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´╗┐Title: Little Oskaloo - or, The White Whirlwind
Author: Harbaugh, Thomas Chalmers
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Little Oskaloo - or, The White Whirlwind" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



by The Kentuckiana Digital Library)



Transcriber's Note: Small spelling and punctuation errors have been
silently corrected. Spelling errors are listed at the end of the file.

Bold text is marked as =text=, and italics are _text_.



Complete in one Number.                            Price, 5 Cents.

[Illustration: NICKEL LIBRARY]

Entered according to Act of Congress by PICTORIAL PRINTING CO. In
the office of the Librarian at Washington. D. C., in the year 1877

SERIES ONE.                  CHICAGO.                    NUMBER 17

LITTLE OSKALOO,[A]

OR,

THE WHITE WHIRLWIND.

BY T. C. HARBAUGH.

    [A] Changed from LITTLE MOCCASIN.

[Illustration: =THE TRAILERS OF THE FOREST.--See page 4.=]



CHAPTER I.

HISTORY AND A MYSTERY.


If, in the month of July, 1794, an observing white man could have
traveled unmolested from the banks of the Ohio river due north to the
famous Maumee rapids, he would have been struck with the wonderful
activity manifested in the various Indian villages on his route.

No signs of idleness would have greeted his eye; the young warrior did
not recline in the shadow of his birchen lodge enjoying the comforts of
summer life in mid forest. If his image was reflected in the clear
streams, it was but for a moment, as his lithe canoe shot from bank to
bank. Everything between the two rivers portended war.

Indian runners were constantly departing and arriving at the several
native villages, and excited groups of Shawnees, Delawares and Wyandots
discussed--not the latest deer trails nor the next moon-feast, but the
approaching contest for the mastery of power.

A few years had passed away since they had met and conquered Harmar and
St. Clair. Those bloody victories had rendered the Indian bold and
aggressive. He believed himself invincible, and pointed with pride to
the scalps taken on the ill-fated 4th of November, '91.

But a new foe had advanced from the south--treading in the tracks of St.
Clair's butchered troops, but with his stern eye fixed on victory. The
Indians were beginning to exhibit signs of alarm--signs first exhibited
at the British posts in the "Northwestern Territory," where the powers
and generalship of Wayne were known and acknowledged.

It was the impetuous, Mad Anthony who led the advancing columns through
the Ohio forests. He had entered the blood-drenched territory with the
victory of Stony Point to urge him on to nobler deeds, and with the firm
determination of punishing the tribes, as well as of avenging the defeat
of his predecessors.

Tidings of his advance spread like wildfire from village to village, and
councils became the order of day and night alike.

The Indians knew the Blacksnake, as they called Wayne, and some, in
their fear, counseled peace. But that was not to be thought of by the
chiefs and the young Hotspurs whose first scalps had been torn from the
heads of Butler's men.

Such sachems as Little Turtle, Blue Jacket, and Bockhougahelas stirred
the Indian heart, and not a few words of encouragement came from the
British forts on the Maumee.

Simon Girty and kindred spirits moved from tribe to tribe underrating
Wayne before the august councils, until a united cry of "war to the
knife!" ascended to the skies.

The chase suddenly lost its charms to the scarlet hunter; the dandy
turned from his mirror to the rifle; the very air seemed heavy with war.

The older warriors were eager to lay their plans before any one who
would listen; they said that Wayne would march with St. Clair's
carelessness, and affirmed that the order of Indian battle, so
successful on _that_ occasion, would drive the Blacksnake from the
territory.

Under the Indian banner--if the plume of Little Turtle can be thus
designated--the warriors of seven tribes were marshalling. There were
the Miamis, the Pottawatamies, Delawares, Shawnees, Chippewas, Ottawas,
and Senecas; and in the ranks of each nation stood not a few white
renegades.

It was a formidable force to oppose the victor of Stony Point, and the
reader of our forest romance will learn with what success the cabal met.

We have thought best to prelude our story with the glimpses at history
just given, as it enables the reader to obtain an idea of the situation
of affairs in the locality throughout which the incidents that follow
take place.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was near the close of a sultry day in July, 1794, that two men
reached the right bank of the Maumee about ten miles below Fort
Defiance, which Wayne had erected and garrisoned.

They looked like Wyandot warriors, painted for the warpath. They were
athletic men, and one, as could be seen despite the profusion of paint
which his face wore, was at least twenty years the other's senior.

Long-barreled rifles were trailed at their sides, and their belts
carried the Indian's inseparable companions--the tomahawk and scalping
knife.

"There goes the sun," said the youngest of the pair in unmistakable and
melodious English. "Look at the old planet, Wolf Cap, if you want to see
him before he goes to bed. These are dangerous times, and one does not
know when the sun sets if he will be permitted to greet it in the
morning."

"That is so, Harvey," was the reply, in the brusque tone of the rough
frontiersman, and the speaker looked at the magnificent god of day whose
last streaks of light were crimsoning the water. "There was a time when
I didn't care if I never beheld the sun again. It was that night when I
came home and found no house to shelter me; but a dead family among a
heap of smoking ruins, and in a tree hard by a tomahawk buried to the
handle."

"You have told me," the younger said, as if to spare his companion the
pain of narrating the story of the Indian descent upon his cabin in
Kentucky.

"So I have, but I never grow weary of talking about it. It makes me
think of the revenge I have taken, and it nerves my arm anew. Boy," and
the speaker touched the youth's shoulder with much tenderness, "boy, I
was goin' to say that I hope the Indians will never do you such an
injury."

"I hope not, Wolf Cap; but I hate them all the same."

The frontiersman did not reply for a moment, but looked across the river
longingly and sad.

"Harvey," he said, suddenly starting up, "we have been separated for
four days. Have you heard of him?"

"Of----" the young scout hesitated.

"Of Jim Girty, of course."

"No; but we may obtain some news of him in a few moments."

"In a few moments? I do not understand you."

"I will tell you. I am here by appointment," said the youth. "In a few
moments I hope to meet a person who will give me valuable information
concerning the hostiles. She----"

"A woman?" interrupted the oldest scout. "Boy, you must not trust these
Indian girls too far."

"How do you know she is an Indian girl?" asked Harvey Catlett, starting.

"Because there are precious few white girls in these parts. Don't trust
her further than you can see her, Harvey. I would like to take a squint
at the dusky girl."

The youth was about replying when the dip of paddles fell upon his
practiced ears, and Wolf Cap started back from the water's edge, for he,
too, had caught the sound.

"Indians!" he said, and the click of his rifle was not heard six feet
away, but the youth's painted hand covered the flint.

"No enemy at any rate," he whispered, looking in the scout's face. "Stay
here till I return. It is Little Moccasin."

Without fear, but cautiously, Harvey Catlett, Wayne's youngest and
trustiest trailer, glided to the edge of the water, where he was joined
by a canoe containing a single person.

His giant companion rose, and, full of curiosity, tried to distinguish
the features of the canoe's occupant, who was met with a tender welcome
at the hands of the young scout.

But the sun had entirely set, and the couple formed dark silhouettes on
a ghostly background.

For many minutes the conversation continued at the boat, and the
impatient Wolf Cap at last began to creep forward as if upon a napping
foe.

"I want to get a glimpse at that girl," he was saying to his eager self.
"If I think she is soft soapin' the young feller, why, this shall be
their last meetin'."

The young couple did not suspect the scout's movements, and as he
crouched not twenty feet from the boat and within ear shot, he was
surprised to hear Catlett say:

"I'll let you go when I have shown you to my friend. He wants to see
you. Come, girl."

Wolf Cap saw a lithe, girlish figure slip nimbly from the canoe, and
when the youth turned his face toward the forest, as if to speak his
name, he rose.

"Here I am," he said. "Forgive me, boy, but I've been watchin' you.
Couldn't help it, as you talked so long. So this is Little Moccasin?"

As the border man uttered the euphonious title he stooped, for he was
almost unnaturally tall, and peered inquisitively into the girl's face.

It was a pretty face, oval and faultlessly formed. The skin was not so
dark as a warrior's, and the eyes were soft and full of depth. Wolf Cap
did not study the close-fitting garments, well beaded and fringed, nor
did he glance at the tiny, almost fairy-like moccasins which she wore.

It was the face that enchained his attention.

All at once his hand fell from Little Moccasin's shoulder, and he
started back, saying in a wild, incautious tone:

"Take that girl away, Harvey! For heaven's sake don't let her cross my
path again! And if you know what is good for yourself--for Wayne and his
army--you will keep out of her sight. Is she not goin'?"

The excited scout stepped forward with quivering nerves as he uttered
the last words.

"Yes, sir," said the youth quickly, but throwing himself between the
forest beauty and Wolf Cap. "She is going now."

"And will you promise never to see her again?"

"We'll talk about that at another time. Come."

The last word was addressed to Little Moccasin, upon whose face an
expression of wonderment rested, and Harvey Catlett led her to the
canoe.

For several minutes he held her hand, talking low and earnestly the
while, and then saw her send her light craft into the deep shadows that
hung over the water.

When the sound of her paddles had died away the young scout turned to
inquire into Wolf Cap's unaccountable conduct; but to his surprise the
rough borderman was not to be seen.

But Harvey Catlett was not long in catching the sound of receding
footsteps, and a moment later he was hurrying forward to overtake his
companion.

He soon came upon Wolf Cap walking deliberately through the forest, and
hastened to address him.

"Here you are! Wolf Cap, I want to know who Little Moccasin is."

The borderman did not stop to reply, but looked over his left shoulder
and said, sullenly:

"I don't know! Do you?"

Harvey Catlett was more than ever astonished; but a moment later, if it
had not been for the dangerous ground which they were treading, he would
have burst into a laugh.



CHAPTER II.

AN ERRAND OF MERCY.


Abner Stark, or Wolf Cap, was a man well known throughout Ohio and
Kentucky in the border days of which we write. Moody and sullen, but at
times possessed with a humor that seemed to reflect happier days; he was
cherished as a friend by the Wetzels, Boones, and Kentons of the early
west.

He had served as a scout under Harmar, St. Clair and Scott, and was
among the first to offer his valuable services to General Wayne.

It is needless to say that they were eagerly accepted, and in the
campaign of 1793 that witnessed the erection of forts Recovery and
Defiance, he had proved of great worth to the invaders.

Ten years prior to the date of our story the Shawnees, led by James
Girty, crossed the Ohio and fell like a pack of wolves upon Abner
Stark's Kentucky home.

The settler, as we have already heard him narrate to young Catlett, was
absent at the time, but returned to find his house in ashes, and the
butchered remains of his family among the ruins. He believed that all
had perished by the tomahawk and scalping knife.

By the hatchet buried in the tree which was wont to shade his home, he
recognized the leader of the murderous band. From the awful sight he
stepped upon the path of vengeance, and made his name a terror to the
Indians and their white allies.

His companion on the occasion described in the foregoing chapter, was a
young borderman who had distinguished himself in the unfortunate
campaign of '91. Handsome, cunning in woodcraft, and courageous to no
small degree, an expert swimmer and runner, Harvey Catlett united in
himself all the qualities requisite for the success of his calling. He
was trusted by Wayne, from whose camps he came and went at his pleasure,
questioned by no one, save at times, his friend Wolf Cap.

We have said that the singular reply given by Wolf Cap to the young
scout shortly after the meeting with Little Moccasin almost provoked a
laugh. The situation smacked of the ridiculous to the youthful borderer,
and the time and place alone prevented him from indulging his risibles.

But when he looked into the old scout's face and saw no humor there--saw
nothing save an unreadable countenance, his mirth subsided, and he
became serious again.

"We will not follow the subject further now," he said; "I want to talk
about something else--about something which I heard to-night."

His tone impressed Abner Stark, and he came to a halt.

"Well, go on, boy," he said, his hard countenance relaxing. "If you did
get any news out of _her_, tell it."

"The lives of some of our people are in danger," Catlett continued.
"Several days since a family named Merriweather embarked upon the Maumee
near its mouth. Their destination is Wayne's camp; they are flying to it
for protection."

"Straight into the jaws of death!"

"Yes, Wolf Cap. If they have not already fallen a prey to the savages,
they are struggling through the woods with their boats, which could not
stem the rapids."

"How many people are in the company?" Stark asked.

"Little Moccasin says eight."

"Women and children, of course?"

"Yes."

"And is this known by the Indians?"

"Unfortunately it is."

For a moment the avenger did not reply.

He appeared to be forming a plan for the safety of the imperilled
family, and the young scout watched him with much anxiety.

"I don't know the Merriweathers; never heard of them," Wolf Cap said,
looking up at last. "They are in great danger. There are women and
children among them. I had a family once. We must not desert the little
band that is trying to get behind Mad Anthony's bayonets. God forbid
that Abner Stark should refuse to protect the helpless from the
tomahawk."

"And here is one who is with you!" cried Harvey Catlett. "Let us go
now."

"Yes. We must not see Wayne before we have offered help to the
Merriweathers. Are we not near the tree?"

"Nearer than you think. Look yonder."

The speaker pointed to a tree whose great trunk was just discernible,
and the twain hastened toward it.

About six feet from the ground there was a hole large enough to admit a
medium sized hand, and Wolf Cap was not long in plunging his own into
its recesses.

He withdrew it a moment later with a show of disappointment.

"Nothin' from Wells and the same from Hummingbird," he said, turning to
Catlett.

"We are too soon, perhaps," was the answer.

"They will be here, then. We may need their assistance. Hummingbird or
Wells?"

"The first that comes."

"That will do. Write."

The young scout drew a small piece of paper from his bullet pouch, and
wrote thereon with a pointed stick of lead the following message:

    "_To the first here_:

    "We have gone down the Maumee to protect a white family flying
    to Wayne. Follow us. No news."

The message was dropped in the forest letter box, and the disguised
scouts set out upon their errand of mercy and protection.

One behind the other, like the wily Indians whom they personated, they
traversed the forest, now catching a glimpse of the starlit waters of
the Maumee, and now wrapped in the gloom of impenetrable darkness.

Not a word was spoken. Now and then an ear was placed upon the earth to
detect the approach of an enemy should any be lurking near their path.
With the woodman's practiced care they gave forth no sound for listening
savages, and with eager hopes continued to press on.

The tree, with its silent call for help, was soon left behind, and the
scouts did not dream that the robber was near.

Not long after their departure from the spot, a figure halted at the
tree, and a dark hand dropped into the letter box. With almost devilish
eagerness the fingers closed upon the paper that lay at the bottom of
the hole, and drew it out.

"A paper at last," said the man in triumphant tones. "I knew I would
find it sometime."

The next moment the thief hurried towards the river with the scouts'
message clutched tightly in his hand.

Wolf Cap and Harvey Catlett would have given much for that man's scalp,
for at the time of which we write he was the dread of every woman and
child in the Northwestern Territory.

His name was James Girty, and his deeds excelled in cruelty his brother
Simon's.



CHAPTER III.

THE TERRIBLE DISCOVERY.


Leaving the characters of our story already mentioned for a brief time,
let us turn our attention to the devoted little band of fugitives who
were flying through the gauntlet of death to Wayne's protecting guns.

