Citation
An emigrant boy's story

Material Information

Title:
An emigrant boy's story
Creator:
Moncrieff, A. R. Hope ( Ascott Robert Hope ), 1846-1927
Blackie & Son ( Publisher )
Place of Publication:
London ;
Glasgow ;
Edinburgh ;
Publisher:
Blackie & Son
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
128, [8] p., [1] leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 18 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Youth -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Dakota Indians -- Wars, 1862-1865 -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Indians of North America -- Wars -- Juvenile fiction -- Minnesota -- 1862-1865 ( lcsh )
Indians of North America -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Immigrants -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
History -- Juvenile fiction -- Minnesota ( lcsh )
Historical fiction -- 1889 ( gsafd )
War stories -- 1889 ( gsafd )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1889 ( rbgenr )
Prize books (Provenance) -- 1889 ( rbprov )
Bldn -- 1889
Genre:
Historical fiction ( gsafd )
War stories ( gsafd )
Publishers' catalogues ( rbgenr )
Prize books (Provenance) ( rbprov )
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Scotland -- Glasgow
Scotland -- Edinburgh
Ireland -- Dublin
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Frontispiece printed in sepia.
General Note:
Publisher's catalogue follows text.
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Ascott R. Hope.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026815180 ( ALEPH )
ALH2078 ( NOTIS )
12160829 ( OCLC )
84249098 ( LCCN )

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AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.
=





“7 HARDLY DARED TO DRAW MY BREATH



AN

EMIGRANT BOY'S STORY.

BY

ASCOTT R. HOPE,

Author of “Stories of Old Renown;” “The Wigwam and the War-path;”
“Seven Wise Scholars;” &c.



LONDON:

BLACKIE & SON, 49 & 50 OLD BAILEY, B.C.
GLASGOW, EDINBURGH, AND DUBLIN.






CHar,
. THE OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION,

II.
IIL.
Iv.

VI.
VII.
Vill.
IX.

XI.
XII.

CONTENTS.

A Circunar FuicHt,
Across THE PRAIRIE,

A Visit From THE INDIANS, .

. THe Desertep Hovss,

Tue Banp or Fueirives, .
Ow tHE Roap to Oaxwoop Crry,
An ALARM oN THE Marcu,

Tse ATTACK ON THE Crry,

. A Dancrrous ERRAND,

A Granp BonFire, .

How tHe Crry was Savep,

Page

18
29
39
49
61
72
82
92

» 108
. 112
. 120









ALAS





AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

CHAPTER I.

THE OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION.

of 1862 in Minnesota. I can write it down
best in my own language, which I hope you
will improve a little in translating, for I am more used
to drive a team of horses thana pen. Of course I speak
only of what I saw myself, when a boy of about
fourteen. For the rest, you must go to histories and
to the newspapers of the time.

I am a German by birth, as you know, but I was
no more than twelve years old when I came to
America, as many people from my part of the country
did at the same time. I had nothing to keep me at
home, for my father and mother had died very poor,
leaving me to the care of an uncle who was not sorry
to get rid of me. A neighbour of his happened to be
emigrating ; he put me in charge of this man, and so

AG OU ask me to tell my story of the terrible days
PD s i





8 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

T came out to a new settlement on the western bor-
ders of Minnesota, where the white men were begin-
ning to make farms of the Indians’ hunting grounds.

At first I had little reason to be pleased with
this great change in my life; and many a time I
thought sadly of my old home far beyond the. sea.
My master, as I must call him, though they don’t
like this word in the States, was an ill-natured man
who used to get drunk and beat me for being idle, as
he said, but did not set any example of industry him-
self. Naturally a useless fellow like him would not
get on at farming, and he was too lazy even to hunt,
so we had a bad ‘time of it for the first winter. I
should have been half starved, had it not been for the
kindness of the neighbours. By and by, that drunken
rowdy and loafer made himself such a nuisance that
he got a strong hint to clear out, or it would be bad
for him. He suddenly left the neighbourhood ; I never
saw him again, and a good job it was.

I had no need of pity now, thus left to take care of
myself. A well-grown boy like me, who had strong
legs and arms and was willing to use them, would not
long want work in that part of the world, where
thousands of acres of fine prairie land lay ready to be
sown and reaped. I was taken into a family of the
name of Withers, honest religious Yankee folk who
were already in a fair way to prosper in their new
home. Here I soon became quite happy and con-



THE OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION. 9

tented, and it could have been only my own fault if I
had not got on well with these people. The old people
treated me like a son of their own; they had two boys,
Sam and Harrison, older than myself, fine tall hardy
young fellows, who teased me a little till I learned to
speak English better, but were friendly and good
natured enough; and in a few months I came to be
quite at home with them all, and liked the life very
well. There was plenty to do and plenty to eat, but I
put it all into a good skin, as Mr. Withers used to say.

Our clearing lay on the very outskirts of the settle-
ment, not far from the Indian reservation, where some
of the Sioux warriors now were trying to farm for
themselves, though they made but poor hands at such
work after being more accustomed to hunting and
scalping. The only thing that troubled us was ugly
stories about these Indians, which went about the
border from time to time: people said they meant to
break out some day and drive away all the white men
from Minnesota. But when we had heard such
rumours often, and nothing came of them, we began
to laugh at the idea of danger. All the red men who
passed our way seemed friendly and harmless enough,
though they bothered us sometimes by begging and
borrowing in a fashion which gave us no very high
opinion of them as neighbours.

When the summer of 1862 came, we were too much
taken up with the great Secession war to think much



10 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

about Indians ; the rebels and the battles in Virginia
filled the little newspaper which we got every week
from St. Peter; and we thought much more of
Jefferson Davis than of Little Crow, the Sioux chief,
whom I had seen one day at church, looking very
uncomfortable in a long-tailed black coat and collars
as big as a deacon’s, not at all the sort of man that
might be expected to take up the tomahawk.

Well, it was Monday morning, the 18th of August,
a day I am not likely to forget, and a good many
others will remember it all their lives. We had all
been up very early, haying in the meadow down by
the lake. Next day Sam was to leave us; he had
enlisted in a company to go and fight the rebels in
Virginia’; and he wanted to see all the hay got in
before he went. Two of the neighbours had come in
to help us.

What a hot day that was! I had nothing on but
my shirt and pants, and should like to have stripped
off even my skin, if I could have managed it. So I
for one was quite ready to hear the horn blow to call
us to dinner. But the others worked on with a will,
and all the time kept talking and joking, as if it
would take a good deal more to tire them. Old Mr.
Withers, however, had knocked off and gone up to
the house for a spell. Soon afterwards, I saw Harri-
son whispering to his big brother and looking slyly at
me, then Sam called out:



THE OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION. ll

“T believe you are falling asleep, Dutchy ”—that
was what they nicknamed me.—“ Here’s a job to keep
you awake! Go along after the old man and ask him
to give you the rick mould.”

“The rick mould! What’s that?” I asked.

“You go and ask, and you'll see,” said Sam, wink-
ing at the rest.

I wasn’t sorry to leave the team I had been leading
about for so many hours through the blackened stumps
that still filled this meadow; but as I moved off, I
heard them all laughing, and guessed that they were
playing a country trick upon me.

“ Never mind,” says I to myself, “I will go up to
the house and get a drink of milk, anyhow;” and Mr.
Withers wasn’t the man to be cross with me about
trifles, so I thought I should have the best of the joke,
whatever it was. Of course, as I might have known,
the “rick mould” was a kind of first of April joke,
only to make fun of me.

I went slowly up the edge of the corn-field, but on
getting to the house I forgot all about that fool’s
errand when I saw who had arrived just before me.
There were four Indians in full war-paint, with rifles,
tomahawks, and scalping-knives, a sight to make any
boy stare the first time he saw it. Mr. and Mrs.
Withers seemed not over well pleased to see these
visitors ; they were both at the door trying to keep
them from coming in, and to make out what they



12 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

wanted, while the two little girls stood peeping out of
the window like frightened rabbits; they had run
into the house for fear of the Indians.

Indeed, I held back myself for a minute before I
mustered up courage to draw near, all eyes for the
half-naked painted warriors and their weapons. Mr.
‘Withers wanted to know why they came thus armed;
and one of them explained, in broken English, that
they were on the war-path against their enemies, the.
Chippeways, at the same time drawing his hand
across his throat with a fierce look that made me feel
queer. They asked for whisky, which the old man
refused them; but Mrs. Withers brought them out a
bowl of milk, then, at their request, some lumps of
sugar, which the grim-looking men set to sucking as
greedily as children.

The one who appeared to be leader next pulled out
a long bright knife, and made signs that he wanted
to sharpen it. Mr. Withers pointed to the grindstone,
telling me to turn it for him. Iwould rather have not
been set on such a job for our alarming guest; but I
did as I was told, and while the Indian put a keen
edge on his blade he made me very uncomfortable
under the glances of his black twinkling eyes, like
those of a wild beast. There was a murderous look
about him and his knife, which seemed to be quite
sharp enough already.

Meanwhile the other Indians were pestering Mr.



THE OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION. 13

Withers, so far as I could understand, to let them see
what arms he had, and to swop a gun for one of
theirs. They began to beg noisily for different things,
becoming more rude and troublesome every minute.
One of them tried to push roughly past Mrs. Withers
to get into the house, but she kept the doorway,
speaking civilly to him, and asking him not to make
a noise, because the baby was asleep.

“This is going too far,” said her husband excitedly,
and cried to me, “Run down and tell the boys to
come here—quick !”

I left the grindstone and was off like an arrow, as
‘I should have willingly done sooner had the hint been
given me. It seemed high time to fetch help against
these dangerous strangers. But before I had run far
I heard a scream behind me, then the report of a gun,
and the screech of the bullet past my ear. . I looked
back to see the old man falling with-his hands thrown
up in the air; the chief had just stabbed him with
the very knife sharpened on his own grindstone.
Then Mrs. Withers came running out of the back
door with the baby in -her arms, and two of the
Indians after her.

“Run! Run!” she screamed wildly.

I stood horror-struck for a minute, unable even to
ery out, It was when I saw another of the red men
making towards me that I tore myself from the spot
and plunged into the corn-field close beside. There I



14 AN EMIGRANT BOY'S STORY.

ran like a hare between the tall rows of Indian corn,
fancying every moment that the wretch with his
dripping knife was at my heels. I hardly looked
where I went. Only on reaching the other side of
the field did I stop for one moment to think what I
should do next.

In my confusion I had taken the wrong way for
the lake. The Indians had headed me off on that side.
As I stood breathlessly listening, there came two more
shots from that direction. The men down there must
have already heard the screams to show them that
something was wrong. It would be too late to warn
them, and the best thing I could think of doing was
to run as hard as I could to our nearest neighbour’s.
This was a man called Pearce, who lived in a cabin in
the woods, and was more of a hunter and fisherman
than a farmer; he had spent a good deal of his life
among Indians, so would be just the man to turn to
in such a case. I knew there had been lately some
ill-blood between him and the Withers family, through
a dispute about a horse trade; but after what had
happened, he surely would not remember any such
petty grudges.

So I hurried on towards his cabin, my heart beating
like a small steam-engine. But just where the woods
began, what did I runupon? Pearce was lying across

the path, his face covered with blood, his hands
clenched in the grass, murdered like Mr, Withers.



THE OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION. 15

We had heard one or two shots in the wood half an
hour before, but had paid no attention to them, taking
it of course to be someone out hunting.

He was quite dead, as I saw, though hardly able to
bring myself to examine the body. On it lay a faded
crushed photograph, done by a travelling artist, the
picture of an Indian ludicrously hideous in “stove-
pipe” hat, black coat, and white shirt front, such as
some of the warriors were in the way of wearing on
great occasions, those “cut hair” Indians especially
who had made a show of settling down as farmers.
This strange sign for such a purpose must have been
left as the murderer’s mark of pride in his handiwork.
So far as I could make out, it was not the picture of
any of the four men who had come to our house.

I durst not stop long, to look or to think what this
might mean. MHorrified, I ran on towards the next
house, the Browns’ farm, which stood just beyond a
low ridge rising from the lake. A little way before I
reached the top, one of the young Browns came rush-
ing over it as if to meet me. How glad I was to see
a white man! But when he came nearer, his looks
struck me with dismay. This big fellow was white as
a ghost; he stared wildly straight before him, without
appearing to see me; his lips moved, but he made no
-sound as he flew past, not noticing that I tried to stop
him and asked eagerly what was the matter.

“Stop! Stop! The Indians are down there—they



16 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

are killing the people!” I shouted after him in vain;
he sped on towards the lake like a man gone crazy.

His terror infected me; I trembled like a leaf, and
looked about for some place of hiding, but there was
none near. More cautiously now, dreading what
every step might bring, I gained the top of the ridge,
from which the Browns’ place came into sight. There
it was all in a blaze, house, sheds, and stacks, yet I
could see nobody busy in putting out the fire. When
I turned round, my eye caught a thin column of
smoke rising where the Withers’ house lay hidden by
a swell of the ground ; and there were other clouds to
be seen at different points. Our enemies must be at
the same work all over the neighbourhood.

The next thing I saw and heard was a party of
Indians firing into a clump of bushes not far off.
They got sight of me almost as soon as I of them;
and their unearthly whoops made my blood run cold.
I did not wait to see them give chase. Without
looking behind, I flew down the slope towards an arm
of the lake, half creek and half swamp, and dashed
into the cover of a thick bed of reeds by the edge.

As I stood there bent down beneath the reeds, up
to my waist in water, panting and quaking like a
hunted beast, I could hear the voices of the savages
who, I made sure, were in search of me. They passed
close to me, then came back on the bank above; and

more than once I thought my heart was going to
(547)



THE OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION. i

stand still. I hardly dared to draw my breath till
the sounds passed away. Would they come back?

I had an old red check shirt, the bright colour of
which would certainly have betrayed me if I had not
been so well hidden. I drew it off, crouching down
as far as I could in the mud and weeds, and clutching
a root to keep myself from slipping on the slimy
bottom. Then the mosquitoes settled on my half-
naked body, while the noonday sun beat down on my
head; my straw hat had been lost in the haste of
that last flight. But for some time I did not attempt
to stir, lest a rustle or the shaking of the reeds should
draw the notice of the Indians, who had fired two or
three shots at random among the sedge as if to startle
me out of my concealment.

Presently, however, the pain of the mosquito stings
became unbearable. I could not venture to move a
hand to drive them away, but I crept out into a
deeper part, till all but my head was under water.
This was a relief: the coolness refreshed me, and the
tormenting insects did not so much care to settle on
my face, pretty well hardened as it was to their
attacks. Here I remained for I daresay the best
part of an hour, till I had overcome the first violence
of my agitation and was able to think more calmly
over the chances of escape.

(547) B





CHAPTER II.

A CIRCULAR FLIGHT.

T would be no good telling all I thought and felt in
that hour, and for many hours to come, excited
by events that might well bewilder a young lad who
never dreamed to find himself in such scenes of havoc
as now beset me. Not till all had long been quiet
about my place of refuge, so far as I could perceive,
did I slink out, peeping anxiously before me. My
shirt, clean the day before, was too much discoloured
by the mud and dirt of the swamp to be very notice-
able at a distance. Wringing it out and putting it
on to dry upon my back, I crept stealthily along the
bank, ready to dive into cover again at the first
alarm.

The only sign of life to be seen now was the
smouldering embers of what had been the Browns’
house, and the stacks still blazing fiercely. I had not
the heart to go nearer, in dread of what would there
meet my eyes, almost as much as of the Indians who
might still be lurking about. I found some wild
raspberries and a few ears of corn to eat; I did not



A CIRCULAR FLIGHT. 19

know when I should be able to get a better meal.
Then crawling from bush to bush, and from tuft to
tuft, I mounted the ridge till I came where there was
a wide view of the rolling prairie, a great sea of grass,
as yet dotted only here and there by the fields and
buildings of the settlers.

Which way should I turn? On every side but the
east I was warned off by columns of smoke, some
close at hand, some many miles away. To the east I
must make my escape as soon as it began to grow
dark, and in that direction lay the nearest gathering
of houses which might be called a town. This the
Indians would surely not dare attack; but it seemed
little likely that any of the scattered inhabitants of
our neighbourhood had been able to make a stand,
even could I have learned where to join them.

By this time the extent of the destruction and all
the circumstances—from the savages appearing in
war-paint to that photograph left in bravado on the
victim’s breast—showed me that it was no mere act
of stealthy crime with which we had to do, but a
regular Indian raid, like those I had often heard
about as a matter of history and tradition, and had
listened eagerly to such tales when I never thought
to see one enacted before my eyes.

The rest of the afternoon I stayed hiding about the

-same spot, keeping a good look-out on every side and
anxiously wondering how it had fared with the



20 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

Withers and our neighbours. Once a party of
Indians came quite close to me, then I drew back
among the grass, in many places so high as to let me
stand almost upright without being seen. To my no
small discomposure, the warriors seemed also bent on
hiding themselves just below my retreat. They made
their short well-trained ponies lie down in the grass,
and with wreaths of it about their ugly heads kept
peeping out so cautiously that it took a sharp eye
to distinguish them among the green. Half-a-dozen
times I fancied that they must have spied me out;
but presently I saw that they were concerned with
larger game.

_ Coming along the road from the lake, there appeared
another party, a waggon piled up with household
goods, among which sat a man and woman and two
or three children. It was for them that the Indians
were evidently lying in ambush. I could hardly bear
to keep still and watch these unfortunate white people
running into the very danger they must be seeking to
flee with all haste, casting anxious glances behind as
they whipped on the horses.

“Turn back! Turn back!” I exclaimed under my
breath, not daring to do more; yet I had almost
resolved to spring forth and shout out a warning at
the pitch of my voice, though that must have brought
the Indians upon myself. I measured the distance
between me and the waggon, then between it and the





a





A CIRCULAR FLIGHT. 21

hidden warriors, and saw too plainly that they would
cut me off before I had a chance of reaching the white
people to get such help as they could give. It would

be mere madness, sacrificing myself as well as them.

And yet, how could I stand silent to see them
butchered before my eyes!

But as I hesitated, those in the waggon seemed to
have some suspicion of the trap laid for them. They
stopped short, and the man caught up his gun, looking
earnestly ahead. They were soon put out of doubt.
The Indians, taking it that they were discovered,
came from their concealment and rode briskly towards
the waggon, which was at once turned round, and
driven back by the way it had come. Now for a
chase, which I watched with intense excitement.

The woman took the reins, urging on the horses to
their utmost speed. Her husband presented himself
at the back, one of his little sons at his side, both
pointing guns upon the advancing Indians, who at
this show of fight checked their horses and swerved
aside, scattering over the prairie, as if to surround
the little party. But they held back before the
threatening muzzles, cowardly as well as cruel! They
shouted after the fugitives, putting their own guns
behind them, and making signs of friendliness. I
feared for a moment that the white people might be
cheated into trusting them. Butno! they must have
already had clear enough proof of Indian treachery,



22 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY,

for on they went all the faster, flinging out behind
_one thing and another to lighten the waggon, and
keeping those human wolves at bay with their guns.
Presently a dip of ground hid them and the pursuers,
who followed at a safe distance, yet always drawing
nearer; and I was left straining my ears to catch the
sound of firing. It was not for several minutes that
I heard two or three guns go off almost together down
by the lake, then one fiendish burst of screeching and
no more; so I could not know for certain whether or
not this poor family had made good their escape.
Such a spectacle made me all the more impatient to
be moving on my own search for some place of safety.
But FT thought best to wait till it grew almost dark,
then started off over the open prairie. I kept away
from the road, because there I should be more likely
to fall in with those savages. Picking out the North
Star by the pointers of Charles’ Wain, I steered my
-course eastward as well as I could. The whole sky
was lit up with fires, far and near, beacons warning
me off from danger; and sometimes I heard a shot in
the distance that brought be to a stand for a moment
like a startled hare, then sent me hurrying along an
altered course: So on I went for hours; stopping
from time to time, listening intently to every sound,
and quenching my thirst by sucking dew from the
long blades of grass.
I was hungry as well as thirsty, and, tired enough



A CIRCULAR FLIGHT. 23

before setting out, I found myself growing more and
more weary now that I had no longer the sense of
immediate danger to keep me up. My toes and ankles
were cut by the coarse prairie-grass; for I had gone
barefoot all the day. My-skin smarted froii mosquito
stings, and my head ached after so tiuch éxposure to
the hot stn: Altogether, a boy could hardly have
been in a sorrier state for a long journey, yet I was
thankful at least to have my scalp still to myself.
After hobbling along for two or three hours, I lay
down and tried to get a little sleep on the bare ground,
first saying my prayers in my own native language;
which for some time I had almost forgotten to use.
That helped me to think that I was not all alone under
the open sky.

“Am I ever to sleep in a bed again?” I asked
myself; then I shuddered to remember the poor
fellows lying dead on the prairie, without even a
grave to rest in. If I could only forget for a; little!

But I could not lie still, my mind excited no less
than my body fatigued by all I had gone through in
that dreadful day, which had so suddenly cut off my
only friends in the world and driven me out for my
life among such fierce enemies. It was in vain that
I counted the stars, trying to lull myself to sleep:
‘When I shut my eyes they were filled with distressing
pictures of the events now haunting me like a night-
mare. And if I slept at all it was by fits and starts;



24 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

troubled by broken dreams bringing back the horrors
that had been crowded into the last few hours.

It seemed better to keep moving than to rest thus
unrefreshed. I got up and limped forward, stiff and
sore, shivering in my thin dress, all drenched with
dew, and with the thick mist which had now gathered
on the prairie. So thick was it that I had to grope
my way, holding straight ahead as well as I could
judge in the total darkness, with hands outstretched
before me by a kind of instinct; though I knew that,
if I were right about the direction, there was not so
much as a tree to run against for hours of march at a
much greater speed than I could make.

When the mist grew lighter, showing daybreak at
hand, I took comfort to believe that I must have put
many a mile between me and that scene of Indian
atrocity. I heard a cock crow, and turned a little
that way, hoping to come upon some farm not yet
visited by the enemy. The mist now lay all round
me in a white cloud, through which by and by I
caught the outlines of a snake fence, looming so
strangely large that at first I stopped to wonder
what it might be. Then recognizing this familiar
sight, I hailed it as a guide that might direct me to
help and company.

Following the fence, and with the cock crowing
also to lead me on, I soon came upon other signs of
cultivation—a potato patch, the edge of a stubble



A CIRCULAR FLIGHT. 25

field, deep wheel ruts, in which my sore feet stumbled
more than once. One farm on the prairies is much
the same to look at as another, and I took it for quite
a matter of course to run upon a muck heap just like
ours. But I opened my eyes wide when I came upon
a waggon left out in a corner, that seemed somehow
well known to.me, and stooped down to read Mr. ~
Withers’ name painted on a box which the boys had
turned into a rabbit-hutch. s rubbed my eyes and
looked sharply around; and all at once the truth
flashed across me. I must have been walking nearly
in a circle, and come back to.the very place which
till yesterday had been my home. Then, fairly
discouraged for the first time, I threw myself down
with a groan of despair; and I may as well confess
that, big boy as I was, my feelings found relief in a
good cry.

Yes, it was the Withers’ house, though one might
hardly have known it again, even when the growing
light let me see clearer—ruined and abandoned! The
fences had been broken down, the garden flowers
trampled, the stacks and sheds burned. The yard
was thickly strewn with a litter of smashed crockery,
torn clothes and papers, charred fragments, pieces of
broken barrels and boxes, scraps of food, the bodies
of hogs and fowls killed in mere wanton barbarity.
The inside of the house was completely gutted; every-
thing that could not be destroyed or carried off seemed



26 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

to have been piled up into a great honfire, the ashes
of which I found still warm. There perhaps the
farmer's body had been burned, for I could see
nothing of it, though there were marks of blood to
show where he fell. An attempt must have been
made to burn the house too; one end of it was
blackened by fire. All the beasts had either strayed
loose, or been driven away by the Indians.

I was afraid to search further, still shrinking from
the thought of what I might find. But when I had
made sure that there was nobody in the house, living
or dead, I did go a little way down towards the lake,
and ventured to call out twice or thrice, starting at
the sound of my own voice in this terrible solitude.
At first there was no answer, then I heard a feeble
wail, that came, as it were, out of the ground.

‘““Who’s there?” I exclaimed, and again rose this
strange echo.

I looked about and saw something white among the
bushes by the path. It was a baby, Mrs. Withers’
baby, poor little Johnny, its clothes all wet like my
own, and its face sadly grimed and slobbered, but, so
far as I could see, it had got no hurt. Some way
further down the hill there were signs of a struggle.
I could only guess that the mother, finding herself
hard pressed by the Indians, had thrown her child
into the bushes as the best chance of saving its life.
Then I went on to the meadow where thé hay still



A CIRCULAR FLIGHT. 27

lay in heaps, half gathered into a waggon, which had
been overturned, and the horses taken out. There
was nobody to be seen.

I went back to the house, on the way picking up
the baby, who cried incessantly, and was not to be
stilled for all my rough nursing. I pulled off its wet
clothes and washed its face, but that only made it cry
louder than ever. JI took a great deal of trouble in
awkwardly trying to hush it to sleep, but no good!
The baby went on screaming as if it were going to
have a fit; and for the first time in my life I saw
how stupid we male creatures are in some things,
compared to women.

At last it occurred to me that the poor thing must
be hungry, as I might have already known from my
own empty stomach. I put it to bed in a meal bag
which was lying near the door, out of which I first
shook a few handfuls of corn meal still left in the
bottom. Some of this I mixed into gruel in a broken
cup, warmed it up a little on the ashes of the bonfire,
and fed young Johnny, who did not take very kindly
to the stuff, but got down a little, left off his crying,
and, to my great satisfaction, ended by going to sleep.

Now I was able to attend to my own wants. JI eat
a little meal, a cucumber, and some potatoes out of
the garden, which I contrived to roast in the ashes;
but I was hungry enough to eat them raw. Then,
feeling rather less downhearted, I sat on the threshold,



28 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

keeping guard over the baby’s slumbers, and asked
myself what I should do next.

Should I stay here, hiding till some white men
came to the rescue, or resume my flight eastwards?
While I was still drowsily thinking over it, and had
almost gone off to sleep, the sound of distant firing
down by the lake startled and decided me. I would
take the baby and make off, keeping my eyes open for
Indians, and hoping soon to fall in with other fugitives
in less helpless plight than we were.









CHAPTER III.

ACROSS THE PRAIRIE,

T once I set about making preparations. I tied
round my sore feet what bits of rag I could col-
lect, and even managed to shoe myself, after a fashion,
with the boards of a book which had escaped the fire,
and now came in handy by way of soles. Out of a
great cabbage-leaf J made myself a hat; for by this
time the sun had driven away the mist, and promised
another scorching day. Luckily, like a true country
boy, I had a knife and plenty of string in the pockets
of my pants, though nothing else. I got a piece of
sacking to turn into a bag which I could sling over
my back, and stuffed it with raw potatoes and onions,
and a gingerbeer bottle full of meal for the baby. I
also found on old ham bone, thrown away as only fit
for the dogs; this was not to be despised now, so I
took it and other odds and ends from the rubbish, till
I had got as much as I could well carry.
As soon as the baby woke up I fed it again, then made
ready to set out. A few steps showed it was no joke
carrying a baby. T wondered how the girls were able



30 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

to do it, forgetting all the practice they had, heginning
while the youngster was at his lightest. And, carry
it as gently as I could, the baby would ery, putting
me in a sad puzzle to know what it wanted. It
seemed to me that a few minutes of this work
would be more than enough for my taste; yet I
might have to go on with it for days, so far as I could
see.

Just as we were leaving the place, my eye fell upon
an old battered umbrella which had escaped the
destructive hands of the Indians. I saw more than
one use to which this could be put, so I took it with
me, full as my arms already were. Thus encumbered
like a tramping Robinson Crusoe, I set out along a
path leading to the ferry where the settlers hereabouts
crossed in going to Oakwood City. That was the
nearest town, for which I meant to make; but it lay
many miles beyond the river, how many J did not
exactly know, only that it took more than a day’s
journey even in a buggy with good horses, and I had
to do it on foot and carry a baby all the way.

Were any of its family alive to thank me? These
unfortunate people had always been kind to me; and
the least I could do was trying my best to bring their
child to some place of safety, where it might be cared
for better than lay in my power. The poor boy was
at least lucky in not being old enough to know how
he had been made an orphan like myself. Would he



ACROSS THE PRAIRIE, 31

find such good friends as I had done in this ruined
home—should I ever find such again?

But thinking glopmily over it could-be of no more
good than crying to either of us. I must be up and
doing for both. So after climbing the highest tree
about the place, to make sure that the coast was
clear, I once more set forward with what courage I
could muster up for this not very promising enter-
prise.

Before getting well out of sight of the house to
which I now said such a sorrowful good-bye, I had
to stop and adjust my load better. Knotting together
the sack of provisions and the bag in which I had
stowed the baby, I slung them, one at my back and
the other in front as a make-weight, and changed
them about from time to time. In this way, though
still bending under the weight, I was able to go along
better, with the umbrella for a staff, to make me look
more like a crippled old beggar. I meant it to serve
as a weapon in case of need; I would lash my knife
to the point and make a spear with which to keep off
wolves or wild cats, if any such enemy tried to
meddle with us. But more formidable foes might be
in the way!

Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention, and
after a little I hit upon another use to which the
umbrella could be put. I opened it out, turned it
over on the ground, laid the baby inside, and dragged



32 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

him behind me much more comfortably for myself,
though Johnny had now some excuse for crying out
at all the jolts and bumps he got in this novel kind of
perambulator. But I had to harden my heart to his
cries, determined for the sake of both of us, on getting
forward as fast as possible. This means of locomotion,
however, I did not use for long together, but only now
and then to give my burdened shoulders a rest; for the
little-used path was all overgrown with grass, and I
feared that the marks left by towing the umbrella
along might guide the Indians along our trail.

I might have saved myself the trouble of thinking
about that; the faintest footprint would have been a
clear enough track for their keen eyes. By good luck
I saw no Indians now, though I more than once heard
distant firing, and dark columns of smoke were still
visible on the horizon. Going cautiously and often
resting, as I was obliged to do, it was afternoon before
I reached the ferry, already nearly exhausted by heat
and fatigue.

The ferry-boat was gone, the house of the ferryman
empty and plundered like our own. I had _ half
expected this. Still I was bent on getting across
somehow, not only to follow the straightest way to
Oakwood City, but because I should feel rather safer
when J had put the river between me and those red
murderers.

I took off my foot coverings, such as they were,



ACROSS THE PRAIRIE. 33

slung all my load over my back, and set to wading
down the stream, which was delightfully refreshing to
these galled feet of mine, while thus my trail became
lost to any Indians that might follow it. I kept
looking out for some means of crossing, and before
long came upon a board box stranded among the
drift-wood by the bank and half full of water. I
baled it out with a broken cup I had brought from
the farm, stopped the chinks with hay and leaves, and -
guessed it would keep dry enough to carry me over
the river, which was luckily not very wide here. Then
gingerly J embarked myself and my charge, and
shoved out into the stream, paddling with a piece of
board towards the opposite bank. I even amused
myself by hoisting the umbrella for a sail, which
shows that my natural boyish spirits were coming
back when I had indeed all need of them. It was no
matter of amusement, however; our frail vessel would
keep turning round and round, and leaked so much
that I had to be baling and paddling by turns all the
way. But we got over safely, landing just in time
not to sink.

