most
learnedly upon the idiosyncrasies of the Latin tongue
when Sir William interrupted and called him 'my
dear fellow.' "
"By Jove! you are right!" cried Bullen. "Possibly
he is a gentleman in disguise,- best disguise I ever
saw, -and in that case I can call him out. You'll
act for me, old man, of course? "
Certainly," laughed Christie; but you lose sight
of the fact that, as the challenged party, he will have
the choice of weapons. Suppose he should select
hunting-rifles at one hundred paces ?"
"Horrible exclaimed Bullen. "I say, though,
he couldn't do that and be a gentleman at the same
time. Oh dear, no! Unless he names swords or pis-







DONALD AT JOHNSON CASTLE 83

tols, the only gentlemanly weapons, I shall be
compelled to withdraw in favour of Tummas."
"There is another point to be considered," con-
tinued Christie, who, tall, handsome, and easy-going,
delighted in chaffing his pompous and peppery com-
panion, whose abbreviated stature had only gained
admittance to the service through high heels and a
powerful influence. Did you notice that Sir Will-
iam addressed your 'young savage' as Hester?"
Oh, by Jove! Yes; now that you mention it,"
cried the other, with an accent of despair. "And
you said her name was Hester, too. The adorable
little Rothsay to whom I had even proposed to pro-
pose. If this is a sample of her family though!
But, of course, it can't be. It would be too incredi-
ble. She is an angel; while he--well, he isn't,
and therefore cannot be even a remote connection."
Just here the door was again opened, and Sir Will-
iam, followed by the subject of their conversation,
re-entered the room.
Well, general! began the ever-impatient Bullen.
"I trust you are not going to detain us here much
longer. It is of the utmost importance that I should
reach Detroit as speedily as possible."
"Ah, yes," replied the general, who knew that
Paymaster Bullen had obtained his present detail
solely for the sake of furthering certain schemes of
his own. "I understand that you are going to in-
vestigate the unaccountable disappearance of a red







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


blanket and a plug of tobacco from the quartermas-
ter's stores at Detroit."
"Not only that, Sir William, but I am to make a
very thorough inquiry into the unaccounted-for dis-
appearance of a great many red blankets, and a great
many plugs of tobacco, and a great many other
things as well," answered the little paymaster,
warmly.
"Very well, sir," replied the general. "If that is
the sole object of your journey, you need not go
beyond this room to acquire all necessary informa-
tion. I can tell you what became of the goods in
question, and who is responsible for their disappear-
ance. I am indirectly; though my very dear friend,
Major Graham Hester, recently in command at
Detroit, acting by my advice, was the agent through
whom they were distributed in the shape of presents
to the warlike western tribes. By this means, and
through his most excellent judgment in Indian affairs,
Major Hester has succeeded in averting, until now,
a bloody war, which has been imminent at any time
during the last three years. Now, owing to a parsi-
mony that withholds those few paltry dollars' worth
of presents and the criminal stupidity of some of our
newly arrived officers, we are on the eve of the most
serious native outbreak this country has ever wit-
nessed. As it is under the leadership of Pontiac,
a man who, I honestly believe,would be unexcelled
among the commanders of the world had he the







DONALD AT JOHNSON CASTLE


advantages of education and environment, it is cer-
tain to prove a very formidable affair."
"Do I understand you, sir, that this outbreak has
already taken place?" demanded Ensign Christie,
who had just been assigned to his first independent
command, that of Presque Isle.
My private despatches from Major Hester give
me every reason for that belief," was the answer;
"though Gladwyn does not mention it. Ensign
Hester, who brings these despatches, confirms his
father's warning. He, moreover, informs me that
the Senecas have joined the conspiracy, he and his
companion having had a narrow escape from a west-
bound party of that tribe. As it was, the Indians
stole their canoe, leaving them to make their way on
foot for over two hundred miles through the forest
to this place. Thus, too, they missed meeting with
Cuyler's command, which they were charged to warn
of the threatened danger."
"May I ask if this is Ensign Hester?" inquired
Christie, turning with an engaging smile toward the
leather-clad young stranger.
"Bless my soul! Yes. Haven't you met him?
Ensign Christie and Paymaster Bullen, permit me to
present Ensign Donald Hester of the 60th, son of
my dear friend the major, and brother of the very
prettiest girl I know. By the way, lad, I believe I
haven't told you the worst bit of news yet. It is
that your giddy sister has persuaded Madam Roth-







AT WAR WITH PONTIAC


say to take her to Detroit as a delightful surprise for
your father. They accompany Cuyler's expedition
by especial permission of the general, who of course
never doubted that in a time of profound peace the
journey might be made in safety. And Cuyler, who
did not expect to leave before this time, has already
been gone a week, his movements having been greatly
hastened, I fancy, by impetuous Miss Edith."
"I had already heard something of this," answered
Donald, with a meaning glance at the two officers,
"and had made up my mind to start at once on
Cuyler's trail, with a view to overtaking and please
God warning him in time."
"So be it, lad. Much as I hate to have you go
without first taking a spell of rest, it is so clearly the
thing to do that I cannot but bid you God-speed,"
exclaimed Sir William.
"Mr. Hester," said Christie, "I beg you will for-
give and forget the rudeness of which I was guilty a
few minutes since. I ought to have recognized a gen-
tleman at sight under any conditions, and am ashamed
to confess that for the moment I failed to do so."
"It is not at all to be wondered at, Mr. Christie,"
answered Donald, grasping the other's extended hand,
"and as I have already forgotten the incident, I can
find nothing to forgive."
"And will you allow me, as a great favour, to
accompany you on this return trip so far as our
ways lie together ?"







DONALD AT JOHNSON CASTLE 87

Gladly, though I warn you that I shall travel fast
and hard."
"I will risk it," laughed Christie, "and to a novice
in woodcraft like myself I know that such companion-
ship as yours will prove invaluable."
Well, hang it all, Christie! If you are going, I
don't see why I shouldn't go too," sputtered Bullen,
and while Donald would gladly have dispensed with
the paymaster's company, he could not well frame an
excuse for so doing.













CHAPTER XIII


PAYMASTER BULLET AND HIS WONDERFUL TUB

THOUGH Donald had not the art to rid himself
of an undesirable travelling-companion, Fate, in
the shape of a tin bath-tub, interposed in his behalf.
This tub was the little paymaster's pride and delight,
for in a measure it was his own invention. Having
had it constructed in England especially for use in
America, he had become so enamoured of it that by
this time he would sooner have parted with any
other possession. It was a round affair, about three
feet in diameter, had a high back, was painted green
on the outside and white within. Here its resem-
blance to ordinary bath-tubs ended, and its individ-
uality became apparent. To begin with, it was
built with double sides about three inches apart, and
the space thus formed was divided by metallic par-
titions into many compartments, of different sizes,
all of which were provided with close-fitting, water-
tight lids. These could only be opened by the press-
ing of a cleverly concealed spring. Not only did this
hollow and cellular construction give great buoyancy
to the tub, adapting it for use as a life preserver, but
the compartments afforded safe storage room for a




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