While Harvey Catlett was conversing with Little Moccasin, watched with a
jealous eye by the tall scout, a large but light boat was nearing the
foot of the famous Maumee rapids.

It kept in the center of the stream, as if its occupants believed that
danger lurked along the shadowed banks, and consultation was carried on
in whispers.

The boat thus slowly ascending the stream contained eight persons. Four
were men, strong, active and with determined visages; the others
consisted of a matron, a girl of eighteen, and two children whose ages
were respectively twelve and fourteen.

Abel Merriweather, the matron's husband and the father of the
interesting ones grouped about her, was the oldest person in the craft;
his male companions were George Darling, his nephew, an Englishman
called John Darknight, and a young American named Oscar Parton.

To Darknight the navigation of the Maumee was well known, as he had
spent much time upon its bosom, and he was serving the Merriweathers in
the capacity of guide.

Abel Merriweather, a little headstrong and fearful, had overruled the
counsel of true friends. He believed that his family was in danger while
the roof of the cabin near the mouth of the Maumee sheltered it. The
muttered growls of war made him timorous, and he saw no safety anywhere
save behind the bayonets of Wayne. Therefore, in company with his nephew
and Oscar Parton, who was his daughter Kate's acknowledged suitor, and
with John Darknight for a guide, he had embarked upon the perilous
attempt of reaching Fort Defiance with his loved ones.

"Of course we cannot stem the rapids," the guide said in response to a
question from young Darling. "Our portage must now begin."

As he spoke the boat began to approach the left bank of the stream.

"We are nearing the wrong bank," said Parton.

"Of course we are," the settler replied, noticing the boat's course, and
he turned upon the guide:

"What does this mean?" he demanded, with his usual brusqueness.

"Nothing dangerous, sir. You see that we can best journey up the left
bank of the river. The Indians are massing in the south."

"But I have been advised by the scouts of Mad Anthony to go up the right
bank."

"You have?"

"Yes, sir. If I understand you, you have not been in these parts for a
month, while my informants and advisers were here but a week since."

The guide did not reply for a minute, during which the boat continued
toward the dusky shore, for his hand was upon the rudder.

"Pardon me, John," the settler said; "but I feel constrained to listen
to the scouts, one of whom was William Wells himself."

"Wells, eh?" said Darknight, with a sneer. "Between you and I,
Merriweather, I would not trust that Injun-bred fellow farther than the
length of my nose."

"I consider him a true man," said Kate, the daughter, who had overheard
the latter part of the conversation between her father and the guide.

"He doesn't look like a rogue, and I am sure that he would not advise us
wrongly on purpose."

John Darknight did not reply to the girl's remarks; but relapsed into
sullenness, and doggedly turned the prow of the boat to the other shore.

"What do you think now?" whispered George Darling in the settler's ear.

"I really do not know, George," was the reply, as an expression of fear
settled over the father's face. "I trust in God; but we are on dangerous
water. Do not be so suspicious, boy, for you make me tremble for the
safety of my dear ones."

No further words were interchanged by uncle and nephew, and the boat
touched the ghostly shore amid deep stillness of voice and tongue.

But the ceaseless song of the wild rapids fell upon the voyagers' ears,
and the first stars were burnishing the dancing waves with silver.

The debarkation took place at once, and the craft was drawn from the
water and prepared for the sleeping place of the settler's family. A day
of hard pulling against the stream had ended, and the travelers proposed
to enjoy the needed repose. The boat was large enough to contain couches
for Mrs. Merriweather and the children, while the men would sleep and
watch at intervals on the ground.

No fire was kindled on the bank, but a cold supper was eaten in silence,
and not long thereafter the settler's household lay almost hidden in the
boat. Star after star came out in the firmament above, and the gentle
winds of night sighed among the leaves; now and then the plash of some
amphibious animal disturbed the stillness, but excited no comment,
though the noise caused an occasional lift of the head and a brief
moment of silent inspection.

The camp was just over a little rise in the river bank, and the starlit
water was hidden from the eyes of the watch, who, for the first part of
the night, was the settler himself.

He stood against a tree, wakeful, but full of thought, keeping guard
over the precious lives committed to his charge. The boat containing his
family was quite near, and the forms of his three male companions looked
like logs on the darkened ground.

He did not watch the latter, for suspicion never entered his head, and
he did not see that one was rolling over and over, gradually leaving the
bivouac, and disappearing. Immersed in thought, but quick to note a
movement on the part of his sleeping family, Abel Merriweather let the
hours pass over his head.

At last the plash of the muskrat no longer alarmed him; the singular cry
of the night hawk that came from the woods across the stream did not
cause him to cock his rifle. A bat might have flapped her wings in his
face without disturbing him. Despite the peril of the moment and the
great responsibility resting upon him, Abel Merriweather was asleep!

The fatigue of the past two days' voyage, and the almost sleepless
nights had told upon his constitution. He had struggled against the
somnolent god, but in vain; and at last passed into slumberland
unconsciously and overcome.

And while he slept there was a noise in the water which was not made by
a night rat. Something dark, like a great ball, was approaching the camp
from the northern bank of the river, and the strong arms that propelled
it gave the waves thousands of additional gleams.

It came towards the camp with the rapidity of a good swimmer, and at
length a huge figure emerged like a Newfoundland dog from the water.

It was an Indian!

For a moment he stood on the bank and panted like an animal, then a low
bird-call dropped from his lips, and a second form came from the shadow
of a fallen tree.

The twain met at the edge of the water, and with signs of recognition.

"Oskaloo cross the river," said the savage, in the Wyandot tongue.
"White guide break him promise, and land on wrong side."

"Couldn't help it," was the reply. "The old man is doing just what Wells
has told him was best. I tried to run the boat over, and bless me if I
don't pay 'im for his stubbornness yet."

"How many?" asked the Indian.

"Seven."

"White girl along?"

"Yes; but recollect what I have said about her."

"Oskaloo never forget."

"Is the White Whirlwind over there?" and the speaker glanced across the
river.

"No; him with Little Turtle, gettin' ready to fight the Blacksnake."

"That is good. Now, Oskaloo, go back. To-morrow night at this time come
when you hear the night hawk's cry."

"All come?"

"Yes, all; but meet me first."

The savage nodded and turned towards the water, and the next moment
plunged almost noiselessly beneath the waves.

As he put off from the shore a hand dropped upon sleeping Abel
Merriweather's arm, and roused him with a start.

"Hist!" said a voice in a warning whisper. "Father, you have been
asleep. We are going to be massacred. John Darknight, our guide, is a
traitor."

The settler was thoroughly awake before the last terrible sentence was
completed, and he looked into the white face of his little son Carl,
whom he thought was sleeping beside his mother in the boat.



CHAPTER IV.

LITTLE MOCCASIN IN THE CAMP.


The settler was thoroughly aroused by his little son's startling
communication, which appeared too terrible to be true.

"A traitor, Carl?" he said.

"Yes; an Indian who swam the river has been talking to him on the bank."

"It cannot be," replied the incredulous parent. "He is sleeping----"

He paused abruptly, for he made the discovery that but two forms were
lying near the boat. The spot lately occupied by the guide was vacant.

Then Abel Merriweather began to believe that Carl had not been mistaken.

"Hist!" said the boy, breaking in upon his father's disturbing thoughts.
"He is coming back."

"To your place in the boat--quick! Do not let him see you here."

Little Carl left his father and glided unseen to his couch in the boat,
but peeped over the gunwales to watch the traitor's movements.

Slowly and without noise John Darknight came over the hill, and
inaugurated a series of cat crawls toward the spot which he had lately
deserted. Once or twice he glanced at the settler, whose drooping head
appeared to tell him that he still slept, for he recommenced his crawls,
and at last, without disturbing his sleeping companions, regained his
buffalo skin.

But his movements had not escaped the sentry's eyes, and Carl was
regarding him from the boat. The father was a prey to great perplexity;
he believed that the guide's movements indicated treason, but he did not
know what course to pursue. To discharge him at once might precipitate
the bursting of the plot. To keep him longer and watch, seemed the
better plan, and was the one which the settler felt inclined to adopt.
He did not see how they could ascend the river above the rapids without
Darknight's experience, for in the voyage thus far his assistance had
proved invaluable.

The night was far advanced and day was no longer remote, when Abel
roused Oscar Parton, whose duty it was to stand guard until daylight. He
did not impart his suspicions to the impetuous young man, but told him
not to close his eyes for a moment, but to watch, for life was at stake.
Then, instead of lying by the boat that contained his family, he dropped
upon the ground beside the suspected guide, and with a hand at the hilt
of his knife, watched the man who was sleeping heavily.

A bird call from the guide's lips, or a suspicious movement, and he
might have forfeited his life.

"Father doesn't want to suspect anybody," murmured the boy Carl, who was
surprised to see John Darknight sleeping so soundly in the camp after
his meeting with Oskaloo on the banks of the river. "I do not know how
he came to undertake this trip. We might have been safe where we lived.
I know we are not here. He didn't tell Oscar about the treason, for I
heard every word that passed between them. Maybe he doesn't think I saw
straight. Well, I know I wasn't very close; but I would swear that it
was the guide talking to the Indian, and didn't he come up the bank
after the redskin left? I have a rifle, and I am going to watch John
Darknight myself!"

Having thus delivered himself of his thoughts, Carl Merriweather
continued to watch in silence, and he saw that the night was wearing
away.

Oscar Parton was wakeful. No sound escaped his ears, and he saw the
river growing darker with the dense gloom that precedes the dawn.

Then he redoubled his vigilance, for the hour was suggestive of surprise
and massacre; but the gloom gradually departed, and the first streaks of
dawn silvered the flowing water.

It was a welcome sight, for the long night of anxiety had worn away, and
with strength recruited by repose, the journey could be resumed.

The young sentry was watching the long arrows of light fall upon the
waves, when an object startled him. It seemed to have risen from the
river's unseen depths, but a second look told him that it was an Indian
canoe. It skimmed over the water like a thing endowed with life, and the
beholder, eager to inspect its occupant, stepped to the brow of the
bank, but with the woodman's usual caution.

The light growing stronger as the day advanced, revealed the tenant of
the solitary canoe to the young man, and while he gazed intently, the
craft suddenly shot like an arrow to the shore.

Instinctively Oscar Parton raised his rifle, but the movement was
detected by the person in the stream, and a hand gave the peace signal.

"I cannot shoot a woman!" the guard murmured, lowering the weapon. "Her
coming may be our destruction, but I cannot harm her. Bless me, I
believe she is a white!"

The work of a few moments sufficed to bring the canoe to the shore, and
when its tenant stepped upon _terra firma_, she was confronted by the
curious guard, who had come boldly down the bank.

"White family up there?" the jauntily clad girl said, pointing up the
slope.

"What if they are?" said the young borderman, evasively. "Who are you?"

"Areotha," was the reply. "The white people call me Little Moccasin.
See!"

With her exclamation she put a foot forward, and displayed, with
innocent pride, a tiny moccasin gaily ornamented with beads.

"It is a pretty name, but what do you want here?" asked Oscar.

"Want to tell white father that Little Moccasin has seen him."

"Seen whom?"

"Don't you know--the young white spy who tracks the red men for the
Blacksnake?" the girl said with surprise.

"No."

Little Moccasin was nonplussed.

"Me see him," she said at length, and her deep eyes brightened. "Him and
the tall hunter come by and by, maybe."

"Assistance, eh?" said Parton, catching the import of her words. "Well,
we shall not reject it. You don't hate the whites, then?"

"Little Moccasin their friend."

"But you are not an Indian. Your skin is like mine."

"Been Indian long time, though," the girl said with a smile. "Have
Indian mother--the old Madgitwa--in the big Indian village."

"Don't you know where you were born, Areotha?" questioned Parton.

The girl shook her head.

"Come up to the camp. I believe that you are true to our people. We have
a girl up there who will like you."

"Little Moccasin like her already," was the artless answer.

Having made her canoe fast to the bank by a rope of twisted sinews, the
mysterious girl followed Oscar Parton up the slope. He led her straight
to the encampment, where her unexpected appearance created much
excitement, and she was immediately surrounded.

Abel Merriweather was the first to question her, and Areotha was about
to reply when she caught sight of John Darknight, the guide.

The next moment every vestige of color fled from her face, and, staring
at the guide, she started back.

She looked like a person who had suddenly been confronted by a spectre.

At that moment John Darknight's face assumed a bold, defiant and
threatening aspect; but it was as white as Areotha's.



CHAPTER V.

A BRACE OF DESERTIONS.


With one accord the fugitives glanced from Little Moccasin to the guide.
They felt that the twain had met before, and that the present encounter
was unexpected and startling to each.

"What do you know about this girl?" said the settler to Darknight. "It
seems to me that this is not your first encounter with her."

"I should say that it wasn't," was the reply. "I had hoped that we would
reach our destination without meeting her, for her presence among white
emigrants or fugitives betokens danger. She is the witch of the
northwest territory, and many is the boat that she has decoyed ashore to
the rifle and the tomahawk. She doubtless recognized me, for I once
pitched her into the rapids of yon river, and if she had her deserts now
our rifles would rid the territory of its witch, though I know it is
hard to kill a woman."

"Abel, she must not stay here if she is to betray us to death," said the
settler's wife, fast upon the guide's last words.

"Not so fast, mother," interrupted Kate Merriweather, with sympathy in
her dark eyes for the lone girl. "Remember that we have listened to but
one side of the story--Mr. Darknight's; now let us hear what she has to
say in her defense."

"Oh, she's a cute one, and you'll hear the sleekest story ever told in
these parts," the guide said.

But Kate Merriweather did not appear to have heard him.

"You have listened to the white man," she said to Areotha. "He has not
given you an enviable reputation. Now we want to hear what you have to
say for yourself."

Reassured by the white girl's kindly voice and looks, the accused maiden
stepped boldly forward, and said in a tone trembling but sweet:

"The pale guide does not like to see Areotha here, for she knows him. He
is more Wyandot than white man, and where is the boat he ever guided
that has not bloody planks? Areotha does not know. Did he not tell the
white man in his cabin that the red men would surround it and scalp his
family, and then right away offer to guide him to the Blacksnake?"

Abel Merriweather started violently. How did the forest girl know that
John Darknight had done this?

"This is insulting, and from a characterless girl at that!" the guide
exclaimed, advancing a step.

"Hear her through," said Kate firmly. "You have had your say; she shall
have hers. Now," to Areotha, "tell us if you are the witch he calls
you--tell us if you have ever decoyed the boats of our people to an
ambush."

"Areotha will speak boldly, though that man may repeat her words among
the Wyandot lodges, and the warriors on the trail. She is the pale
faces' friend. If the bee does not love to gather honey from the flower:
if the Manitou does not love his white and red children, then Areotha
has decoyed the boats ashore! She has spoken, and since she built the
first fire for old Madgitewa, her Indian mother, her tongue has not told
a lie."

Kate Merriweather looked up triumphant. She believed that Little
Moccasin had told the truth, for candor was in her voice, and innocence
in her soft eyes.