There was a good bit of timber on the bank, among
which I resolved to make a halt. I dined off the ham
bone and raw vegetables, along with some nuts and
wild plums found in the wood; and I stirred up a
little more gruel for the baby. That noisy fellow-

traveller, after going to sleep for a bit, woke up to
(547) oC



34 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

scream as usual, till I feared it might bring the
Indians upon us if they were anywhere about, so I
thought we might just as well be moving on instead
of waiting for night as I had at first intended. I
hushed and nursed it awkwardly as I could; I tickled
it and made faces at it with the result of frightening
the poor thing almost into fits; I tried to recall the
nursery songs of my own country, then finding this
true American child refused to admire them, I did my
best to imitate Mrs. Withers singing “Hush a bye,
baby, on the tree top,” and so forth; but it was much
too wide awake to be taken in by my unskilful
attempts, though it certainly deigned to relent a little
when I whistled “Jump Jim Crow,” and other choice
negro melodies. The only thing I could hit upon to
stop its noise was letting it suck the buckle of the
strap I wore round my waist; and this did quiet it
for a little, but there was a fresh outbreak when I
had to take the strap away to gird myself up for the
journey. —

I must say, babies are very unreasonable; and this
one seemed to me to have more humours and speechless
discontents than any baby I had ever had to do with,
which may mean that I never had much to do with
any baby but this one, poor fellow! I am sure ]
would have done anything possible to pacify him, had
I only known how. When I come to think of it, the
flies and mosquitoes were very troublesome in this



ACROSS THE PRAIRIE. 35

wood, and though I did my hest to keep them off him,
they must have worried little Johnny almost as much
as myself, and given him some reason for crying.
That was another reason for not staying here long.

After a halt, then, of two or three hours, we set
out again, not knowing where might be the next
resting-place. All I thought of was to get on. Before
long I struck fresh marks of wheels going right over
the prairie eastward, which I followed instead of
searching for the road. There was also a trail of
feathers scattered here and there, as if from a torn
bed. By these signs I guessed that there must be
a party of fugitives in front of me, riding in two or
three waggons, as the marks showed. If I could only
come up with them! But how was I to do that on
my sore feet and hampered by the baby? My hope
was that they would encamp for the night long enough
to let me overtake them, so on I went, making des-
perate efforts to forget my fatigue.

I had to halt more than once, however, when I saw
parties of Indians riding across the prairie in the dis-
tance. It was, then, a mistake to suppose that I
should find none on this side the river. But they did
not come nearer me; and I lay low in the grass till
they were out of sight, fretting at the delay, and yet
not sorry for the rest. I had also to wait once or
twice while I renewed the bandages on my feet,
soaked and stiff with blood. I had to cut a piece off



36 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

the legs of my pants for this purpose, at which rate I
should soon be going bare-legged, if I could find
nothing else suitable.

Another trouble was thirst, for now we came to no
more water. My dinner of ham and unripe nuts had
left me very thirsty; and this afternoon was hotter
than ever, a sweltering oppressive heat that made me
regret the shade of that wood, mosquitoes and all.
How I reproached myself for not having brought
some kind of vessel to carry water in! I could not
even find a stone to suck and cool my parched mouth,
as I crawled along, ready again and again to fling
myself on the ground and give up if I had not been
driven on by burning thirst. What would I have not
promised for a draught of water! I was glad to wet
my hard lips with the perspiration from my shirt.

When night came on I had hoped to find relief by
licking the dew off blades of grass as before; but
this night they were dry as my own mouth. There
were ominous signs of the weather. A scorching
wind had sprung up, so that even the cool of evening
failed us. The air was filled with buzzing insects.
The sun set in an angry crimson glow, then darkness
came on quickly, and not a star peeped out of the
clouded sky. Before long, the wind suddenly drop-
ping, the air again grew strangely still and close.
There was no sound but the rustling in the dry
grass, as alarmed animals scudded back to their bur-



ACROSS THE PRAIRIE, 37

rows; they knew what was at hand. And I could
guess; even the tormenting cloud of insects vanished
before the growing storm, from which where could we
look for shelter?

It burst upon us suddenly, though distant rumblings
had warned me of its approach. All at once there
was a rattling peal of thunder above our heads, and
down came the rain in big drops and bigger, that wet
us both through before I could get up the umbrella.
There was water enough now, if I could have given
myself to the delight of letting it run into my parched
mouth. But the violence of the storm was really
alarming. A grand spectacle it would have been to
anyone not exposed to its fury in the open prairie!
The lightning blazed all around us; the rain came
down in torrents, against which that broken and torn
umbrella was of no use. The best I could do was to
turn my back to the rain and crouch down over the
baby, trying to hush its cries and whimperings,
drowned in the roar of the thunder.

But presently, by one of the flashes, I caught sight
of something on the prairie before us, which at first I
took for a house or a tree. Shelter close at hand! I
snatched up the baby and ran towards it, both of us
drenched like a couple of water-rats. We soon reached
the doubtful object, and it proved to be a covered
waggon, standing empty on the prairie. I lost no
time in getting in, and had the satisfaction of find-



38 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

ing a heap of dry straw. We were in luck after
all!

I was too tired to do more than feel heartily
thankful for this unexpected relief. Tucking up the
baby in one corner, I stripped off my wet clothes and
huddled myself among the straw. Then quickly [ fell
asleep, without caring what the storm did outside.



ON

Bs Wile



CHAPTER IV.
A VISIT FROM THE INDIANS.

WAS awakened by the baby crying lustily for his
breakfast, as he might have been doing half a dozen
times through the night, poor little fellow, considering
how long now he had gone hungry, and that he had
not so much reason to be tired and sleepy as I. So
sound had I slept that it was a minute or two before
I could gather my wits to cease puzzling where I was,
or remember how I had come there. Then looking
out of my place of shelter, I saw it was already late
in the morning, late for the like of me, that is, about
the time when fine folks in cities would be getting up.
The storm had worked itself out. The sky was freshly
blue, and the ground all soaking and sparkling under
a bright sun, that shone upon miles and miles of grass
around us, without even a tree to break the prospect.
Looking about the waggon I found a confusion of
things, some of them most welcome to travellers as
destitute as the baby and myself. There were several
articles of household furniture which we could easily
have spared; but among the heap I picked out such



40 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

useful windfalls as a tin pannikin, a bag of flour, a
piece of good bacon, and an old quilt or rug of odds
and ends sewn together, just the thing I wanted to
make a bed for my young charge. A quantity of other
goods and stores were lying tumbled about on the
ground; and it was clear enough that the party of
fugitives in front of us must have here relieved them-
selves of so much of their belongings to be able to
press on more rapidly. With their leavings the baby
and I had the means of setting up house in the middle
of the prairie, and faring not badly for a few days, if
this seemed desirable. I had a good mind to encamp
here, keeping a sharp watch for Indians, and waiting
the chance of some white people coming to join us.

But this question did not need to be considered till
after having something to eat; and I bestirred myself
to get my young companion’s breakfast that he might
hold his noise. With some flour and rain-water, and
a little sugar that I found in a paper bag, I made pap
as well as I could, and had the satisfaction of seeing
him take it down with apparent approval. Besides,
I gave him a piece of fat bacon to suck, which also
seemed to please him, for he laughed and clenched his
little fists, and let his mouth remain stopped by this
agreeable gag; nor was I less pleased to find myself
turning out such a skilful nurse.

Fat bacon was a thing I had never liked much
myself; but now I was ready to eat anything. Before



A VISIT FROM THE INDIANS. 41

beginning my own breakfast, however, I thought of
looking out again, and my heart gave a great jump when
I saw a band of people on horseback riding towards the
waggon. They were still some way off, but as they
came nearer my hopes rose high to think from their
dress that they must be white men. A minute or
so more and I fancied that I could make out women
among them; and in my joy I cast about for some
thing to wave out of the waggon by way of hailing
them and quickening their approach.

Then it occurred to me that I was stark naked,
in no state to receive visitors. Having nobody but
this baby for company, whose own habits and manners
hardly gave him a right to be particular on such points,
I had been treating myself to an air-bath while I had
my wet clothes hung out behind the waggon to dry
in the sun. So I drew back and hastily slipped on
my shirt and pants to make myself presentable, then,
returning to the front of the waggon, I was about to
raise a shout of welcome, when a sudden suspicion of
the new-comers struck me dumb. Though they wore
civilized coats and hats, there was that in their looks
and gestures which seemed more like Indians than
white men; and from the manner in which one or two
sat their horses, I guessed they must be drunk so
early in the day.

“ Redskins!” exclaimed I with my heart in my
mouth, darting back like a rabbit into its hole.



42 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

Drunk or sober, they had still enough of habitual.
caution to halt for a moment before approaching the
waggon, as if to make quite sure that no danger need
be feared. That moment I used to catch up the
child and slip down with it at the back of the
waggon, from which, hoping to be unseen, I could
watch their approach. JI had just time to get snugly
hidden before they came up.

Indians they were, sure enough, tricked out in the
queerest disguise of white men’s dress. There were
eight or nine of them altogether, wearing the best
coats and other sundry finery of some poor settlers
over their own absurd war-paint. One had a high
black hat with a feather stuck in it; another, a clean
white shirt worn outside of everything else, and not
likely to be clean much longer; a third was grimly
ridiculous in a gaudy woollen nightcap which had
taken his fancy. Two or three had on women’s
shawls and petticoats, the bright colours of which no
doubt recommended them as garments worthy of
warriors; but they were riding astraddle all the
same, which made this travesty the more ludicrous.
Though they cut most comical figures, I had no heart
to langh when I saw them thus adorned in the spoils
of their victims. They were mostly riding good
horses, also taken from the settlers; and their own
ponies were loaded with a miscellaneous collection of
booty.



A VISIT FROM THE INDIANS. 43

Luckily, with the morning sun shining in their
eyes, they appeared not to have detected me; and I
kept well out of sight, though not of hearing, under a
high clump of grass beaten down by the storm, so as
just to make a cover for us on all sides but one. If
only the baby would hold its tongue for once! To
my surprise the baby behaved himself like a man.
He went on quietly sucking his piece of bacon with
a faint gurgle of pleasure, his eyes closed; and I fer-
vently hoped that he might be falling asleep in spite
of this sudden disturbance. I could have kissed him!

But would it last? There had been no time to
make his toilet; I had taken off his wet things before
breakfast, and now he had nothing on but a few
straws sticking about his dimpled skin, so it was as
much as my scalp was worth to lay him on the damp
ground for fear of bringing out a squall. Thus I sat
squatting in a most awkward attitude, hugging him
in my lap, and not daring to stir.

The Indians had dashed up, dismounted, scrambled
into the waggon, and set to rummaging its contents
like any common robbers. I heard them talking
loudly, and even laughing, making noise enough to
drown a beginning of alarmed whinings on the part
of my inconvenient companion, which luckily I was
able to hush into silence before they grew loud enough
to do any harm.

But fancy my anxiety! Any moment might bring



44 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

those merciless savages upon me: they had only to
take a turn a few yards at the back of the waggon to
discover us. It was not death-only that I feared
from them, though I shivered to, imagine the blood-
stained tomahawk already glittering above my head.
I thought it might be my fate to be carried off into a
loathsome captivity as bad as death; for I remembered
having heard it was their way to spare lively young
people to make Indians of, and I may say without
vanity that I was a strong and well-grown boy as any .
of my age in these days. I crouched down lower, and
earnestly prayed God to aid me in this trying sus
pense. The baby opened his eyes and looked up into
mine and smiled, and said “Goo, goo” in his faint
chuckling voice; and I had to smile back at him, and
tickle him under the ear to keep him quiet, but
heaven knows that I was in no mind for playfulness!

At last my ordeal came to an end. The Indians
did not remain five minutes, which to me seemed an
hour. Finding nothing in the waggon worth then
pains, they remounted, and J, not daring even to peer’
out for a minute or two, drew my breath freely when
I heard them gallop off. They took the direction of
the ferry from which I had come. Not till their
figures were dots on the horizon did I crawl forth,
putting my hand to my head to make sure that my
scalp was still safe, and that my shock of flaxen hair
had not been standing on end.



A VISIT FROM THE INDIANS. 45

_ After such a.narrow escape I lost no time in get-
ting away from the waggon, too prominent an object
in this flat landscape to be a safe retreat for us. I
loaded myself with as much of its useful contents as
I could carry, turning out my store of raw vegetables
in favour of better provisions; and I slung the baby
over my back again. One thing I missed—that
umbrella of mine. It was the only thing the Indians
had thought worth carrying off; half with amusement
and half with annoyance, I had seen it brandished
over the head of one of the disappearing warriors.

I should have been thankful for its shelter for that
poor child’s head as we toiled on under the August
sun, now rising to its height. This day, however, we
did not suffer from thirst, for the storm had left
muddy pools here and there, not dried up yet by the
heat; there might have been better drinking, and
there might have been worse. We got on but slowly,
for I had to rest at intervals of a quarter of an hour
or so, not yet accustomed to take charge of a family,
however small; and from time to time every speck on
the prairie was magnified by my anxious eyes into the
shape of some fresh band of Indian horsemen from
whom.we must skulk out of sight.

About noon I came to a stretch of ground where
the grass seemed to have been recently burned, and
the prairie showed now like one vast flat meadow of
turf, on which any figure of man or beast could be



46 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY,

distinguished miles away. It was surely not safe for
us to expose ourselves here by daylight with such
keen-eyed riders scouring the country. I had now
given up almost all hope of overtaking the party in
front. The heat was another argument against push-
ing on. So, holding a council of war with myself, I
resolved to lie by for the rest of the day and use the
night for travelling, as I had originally intended. I
found some cover under the shade of a scrubby brush,
and there we lay all the afternoon on the damp
ground, for I never thought of rheumatism in those
days; but I kept Johuny well wrapped up, and he
had the sense to sleep soundly most of the time,
while I stood guard over his chubby face against the
mosquitoes.

“Cheer up!” I said to myself, and I even tried to
whistle, by way of pretending that things were not
so bad after all. ‘The Indians will have as hard
work to find us here as if we were a couple of needles
in a haystack, And they must have plenty of other
work to do, plundering all the farmers they have
attacked. If we have kept out of their way so far,
we can surely give them the slip a little longer. The
further we go on, the less chance we have of coming
across any but friends. Those fellows who came to
the waggons were going back, and just as well for
their own skins. The news of what has happened
will have got by this to the towns, and to Fort



A VISIT FROM THE INDIANS. 47

Ridgeley, where there are soldiers. It will soon be
the turn of these murdering redskins to run for their
lives. All very well for them to fall on a few unpro-
tected back settlements; but wait till they have the
soldiers at them!”

As yet I was so little aware of the extent of the
outbreak as to suppose that a few scores of white men
had only to collect in arms and drive all the prowling
red-warriors back to their reservation. I did not
know that the Indian Agency had been destroyed,
that a whole company of regular soldiers marching to
its relief was cut off, along with their commander,
almost at the outset, and that the few troops left to
guard the frontier were cooped up in Fort Ridgeley,
with hundreds of Indians gathering round for an
attack which would put them hard to it to hold their
own, without any further attempt to aid the over.
whelmed settlers. _

A most unfortunate circumstance for the white men,
of which their cunning enemies had not been ignorant,
was that, on the morning of the massacre, part of the
newly-raised recruits for the army had set out on their
march eastwards, taking away from the border many
men who would have been its best protectors, when
also, through the great war in the south, all this
outlying country was already too much drained of its
proper means of defence. I was not wrong in the
belief that, from far and near, the settlers would be



48 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

rallying to meet the storm which had burst so unex-
pectedly upon them; but I could not guess over what
a length and breadth of the frontier hapless fugitives
like myself were flying or hiding on the open prairie.

“So you sleep sound and safe, Johnny, and I'l
bring you back to your mother again, if—” but then
my heart sank within me as I thought how many i/s
had still to be made certain.

+







CHAPTER V.

THE DESERTED HOUSE.

DID not wait till it was quite dark, but started
just before sundown, for impatience to be moving
got the better of prudence. The light had not quite
failed over the open prairie when I heard a sound
that made me prick up my ears. It was the howling of
a dog, as I made sure on going a little further; a long
doleful how], which yet pleased me, for I thought it
must mean the neighbourhood of white people.

A few hundred yards brought me in sight of the
dog; and what rather astonished me was that it
neither came forward nor ran away, but stayed in the
same place, barking loudly at our approach. I came
up to it in the twilight and saw the reason. The dog,
a fine Newfoundland, had been tied to a stake driven
into the prairie, and left ‘there alone, not to die of
hunger, for a large piece of meat and bone lay within
his reach.

I was puzzled over this for a moment, but soon
guessed what it meant. Some fugitives had been

forced to abandon their four-footed friend thus, as he
(547) D



50 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY,

would insist on following them, and hy his barking
might have betrayed the whole party to the Indians.
Perhaps he had been tied up for a day or two, tugging
and struggling in vain at the thick hide strap, which
he had contrived to gnaw almost through, and in a
little longer would no doubt have liberated himself
without help.

A cut of my knife set him loose, and the poor
creature bounded upon me, nearly knocking me down
in his frantic demonstrations of joy and affection. He
took to me at once, stranger as I was, who had done
him this service. He was a noble beast, who could
not do without freedom, for I noticed that the meat
lay hardly touched. A cur would have gorged him-
self on such a rare chance; but this dog scorned to
eat in chains, pining after the master who had deserted
him. When I offered him a piece of bacon, however,
he fell upon it with an eagerness which showed him
to be half starved; then, having finished his meal, set
to rubbing his head against my leg, and licking my
hand, and smelling in a friendly way at the baby, all
as if to say he owned us as worthy of fidelity and
obedience.

‘What was I to do with him? The dog seemed to
take it as a matter of course that he should stick by
us, in the absence of any other claim to allegiance;
and I had not the heart to turn him away, even if I
could have got rid of his new-found attachment. He



THE DESERTED HOUSE. 51

might be a still more dangerously noisy companion
than the baby; but it was something to have any
companion, and babies were, to my taste, much less
companionable than dogs. I always liked dogs, and
they liked me, whereas at that age I never could
understand what women see in babies to make such a
fuss about. To tell the truth, I was long ago heartily
sick of the care of little Johnny, not that I meant to
give up rescuing him all the same, but to “put him
through,” if possible, at any cost.

So it became taken for granted that the dog was to
join our little party; and after all he behaved like a
Christian for discreetness. He hardly barked once,
but trotted behind in a business-like manner, now and
then halting to sniff the darkness sagaciously, or
running on a few paces to reconnoitre. He helped me
to feel myself not quite alone in the world. But for
him I think I might have lost all heart in that weary
night’s tramp. The bandages on my feet were now
soaked with blood. But I will say no more about it,
except that more than once I was half tempted to
wish the Indians would come upon us and make an
end of all. Sometimes, I think, I was as much asleep
as awake, or at least dreaming, on my feet; but the
pain of walking, and the efforts I had to make to
keep it up, and the sudden sting of a mosquito
now and then soon roused me from these slumberous
fits.



52 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

For the first hour or two I tried to work my spirits
up by singing hymns in a low voice, and Master
Johnny raised his pipe to make the darkness lively,
and the dog was the quietest of the three of us. Long
before daylight came the baby had sobbed and choked |
himself to sleep on my back, and I had to keep all my
breath to stagger on with; then for music we had
nothing but the croaking of frogs and the hum of
insects, and the rustling scamper of prairie-dogs or
foxes that hurried out of our path. I saw no fires
that night, which encouraged me to think that we
must be getting away from the scene of those Indian
atrocities. :

I reckoned that by morning I had made twenty
miles since leaving the waggon, which would have
been a good stretch, considering my sore feet and the
load I had to carry; but of course it was mere guess-
work, nor could I be sure that I had been taking a
straight line all the time. As soon as it grew light
enough, whether it was the dog’s fault or my own, I
found that in the night we had got off the track of
those waggons, and were now wandering pathless on
the prairie. This would have been very disheartening
if I had not presently come upon the rind of a melon,
not long thrown away, that looked like a sign of
people being near. Then I saw a belt of timber,
towards which I turned, hoping this marked a lake or
creek, where there might be some settlement.



THE DESERTED HOUSE. 53

On the baby’s account I began to be most anxious
to fall in soon with white people, for by the very
fact that he no longer made so much noise, I could
understand there was something wrong with him.
His lusty crowings and screamings had given place to
a low, miserable moaning that quite alarmed me. I
tried to feed him, but such pap as I could make only
turned him sick when I too zealously insisted in
cramming it down in spite of his fretful refusals. A
nasty scab had broken out on the poor little face, and
altogether he seemed in a bad way, while I was at my
wits’ end to know what to do for him.

With bent head I plodded on, too tired now to
look what we were coming to. J had sat down for a
minute to adjust the wrappings on my feet, when I
heard a, familiar sound that made me start up to see
—what but a cow on the prairie in front of us! She
was lowing loudly as if in pain, but to me the tinkling
of her bell was most cheerful, and the cow seemed as
pleased to see us as we could be to see her. She at
once moved forward to meet us, then stood still wait-
ing to be milked. Out came my tin can, and I lost
no time in relieving her distended udders, to the entire
satisfaction of both parties. For once the baby fared
well for being in the hands of a farm boy. He drank
some of the milk eagerly; it was the very thing he
had been wanting; and I and the dog, too, were glad
to refresh ourselves from the same supply. I never



54 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

had such a delightful meal as that draught of new
milk.

All of us feeling better, we went on in company,
the cow driven in front, or, rather, we letting her lead
us, for she seemed to have some notion of where she
was going. And before long we came in sight of a
brick house, a large, substantial, handsome dwelling,
though staringly new, like most of the houses in that
part of the world, surrounded by the buildings and
clearings of a prosperous farm. Against a back-
ground of trees, it stood out in the morning sunshine,
with a fine flower-garden in front, and a row of yellow
stacks on one side. I could see no one about, but
there was nothing to hint that the enemy’s mischievous
hand had reached this place.

I quickened my pace, crossing over one or two
fences, and soon came to the house through a half-
reaped field of oats bound in sheaves, yet held back
before entering, troubled by the silence which reigned
about it, so strange at that hour on what should have
been a busy farm. Hogs and poultry were running
through the garden at will, In the yard I found a
waggon loaded with flour, on which two oxen were
feeding, having gored open the outside sacks with
their horns. They must have been shut in here with-
out food. The stable was empty. I looked first into
all the sheds before going to the back-door, which
stood open. When I knocked, timidly at first, almost



THE DESERTED HOUSE. 55

starting to hear the noise J made, then with more
assurance, there was no answer, nor when I ventured
upon a call. After going all round the house and
peeping into the lower windows, I saw nothing for it
but to walk straight in, as I did without longer wait-
ing for an invitation. The baby I carried would be
a kind of certificate as to my being no robber; and
the dog, like a well-bred dog, sat down on the
threshold, not presuming to come further till so per-
mitted.

The first room I peeped into was a parlour elegantly
furnished in a style much above that of most settlers.
I hardly liked to tread on the fine carpet with my
dirty feet; then there were curtains, book-cases, a

-- piano, pictures on the walls, and a large gilt-framed

mirror, in which I stared to see the begrimed and
bedraggled figure that at first sight I hardly knew
for myself. The table was laid for supper with a
clean white cloth and a display of nice things which
made my mouth water, but I could not bring myself
readily to touch what did not belong to me. The
mea] appeared to have been begun and left unfinished ;
the chairs stood pushed back, the plates half filled.
Opposite was a parlour even finer than the first.
These must be rich people, whoever they were—and all
the harder for them to leave their grand house, thought
I. Next, I went upstairs and looked into the bed-
rooms, all very comfortable and neat, but that the



56 AN EMIGRANT BOY'S STORY.

floors and passages were strewed with clothes and
other things taken out and thrown down in hasty.
confusion, from which I could suppose that the in-
mates had been obliged to fly at a sudden warning,
taking with them only what was necessary, and
having barely time to choose. The fire in the kitchen
was not quite out; this showed that they had not-
long gone.

What would they think of a guest like me making
free with all their fine things? The cupboards and
store-rooms stood open, well provided with just every-
thing that I needed, and a great deal more. Seeing
how destitute I was, and how there appeared nobody
to invite me, I resolved that, under the circumstances,
there could be no harm in helping myself.

‘No reason we should starve because these people
don’t happen to be at home—is there, Johnny?” said
I; but Johnny only answered with a faint choking sob;
and I was really afraid he might be dying for want of
proper nourishment.

So, having roused a good fire in the kitchen stove,
I first boiled some water and washed the baby all
over, and fed him with milk, and stowed him away in
a cradle and rocked him to sleep. I carried the
cradle into a small room near the back-door, from
which we could get out easily at any alarm; there
also stood a small iron bed-stead I had modestly
chosen for myself.



THE DESERTED HOUSE. 57

When I had made Johnny all snug I had time to
attend to my own wants. I took a bath, too, in a big
tub, which was very refreshing, and made me forget
half the fatigues of the night, while at the same time
it sharpened my appetite. Before eating I looked
over the wardrobes in the other rooms, and picked
out the most worn and shabby among some clothes,
in which I took the liberty of dressing from head to
foot, hanging up my own drenched things to dry
before the stove. There were several pairs of excel-
lent boots that would have been of great use to me if
I only could have had them from the first; but now
I could not bear them on my swollen feet, so I con-

‘tented myself with clean white socks and a pair of
loose old slippers.

Then for a good square meal! I would have taken
it in the kitchen, thinking the parlour too grand for
me, if the table had not been already laid there so
invitingly. I boiled the kettle, made some tea, and
fell hungrily upon lamb and chicken, and tomatoes
and fruit-pie, and raspberries and cream, and delicious
white bread and butter, and plum jam made with
maple sugar, and other good things without stint,
any one of which would have been a feast to me after
the hardships of the last two days. I certainly did
feel a little shy at first among all these luxuries; but
I ended by making myself quite at home, and laid in
a breakfast with the hearty appetite of a growing



58 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

boy, who had to consider, besides, that he did not
know when he might again get such another chance,
unless he saw his way to settle here for a few days
like a mouse in a cheese cupboard.

“Well, I shouldn’t so much mind a little—just a
very little—hunting about by Indians every day if
this sort of thing were always to come at the end of
it,” said I to myself, already able, boy-like, to look
away from the gloomy side of the situation.

When I had finished my breakfast—and that, as
you can suppose, took some time—I was at leisure to
examine more carefully the house giving me such good
entertainment. The address of letters which were
lying about on. a writing-table told me the owner’s
name; and I was somewhat taken aback to find
myself the unknown guest of one of the most promi-
nent citizens of Minnesota, a man whose speeches often
figured in the newspapers, and who had been spoken
of as a candidate for Congress. I still could not get
over the idea of taking a liberty with these unaccus-
tomed signs of wealth; it seemed like that nursery
story of the three bears, which I might expect to walk
in any moment, growling out, ‘‘ Who has been eating
off my plate?” and “Who has been sleeping in my
bed?” And, worse than any bears, if those who
caught me tresspassing here should turn out to be
Indian warriors!

All the rest of the day I kept good watch, going up



THE DESERTED HOUSE. 59

to the top of the house every now and then to sweep
the prairie in every direction with an opera-glass I
got out of one of the rooms. I had need of some
such occupation to keep me awake. I amused myself
by looking at the fine things in the parlours, and
turning over some picture-books, first having washed
my hands again, that the owner might have no cause
to complain when he came back. But do what I
could, my head would keep nodding, and it was hard
work not to go to sleep long before the afternoon
came to an end.

Little Johnny slept and fretted by turns; he looked
so ill that I was really afraid to go on with him, and
yet what else could we do? My plan now was to
sleep the first half of the night, then to use the
remaining hours of darkness to make another stage of
our journey eastwards. I knew I was not far off the
right track, because the address on the letters showed
that I had got into the county which lay east of ours,
and in which was Oakwood City. How to find this
place would be the next point.

Towards sunset, having looked around once more
with my glass, and made pretty sure that nobody was
in sight for miles, I took it as safe to go to bed. I
had come upon a small alarum-clock in my bed-room;
this I set to go off at midnight, so that I should not
sleep too long. The dog I tied up to the door-step,
to stand sentry over our slumbers. The intelligent



60 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

beast made no resistance, but licked my hand and
looked up into my face with eyes which seemed almost
to say that he understood his duty, and that we might
depend on him. I got ready some food to be carried
away with us; and I milked the cow and made up
the fire to give the baby a drink of milk before we
started. I should have said that among my other
finds had been a child’s wicker-work waggon, in which
I proposed to draw Johnny over the prairie much
more pleasantly for both of us than our former way of
getting along. I had indeed much cause to thank
heaven for all the fortune that had hitherto attended
us; and my hopes were high that, after coming so far
through such adverse chances, we should yet make
our way to a place of safety.

All precautions and preparations being thus seen
to, I threw myself on the bed, readv dressed, and in
two minutes was fast asleep.





CHAPTER VI.

THE BAND OF FUGITIVES.

HAD meant to sleep with both ears open, but

that is easier said than done by one so tired as I
was. Before the expected alarum went off, I was
roused too late by the loud barking of the dog out-
side, to hear a trampling of footsteps and a sound of
voices within the house. One moment was enough for
me to shake off my drowsiness and make sure of its
not being a dream. I sprang to my feet, caught up
the child, and rushed out into the passage, already
filled with dark forms.

At once someone seized me, trying to tear little
Johnny out of my hold, but I held him fast till I
heard a woman’s shriek of wild surprise.

“My baby!”

It was Mrs. Withers. I had run with the child
right into her arms. Somebody scraped a handful of
matches, which for a minute lit up the scene.

“It’s a boy—a white boy!” exclaimed a gruff voice, .
and checked the stampede that had begun among the



62 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

new-comers, at first almost as much alarmed as myself
when I pounced out upon them in such haste.

Then I knew there was nothing to be afraid of.
We all crowded into the nearest room, and the women
and children, for there were several in the party, sank
down exhausted on the first seats that came to hand.

“Thank the Lord! Thank the Lord!” Mrs.
Wither’s kept crying, as with trembling hands she
pulled off her baby’s clothes to make sure he was safe
and sound, eagerly examining him from head to foot
by the light of a candle which I hastened to fetch.
Others of the party stared wildly about them, hardly
able to believe they could now rest in safety.

Some were too tired to speak a word; some fell to
talking all at once, so that I was quite bewildered
among them. When the candle had been lit, I hardly
knew Mrs. Withers; her hair appeared to have
grown greyer in the last three days, and her face was
tanned like an Indian’s. She would not speak to me
for a time, so much was she taken up with hysteri-
cally kissing and hugging her dear Johnny, whom she
had little hoped to see again. By and by she grew
composed enough to tell me what had happened to
her.