"There is an antagonism between your statements," Oscar Parton said,
addressing John Darknight. "They do not harmonize as I would like to see
them do."

"Just as if you expected to hear that cunning forest trollop----"

"Please be sparing with your epithets, Mr. Darknight. Do not forget that
you are in the presence of ladies," said the young man, interrupting.

"Yes, sir," was the tart rejoinder, accompanied with a quick, angry
glance at Kate. "Yes, sir! I will, for I am a gentleman; but I was
saying that you seem to have expected a confirmation of my truthful
charges from the accused herself. I know her but too well, and many a
poor white man and his little family have tasted death in the Maumee
through her treachery. But if you wish to test it, I shall not stand
between. When John Darknight's words of warning can be brushed aside by
the lies of a girl like that one, it is high time for him to betake
himself away. You will repent soon enough. Trust the witch and get to
Wayne, _if you can_!"

With the last word still quivering his lips, the guide shouldered his
heavy rifle and tightened his belt, as if bent on departure.

"How do you know that we believe the girl?" asked the settler, who had
not spoken for several minutes.

"How do I know anything?" was the snappish answer. "Do you suppose that
I am blind, and a dunce in the bargain? Warm the viper in your bosoms,
and, as you deserve perhaps, let it sting you to death."

Then the guide strode madly away, and reached the edge of the river bank
before another word was uttered.

The events of the last moment had thrown consternation into the little
camp, and the guide's hot words, mien, and his desertion, seemed to
paralyze the tongues of the fugitives.

But Abel Merriweather, white as a sheet and with flashing eyes, called
out in a tone that halted the guide on the top of the bank:

"One more word, sir!" he said. "John Darknight, I ought to shoot you.
Last night an Indian swam the Maumee and you met him at the water's
edge. There you proved yourself a low-bred renegade, a traitor to your
own people--the plotter of the destruction of my family. I ought to kill
you where you stand!"

The guide did not reply. For a moment he gazed at the speaker and heard
the clicking of four rifle locks. Then he burst into a coarse, defiant
laugh and sprang down the bank like a startled deer.

A few bounds brought him to the river, into which he plunged without a
second's hesitation, and dived beneath the surface.

Abel Merriweather and his friends, with ready rifles, waited vengefully
for his reappearance; but he came up far below and dived again before a
single weapon could cover him.

The whites looked disappointedly at each other.

"I ought to have dealt with him last night," the settler said,
self-upbraidingly. "He will join the Indians, and deal murderously with
us. God help my family."

The party, smarting with chagrin over the traitor's escape, returned
slowly to the camp, to meet a group of the whitest faces ever seen in
the forest.

Helpless in the shadow of an impending evil, Abel Merriweather's family
gathered around him, and for the first time since the flight from home
the strong man's heart sank within him.

The other members of the party looked about for Little Moccasin, but
Kate said that during the pursuit of John Darknight she had fled from
the camp without an explanation of her departure.



CHAPTER VI.

THE EXCITING COUNSEL.


James Girty, the white renegade, was known to the various tribes as the
White Whirlwind. His brother Simon was the possessor of a few attributes
of kindness, but _he_ was destitute of every redeeming trait. A
repulsive face surmounted an ungainly body, but the fiend was possessed
of almost supernatural strength.

He was a power in the council, and the British agents stirred the
Indians to resist Wayne through him.

We have witnessed his theft of the message which Wolf Cap and young
Catlett left in the hollow tree prior to their departure for the
assistance of the Merriweathers and their friends. It is now our purpose
to follow him and witness his dealings with the warriors of the then
wild northwest.

He crossed the river in a canoe which he drew from a place of
concealment on the bank, and, having hid it on the opposite shore,
plunged into the forest. He seemed impatient to read the contents of the
paper which he had stolen, and as he reached the summit of a wooded
knoll a cry of joy burst from his throat.

For some minutes prior to his arrival on the top of the declivity,
certain sounds had been wafted to his ears by the night winds. They
prepared him for the sight that had burst upon his vision, but still he
could not repress the exclamation.

"I wonder if they are all there?" he murmured as he sprang forward and
heard the forest resound with his Indian name.

Girty had come suddenly, but not unexpectedly upon an Indian council. A
fire that blazed in the ring formed by five hundred painted savages,
furnished the light for the forest tableau, and revealed the renegade to
the gaze of all.

His quick eye swept the circle of faces as he passed through. He saw
representatives of every tribe which confronted Wayne; he noticed a fair
sprinkling of his own ilk, and a group of whites handsomely attired in
British uniforms.

The shouts that greeted his appearance ceased when he sprang through the
cordon and halted in the fire-lit arena.

The British officers exchanged significant looks, and Simon Girty moved
uneasily in his position. It was evident that the arrival of James at
the council was distasteful to him.

The White Whirlwind did not speak until he had mastered the contents of
the stolen message in the light of the fire.

"Warriors!" he said, in the tone which had been heard above the roar of
more than one forest battle, "I see that your council has been opened. I
have been on the trail, and though I sought you when the sun went down,
I could not get here sooner. Boldly, like a famished wolf, the
Blacksnake marches through the forest; he comes to deprive the red man
of his cabin, or his lodge, and to drive his children to lands where a
deer track has never been seen. My brethren, to-morrow we march forth to
meet this scourge of the northwestern territory. Let us be strong, and
punish the venomous Blacksnake, as we punished the big soldier long ago.
Be strong and fear not, for the soldiers of the king will fight among us
in the common cause of all the Indians east of the Great River."[B]

    [B] The Mississippi.

Murmurs of approbation followed the renegade's harangue.

A chief responded in a like strain, then another and another, until
twelve had spoken for war to the knife. All this time the White
Whirlwind stood near the council fire, with his massive arms folded upon
his giant chest, and a look of triumph in his eye. He was in his
element.

The absence of such chiefs as Little Turtle, Buckhongahelas, and Blue
Jacket, was noticeable; but their places were supplied with savages of
lesser note, but equally belligerent.

All at once there arose to address the council an Indian who created a
sensation.

He came from the portion of the living ring occupied by Simon Girty, and
James gave his brother a quick glance, when he recognized the chief. But
Simon appeared to be composed.

"War?" cried the new speaker, who could not have passed his twenty-sixth
year, "War means death to the Indian and the rule of the American
throughout our hunting grounds. Parquatin is not afraid to lead his
braves to battle; but where is the use? Who comes here to-night and
tells us to bear our bosoms to the rifles of the Blacksnake? Does the
White Whirlwind lead his braves in open fight? No! he will tell us to
rush upon the Americans, while he trails some white girl through the
woods; and make her build the fires in his hut. Parquatin hates the
Blacksnake; but he despises the Indian who will listen to the forked
words of such a pale fox as the Whirlwind. Parquatin has spoken."

The young chief glanced defiantly around the circle of scarlet faces.

With a face blanched to ghastliness by the first sentence, James Girty
heard the speaker through--heard and stood dumfounded for a moment.

The English, who had come from Fort Miami to attend the conclave, gazed
with consternation into each others' faces, and the members of the
council looked startled.

In Simon Girty's eye there was a look of triumph, for Parquatin seemed
his spokesman.

"I defend myself!" the accused renegade suddenly cried. "I lead the red
men when I tell them to meet the American soldiers. Parquatin, the
Wyandot, is jealous; he dares to lie about me in the great council
because I lead more and braver warriors than he. But the Indians know
me; they spurn the lie as they hate the good-for-nothing lying dog!"

A short cry of rage followed the cutting epithet, and with flashing
tomahawk Parquatin sprang forward.

"Here I am," said Girty, drawing his own hatchet and planting himself
firmly. "I am willing to kill my enemies wherever I meet 'em!"

The seated warriors--for the participants of Indian councils are usually
seated--watched the scene with interest. Parquatin, young and not strong
of limb, was no match for the renegade; but he possessed the spirit of
the maddened tiger, and never thought of the strength against him.

For a moment he glared at his calm antagonist, and then bounded forward.
Girty received the shock with his hatchet's iron-like handle, and by a
dexterous blow in return sent Parquatin's weapon spinning to the edge of
the fire.

The young chief was now completely at his mercy, and, as James Girty
seldom spared a helpless foe, his doom was as swift as terrible.

Parquatin met his fate with the red man's famous stoicism.

With his arms folded upon his breast, he received the renegade's blow,
and without a death cry fell backward--his skull cleft by the keen-edged
tomahawk.

"Now!" cried the heartless victor, swinging aloft the gory weapon, and
sweeping the circle with his flashing glance, "now let the man who
persuaded Parquatin to insult me in the council step forth and meet me
face to face. He is here and I know him! His victim lies before me. Let
him stand up and say that I lie, if he dare!"

But no voice replied, and no man rose to confront the White Whirlwind.

"Well, never mind," he said. "I would not strike him if he did rise
against me. Gentlemen," to the English officers, "this is the bitterest
moment of my life. Jim Girty is not callous to every affection. I bid
you good night. Warriors, I will meet you before the big battle. Again I
say, be strong!"

As the renegade turned and strode across the ground, the circle was
respectfully broken, and he passed into the dark forest beyond.

It was a strange event for an Indian council, and was destined to decide
the fate of many helpless families; but few knew it, then.

There was but one man in the council who knew why James Girty spoke as
he did to the British soldiers.



CHAPTER VII.

A MIRACULOUS ESCAPE.


The discovery of John Darknight's treachery and his escape filled the
hearts of the fugitives with terror. The little band found themselves in
the forest at the foot of the Maumee rapids, and with many miles
stretching their perilous length between them and Wayne's camp.

Little Moccasin, too, had deserted without a word of explanation, and
several members of the party were inclined to believe her as treacherous
as the English guide.

George Darling, the nephew, was especially bitter in his denunciation of
the girl, and in this he was seconded by young Carl Merriweather. The
two resolved to keep on the lookout for her reappearance, and to shoot
her on sight. They firmly believed that her coming to the camp had been
prearranged by John Darknight himself, and saw in the desertion of both
the successful working of the plot.

In the brief and deeply interesting council that followed the double
abandonment, the fugitives resolved to prosecute their journey without
delay. Of course the boat could not stem the strong rapids, therefore it
would have to be transported to a point above them, and that upon the
shoulders of the men.

The craft, while it was strong and capable of carrying eight or ten
people, was unusually light, and when Merriweather and Oscar Parton
raised it to their shoulders, they declared with joy that they could
carry it all day without a rest.

The fugitives did not resume their journey until a frugal breakfast had
been discussed on the scene of the night's encampment. At that meal no
one seemed to be communicative; the thought of the present peril or the
shadow of the impending danger appeared to seal their lips.

Abel Merriweather doubtless regretted leaving the cabin home at the
mouth of the Maumee, and upbraided himself for having listened to the
representations of the false guide.

In Oscar Parton's mind one particular thought was uppermost--the safety
of Kate Merriweather. Now and then he coupled with it a strong desire to
deal with the man who had led them into the trap.

The sun was silvering the waves of the river when the boat was lifted
from the ground, and the journey resumed.

The little party kept from the stream for fear of being seen by any
foes, but near enough to hear any voice which might arise from its
banks.

They indulged in the fond hope of encountering some of Wayne's scouts
who were known to be scouting in the vicinity, and the settler trusted
that he would fall in with Wells, with whom he was intimately
acquainted. But the sun approached his meridian without bringing
incident or misfortune to the little band who pushed resolutely through
the forest toward the distant goal.

"Are you ready to fulfill your part of the promise, George?" said Carl
Merriweather to his cousin at the noonday rest held beneath the shade of
a great tree.

George Darling looked up and saw the youth's face glowing with
excitement. His eyes seemed to emit sparks of fire.

"What do you mean, Carl?" he said.

"Why, what we promised one another this morning--that we would kill the
first redskin we laid our eyes on."

"Yes. Where is one?"

"Come with me."

George Darling rose, and the two left the camp together.

"There be two of them," the settler's son said, "and they are at the
river; I saw them not five minutes since. A good shot, George. I'll take
one, you the other."

The eager couple glided toward the river, and the youth all at once
pulled his cousin's sleeve and told him to halt.

"There they are!" he cried excitedly, pointing towards the stream.
"Look! do you not see them in the tree top? Real Indians, George, and no
mistake. What on earth can they be doing? They are up to their knees in
water."

George Darling did not reply, but continued to gaze at the two persons
in the tree top which lay in the water. Their skin proclaimed them
savages; but they seemed to be washing--a thing which no Indian warrior
ever does. Hence the spectators' perplexity.

"Come, George, we can't wait on them," said the impatient Carl. "Beside,
they will miss us at the camp. Now, let us give the rascals a little
lead. Remember our promise to let no Indian escape our rifles."

The young man heard his cousin, and, a partaker of his excitement,
grasped his rifle.

"The little fellow on the right," Carl said without taking his eyes from
the couple in the tree top. "Leave the other one for me. He is as tall
as a Virginia bean-pole."

The victims of the pair were not fifty yards away. Unconscious of the
presence of their enemies.

They kept on performing motions with their arms and hands, which had led
Darling to believe that they were patronizing the homely art of washing.

"Ready?" whispered the boy.

"Ready!" I've covered my man was the low but distinct response.

There was a moment's silence. The word "fire" was struggling for
utterance on Carl Merriweather's lips when his cousin's hand leaped from
the trigger and covered the flint of his weapon.

"Look at the tall fellow," cried the young backwoodsman. "By the snows
of Iceland! he's a white man."

Sure enough, one of the occupants of the tree had suddenly risen to his
feet and turned his face towards the depths of the forest. The skin
which had been red was white now. Water had metamorphosed him into his
true character.

Carl Merriweather grew pale when he saw the transformation, and gave his
companion a look which made him smile.

"Both are white!" Darling said. "The short one has washed his face.
See!"

"That is true," said Carl. "A moment more, and we would have sent
bullets into their brains. Who can they be? Rascally renegades, no
doubt, and as such deserve our balls."

"More likely Wayne's scouts," replied the settler's nephew. "They often
disguise themselves as Indians, and reassume their true character when
it suits them. They are leaving the tree now."

As the young man spoke the twain emerged from the tree top, and
approached the brow of the hill.

One was much taller than his companion, and his face looked sad and
careworn. Both carried rifles, and tomahawks peeped above their deerskin
belts.

They cut a strange figure with white hands and faces, but with shoulders
copper-colored, like the Indians'. Their scanty garments were of genuine
Indian manufacture, and tufts of feathers, daubed with ochre and sienna,
crowned their heads.

"They mean mischief," Carl Merriweather suddenly exclaimed. "Don't let
them get to camp if they are really enemies; don't let them see how weak
we are."

A moment later George Darling rose and spoke to the advancing couple:

"Friends or enemies?" he cried.

The strangers executed a sudden halt, and hastily cocking their rifles,
looked about for the speaker. But the young man was not easily seen, for
his body was screened by a tree.

"Friends or enemies?" he repeated. "You can't advance until you have
told us."

"Friends, of course," was the response by the youngest of the twain.
"You belong to Abel Merriweather's family, and we are attached to
Wayne's command."

"Thank God!" cried Carl Merriweather, springing from his place of
concealment and hastening toward the new comers.

"You saved your lives by washing the paint from your faces. What are
your names?"

"Mine is Harvey Catlett and my friend's is Abner Stark; but every where
they call him Wolf Cap," was the reply.

"And you are Mad Anthony's scouts? Glory!" the overjoyed youth shouted,
and then George Darling managed to get a word in.

"You are very welcome," he said. "Heaven knows that we need your
assistance. Did you know we were here?"

"We did," said young Catlett, "and as we feared that you might send a
bullet into the first red face that greeted you, we thought best to make
ours white before making your acquaintance."

"Thank God for that," responded Darling fervently, and he shuddered when
he thought how nearly he had taken the life of a succoring friend.

It was with joy that the youths led the scouts into the forest.

They felt that great assistance had been sent them from on high.



CHAPTER VIII.

A SECOND CATASTROPHE.


Harvey Catlett and his companion were received with great joy at the
camp near the river bank.

The fugitives took new hope with their appearance, and seemed to think
that the remainder of the journey to Wayne would be accomplished without
further trouble.

Mrs. Merriweather so expressed herself, when the young woodsman shook
his head and replied:

"We cannot save you in and of ourselves," he said; "but we will do all
we can. The trails to Wayne's army are dark and perilous. I do not seek
to keep anything back."

"That is right, sir," said the father quickly. "My wife is prone to
exaggerate good fortune. I do not want her to remain deceived. I
comprehend the situation, and am prepared for it."

"That is right," said Wolf Cap. "In these times one must know something
about Indian affairs."

"Now that we have exchanged our guide for you gentlemen, I am sure that
our fortunes will mend."

"Where is the guide of whom you have spoken?" asked Catlett, addressing
the head of the family.

"Across the river, I suppose," Abel Merriweather answered with a smile.

"Deserted?"

"Yes."

"Just like the worthless guides of these days. It is a wonder that he
did not get you into the Indian's power."

"He attempted to, but failed."

"Just so."

At Wolf Cap's request Merriweather related the attempt made to get the
boat ashore, and the two scouts listened attentively to the recital.

"Now, how come he to leave you this morning? Let us know all, Mr.
Merriweather."

The story of Little Moccasin's appearance in the camp, and John
Darknight's hasty desertion was then told.

"Now what do you think of the girl?" the young scout said in a low tone
to Wolf Cap.

There was a tinge of triumph in the youth's voice.

"What have I already told you about her?" was the reply. "I allow that
her action is strange, but those Indian witches can outdo anything in
the woods. I have my opinion, and shall stick to it. Of course you will
let me do this, boy."

"Certainly, Abner. I shall do nothing to embarrass you in it; but it
puzzles me because you can see no good in the girl."

"I'm sorry, boy--indeed I am. I wish I could tell you what I really
think about some things; but not now, if you please. I'm going down to
the river. Talk to the folks here; you know what to say. We are here to
take them to Mad Anthony or die in the attempt."

Having finished, the tall scout withdrew from the little group and
betook himself to the water's edge, shaded by the leafy boughs of a
giant tree.

Harvey Catlett glanced over his shoulder at the retreating figure and
then addressed the fugitives with a smile.

"He is a mystery; one of the many that inhabit the backwoods. Why, he
does not place any confidence in Little Moccasin; he seems to hate her,
and yet I believe she has never lifted a finger of harm against him. But
we have unaccountable antagonisms, and here in the woods one finds them
plentiful."

"But who can hate that dear girl?" said Kate Merriweather's musical
voice. "I could easily call her sister, and live forever at her side.
She is not an Indian, though she calls her mother Madgitwa. She cannot
be treacherous to our people."

"Thanks," said Harvey Catlett, bowing to the fair young speaker. "I
rejoice to hear you speak thus of the girl."

"I fear that Kate is thus partial because of her pretty eyes. I must
confess that I do not like her. Her desertion means no good to us."

The last speaker was Carl Merriweather, ever ready to join in a
conversation where any one crossed swords with his opinions.

"We will not argue the matter now," Harvey said, seeing the youth's
flushed cheeks, and not liking to incur the displeasure of any of the
fugitives.

"Perhaps we had best not," responded Carl with a slight sneer and a
meaning glance at his friend Darling. "Let us drop the subject, nor call
it up again. I have my opinion, you yours, Mr Catlett."

The young scout turned from the boy and began to talk in a confidential
tone to the settler, which seemed to be a signal for a general
disbanding of the group, and the two were left alone.

"It is deuced queer," Carl Merriweather hastened to say to George
Darling. "He is taking her part, and I am satisfied that she is full of
treachery."

"I am of the same opinion, and that he, one of Wayne's scouts, should
defend her, is beyond my comprehension. She is drawing him on, and it
may be that she really loves him. But it looks to me as if she were
using him for a purpose. That scene between her and our guide was too
theatrical to be genuine. They overdid it. It was a preconcerted affair,
for it gave Darknight a chance to show his hand and get away. They are
together now, my word for it."

The boy shared his companion's opinion concerning the witch of the
woods, and they formed a cabal against her beneath the tree whose
shadows fell upon the murmuring Maumee.

By and by Wolf Cap came up from the river and rejoined the occupants of
the camp.

"He has seen something; look at his white face," whispered Abel
Merriweather to his nephew.

"No ghosts, at any rate, for one does not see them at this hour," was
the reply. "He will probably enlighten us."

But the scout did not do so, but talked about the journey and Wayne's
army, and the pallor gradually left his face.

The noonday meal was discussed, after which the journey was resumed.

As the woods were not very clear of underbrush, the progress was of
necessity quite slow, and at nightfall the party halted in a picturesque
ravine through which in years gone by some woodland stream had poured
its waters into the Maumee.

Wild, luxuriant grass covered the bed of the place, and the bank on
either side was clothed in that verdure which so beautifies the woods in
summer. It was a fit camping place for the night, for the mouth of the
ravine was hidden by a fallen tree, and a fire could not have been
noticed from the river.

Darkness settled rapidly down upon the camp, and Harvey Catlett tore
himself from talkative Kate Merriweather, and prepared to guard her
while she slept in the boat.

He took up a position at the mouth of the ravine and near the river. Not
far away Wolf Cap kept his vigils, and little Carl Merriweather,
determined to be of some service, kept sentry at the old hunter's side.

Brighter and brighter grew the stars in the heavens that bent lovingly
above the river, and the night winds stirred the leaves with a sweet
melody.

Now and then the cry of some night bird or animal would startle the
sentries, but they would soon turn therefrom and listen for more
important sounds.

Harvey Catlett was on the alert, and his ears at length caught a sound
that roused him. It seemed the peculiar tread of the panther, dying away
like the step of the beast, and recurring no more. It was in vain that
he listened for a repetition of the sound. The very silence told him
that he had permitted something important to escape investigation.

"It may not be too late to follow yet," he said to himself. "I am a fool
that I permitted----"

The strange cry that the night hawk sends forth when frightened from its
perch, fell startlingly upon his ears, and he severed his sentence.

"That is my panther!" he said. "There is mischief afoot."

We have said that he was near the river.

The cry, or signal, as the young scout hastened to interpret the sound,
seemed to emanate from a spot not forty feet away, and with the skill of
the experienced trailer, he glided toward it.

The cry was repeated, then there was a response which seemed to have
crossed the river, and that in turn was answered from the very shore
which the daring scout was noiselessly approaching.

All at once he halted and hugged the dark ground, for the night caller
was before him.

It was not a hawk, nor was it the stealthy panther that greeted young
Catlett's gaze; but the figure of an Indian!

Ready to spring upon the redskin, the scout resolved to witness the
result of the bird calls.

He expected to see several boats cross the river for an attack upon the
camp; but was doomed to disappointment.

A sound to his left drew his attention in that direction.

The Indian heard it, rose and started toward the river. At the edge of
the water he was joined by a figure that carried a burthen. The scout
could not distinguish it in the uncertain light.

A few whispered words passed between the twain who had stepped into a
boat, and Catlett was about to try the effect of a shot, when a
startling shriek rose from the ravine.

It was a woman's voice!

The occupants of the boat heard it, and shoved the craft from shore. Out
into the stream it shot like an arrow from a bow.

Harvey Catlett sprang to his feet and fired at the disappearing boat.

A wild cry followed the shot, and the sound was still echoing in the
wood when Abel Merriweather reached his side.

It did not need the settler's white face to tell the scout what had
happened. Mrs. Merriweather's shriek had already told him.

_Kate was gone!_



CHAPTER IX.

THE ARMS OF THE DEAD.


There was no disguising the fact that Kate Merriweather was missing.

Harvey Catlett felt that the stealthy tread which had fallen upon his
ears was that of her abductor, and he upbraided himself for what he
self-accusingly termed his inactivity.

It is true that the hawk cry which he construed into a preconcerted
signal had roused him to action; but the boat and its occupants, one of
whom was doubtless the settler's daughter, had left the shore. And he
had fired into the craft without thinking that his ball might find the
heart of the fair girl, and imperil his own life.

It was a startled group that surrounded the young scout, and almost
uncontrollable anger flashed in Oscar Parton's eyes. Kate had been
abducted during Catlett's hour on guard!

The fact was sufficient to give birth to a new and bitter forest feud.
But the young borderer avoided the lover's gaze, as he did not desire to
enter into a controversy which calmer moments would make appear
ridiculous.

With remarkable tact and secrecy the girl had been stolen from the couch
in the boat. Even Carl's wakefulness had failed to baffle the thief.

Since the scout's arrival a feeling of security had settled over the
camp, and the sleep of its inmates was deeper than it had been for many
nights.

The abductor probably knew this; but at any rate he had carried out his
scheme at a propitious moment.

In the exciting council that followed the abduction an hundred
suggestions were offered, to be rejected. Wolf Cap and his friend hardly
unsealed their lips, but listened attentively to all that was said.

"Now what say you, Wolf Cap?" said Abel Merriweather, appealing to the
tall man. "You have not said ten words about my dear child's peril, and
we know that you are a king in these forests; and you have said that you
would get us to Wayne or die in the attempt. For God's sake suggest some
plan of swift rescue, for we are tortured almost beyond endurance."

Slowly Wolf Cap turned upon the settler, who held his white-faced,
anguish-stricken wife to his bosom, waiting for a reply which he felt
would be freighted with salvation or doom.

"Talk to the boy, there!" he said, pointing to Harvey Catlett. "He was
on guard when _it_ happened. What he says will be done."

All eyes fell upon the youthful scout.

"I will save her if I can," he said quickly, and with determination.
"Wolf Cap must remain. You may need him. Pursue the journey; it may be
death to tarry here."

"And worse than that to proceed;" Mrs. Merriweather said.

"I think not, madam. Keep stout hearts in your bosoms. Mr. Parton, will
you follow me?"

"On the trail?" inquired the young man, to whom the question was
unexpected.

"Certainly, sir. I see that you have been thinking pretty hard of me
to-night."

Oscar Parton blushed.

"Forgive me," he said, putting out his hand. "We are apt to think
unadvisedly on the spur of the moment. I trust we shall be friends, and
work together in all things."

Catlett took the extended hand in a pledge of friendship, and pressed it
heartily.

"Come!" he said; "we must cross the river."

Parton turned to press the hands of his friends.

"No time for that," said Wayne's scout. "In these times we must say
farewell with our lips. We have lost time already."

He turned to the water's edge, and Kate's lover dropped Carl's hand to
follow.

"Can you swim?" asked Catlett.

"Certainly."

"Then here we go. Keep alongside of me and swim noiselessly."

A moment later the twain glided into the water, leaving an anxious group
on the shadowy shore.

Silently, so far as the form of swimming was concerned, the friends kept
together and approached the northern bank of the Maumee.

"Do you know who took the girl?" Catlett asked his companion.

"How should I?" was the question that met his.

Wayne's scout smiled.

"I thought that you might have formed an opinion," he said.

"No;" and then came the question, "what do you know about it?"

"Not much; but if she escapes us, the terror of these woods will see
her."

Oscar Parton's face became pale.

"Do you mean----"

He paused, as if afraid to utter the name.

"I mean that man!" said Catlett, as if his companion had finished his
sentence. "Jim Girty has caused more anguish in this part of the world
than the tomahawks and fire brands of a whole red nation. I believe that
John Darknight was here to-night, and he and the White Whirlwind have
been friends."

The whispered conversation grew still, for the gloomy shore was
discernible, and the thought of Kate Merriweather in the hands of the
greatest renegade in the northwest, was enough of itself to seal Oscar
Parton's lips.

A long fringe of woodland welcomed the swimmers, and they drew
themselves from the water. No noise save the plash of the ripples at
their feet broke the stillness, and the sound was so musical that they
could scarcely believe that the woods and the waves beautified a land of
death.

Wringing the water from their garments, the scouts inaugurated a search
for the trail, or, in other words, for the spot where the boat had been
drawn from the water.

A line of moonshine lay along the edge of the stream, and this underwent
a close examination, Harvey Catlett hunting down and his companion up
the river.

While Oscar Parton was not an experienced woodman, like his friend, the
mysteries of the trail were not great ones to him. He had been reared in
the forests, and from the very tribes that now sought his heart's blood
he had learned much of the science of tracking man and beast. He felt
proud of the notice which Catlett had taken of his woodcraft in
permitting him to search alone for Kate's trail, and he inwardly hoped
that he would have the good fortune to find it. The circumstance would
elevate him in the eyes of the young scout.

Now through the forest, and now back to the river, with its edging of
moonlight, the two men crept like ghosts, letting nothing escape them.

One could not distinguish the other for the dimly lighted distance that
lay between them, but preconcerted calls told from time to time that the
search had not been abandoned.

Oscar Parton began to despair. He had passed beyond the line of search
marked out by his companion and was on the eve of returning when he came
suddenly upon a canoe with its keel just beyond the reach of the tide.

The sudden discovery startled the trail hunter, and he was about to
advance upon and examine the craft, when a night owl flew by and swept
its cold wings across his face, as if to keep him back. But the youth
did not heed the omen of portending evil.

He crept to the seemingly stranded and abandoned craft, and peered over
its side.

What did he see? A dark object lying on the bottom, a tuft of feathers,
a face, deathly and covered here and there with clotted blood. He turned
away, and looked again before he saw that an Indian lay beneath his
gaze, rigid, as he believed, in death!

"This is the result of Catlett's shot," he said. "I thank God that his
bullet did not reach Kate's heart. The other abandoned the canoe here,
and Kate is with him somewhere in the forest."

As he uttered the last word he touched the Indian, and what was his
surprise to see the limbs move and a flash light up the deathly eyes.
Oscar Parton saw the terrible embrace that was preparing for him, and
tried to avoid it; but the red arms flew up as if impelled by electric
mechanism, and closed around his body.

He struggled and tried to signal his companion, but in vain; his face
was pressed to his foe's, and he felt the death grip of the Wyandot
crushing out his very life.

But for all that, he tried the harder to free himself from the loathsome
grip. Was his young life to be given up so ignominiously? And that, too,
with Kate Merriweather's fate veiled by obscurity? The thought was
awful, horrid.

Not a word fell from the Indian's lips; the young hunter did not know
that the scout's ball had passed through the cheek, mangling the tongue
whose words had been heard in the council and on the trail.