After seeing her husband barbarously murdered
before her eyes, she had run off with her child, the
Indians hard behind her. When there appeared no
chance of escape, she threw the baby among the



THE BAND OF FUGITIVES. 63

bushes, and continued her own flight so as to lead the
pursuers away from it. They had come up with her
near the Jake, and taken her prisoner, but, since they
had already glutted their fury for blood, did not offer
her any ill-usage. Having plundered the house they
set out towards the Indian reservation, joining an-
other party which had also taken prisoners and booty
enough to satisfy them. Through the night she and
one of her fellow-prisoners contrived to escape. She
had come to the homestead to find the child gone, and
naturally mourned for it as dead, little guessing what
a nurse had taken charge of it. Soon afterwards
these two fell in with other fugitives, in whose com-
pany they had travelled on to this place.

Mrs. Withers believed that her sons must have
taken the alarm and made their escape for the time;
but she did not know for certain what had become of
them. I may say here that it was a week or two
before we heard news of the boys. In the end they
turned up all safe, after going through adventures of
their own that would make a better story than mine,
like hundreds of others among the settlers. When I
asked the mother what happened to her little girls,
who had been left in the house, she only looked at
me in speechless agony, and I said no more. Her
joy on finding the baby again was so overpowering
that at first she forgot to think how it had been
saved, nor did I care for the awkwardness of being



64 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

thanked. But later on, she suddenly threw her arms
round my neck and kissed me without a word, as if
she had been my own mother; and it was all I could
do not to burst out crying when I felt her tears on
my face.

I did not get the whole story out of her at once.
I could understand by my own experience that talk-
ing was not what was wanted first; and I busied my-
self in bringing together all I knew where to lay
hands on for the refreshment of these weary people,
whose host I had in a manner become for want of a
better. Besides children, there were over a dozen
grown-up persons, two of them countrymen of mine.
When I had got them plenty to eat, and they had
satisfied their ravenous appetites—though indeed one
or two seemed too far gone for hunger—they came
more into a mood for story-telling, and we exchanged
accounts of our various misfortunes.

Mrs. Withers was the only one of them I knew;
nearly all the rest came from a settlement rather
further to the north than ours. The greater number
were neighbours who had met together on the morn-
ing of the 18th for a wedding. Some still wore scraps
of finery which strangely contrasted with their for-
lorn condition. Thus the leader of the party, as he
appeared to be, a big bony blacksmith, had on a white
waistcoat and no shirt under it, while his long legs.
were only half covered by a pair of drab breeches.



THE BAND OF FUGITIVES. 65

The women were in white or light-coloured dresses
fit for marriage revels, though now sadly limp, torn,
and crumpled, with handkerchiefs knotted about
their heads. The reason of this you will see pre-
sently.

They had assembled at the house of that black-
smith, the father of the bridegroom, and were just
starting for the bride’s, when news came of what was
going on in the neighbourhood. It appeared that
they must fly for their lives without delay. The
young man who was to be married refused to accom-
pany them; he and two of his friends went off at all
risks to look after the girl. A terrible marriage-day
they had: I don’t care to tell the rest of their story.

The others set out at once in their waggons and
buggies, with such arms and provisions as the black-
smith’s house could furnish, and in their Sunday
clothes as they were, having little thought on leaving
home that morning what was to be the end of the
pleasure-party. They got well away from the settle-
ment without interruption, but late in the afternoon
a party of mounted Indians overtook them.

The settlers drew up their teams in a ring, the
women and children placed in the centre, and pre-
pared to defend themselves as best they could. Not
more than half of them had guns. The Indians, keep-
ing out of shot, waved a white flag and made signs of

wishing to parley. One of them, who spoke English,
_ (87) E



66 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

and was well known to most of the white men as a
frequent visitor among them, approached the waggons
with demonstrations of friendship. He told them
that they had nothing to be afraid of. It was the
Chippeways, the enemies of the Sioux, who had been
killing their neighbours. He and his comrades had
come to help their friends the white men. He in-
vited them to turn back, promising to see them safe
to their houses, and to defend them against the other
Indians. They must, he said, by no means go on, as
a band of Chippeways were lying in wait for them.

The white people doubted what to think of his pro-
fessions. Some of them were for not trusting him,
but most of the party thought they knew this Indian
so well that he could not be deceiving them. While
they were still consulting he came forward unarmed,
repeating all he had said with a plausible air of sin-
cerity. He even went so far as to kiss one of the men
by way of proving his friendship; and the man made
a face and wiped his mouth, but had to put up with
this greasy embrace. The other Indians followed one
by one. They laid down their arms on the prairie,
and were allowed to approach the white men, among
whom they mingled freely, shaking hands with them,
laughing, talking, and helping to quiet the frightened
children.

The settlers could not believe that these hypocrites
were bent on their death. They threw off all sus-



THE BAND OF FUGITIVES. 67

picion, and agrecd to do as the Indians advised them.
All the party, white and red, took a meal of bread
and milk together and a smoke. Then the teams
were turned about, and they started back again to-
wards the deserted settlement, the Indians riding
behind the convoy at some distance.

After a time the white people saw cause for fresh
misgivings in the conduct of their escort. They talked
anxiously together, debating whether they should not
make a display of resistance and insist on being left
to proceed alone. But they had put away their guns
in the waggons, while the redskins rode with theirs
ready for use at the least sign of hostility. They
were still debating when the Indians judged it time
to throw off all disguise of their intentions. They
suddenly closed in upon the party with fierce gestures,
threatening to kill every one of them if a single man
showed fight. That would have been useless, for by
this time the warriors had been joined by another
small band; and they could have shot down every
man among the whites before a hand could be raised
against them.

Bitterly repenting of their too easy confidence, the
frightened settlers were ordered to get out of their
vehicles; and the Indians with threats and impudent
roughness went on to plunder them of everything
worth taking. They took their money and arms and
the teams, The men were made to strip and hand



68 ~~ AN EMIGRANT BOY'S STORY.

over anything that struck a warrior’s admiring fancy;
thus the blacksmith had to give up his shirt and pants
and a fine red necktie, but by some whim they left
him his waistcoat, though not the contents of its
pockets. The women’s hats and ornaments were
taken, and everything that could be turned to the
adornment of these red dandies. The brutes stripped
a child nearly naked, because one of them fancied a
tartan dress which the little fellow wore.

After this the plundered party expected nothing
better than to be murdered on the spot. But now
the Indians seemed to hesitate, acting all along with
an appearance of caprice, or as if they found it
difficult to work themselves up to the point of blood-
shed. Some of them perhaps were not so ill-disposed
as others, whatever might be their scruples. They
talked together for some time in their own language,
and finally let the white men know that they might
go with their lives. They even gave back, out of their
spoils, a bag of potatoes and one or two other bits of
provision for the journey. Then they drove off the
teams, leaving the party on foot in the middle of the
prairie.

Counting themselves lucky to have come off so
cheap, as soon as the Indians had gone they had re-
sumed their flight, and had been out in the prairie
ever since, travelling by dark and lying hid through
the day, for they frequently saw other war-parties



THE BAND OF FUGITIVES. 69

hovering about, and came upon several dead bodies
to prove that all the red men were not so merciful as
those who had spared them. Mrs. Withers and the
rest of their companions in misfortune they had picked
up on the way.

One poor woman they met in with was almost crazy
with grief. Having seen all her family murdered
before her eyes, she had fallen to the ground in a
swoon where they found her, and they had to use
force to bring her along. She would not speak, and
could hardly be persuaded to take food; she seemed
not to know what she was doing or to care what be-
came of herself.

On Tuesday evening they had come upon a solitary
house occupied by a blind old Quaker and his daughter,
who were quite ignorant of all that had been going on
within a few miles of them. That was where the
blacksmith got the drab breeches and broad-brimmed
hat which, both much too small for him, looked so
queer upon his burly figure.

The most horrible tale of all was that of a boy not
so old as myself. When his people were attacked, he
had managed to get up a tree, from which he saw
such things that his face had not yet lost its scared
look. I shuddered to hear what he had to tell, as
well I might when strong men’s words were broken
with pity and rage. There was one who sprang to
‘his feet like a madman, and with clenched hands



70 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

uttered a fearful vow never to see a redskin without
killing him like a wolf. A single voice was raised in
rebuke—

“Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.”

It was the blind old Quaker, whose mild tones were
drowned in an outburst of passionate words from his
companions. I remember thinking like the rest of
them what a spiritless fellow he must be; I know
better now.

“None of that cant!” said the man who had before
spoken. “Talk to stones, not to men who have the
spunk of a fly!”

“Nay, friend,” said the Quaker’s daughter. “These
Indians, too, have their wrongs. White men have
driven them from their lands, and have defrauded
them of the price. If they are ignorant and savage,
if they turn their wrath upon the innocent and guilty
alike, let us teach them as we have learned—”

She was roughly interrupted, and angry words
arose, which were quieted by the blacksmith remind-
ing the whole party that they had best keep their
breath for something more useful than quarrelling.

All these people had one idea, to get as soon as
possible out of reach of the Indians; but they were
not fit to go further without rest. Some of them had
already fallen asleep wherever they happened to be
lying. The rest now shared out such accommodation
as the house offered, and went to roost in the different



THE BAND OF FUGITIVES. 71

rooms, the best beds being given to the women and
children.

While they slept, I stood sentry over them, looking
out across the silent star-lit prairie, where so many
terrible scenes had been enacted within the last three
days. This was Thursday morning which I saw dawn;
on Sunday last I had been to church in the school-
house by the lake, little thinking what the morrow
was to bring forth. It seemed to me as if years must
have passed since those startling events came to break
the thread of my quiet life.







CHAPTER VII.

ON THE ROAD TO OAKWOOD CITY.

EFORE the sun rose I was joined on my watch
by one of those new acquaintances, who found
himself unable to sleep for the pain of a wound. It
was one of the two German settlers I have mentioned,
a young man not much over twenty. I had not had
any conversation with him as yet, so exhausted and
downcast had he and his countryman been on their
arrival; now I was right glad to hear my own lan-
guage again, and we had plenty to say to each other
when it turned out that this man, Karl Schmidt,
came from Pomerania like myself, and even knew my
native village. We could not but make friends at
once, meeting thus on the other side of the world in
such woeful plight and peril.

The other German was his brother. They had come
from Europe only a few months before, settling on
the new lands of Minnesota. On that fatal Monday
morning they had been out wood-cutting, when a
breathless messenger passed with news that the Indians
had broken out and were murdering the white men.



ON THE ROAD TO OAKWOOD CITY. 73

Only half understanding what he said, for these two
knew little English as yet, they took it for a joke;
they had heard such alarms before when nothing came
of them; and they actually went on with their work
till balls were whistling about their ears. Then they
had to run for it, and made their escape, but not be-
fore Karl got a shot that shattered two of his fingers.

Then, in turn, I told my story of misfortune. When
he heard how I had lost my friends and the only home
I knew in the wide world, this warm-hearted fellow
suddenly threw his arm round my neck and kissed
me, as men do in our country, though the Americans
may laugh at us. It was so long since anybody kissed
me that I was half inclined to cry over this mark of
kindliness at such a time.

“ Ah! thou poor orphan,” he exclaimed, “a home
shall not be wanting to thee while I have one. Please
God to deliver us from these troubles, and Fritz and
I will be thy brothers.”

The elder brother presently joined us; then he was
no less hearty in inviting me to share their fortunes.
I shall not have much more to say of these excellent
_ men in my story; but when the troubles were over, I
accompanied them back to their ruined farm, and
found there indeed a home as their adopted brother.
For years to come I had reason to be glad of the
chance that brought us together, little hopeful as
might seem the beginning of our acquaintanceship.



74 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

“We can at least die together,” said Karl, who,
worn out with the hasty flight and the pain of his
wound, took a gloomy view of our prospects, and still
kept looking anxiously about him, as if every tuft of
grass might conceal a lurking Indian. For my part
I was in much better heart; after all I had gone
through alone, I felt it comparative safety to be among
some score of white people, and was not a little com-
forted to have these countrymen to talk with in our
own familiar tongue.

Though they had lain down so late, most of the
party were early astir, for their fear was stronger
than their fatigue. After reconnoitring on all sides
from the top of the.house, the men held a council to
settle what should be done next. The blacksmith, who
took a kind of lead among us, pointed out that as the
Indians had not yet been to this place, the chances
were that we should meet none of them beyond, so it
would be safer to travel on through the day, than
to wait here, where perhaps the enemy might come
up with us. Others spoke of hiding in the woods
till night; but in the end it was agreed to start
after breakfast, continuing our flight without de-
lay.

A yoke of oxen was harnessed in a waggon, to give
the women and children a lift, and to carry a stock of
provisions which we selected from the stores of this
well-victualled mansion. We made no scruple of



ON THE ROAD TO OAKWOOD CITY. 75

taking anything that could be useful to us, and that
might else fall into the hands of the Indians. The
men supplied themselves with some kind of arms, hay-
forks, scythes, axes, knives, and such like for the most
part. There were three shot-guns found in the house;
and the blacksmith got a good-sized hammer, with
which hé promised to knock down the biggest warrior
that might come within reach of it. I took care to
fit myself out with a straw-hat, a coat, and a pair of
boots, which latter, however, I could only carry slung
over my shoulder for the meantime, till my feet were
in a state to let me put them on. A barrel of water
was also placed in the waggon.

The sun had grown already hot when we got away,
and we found it tiresome work toiling over the prairie
at the sluggish pace of those oxen. The children
were crying, the men were arguing, the women sat
silent in the waggon, trying to sleep if the flies would
let them; and anyone could have seen by the looks of
us that we were no pleasure party. The liveliest mem-
ber of the band was that dog of mine, as I considered

it, which kept frisking over the ground, running to
" right and left as if to guard us against any ambush.
I was glad nobody had proposed to leave him behind.
For my own part I thought myself well off, compared
with the day before, to be at least no longer alone
amid such dangers. Part of the way I was taken
into the waggon, out of consideration for my footsore



76 "AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

state, a great relief after the last few days’ toiling and
tramping.

For two or three hours there went on a great dis-
cussion among the men as to where we were and
which way we should take. Some were for making
for Oakwood City; others hotly maintained that the
nearest place of refuge was a fort to the south. The
party had almost quarrelled and split up into two;
but the matter was settled by turning towards the
fort. Before long, however, we heard a dull boom
like the firing of a cannon in that direction. This
showed that the place was probably being attacked by
Indians; so we once more altered our course and held
on by the rough road which led to Oakwood City.
The whole country had been so lately settled, that
none of these men were sure about the distances; but
the blacksmith, who had travelled that way more than
once, thought that we could not have more than twenty
miles to go.

On we went under the blazing sun. There was
little talking among us, now that we had all heard
one another’s adventures. The men trudged gloomily
beside the waggon, taking it in turns to goad on the
heavy oxen. Poor brutes! they suffered a good deal
for want of water, and it was miles before we reached
any; besides which they had no small weight to draw
in the weakly members of our party. I lay asleep at
the bottom of the waggon, Mrs. Withers sitting by



ON THE ROAD TO OAKWOOD CITY. 77

me and shading my face with her apron; it seemed to
be a comfort to her to have someone to look after as
ason. But she was mostly taken up with her baby,
for he went on fretting feebly, and had two or three
fits in the course of the morning, which put her
into a terrible state of anxiety. Still from time to
time she tried with a word of comfort to rouse that
crazy woman who lay like a log as if she were deaf
and dumb. It frightened me to look at her, far more
than if she had been violent in her hopeless sorrow.
Later on she had to be sent to the asylum, not the
only inhabitant of Minnesota who was driven mad in
that awful time.

The most cheerful of us all was the blind old
Quaker, who did his best to keep up our spirits and
turn our thoughts to hope and thankfulness, since, as
he said, we in God’s mercy had been more fortunate
than so many of our neighbours. But the other men
listened sullenly and would hardly answer him, for
they cared to talk about nothing but revenge. If we
had met any single Indian, though unarmed and
friendly, they were in the mood to have murdered
him without scruple. Those heathen cruelties had
turned Christian men for the time into bloodthirsty
savages.

In the afternoon we came to some trees and a
pond, not far from which we saw the roofs of houses.
Here a halt was made, and while the women lighted



78 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

a fire to cook something, the blacksmith and another
man cautiously advanced to the settlement. In an
hour or so they came back with no good news, which
was told in whispers, calling out fresh exclamations
of wrath and hatred. They had found the place
deserted, but several corpses both of Indian and white
men told of a fight there lately. They had also passed
a spot strewn with letters and newspapers, showing
that the mail carrier must have been attacked and
robbed. The wonder was how the house we spent
last night in came to have been spared, when the
enemy’s ravages had reached so far.

This news cut short our meal, and we moved on
with redoubled vigilance, skirting the clearings of the
settlement. It was sad to see the corn standing un-
cut and the stock running wild on the prairie. There
were dogs slinking about, which looked as if they
knew that something terrible had happened. Two or
three of these masterless beasts attached themselves
to our train, keeping timidly a little way in the rear,
though the fine dog I had found showed himself very
jealous of such uninvited followers. We, for our part,
had no heart to turn away these four-footed creatures
of civilization, who seemed to share the misfortunes of
their owners.

Further on, we were joined by another fugitive, a
two-legged one this time. Itwas a young man dressed
in nothing but his shirt, who rose so suddenly out of



ON THE ROAD TO OAKWOOD CITY. 79

the grass beside our track that one of the women
screamed out, and we might all have taken him for a
ghost walking in broad daylight had it not been for
his wearing spectacles and carrying a gun in his hand.
He turned out to be the schoolmaster of the place, who
had escaped from pursuit only by throwing off almost
all his clothes as he ran; then had not dared to show
himself till he caught sight of our waggon. I could
not help laughing at the figure he cut, even when
Mrs. Withers’ shawl had been added to his scanty
costume; but one of the men sharply rebuked me,
and indeed it was no time for laughing.

The schoolmaster’s story was that a band of Indians
had attacked this settlement on the Tuesday. Warned
in time, a party had gathered to one of the largest
houses to stand on their defence, the women and chil-
dren having been sent away through the night. There
had been a hot fight, in which the red men seemed
likely to get the worst of it, when they contrived to
set the roof of the house on fire, and being all of
shingles and dry with the long heat, it was quickly in
a blaze. The smoke and flames soon drove the de-
fenders out into the open, each to shift for himself.
The schoolmaster had run for his life, and knew not
how it had fared with his companions, beyond two or
three whom he saw shot down as they rushed out of
the burning building.

“There were at least a hundred of them,” was his



80 AN EMIGRANT BOY'S STORY.

account, “It was awful to hear them screeching like
a pack of mad wolves. I counted about twice as
many more riding past yesterday at different times.
All the Indians of the reservation must be out. Sun-
day week I was down at the Agency and saw the
church full of them, sitting as quiet as an infant-class.
Nobody dreamed of this.”

“The more fools we for ever trusting a redskin!”
exclaimed the blacksmith. “But no fear that they
have all taken up the hatchet. Catch them at it, the
skulking vermin! This is some of the wild young
men’s doing; the best half of them will be lying low
till they see how things turn out. If we could only
' get men enough together to stamp out the fire before
it spreads! Once they think they have a chance, the
Chippeways and the Winnebagoes will be joining in
with the Sioux, and it will be a bad business all along
the border.”

“Many of the boys here have gone off to the war,
that’s the worst of it. A recruiting party came round
on Monday. They told us that a whole company was
to march from Fort Ridgeley that day—just the men
’ who could have kept the reservation in order.”

“ And the Indians rose as soon as their backs were
turned, that’s how it has been! Well, they can’t
have got: much further than St. Peter by this time;
and we'll soon have them back to help us.”

“T heard a good deal of firing this morning over



ON THE ROAD TO OAKWOOD CITY. 81

that way,” said the schoolmaster, pointing towards
the city.

That was the worst of his news. What if we found
the warriors before us, or even the city in their hands?
There was nothing for it, however, but to go on, and
on we went with all circumspection. When the sun
set our haven of refuge was not yet in sight.

(547) F





CHAPTER VIII.

AN ALARM ON THE MARCH.

E had halted to deliberate whether to encamp
for the night, or to put out all our strength in
the hope of slipping into the city under cover of dark-
ness, thus perhaps escaping any parties of warriors
who might be prowling on our way. As this question
was being argued between fears on the one hand and
fatigue on the the other, our dogs at once all began to
bark loudly, and, looking for what excited them, we
saw several figures standing out on the horizon in the
twilight. They had evidently seen and were watch-
ing us.

“Indians!” screamed out somebody, and every one
took up the alarm.

Our first thought was to make off, but that soon
appeared to be hopeless. With the waggon and its
load of women and children, our flight must be slow;
and as soon as we began to retreat those men came
briskly after us. We saw now that there were at
least twice as many of them as we could reckon com-



AN ALARM ON THE MARCH. 83

batants. When we stopped they stopped also, keeping
at a safe distance. a

“Two to one—that’s no great odds when you have
cowardly redskins to deal with,” said the blacksmith,
‘cocking his gun. “We must make a fight for it,
boys; so stand together, whatever happens.”

‘We had come upon a little hollow of the ground, an
old buffalo wallow filled with dry mud, which seemed
a good place to take our stand in, as it afforded some
little protection against bullets. The women lay down
in the centre, clasping their children tight, and trying
to hush their frightened whimperings. The waggon
was placed as a breastwork, behind which the men
posted themselves, making as much display as possible
of their poor arms. I was given a rusty pistol so
much out of repair that it was doubtful whether it
would go off; nobody would spare me a bullet, so I
loaded it with small stones, and vowed to myself to be
the death of at least one Indian before they did for
me. Some of the men looked anxious, not to say
afraid; others had their lips set tight in desperate
resolution. Poor Karl Schmidt, for one, was as white
as a sheet. Ordinarily he could be brave enough, as
I came to know; but all he had seen and heard of
Indians had shaken his courage, and now he whispered
in my ear, trying to make me promise to shoot him
rather than let him be taken prisoner. There was
hardly any talking among us, however, as we kept an



84 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

anxious eye on the strangers, so far as we could see
them in the gathering dusk.

For some time we could not make out their inten-
tions clearly. They drew back a little, as if fearing
some snare, then advanced again, wheeling round on’
the prairie to reconnoitre us from another side. To
meet this movement we had to turn our waggon
towards them, and they halted once more, and set up
a shout which, to my startled ears, sounded like an
Indian war-whoop. It was evident that they dis-
trusted us as much as we them. Some of us thought
that they might be white men; but that seemed too
good to be true, and if so, why should they dodge
about us in this hesitating style?

At length they appeared to have made up their
minds, for they advanced straight upon our little
- party, keeping their bodies well down under the long
grass, so that we could not count how many there
were of them. They would soon be within hailing
distance; and JI, for one, felt my heart beginning to
beat fast.

“Fire one at a time when I give the word, and
move about, not to let them see we haven’t all got
guns,” said the blacksmith in a low voice, never tak-
ing his eye off the on-comers; then there was a silence,
broken only by stifled sobs from the helpless little
crowd behind us.

Suddenly the schoolmaster, fumbling nervously with



AN ALARM ON THE MARCH. 85

his gun, let it off in the air, and no sooner had the
report died away, than one of the women, to relieve
her excited feelings, struck up a well-known hymn.
As her shrill voice rang over the prairie, our sup-
posed enemies had halted again, and one of them
bellowed out, using his hands as a speaking trumpet:

“Don’t shoot, if you are white people! It’s all
right!”

“They are soldiers!” cried someone on our side.
“T see the bayonets.” ;

A hearty shout that never came from Indian lungs
quickly drove away our doubts. The two parties ran
forward to. meet each other, and sure enough these
were soldiers, who for the last half hour had been
holding us in suspicion, the more so when they saw us
trying to get away from them. After all that had
happened in the last few days, it was small wonder if
men were inclined to be over-suspicious, but later on
we had a fine laugh against these warriors who had
shown so much respect for our little band. They
were a set of raw recruits, mere lads most of them,
provided with arms but no uniforms as yet, having
just enlisted for the Secession war. It was natural
for us, after all the scares we had gone through, to
take any strangers for enemies, seen by the uncertain
light; but they need hardly have made such a mistake,
as they had been sent out to look for and give assist-
ance to fugitives like ourselves.



86 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

At the time, however, we were too glad to see them
to find any fault with their over-caution. We had
plenty of news to give each other. Now we first
learned the extent of the misfortune, which lost
nothing in the telling during the panic of those first
few days. The soldiers indeed made out things even
worse than they were. They told us that the Indians
had attacked Fort Ridgeley and New Ulm, a little
German town which, it was feared, had been taken.
A whole army of warriors was in the field. All the
western border was deserted and ravaged; people
were pouring into the towns hour by hour. Hundreds
had arrived during the last two days at Oakwood
City, where an attack was expected at any moment.
So we were not yet out of danger, with the haven we
had looked forward to now close at hand.

At least it was a comfort to know that we had not
much further to go. We all moved on together by
the moonlight, which to the south and west was lost
in a wide-spread glow showing where the destroyers
were again at work. An hour or two’s march brought
us in sight of a group of twinkling lights that marked
our city of refuge. Before reaching it we were over-
taken by another band of fugitives, in waggons and
buggies, but as to the rest almost as destitute as our-
selves. There was quite a troop, then, of us who had
arrived to claim hospitality from the people of Oak
wood City.



AN ALARM ON THE MARCH. 87

When we came to the outskirts of the place, we
passed a crowd of men busy at work throwing up
earthworks by the light of torches, All was confusion
and bustle even at this late hour. Forcing our way
into the crowded street, we had some difficulty in
finding standing room for the vehicles that accom-
panied us. Every house was said to be as full as it
could hold; not a shed could be had to lie down under,
people told us, for love or money. A good job it was
for all these houseless families that their flight had
been in warm summer weather.

Our company now separated, going here and there
in search of quarters. For myself, I was too tired to
care much where I slept, now that at last I could
believe myself safe for the present among white men.
So I stayed in the waggon with Mrs. Withers and her
baby; and there we spent the night by the help of a
couple of blankets which some kind woman brought
us, and gave us a good supper into the bargain. She
would have taken us in, if there had not already been
twenty persons stowed away in her little house. I
shared my bed, such as it was, with the two German
settlers, who came back to us after searching in vain
for better accommodation; so we, too, had no room
to spare, but none of us, after what we had gone
through, were disposed to be too particular.

I took my sleep out that night, you may be sure,
and lay as long as I could for the noise that began



88 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

around me at an early hour. There were hundreds
of people with no snug beds to lie on and good cause
to keep them stirring. As I was making my way
through the crowded and encumbered streets, looking
out for some place where I might get a wash, I became
aware of a smart young gentleman following me about,
staring at me with an interest I could not account
for, till he caught me by the arm and cried:

“Say, boy, after you with my coat, if you don’t
mind!”

I felt all at once like a thief, remembering how I
had come by my borrowed plumage; but I told him
how it was, and he turned out to be one of the people
of that house where we had helped ourselves to food,
clothes, and lodging. He laughed good-naturedly at
my confusion, and told me to keep the jacket as long
as I liked and welcome, for the news of their house
being still safe was worth more than I had taken.
Then he carried me off to see his family and repeat
my story. Rich people as they were, I found them
all huddled up together now in one small shed, and
glad to be no worse off, as were many others. But
they had a waggon well stored with provisions, from
which I got a good breakfast and something to take
back to Mrs. Withers, with full excuse for the way
we had already drawn upon their hospitality without
invitation.

What a state the place was in! Oakwood City



AN ALARM ON THE MARCH. 89

was not much of a city as yet, only a village a few
years old, the houses mostly wood, with some hun-
dreds of inhabitants, now suddenly increased to thou-
sands, whom the citizens must feed and find room for,
I had never seen so many people together all my time
in Minnesota; a babel of emigrants of different
nations, speaking Swedish, French, German, and, for
all I know, half a dozen other languages, besides every
variety of English, Irish, and American dialect, the
greater number homeless and almost destitute. To
make things worse, many of them were sick and
wounded. Every building was crammed; churches,
schools, stores, saloons, warehouses, as well as private
houses, had all been turned into refuges. The only
hotel was the head-quarters of a company of armed
men hastily collected for the defence of the town;
and every man who could find a weapon held himself
ready to help. People had been sleeping on the
ground, in doorways, and under trees, wherever they
could get room to lie. A line of cooking-stoves
smoked along the streets; all the kitchens and ovens
were at work. The vacant spaces between the houses
were filled up with waggons and tents and cattle.
Beasts mingled with men, women, and children; at
some places you could hardly get through the crowd
of horses, cows, oxen, pigs, all lowing and neighing
and grunting as if it were a great market. Hungry,
masterless cattle had broken into the gardens, and



90 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY:

were eating up every green thing they could get
at.

And such a noise as there was among beasts and
men—cows bellowing for their calves, children crying
for their mothers, parents hunting after their children,
friends recognizing each other, neighbours exchanging
their stories of horror, officers shouting out commands,
trying to bring order into the confusion, all asking
for news, and wondering what was to happen next!
Every now and then there would be a fresh com-
motion, as new waggons and teams sought to force
their way into the place, for still the fugitives kept
arriving; and the prominent citizens who had been
chosen to manage affairs were at their wits’ end to
know what to do with them all.

Suddenly there was a great stir among the crowd,
and everybody set to running as fast as he could get
along.

“Tndians! the Indians!” they were shouting. At
the same time the church bell began to toll, which
had been given out as the sign of danger at hand.

Not a few turned pale at that cry. Women
snatched up their children and hurried into the
houses. Men hastened off to get their arms. I ran
with a little stream of people making for the out-
skirts of the village. A boy gave me a hand and
helped me up to the roof of a house, from which I saw
three Indian warriors on horseback standing like



AN ALARM ON THE MARCH. 91

statues upon a little ridge overlooking us. Two or
three rifles were fired at them, but they were out of
shot. After deliberately marking our defences, they
wheeled their horses and disappeared. Immediately
afterwards a party of our scouts came galloping back
across the prairie with news that an Indian army,
several hundred strong, lay behind that ridge, prepar-
ing to attack us.

"=f" :







CHAPTER Ix,

THE ATTACK ON THE CITY.

URING the last two or three days, the people
had been at work on their defences. The
village was now enclosed by a stockade with loop-
holes for firing, except where stone or brick houses
commanding the country beyond could be turned to
account as part of the fortifications. At the four
corners earthworks had been thrown up, strengthened
with logs so as to form protecting bastions, from
which the face of the stockades could be swept by a
raking fire; but one of these was not yet finished
when the Indians appeared. Several rifle-pits had
been dug in advance of the works. There was a small
brass cannon and an old howitzer to mount upon our
walls, besides which a number of “quaker” guns,
nothing more than harmless trunks, were prominently
displayed from port-holes in the bastions, in hope to
keep off the Indians through their dread of artillery.
I daresay other measures of defence had been taken,
but I am describing only what came under my own



THE ATTACK ON THE CITY. 93

notice. Colonel Johnson, an old soldier who had
gone through more than one Indian trouble, was ap-
pointed our commander.