The struggle with the dying went on, and, as was natural, the canoe was
pushed nearer the river, until the tide caught it and it was afloat! Out
into the starlight went the craft with the combatants on board; down the
stream toward the rapids, and each succeeding moment farther from
assistance by the white scout.

All things must end, and life, like the rest, reaches the shadow of
death. A sudden gurgling in the throat, a quivering of the limbs,
announced to Oscar Parton that his enemy was dead. Then again he tried
to escape; but the limbs did not relax; they seemed destined to hold him
there forever.

"God help me!" he groaned. "Must I die now, and in the arms of a dead
Indian?"

The situation was so tainted with the horrible that the youth almost
gave up in despair, and the boat swept down the river.

But help reached him at the eleventh hour. The boat was checked in its
course, and he heard voices above the dead arms that, like great cords
of steel, held him down. He groaned to tell some one, he knew not who,
that he still lived, and then he felt the Indian's arms torn apart. He
was saved.

With an ejaculation of joy at his deliverance the young settler looked
up, to start with a cry of amazement. For the canoe that lay against his
own contained a brace of Indians, plumed and painted for the warpath!

From the clutches of the dead into those of the living did not seem to
Oscar Parton, at that hour, a change for the better.

He could not resist, for his rifle lay on the river bank, and before he
could collect his ideas he was lifted from his boat into that of his
captors'.



CHAPTER X.

LITTLE MOCCASIN'S "FATHER."


Leaving Kate Merriweather in the hands of her as yet, to the reader,
unknown abductor, and Oscar Parton a captive in the warriors' canoe, let
us return to two characters of whom, for a while, we have lost sight.

Deep in the forest that extended to the northern bank of the Maumee, and
with but few trees felled about it, stood in the year '94 and for
several years afterwards, a small cabin erected after the manner of
western buildings, with logs dovetailed, strong oaken doors and heavy
clapboard roof.

So thickly stood the trees around it, that the keen-eyed hunter could
not have perceived it at any noticeable distance.

No little patch of Indian corn grew near to indicate the home of a
settler, and no honeysuckles shaded the low-browed door to tell that a
woman's gentle hand and loving taste had guided them heavenward.

It really looked like the lair of a beast, for there were cleanly-picked
bones before the door, beside which a fresh wolf skin had been nailed.

It was not the home of refinement; but he who often slept beneath its
roof and called it his, could sway hearts and drench the land in blood.

It stood scarce ten miles from the scene of Kate Merriweather's
abduction, a cabin memorable in the annals of the Northwestern
Territory, for beyond its threshold the darkest treacheries of the times
had been plotted.

About the hour when the fugitives beside the river discovered that one
of their number had been taken from their midst, a man emerged from the
forest, and stepping quickly across the space from door to tree, entered
the cabin.

He did not have to stoop, as a tall person would have been compelled to
do upon entering, for he was short in stature, but with a physique that
denoted great strength.

He was clad in the garb of a backwoodsman, and carried all the weapons
borne by such a character. His face, almost brutish in anatomy, denoted
the glutton, and his first step was to the larder, from which he drew an
enormous chunk of meat upon which he fell with great voracity.

"It must be eleven o'clock," he said, as he thrust the pewter plate
empty into the cupboard, and went to the door as if to take
observations. "He cannot be later than one, and, saying that it is
eleven now, I have but two hours to wait. Can I trust the man? Haven't I
trusted him for six years, and where is the time that he has played me
false? I have put money into his buckskin purse, and he knows that at a
sign of betrayal I would kill him as heartlessly as I slew Parquatin at
the council in the hollow. That council!" and the speaker clenched his
lips, and his dark eyes shot flashes of fire from their lash-fringed
caves of revenge.

"They made me kill the young chief," he went on, as if speaking before a
stern court in his own defense. "Or I should say that _he_ made me do
it. They say that I haven't got a spark of manhood left--that I am the
only devil in the Northwest Territory, and hunt and dog me on every
side. I _am_ a bad man, the worst perhaps in these parts. The Indian is
my companion, and when he can't invent new deviltry, he comes to me. But
I have some good traits left. The dog that steals sheep and bites
children is capable of loving his master. I have a brother, and though
we have together trod the paths of iniquity from the trough
cradle--though he has sought to lower me in the eyes of the tribes, I
would not lift a hand against him. No, Simon Girty, your brother loves
you because your mother was his; but," and the renegade paused a moment,
"but even a brother may wrong too deeply. Keep from me, Simon. Devil
that I am, and fiend incarnate and powerful in these woods, I am capable
of loving even _you_!"

These words, though spoken in a low tone, fell upon other ears than the
White Whirlwind's. Not far from his cabin door stood a great tree,
gnarled and lightning-rent, and behind it, in its grotesque shadow,
stood a lithe figure, girlish and graceful, and two brilliant eyes were
fastened on the outlaw. The little hand that hung at the side and
touched the beaded fringe of a trim frock, clutched a rifle which was
cocked ready for instant use.

"He would never tell me; he may tell me now!" fell from the lips behind
the tree. "He has been talking about his bad life, and may be the
Manitou is smiling in his heart."

With the last word on her lips, for the voice and figure denoted that
the speaker was a girl, a figure stepped from the shadows and pronounced
the renegade's forest name.

Jim Girty started and retreated quickly, as if to secure a weapon, but
his eye caught sight of the advancing person, and he recognized her with
a strange mixture of affection and hatred in his eyes.

Areotha, or Little Moccasin, soon stood before the outlaw, looking into
his repulsive face as if seeking a gleam of hope.

"Oh, it is you?" he said. "Well, well, I haven't seen you for a mighty
long time, but I have heard of you," and his brow darkened.

"What has the White Whirlwind heard of Areotha?" the girl asked with
childish artlessness, and she came very close to the man from whom many
of her sex would turn with loathing.

"Why, they say that you have been spying for Mad Anthony Wayne," he
said, trying to catch the change of color on her face; but he failed,
for none came. "If this is true, a bullet will find your heart some of
these days, for I am an Indian as much as I am a white, and you must not
spy against us. I am your father, but I cannot see how you came to love
the accursed people who hunt me like wolves."

He was speaking with much bitterness, and for a moment it seemed that
Little Moccasin would forswear the Americans, and cleave to him. But
that were impossible; the lamb cannot espouse the wolf's cause.

"My father, why do you fight the people whose skin is white?" she said,
after a minute's silence. "You must have had a bad heart a long time,
for when we lived in the land of the Miami's, you scalped and burned as
you do now. Little Moccasin loves you, but she loves all her white
skinned people--but some better than others."

The flush that came to the girl's cheeks as she finished the last
sentence did not escape Girty's lightning glance.

"I suppose you have tumbled into love with some graceless fellow--some
one who would shoot me just to marry an orphan. I know that you don't go
to the fort enough to fall in love with the British officers, and I'll
be hanged if you shall tie yourself to an American. This will never do,
girl."

Her eyes fell guiltily before his flashing look, and when she looked up
again it was with an altered mien.

"Areotha will hear her father if he will tell her one thing," she said.

"I'll tell you a dozen if I can," he replied. "Bless me, girl, if Jim
Girty, bad as he is, doesn't think a mighty sight of you."

He stooped, and his brawny arm swung around her waist. She did not
struggle, and he looked into her eyes. The lion seemed to be making love
to the gazelle.

"My father, long ago the bullet of the white man struck you down," she
said. "But you ran here and fell as the wild deer falls, in the brake
beyond the hunter's pursuit. Long you lay here; your head was wild and
you said many things when the fever of the evil spirit was upon you.
Areotha never left you, my father. She watched, lest the palefaces
should come; she shot the deer and gave you food----"

"And saved the worst life in God's world, didn't you, girl?" interrupted
the renegade, displaying more feeling as he drew the speaker to him than
he had ever been credited with.

"Areotha did what she could," was the reply. "One night, when the wolves
went howling down the forest after the fawn which Areotha's rifle had
failed to kill, the White Whirlwind said something that made his child
wonder. He made her know that he took her one night when she was a
little girl; took her from a burning wigwam beyond the big river. She
asked him then to tell her all, but he said: 'Wait till the sickness
leaves me,' and she waited. Now she is here; now she says, 'my father,
tell me all, for in this war the bullet may find your heart, and Areotha
will never know. Old Madgitwa did not bring me into the world; no, my
father!"

The face and voice were so full of pleading that none but a Girty could
resist.

His arm left the pliant waist, and his eyes resumed their old look.

"You are too inquisitive!" he said. "It doesn't matter where I got you.
You are mine, and the man--"

He paused as if he was about to reveal something, which he would rather
keep back.

"My father, the Manitou, may send for Areotha, and the leaves will fall
upon her before she can know who her real father is. Tell her. This may
be the last time that she----"

"Tell you? No!" was the harsh interruption, and all the revenge in
Girty's nature seemed in his voice. "There are secrets which the stake
could not force from me; this is one of them. There lives one man whom I
wouldn't make happy to save my own life, and sooner than see you in his
arms, I would drive this knife to your heart."

With a cry Little Moccasin started from the blade that flashed in the
starlight, and threw herself on the defensive, with rifle half raised
and eyes flashing angrily.

"You will not tell?" she cried.

"Never!"

The next instant she stepped toward the gnarled tree, and her rifle
covered the renegade of the Maumee.

"You've got me!" he said, looking into Areotha's face without a tremor
of fear; "but I did not think that you would ever lift a rifle against
the man who has been so kind to you. Kill me here, now, and the secret
will be kept from you forever!"

There was a spark of hope in his voice, and all at once the girl lowered
the weapon. The outlaw was spared to scourge the region of the Maumee a
while longer.

Areotha put herself into his power when she lowered the rifle. With one
of those panther-like bounds for which he was famous, Girty could have
sprung upon her and removed her forever from his path. But he restrained
himself; he even put up the knife, and did not seek to detain her when
he heard her say:

"My father, I am going!"

With a look that spoke volumes, Little Moccasin turned on her heel, and
plunged into the forest, leaving the renegade to his own reflections.

"I think a mighty sight of her!" was all he said.

He might have killed her, but he would not.



CHAPTER XI.

KATE MERRIWEATHER'S PROGRESS.


Girty, the renegade, remained in his cabin door until the footsteps of
Little Moccasin died away in the forest, and silence again pervaded the
spot.

There was a cloud on the outlaw's brow, and the longer he listened the
more impatient and perplexed he became.

The minutes resolved themselves into hours, and when he believed that
the ghostly hour of one had arrived, an oath fell from his lips, and he
turned into the cabin. But he soon reappeared with a short-barreled
rifle, and left the hut as if bent upon hunting for some one whom he had
been expecting.

"Something unlooked for may have transpired," he murmured. "Wolf Cap and
that young fellow may have disarranged my plans by appearing suddenly at
the camp; but I am sure that Wells will never get the message which they
left in the tree."

Girty smiled as he recalled the theft of Harvey Catlett's message from
the forest letter box, and congratulated himself that Wells and
Hummingbird (a famous chief and spy in Wayne's employ) would find the
tree empty when they should reach it. The self-congratulations still
lingered in his heart when the report of a distant rifle, faint, but
clear enough, nevertheless, struck his practiced ear.

He stopped suddenly and listened.

"A rifle, but no death cry," he said, addressing himself. "But too far
off for that, perhaps."

Then he stooped and put his ear to the ground, in which attitude he
remained for several moments. But the stillness of death brooded over
the vicinity. When Girty rose it was with a perplexed look; the shot
seemed to revolve itself into a mystery, to which he attached the utmost
importance.

"There is one person in these parts whose bullets never make a death
cry," he said; "but if she shot _him_, I don't see why, for she knows
that we are friends. However, I'm going down to see what the matter is."

He started toward the river at a brisk walk. It was ten miles distant,
but he knew that the mysterious shot had been fired not far away.

By and by his walk resolved itself into the dog-trot of the Indian, and
he hastened through the woods as if a regular path stretched before him.

The dew lay on the grass pressed by his dingy moccasin, and, save now
and then the snapping of a twig, his progress sent forth no noise.

All at once, as he reached the summit of a wooded knoll, he was brought
to a stand.

At his feet, as it were, was a space of ground over which a hurricane
had at some time swept with relentless fury. The results of its work,
broken trees and fallen ones, were apparent to the eye. Into this place
the starlight fell, and the rays of the moon, soon to bathe herself in
the waters of the Maumee, penetrated like shafts of silver.

The scene that presented itself to the outlaw was enough to startle him.

He saw two figures in the light--two living ones, we mean--but not far
remote, with face upturned to the stars, lay a giant form, motionless as
the earth itself.

A second look told the renegade the author of the midnight shot. She
stood beside a young girl, and these words in a well known voice greeted
his ears:

"White girl tired, but Areotha will save her if she will go."

"Go?" cried the one addressed, and her voice sent a thrill of pleasure
to the heart beating wildly on the top of the knoll. "Go, Areotha? You
cannot name a place whither I will not fly with you at this hour. I
wonder if they do not believe me dead already. My God! I see through the
treachery of that man," and she glanced at the body on the ground.
"Girl, is every one in these parts like him? He came to our home and
persuaded father to fly to Wayne, offering to guide us; but he meditated
treachery all the time. I see it now."

"He makes no more bloody boats on the big river," Little Moccasin said
with triumph. "He was bold to steal white girl alone."

"No, no, girl. An Indian called Oskaloo assisted, but he was killed in
the boat by some one on the shore--Mr. Catlett, perhaps. He was on
guard."

Little Moccasin's eyes gleamed with pride at the mention of the young
scout's name.

"He good hunter," she said with growing enthusiasm. "Areotha will take
the white girl back to him."

"Yes, yes, and then I will find all of them. Let us go now. Some person
may find us here if we tarry."

Some person? Yes; that "person" was already near, and as Kate
Merriweather and her protector started to fly, Jim Girty, with a single
bound, reached the foot of the hillock, and stood before them.

The twain started back with a cry of terror; but Kate's retreat was
quickly checked by the renegade's hand.

"Not so fast, my beauty!" he cried with a hideous smile, a mixture of
sensuality and triumph. "I am convinced that I did not arrive a moment
too late. That man was playing me false!" and he nodded at the dead. "He
wasn't on the trail that leads to my cabin. I suspect, miss, that he got
struck with your beauty, and thought that he would outwit his employer
and make you his own wife."

Kate Merriweather did not reply. White faced and trembling, she stood
before the outlaw, whose eyes devoured her peerless beauty, and from
whose clutches she longed to escape.

"John Darknight proved to be a traitor, and your companion paid him for
his treachery, though I guess that she did not suspect that she was
serving me when she pulled the trigger. Perhaps you do not know me," and
there was a grim smile on Girty's face.

"I do not, though----"

"Though you may have heard of me, you were going to say. I fancy that my
name has reached your ears. There isn't a woman in the Northwest
Territory who has not heard of me. My name is Girty!"

The settler's daughter uttered a cry of mingled terror and disgust.

"Simon Girty, the renegade?"

"No! his brother James--the worse devil of the two!" said the outlaw
with a sardonic grin and a glance at the bewildered Little Moccasin.

"But you are not lost to every attribute of manhood, James Girty," said
the captive in a pleading tone that might have softened a heart of
flint. "There are hearts that bleed for me to-night. Do not deal with me
as they say you have dealt with others; but restore me to my dear ones,
and win the lasting gratitude of all who love me."

Following hard upon Kate Merriweather's last word came a laugh which
seemed the incarnation of fiendishness. The renegade's eyes seemed
filled with the heartless merriment.

"Restore you to the boat? Let you go, after I have gone to the pains of
getting John Darknight to guide you into my hands? Why, girl, you have
not studied the character of Jim Girty."

Kate's hope fled away, and she looked without a word upon the forest
beauty at her side.

"My father, let the white girl go," Little Moccasin said, venturing to
meet the outlaw's flashing eyes. "See! I have killed the traitor. He
will never betray my father again."

"You served him right; but you were going to take this girl back to the
river when I came up," was the reply. "She is mine, and the hand that is
raised to tear her from me will fall in death. Come, my bird."

He drew the settler's daughter toward him, and as his eyes flashed their
fire upon her cheek, Kate uttered a shriek and hung senseless in his
grasp.

"Now go!" he cried to the mystery, as he pointed over her shoulder into
the gloom of the forest. "Do not lift your rifle against me, for then
you would never know who you are. Go! and follow me not. Don't cross my
path too often!"

She saw the outstretched hand that pointed her into forced exile; she
noted the murderous eyes that darted from her into the depths of the
tarn, and with a final pitying glance upon the unconscious girl, hanging
over Girty's strong arm, she obeyed. For the second time that night he
had sent her from his presence.

"No man ever baffled Jim Girty!" he said, looking down into the white
face which looked like death's own in the starlight. "For this moment I
have plotted. Now I can desert the tribes to their own war, for she
takes away all my warlike ambition. They may not see me in the next
great battle. The hand of man shall not take her from me."

Then for a moment he studied his captive's face in silence, admiring its
contour and matchless loveliness.

At length he started forward and stood over John Darknight.

"Quite dead!" he said with evident satisfaction. "That young girl saved
me a bit of lead and powder."

Yes, the treacherous guide was dead. From that night there would be
fewer bloody boats on the Maumee, and not a soul in the Northwest
Territory was to regret Little Moccasin's aim.

Leaving John Darknight where he had fallen, a prey to the vultures and
the wolf, Girty turned away, and, with his still unconscious captive,
hastened toward his cabin.

The outlaw had achieved another triumph; but the avenger of blood was on
his trail, and on a day memorable in the history of Ohio he was to
expiate the crime which we have already witnessed.



CHAPTER XII.

A THRILLING INITIATION.


Oscar Parton did not resist when his captors drew him into their boat,
which was paddled into the middle of the stream.

He saw that resistance would prove futile, for his struggle with the
dead warrior had wearied him.

His captors were real red athletes, with great breadth of chest, and
strong arms. They regarded him with much curiosity, and did not speak
until the boat began to ascend the stream.

"The Blacksnake's spy!" said one, half interrogatively, as he peered
into the young man's face.

His accent told Parton that he was a Shawnee.

"I am not a spy," was the reply, "I have never trailed the Indian, with
a rifle ready to take his life."

The red men exchanged significant glances, and the youngest, a youth of
eighteen, spoke:

"Pale face is a Yengee."[C]

    [C] Yankee or American.

"I am an American," Oscar said, knowing that an attempt to conceal his
national identity would result in no good to him. "I have lived at the
mouth of the Swift River,[D] lifting no arm against the Indian."

    [D] The Maumee. So called on account of its rapids.

"But why is white man here?" asked the Shawnee.

Then followed the narrative of the flight of the Merriweather family,
and the story of Kate's abduction. The two Indians listened without
interruption; but at certain stages of the narration they exchanged
meaning looks.

It was evident that they credited the story, for the young man told it
in a plain, straightforward manner, embellishing it with no rhetoric.

"White guide steal girl?" the young Indian--a Seneca--said, and the
elder nodded his head in confirmation. "Him bad man. Decoys boats to the
wrong side of river for the red man. Parquatoc no like him, for he makes
war on women and children."

For several moments the savages conversed together in whispers, and in
the Indian tongue, of which the captive caught but few words which he
understood. His fate appeared to be the subject of conversation, and he
waited with much anxiety and impatience for the end of the council.

Escape was not to be thought of, for his limbs were bound, and he would
have sank beneath the waves like a stone if he had thrown himself from
the boat.

At last the dark heads separated, and the young settler looked into the
Indian's eyes as if seeking the decision there before he should hear it
from their tongues.

But he was doomed to disappointment, for the red Arabs did not speak,
though the one who had called himself Parquatoc guided the boat toward
the shore.

Oscar thought that the youth's eye had a kindly gleam, and tried to make
himself believe that no murderous light was in the orbs of his
companion.

Parquatoc sent the boat to the bank with strong, rapid strokes, and it
finally struck with a dull thud that made the light craft quiver. Then
he severed Oscar's leg bonds, and the settler stood erect on the shore,
ten miles below the scene of his capture.

His thoughts were of Harvey Catlett, whom he had left so
unceremoniously, and who might think that he had deserted him to hunt
alone for the stolen girl.

He did not quail before the uncertain fate that stared him in the face;
but resolved to meet it, dread as it might be, like a man.

The boat was drawn upon the bank, and lifted into the boughs of a huge
tree, which told that it was not to kiss the waves again that night.

The Shawnee deposited it there while the young Seneca guarded the
settler. But such vigilance was useless, for Oscar had resolved to
attempt no escape that did not offer the best signs of success.

Having deposited the boat in the tree so well that none but the keenest
of eyes could have found it, the eldest savage gave his companion a
look, and the next moment a knife flashed in his hand.

Oscar thought that his doom was near at hand, for Parquatoc stepped
forward, his scarlet fingers encircling the buckhorn handle of the keen
blade. But though the youth's eyes flashed and his well-knit figure
quivered, there was no gleam of murder in his eyes.

The Shawnee looked on without a sign of interference.

"The pale face has said that he does not hate the Indian!" the youth
said.

"Why should I? He has never done me harm."

"But he kills the whites, and now the Blacksnakes come among his wigwams
with rifle and torch."

"True; but the Blacksnake, as you call our great soldier, would not be
marching into this country if the bad whites had not stirred up the
tribes by lies and rum."

The young settler spoke with great boldness, looking straight into the
eyes of the pair.

"The pale face hates the king's men and the renegades?"

"He does."

There was a moment's silence.

"Does he hate the White Whirlwind?"

"He hates Jim Girty with all his heart!"

The Shawnee nodded to Parquatoc with manifest satisfaction.

"Then let the pale man bare his breast."

For the first time since the landing, a pallor swept over Oscar Parton's
face.

If the savages were friends to the Girtys, and there were few Indians
who would not have followed them to death, his replies had fated him to
die, and the command to bare his breast seemed to settle the question of
his life.

He hesitated, but not through fear.

"Is the white man afraid?" asked the boy-warrior with a sneer.

"No!" was the quick reply, and the next instant the settler's hands were
lifted to obey the command; but the deer thongs that bound them
prevented him.

Parquatoc smiled, and cut the bonds.

Then Oscar tore his jacket open, and exposed his flesh to the Indian's
gaze.

"The white man hates the British and the white renegades. He must join
our band."

Then while the last word still quivered the speaker's lips, the knife
flashed across his breast and a spurt of blood told that it had left a
horrid trail behind. The youth did not fall, but remained erect, while
the Indians regarded the work of the blade with satisfaction.

"Listen," said Parquatoc, laying his hand on Oscar's shoulder and
looking straight into his eyes. "You are one of us now and forever.
There was a council the other dark (night) in the long hollow. The White
Whirlwind came and raised his voice for war. Many chiefs followed him;
but there were many more who were afraid to lift their voices for peace.
The Indian can't fight the Blacksnake. He will sweep them from his path
as the hurricane sweeps the leaves from the trees. Parquatin, our
brother, rose and spoke for peace. He told the council that war meant
starving squaws, desolated maize fields, and gameless hunting grounds to
the Indian. He called White Whirlwind a bad man, who would desert the
red man to trail a white girl through the forest. It was a talk that
made the Whirlwind mad; and there in the council before the assembled
braves of seven nations, he drove his tomahawk into our brother's brain.
We have raised our hands to the Manitou like the white men do when they
want to make their words strong, and said that we hate the palefaces who
have lied the Indian into the fight. We strike at the renegade; we trail
the White Whirlwind; and he shall die for the blow which he struck at
the council in the long hollow. White man, you are one of us now. You
carry the sign of the brotherhood. Wherever you go you will find red
brethren. No other paleface belongs to us. In danger, show the mark; our
people are many, and after the next great battle, the cold white faces
among the tribes will not be few. You are free; but if you go with us we
will step upon the trail of the white rose stolen from you."

To the young warrior's speech, uttered in that eloquence which now and
then adorns the pages of savage history, Oscar Parton listened with
wonderment and strange emotions. It is true that Parquatoc's words, as
he advanced, prepared him for the finale, but his transition from
thoughts of doom to freedom was yet swift and startling. He found
himself initiated into a cabal of Indians who had sworn to make war
against certain white people--himself the sole white member of the
organization.

There was a something about the young Parquatoc that made the settler
admire him; and now that he knew that Jim Girty had basely slain his
brother, he saw a motive for the boy-warrior's intense hatred.

He resolved to cultivate his friendship; but he did not know how soon
the bonds sealed that night were to be broken.

"Come!" said Parquatoc, breaking in upon his thoughts. "The light is not
very far away, and we must not be here when the white arrows fall upon
the river."

"But white man no gun," said the Shawnee, speaking for the first time
since the landing.

"Never mind; gun come soon enough," was the Seneca's reply.

A moment later the tree and concealed boat were left behind, and the
trio hurried from the river.

Oscar Parton walked beside the boy, never dreaming of escape, though his
freedom had been restored, for his new brethren had promised to aid him
in his search for Kate.

He was thinking about his thrilling initiation, and wondering what would
come of it.



CHAPTER XIII.

A LOVERS' MEETING.


The reader will recollect that we left Harvey Catlett, the young scout,
searching for John Darknight's trail on the banks of the Maumee. We will
now return to him.

For a long time the youth prosecuted his search with vigor, confident
that he would soon be enabled to strike the trail and start in pursuit
of the treacherous guide, whose hands had, he doubted not, taken Kate
Merriweather from the camp. But the minutes passed without bringing him
success, and he at last began to fear that the abductor had not landed
at any point opposite the bivouac.

With this idea gaining strength in his mind, he resolved to rejoin his
companion and suggest new operations. But Oscar Parton did not respond
to his oft-repeated signals, and the young scout sought him in turn
until the gray streaks of light announced the dawn of another day. He
did not hear the boat that drifted past him in the night, nor catch a
sound of the struggle between the living and the dead which was taking
place on board.

He was inclined to charge Oscar Parton with desertion, attributing it to
the young man's zeal for Kate's welfare, for whom he--Oscar--preferred
perhaps to hunt alone.

"Well, let him go!" Catlett said at last, standing on the shore with the
daylight in his face. "If he does not like to trail with me, I am sure
that I will not lift a hand against him. He might have been a stumbling
block, any way, and on the whole I am not sorry that he has rid me of
himself."

Speaking thus--as the reader knows, unjustly--of Oscar Parton, the young
scout started up the river. A few steps brought him to a rifle which lay
on the ground. A glance told him that it belonged to the man whom he had
just charged with desertion; but now he regretted his words. The
discovery of the weapon told him that Parton was in trouble.

His keen eyes, used to the woods and their trails, could not show him
any signs of a struggle, for the tide had removed the stranding place of
the canoe, and after a long and unsuccessful search, Catlett looked
mystified. He looked at the rifle, but it told no story of its owner's
mishaps; it lay in his hands dumb--provokingly so.

"It beats me!" were the only audible words that escaped him, after a
long silence of study and conjecture.

Then he thrust the weapon into the hollow of a tree near by, and started
into the forest.

He had another mystery to solve besides Kate Merriweather's
abduction--Oscar Parton's whereabouts. He felt assured, however, that
the settler's daughter had fallen into Darknight's hands, and it was
known to him that the guide and James Girty were staunch friends.

It was toward the renegade's cabin, ten miles distant, that the scout
hastened. He examined the ground over which he walked, and the light
growing stronger, at last penetrated the forest.

The morning was not far advanced when a young man paused suddenly in a
glen where the trees had felt the fury of a hurricane, and looked into
the face of a person whose clothes were damp with still glistening dew.

The cold white face was upturned to the blue sky, and in the eyes was
the ghastly stare of the dead. Beside the body lay a dark-stocked rifle
clutched tightly by a rigid right hand. Under the left ear was a mass of
clotted blood, which proclaimed the gateway of the bullet of death.

"John Darknight!" exclaimed Harvey Catlett, stooping down to examine the
dead. "Little did I think that your trail would end so suddenly, and so
fatally to you. Now a new mystery begins. Where is the girl?"

An examination of the glen told the trailer that several persons besides
the unfortunate guide had been there, and he was examining a track so
peculiar as to attract attention, when a noise greeted his ears.

Raising his head and looking over his shoulder, he saw standing not far
away the person of all others whom he would meet at that hour--Little
Moccasin.

There was a smile on her face as she came forward and submitted to the
kiss which he imprinted on her cheek.

"They have been talking hard of you, girl, in the camp over the river,"
Harvey said. "They accuse you of deserting them."

"Areotha go to follow him!" she said, and her glance wandered to the
dead man in the dewy grass. "But he eluded her, and for a long time she
saw him not."

"And too late you have found him. He is there."

"Areotha saw him fall with his face to the stars. He lay so still, and
never groaned in his throat."

The young scout looked into the fair face, flushed with triumph.

"Did you do it, girl?"

"Areotha shot him when he was taking the white girl through the forest."

Harvey Catlett started.

"Then you rescued Kate!" he cried.

The girl shook her head.

"White girl taken from Areotha," was her answer. "Will Fair Face
listen?"

"I will."

In simple language Little Moccasin detailed her trailing of John
Darknight and his captive through the forest, and how in the
hurricane-swept glen she had put an end to his crimes with a bullet.
Then, of course, followed the account of James Girty's interference, and
his subsequent flight with the settler's daughter.

The scout listened without interrupting her.

"The new trail begins here," he said, addressing the beautiful creature.
"There is a ball in my rifle that may rid the Northwest Territory of its
incarnate curse."

"No, no!" cried Little Moccasin, and her hand fell on his arm. "If Fair
Face kills the Whirlwind, he will never tell."

Catlett looked into the forest beauty's eyes as a puzzled expression
settled upon his face.

"Never--never tell!" repeated the girl, mystifying him the more.

"Never tell what, Moccasin?" exclaimed the scout, as he put his arm
about her and drew her near him.

"He knows Areotha's true father."

"No!"

"He said so last night in his own cabin door, and when he said he would
not tell, Areotha raised her rifle; but he told her to shoot, and never,
never know, and--she let the rifle fall. My father knows, for when the
wound-fever was upon him he said strange things, and made me go away
when I came near."