Unfortunately many houses of the straggling village
lay outside our fortifications. From these, people
now came running in with such of their things as
they could carry, adding to the crowd already too
tightly packed into the enclosed space. But others
were at work driving out on the prairie whole herds
of cattle, so as partly to clear the streets; these beasts
must be abandoned to the Indians. At the last
moment the main street was closed up by a barricade
of overturned waggons and blocks of stone. Then we
were ready for the enemy.

Before that I had gone to look after Mrs. Withers.
Everybody was too busy to help or advise us; but the
old woman and I managed to shove the waggon behind
a house where it seemed likely to be out of the way of
bullets. This done, I went to the open space before
the hotel, on which our defenders had mustered and
were marching off to the several points of danger
under the officers elected. Only a few of them were
regular soldiers, and these, indeed, nothing but re-
cruits enlisted within the last few days. None had
uniforms; and their arms were just what they could
get—rifles, shot-guns, pistols, or merely bowie-knives.
But they all looked determined to fight to the last for
their wives and children, knowing, too, it was better



94 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

to die than to fall alive into the hands of those bar-
barous warriors.

There was no weapon to spare for a boy like me.
But I did not wish to be idle, and presently found
a place where I could make myself of some use. A
party had assembled at the Post-office, most of them
women, busily at work, some making cartridges, some
preparing lint and linen for bandages. Here I and
another boy were set to melting lead and running
bullets, a job which just suited us, though we stood over
a fire almost hot enough to melt ourselves that hot day.

But for all our zeal we felt it provoking to be shut
up here without knowing what went on outside. It
seemed a terribly long time till the fighting began:
the Indians, as I afterwards heard, had approached
with their usual caution, wheeling half round the
place out of range before making a rush to attack.
When the first shot was fired, a young woman near
me fell down in a faint, as if a bullet had hit her.
They said her lover was at the stockade. Most of the
others, however, showed more courage and had need
of it, for soon came a pealing volley and the roar of
our cannon, then we heard the distant screech of the
war-whoop above the answering fire of the Indians.
‘You may be sure our ears were on the stretch, but we
all worked on, though from time to time we would
stop to listen to the increasing din of the battle raging
within a few hundred yards of ug



THE ATTACK ON THE CITY. 95

It came nearer and nearer; thicker grew the fire
and louder the shouts. Now and then a bullet rattled
against the walls of the house. I could not keep down
my excitement. There were other boys who had been
told off to carry water and ammunition to the stock-
ades, and I thought they had the best of it. So when
there was no more lead to melt, I gladly took the ex-
cuse for running out to see how things were going.

Before I had gone far, an unpleasant sound made
me start: it was the broken whirr of a bullet rebound-
ing from a wall and passing close to my ear. Next I
saw a man in front of me suddenly throw up his arms
and fall dead in the street without a word or even a
groan. This again brought me to a stop, but as the
bullets seemed to be flying everywhere, I thought I
might as well go forward as hold back; and when
some women came out of the nearest house to look
after the fallen man, I was ashamed to put myself
under cover. So I made my way to the unfinished
bastion, where the din of fighting was loudest.

Inside of it I came across several other dead and
wounded men. Here, a little before, the Indians had
almost forced themselves into the place, but had been
driven back. Now, sheltered among the houses out-
side, they were keeping up a hot fire, to which our
defenders replied from their breastwork, or from be-
hind boxes, barrels, sacks, and whatever else they could
get as cover, At this place, as the point of danger,



96 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY,

was Colonel Johnson, exposing himself freely and en-
couraging his men; and here, too, our one real can-
non was mounted, which had already told fatally
among the enemy, as might be seen by the dead
bodies strewn close together at some little distance
upon its line of fire. Here the Indians were making
their main attack, a number of outlying buildings on
this side giving them. cover; but from the other end
of the village came a sound of firing, now and again
growing louder, then-dropping off into occasional
shots, which showed that they were at work there also.

“Out of the way, boy! What good are you here,
except to get hit if you don’t mind?” said one of the
soldiers, roughly shoving me back, as I was trying to
take a look over the barricade during a lull in the
assault.

“Let him be!” cried another; and I recognized the
blacksmith, my travelling companion, his face and
hands all grimy with powder, as if he had been work-
ing at his trade. ‘Come along, sonny; and stand by
me. You can be of use, if you are not afraid. Here’s
a gun for you to load—keep your eyes open and be
smart when the time comes.”

The blacksmith, being a first-rate shot, had two
guns in his charge, which I was to help him in load-
ing, taking the place of another boy who had just been
wounded. JI willingly attached myself to him as his
squire, for the sake of gratifying my curiosity, and



THE ATTACK ON THE CITY. 97

was not long in having my hands full of work. He
was explaining to me how the fight had gone hitherto,
when a renewed outcry interrupted his story. The
Indians were coming on again.

The blacksmith ran to his port-hole, and I stood
close behind him, loading and handing the spare gun
as fast as I could. I had just one glimpse of a band
of naked painted warriors, leaping, bounding, and
gesticulating, as they rushed forward towards our
walls, then the smoke hid all from where I stood.
For the next few minutes I knew nothing of the fight
but a terrible din of screeching and shouting and
shooting that might have frightened me if I had not
been kept so busy. As it was, I found time to think
with some dismay what I should do if a fierce savage
came jumping over the rampart. But this time the
enemy did not get to such close quarters. Their yel-
ling died away and a hearty cheer from the bastion
told that they had been driven back. Once more the
fight became an affair of occasional shots at any man
who exposed himself on either side.

Peeping over the breastwork and ducking my head
as often as a bullet came by, I could see for myself
what an advantage our enemy had in the houses and
haystacks which afforded them safe cover within a
few hundred yards of our walls. One party had esta-
blished themselves in a little farm so close to us, that

we could plainly hear the taunts and insults which
(547) G



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AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.
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“7 HARDLY DARED TO DRAW MY BREATH
AN

EMIGRANT BOY'S STORY.

BY

ASCOTT R. HOPE,

Author of “Stories of Old Renown;” “The Wigwam and the War-path;”
“Seven Wise Scholars;” &c.



LONDON:

BLACKIE & SON, 49 & 50 OLD BAILEY, B.C.
GLASGOW, EDINBURGH, AND DUBLIN.
CHar,
. THE OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION,

II.
IIL.
Iv.

VI.
VII.
Vill.
IX.

XI.
XII.

CONTENTS.

A Circunar FuicHt,
Across THE PRAIRIE,

A Visit From THE INDIANS, .

. THe Desertep Hovss,

Tue Banp or Fueirives, .
Ow tHE Roap to Oaxwoop Crry,
An ALARM oN THE Marcu,

Tse ATTACK ON THE Crry,

. A Dancrrous ERRAND,

A Granp BonFire, .

How tHe Crry was Savep,

Page

18
29
39
49
61
72
82
92

» 108
. 112
. 120



ALAS





AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

CHAPTER I.

THE OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION.

of 1862 in Minnesota. I can write it down
best in my own language, which I hope you
will improve a little in translating, for I am more used
to drive a team of horses thana pen. Of course I speak
only of what I saw myself, when a boy of about
fourteen. For the rest, you must go to histories and
to the newspapers of the time.

I am a German by birth, as you know, but I was
no more than twelve years old when I came to
America, as many people from my part of the country
did at the same time. I had nothing to keep me at
home, for my father and mother had died very poor,
leaving me to the care of an uncle who was not sorry
to get rid of me. A neighbour of his happened to be
emigrating ; he put me in charge of this man, and so

AG OU ask me to tell my story of the terrible days
PD s i


8 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

T came out to a new settlement on the western bor-
ders of Minnesota, where the white men were begin-
ning to make farms of the Indians’ hunting grounds.

At first I had little reason to be pleased with
this great change in my life; and many a time I
thought sadly of my old home far beyond the. sea.
My master, as I must call him, though they don’t
like this word in the States, was an ill-natured man
who used to get drunk and beat me for being idle, as
he said, but did not set any example of industry him-
self. Naturally a useless fellow like him would not
get on at farming, and he was too lazy even to hunt,
so we had a bad ‘time of it for the first winter. I
should have been half starved, had it not been for the
kindness of the neighbours. By and by, that drunken
rowdy and loafer made himself such a nuisance that
he got a strong hint to clear out, or it would be bad
for him. He suddenly left the neighbourhood ; I never
saw him again, and a good job it was.

I had no need of pity now, thus left to take care of
myself. A well-grown boy like me, who had strong
legs and arms and was willing to use them, would not
long want work in that part of the world, where
thousands of acres of fine prairie land lay ready to be
sown and reaped. I was taken into a family of the
name of Withers, honest religious Yankee folk who
were already in a fair way to prosper in their new
home. Here I soon became quite happy and con-
THE OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION. 9

tented, and it could have been only my own fault if I
had not got on well with these people. The old people
treated me like a son of their own; they had two boys,
Sam and Harrison, older than myself, fine tall hardy
young fellows, who teased me a little till I learned to
speak English better, but were friendly and good
natured enough; and in a few months I came to be
quite at home with them all, and liked the life very
well. There was plenty to do and plenty to eat, but I
put it all into a good skin, as Mr. Withers used to say.

Our clearing lay on the very outskirts of the settle-
ment, not far from the Indian reservation, where some
of the Sioux warriors now were trying to farm for
themselves, though they made but poor hands at such
work after being more accustomed to hunting and
scalping. The only thing that troubled us was ugly
stories about these Indians, which went about the
border from time to time: people said they meant to
break out some day and drive away all the white men
from Minnesota. But when we had heard such
rumours often, and nothing came of them, we began
to laugh at the idea of danger. All the red men who
passed our way seemed friendly and harmless enough,
though they bothered us sometimes by begging and
borrowing in a fashion which gave us no very high
opinion of them as neighbours.

When the summer of 1862 came, we were too much
taken up with the great Secession war to think much
10 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

about Indians ; the rebels and the battles in Virginia
filled the little newspaper which we got every week
from St. Peter; and we thought much more of
Jefferson Davis than of Little Crow, the Sioux chief,
whom I had seen one day at church, looking very
uncomfortable in a long-tailed black coat and collars
as big as a deacon’s, not at all the sort of man that
might be expected to take up the tomahawk.

Well, it was Monday morning, the 18th of August,
a day I am not likely to forget, and a good many
others will remember it all their lives. We had all
been up very early, haying in the meadow down by
the lake. Next day Sam was to leave us; he had
enlisted in a company to go and fight the rebels in
Virginia’; and he wanted to see all the hay got in
before he went. Two of the neighbours had come in
to help us.

What a hot day that was! I had nothing on but
my shirt and pants, and should like to have stripped
off even my skin, if I could have managed it. So I
for one was quite ready to hear the horn blow to call
us to dinner. But the others worked on with a will,
and all the time kept talking and joking, as if it
would take a good deal more to tire them. Old Mr.
Withers, however, had knocked off and gone up to
the house for a spell. Soon afterwards, I saw Harri-
son whispering to his big brother and looking slyly at
me, then Sam called out:
THE OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION. ll

“T believe you are falling asleep, Dutchy ”—that
was what they nicknamed me.—“ Here’s a job to keep
you awake! Go along after the old man and ask him
to give you the rick mould.”

“The rick mould! What’s that?” I asked.

“You go and ask, and you'll see,” said Sam, wink-
ing at the rest.

I wasn’t sorry to leave the team I had been leading
about for so many hours through the blackened stumps
that still filled this meadow; but as I moved off, I
heard them all laughing, and guessed that they were
playing a country trick upon me.

“ Never mind,” says I to myself, “I will go up to
the house and get a drink of milk, anyhow;” and Mr.
Withers wasn’t the man to be cross with me about
trifles, so I thought I should have the best of the joke,
whatever it was. Of course, as I might have known,
the “rick mould” was a kind of first of April joke,
only to make fun of me.

I went slowly up the edge of the corn-field, but on
getting to the house I forgot all about that fool’s
errand when I saw who had arrived just before me.
There were four Indians in full war-paint, with rifles,
tomahawks, and scalping-knives, a sight to make any
boy stare the first time he saw it. Mr. and Mrs.
Withers seemed not over well pleased to see these
visitors ; they were both at the door trying to keep
them from coming in, and to make out what they
12 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

wanted, while the two little girls stood peeping out of
the window like frightened rabbits; they had run
into the house for fear of the Indians.

Indeed, I held back myself for a minute before I
mustered up courage to draw near, all eyes for the
half-naked painted warriors and their weapons. Mr.
‘Withers wanted to know why they came thus armed;
and one of them explained, in broken English, that
they were on the war-path against their enemies, the.
Chippeways, at the same time drawing his hand
across his throat with a fierce look that made me feel
queer. They asked for whisky, which the old man
refused them; but Mrs. Withers brought them out a
bowl of milk, then, at their request, some lumps of
sugar, which the grim-looking men set to sucking as
greedily as children.

The one who appeared to be leader next pulled out
a long bright knife, and made signs that he wanted
to sharpen it. Mr. Withers pointed to the grindstone,
telling me to turn it for him. Iwould rather have not
been set on such a job for our alarming guest; but I
did as I was told, and while the Indian put a keen
edge on his blade he made me very uncomfortable
under the glances of his black twinkling eyes, like
those of a wild beast. There was a murderous look
about him and his knife, which seemed to be quite
sharp enough already.

Meanwhile the other Indians were pestering Mr.
THE OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION. 13

Withers, so far as I could understand, to let them see
what arms he had, and to swop a gun for one of
theirs. They began to beg noisily for different things,
becoming more rude and troublesome every minute.
One of them tried to push roughly past Mrs. Withers
to get into the house, but she kept the doorway,
speaking civilly to him, and asking him not to make
a noise, because the baby was asleep.

“This is going too far,” said her husband excitedly,
and cried to me, “Run down and tell the boys to
come here—quick !”

I left the grindstone and was off like an arrow, as
‘I should have willingly done sooner had the hint been
given me. It seemed high time to fetch help against
these dangerous strangers. But before I had run far
I heard a scream behind me, then the report of a gun,
and the screech of the bullet past my ear. . I looked
back to see the old man falling with-his hands thrown
up in the air; the chief had just stabbed him with
the very knife sharpened on his own grindstone.
Then Mrs. Withers came running out of the back
door with the baby in -her arms, and two of the
Indians after her.

“Run! Run!” she screamed wildly.

I stood horror-struck for a minute, unable even to
ery out, It was when I saw another of the red men
making towards me that I tore myself from the spot
and plunged into the corn-field close beside. There I
14 AN EMIGRANT BOY'S STORY.

ran like a hare between the tall rows of Indian corn,
fancying every moment that the wretch with his
dripping knife was at my heels. I hardly looked
where I went. Only on reaching the other side of
the field did I stop for one moment to think what I
should do next.

In my confusion I had taken the wrong way for
the lake. The Indians had headed me off on that side.
As I stood breathlessly listening, there came two more
shots from that direction. The men down there must
have already heard the screams to show them that
something was wrong. It would be too late to warn
them, and the best thing I could think of doing was
to run as hard as I could to our nearest neighbour’s.
This was a man called Pearce, who lived in a cabin in
the woods, and was more of a hunter and fisherman
than a farmer; he had spent a good deal of his life
among Indians, so would be just the man to turn to
in such a case. I knew there had been lately some
ill-blood between him and the Withers family, through
a dispute about a horse trade; but after what had
happened, he surely would not remember any such
petty grudges.

So I hurried on towards his cabin, my heart beating
like a small steam-engine. But just where the woods
began, what did I runupon? Pearce was lying across

the path, his face covered with blood, his hands
clenched in the grass, murdered like Mr, Withers.
THE OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION. 15

We had heard one or two shots in the wood half an
hour before, but had paid no attention to them, taking
it of course to be someone out hunting.

He was quite dead, as I saw, though hardly able to
bring myself to examine the body. On it lay a faded
crushed photograph, done by a travelling artist, the
picture of an Indian ludicrously hideous in “stove-
pipe” hat, black coat, and white shirt front, such as
some of the warriors were in the way of wearing on
great occasions, those “cut hair” Indians especially
who had made a show of settling down as farmers.
This strange sign for such a purpose must have been
left as the murderer’s mark of pride in his handiwork.
So far as I could make out, it was not the picture of
any of the four men who had come to our house.

I durst not stop long, to look or to think what this
might mean. MHorrified, I ran on towards the next
house, the Browns’ farm, which stood just beyond a
low ridge rising from the lake. A little way before I
reached the top, one of the young Browns came rush-
ing over it as if to meet me. How glad I was to see
a white man! But when he came nearer, his looks
struck me with dismay. This big fellow was white as
a ghost; he stared wildly straight before him, without
appearing to see me; his lips moved, but he made no
-sound as he flew past, not noticing that I tried to stop
him and asked eagerly what was the matter.

“Stop! Stop! The Indians are down there—they
16 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

are killing the people!” I shouted after him in vain;
he sped on towards the lake like a man gone crazy.

His terror infected me; I trembled like a leaf, and
looked about for some place of hiding, but there was
none near. More cautiously now, dreading what
every step might bring, I gained the top of the ridge,
from which the Browns’ place came into sight. There
it was all in a blaze, house, sheds, and stacks, yet I
could see nobody busy in putting out the fire. When
I turned round, my eye caught a thin column of
smoke rising where the Withers’ house lay hidden by
a swell of the ground ; and there were other clouds to
be seen at different points. Our enemies must be at
the same work all over the neighbourhood.

The next thing I saw and heard was a party of
Indians firing into a clump of bushes not far off.
They got sight of me almost as soon as I of them;
and their unearthly whoops made my blood run cold.
I did not wait to see them give chase. Without
looking behind, I flew down the slope towards an arm
of the lake, half creek and half swamp, and dashed
into the cover of a thick bed of reeds by the edge.

As I stood there bent down beneath the reeds, up
to my waist in water, panting and quaking like a
hunted beast, I could hear the voices of the savages
who, I made sure, were in search of me. They passed
close to me, then came back on the bank above; and

more than once I thought my heart was going to
(547)
THE OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION. i

stand still. I hardly dared to draw my breath till
the sounds passed away. Would they come back?

I had an old red check shirt, the bright colour of
which would certainly have betrayed me if I had not
been so well hidden. I drew it off, crouching down
as far as I could in the mud and weeds, and clutching
a root to keep myself from slipping on the slimy
bottom. Then the mosquitoes settled on my half-
naked body, while the noonday sun beat down on my
head; my straw hat had been lost in the haste of
that last flight. But for some time I did not attempt
to stir, lest a rustle or the shaking of the reeds should
draw the notice of the Indians, who had fired two or
three shots at random among the sedge as if to startle
me out of my concealment.

Presently, however, the pain of the mosquito stings
became unbearable. I could not venture to move a
hand to drive them away, but I crept out into a
deeper part, till all but my head was under water.
This was a relief: the coolness refreshed me, and the
tormenting insects did not so much care to settle on
my face, pretty well hardened as it was to their
attacks. Here I remained for I daresay the best
part of an hour, till I had overcome the first violence
of my agitation and was able to think more calmly
over the chances of escape.

(547) B


CHAPTER II.

A CIRCULAR FLIGHT.

T would be no good telling all I thought and felt in
that hour, and for many hours to come, excited
by events that might well bewilder a young lad who
never dreamed to find himself in such scenes of havoc
as now beset me. Not till all had long been quiet
about my place of refuge, so far as I could perceive,
did I slink out, peeping anxiously before me. My
shirt, clean the day before, was too much discoloured
by the mud and dirt of the swamp to be very notice-
able at a distance. Wringing it out and putting it
on to dry upon my back, I crept stealthily along the
bank, ready to dive into cover again at the first
alarm.

The only sign of life to be seen now was the
smouldering embers of what had been the Browns’
house, and the stacks still blazing fiercely. I had not
the heart to go nearer, in dread of what would there
meet my eyes, almost as much as of the Indians who
might still be lurking about. I found some wild
raspberries and a few ears of corn to eat; I did not
A CIRCULAR FLIGHT. 19

know when I should be able to get a better meal.
Then crawling from bush to bush, and from tuft to
tuft, I mounted the ridge till I came where there was
a wide view of the rolling prairie, a great sea of grass,
as yet dotted only here and there by the fields and
buildings of the settlers.

Which way should I turn? On every side but the
east I was warned off by columns of smoke, some
close at hand, some many miles away. To the east I
must make my escape as soon as it began to grow
dark, and in that direction lay the nearest gathering
of houses which might be called a town. This the
Indians would surely not dare attack; but it seemed
little likely that any of the scattered inhabitants of
our neighbourhood had been able to make a stand,
even could I have learned where to join them.

By this time the extent of the destruction and all
the circumstances—from the savages appearing in
war-paint to that photograph left in bravado on the
victim’s breast—showed me that it was no mere act
of stealthy crime with which we had to do, but a
regular Indian raid, like those I had often heard
about as a matter of history and tradition, and had
listened eagerly to such tales when I never thought
to see one enacted before my eyes.

The rest of the afternoon I stayed hiding about the

-same spot, keeping a good look-out on every side and
anxiously wondering how it had fared with the
20 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

Withers and our neighbours. Once a party of
Indians came quite close to me, then I drew back
among the grass, in many places so high as to let me
stand almost upright without being seen. To my no
small discomposure, the warriors seemed also bent on
hiding themselves just below my retreat. They made
their short well-trained ponies lie down in the grass,
and with wreaths of it about their ugly heads kept
peeping out so cautiously that it took a sharp eye
to distinguish them among the green. Half-a-dozen
times I fancied that they must have spied me out;
but presently I saw that they were concerned with
larger game.

_ Coming along the road from the lake, there appeared
another party, a waggon piled up with household
goods, among which sat a man and woman and two
or three children. It was for them that the Indians
were evidently lying in ambush. I could hardly bear
to keep still and watch these unfortunate white people
running into the very danger they must be seeking to
flee with all haste, casting anxious glances behind as
they whipped on the horses.

“Turn back! Turn back!” I exclaimed under my
breath, not daring to do more; yet I had almost
resolved to spring forth and shout out a warning at
the pitch of my voice, though that must have brought
the Indians upon myself. I measured the distance
between me and the waggon, then between it and the


a





A CIRCULAR FLIGHT. 21

hidden warriors, and saw too plainly that they would
cut me off before I had a chance of reaching the white
people to get such help as they could give. It would

be mere madness, sacrificing myself as well as them.

And yet, how could I stand silent to see them
butchered before my eyes!

But as I hesitated, those in the waggon seemed to
have some suspicion of the trap laid for them. They
stopped short, and the man caught up his gun, looking
earnestly ahead. They were soon put out of doubt.
The Indians, taking it that they were discovered,
came from their concealment and rode briskly towards
the waggon, which was at once turned round, and
driven back by the way it had come. Now for a
chase, which I watched with intense excitement.

The woman took the reins, urging on the horses to
their utmost speed. Her husband presented himself
at the back, one of his little sons at his side, both
pointing guns upon the advancing Indians, who at
this show of fight checked their horses and swerved
aside, scattering over the prairie, as if to surround
the little party. But they held back before the
threatening muzzles, cowardly as well as cruel! They
shouted after the fugitives, putting their own guns
behind them, and making signs of friendliness. I
feared for a moment that the white people might be
cheated into trusting them. Butno! they must have
already had clear enough proof of Indian treachery,
22 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY,

for on they went all the faster, flinging out behind
_one thing and another to lighten the waggon, and
keeping those human wolves at bay with their guns.
Presently a dip of ground hid them and the pursuers,
who followed at a safe distance, yet always drawing
nearer; and I was left straining my ears to catch the
sound of firing. It was not for several minutes that
I heard two or three guns go off almost together down
by the lake, then one fiendish burst of screeching and
no more; so I could not know for certain whether or
not this poor family had made good their escape.
Such a spectacle made me all the more impatient to
be moving on my own search for some place of safety.
But FT thought best to wait till it grew almost dark,
then started off over the open prairie. I kept away
from the road, because there I should be more likely
to fall in with those savages. Picking out the North
Star by the pointers of Charles’ Wain, I steered my
-course eastward as well as I could. The whole sky
was lit up with fires, far and near, beacons warning
me off from danger; and sometimes I heard a shot in
the distance that brought be to a stand for a moment
like a startled hare, then sent me hurrying along an
altered course: So on I went for hours; stopping
from time to time, listening intently to every sound,
and quenching my thirst by sucking dew from the
long blades of grass.
I was hungry as well as thirsty, and, tired enough
A CIRCULAR FLIGHT. 23

before setting out, I found myself growing more and
more weary now that I had no longer the sense of
immediate danger to keep me up. My toes and ankles
were cut by the coarse prairie-grass; for I had gone
barefoot all the day. My-skin smarted froii mosquito
stings, and my head ached after so tiuch éxposure to
the hot stn: Altogether, a boy could hardly have
been in a sorrier state for a long journey, yet I was
thankful at least to have my scalp still to myself.
After hobbling along for two or three hours, I lay
down and tried to get a little sleep on the bare ground,
first saying my prayers in my own native language;
which for some time I had almost forgotten to use.
That helped me to think that I was not all alone under
the open sky.

“Am I ever to sleep in a bed again?” I asked
myself; then I shuddered to remember the poor
fellows lying dead on the prairie, without even a
grave to rest in. If I could only forget for a; little!

But I could not lie still, my mind excited no less
than my body fatigued by all I had gone through in
that dreadful day, which had so suddenly cut off my
only friends in the world and driven me out for my
life among such fierce enemies. It was in vain that
I counted the stars, trying to lull myself to sleep:
‘When I shut my eyes they were filled with distressing
pictures of the events now haunting me like a night-
mare. And if I slept at all it was by fits and starts;
24 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

troubled by broken dreams bringing back the horrors
that had been crowded into the last few hours.

It seemed better to keep moving than to rest thus
unrefreshed. I got up and limped forward, stiff and
sore, shivering in my thin dress, all drenched with
dew, and with the thick mist which had now gathered
on the prairie. So thick was it that I had to grope
my way, holding straight ahead as well as I could
judge in the total darkness, with hands outstretched
before me by a kind of instinct; though I knew that,
if I were right about the direction, there was not so
much as a tree to run against for hours of march at a
much greater speed than I could make.

When the mist grew lighter, showing daybreak at
hand, I took comfort to believe that I must have put
many a mile between me and that scene of Indian
atrocity. I heard a cock crow, and turned a little
that way, hoping to come upon some farm not yet
visited by the enemy. The mist now lay all round
me in a white cloud, through which by and by I
caught the outlines of a snake fence, looming so
strangely large that at first I stopped to wonder
what it might be. Then recognizing this familiar
sight, I hailed it as a guide that might direct me to
help and company.

Following the fence, and with the cock crowing
also to lead me on, I soon came upon other signs of
cultivation—a potato patch, the edge of a stubble
A CIRCULAR FLIGHT. 25

field, deep wheel ruts, in which my sore feet stumbled
more than once. One farm on the prairies is much
the same to look at as another, and I took it for quite
a matter of course to run upon a muck heap just like
ours. But I opened my eyes wide when I came upon
a waggon left out in a corner, that seemed somehow
well known to.me, and stooped down to read Mr. ~
Withers’ name painted on a box which the boys had
turned into a rabbit-hutch. s rubbed my eyes and
looked sharply around; and all at once the truth
flashed across me. I must have been walking nearly
in a circle, and come back to.the very place which
till yesterday had been my home. Then, fairly
discouraged for the first time, I threw myself down
with a groan of despair; and I may as well confess
that, big boy as I was, my feelings found relief in a
good cry.

Yes, it was the Withers’ house, though one might
hardly have known it again, even when the growing
light let me see clearer—ruined and abandoned! The
fences had been broken down, the garden flowers
trampled, the stacks and sheds burned. The yard
was thickly strewn with a litter of smashed crockery,
torn clothes and papers, charred fragments, pieces of
broken barrels and boxes, scraps of food, the bodies
of hogs and fowls killed in mere wanton barbarity.
The inside of the house was completely gutted; every-
thing that could not be destroyed or carried off seemed
26 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

to have been piled up into a great honfire, the ashes
of which I found still warm. There perhaps the
farmer's body had been burned, for I could see
nothing of it, though there were marks of blood to
show where he fell. An attempt must have been
made to burn the house too; one end of it was
blackened by fire. All the beasts had either strayed
loose, or been driven away by the Indians.

I was afraid to search further, still shrinking from
the thought of what I might find. But when I had
made sure that there was nobody in the house, living
or dead, I did go a little way down towards the lake,
and ventured to call out twice or thrice, starting at
the sound of my own voice in this terrible solitude.
At first there was no answer, then I heard a feeble
wail, that came, as it were, out of the ground.

‘““Who’s there?” I exclaimed, and again rose this
strange echo.

I looked about and saw something white among the
bushes by the path. It was a baby, Mrs. Withers’
baby, poor little Johnny, its clothes all wet like my
own, and its face sadly grimed and slobbered, but, so
far as I could see, it had got no hurt. Some way
further down the hill there were signs of a struggle.
I could only guess that the mother, finding herself
hard pressed by the Indians, had thrown her child
into the bushes as the best chance of saving its life.
Then I went on to the meadow where thé hay still
A CIRCULAR FLIGHT. 27

lay in heaps, half gathered into a waggon, which had
been overturned, and the horses taken out. There
was nobody to be seen.

I went back to the house, on the way picking up
the baby, who cried incessantly, and was not to be
stilled for all my rough nursing. I pulled off its wet
clothes and washed its face, but that only made it cry
louder than ever. JI took a great deal of trouble in
awkwardly trying to hush it to sleep, but no good!
The baby went on screaming as if it were going to
have a fit; and for the first time in my life I saw
how stupid we male creatures are in some things,
compared to women.

At last it occurred to me that the poor thing must
be hungry, as I might have already known from my
own empty stomach. I put it to bed in a meal bag
which was lying near the door, out of which I first
shook a few handfuls of corn meal still left in the
bottom. Some of this I mixed into gruel in a broken
cup, warmed it up a little on the ashes of the bonfire,
and fed young Johnny, who did not take very kindly
to the stuff, but got down a little, left off his crying,
and, to my great satisfaction, ended by going to sleep.

Now I was able to attend to my own wants. JI eat
a little meal, a cucumber, and some potatoes out of
the garden, which I contrived to roast in the ashes;
but I was hungry enough to eat them raw. Then,
feeling rather less downhearted, I sat on the threshold,
28 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

keeping guard over the baby’s slumbers, and asked
myself what I should do next.

Should I stay here, hiding till some white men
came to the rescue, or resume my flight eastwards?
While I was still drowsily thinking over it, and had
almost gone off to sleep, the sound of distant firing
down by the lake startled and decided me. I would
take the baby and make off, keeping my eyes open for
Indians, and hoping soon to fall in with other fugitives
in less helpless plight than we were.






CHAPTER III.