Catlett was silent, busy with his thoughts, and when he started he saw
Areotha's eyes fixed upon him.

"The brute may know," he said. "I wish I could wrest the secret from
him."

"Fair Face will not kill him, then?" said the girl, pleading for the
life of the scourge of the settlements. "When the right time comes he
will tell."

"That time, in his opinion, will never come. When Jim Girty hates, he
hates forever."

"But will Fair Face spare him?"

"I would not spare the wolf that has trailed me for years, nor would I
be lenient with the hound that has spilled the blood of women and their
little ones. Wolf and hound is this very man whom you have called father
these many years."

"He is very bad!" the girl said, dropping her eyes. "_But he knows!_"

"Then for your sake I will not slay him, save in self defense. Otherwise
on sight would I shoot the human blood-hound."

Before Harvey Catlett had ceased to speak a pair of arms encircled his
neck, and he felt hot kisses on his face.

Areotha had conquered him.

"We part here," he said, gently releasing himself.

"Does Fair Face go to trail the Whirlwind?"

"I go to wrench Kate Merriweather from his grasp. This is my sole
mission; then back to Mad Anthony, to fight in the battle near at hand."

"And Areotha?"

"Go to the camp over the river, and tell Wolf Cap what I have done."

A pallor of fear and distrust came over the girl's face.

"He hates Areotha, and the young men do not like her."

"Do not fear the tall hunter now," Harvey said.

"Does he like Areotha?" she cried, brightening up. "She often dreams
about him, but a shadow comes between us, and in his place is the
Whirlwind and his home."

"You need not fear him, though he may act strangely sometimes. He will
protect you from the two young men of the party. You may be of
assistance to the fugitives. Stay with them until I come. Go, little
one. God bless you."

They parted in the glen, and Harvey Catlett did not stir until the wood
witch had vanished from his sight.

"I believe it stronger than ever, now," he said. "I hope it may be so.
Jim Girty, I have virtually sworn to spare your life--for on this trail
we are bound to meet--and there is but one woman in the world who could
have made me promise."

A moment later the storm swept glen was not tenanted save by the man who
would never, never leave it.

Harvey Catlett, with tightened belt and ready rifle, had stepped upon a
new trail, destined to be fraught with strange adventures.



CHAPTER XIV.

IN GIRTY'S CABIN.


Kate Merriweather was quite exhausted when the renegade's forest home
was reached.

Her strange abduction, rescue and recapture had told upon her nature,
and she crossed Girty's threshold with a sigh of despair which did not
escape her companion's notice.

"Oh, you will not find Jim Girty's home so bad as your imagination has
pictured it," he said with a smile. "A British officer at Fort Miami
tells about a place that had over its door the words, 'who enters here
leaves hope behind;' but that isn't my home."

Kate shuddered at his heartless levity, which he applauded with a coarse
laugh.

She felt that the legend that blazed over the portals of Dante's hell
might with propriety have been inscribed above Girty's door.

She felt like abandoning hope, and resolved not to plead with the brute
into whose hands she had fallen.

But she determined to protect herself from insult while under his roof.

Of the coarse meal which the renegade sat before her Kate partook, for
fatigue had rendered her hungry, and Girty eyed her triumphantly while
she ate.

The breakfast was at last concluded, and Girty began to remove the
remains of the matutinal meal.

While engaged in this duty a quick step alarmed him, and a lithe young
Indian appeared in the door-way.

Girty stepped forward with a smile of recognition, for the youth was
clad in the scanty costume of a runner, and the message which he bore
was speedily delivered.

Buckhougahelas, the great sachem, and the confederate chiefs were about
to advance upon Wayne, and requested the White Whirlwind's presence.

During the delivery of the dispatch an uneasiness was visible in Girty's
face, which would not have escaped the notice of an older warrior. It
was evident that he did not expect the news at that hour.

"What says the Whirlwind?"

"I will come. Before the end of another sleep I will be with my braves."

The runner bowed, and snatching a piece of venison from the rough table,
he bounded away, eating as he ran.

"A pretty fix! a pretty fix!" muttered the renegade to himself, turning
from the door and glancing at his captive. "I am one of them as much as
Mataquan, the runner. I have helped on the war; I have stirred up the
nations; I have made them mad and bloodthirsty. Shall I desert them now,
because I have a woman on my hands? If I remained from the fight my life
would not be worth a leaf, for the survivors would hunt me down."

He stepped to the table with the last word on his lips, and his hand was
about to continue his work, when the door which he had closed was burst
open and two Indians leaped into the room.

There were but few savages whom the renegade had reason to dread, for
was he not virtually an Indian, though white-skinned and English? But he
turned quickly upon the intruders, and started back when he saw their
faces.

They were Parquatoc, and Sackadac, the Shawnee; the ring leaders of the
cabal against his life!

James Girty, ever quick to act in the face of danger, sprang to his
rifle; but before his hand could seize the trusty weapon, the Seneca
youth bounded upon him and bore him to the cabin wall.

It was the work of a moment, and no giant could have withstood the
terrible spring.

The outlaw recovered in an instant, and his great strength would have
released him from Parquatoc's power if the Shawnee had not flown to his
comrade's aid. Girty was in the hands of two men who had sworn to rid
the world of his detestable shape.

He was disarmed in a moment, and found himself at the mercy of his foes,
who confronted him with weapons, eager to drink his blood.

"Call white hunter," said the Seneca to his companion, and Sackadac went
to the door.

At a signal from his lips a third party joined the Indians, and as he
crossed the threshold a cry of joy was heard, and Kate Merriweather
leaped forward to fall into his arms. It was her lover, Oscar Parton.

Girty ground his teeth as he witnessed the meeting, and fixed his eyes
upon his captors.

"The blood of Parquatin is on the Whirlwind's knife!" said the Seneca.
"He cut his heart because he dared to talk for peace."

"Not for that!" grated the renegade. "He called me coward, and no man
calls me that and lives."

"The Whirlwind is a coward!" flashed the youth! "He kills a boy when he
stands before him unarmed. Parquatin was but a boy; he was wearing his
first eagle feathers, and he had never made love to a woman."

"And he never will!" said Girty with sarcasm which cut its way to the
Indian brother's heart.

Parquatoc raised his rifle with a meaning glance at the Shawnee, and
stepped toward the door.

"The Whirlwind has killed his last man!" the youth resumed, as the
barrel crept up to a level with the renegade's breast. "He will never
press the grass trails again with his moccasins, and the white women
will sleep in peace with their papooses at their side. Parquatin's blood
must flow over the Whirlwind's; the new moon must smile upon his
carcass."

"Shoot and be done with it!" Girty said, without a quiver of the
muscles. "I am in your power, and as every man can't live over the time
which has been marked out for him, I am not going to play the baby
here."

They say that murderers are cowards. A greater murderer than James Girty
never cursed the early west; but not a single instance of cowardice
stands against his record. He looked into Parquatoc's rifle without
fear, and his countenance did not change when the Indian's cheek dropped
upon the stock.

It was a moment fraught with the wildest interest, and in the silence
the beating of hearts was heard.

But that tableau was rudely broken, and that by a white man who suddenly
threw himself into the cabin and pushed the rifle of the Seneca aside.

Every eye was turned upon him, and the tomahawks of the Indians leaped
from their belts.

"I hate that man with all my heart," the new comer cried, addressing the
Indians as he pointed to the renegade, surprised with the rest. "I
wouldn't spare his life but for a little while. He knows something which
I must know; then my red brother's rifle may send the bullet to his
heart."

Girty looked, stared into the speaker's face.

"Who are you?" he asked before the Indian could reply.

"My name is Catlett."

"A spy of Wayne's?"

"Yes."

The savages exchanged looks, and Parquatoc spoke:

"The Blacksnake's spy has no right to step between Parquatoc and his
captive," he said.

"No!" hissed the Shawnee.

"Stand aside!" continued the Seneca, menacingly.

But Harvey Catlett did not stir.

The Indians advanced upon him.

"Hold!" cried Oscar Parton. "He will join us! He will wear the mark
which you gave me."

"No white spy shall wear it!" was the reply.

Face to face with the two savages stood Wayne's young scout, composed
and unyielding. He intended to kill the first savage who raised a hand
against him.

But all at once James Girty moved from the wall. With one of his
powerful bounds, he hurled himself upon the spy, whom he sent reeling
against Parquatoc, and the next moment he was running for life through
the forest.

It was in vain that Oscar Parton and the Shawnee, the first to recover,
tried to cover him with their rifles. The renegade was fleet of foot,
and a yell announced his escape and future revenge.

James Girty was at large again, but captiveless; for Kate Merriweather
had fallen into hands that would not desert her.

Harvey Catlett turned to the Indians when he had recovered his
equilibrium. He told then why he wished to spare Girty's life--for the
secret of Little Moccasin's parentage--and when he had finished,
Parquatoc said:

"The Blacksnake's spy must join us. All who hate the White Whirlwind
must wear the mark."

At Oscar's solicitation the young spy consented, and Parquatoc's knife
cut the sign of the banded brotherhood on his breast.

"Back to the white people with their child!" the Seneca said. "The big
fight is coming on."

They parted there--red and white--and Kate once more turned her face
toward her relatives.



CHAPTER XV.

THE FOREST WHIPPING POST.


The Merriweather family did not make rapid progress toward Wayne after
Kate's abduction. A gloom had settled over the little band of fugitives,
and they desired to remain near the spot which had been so fatal to one
of their number.

A degree of safety returned with Wolf Cap's accession to their numbers,
and the tall borderman did not cease to assure them that Harvey Catlett
was an experienced scout. He firmly believed that he would restore Kate
to their arms, and this quieted the parents and made them feel hopeful.

"Think of my loss," the hunter would say, when the parents murmured at
the theft of their child. "Think of a man coming home and finding his
cabin in ashes, and the bones of his family among them. I had one of the
best wives in the world, and a little girl who was just beginning to
call me 'papa.'"

"You have had revenge?" said Abel Merriweather.

"Ask the woods, the streams, and the Indian villages that lie between
the Ohio and the Maumee if I have not glutted my thirst for vengeance.
But it has not restored my family. I have killed, but the blows that I
have dealt did not give back my child's kiss, my wife's embrace. No;
there is no satisfaction in vengeance. Man ought to leave his wrongs to
God, who punishes the guilty in the end."

Thus Wolf Cap often talked to Abel Merriweather and his family, and
afterward he would relapse into a silence from which no one attempted to
draw him. He would stand for hours in a reverie like a harmless lunatic,
and more than once the sun which found him in this state at the
meridian, saw him there at its setting.

He was the guide. Every foot of the Maumee wood was known to him, and
with his eye turned to the west, he slowly but surely led the fugitives
in the direction of Wayne's camp.

The sun was creeping zenithward one warm morning, when a boat left the
northern shore of the Maumee and pushed out into the stream. Its single
occupant was a girlish person whose face was very lovely, and whose
browned hands seemed accustomed to the use of paddles.

She steered for the opposite bank, and despite the rapids, which
threatened at times to capsize the frail craft, she reached her
destination. With an agile bound she sprang upon shore, and made the
canoe fast to a clump of bushes. Then she took a rifle from the bottom
of the boat, and looked into the forest that trended to the bank which
she had gained.

It was Little Moccasin.

After satisfying herself that no person had observed her movements, she
moved from the shore; but a minute later the clicking of gun locks
brought her to a halt, and she heard a voice that startled her.

"Don't lift your gun, or we'll drop you in your tracks."

Then the girl saw the speaker, for he had slipped from behind a tree,
and beside him stood a companion.

With a cry of recognition which made Little Moccasin's eyes sparkle with
delight, she started toward the twain, whose faces were darkened by
scowls.

"Areotha is glad to meet her brothers," she said. "Fair Face has sent
her----"

"No fixed up story!" interrupted one of the whites, who was Carl
Merriweather; his companion was George Darling.

"We won't listen to you," said the latter. "We've seen enough of your
sleek-tongued treachery, and by Jove, we're going to put an end to it."

The girl's face grew pale.

"Will the white men listen to Areotha?"

"No; and beside, we wouldn't believe you if we did!" said Carl. "Of
course you were in league with that rascally guide, and he stole my
sister. Do you know what we ought to do with you? Why, we would be
serving you right if we whipped you to death right here. God knows how
many boats of our people you have decoyed into the hands of the Indians.
A female renegade is the meanest thing on earth."

"Areotha will talk," said the girl, who had waited with impatience for
the young Hotspur to finish. "The hot-headed young men may shut their
ears; but the Manitou will listen. He never turns away from the sound of
his people's voice."

"Go on, then," said Darling. "Spit out the pretty story you have cooked
up."

Little Moccasin gave the speaker a glance of hatred, and then said in
her silvery tone:

"Areotha comes from the Blacksnake's spy. The guide is dead; he sleeps
where the storm tore down the trees. Fair Face says that he will soon
bring the white girl back to her people!"

"And he sent you here to say this?" said Carl Merriweather, in a tone
which told that he did not believe a word which had fallen from the
girl's lips.

"He told Areotha to tell the mother and the father this, that their eyes
might get bright again."

"It is a pretty story, but it don't go down," Carl said.

The black eyes flashed again.

"You might as well have told us that Kate was in the camp now," said
George Darling.

"That is so!"

"We believe that you are the biggest mischief-maker in these parts. Who
knows how many young men you have decoyed to their doom by your smiles.
And now you have another in your net--a brave young fellow, but blind
enough to follow your infernal witchery to his death. Come, lay your
rifle down; we want to deal with you as you deserve."

"If we let you off with a whole skin you may thank our mercy," said Carl
with a smile.

Little Moccasin, finding herself completely in the power of the young
men, hesitated a moment, and then dropping her rifle, surrendered
herself. There was no pity in her captor's eyes, and her pale face made
them laugh outright.

"A little whipping--that is all!" said George Darling, fiendishly, as he
seized the girl's arm and led her to a tree that stood near by.

While Carl guarded her, his companion stripped a lynn tree of its bark
covering, which he converted into ropes, and returned to the selected
tree.

Blushing at the purposed indignity, the girl permitted herself to be
lashed to the tree--her cheek against the bark--but with pressed lips
and flashing eyes.

This operation performed, a number of keen withes were selected, and
armed with several bundles which had been converted into whips as
cutting as the Russian knout, the gallant young bordermen approached
their captive.

"Now my forest lady," said Darling, sarcastically, "we'll give you a
dressing that will not be forgotten on your dying day. Come, now,
confess that you are a forest witch in league with Jim Girty and his
minions, red and white."

"The Manitou knows that Areotha never lifted a hand against the American
people."

"Lying to the last," said Carl. "Ten extra licks for that."

"Twenty of them," answered Darling, eager to deal the first blow.

"We should have taken off her jacket."

"No, the sticks will cut through it like a razor."

"Then let her have the whipping, George. When your arm tires, I will
continue the work."

George Darling selected the longest bundle of withes, and stepped back
for a terrible sweeping blow. The girl gritted her teeth and waited. Her
white face seemed frozen against the tree.