ACROSS THE PRAIRIE,

T once I set about making preparations. I tied
round my sore feet what bits of rag I could col-
lect, and even managed to shoe myself, after a fashion,
with the boards of a book which had escaped the fire,
and now came in handy by way of soles. Out of a
great cabbage-leaf J made myself a hat; for by this
time the sun had driven away the mist, and promised
another scorching day. Luckily, like a true country
boy, I had a knife and plenty of string in the pockets
of my pants, though nothing else. I got a piece of
sacking to turn into a bag which I could sling over
my back, and stuffed it with raw potatoes and onions,
and a gingerbeer bottle full of meal for the baby. I
also found on old ham bone, thrown away as only fit
for the dogs; this was not to be despised now, so I
took it and other odds and ends from the rubbish, till
I had got as much as I could well carry.
As soon as the baby woke up I fed it again, then made
ready to set out. A few steps showed it was no joke
carrying a baby. T wondered how the girls were able
30 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

to do it, forgetting all the practice they had, heginning
while the youngster was at his lightest. And, carry
it as gently as I could, the baby would ery, putting
me in a sad puzzle to know what it wanted. It
seemed to me that a few minutes of this work
would be more than enough for my taste; yet I
might have to go on with it for days, so far as I could
see.

Just as we were leaving the place, my eye fell upon
an old battered umbrella which had escaped the
destructive hands of the Indians. I saw more than
one use to which this could be put, so I took it with
me, full as my arms already were. Thus encumbered
like a tramping Robinson Crusoe, I set out along a
path leading to the ferry where the settlers hereabouts
crossed in going to Oakwood City. That was the
nearest town, for which I meant to make; but it lay
many miles beyond the river, how many J did not
exactly know, only that it took more than a day’s
journey even in a buggy with good horses, and I had
to do it on foot and carry a baby all the way.

Were any of its family alive to thank me? These
unfortunate people had always been kind to me; and
the least I could do was trying my best to bring their
child to some place of safety, where it might be cared
for better than lay in my power. The poor boy was
at least lucky in not being old enough to know how
he had been made an orphan like myself. Would he
ACROSS THE PRAIRIE, 31

find such good friends as I had done in this ruined
home—should I ever find such again?

But thinking glopmily over it could-be of no more
good than crying to either of us. I must be up and
doing for both. So after climbing the highest tree
about the place, to make sure that the coast was
clear, I once more set forward with what courage I
could muster up for this not very promising enter-
prise.

Before getting well out of sight of the house to
which I now said such a sorrowful good-bye, I had
to stop and adjust my load better. Knotting together
the sack of provisions and the bag in which I had
stowed the baby, I slung them, one at my back and
the other in front as a make-weight, and changed
them about from time to time. In this way, though
still bending under the weight, I was able to go along
better, with the umbrella for a staff, to make me look
more like a crippled old beggar. I meant it to serve
as a weapon in case of need; I would lash my knife
to the point and make a spear with which to keep off
wolves or wild cats, if any such enemy tried to
meddle with us. But more formidable foes might be
in the way!

Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention, and
after a little I hit upon another use to which the
umbrella could be put. I opened it out, turned it
over on the ground, laid the baby inside, and dragged
32 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

him behind me much more comfortably for myself,
though Johnny had now some excuse for crying out
at all the jolts and bumps he got in this novel kind of
perambulator. But I had to harden my heart to his
cries, determined for the sake of both of us, on getting
forward as fast as possible. This means of locomotion,
however, I did not use for long together, but only now
and then to give my burdened shoulders a rest; for the
little-used path was all overgrown with grass, and I
feared that the marks left by towing the umbrella
along might guide the Indians along our trail.

I might have saved myself the trouble of thinking
about that; the faintest footprint would have been a
clear enough track for their keen eyes. By good luck
I saw no Indians now, though I more than once heard
distant firing, and dark columns of smoke were still
visible on the horizon. Going cautiously and often
resting, as I was obliged to do, it was afternoon before
I reached the ferry, already nearly exhausted by heat
and fatigue.

The ferry-boat was gone, the house of the ferryman
empty and plundered like our own. I had _ half
expected this. Still I was bent on getting across
somehow, not only to follow the straightest way to
Oakwood City, but because I should feel rather safer
when J had put the river between me and those red
murderers.

I took off my foot coverings, such as they were,
ACROSS THE PRAIRIE. 33

slung all my load over my back, and set to wading
down the stream, which was delightfully refreshing to
these galled feet of mine, while thus my trail became
lost to any Indians that might follow it. I kept
looking out for some means of crossing, and before
long came upon a board box stranded among the
drift-wood by the bank and half full of water. I
baled it out with a broken cup I had brought from
the farm, stopped the chinks with hay and leaves, and -
guessed it would keep dry enough to carry me over
the river, which was luckily not very wide here. Then
gingerly J embarked myself and my charge, and
shoved out into the stream, paddling with a piece of
board towards the opposite bank. I even amused
myself by hoisting the umbrella for a sail, which
shows that my natural boyish spirits were coming
back when I had indeed all need of them. It was no
matter of amusement, however; our frail vessel would
keep turning round and round, and leaked so much
that I had to be baling and paddling by turns all the
way. But we got over safely, landing just in time
not to sink.

There was a good bit of timber on the bank, among
which I resolved to make a halt. I dined off the ham
bone and raw vegetables, along with some nuts and
wild plums found in the wood; and I stirred up a
little more gruel for the baby. That noisy fellow-

traveller, after going to sleep for a bit, woke up to
(547) oC
34 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

scream as usual, till I feared it might bring the
Indians upon us if they were anywhere about, so I
thought we might just as well be moving on instead
of waiting for night as I had at first intended. I
hushed and nursed it awkwardly as I could; I tickled
it and made faces at it with the result of frightening
the poor thing almost into fits; I tried to recall the
nursery songs of my own country, then finding this
true American child refused to admire them, I did my
best to imitate Mrs. Withers singing “Hush a bye,
baby, on the tree top,” and so forth; but it was much
too wide awake to be taken in by my unskilful
attempts, though it certainly deigned to relent a little
when I whistled “Jump Jim Crow,” and other choice
negro melodies. The only thing I could hit upon to
stop its noise was letting it suck the buckle of the
strap I wore round my waist; and this did quiet it
for a little, but there was a fresh outbreak when I
had to take the strap away to gird myself up for the
journey. —

I must say, babies are very unreasonable; and this
one seemed to me to have more humours and speechless
discontents than any baby I had ever had to do with,
which may mean that I never had much to do with
any baby but this one, poor fellow! I am sure ]
would have done anything possible to pacify him, had
I only known how. When I come to think of it, the
flies and mosquitoes were very troublesome in this
ACROSS THE PRAIRIE. 35

wood, and though I did my hest to keep them off him,
they must have worried little Johnny almost as much
as myself, and given him some reason for crying.
That was another reason for not staying here long.

After a halt, then, of two or three hours, we set
out again, not knowing where might be the next
resting-place. All I thought of was to get on. Before
long I struck fresh marks of wheels going right over
the prairie eastward, which I followed instead of
searching for the road. There was also a trail of
feathers scattered here and there, as if from a torn
bed. By these signs I guessed that there must be
a party of fugitives in front of me, riding in two or
three waggons, as the marks showed. If I could only
come up with them! But how was I to do that on
my sore feet and hampered by the baby? My hope
was that they would encamp for the night long enough
to let me overtake them, so on I went, making des-
perate efforts to forget my fatigue.

I had to halt more than once, however, when I saw
parties of Indians riding across the prairie in the dis-
tance. It was, then, a mistake to suppose that I
should find none on this side the river. But they did
not come nearer me; and I lay low in the grass till
they were out of sight, fretting at the delay, and yet
not sorry for the rest. I had also to wait once or
twice while I renewed the bandages on my feet,
soaked and stiff with blood. I had to cut a piece off
36 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

the legs of my pants for this purpose, at which rate I
should soon be going bare-legged, if I could find
nothing else suitable.

Another trouble was thirst, for now we came to no
more water. My dinner of ham and unripe nuts had
left me very thirsty; and this afternoon was hotter
than ever, a sweltering oppressive heat that made me
regret the shade of that wood, mosquitoes and all.
How I reproached myself for not having brought
some kind of vessel to carry water in! I could not
even find a stone to suck and cool my parched mouth,
as I crawled along, ready again and again to fling
myself on the ground and give up if I had not been
driven on by burning thirst. What would I have not
promised for a draught of water! I was glad to wet
my hard lips with the perspiration from my shirt.

When night came on I had hoped to find relief by
licking the dew off blades of grass as before; but
this night they were dry as my own mouth. There
were ominous signs of the weather. A scorching
wind had sprung up, so that even the cool of evening
failed us. The air was filled with buzzing insects.
The sun set in an angry crimson glow, then darkness
came on quickly, and not a star peeped out of the
clouded sky. Before long, the wind suddenly drop-
ping, the air again grew strangely still and close.
There was no sound but the rustling in the dry
grass, as alarmed animals scudded back to their bur-
ACROSS THE PRAIRIE, 37

rows; they knew what was at hand. And I could
guess; even the tormenting cloud of insects vanished
before the growing storm, from which where could we
look for shelter?

It burst upon us suddenly, though distant rumblings
had warned me of its approach. All at once there
was a rattling peal of thunder above our heads, and
down came the rain in big drops and bigger, that wet
us both through before I could get up the umbrella.
There was water enough now, if I could have given
myself to the delight of letting it run into my parched
mouth. But the violence of the storm was really
alarming. A grand spectacle it would have been to
anyone not exposed to its fury in the open prairie!
The lightning blazed all around us; the rain came
down in torrents, against which that broken and torn
umbrella was of no use. The best I could do was to
turn my back to the rain and crouch down over the
baby, trying to hush its cries and whimperings,
drowned in the roar of the thunder.

But presently, by one of the flashes, I caught sight
of something on the prairie before us, which at first I
took for a house or a tree. Shelter close at hand! I
snatched up the baby and ran towards it, both of us
drenched like a couple of water-rats. We soon reached
the doubtful object, and it proved to be a covered
waggon, standing empty on the prairie. I lost no
time in getting in, and had the satisfaction of find-
38 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

ing a heap of dry straw. We were in luck after
all!

I was too tired to do more than feel heartily
thankful for this unexpected relief. Tucking up the
baby in one corner, I stripped off my wet clothes and
huddled myself among the straw. Then quickly [ fell
asleep, without caring what the storm did outside.
ON

Bs Wile



CHAPTER IV.
A VISIT FROM THE INDIANS.

WAS awakened by the baby crying lustily for his
breakfast, as he might have been doing half a dozen
times through the night, poor little fellow, considering
how long now he had gone hungry, and that he had
not so much reason to be tired and sleepy as I. So
sound had I slept that it was a minute or two before
I could gather my wits to cease puzzling where I was,
or remember how I had come there. Then looking
out of my place of shelter, I saw it was already late
in the morning, late for the like of me, that is, about
the time when fine folks in cities would be getting up.
The storm had worked itself out. The sky was freshly
blue, and the ground all soaking and sparkling under
a bright sun, that shone upon miles and miles of grass
around us, without even a tree to break the prospect.
Looking about the waggon I found a confusion of
things, some of them most welcome to travellers as
destitute as the baby and myself. There were several
articles of household furniture which we could easily
have spared; but among the heap I picked out such
40 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

useful windfalls as a tin pannikin, a bag of flour, a
piece of good bacon, and an old quilt or rug of odds
and ends sewn together, just the thing I wanted to
make a bed for my young charge. A quantity of other
goods and stores were lying tumbled about on the
ground; and it was clear enough that the party of
fugitives in front of us must have here relieved them-
selves of so much of their belongings to be able to
press on more rapidly. With their leavings the baby
and I had the means of setting up house in the middle
of the prairie, and faring not badly for a few days, if
this seemed desirable. I had a good mind to encamp
here, keeping a sharp watch for Indians, and waiting
the chance of some white people coming to join us.

But this question did not need to be considered till
after having something to eat; and I bestirred myself
to get my young companion’s breakfast that he might
hold his noise. With some flour and rain-water, and
a little sugar that I found in a paper bag, I made pap
as well as I could, and had the satisfaction of seeing
him take it down with apparent approval. Besides,
I gave him a piece of fat bacon to suck, which also
seemed to please him, for he laughed and clenched his
little fists, and let his mouth remain stopped by this
agreeable gag; nor was I less pleased to find myself
turning out such a skilful nurse.

Fat bacon was a thing I had never liked much
myself; but now I was ready to eat anything. Before
A VISIT FROM THE INDIANS. 41

beginning my own breakfast, however, I thought of
looking out again, and my heart gave a great jump when
I saw a band of people on horseback riding towards the
waggon. They were still some way off, but as they
came nearer my hopes rose high to think from their
dress that they must be white men. A minute or
so more and I fancied that I could make out women
among them; and in my joy I cast about for some
thing to wave out of the waggon by way of hailing
them and quickening their approach.

Then it occurred to me that I was stark naked,
in no state to receive visitors. Having nobody but
this baby for company, whose own habits and manners
hardly gave him a right to be particular on such points,
I had been treating myself to an air-bath while I had
my wet clothes hung out behind the waggon to dry
in the sun. So I drew back and hastily slipped on
my shirt and pants to make myself presentable, then,
returning to the front of the waggon, I was about to
raise a shout of welcome, when a sudden suspicion of
the new-comers struck me dumb. Though they wore
civilized coats and hats, there was that in their looks
and gestures which seemed more like Indians than
white men; and from the manner in which one or two
sat their horses, I guessed they must be drunk so
early in the day.

“ Redskins!” exclaimed I with my heart in my
mouth, darting back like a rabbit into its hole.
42 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

Drunk or sober, they had still enough of habitual.
caution to halt for a moment before approaching the
waggon, as if to make quite sure that no danger need
be feared. That moment I used to catch up the
child and slip down with it at the back of the
waggon, from which, hoping to be unseen, I could
watch their approach. JI had just time to get snugly
hidden before they came up.

Indians they were, sure enough, tricked out in the
queerest disguise of white men’s dress. There were
eight or nine of them altogether, wearing the best
coats and other sundry finery of some poor settlers
over their own absurd war-paint. One had a high
black hat with a feather stuck in it; another, a clean
white shirt worn outside of everything else, and not
likely to be clean much longer; a third was grimly
ridiculous in a gaudy woollen nightcap which had
taken his fancy. Two or three had on women’s
shawls and petticoats, the bright colours of which no
doubt recommended them as garments worthy of
warriors; but they were riding astraddle all the
same, which made this travesty the more ludicrous.
Though they cut most comical figures, I had no heart
to langh when I saw them thus adorned in the spoils
of their victims. They were mostly riding good
horses, also taken from the settlers; and their own
ponies were loaded with a miscellaneous collection of
booty.
A VISIT FROM THE INDIANS. 43

Luckily, with the morning sun shining in their
eyes, they appeared not to have detected me; and I
kept well out of sight, though not of hearing, under a
high clump of grass beaten down by the storm, so as
just to make a cover for us on all sides but one. If
only the baby would hold its tongue for once! To
my surprise the baby behaved himself like a man.
He went on quietly sucking his piece of bacon with
a faint gurgle of pleasure, his eyes closed; and I fer-
vently hoped that he might be falling asleep in spite
of this sudden disturbance. I could have kissed him!

But would it last? There had been no time to
make his toilet; I had taken off his wet things before
breakfast, and now he had nothing on but a few
straws sticking about his dimpled skin, so it was as
much as my scalp was worth to lay him on the damp
ground for fear of bringing out a squall. Thus I sat
squatting in a most awkward attitude, hugging him
in my lap, and not daring to stir.

The Indians had dashed up, dismounted, scrambled
into the waggon, and set to rummaging its contents
like any common robbers. I heard them talking
loudly, and even laughing, making noise enough to
drown a beginning of alarmed whinings on the part
of my inconvenient companion, which luckily I was
able to hush into silence before they grew loud enough
to do any harm.

But fancy my anxiety! Any moment might bring
44 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

those merciless savages upon me: they had only to
take a turn a few yards at the back of the waggon to
discover us. It was not death-only that I feared
from them, though I shivered to, imagine the blood-
stained tomahawk already glittering above my head.
I thought it might be my fate to be carried off into a
loathsome captivity as bad as death; for I remembered
having heard it was their way to spare lively young
people to make Indians of, and I may say without
vanity that I was a strong and well-grown boy as any .
of my age in these days. I crouched down lower, and
earnestly prayed God to aid me in this trying sus
pense. The baby opened his eyes and looked up into
mine and smiled, and said “Goo, goo” in his faint
chuckling voice; and I had to smile back at him, and
tickle him under the ear to keep him quiet, but
heaven knows that I was in no mind for playfulness!

At last my ordeal came to an end. The Indians
did not remain five minutes, which to me seemed an
hour. Finding nothing in the waggon worth then
pains, they remounted, and J, not daring even to peer’
out for a minute or two, drew my breath freely when
I heard them gallop off. They took the direction of
the ferry from which I had come. Not till their
figures were dots on the horizon did I crawl forth,
putting my hand to my head to make sure that my
scalp was still safe, and that my shock of flaxen hair
had not been standing on end.
A VISIT FROM THE INDIANS. 45

_ After such a.narrow escape I lost no time in get-
ting away from the waggon, too prominent an object
in this flat landscape to be a safe retreat for us. I
loaded myself with as much of its useful contents as
I could carry, turning out my store of raw vegetables
in favour of better provisions; and I slung the baby
over my back again. One thing I missed—that
umbrella of mine. It was the only thing the Indians
had thought worth carrying off; half with amusement
and half with annoyance, I had seen it brandished
over the head of one of the disappearing warriors.

I should have been thankful for its shelter for that
poor child’s head as we toiled on under the August
sun, now rising to its height. This day, however, we
did not suffer from thirst, for the storm had left
muddy pools here and there, not dried up yet by the
heat; there might have been better drinking, and
there might have been worse. We got on but slowly,
for I had to rest at intervals of a quarter of an hour
or so, not yet accustomed to take charge of a family,
however small; and from time to time every speck on
the prairie was magnified by my anxious eyes into the
shape of some fresh band of Indian horsemen from
whom.we must skulk out of sight.

About noon I came to a stretch of ground where
the grass seemed to have been recently burned, and
the prairie showed now like one vast flat meadow of
turf, on which any figure of man or beast could be
46 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY,

distinguished miles away. It was surely not safe for
us to expose ourselves here by daylight with such
keen-eyed riders scouring the country. I had now
given up almost all hope of overtaking the party in
front. The heat was another argument against push-
ing on. So, holding a council of war with myself, I
resolved to lie by for the rest of the day and use the
night for travelling, as I had originally intended. I
found some cover under the shade of a scrubby brush,
and there we lay all the afternoon on the damp
ground, for I never thought of rheumatism in those
days; but I kept Johuny well wrapped up, and he
had the sense to sleep soundly most of the time,
while I stood guard over his chubby face against the
mosquitoes.

“Cheer up!” I said to myself, and I even tried to
whistle, by way of pretending that things were not
so bad after all. ‘The Indians will have as hard
work to find us here as if we were a couple of needles
in a haystack, And they must have plenty of other
work to do, plundering all the farmers they have
attacked. If we have kept out of their way so far,
we can surely give them the slip a little longer. The
further we go on, the less chance we have of coming
across any but friends. Those fellows who came to
the waggons were going back, and just as well for
their own skins. The news of what has happened
will have got by this to the towns, and to Fort
A VISIT FROM THE INDIANS. 47

Ridgeley, where there are soldiers. It will soon be
the turn of these murdering redskins to run for their
lives. All very well for them to fall on a few unpro-
tected back settlements; but wait till they have the
soldiers at them!”

As yet I was so little aware of the extent of the
outbreak as to suppose that a few scores of white men
had only to collect in arms and drive all the prowling
red-warriors back to their reservation. I did not
know that the Indian Agency had been destroyed,
that a whole company of regular soldiers marching to
its relief was cut off, along with their commander,
almost at the outset, and that the few troops left to
guard the frontier were cooped up in Fort Ridgeley,
with hundreds of Indians gathering round for an
attack which would put them hard to it to hold their
own, without any further attempt to aid the over.
whelmed settlers. _

A most unfortunate circumstance for the white men,
of which their cunning enemies had not been ignorant,
was that, on the morning of the massacre, part of the
newly-raised recruits for the army had set out on their
march eastwards, taking away from the border many
men who would have been its best protectors, when
also, through the great war in the south, all this
outlying country was already too much drained of its
proper means of defence. I was not wrong in the
belief that, from far and near, the settlers would be
48 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

rallying to meet the storm which had burst so unex-
pectedly upon them; but I could not guess over what
a length and breadth of the frontier hapless fugitives
like myself were flying or hiding on the open prairie.

“So you sleep sound and safe, Johnny, and I'l
bring you back to your mother again, if—” but then
my heart sank within me as I thought how many i/s
had still to be made certain.

+




CHAPTER V.

THE DESERTED HOUSE.

DID not wait till it was quite dark, but started
just before sundown, for impatience to be moving
got the better of prudence. The light had not quite
failed over the open prairie when I heard a sound
that made me prick up my ears. It was the howling of
a dog, as I made sure on going a little further; a long
doleful how], which yet pleased me, for I thought it
must mean the neighbourhood of white people.

A few hundred yards brought me in sight of the
dog; and what rather astonished me was that it
neither came forward nor ran away, but stayed in the
same place, barking loudly at our approach. I came
up to it in the twilight and saw the reason. The dog,
a fine Newfoundland, had been tied to a stake driven
into the prairie, and left ‘there alone, not to die of
hunger, for a large piece of meat and bone lay within
his reach.

I was puzzled over this for a moment, but soon
guessed what it meant. Some fugitives had been

forced to abandon their four-footed friend thus, as he
(547) D
50 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY,

would insist on following them, and hy his barking
might have betrayed the whole party to the Indians.
Perhaps he had been tied up for a day or two, tugging
and struggling in vain at the thick hide strap, which
he had contrived to gnaw almost through, and in a
little longer would no doubt have liberated himself
without help.

A cut of my knife set him loose, and the poor
creature bounded upon me, nearly knocking me down
in his frantic demonstrations of joy and affection. He
took to me at once, stranger as I was, who had done
him this service. He was a noble beast, who could
not do without freedom, for I noticed that the meat
lay hardly touched. A cur would have gorged him-
self on such a rare chance; but this dog scorned to
eat in chains, pining after the master who had deserted
him. When I offered him a piece of bacon, however,
he fell upon it with an eagerness which showed him
to be half starved; then, having finished his meal, set
to rubbing his head against my leg, and licking my
hand, and smelling in a friendly way at the baby, all
as if to say he owned us as worthy of fidelity and
obedience.

‘What was I to do with him? The dog seemed to
take it as a matter of course that he should stick by
us, in the absence of any other claim to allegiance;
and I had not the heart to turn him away, even if I
could have got rid of his new-found attachment. He
THE DESERTED HOUSE. 51

might be a still more dangerously noisy companion
than the baby; but it was something to have any
companion, and babies were, to my taste, much less
companionable than dogs. I always liked dogs, and
they liked me, whereas at that age I never could
understand what women see in babies to make such a
fuss about. To tell the truth, I was long ago heartily
sick of the care of little Johnny, not that I meant to
give up rescuing him all the same, but to “put him
through,” if possible, at any cost.

So it became taken for granted that the dog was to
join our little party; and after all he behaved like a
Christian for discreetness. He hardly barked once,
but trotted behind in a business-like manner, now and
then halting to sniff the darkness sagaciously, or
running on a few paces to reconnoitre. He helped me
to feel myself not quite alone in the world. But for
him I think I might have lost all heart in that weary
night’s tramp. The bandages on my feet were now
soaked with blood. But I will say no more about it,
except that more than once I was half tempted to
wish the Indians would come upon us and make an
end of all. Sometimes, I think, I was as much asleep
as awake, or at least dreaming, on my feet; but the
pain of walking, and the efforts I had to make to
keep it up, and the sudden sting of a mosquito
now and then soon roused me from these slumberous
fits.
52 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

For the first hour or two I tried to work my spirits
up by singing hymns in a low voice, and Master
Johnny raised his pipe to make the darkness lively,
and the dog was the quietest of the three of us. Long
before daylight came the baby had sobbed and choked |
himself to sleep on my back, and I had to keep all my
breath to stagger on with; then for music we had
nothing but the croaking of frogs and the hum of
insects, and the rustling scamper of prairie-dogs or
foxes that hurried out of our path. I saw no fires
that night, which encouraged me to think that we
must be getting away from the scene of those Indian
atrocities. :

I reckoned that by morning I had made twenty
miles since leaving the waggon, which would have
been a good stretch, considering my sore feet and the
load I had to carry; but of course it was mere guess-
work, nor could I be sure that I had been taking a
straight line all the time. As soon as it grew light
enough, whether it was the dog’s fault or my own, I
found that in the night we had got off the track of
those waggons, and were now wandering pathless on
the prairie. This would have been very disheartening
if I had not presently come upon the rind of a melon,
not long thrown away, that looked like a sign of
people being near. Then I saw a belt of timber,
towards which I turned, hoping this marked a lake or
creek, where there might be some settlement.
THE DESERTED HOUSE. 53

On the baby’s account I began to be most anxious
to fall in soon with white people, for by the very
fact that he no longer made so much noise, I could
understand there was something wrong with him.
His lusty crowings and screamings had given place to
a low, miserable moaning that quite alarmed me. I
tried to feed him, but such pap as I could make only
turned him sick when I too zealously insisted in
cramming it down in spite of his fretful refusals. A
nasty scab had broken out on the poor little face, and
altogether he seemed in a bad way, while I was at my
wits’ end to know what to do for him.

With bent head I plodded on, too tired now to
look what we were coming to. J had sat down for a
minute to adjust the wrappings on my feet, when I
heard a, familiar sound that made me start up to see
—what but a cow on the prairie in front of us! She
was lowing loudly as if in pain, but to me the tinkling
of her bell was most cheerful, and the cow seemed as
pleased to see us as we could be to see her. She at
once moved forward to meet us, then stood still wait-
ing to be milked. Out came my tin can, and I lost
no time in relieving her distended udders, to the entire
satisfaction of both parties. For once the baby fared
well for being in the hands of a farm boy. He drank
some of the milk eagerly; it was the very thing he
had been wanting; and I and the dog, too, were glad
to refresh ourselves from the same supply. I never
54 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

had such a delightful meal as that draught of new
milk.

All of us feeling better, we went on in company,
the cow driven in front, or, rather, we letting her lead
us, for she seemed to have some notion of where she
was going. And before long we came in sight of a
brick house, a large, substantial, handsome dwelling,
though staringly new, like most of the houses in that
part of the world, surrounded by the buildings and
clearings of a prosperous farm. Against a back-
ground of trees, it stood out in the morning sunshine,
with a fine flower-garden in front, and a row of yellow
stacks on one side. I could see no one about, but
there was nothing to hint that the enemy’s mischievous
hand had reached this place.

I quickened my pace, crossing over one or two
fences, and soon came to the house through a half-
reaped field of oats bound in sheaves, yet held back
before entering, troubled by the silence which reigned
about it, so strange at that hour on what should have
been a busy farm. Hogs and poultry were running
through the garden at will, In the yard I found a
waggon loaded with flour, on which two oxen were
feeding, having gored open the outside sacks with
their horns. They must have been shut in here with-
out food. The stable was empty. I looked first into
all the sheds before going to the back-door, which
stood open. When I knocked, timidly at first, almost
THE DESERTED HOUSE. 55

starting to hear the noise J made, then with more
assurance, there was no answer, nor when I ventured
upon a call. After going all round the house and
peeping into the lower windows, I saw nothing for it
but to walk straight in, as I did without longer wait-
ing for an invitation. The baby I carried would be
a kind of certificate as to my being no robber; and
the dog, like a well-bred dog, sat down on the
threshold, not presuming to come further till so per-
mitted.

The first room I peeped into was a parlour elegantly
furnished in a style much above that of most settlers.
I hardly liked to tread on the fine carpet with my
dirty feet; then there were curtains, book-cases, a

-- piano, pictures on the walls, and a large gilt-framed

mirror, in which I stared to see the begrimed and
bedraggled figure that at first sight I hardly knew
for myself. The table was laid for supper with a
clean white cloth and a display of nice things which
made my mouth water, but I could not bring myself
readily to touch what did not belong to me. The
mea] appeared to have been begun and left unfinished ;
the chairs stood pushed back, the plates half filled.
Opposite was a parlour even finer than the first.
These must be rich people, whoever they were—and all
the harder for them to leave their grand house, thought
I. Next, I went upstairs and looked into the bed-
rooms, all very comfortable and neat, but that the
56 AN EMIGRANT BOY'S STORY.

floors and passages were strewed with clothes and
other things taken out and thrown down in hasty.
confusion, from which I could suppose that the in-
mates had been obliged to fly at a sudden warning,
taking with them only what was necessary, and
having barely time to choose. The fire in the kitchen
was not quite out; this showed that they had not-
long gone.

What would they think of a guest like me making
free with all their fine things? The cupboards and
store-rooms stood open, well provided with just every-
thing that I needed, and a great deal more. Seeing
how destitute I was, and how there appeared nobody
to invite me, I resolved that, under the circumstances,
there could be no harm in helping myself.

‘No reason we should starve because these people
don’t happen to be at home—is there, Johnny?” said
I; but Johnny only answered with a faint choking sob;
and I was really afraid he might be dying for want of
proper nourishment.

So, having roused a good fire in the kitchen stove,
I first boiled some water and washed the baby all
over, and fed him with milk, and stowed him away in
a cradle and rocked him to sleep. I carried the
cradle into a small room near the back-door, from
which we could get out easily at any alarm; there
also stood a small iron bed-stead I had modestly
chosen for myself.
THE DESERTED HOUSE. 57

When I had made Johnny all snug I had time to
attend to my own wants. I took a bath, too, in a big
tub, which was very refreshing, and made me forget
half the fatigues of the night, while at the same time
it sharpened my appetite. Before eating I looked
over the wardrobes in the other rooms, and picked
out the most worn and shabby among some clothes,
in which I took the liberty of dressing from head to
foot, hanging up my own drenched things to dry
before the stove. There were several pairs of excel-
lent boots that would have been of great use to me if
I only could have had them from the first; but now
I could not bear them on my swollen feet, so I con-

‘tented myself with clean white socks and a pair of
loose old slippers.

Then for a good square meal! I would have taken
it in the kitchen, thinking the parlour too grand for
me, if the table had not been already laid there so
invitingly. I boiled the kettle, made some tea, and
fell hungrily upon lamb and chicken, and tomatoes
and fruit-pie, and raspberries and cream, and delicious
white bread and butter, and plum jam made with
maple sugar, and other good things without stint,
any one of which would have been a feast to me after
the hardships of the last two days. I certainly did
feel a little shy at first among all these luxuries; but
I ended by making myself quite at home, and laid in
a breakfast with the hearty appetite of a growing
58 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

boy, who had to consider, besides, that he did not
know when he might again get such another chance,
unless he saw his way to settle here for a few days
like a mouse in a cheese cupboard.

“Well, I shouldn’t so much mind a little—just a
very little—hunting about by Indians every day if
this sort of thing were always to come at the end of
it,” said I to myself, already able, boy-like, to look
away from the gloomy side of the situation.

When I had finished my breakfast—and that, as
you can suppose, took some time—I was at leisure to
examine more carefully the house giving me such good
entertainment. The address of letters which were
lying about on. a writing-table told me the owner’s
name; and I was somewhat taken aback to find
myself the unknown guest of one of the most promi-
nent citizens of Minnesota, a man whose speeches often
figured in the newspapers, and who had been spoken
of as a candidate for Congress. I still could not get
over the idea of taking a liberty with these unaccus-
tomed signs of wealth; it seemed like that nursery
story of the three bears, which I might expect to walk
in any moment, growling out, ‘‘ Who has been eating
off my plate?” and “Who has been sleeping in my
bed?” And, worse than any bears, if those who
caught me tresspassing here should turn out to be
Indian warriors!

All the rest of the day I kept good watch, going up
THE DESERTED HOUSE. 59

to the top of the house every now and then to sweep
the prairie in every direction with an opera-glass I
got out of one of the rooms. I had need of some
such occupation to keep me awake. I amused myself
by looking at the fine things in the parlours, and
turning over some picture-books, first having washed
my hands again, that the owner might have no cause
to complain when he came back. But do what I
could, my head would keep nodding, and it was hard
work not to go to sleep long before the afternoon
came to an end.

Little Johnny slept and fretted by turns; he looked
so ill that I was really afraid to go on with him, and
yet what else could we do? My plan now was to
sleep the first half of the night, then to use the
remaining hours of darkness to make another stage of
our journey eastwards. I knew I was not far off the
right track, because the address on the letters showed
that I had got into the county which lay east of ours,
and in which was Oakwood City. How to find this
place would be the next point.

Towards sunset, having looked around once more
with my glass, and made pretty sure that nobody was
in sight for miles, I took it as safe to go to bed. I
had come upon a small alarum-clock in my bed-room;
this I set to go off at midnight, so that I should not
sleep too long. The dog I tied up to the door-step,
to stand sentry over our slumbers. The intelligent
60 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

beast made no resistance, but licked my hand and
looked up into my face with eyes which seemed almost
to say that he understood his duty, and that we might
depend on him. I got ready some food to be carried
away with us; and I milked the cow and made up
the fire to give the baby a drink of milk before we
started. I should have said that among my other
finds had been a child’s wicker-work waggon, in which
I proposed to draw Johnny over the prairie much
more pleasantly for both of us than our former way of
getting along. I had indeed much cause to thank
heaven for all the fortune that had hitherto attended
us; and my hopes were high that, after coming so far
through such adverse chances, we should yet make
our way to a place of safety.

All precautions and preparations being thus seen
to, I threw myself on the bed, readv dressed, and in
two minutes was fast asleep.


CHAPTER VI.

THE BAND OF FUGITIVES.

HAD meant to sleep with both ears open, but

that is easier said than done by one so tired as I
was. Before the expected alarum went off, I was
roused too late by the loud barking of the dog out-
side, to hear a trampling of footsteps and a sound of
voices within the house. One moment was enough for
me to shake off my drowsiness and make sure of its
not being a dream. I sprang to my feet, caught up
the child, and rushed out into the passage, already
filled with dark forms.

At once someone seized me, trying to tear little
Johnny out of my hold, but I held him fast till I
heard a woman’s shriek of wild surprise.

“My baby!”

It was Mrs. Withers. I had run with the child
right into her arms. Somebody scraped a handful of
matches, which for a minute lit up the scene.

“It’s a boy—a white boy!” exclaimed a gruff voice, .
and checked the stampede that had begun among the
62 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

new-comers, at first almost as much alarmed as myself
when I pounced out upon them in such haste.

Then I knew there was nothing to be afraid of.
We all crowded into the nearest room, and the women
and children, for there were several in the party, sank
down exhausted on the first seats that came to hand.

“Thank the Lord! Thank the Lord!” Mrs.
Wither’s kept crying, as with trembling hands she
pulled off her baby’s clothes to make sure he was safe
and sound, eagerly examining him from head to foot
by the light of a candle which I hastened to fetch.
Others of the party stared wildly about them, hardly
able to believe they could now rest in safety.

Some were too tired to speak a word; some fell to
talking all at once, so that I was quite bewildered
among them. When the candle had been lit, I hardly
knew Mrs. Withers; her hair appeared to have
grown greyer in the last three days, and her face was
tanned like an Indian’s. She would not speak to me
for a time, so much was she taken up with hysteri-
cally kissing and hugging her dear Johnny, whom she
had little hoped to see again. By and by she grew
composed enough to tell me what had happened to
her.

After seeing her husband barbarously murdered
before her eyes, she had run off with her child, the
Indians hard behind her. When there appeared no
chance of escape, she threw the baby among the
THE BAND OF FUGITIVES. 63

bushes, and continued her own flight so as to lead the
pursuers away from it. They had come up with her
near the Jake, and taken her prisoner, but, since they
had already glutted their fury for blood, did not offer
her any ill-usage. Having plundered the house they
set out towards the Indian reservation, joining an-
other party which had also taken prisoners and booty
enough to satisfy them. Through the night she and
one of her fellow-prisoners contrived to escape. She
had come to the homestead to find the child gone, and
naturally mourned for it as dead, little guessing what
a nurse had taken charge of it. Soon afterwards
these two fell in with other fugitives, in whose com-
pany they had travelled on to this place.

Mrs. Withers believed that her sons must have
taken the alarm and made their escape for the time;
but she did not know for certain what had become of
them. I may say here that it was a week or two
before we heard news of the boys. In the end they
turned up all safe, after going through adventures of
their own that would make a better story than mine,
like hundreds of others among the settlers. When I
asked the mother what happened to her little girls,
who had been left in the house, she only looked at
me in speechless agony, and I said no more. Her
joy on finding the baby again was so overpowering
that at first she forgot to think how it had been
saved, nor did I care for the awkwardness of being
64 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

thanked. But later on, she suddenly threw her arms
round my neck and kissed me without a word, as if
she had been my own mother; and it was all I could
do not to burst out crying when I felt her tears on
my face.

I did not get the whole story out of her at once.
I could understand by my own experience that talk-
ing was not what was wanted first; and I busied my-
self in bringing together all I knew where to lay
hands on for the refreshment of these weary people,
whose host I had in a manner become for want of a
better. Besides children, there were over a dozen
grown-up persons, two of them countrymen of mine.
When I had got them plenty to eat, and they had
satisfied their ravenous appetites—though indeed one
or two seemed too far gone for hunger—they came
more into a mood for story-telling, and we exchanged
accounts of our various misfortunes.

Mrs. Withers was the only one of them I knew;
nearly all the rest came from a settlement rather
further to the north than ours. The greater number
were neighbours who had met together on the morn-
ing of the 18th for a wedding. Some still wore scraps
of finery which strangely contrasted with their for-
lorn condition. Thus the leader of the party, as he
appeared to be, a big bony blacksmith, had on a white
waistcoat and no shirt under it, while his long legs.
were only half covered by a pair of drab breeches.
THE BAND OF FUGITIVES. 65

The women were in white or light-coloured dresses
fit for marriage revels, though now sadly limp, torn,
and crumpled, with handkerchiefs knotted about
their heads. The reason of this you will see pre-
sently.

They had assembled at the house of that black-
smith, the father of the bridegroom, and were just
starting for the bride’s, when news came of what was
going on in the neighbourhood. It appeared that
they must fly for their lives without delay. The
young man who was to be married refused to accom-
pany them; he and two of his friends went off at all
risks to look after the girl. A terrible marriage-day
they had: I don’t care to tell the rest of their story.

The others set out at once in their waggons and
buggies, with such arms and provisions as the black-
smith’s house could furnish, and in their Sunday
clothes as they were, having little thought on leaving
home that morning what was to be the end of the
pleasure-party. They got well away from the settle-
ment without interruption, but late in the afternoon
a party of mounted Indians overtook them.

The settlers drew up their teams in a ring, the
women and children placed in the centre, and pre-
pared to defend themselves as best they could. Not
more than half of them had guns. The Indians, keep-
ing out of shot, waved a white flag and made signs of

wishing to parley. One of them, who spoke English,
_ (87) E
66 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

and was well known to most of the white men as a
frequent visitor among them, approached the waggons
with demonstrations of friendship. He told them
that they had nothing to be afraid of. It was the
Chippeways, the enemies of the Sioux, who had been
killing their neighbours. He and his comrades had
come to help their friends the white men. He in-
vited them to turn back, promising to see them safe
to their houses, and to defend them against the other
Indians. They must, he said, by no means go on, as
a band of Chippeways were lying in wait for them.

The white people doubted what to think of his pro-
fessions. Some of them were for not trusting him,
but most of the party thought they knew this Indian
so well that he could not be deceiving them. While
they were still consulting he came forward unarmed,
repeating all he had said with a plausible air of sin-
cerity. He even went so far as to kiss one of the men
by way of proving his friendship; and the man made
a face and wiped his mouth, but had to put up with
this greasy embrace. The other Indians followed one
by one. They laid down their arms on the prairie,
and were allowed to approach the white men, among
whom they mingled freely, shaking hands with them,
laughing, talking, and helping to quiet the frightened
children.

The settlers could not believe that these hypocrites
were bent on their death. They threw off all sus-
THE BAND OF FUGITIVES. 67

picion, and agrecd to do as the Indians advised them.
All the party, white and red, took a meal of bread
and milk together and a smoke. Then the teams
were turned about, and they started back again to-
wards the deserted settlement, the Indians riding
behind the convoy at some distance.

After a time the white people saw cause for fresh
misgivings in the conduct of their escort. They talked
anxiously together, debating whether they should not
make a display of resistance and insist on being left
to proceed alone. But they had put away their guns
in the waggons, while the redskins rode with theirs
ready for use at the least sign of hostility. They
were still debating when the Indians judged it time
to throw off all disguise of their intentions. They
suddenly closed in upon the party with fierce gestures,
threatening to kill every one of them if a single man
showed fight. That would have been useless, for by
this time the warriors had been joined by another
small band; and they could have shot down every
man among the whites before a hand could be raised
against them.

Bitterly repenting of their too easy confidence, the
frightened settlers were ordered to get out of their
vehicles; and the Indians with threats and impudent
roughness went on to plunder them of everything
worth taking. They took their money and arms and
the teams, The men were made to strip and hand
68 ~~ AN EMIGRANT BOY'S STORY.

over anything that struck a warrior’s admiring fancy;
thus the blacksmith had to give up his shirt and pants
and a fine red necktie, but by some whim they left
him his waistcoat, though not the contents of its
pockets. The women’s hats and ornaments were
taken, and everything that could be turned to the
adornment of these red dandies. The brutes stripped
a child nearly naked, because one of them fancied a
tartan dress which the little fellow wore.

After this the plundered party expected nothing
better than to be murdered on the spot. But now
the Indians seemed to hesitate, acting all along with
an appearance of caprice, or as if they found it
difficult to work themselves up to the point of blood-
shed. Some of them perhaps were not so ill-disposed
as others, whatever might be their scruples. They
talked together for some time in their own language,
and finally let the white men know that they might
go with their lives. They even gave back, out of their
spoils, a bag of potatoes and one or two other bits of
provision for the journey. Then they drove off the
teams, leaving the party on foot in the middle of the
prairie.

Counting themselves lucky to have come off so
cheap, as soon as the Indians had gone they had re-
sumed their flight, and had been out in the prairie
ever since, travelling by dark and lying hid through
the day, for they frequently saw other war-parties
THE BAND OF FUGITIVES. 69

hovering about, and came upon several dead bodies
to prove that all the red men were not so merciful as
those who had spared them. Mrs. Withers and the
rest of their companions in misfortune they had picked
up on the way.

One poor woman they met in with was almost crazy
with grief. Having seen all her family murdered
before her eyes, she had fallen to the ground in a
swoon where they found her, and they had to use
force to bring her along. She would not speak, and
could hardly be persuaded to take food; she seemed
not to know what she was doing or to care what be-
came of herself.

On Tuesday evening they had come upon a solitary
house occupied by a blind old Quaker and his daughter,
who were quite ignorant of all that had been going on
within a few miles of them. That was where the
blacksmith got the drab breeches and broad-brimmed
hat which, both much too small for him, looked so
queer upon his burly figure.

The most horrible tale of all was that of a boy not
so old as myself. When his people were attacked, he
had managed to get up a tree, from which he saw
such things that his face had not yet lost its scared
look. I shuddered to hear what he had to tell, as
well I might when strong men’s words were broken
with pity and rage. There was one who sprang to
‘his feet like a madman, and with clenched hands
70 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

uttered a fearful vow never to see a redskin without
killing him like a wolf. A single voice was raised in
rebuke—

“Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.”

It was the blind old Quaker, whose mild tones were
drowned in an outburst of passionate words from his
companions. I remember thinking like the rest of
them what a spiritless fellow he must be; I know
better now.

“None of that cant!” said the man who had before
spoken. “Talk to stones, not to men who have the
spunk of a fly!”

“Nay, friend,” said the Quaker’s daughter. “These
Indians, too, have their wrongs. White men have
driven them from their lands, and have defrauded
them of the price. If they are ignorant and savage,
if they turn their wrath upon the innocent and guilty
alike, let us teach them as we have learned—”

She was roughly interrupted, and angry words
arose, which were quieted by the blacksmith remind-
ing the whole party that they had best keep their
breath for something more useful than quarrelling.

All these people had one idea, to get as soon as
possible out of reach of the Indians; but they were
not fit to go further without rest. Some of them had
already fallen asleep wherever they happened to be
lying. The rest now shared out such accommodation
as the house offered, and went to roost in the different
THE BAND OF FUGITIVES. 71

rooms, the best beds being given to the women and
children.

While they slept, I stood sentry over them, looking
out across the silent star-lit prairie, where so many
terrible scenes had been enacted within the last three
days. This was Thursday morning which I saw dawn;
on Sunday last I had been to church in the school-
house by the lake, little thinking what the morrow
was to bring forth. It seemed to me as if years must
have passed since those startling events came to break
the thread of my quiet life.




CHAPTER VII.

ON THE ROAD TO OAKWOOD CITY.

EFORE the sun rose I was joined on my watch
by one of those new acquaintances, who found
himself unable to sleep for the pain of a wound. It
was one of the two German settlers I have mentioned,
a young man not much over twenty. I had not had
any conversation with him as yet, so exhausted and
downcast had he and his countryman been on their
arrival; now I was right glad to hear my own lan-
guage again, and we had plenty to say to each other
when it turned out that this man, Karl Schmidt,
came from Pomerania like myself, and even knew my
native village. We could not but make friends at
once, meeting thus on the other side of the world in
such woeful plight and peril.

The other German was his brother. They had come
from Europe only a few months before, settling on
the new lands of Minnesota. On that fatal Monday
morning they had been out wood-cutting, when a
breathless messenger passed with news that the Indians
had broken out and were murdering the white men.
ON THE ROAD TO OAKWOOD CITY. 73

Only half understanding what he said, for these two
knew little English as yet, they took it for a joke;
they had heard such alarms before when nothing came
of them; and they actually went on with their work
till balls were whistling about their ears. Then they
had to run for it, and made their escape, but not be-
fore Karl got a shot that shattered two of his fingers.

Then, in turn, I told my story of misfortune. When
he heard how I had lost my friends and the only home
I knew in the wide world, this warm-hearted fellow
suddenly threw his arm round my neck and kissed
me, as men do in our country, though the Americans
may laugh at us. It was so long since anybody kissed
me that I was half inclined to cry over this mark of
kindliness at such a time.

“ Ah! thou poor orphan,” he exclaimed, “a home
shall not be wanting to thee while I have one. Please
God to deliver us from these troubles, and Fritz and
I will be thy brothers.”

The elder brother presently joined us; then he was
no less hearty in inviting me to share their fortunes.
I shall not have much more to say of these excellent
_ men in my story; but when the troubles were over, I
accompanied them back to their ruined farm, and
found there indeed a home as their adopted brother.
For years to come I had reason to be glad of the
chance that brought us together, little hopeful as
might seem the beginning of our acquaintanceship.
74 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

“We can at least die together,” said Karl, who,
worn out with the hasty flight and the pain of his
wound, took a gloomy view of our prospects, and still
kept looking anxiously about him, as if every tuft of
grass might conceal a lurking Indian. For my part
I was in much better heart; after all I had gone
through alone, I felt it comparative safety to be among
some score of white people, and was not a little com-
forted to have these countrymen to talk with in our
own familiar tongue.

Though they had lain down so late, most of the
party were early astir, for their fear was stronger
than their fatigue. After reconnoitring on all sides
from the top of the.house, the men held a council to
settle what should be done next. The blacksmith, who
took a kind of lead among us, pointed out that as the
Indians had not yet been to this place, the chances
were that we should meet none of them beyond, so it
would be safer to travel on through the day, than
to wait here, where perhaps the enemy might come
up with us. Others spoke of hiding in the woods
till night; but in the end it was agreed to start
after breakfast, continuing our flight without de-
lay.

A yoke of oxen was harnessed in a waggon, to give
the women and children a lift, and to carry a stock of
provisions which we selected from the stores of this
well-victualled mansion. We made no scruple of
ON THE ROAD TO OAKWOOD CITY. 75

taking anything that could be useful to us, and that
might else fall into the hands of the Indians. The
men supplied themselves with some kind of arms, hay-
forks, scythes, axes, knives, and such like for the most
part. There were three shot-guns found in the house;
and the blacksmith got a good-sized hammer, with
which hé promised to knock down the biggest warrior
that might come within reach of it. I took care to
fit myself out with a straw-hat, a coat, and a pair of
boots, which latter, however, I could only carry slung
over my shoulder for the meantime, till my feet were
in a state to let me put them on. A barrel of water
was also placed in the waggon.

The sun had grown already hot when we got away,
and we found it tiresome work toiling over the prairie
at the sluggish pace of those oxen. The children
were crying, the men were arguing, the women sat
silent in the waggon, trying to sleep if the flies would
let them; and anyone could have seen by the looks of
us that we were no pleasure party. The liveliest mem-
ber of the band was that dog of mine, as I considered

it, which kept frisking over the ground, running to
" right and left as if to guard us against any ambush.
I was glad nobody had proposed to leave him behind.
For my own part I thought myself well off, compared
with the day before, to be at least no longer alone
amid such dangers. Part of the way I was taken
into the waggon, out of consideration for my footsore
76 "AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

state, a great relief after the last few days’ toiling and
tramping.

For two or three hours there went on a great dis-
cussion among the men as to where we were and
which way we should take. Some were for making
for Oakwood City; others hotly maintained that the
nearest place of refuge was a fort to the south. The
party had almost quarrelled and split up into two;
but the matter was settled by turning towards the
fort. Before long, however, we heard a dull boom
like the firing of a cannon in that direction. This
showed that the place was probably being attacked by
Indians; so we once more altered our course and held
on by the rough road which led to Oakwood City.
The whole country had been so lately settled, that
none of these men were sure about the distances; but
the blacksmith, who had travelled that way more than
once, thought that we could not have more than twenty
miles to go.

On we went under the blazing sun. There was
little talking among us, now that we had all heard
one another’s adventures. The men trudged gloomily
beside the waggon, taking it in turns to goad on the
heavy oxen. Poor brutes! they suffered a good deal
for want of water, and it was miles before we reached
any; besides which they had no small weight to draw
in the weakly members of our party. I lay asleep at
the bottom of the waggon, Mrs. Withers sitting by
ON THE ROAD TO OAKWOOD CITY. 77

me and shading my face with her apron; it seemed to
be a comfort to her to have someone to look after as
ason. But she was mostly taken up with her baby,
for he went on fretting feebly, and had two or three
fits in the course of the morning, which put her
into a terrible state of anxiety. Still from time to
time she tried with a word of comfort to rouse that
crazy woman who lay like a log as if she were deaf
and dumb. It frightened me to look at her, far more
than if she had been violent in her hopeless sorrow.
Later on she had to be sent to the asylum, not the
only inhabitant of Minnesota who was driven mad in
that awful time.

The most cheerful of us all was the blind old
Quaker, who did his best to keep up our spirits and
turn our thoughts to hope and thankfulness, since, as
he said, we in God’s mercy had been more fortunate
than so many of our neighbours. But the other men
listened sullenly and would hardly answer him, for
they cared to talk about nothing but revenge. If we
had met any single Indian, though unarmed and
friendly, they were in the mood to have murdered
him without scruple. Those heathen cruelties had
turned Christian men for the time into bloodthirsty
savages.

In the afternoon we came to some trees and a
pond, not far from which we saw the roofs of houses.
Here a halt was made, and while the women lighted
78 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

a fire to cook something, the blacksmith and another
man cautiously advanced to the settlement. In an
hour or so they came back with no good news, which
was told in whispers, calling out fresh exclamations
of wrath and hatred. They had found the place
deserted, but several corpses both of Indian and white
men told of a fight there lately. They had also passed
a spot strewn with letters and newspapers, showing
that the mail carrier must have been attacked and
robbed. The wonder was how the house we spent
last night in came to have been spared, when the
enemy’s ravages had reached so far.

This news cut short our meal, and we moved on
with redoubled vigilance, skirting the clearings of the
settlement. It was sad to see the corn standing un-
cut and the stock running wild on the prairie. There
were dogs slinking about, which looked as if they
knew that something terrible had happened. Two or
three of these masterless beasts attached themselves
to our train, keeping timidly a little way in the rear,
though the fine dog I had found showed himself very
jealous of such uninvited followers. We, for our part,
had no heart to turn away these four-footed creatures
of civilization, who seemed to share the misfortunes of
their owners.

Further on, we were joined by another fugitive, a
two-legged one this time. Itwas a young man dressed
in nothing but his shirt, who rose so suddenly out of
ON THE ROAD TO OAKWOOD CITY. 79

the grass beside our track that one of the women
screamed out, and we might all have taken him for a
ghost walking in broad daylight had it not been for
his wearing spectacles and carrying a gun in his hand.
He turned out to be the schoolmaster of the place, who
had escaped from pursuit only by throwing off almost
all his clothes as he ran; then had not dared to show
himself till he caught sight of our waggon. I could
not help laughing at the figure he cut, even when
Mrs. Withers’ shawl had been added to his scanty
costume; but one of the men sharply rebuked me,
and indeed it was no time for laughing.

The schoolmaster’s story was that a band of Indians
had attacked this settlement on the Tuesday. Warned
in time, a party had gathered to one of the largest
houses to stand on their defence, the women and chil-
dren having been sent away through the night. There
had been a hot fight, in which the red men seemed
likely to get the worst of it, when they contrived to
set the roof of the house on fire, and being all of
shingles and dry with the long heat, it was quickly in
a blaze. The smoke and flames soon drove the de-
fenders out into the open, each to shift for himself.
The schoolmaster had run for his life, and knew not
how it had fared with his companions, beyond two or
three whom he saw shot down as they rushed out of
the burning building.

“There were at least a hundred of them,” was his
80 AN EMIGRANT BOY'S STORY.

account, “It was awful to hear them screeching like
a pack of mad wolves. I counted about twice as
many more riding past yesterday at different times.
All the Indians of the reservation must be out. Sun-
day week I was down at the Agency and saw the
church full of them, sitting as quiet as an infant-class.
Nobody dreamed of this.”

“The more fools we for ever trusting a redskin!”
exclaimed the blacksmith. “But no fear that they
have all taken up the hatchet. Catch them at it, the
skulking vermin! This is some of the wild young
men’s doing; the best half of them will be lying low
till they see how things turn out. If we could only
' get men enough together to stamp out the fire before
it spreads! Once they think they have a chance, the
Chippeways and the Winnebagoes will be joining in
with the Sioux, and it will be a bad business all along
the border.”

“Many of the boys here have gone off to the war,
that’s the worst of it. A recruiting party came round
on Monday. They told us that a whole company was
to march from Fort Ridgeley that day—just the men
’ who could have kept the reservation in order.”

“ And the Indians rose as soon as their backs were
turned, that’s how it has been! Well, they can’t
have got: much further than St. Peter by this time;
and we'll soon have them back to help us.”

“T heard a good deal of firing this morning over
ON THE ROAD TO OAKWOOD CITY. 81

that way,” said the schoolmaster, pointing towards
the city.

That was the worst of his news. What if we found
the warriors before us, or even the city in their hands?
There was nothing for it, however, but to go on, and
on we went with all circumspection. When the sun
set our haven of refuge was not yet in sight.

(547) F


CHAPTER VIII.

AN ALARM ON THE MARCH.

E had halted to deliberate whether to encamp
for the night, or to put out all our strength in
the hope of slipping into the city under cover of dark-
ness, thus perhaps escaping any parties of warriors
who might be prowling on our way. As this question
was being argued between fears on the one hand and
fatigue on the the other, our dogs at once all began to
bark loudly, and, looking for what excited them, we
saw several figures standing out on the horizon in the
twilight. They had evidently seen and were watch-
ing us.

“Indians!” screamed out somebody, and every one
took up the alarm.

Our first thought was to make off, but that soon
appeared to be hopeless. With the waggon and its
load of women and children, our flight must be slow;
and as soon as we began to retreat those men came
briskly after us. We saw now that there were at
least twice as many of them as we could reckon com-
AN ALARM ON THE MARCH. 83

batants. When we stopped they stopped also, keeping
at a safe distance. a

“Two to one—that’s no great odds when you have
cowardly redskins to deal with,” said the blacksmith,
‘cocking his gun. “We must make a fight for it,
boys; so stand together, whatever happens.”

‘We had come upon a little hollow of the ground, an
old buffalo wallow filled with dry mud, which seemed
a good place to take our stand in, as it afforded some
little protection against bullets. The women lay down
in the centre, clasping their children tight, and trying
to hush their frightened whimperings. The waggon
was placed as a breastwork, behind which the men
posted themselves, making as much display as possible
of their poor arms. I was given a rusty pistol so
much out of repair that it was doubtful whether it
would go off; nobody would spare me a bullet, so I
loaded it with small stones, and vowed to myself to be
the death of at least one Indian before they did for
me. Some of the men looked anxious, not to say
afraid; others had their lips set tight in desperate
resolution. Poor Karl Schmidt, for one, was as white
as a sheet. Ordinarily he could be brave enough, as
I came to know; but all he had seen and heard of
Indians had shaken his courage, and now he whispered
in my ear, trying to make me promise to shoot him
rather than let him be taken prisoner. There was
hardly any talking among us, however, as we kept an
84 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

anxious eye on the strangers, so far as we could see
them in the gathering dusk.

For some time we could not make out their inten-
tions clearly. They drew back a little, as if fearing
some snare, then advanced again, wheeling round on’
the prairie to reconnoitre us from another side. To
meet this movement we had to turn our waggon
towards them, and they halted once more, and set up
a shout which, to my startled ears, sounded like an
Indian war-whoop. It was evident that they dis-
trusted us as much as we them. Some of us thought
that they might be white men; but that seemed too
good to be true, and if so, why should they dodge
about us in this hesitating style?

At length they appeared to have made up their
minds, for they advanced straight upon our little
- party, keeping their bodies well down under the long
grass, so that we could not count how many there
were of them. They would soon be within hailing
distance; and JI, for one, felt my heart beginning to
beat fast.

“Fire one at a time when I give the word, and
move about, not to let them see we haven’t all got
guns,” said the blacksmith in a low voice, never tak-
ing his eye off the on-comers; then there was a silence,
broken only by stifled sobs from the helpless little
crowd behind us.

Suddenly the schoolmaster, fumbling nervously with
AN ALARM ON THE MARCH. 85

his gun, let it off in the air, and no sooner had the
report died away, than one of the women, to relieve
her excited feelings, struck up a well-known hymn.
As her shrill voice rang over the prairie, our sup-
posed enemies had halted again, and one of them
bellowed out, using his hands as a speaking trumpet:

“Don’t shoot, if you are white people! It’s all
right!”

“They are soldiers!” cried someone on our side.
“T see the bayonets.” ;

A hearty shout that never came from Indian lungs
quickly drove away our doubts. The two parties ran
forward to. meet each other, and sure enough these
were soldiers, who for the last half hour had been
holding us in suspicion, the more so when they saw us
trying to get away from them. After all that had
happened in the last few days, it was small wonder if
men were inclined to be over-suspicious, but later on
we had a fine laugh against these warriors who had
shown so much respect for our little band. They
were a set of raw recruits, mere lads most of them,
provided with arms but no uniforms as yet, having
just enlisted for the Secession war. It was natural
for us, after all the scares we had gone through, to
take any strangers for enemies, seen by the uncertain
light; but they need hardly have made such a mistake,
as they had been sent out to look for and give assist-
ance to fugitives like ourselves.
86 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

At the time, however, we were too glad to see them
to find any fault with their over-caution. We had
plenty of news to give each other. Now we first
learned the extent of the misfortune, which lost
nothing in the telling during the panic of those first
few days. The soldiers indeed made out things even
worse than they were. They told us that the Indians
had attacked Fort Ridgeley and New Ulm, a little
German town which, it was feared, had been taken.
A whole army of warriors was in the field. All the
western border was deserted and ravaged; people
were pouring into the towns hour by hour. Hundreds
had arrived during the last two days at Oakwood
City, where an attack was expected at any moment.
So we were not yet out of danger, with the haven we
had looked forward to now close at hand.

At least it was a comfort to know that we had not
much further to go. We all moved on together by
the moonlight, which to the south and west was lost
in a wide-spread glow showing where the destroyers
were again at work. An hour or two’s march brought
us in sight of a group of twinkling lights that marked
our city of refuge. Before reaching it we were over-
taken by another band of fugitives, in waggons and
buggies, but as to the rest almost as destitute as our-
selves. There was quite a troop, then, of us who had
arrived to claim hospitality from the people of Oak
wood City.
AN ALARM ON THE MARCH. 87

When we came to the outskirts of the place, we
passed a crowd of men busy at work throwing up
earthworks by the light of torches, All was confusion
and bustle even at this late hour. Forcing our way
into the crowded street, we had some difficulty in
finding standing room for the vehicles that accom-
panied us. Every house was said to be as full as it
could hold; not a shed could be had to lie down under,
people told us, for love or money. A good job it was
for all these houseless families that their flight had
been in warm summer weather.

Our company now separated, going here and there
in search of quarters. For myself, I was too tired to
care much where I slept, now that at last I could
believe myself safe for the present among white men.
So I stayed in the waggon with Mrs. Withers and her
baby; and there we spent the night by the help of a
couple of blankets which some kind woman brought
us, and gave us a good supper into the bargain. She
would have taken us in, if there had not already been
twenty persons stowed away in her little house. I
shared my bed, such as it was, with the two German
settlers, who came back to us after searching in vain
for better accommodation; so we, too, had no room
to spare, but none of us, after what we had gone
through, were disposed to be too particular.

I took my sleep out that night, you may be sure,
and lay as long as I could for the noise that began
88 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

around me at an early hour. There were hundreds
of people with no snug beds to lie on and good cause
to keep them stirring. As I was making my way
through the crowded and encumbered streets, looking
out for some place where I might get a wash, I became
aware of a smart young gentleman following me about,
staring at me with an interest I could not account
for, till he caught me by the arm and cried:

“Say, boy, after you with my coat, if you don’t
mind!”

I felt all at once like a thief, remembering how I
had come by my borrowed plumage; but I told him
how it was, and he turned out to be one of the people
of that house where we had helped ourselves to food,
clothes, and lodging. He laughed good-naturedly at
my confusion, and told me to keep the jacket as long
as I liked and welcome, for the news of their house
being still safe was worth more than I had taken.
Then he carried me off to see his family and repeat
my story. Rich people as they were, I found them
all huddled up together now in one small shed, and
glad to be no worse off, as were many others. But
they had a waggon well stored with provisions, from
which I got a good breakfast and something to take
back to Mrs. Withers, with full excuse for the way
we had already drawn upon their hospitality without
invitation.

What a state the place was in! Oakwood City
AN ALARM ON THE MARCH. 89

was not much of a city as yet, only a village a few
years old, the houses mostly wood, with some hun-
dreds of inhabitants, now suddenly increased to thou-
sands, whom the citizens must feed and find room for,
I had never seen so many people together all my time
in Minnesota; a babel of emigrants of different
nations, speaking Swedish, French, German, and, for
all I know, half a dozen other languages, besides every
variety of English, Irish, and American dialect, the
greater number homeless and almost destitute. To
make things worse, many of them were sick and
wounded. Every building was crammed; churches,
schools, stores, saloons, warehouses, as well as private
houses, had all been turned into refuges. The only
hotel was the head-quarters of a company of armed
men hastily collected for the defence of the town;
and every man who could find a weapon held himself
ready to help. People had been sleeping on the
ground, in doorways, and under trees, wherever they
could get room to lie. A line of cooking-stoves
smoked along the streets; all the kitchens and ovens
were at work. The vacant spaces between the houses
were filled up with waggons and tents and cattle.
Beasts mingled with men, women, and children; at
some places you could hardly get through the crowd
of horses, cows, oxen, pigs, all lowing and neighing
and grunting as if it were a great market. Hungry,
masterless cattle had broken into the gardens, and
90 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY:

were eating up every green thing they could get
at.

And such a noise as there was among beasts and
men—cows bellowing for their calves, children crying
for their mothers, parents hunting after their children,
friends recognizing each other, neighbours exchanging
their stories of horror, officers shouting out commands,
trying to bring order into the confusion, all asking
for news, and wondering what was to happen next!
Every now and then there would be a fresh com-
motion, as new waggons and teams sought to force
their way into the place, for still the fugitives kept
arriving; and the prominent citizens who had been
chosen to manage affairs were at their wits’ end to
know what to do with them all.

Suddenly there was a great stir among the crowd,
and everybody set to running as fast as he could get
along.

“Tndians! the Indians!” they were shouting. At
the same time the church bell began to toll, which
had been given out as the sign of danger at hand.

Not a few turned pale at that cry. Women
snatched up their children and hurried into the
houses. Men hastened off to get their arms. I ran
with a little stream of people making for the out-
skirts of the village. A boy gave me a hand and
helped me up to the roof of a house, from which I saw
three Indian warriors on horseback standing like
AN ALARM ON THE MARCH. 91

statues upon a little ridge overlooking us. Two or
three rifles were fired at them, but they were out of
shot. After deliberately marking our defences, they
wheeled their horses and disappeared. Immediately
afterwards a party of our scouts came galloping back
across the prairie with news that an Indian army,
several hundred strong, lay behind that ridge, prepar-
ing to attack us.

"=f" :




CHAPTER Ix,

THE ATTACK ON THE CITY.

URING the last two or three days, the people
had been at work on their defences. The
village was now enclosed by a stockade with loop-
holes for firing, except where stone or brick houses
commanding the country beyond could be turned to
account as part of the fortifications. At the four
corners earthworks had been thrown up, strengthened
with logs so as to form protecting bastions, from
which the face of the stockades could be swept by a
raking fire; but one of these was not yet finished
when the Indians appeared. Several rifle-pits had
been dug in advance of the works. There was a small
brass cannon and an old howitzer to mount upon our
walls, besides which a number of “quaker” guns,
nothing more than harmless trunks, were prominently
displayed from port-holes in the bastions, in hope to
keep off the Indians through their dread of artillery.
I daresay other measures of defence had been taken,
but I am describing only what came under my own
THE ATTACK ON THE CITY. 93

notice. Colonel Johnson, an old soldier who had
gone through more than one Indian trouble, was ap-
pointed our commander.

Unfortunately many houses of the straggling village
lay outside our fortifications. From these, people
now came running in with such of their things as
they could carry, adding to the crowd already too
tightly packed into the enclosed space. But others
were at work driving out on the prairie whole herds
of cattle, so as partly to clear the streets; these beasts
must be abandoned to the Indians. At the last
moment the main street was closed up by a barricade
of overturned waggons and blocks of stone. Then we
were ready for the enemy.

Before that I had gone to look after Mrs. Withers.
Everybody was too busy to help or advise us; but the
old woman and I managed to shove the waggon behind
a house where it seemed likely to be out of the way of
bullets. This done, I went to the open space before
the hotel, on which our defenders had mustered and
were marching off to the several points of danger
under the officers elected. Only a few of them were
regular soldiers, and these, indeed, nothing but re-
cruits enlisted within the last few days. None had
uniforms; and their arms were just what they could
get—rifles, shot-guns, pistols, or merely bowie-knives.
But they all looked determined to fight to the last for
their wives and children, knowing, too, it was better
94 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

to die than to fall alive into the hands of those bar-
barous warriors.

There was no weapon to spare for a boy like me.
But I did not wish to be idle, and presently found
a place where I could make myself of some use. A
party had assembled at the Post-office, most of them
women, busily at work, some making cartridges, some
preparing lint and linen for bandages. Here I and
another boy were set to melting lead and running
bullets, a job which just suited us, though we stood over
a fire almost hot enough to melt ourselves that hot day.

But for all our zeal we felt it provoking to be shut
up here without knowing what went on outside. It
seemed a terribly long time till the fighting began:
the Indians, as I afterwards heard, had approached
with their usual caution, wheeling half round the
place out of range before making a rush to attack.
When the first shot was fired, a young woman near
me fell down in a faint, as if a bullet had hit her.
They said her lover was at the stockade. Most of the
others, however, showed more courage and had need
of it, for soon came a pealing volley and the roar of
our cannon, then we heard the distant screech of the
war-whoop above the answering fire of the Indians.
‘You may be sure our ears were on the stretch, but we
all worked on, though from time to time we would
stop to listen to the increasing din of the battle raging
within a few hundred yards of ug
THE ATTACK ON THE CITY. 95

It came nearer and nearer; thicker grew the fire
and louder the shouts. Now and then a bullet rattled
against the walls of the house. I could not keep down
my excitement. There were other boys who had been
told off to carry water and ammunition to the stock-
ades, and I thought they had the best of it. So when
there was no more lead to melt, I gladly took the ex-
cuse for running out to see how things were going.

Before I had gone far, an unpleasant sound made
me start: it was the broken whirr of a bullet rebound-
ing from a wall and passing close to my ear. Next I
saw a man in front of me suddenly throw up his arms
and fall dead in the street without a word or even a
groan. This again brought me to a stop, but as the
bullets seemed to be flying everywhere, I thought I
might as well go forward as hold back; and when
some women came out of the nearest house to look
after the fallen man, I was ashamed to put myself
under cover. So I made my way to the unfinished
bastion, where the din of fighting was loudest.

Inside of it I came across several other dead and
wounded men. Here, a little before, the Indians had
almost forced themselves into the place, but had been
driven back. Now, sheltered among the houses out-
side, they were keeping up a hot fire, to which our
defenders replied from their breastwork, or from be-
hind boxes, barrels, sacks, and whatever else they could
get as cover, At this place, as the point of danger,
96 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY,

was Colonel Johnson, exposing himself freely and en-
couraging his men; and here, too, our one real can-
non was mounted, which had already told fatally
among the enemy, as might be seen by the dead
bodies strewn close together at some little distance
upon its line of fire. Here the Indians were making
their main attack, a number of outlying buildings on
this side giving them. cover; but from the other end
of the village came a sound of firing, now and again
growing louder, then-dropping off into occasional
shots, which showed that they were at work there also.

“Out of the way, boy! What good are you here,
except to get hit if you don’t mind?” said one of the
soldiers, roughly shoving me back, as I was trying to
take a look over the barricade during a lull in the
assault.

“Let him be!” cried another; and I recognized the
blacksmith, my travelling companion, his face and
hands all grimy with powder, as if he had been work-
ing at his trade. ‘Come along, sonny; and stand by
me. You can be of use, if you are not afraid. Here’s
a gun for you to load—keep your eyes open and be
smart when the time comes.”

The blacksmith, being a first-rate shot, had two
guns in his charge, which I was to help him in load-
ing, taking the place of another boy who had just been
wounded. JI willingly attached myself to him as his
squire, for the sake of gratifying my curiosity, and
THE ATTACK ON THE CITY. 97

was not long in having my hands full of work. He
was explaining to me how the fight had gone hitherto,
when a renewed outcry interrupted his story. The
Indians were coming on again.

The blacksmith ran to his port-hole, and I stood
close behind him, loading and handing the spare gun
as fast as I could. I had just one glimpse of a band
of naked painted warriors, leaping, bounding, and
gesticulating, as they rushed forward towards our
walls, then the smoke hid all from where I stood.
For the next few minutes I knew nothing of the fight
but a terrible din of screeching and shouting and
shooting that might have frightened me if I had not
been kept so busy. As it was, I found time to think
with some dismay what I should do if a fierce savage
came jumping over the rampart. But this time the
enemy did not get to such close quarters. Their yel-
ling died away and a hearty cheer from the bastion
told that they had been driven back. Once more the
fight became an affair of occasional shots at any man
who exposed himself on either side.

Peeping over the breastwork and ducking my head
as often as a bullet came by, I could see for myself
what an advantage our enemy had in the houses and
haystacks which afforded them safe cover within a
few hundred yards of our walls. One party had esta-
blished themselves in a little farm so close to us, that

we could plainly hear the taunts and insults which
(547) G
98 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

they shouted forth in intervals of the firing. Pre-
sently Colonel Johnson led forth a sally to drive them
from these buildings. Out dashed our men; the red-
skins received them with a whoop and a volley; and
now I expected to see a grand fight. But I had to
content myself with hearing, for I was pressed into
service to fill up the gap through which the Indians
had nearly broken.

We had just finished piling up a barricade of pork-
barrels and oat-sacks when our men came scurrying
in, several of them hurt. They could no longer face

- the fire in the open; yet they had managed to drive
away the screeching warriors from the houses, and had
maintained themselves there long enough to set sev-
eral of them on fire, as well as some haystacks which
had been of great use to the assailants. Then they
had steadily retreated, keeping the Indians in check.
The Indians tried to make a rush in pursuit, but our
gun set them to the right-about by a well-aimed dis-
charge. There was also a tall wind-mill just outside
of our works, in which a party of good marksmen
were posted and kept up a constant firing on every
Indian that showed himself within range. Colonel
Johnson was often there, for from the top he could
see almost all the place.

After this the fight came to a stand-still. The
Indians, not now finding shelter from those burning
buildings, retreated to a ravine some few hundred
THE ATTACK ON THE CITY. 99

yards off, in which they had their horses tethered,
carrying away as many of their dead and wounded as
they could reach without too much risk. There they
lay hid among timber most of the afternoon. More
than once they swarmed out with a hideous chorus of
whooping, and we could see their leader trying to
urge them on for a charge; but their heavy losses had
apparently discouraged them, and as soon as they felt
the hail of bullets, they turned back and took refuge
in the ravine. If we had only had some shells for the
howitzer, as we had not, they might have been roused
out of that cover too. As it was, for an hour together
we found nothing to do but stand on the watch and
fire an occasional shot at any redskin that could be
seen slinking through bushes or long grass. Even for
our cannon we had no proper ammunition. It had to
be loaded with bags full of small bullets, slugs, and
stones, which, however, seemed to do great execution,
and with the burning wad our gunners were twice
able to set a haystack in a blaze.

Two or three more sallies were made for the pur-
pose of burning other buildings within range, which,
being mostly of wood, were easily set on fire, and
without any serious opposition. JI had by this time
got quite used to the sound of bullets, and would wil-
lingly have ventured out with one of these parties;
for it is not often that a boy has the fun of making a
bonfire of somebody’s house, and all with a good con-
100 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

science. But I was now kept at less exciting work.
Setting fire to houses was a game two could play at..
A slight fire had already broken out within our lines,
luckily soon extinguished, but the warning was not
neglected. A gang of us set about covering with
earth the shingled roofs of the most exposed houses,
which might easily be set in a blaze by fire-arrows.
At this I worked till I was tired out, and after doing
a good deal in the way of bringing refreshments for
the wounded, I thought myself entitled to take a spell
off duty for my own supper, which was dinner and all,
as in the excitement I had forgotten to be hungry
since breakfast-time.

But nobody could count on eating his supper in
peace. About sunset a new uproar broke out at
another corner. The Indians had again showed them-
selves in force, as if about to make a desperate rush.
This, however, may have been only a feint, for before
the gun could be brought to bear upon them, they
quickly drew off across a rise of the ground, leaving
us uncertain from which quarter their next movement
might come. It was too much to think they had gone
for good.

Through the night we expected them to try their
worst tricks upon us. Creeping up close to the walls,
they might well succeed in setting some of the houses
on fire, then the consequences would be most serious.
Most of the buildings were of wood, dry from the hot
THE ATTACK ON THE CITY. 101

weather, and if a wind sprang up, the whole place
might be laid in ashes before morning. We had wells
enough for drinking, but the river lay a little way
beyond our defences, and we could not get water from
it without coming under fire. So an anxious watch
had to be kept, the night seeming like to bring as little
rest as the day.

As the twilight closed in, there was a grand spec-
tacle had we been in the mind for sight-seeing. All
afternoon the air had been full of smoke from the
burning buildings, some set on fire by our men, and
some, for mere love of destruction, by the Indians.
Now the different conflagrations glowed all around,
lighting up the gathering darkness, out of which here
and there came a flash and a report to prove that the
foe was still hovering about, waiting his opportunity
to make still greater havoc. Two or three times we
saw a flying flare soar up into the air like rockets,
which we took to be signals made by fire-arrows to
bands at a distance. Who knew how soon the circle
of fire and steel that beset us might not close in and
force this sleepless crowd from their refuge, to be the
victims of bloodthirsty savages.

But one merciful relief was at hand. The sky had
been clouding over, and about nine o’clock it began
to rain heavily. When we felt the first great drops
on our faces, men burst into thankful exclamations
and women wept for joy.
102 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

“Rain! Rain! Thank God!” The cry ran through
the village, and swelled into a cheer which our lurk.
ing enemies must have heard and understood. Down
came the rain in a deluge, soaking roofs and walls, and
after a few minutes there was no more danger of fire
for the present.


CHAPTER X.

A DANGEROUS ERRAND.

OW our wearied defenders could lie down to rest,
yet ready to be on foot at the first alarm. While
they slept, others who, for want of arms, had done
little in the fight, took their places as watchers. I got
@ gun now, and with two or three other lads of my own
age made part of the guard stationed at that unfinished
bastion, where through the night a number of men
were at work completing the earthworks and strength-
ening the barricades on each side. Though with as
good reason to be tired as anybody, after all I had
done, I was proud to think myself a real soldier, and
stalked up and down with my gun, peering over the
rampart into the darkness, rather hoping than not
that I might have the chance of discovering the
enemy’s approach. ‘The rain still came down heavily,
but we did not mind that, for all of us had been
soaked to the skin in the first half-hour.
Nobody who could work got his whole night for
sleep. Colonel Johnson, for one, seemed never to lie
down; we could not have had a more vigilant com-
104 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

mander. Several times before midnight he had al-
ready visited our post, when, coming round with a
lantern in his hand and a-cigar in his mouth, he called
us together to ask who would volunteer on a service
of danger.

Half a-dozen men answered; and if I did not, I hope
it was because my modesty held me back: I thought
I could be of no use.

“Good,” said the colonel; “but it’s a job a smart
boy can do better than a man, and not be so much
loss to us, too, if he got killed. For he may be
killed and he may be taken by the Indians; I give
you fair warning. Now, which of you boys isn’t
afraid?”

I sprang forward, and so did two other young-
sters; but I happened to be first. The colonel, hold-
ing up his lantern to my face, took a good hard look
at me, while asking my name and two or three other
questions.

“You'll do,” he. said, when he had finished ae
scrutiny. “Do you know that brick house up
there?”

I knew what re meant, a large new house with
stables and outbuildings, much the finest dwelling in
the neighbourhood, which stood on the rising ground
near the head of the ravine, several hundred yards
from the outside of our works. During the fight it
had been occupied by a party of Indians, who fired
A DANGEROUS ERRAND. 105

out of the windows into the town, making it into a
battery which we could not silence. Once a sortie
had been directed against it, but the men had shrunk
from crossing a wide stretch of open ground in front
swept by the bullets of at least a hundred warriors,
hidden in the tangled ravine. This post had-there-
fore remained in their hands, a source of constant
annoyance to us.

“Well,” said the colonel puffing his cigar as coolly
as if he were talking about going out to milk cows,
“you've got to sneak up there the best way you can,
and set it on fire before morning.”

“But what will the man it belongs to say?” was
the first thing that occurred to me, for the moment
forgetting all the scenes of the last few days in my
natural respect for property, especially the property
of people who had such fine houses as this.

“Tt belongs to me,” said the colonel curtly.

After that, of course, I had no more to say; and
he went on in the most business-like way, giving me
instructions for destroying his home. Taking care
not to be seen by the Indians, whom I might expect
to find about the place, I was to make my way to the
back of the house. If I saw no other way of entering
it safely, I must look out for a loft joining the stables.
Should the ladder have been removed, I could enter
this loft by creeping along the branches of an oak
tree and making a spring for it into the opening.
106 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

There I should find a keg of turpentine and some cans
of paint, which could be used for setting the place on
fire. By a trap-door in the floor I could get down
into the wood-shed, if fuel were wanted. Once I had
got a good blaze going without detection, I might be
off as fast as my legs could carry me; then the parti-
tions being all wood, the fire would soon spread on
each hand to the house and the stables. But I was
to be guided by circumstances, doing my best to burn
the colonel’s house in the safest and surest way, as he
explained to me; and, seeing him so cool about it, I
would not allow myself to shrink from what seemed
indeed a rather risky enterprise.

Armed with nothing more than a tin box of matches
and a candle-end, I got down over the rampart, and
set forth into the open country, where at any step I
might come among our cruel enemies. As soon as I
found myself fairly alone in the darkness, I began to
feel afraid, and the plain truth is that I wished some-
body else had been sent out on this business; but, all
the same, I was not going to turn back and be laughed
at; so I made up my mind once and for all to go
through with it.

The rain was by this time almost over, which did
not altogether please me, for, if it had been coming
down in torrents, I should have had a better chance
of moving about undetected. On the other hand, I
should now be more easily able to see my way. The
A DANGEROUS ERRAND. 107

fires had been burned out or extinguished by the wet.
It was a very dark night, except when at intervals the
rolling clouds allowed a pale glimmer of moonlight to
shine forth. All seemed strangely quiet after the
tumult of the day. Slipping and stumbling over the
sloppy ground, I halted every minute to listen with
strained ears as I peered into the blackness before
me; then sometimes I could hear nothing louder than
the beating of my own heart, and had to move briskly
on that I might forget the loneliness. Again the
silence would be broken by the distant croaking of
frogs from the river, or the hooting of an owl in the
timber. Every such sound made me start and brought
me to a stand-still. This was not mere nervousness,
for I had been told that Indian warriors used the
cries of birds and beasts as signals to one another.
It was quite a relief when I heard a familiar pig
grunting not far off. I did not fancy the red man as
likely to be connected with grunters.

The ground, which on the other side of the town
lay still mostly open prairie, was here cut up by fields,
gardens and enclosures, among which I had to work
ahead, keeping the colonel’s house before me by the
help of occasional glimpses of moonlight. I had also
been directed to steer my course upon a line drawn
between the lights of the village and what appeared
to be an Indian watch-fire on the highest ridge in
sight, so I was in little danger of getting far out of
108 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

the way, even had it remained pitch dark all along.
From time to time lights had been seen about the
colonel’s place, showing that some of the Indians were
still there, as indeed they would have been fools to
neglect such a shelter on so wet a night.

On I went, and before I had gone half-way was
covered with mud from head to foot, as the result of
my stumblings and gropings from one deserted home-
stead to another. There was a road all the way, but
you may be sure I took care to keep clear of that,
where, if anywhere, a watch would be kept. After a
time I got to opener ground, upon a field filled with
blackened stumps, each of which I was at first ready
to take for an Indian crouching to spring upon me,
as I slunk along. I once or twice had almost run
upon larger objects which still more puzzled me in
the darkness, till I made out that they were the dead
bodies of cattle. A good many cows and oxen, turned
loose from the town before the fighting began, had
been roaming about all day in fright or in search of
food; and, often getting into the line of fire, had
fallen victims to the bullets of both sides.

I had just climbed over a fence: suddenly some-
thing moved in the darkness, and a black creature
rose up towards me with a cry that sent my heart
into my mouth, I started aside, my first impression
being of course that I had to do with an Indian war-
rior; but I was rather ashamed of being so easily
A DANGEROUS ERRAND. -109

scared, when the struggling moonbeams showed me
nothing more terrible than a big dog; and next mo-
ment I recognized it as my companion on the prairie,
which was lifting up its voice in a whine of satisfac-
tion at meeting me again. I had missed it when we
came to the town, forgetting all about the creature
till next day, then wondering what had become
of it.

“Oh! this will never do!” said I to myself in dis-
may. “Carlo, Rover, Bow-wow— whatever your
name is—you must hold your tongue, or it is all up
with me. Be quiet, will you!”

Just what the dog had no notion of doing! He
went on whining and howling as if he meant to bring
the Indians upon us. I was at my wit’s end to know
how to choke him off, for he would certainly insist on
accompanying me in my present errand, where noise
was the last thing wanted. I felt in my pocket for a
knife: if it came to that I must kill the brute. But
I could not bear the thought of it; I was always
fond of dogs, and this one had taken to me so kindly
and trusted me from the first, though a stranger—
how could I bring myself to cut his throat? Was
there no way I might insult or offend him, so as to be
rid of his company.

“Go back! Get away!” I said sharply, but he did
not move, lying at my feet, and letting his voice sink
into a plaintive moan. I even went so far as to give
110 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

him a little kick, that brought out a growl more of
pain than anger. I stooped down to pat him into
silence, and found his shaggy coat all soaked with
something moist and warm-—blood! Then I per-
ceived that the poor thing must be disabled by a
wound. He dragged himself closer to me; and raised
his head with an effort to lick my hand. I repented
of having even pretended to be cruel. I knew what
he meant to say as well as if he could speak:

“You are a new friend, but the only one I have.
I don’t know the meaning of all these strange goings
on, or how I have come to get hurt when I was doing
no harm to anybody: but I am sure you are the
fellow to help me, and even if you pretend to be un-
kind to me, I won’t believe you.”

All this was expressed in a feeble, long-drawn
whine. Willingly would I have helped him, but how?
As it was, I might be thankful if his noise did not
betray me. With that other business in hand, I
could not wait to play the surgeon, even had I any
such skill, There was nothing for it but to harden
my heart and turn away. But I need not have been
afraid of his howling after me. When the dog saw
me deserting him he tried to get up and leap towards
me, and the struggle was his last. With one sorrow-
ful bark that broke down in the middle, he fell back
and lay still, while I hurried on without waiting to
see if he were quite dead I had seen several men
A DANGEROUS ERRAND. 111

killed that day; but somehow nothing affected me so
much as the fate of this dumb beast.

It was no time to indulge in sentiment. I had got
out into a large sloping meadow, recently mowed and
free from obstacles, over which I could now make
better progress. Still I came across no signs of the
enemy. 2

By and by, since I had come safe thus far, I grew
bolder and stepped out more smartly; then, as the
moon shone out I unexpectedly found myself within
a stone’s-throw of the house I sought, while, when IT
looked behind, the lights of the little town seemed
ever so far off. I couldn’t help giving one small
shudder to think of the chances of getting back un-
hurt to my friends; then I told myself to think about
nothing but what I had to do, and not be a fool
over it. But still my mind would keep wondering
whether this house were not full of rifles and toma-
hawks sharp set for my blood. Not a soul seemed to
be stirring here but myself




CHAPTER XI.

A GRAND BONFIRE.

OU may be sure it was with the utmost caution
that I approached the house, all dark and still
as it stood. The fence enclosing it had been thrown
down, so I had no difficulty in getting into the garden.
There, crawling from bush to bush like a beast of
prey, and crouching down under every patch of shade
to make sure I had not been discovered by some keen-
eyed sentinel, I safely reached the side of the main
building, meaning to pass round to the stables. Natur-
ally, on such an errand I did not venture near the
front door, but seeing a verandah round the house, I
thought I might as well take that road as lying in
deepest shadow. I was shod with a pair of soft
moccasins somebody had given me, in which I could
tread noiselessly as a cat, and by this time had grown
more used to picking my steps in the dark.
But scarcely had I set foot on the verandah than
the boards creaked loudly, and a muttered exclama-
tion within a yard of me almost froze my blood. I
A GRAND BONFIRE. 113

had presence of mind enough to spring lightly back
behind a pillar wreathed with some luxuriant creep-
ing plant; then I heard or felt, rather than saw, that
someone roosting in the verandah had waked up and
raised his head to look about him suspiciously. I
held my breath and stiffened myself with every nerve,
fancying that the beating of my heart could betray
me. After a minute or two of terrible suspense, the
person I had so nearly walked over, appeared to
come to the conclusion that it was all right. With
a low grunt, as of satisfaction, he settled himself
to sleep again, and soon I heard his breathing to
mark the spot where I had made such a narrow
escape.

“Well, you don’t seem to be looking out to be dis-
turbed, anyhow,” said I to myself.

I must have let five or ten minutes pass before I
ventured to move, even by leaning forward to peep
round my curtain of creepers. When I got courage
to look, I had to stare hard into the gloom to make
out several dark forms extended under the verandah, _
all, fortunately for my scalp, fast asleep again. The
moon came to my aid, and I saw that they were
certainly Indian warriors wrapped in their blankets.
‘Whether belonging to these men or not, I noted three
guns standing up against the wall of the house, to
which I thought I could have helped myself, if I had

not had other work on hand. They were almost
(547) H
114 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

within my reach. It would only be leaning over an
Indian and gingerly drawing them away; but ugh!
I thought I had as lief go stealing from a den of
rattlesnakes.

I turned back, walking on tiptoe, and made a little
circuit behind some shrubs to strike the house again
at the back. The moon showed me that the verandah
on this side was clear of Indians; but rather to my
dismay I saw a faint light streaming out of one of
the windows that opened upon it. After a little con-
sideration, I concluded to reconnoitre the inside by
this peep-hole, so I crept along the verandah on all
fours beneath the lighted window, and there lay listen-
ing for a time till a sound of snoring within encouraged
me to draw my head up to the level of the sill. One
hasty glance, then another showed me that I might
look at my ease.

The window was open, and by the light of a lamp
flickering to its end I saw several figures lying about
on the floor round a table covered with empty bottles,
which suggested a drunken slumber. So far as I
could make out, they were not regular Indians, but
half-breeds, who seemed to have been plundering the
place, for they had their booty beside them in heaps
and bundles. How many such marauders there might
be in other parts of the house, I could not guess; but
I thought it odd that they should make themselves so
snug without keeping any watch. If the colonel had
A GRAND BONFIRE. 115

sent out an armed party instead of a single scout, it
might have struck a good blow here and been off
again without much danger.

Anyhow, this state of things just suited my pur- -
pose; and I should lose no time in carrying it out
before the first streaks of dawn came to betray me.
I stole on to that part of the building described to
me by the colonel. He spoke of the wood-shed as
locked up, and had told me to get down into it from
the loft above; but his unwelcome guests had made
the matter easier by bursting open the lower door in
search of plunder, so all I had to do was to walk in,
quietly strike a light and look about me.

There everything lay ready to hand for an excellent
bonfire, on the one side a great pile of billets reaching
almost to the roof, on the other a heap of dry branches
and pine cones for kindling. I mounted into the loft,
where I found the inflammable materials I expected,
and into the bargain a large box of candles, which
the Indians had again saved me some trouble by
breaking up and scattering the contents about the
floor, where I let them lie to feed the flames by and
by. I set the keg of turpentine running and drip-
ping down through the chinks upon the wood pile
beneath. JI threw a can or two of paint over the
partition of thin boards, through openings in which
could be seen the hay stored up above the adjacent
stable. Then, taking a handful of candles and a mug
116 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

of turpentine to soak the wood with in a good place,
I hurried down to light my fire.

This had to be done with some care, so that the
flames should take a firm hold at once and yet not
burn up too quickly to give an alarm before I had got
well out of the way. Tingling all over with excite-
ment, for never before or after had I the chance of
making such a grand bonfire, I built up a little heap
of kindling in a hollow of the pile, leaving room for
air, stuffing plenty of fir-cones and candles into the
gaps above, and giving the wood at the top a drench
of turpentine to trickle down and meet the ascending
flames. Nothing then remained but to put a light to
bottom. This done, I waited one moment to make
sure the blaze was spreading, and fled away round the
end of the house by the way I had come, expecting at
every step to hear some cry of wrath or alarm at my
heels.

But as I passed the sleeping Indians on the ver-
andah, a sudden temptation took me. Grown rash
by having hitherto come off so well, I stepped lightly
to the spot, seized those three rifles I had seen against
the wall, drew them one by one over the body of the
nearest sleeper, and bounded off as fast as such a load
would allow me. It was fine to play not only the
incendiary, but the thief, all at the expense of the
enemy. :

Now that I knew the ground better and had no
A GRAND BONFIRE. 117

such need for caution, I got along at a more rapid
rate, even encumbered as I was by the heavy guns,
which I held clasped in a bundle before me as if they
had been babies! But just as I was clearing the en-
closure of the garden, a startling accident happened.
One of the guns went off with a roar and a blaze, so
close to my face that for the moment I fancied my-
self blown to pieces. My hair was a little singed,
and I sprawled on my back overthrown by the shock.
Luckily that was all the harm done. I picked myself
up, left one of the guns lying, took the others in each
hand, and ran for it down the hill, as well I might,
for now rose behind me a burst of shouting and
screeching to wing my flurried flight. The Indians
must have waked up and sprung to their arms. Con-
fused and scared as I was, I had a little chuckle to
think that three of the warriors would have to look
for their arms before springing to them. i

On I ran headlong down the hill, making straight
towards the lights of the town, and trusting all else
to chance. Presently, having got over the disquiet-
ing effect of that little accident, I began to consider
that my pursuers would not be likely to catch me in
the darkness; still it seemed best to get away as
quickly as possible from the place where I had just
made so much mischief. When I came to think over
it, too, I was not sorry the Indians had taken alarm,
for, Indians though they were, I did not like the
118 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

notion of them being roasted or suffocated in their
sleep through my doing.

But when I ventured on a halt to take breath and
look behind me, I was disappointed to see no signs of
conflagration. Had all my trouble gone for nothing
then? No, indeed! for the next time I turned my
head, there was a ruddy glow of fire like a beacon in
the darkness, and the shouting began afresh to show
that my work was discovered. It was all right now,
for once the fire got a good head among the fuel I
had put in its way, a hundred redskins would not
extinguish it in a hurry.

After that I took things more coolly, feeling my
way through the ruined outskirts, and taking care to
stick to my spoils, the two Indian guns, of which I
was as proud as any young warrior of his first scalp.
Coming near the walls, I found our men all on the
alert as well as the enemy. One nervous sentinel had
very nearly fired at me when I first sang out from
the darkness; but the colonel caught his arm and
answered with a cheery “All right!” He had been
anxiously on the look out for my return, fearing that the
report on the hill-side might have been my death-shot.

I handed up my trophies and clambered over the
barricade to tell my adventures, and find myself the
hero of the hour in a small way, and have all the men
shaking me by the hand and congratulating me, the
colonel first of all.
A GRAND BONFIRE. 119

“You are a brave young fellow,” he said, and 1
tingled to the ears from such praise from one who
had so good right to give it. “I had rather have my
house burned a dozen times, than that you should
have come to harm over it.”

His house was burning finely, anyhow. By this
time long tongues of flame were shooting up into the
night, sending out a glare by which we could see the
dark figures of the Indians flitting round in their
vain efforts to put out the fire—or perhaps they were
only trying to secure their plunder. The flames
spread rapidly to either side; the stables were first in
a blaze, then the dwelling-house. All night it flared
away on the hill-top, lighting up the open space around
and guarding us against surprise from that side.
Next morning there was nothing left of the colonel’s
mansion but smoking ruins and a blackened shell to
bear witness to my fine piece of work.


CHAPTER XII.

HOW THE CITY WAS SAVED.

GOT a sleep towards morning, but I was up in
good time and out on the bastion, of which I now
counted myself among the regular defenders. Having
performed such an exploit, I expected that nobody.
would grudge me one of the rifles I had brought in;
but I was disappointed. Orders came round that all
the most serviceable weapons were to be handed over
to the best marksmen, and the rest of us must make
ourselves useful in loading. . The fact was that ammu-
nition had begun to run short, so our commander saw
it needful not to throw away a shot.

He knew best what cause for anxiety there would
be if the siege went on. It was not only that we had
no powder and shot to blaze away without effect on
our cautious assailants. Within the lines were still
more cattle than we had room for, so we need fear no
want of meat; but other provisions and comforts of
every kind were scarce, and sickness might be ex-
pected to break out among the crowd of people penned
up like sheep. The wounded already suffered greatly,
HOW THE CITY WAS SAVED. 121

as the only doctor among us had been himself badly
hurt, and the one drug-store of the place was burned.
Fortunately, as yet, there were not many wounded
men to take care of—under twenty, if I remember
right. After the first fierce rush, when the Indians
had nearly made good their entrance, the fire kept up
by them for hours had done wonderfully little hurt to
us, which ‘shows that Indians in real life cannot be
such first-class shots as in story-books. As for the
red men’s own loss, that could but be guessed, since
they made a point of carrying off their dead and
wounded. Several bodies, which could be seen the
evening before, had thus disappeared during the night.

For some hours we were left in doubt as to whether
they meant to renew the attack. Nothing was seen
of them beyond a few scouts riding here and there in
the distance; and the people turned this respite to
account by visiting the gardens round about to gather
a stock of vegetables. But an alarm given from the
windmill; which was our watch-tower, sent them all
hurrying back within the lines. Soon afterwards we
saw the whole Indian force parading on the sloping
prairie, as if to make an imposing display of their
numbers. It was rumoured that they must have been
reinforced through the night: we now counted about
six hundred warriors, most of them on horseback. .

A fresh attack appearing to be at hand, my friend
the blacksmith was told off to make one of the garri-
122 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

son of the windmill, each man a picked shot with two
rifles; and I went along with him as his loader.
From the highest story of this place, I had a capital
view of almost all the battlefield. It was a fine spec-
tacle to see the Indian army drawing near, opening
out like the wings of a bird as it swooped down
upon us, then dividing into separate parties, each of
which made for a different point. One band rode
towards the windmill, circling about in front of our
defences as if in bravado, and making their well-
trained ponies drop down in the long grass if they
saw signs of preparing to fire; but most of them dis-
mounted before coming into range, cautiously advan-
cing on foot under protection of every bit of cover
afforded by the ground.

It appeared that we were to be attacked on three
sides at once. The firing broke out first on the fur-
ther side of the town, where a hot fight went on for
several minutes, while the division opposed to us
seemed not so ready to come to close quarters; and
we in the windmill reserved our fire till every shot
would have a better chance of not being thrown away.
The suspense was trying, as our assailants crept
stealthily on like a tide, which soon we might expect
to have raging all round this island of ours, and cut-
ting us off from the main lines of defence to withstand
the storm as best we could. There were not quite a
dozen of us in all to hold this important position.
HOW THE CITY WAS SAVED. 123

But while we stood ready, with nerves strung up
for the approaching moment of action, we became
aware that the tide was on the turn. The firing on
the opposite side suddenly stopped. The Indians
attacking us held back—they were slinking away
before a shot had been fired. What could this
mean?

“There's some trick here, boys!” exclaimed the
blacksmith. “But Pll eat my hat if I can under-
stand what the varmint can be about!”

“Look! Look!” shouted a man at one of the other
windows; and at the same moment there came a
tumult of cheering from the town.

We all ran to the opening which commanded that
side, and what did we see? Hundreds of Indians
were scampering across the prairie in confusion, as if
routed by the exulting cries of the defenders. A
moment more and the cause of this commotion came
into sight. A troop of horsemen appeared in the dis-
tance galloping along the road from St. Peter. It
was help—deliverance at hand! The Indian scouts
must have warned them of the danger, for they were
all in full retreat; and presently a band of our men
on horseback dashed out of the town to complete their
discomfiture.

Now we in the windmill joined the chorus of exul-
tation, and emptied our guns after the flying warriors.
The party attacking us had by this time gained their
124 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

horses and were galloping off after the rest. Just
before disappearing over the nearest ridge, some: of
them turned to fire a farewell volley in answer to our
shouts of defiance. I had got out on the roof of the
windmill, where I was yelling and waving my hat in
joyful excitement, when all at once something struck
me dumb. I staggered backwards, and would have
fallen off if a strong arm had not been at hand to
catch me. My head turned round; it seemed as if
the ground were sinking from under me—then I knew
no more of that thrilling scene of triumph and relief.
One of those last random shots fired some half a mile
away, had hit me just above the ear, most luckily
glancing off, but leaving me stunned, with an ugly
scalp wound, which I shall carry all my life, hidden
beneath my hair.

That is how I have little more to tell, from my own
knowledge, of the great Indian rising of 1862. Oak-
wood City was safe; the enemy had been seized with
panic at the approach of a strong reinforcement. The
worst days were over now, though for some weeks to
come few settlers west of St. Peter could lie down to
rest in security. The white men were everywhere

_ rallying for defence, and soon found themselves able
to push the war back into the enemy’s country.

But in that one terrible week, I have read, a coun-
try two hundred miles long and fifty miles wide had
"HOW THE CITY WAS SAVED. 125

been made desolate. Thirty thousand people were
driven from their houses to suffer such perils and
hardships as I have described in my own case, and
lucky I might think myself to come off so well. How
many were killed will perhaps never be exactly known.
The lowest reckoning makes it nearly a thousand; but
some say that two thousand would be nearer the mark.
Of the sickening cruelties perpetrated in so many
places by our barbarous enemy, I durst not trust my-
self to speak. :

My wound was a severe but not a very dangerous
one, thanks to the excellent health of my out-of-door
life. "When I came to myself, I was lying in a cov-
ered waggon, where Mrs. Withers nursed me and her
baby at once, besides taking care of Karl Schmidt’s
injured hand. Fever coming on, I remained delirious
for some days. Afterwards I was moved into a house,
and wanted for nothing that the good people of Oak-
wood City could giveme. The baby got better before
I did; then Mrs. Withers went east to her friends in
New England. But her place as nurse was taken up
by Karl, still disabled by his own wound, who stayed
to see me on my legs again, while his brother Fritz
joined the army that moved towards the frontier, fol-
lowing up our baffled enemy. Now it became their
turn to be hunted from their homes.

It was late in the year before I went back with the
brothers to the outlying settlement where they had
126 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

begun to clear the land. Their log hut had been
burned, but we soon put up another one that in a
year or two was replaced by a good farmhouse. Here
we all three lived like brothers together till the time
came for me to marry and set up for myself. The
Indians having been driven away, we had plenty of
neighbours settling about us before long, chiefly coun-
trymen of our own, for we Germans of course like to
keep near one another. In ten years, the district was
so flourishing and so well populated, that a stranger
could hardly have believed how lately it had been laid
waste by the horrors of an Indian war.

One more scene of that tragedy I witnessed. At
Christmas, a bad time for such a business, we went
to see the hanging of the Indian prisoners convicted
of taking part in the murders of white people. Over
three hundred of those captured by the soldiers had
been condemned ; but the sentence had to be confirmed
at Washington, which caused some delay and much
difference of opinion. There was great excitement all
over the country. Many people in the eastern states
were shocked at the idea of executing prisoners of
war; they pleaded the wrongs which the red men
believed themselves to have suffered, and argued that
it was not fair to judge those heathen by our laws of
justice. I am afraid there was too much truth in —
this way of looking at the matter. The poor Indians
had been cheated by greedy whites, and had taken
HOW THE CITY WAS SAVED. 127

revenge according to their own barbarous notions,
But men who had been forced to fly for their lives,
who had lost their all, who had perhaps seen their
wives and children inhumanly butchered, were ill dis-
posed to hear of mercy. In the end President Lin-
coln ordered only about forty of the prisoners to be
executed. The citizens of Minnesota were very angry
over this decision; some even talked of lynch law;
but fortunately their indignation did not go beyond
talk, ‘The captive warriors were kept safe under
guard of a strong military force.

It was an awful sight to see some forty human
beings led out at once to the gallows. With a mourn-
ful wail the unhappy Indians hurried up upon the
scaffold as if eager to meet their fate, and each man
took his place without the least resistance. The ropes
were soon fixed and white caps put over the painted
faces of the warriors, many of whom appeared in all
their savage finery. Many also wore crosses on their
breasts, as a sign that they had listened to the mis-
sionaries who attended them to the last moment.
One or two were smoking cigars by way of bravado.
As they screeched out their death-song in chorus
their bodies trembled with excitement, so that they
seemed to be dancing on the drop. Some of them
tried to clasp each others hands, fettered as they
were, and it was piteous how one old man reached
out on each side, but could not find a hand to com-
128 AN EMIGRANT BOY’S STORY.

fort him. I could pity them now, when it was their
turn to need pity so sorely.

There was a single drum tap, the drop fell, the long
row of bodies hung in the air, several struggling con-
vulsively for some minutes. The vast crowd, which
had hitherto looked on in silence, now burst into cries
of exultation, not pleasant to hear, But many faces
were pale and quivering, and, as I turned away, I felt
more ashamed than triumphant over the fate of our
enemies.

*Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, even so shall his
blood be shed,” quoted Fritz Schmidt, seeking to per-
suade us and himself that what we had just seen done
was well done.

“God forgive them!” said Karl. ‘The poor crea-
tures knew no better.”

As for me I said nothing, but I thought that rather
than see such another sight I would almost choose to
go back again to those dark days, when, with my
life in my hand, I was skulking and flying upon the
prairie.

THE END.
A SELECTION OF
BLACKIE & SON’S

BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE,

SUITABLE FOR GIFTS. FOR SCHOOL LIBRARIES,
FOR PRIZES.

BLACKIE’S HALF-GROWN SERIES.
Illustrated by eminent Artists. In crown 8vo, cloth elegant.

The Hermit Hunter of the Wilds. By Dr. Gorpon Sraztes,
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a Ambition: A Story for Children. By Evenyn Evererr
REEN.

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White Lilae: Or, The Queen of the May. By Amy Wauron.
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Little Lady Clare. By Evetyn Eversrr Green,

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The Saucy May. By Henry Fritu.
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The Brig ‘‘Audacious.” By Azan Cous.
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Jasper’s Conquest. By Exizazera J. Lysacut.
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Sturdy and Strong: Or, How George Andrews made his Way.
By G. A. Henry,

“The history of a hero of everyday life, whose love of truth and innate pluck
carry him, naturally, from poverty to affluence.”—The Empire.
Gutta-Percha Willie: The Working Genius. By Gzoren Mao

Donatp, LL.D.

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read it to them.”—Practical Teacher.

The War of the Axe: Or Adventures in South Africa. By
J, PErcy-GRoves.
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The Eversley Seerets. By Everyn Evererr GREEN.
; “Ig one of the best children’s stories of the year.”—Academy.
2 BLACKIE AND SON’S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.



HALF-CROWN SERIES—Continued.

The Lads of Little Clayton. By R. Srsap.

“A capital book for boys, and may be read to a class with great profit.” —School-
master.

Ten Boys who lived on the Road from Long Ago to Now. By Janz
ANDREWS, With 20 Illustrations.
“Really attractive and brightly written.”—Saturday Review.

Winnie’s Secret: A Story of Faith and Patience. By Karz Woop.

“Written precisely in the style that is surest to win the hearts of young folks.”
—Pictorial World.

A Waif of the Sea: Or the Lost Found. By Katz Woop.
‘CA very touching and pretty tale, full of interest.” —~ Edinburgh Courant,
The Joyous Story of Toto. By Laura E. Ricuarps. With 30
humorous and fanciful Illustrations by E. H. Garrert.
“Should take its place beside Lewis Carroll's unique works.” —Birmingham Gaz.

Miss Willowburn’s Offer. By Saran Dovupyey.
“It is a careful, well executed, and cheery study of English still life."--Academy.

A Garland for Girls. By Lovrsa M. Atcorr.
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Hetty Gray: Or Nobody’s Bairn. By Rosa MunHonnann.

‘©A charming story for young folks. Hetty is a delightful creature.”— World.

Brothers in Arms: A Story of the Crusades. By F. B. Harrison.
“One of the best accounts of the Crusades we have read.”—Schoolmistress.

The Ball of Fortune. By Cuaries Prarcr.
‘*A capital story for boys. There is plenty of incident.”—Journal of Education.

Miss Fenwick’s Failures. By Esué Sruarz,
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Gytha’s Message: A Tale of Saxon England. By Emma Lustis.
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My Mistress the Queen: A Tale of the 17th Century. By M. A.
PAvLt.
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Jack o’ Lanthorn: A Tale of Adventure. By Henry Frira.
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The Family Failing. By Daruey Dates.

“Tt is a capital lesson on the value of contentedness.”—Aberdeen Journal.
BLACKIE AND SON’S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. 3



HALF-CROWN SERIES—Continued.

The Stories of Wasa and Menzikoff: The Deliverer of Sweden,
and the Favourite of Czar Peter.

Stories of the Sea in Former Days.
Tales of Captivity and Exile.

Famous Discoveries by Sea and Land.
Stirring Events of History.

Adventures in Field, Flood, and Forest.

BLACKIE’S TWO SHILLING SERIES.
In crown 8vo, with Illustrations, cloth elegant, 2s.

Sam Silvan’s Sacrifice: The Story of two Fatherless Boys. By
JgssE CoLMAN.

*‘There is real pathos in the tale, and shows the beauty of endurance and un-
selfishness.”—Scottish Leader.

A Warrior King; A Boy’s Adventures in South Africa. By J.
EVELYN.
“Just the book for boys—not a ‘dry’ page in it.”—Plymouth News,

Susan. By Amy Warton. ~

‘A clever little story, in which the authoress shows a great deal of insight into
children’s feelings and motives.”—Pall Mall Gazette.

Linda and the Boys. By Ceciz1a Setpy Lownpszs.
«Ts full of the kind of humour that children love.”—Liverpool Mercury.
Swiss Stories for Children and those who Love Children.
_ From the German of Mapam Sryrt. By Lucy WHEELocK.
“Lifelike descriptions of Swiss homesteads and country.”—Practical Teacher.

Aboard the ‘‘Atalanta.”” By Henry Fariru.

“We doubt if any boy after reading it would be tempted to the great mistake
of running away from school under any pretext whatever.”—Practical Teacher.

The Penang Pirate. By Joun ©. Hurcueson.
“It is rattling, adventurous, and romantic.”—Aberdeen Journal.

Teddy: The Story of a “Little Pickle.” By Joun C. Hurcueson.

“There is real humour in the tale.”—The Times.
4 BLACKIE AND SON’S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.



TWO SHILLING SERIES—Continued.

Warner’s Chase: Or the Gentle Heart. By Awniz S. Swan.

“There is nothing sentimental and no sickly goodyism in it, but a tone of quiet
and true religion that keeps its own place.”—Perthshire Advertiser.

New Light through Old Windows. A Series of Stories illus-
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“ Most delightfully-written little stories,”"—Glasgow Herald.
*°A Pair of Clogs:” And other Stories. By Amy Watton.
; “These stories are decidedly interesting, and true to nature.”—Academy.
The Hawthorns. By Amy Watton.
“A remarkably vivid and clever study of child-life.”— Christian Leader.
Dorothy’s Dilemma: A Tale of the Time of Charles I, By Cano-
LINE AUSTIN.
“‘ Will be warmly welcomed by children.”—Court Journal.
Marie’s Home: Or, A Glimpse of the Past. By Carotine Austin.
“An exquisitely told story. The heroine is as fine a type of girlhood as one
could set before our little British damsels of to-day.”—Christian Leader.
The Squire’s Grandson: A Devonshire Story. By J. M. Catt-
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“Cannot fail to favourably impress all young readers.” —Schoolmaster.
Inseet Ways on Summer Days in Garden, Forest, Field, and
Stream. By Jennerr Humpursys. With 70 Illustrations,
‘«4 charming book for young people.”—Schoolmaster.
Magna Charta Stories: Or Struggles for Freedom in the Olden
Time. Edited by AnrHUR GILMAN, A.M.
- “A book which ought to be in the hands of all boys."—Hducational News.

The Wings of Courage; Ayn Tue Croup-Srinyer. Translated

from the French of Gzorcr Sanp, by Mrs. Corgran.

“Mrs. Corkran has earned our gratitude by translating into readable English
these two charming little stories.” Atheneum.

FOR THE YOUNGER CHILDREN.
Adventures of Mrs. Wishing-to-be. By Aricoe Corgran.
“Simply a charming book for little girls.”"—Saturday Review,
Our Dolly: Her Words and Ways. By Mrs. R. H. Ruap.
“ Prettily told and prettily illustrated.”—Guardian.
Fairy Faney: What she Heard and Saw. By Mrs. R. H. Reap.

“The authoress has very great insight into child nature.”—G@lasqow Lerald.
BLACKIE AND SON’S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. 5



TWO SHILLING SERI!ES—Continued.

Four Little Mischiefs. By Rosa MutHonuanp.
*‘A charming bright story about real children.”— Watchman.

Little Tottie, and Two Other Stories.

By Tuomas ARcHER.

“The book is a most alluring prize for the younger ones.”—Schoolmaster.

Naughty Miss Bunny. By Crara Munuorranp.
“This naughty child is positively delightful.".—Land and Water.

Chirp and Chatter; Or, Lessons rrom Fre,p anp Tres. By

ALICE Banks,

With 54 Illustrations by Gorpon Browne.

“A nicer present for a child one could not select.”"—Glasgow Herald.

BLACKIE’S EIGHTEENPENNY SERIES.

In Crown 8vo, cloth extra, each with Tinted or Coloured Illustrations,

Tales of Daring and Danger, By
G. A. HEenty.

The Seven Golden Keys, By JamxEs
E. ARNOLD,

The Story of a Queen. By Mary
C. ROWSELL.

Joan’s Adventures at the North
Pole and Elsewhere. By ALIcE
CORKERAN.

Filled with Gold. By JENNIE PER-
RET.

Edwy: Or, Was he a Coward? By
ANNETTE LYSTER.

The Battlefield Treasure.
BAYFORD HARRISON.

Yarns on the Beach. By G. A.
HENTY.

By F.

ATerrible Coward. By G. M. Fenn.

The Late Miss Hollingford. By
RosA MULHOLLAND.

Our Frank, and other Stories. By
AMY WALTON.

The Pedlar and his Dog. By Mary
C. ROWSELL.



Into the Haven. By ANNIE 8. SWAN.

Tom_ Finch’s Monkey. By J. C.
HuvrcHEsoN.

Our General: A Story for Girls, By
ELIZABETH J. LYSAGHT.

Aunt Hesba’s Charge. By Eiza-
BETH J, LYSAGHT.

By Order of Queen Maude. By
Louisa CROW.

Miss Grantley’s Girls, and theStories
she told them. By THos. ARCHER.

The Troubles of Little Tim. By
GREGSON GoW.

Down and Up Again, By GREGsoN
Gow.

The Happy Lad. By B. BJORNSON.

The Patriot Martyr, and other Nar-
ratives of Female Heroism.

Madge’s Mistake. By ANNIE E.
ARMSTRONG.

Box of Stories. By HoracEr Happy-
MAN.

When I was a Boy in China. By
Yan PHovu LEE.

“We are able to recommend one and all of these; their excellence is remark-

able.”—School Guardian,
6 BLACKIE AND SON’S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.



BLACKIE’S SHILLING SERIES.

Square 16mo, 128 pp., elegantly bound in cloth, with Frontispieces in
Colours.

Me. Lipscombe’s Apples. By JULIA
GoDDARD.

A Gypsy against Her Will. By
EMMA LESLIE.

An Emigrant Boy’s Story. By
Ascorr R. Hove x “i

The Castle on the Shore.
BEL HORNIBROOK.

John a’ Dale. By Mary C. RowsELL.

Jock and his Friend. By Cora
LANGTON.

Gladys: : Or, The Sister's Charge. By
O'BYRNE.

In Be Summer Holidays.
NETT HUMPHREYS.

How the Strike Began.
LESLIE.

By Isa-

By JEN-
By EMMA

Tales from the Russian of Madame
Kubalensky.

Cinderella’s Cousin. By PENELOPE.
Their New Home, By A. 8. FENN.
Janie’s Holiday. By C. REDFORD.

oe ehildieoe of GuavecuDe: By
ANNIE S, F

ane Cruise of us “*Petrel.” By
F. M. HoLMeEs.
The Wise Princess. By M. HARRIET
M. CAPES.
A Boy Musician: Or, the Young Days
of Mozart.

Hatto’s Tower. By Mary C. Row-
SELL,

Fairy Lovebairn’s Favourites. By
J, DICKINSON,

Alf Jetsam. By Mrs. GEO. CUPPLES.
The Redfords. By Mrs. G. CUPPLEs.
Missy. By F. BAyForD HARRISON.
Hidden Seed. By Emma LESLIE.

Jack’s Two Sovereigns. By ANNIE
8. FENN,

Ursula’s Aunt. By ANNIE §S. FENN.

A Little Adventurer, By GrEecson
Gow.

Olive Mount. By ANNIE 8. FENN.
Three Little Ones. By C. LANGTON.

Tom Watkins’ Mistake. By Emma
LESLIE,

Two Little Brothers.
RIET M. CAPEs.

The New Boy at Merriton.

The Blind Boy of Dresden.

Jon of Iceland: A True Story.
Stories from Shakespeare,

Every Man in his Place.

Fireside Fairies and Flower
Fancies.

To the Sea in Ships.

Little Daniel: a Story of the Rhine.

Jack’s Victory: Stories about Dogs.

Story of a King: By one of his Sol-
diers.

By M. Har-

Prince Alexis, or Old Russia.
Sasha the Serf: Stories of Russian
Life.

True Stories of Foreign History.

“The stories are without exception highly interesting, and all enforce some
desirable truth. Teachers should make a note of this excellent series.” —Teachers’

Aid,
BLACKIE AND SON’S BOOKS FOR CHILDREN, 7



THE NINEPENNY SERIES OF BOOKS FOR

CHILDREN.
Neatly bound in cloth extra. Each contains 96 pages and a Coloured
Illustration.
Things will Take a Turn. B: Hans th i

BEATRICE HARRADEN. y OWE ens ee ae a
Max or Baby. By Ismay THorRN. Little Troublesome, By IsaBEL
The Lost Thimble: and other Stories. HORNIBROOK.

By Mrs. MUSGRAVE, My Lady May. By Harrier Bovrr-
Jack-a-Dandy; or the Heir of Castle WOOD.

Fergus. By E. J. Lysacut. A Little Hero. By Mrs. Mus-
A Day of Adventures, By CHaAr- obey as

LOTTE WYATT. Prince Jon’s Pilgrimage. By
The Golden Plums: and other Stories. JESSIE FLEMING.

By FRANCIS CLARE. Harold’s Ambition, By JENNIE
The Queen of Squats. By IsaBEL peer

HORNIBROOK. Sepperl the Drummer Boy. By
Shucks: A Story for Boys. By Emma Lary C. ROWSELL

LESLIE. Aboard the Mersey. By Mrs.
Sylvia Brooke. By M, Harrier M. GEORGE CUPPLES.

CAPEs. A Blind Pupil. By ANNIE S. FENN.
The Little Cousin. By A. 8. Fenn. Lost and Found. By Mrs. Carn
In Cloudland. By Mrs. MUSGRAVE. ROTHER.

Jack and the Gypsies. By Kate | Fisherman Grim. By Mary ©.

Wood. ROWSELL.



“They are admirably adapted for the young. The lessons deduced are such
as to mould children’s minds in a good groove. We cannot too highly commend
them for their excellence.” —Schoolimistress.

SOMETHING FOR THE VERY LITTLE ONES.
Fully Illustrated. 64 pp., 82mo, cloth. : Sixpence each,
Tales Easy and Small for the Youngest of All. In no word will you see more
letters than three, By JENNETT HUMPHREYS.

Old Dick Grey and Aunt Kate’s Way. Stories in little words of not more than
four letters. By JENNETT HUMPHREYS.

Maud’s Doll and Her Walk. In Picture and Talk. In little words of not
more than four letters. By JENNETT HUMPHREYS.

In Holiday Time. And other Stories. In little words of not more than five
letters. By JENNETT HUMPHREYS.

Whisk and Buzz. By Mrs. A. H. GARLIOK.
8 BLACKIE AND SON’S BOOKS FOR CHILDREN.



THE SIXPENNY SERIES FOR CHILDREN.
Neatly bound in cloth extra. Each contains 64 pages and a Coloured Cut.

A Little Man of War.
‘TIDDEMAN.

Lady Daisy. By CAROLINE STEWART
Dew. By H. Mary WILson.
Chris’s Old Violin. By J. LookHAnt.
Mischievous Jack. By A. CORKRAN.
The Twins. By L. E. TIDDEMAN.
Pet’s Project. By Cora LANGTON.
The Chosen Treat. By C. Wyatt.
Little Neighbours, By A. 8. FENN.
Jim. By CHRISTIAN BURKE.

Little Curiosity: Or, A German Christ-
mas. By J. M. CALLWELL,

Sara the Wool-gatherer.

Fairy Stories: told by PENELOPE.

A New Year’s Tale. ByM.A.CURRIE.
Little Mop. By Mrs. Bray.

The Tree Cake. By W. L. Rooper.
Nurse Peggy, and Little Dog Trip.
Fanny’s King. By DARLEY DALE.

By L. E.



Wild Marsh Marigolds. By D. DALE.
Kitty’s Cousin. By HANNAH B.
MACKENZIE.

Cleared at Last. By JuLra Gop-
DARD.

A Year with Nellie. By A.S. Fenn.

Little Dolly Forbes. By Do.

The Little Brown Bird. A Story of
Industry.

The Maid of Domremy.

Little Erie: a Story of Honesty.

Uncle Ben the Whaler.

The Palace of Luxury.

The Charcoal Burner.

Willy Black: a Story of Doing Right.

The Horse and His Ways.

The Shoemaker’s Present,

Lights to Walk by.

The Little Merchant.

Nicholina: a Story about an Iceberg.

A SERIES OF FOURPENNY REWARD BOOKS.
Each 64 pages, 18mo, Illustrated, in Picture Boards.

A Start in Life. By J. LockHart.

Happy Childhood. By AIMEE DE
ENOIX DAWSON.

Dorothy’s Clock. By Do.
Toddy. By L. E. TIDDEMAN.

Stories about my Dolls. By FELICIA
MELANCTHON.

Stories. about my Cat Timothy.
Delia’s Boots. By W. L. Rooper.’
Lost on the Rocks. By R. Scorrer.

A Kitten’s Adventures. By Caro-
LINE STEWART.

Holidays at Sunnyeroft. By ANNIE
. SWAN.

Climbing the Hill. By Do.
A Year at Coverley. ‘By Do.

_Fritz’s Experiment.

Phil Foster. By J. LockHArRtT.
Papa’s Birthday. By W. L. Rooper.
The Charm Fairy. By PENELOPE.
Little Tales for Little Children.
By M. A. Curriz.
Worthy of Trust. By H. B. Mac-
KENZIE.
Brave and True. By GREGSON Gow.
The Children and the Water-Lily.
By JULIA GODDARD.
Poor Tom Olliver. “By Do,
Maudie and Bertie. GREGSON Gow.
Johnnie Tupper’s Temptation. Do.
By LETITIA
M‘LInTock,

‘Luey’s Christmas-Box.

* * A Complete List of Books for the Young, prices from 4d. to 7d. 6d.,
with Synopsis of their Contents, will be supplied on Application.

LONDON: BLACKIE & SON: GLASGOW, EDINBURGH, AND DUBLIN.






xml record header identifier oai:www.uflib.ufl.edu.ufdc:UF0007740900001datestamp 2008-12-05setSpec [UFDC_OAI_SET]metadata oai_dc:dc xmlns:oai_dc http:www.openarchives.orgOAI2.0oai_dc xmlns:dc http:purl.orgdcelements1.1 xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.openarchives.orgOAI2.0oai_dc.xsd dc:title An emigrant boy's storydc:creator Moncrieff, A. R. Hope (Ascott Robert Hope), 1846-1927Blackie & Son. ( Contributor )dc:subject Youth -- Juvenile fiction. -- Conduct of lifeConduct of life -- Juvenile fiction.Dakota Indians -- Juvenile fiction. -- Wars, 1862-1865Indians of North America -- Juvenile fiction. -- Wars -- Minnesota -- 1862-1865Indians of North America -- Juvenile fiction.Immigrants -- Juvenile fiction.Juvenile fiction. -- History -- MinnesotaBldn -- 1889.Literature for Childrendc:description Frontispiece printed in sepia.Publisher's catalogue follows text.b Funding Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).dc:publisher Blackie & Sondc:date 1889?dc:type Bookdc:format 128, 8 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 18 cm.dc:identifier http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/ufdc/?b=UF00077409&v=00001002231694 (aleph)ALH2078 (notis)12160829 (oclc)dc:source University of Floridadc:language Englishdc:coverage England -- London.Scotland -- Glasgow.Scotland -- Edinburgh.Ireland -- Dublin.dc:rights All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.