With demoniac pleasure in his eye, the young man raised the whip and
swung his arm back for the blow. Carl Merriweather did not cease to
watch him.

The second of silence that followed was suddenly broken, but not by the
sound of the sticks on Little Moccasin's back.

There came a stern voice from the right:

"Stop! I'll kill the rascal that touches that girl!"

George Darling started, and the knout fell from his hand. There were
more than one white face beneath the tree.

"You ought to be ashamed of yourselves!" said the same voice, and the
would-be whippers saw Wolf Cap advancing. "It is a pretty business for
two young men to be engaged in--whipping a girl in the woods. By hokey!
I ought to take the whips and wear them out on your backs."

The youths were too astonished to reply. They trembled like criminals
before the tall spy, and did not stir until he had cut the girl's bonds
and released her.

"Go back to the camp!" he commanded. "Or hold! Apologize to this
creature. Down on your knees, or by the great horn spoon, I'll cut your
faces into strings with your own whips."

The tall man was in a tempest of passion, and, frightened almost out of
their wits, the young men dropped upon the ground and craved forgiveness
of the creature whom they had so grossly insulted.

"Areotha cannot hate the Americans," she said softly. "She will forget
the bark and the whips."

Sullen and abashed, Carl Merriweather and his companion slunk away,
leaving Wolf Cap and Little Moccasin at the tree.

For a long time the scout and spy looked into the girl's eyes, and all
at once he covered his face with his hands and groaned.

"Every time I see her I think of that terrible night," he said.

"What does the hunter say?" said the girl, catching his words but
indistinctly, for they were spoken through his great hard hands.

"Nothing," Wolf Cap answered, starting at the sound of her voice.
"Nothing; don't speak to me! You make me think of a voice that I heard
when I was a happy man."

As he uttered the last word, he staggered back with great emotion, and
saw Little Moccasin staring strangely into his face.



CHAPTER XVI.

THE BROTHERS' LAST INTERVIEW.


Meanwhile Wayne was advancing with that caution and intrepidity which
had rendered him famous in wars prior to the one in which he was then
engaged. His spies brought him hourly reports of the movements of the
enemy, and he knew where the decisive conflict would be fought.

The allied tribes had selected as their battle ground the forest of
Presqu'-Isle, a place on the left bank of the Maumee, and almost within
reach of the guns of the British Fort Miami.

During the night preceding the battle, the chiefs of the different
nations assembled in council, and it was proposed by some to go up and
attack Wayne in his encampment. The proposition was opposed, and the
council did not determine to attack him that night!

A great deal of responsibility rested upon this nocturnal council, at
which the Girtys were present. Simon did not say much in the council,
but held private talks with the prominent chiefs. He approved the plan
of attacking the Americans in their camp, and his plan was ably seconded
by Little Turtle and others.

The fate of the tribes of the Northwestern Territory hung upon the
decision of the council.

"We have beaten the enemy twice under separate commanders,"[E] said the
Turtle in the council. "We cannot expect the same good fortune always to
attend us."

    [E] Harmar and St. Clair.

"The Americans are now led by a chief who never sleeps. The night and
day are alike to him, and during all the time he has been marching upon
our villages, notwithstanding the wakefulness of our young men, we have
not been able to surprise him. Think well of it. There is something
whispers to me that it would be prudent to listen to his offers of
peace."[F]

    [F] Historical.

To this speech James Girty was the first to reply. His voice was for war
to the knife. He scouted at ideas of peace, when the seven tribes had
sworn to stand side by side and oppose the Americans. He accused of
cowardice all who talked of submission, and cast scornful glances at his
brother Simon and the Turtle. Clad in the war dress which he usually
wore on such occasions, and with the fitful flashes of the council fire
in his face, he seemed a very demon of war and blood.

His voice went afar into the night, and startled the warriors who had
been forbidden to attend the council.

"We will surely fight the Blacksnake, for the Whirlwind is talking,"
they said with delight.

It was midnight when the council broke up, its participants in no good
humor, for the Turtle's speech had sown much dissension in the Indian
ranks, and that night many a red man saved his life by deserting the
common cause.

It was decided to fight Wayne at Presqu'-Isle.

After the adjournment of the council the several chiefs hurried to their
respective legions to prepare for the conflict. James Girty wended his
way toward the Miami camp. He was ill at ease, and ever and anon his
hands closed and opened spasmodically, and he muttered as he went along:

"Is he tired of war? Is he going to turn gentleman? He is a coward! He
is not worthy the name of Girty."

These words fell in audible tones from the renegade's lips. They were
hissed from a heart which was a very cauldron of anger.

"James?"

At the sound of his name the outlaw stopped, and turning, recognized the
speaker.

"I am tired of war; but I am not a coward."

The renegade brothers stood face to face in the forest.

For a moment neither spoke. They stood apart, as if each had determined
not to approach the other.

"You are for peace, Simon," James said.

"I would stay the slaughter that will follow our meeting with Wayne,"
was the reply.

Simon Girty trying to prevent the effusion of blood? It seemed one of
the impossibilities of his nature.

A grim smile passed over the Whirlwind's face.

"Then fly to-night," he said bitterly. "Go to the great cities and
exchange your bloody hatchet for the priests' robes of religion. I am
for war! No man shall ever say that Jim Girty turned from a chance to
shed American blood. We are brothers. Simon, is it true that you are
tired of slaughter?"

"I am. We have been devils long enough, James."

"When did you experience this wonderful change?"

The speaker's sarcasm made the solitary listener bite his lip.

"Do you know who is with Wayne?" he said.

"Two thousand men that long to drink my blood."

"_He_ is there--_they_ are there!"

"Ha?"

"Abner Stark reached Wayne not long since. He brought a family of
fugitives into camp. That man has been hunting you ever since you
murdered his family in Kentucky. Fifty more avengers of desolated homes
are with Wayne, and there are people in our own ranks who hate you. The
blood of Parquatin will be avenged."

For a moment James Girty looked searchingly into Simon's face.

"Parquatin!" he said. "Simon, his blood is on your hands. You put him up
to what he did in the council. I should have spared the boy, and killed
you. Oh, what a brother you have been to me! And now with fiendish
delight you tell me that I will fall to-morrow. Let it come! No man
shall say that I ever played the coward. Go your way. I am ashamed to
know that I have a brother whose name is Simon!"

The last word still quivered the outlaw's lips as he turned on his heel
and deliberately walked away.

Simon Girty watched him until the ghostly shadows of the trees hid him
from sight, and said, as he turned toward the Indian camp:

"Simon Girty will be brotherless to-morrow night."

There was a tinge of regret in his tone, for despite their hates and
jealousies, their inhumanity to one another, the renegade brothers were
not devoid of every spark of brotherly affection.

And the night wore on, and at last the day came. It was the bloody and
disastrous twentieth of August, 1794.



CHAPTER XVII.

FIELD OF THE FALLEN TIMBERS.


We return to other characters of our romance in order to glance at their
adventures from our last dealings with them up to the night before the
great fight for supremacy on the shores of the Maumee.

We left Kate Merriweather returning to her kindred with Harvey Catlett
and her lover after her rescue in the cabin of James Girty.

The restoration was effected without incident worthy of record, and the
girl at last found herself in her mother's arms.

The journey was then resumed, and the entire party, with the exception
of Little Moccasin, who mysteriously returned to the forest, reached Mad
Anthony's camp.

It may well be believed that Abel Merriweather breathed free again when
he found his little family behind the bayonets of the American army, and
he hastened to enroll himself among the ranks of bordermen led by Wells
and the Choctaw chief Hummingbird.

In this legion were also found Oscar Parton, George Darling, and little,
but fearless Carl Merriweather. Harvey Catlett was unattached, and Wolf
Cap given the liberty of the field.

Around and upon the Hill of Presqu'-Isle the Indian forces had posted
themselves, having their left secured by the river, and their front by a
kind of breastwork of fallen timbers which rendered it impracticable for
cavalry to advance. It was a position admirably chosen, but useless, as
history tells.

Impatiently the allied tribes awaited the American army. The chiefs,
with few exceptions, were confident, for had they not beaten Harmar and
St. Clair?

The Girtys had not shirked the battle, but there was a restlessness
about Simon's movements that attracted attention. James, on the
contrary, was firm and boastful. Wherever he went he encouraged the
Indians to stand firm, promising them victory and its tempting spoils.
But there were keen eyes fixed upon him.

In the scarlet ranks were many who carried a long scar on their
breasts--the mark of the brotherhood to whom Parquatin's blood cried for
vengeance.

In two splendid columns, with trailed arms, Wayne's army advanced upon
the savages. A terrible fire greeted the onslaught, and the General soon
discovered that the enemy were in full force and endeavoring, with some
show of success, to turn his left flank. Then came the tug of war, and
for hours the carnival of battle raged among the fallen timbers and
around the base of the hill.

"At last! look Harvey!"

Wolf Cap pointed through an opening, and Harvey Catlett, the spy, saw
the sight to which his attention was called.

There, in a little space made by the death of a forest tree, stood a man
whose face was begrimed with powder. His half savage uniform was torn
and blackened by the battle, and he seemed debating whether to fly or
plunge again into the fight.

"It is he!" said the young spy, looking up into Wolf Cap's face. "It is
Jim Girty."

"The man who darkened all my life!" was the hissed reply. "For years I
have hunted him. Now he is mine!"

Quick to the speaker's shoulder leaped the deadly rifle, and his cheek
dropped upon the stock for aim.

Harvey Catlett watched the renegade, unconscious of his swiftly
approaching doom.

All at once James Girty bounded into the air, and with a death cry that
sounded above the roar of battle, fell on his face, and stretched his
brawny arms in the agony of death.

Wolf Cap lowered his rifle and wheeled upon the spy.

"Did you shoot?" he cried.

"No."

"Then who did? Some one has cheated me of my revenge!"

As he spoke, he glanced to the right and saw a young Indian reloading
his rifle.

"It is Parquatoc!" said Harvey Catlett.

With a maddened cry the tall hunter sprang forward; but the Seneca youth
eluded him, and disappeared in the twinkling of an eye.

"Come! The battle rolls towards the British fort!" the young spy said,
rousing Wolf Cap, who had relapsed into one of his singular reveries.

"Yes, yes; we will go. But let us see whether he is dead."

The twain hurried to the spot where James Girty had fallen. Wolf Cap
turned him over, and saw the eyes start at sight of him.

"The butcherer still lives!" the trailer said, as his hand grasped the
handle of his tomahawk. "Harvey, I can yet revenge the murdered ones."

But the youth's hand fell restrainingly on Wolf Cap's arm.

"No. He is dying, Abner. Let us keep our hands in this hour. Get down
and hear what he says."

The two knelt beside the dreaded scourge of the Northwest, powerless now
to harm a babe. Words were falling from his lips, and his eyes remained
fixed upon Abner Stark.

"They did it!" he said. "It was a redskin's bullet, and Parquatoc's. No
more battles for Jim Girty. Listen, Abner Stark, for I know you. You
have hunted me a long time, to find me dying. Where is the girl?"

Wolf Cap started, and glanced at the spy.

"He talks about some girl, Harvey."

"Is the girl here?" asked the outlaw in a louder voice. "No? Must I die
without seeing her? Well, let it be so. Abner Stark, when she comes,
take her in your arms and call her your child, for such she is. I saved
her from Indian fury that night, and I have tried to be good to her, bad
as I am. I thought I would never tell you this."

"This is all true, Girty?" cried Stark, scarcely able to credit the
revelation.

"On the word of the dying, Abner Stark. Why should I lie now?"

Then Wolf Cap raised his eyes towards heaven, and poured out the
gratitude of a father's soul.

When he looked again at the prostrate outlaw, it was to say:

"I am glad I did not shoot you."

Girty smiled, and tried to speak; but the effort proved a failure, and
the head fell back.

It was all over. The White Whirlwind was dead, and the flowers which his
restless feet had pressed to earth, lifted their heads and smiled.

"Come, Abner!" said Catlett.

The hunter obeyed, but, as he rose, he caught sight of a rapidly
approaching figure, and stood still.

The next moment Little Moccasin came up, and Wolf Cap lifted her from
the ground, and in his embrace covered her face with kisses.

He held her there until the sound of battle died away, and when he
released her, she glided to Harvey Catlett's side and put her hands in
his.

"Areotha is glad, Fair Face," she said, her eyes sparkling with joy.
"The real father is found, and he will be happy until the Manitou sends
for all of us."

There, on the bloody battlefield of the Fallen Timbers, Wolf Cap had
found his child. It was a reunion impossible to describe, but many a
heart beat in unison with the father's in the bivouac that night.

Of course, Little Moccasin left the woods and became Harvey Catlett's
bride, while the backwoods preacher made Oscar Parton and the settler's
daughter one.

Thus, with Wayne's decisive victory over the allied tribes, end the
trails which we have followed through the summer woods of the Maumee.


THE END.



TREED BY A BEAR.

BY EBEN E. REXFORD.


We were gathered around the fire at grandfather's, one winter evening,
cracking butternuts and drinking cider, when one of the boys called out
for a story, and proposed that grandfather should be the one to tell it.

"Yes, do tell us a story; please," spoke up half a dozen voices; "you
haven't told us a story in a long time, grandfather."

"I don't believe I can think of anything new," said grandfather; "I told
you all my stories a long time ago."

"Tell us the one about your being treed by a bear," suggested the
prospective hunter of the party; "you haven't told that to all of us."

"Oh, yes, tell us that one," cried the children in chorus, and
grandfather began:

"When your grandmother and I moved into the country, it didn't look much
as it does now. There were no clearings of more than three or four acres
in extent, and the settlers were scattered here and there through the
woods, two or three miles apart. I came on before your grandmother did,
and put up a rough shanty of logs, with a bark roof, and a floor of
split pieces of basswood. You may be sure of one thing, children, and
that is, we didn't have things very nice and handy in those days; but we
were just beginning, and we had to do the best we could, and what we
couldn't help we had to put up with.

"I built a little stable for our cow, which I left with your grandmother
in the settlement where you find a city to-day, until I got ready to
move my family and all my earthly possessions into the woods where I was
making my new home. I cleared off a little patch of ground and got it
ready for a garden, and then went after your grandmother and our
household goods.

"It was a two days' drive to this place from the settlement then. I
hired a man to bring your grandmother and our things, while I drove old
Brindle. I shall never forget our first few days in our new home. We
couldn't get used to it for some reason. Everything was so rough, and
clumsy and awkward, I suppose.

"Your grandmother got homesick, and didn't want me to leave her alone a
minute. She was afraid of bears and Indians, and she remembered all the
fearful stories she had ever heard or read, of the terrible things that
happened to settlers in the backwoods.

"As I was busy at work in clearing up a piece of ground round the
shanty, I didn't have to leave her alone except when I went after old
Brindle nights. The feed in the woods was so plenty that the old cow
didn't care whether she came home or not, and I had to lock her up every
night as regular as night came. Sometimes I found her close by home, and
sometimes two or three miles off. She wore a little bell which I could
hear some distance off from where she was, and it wasn't very hard work
to find her.

"I almost always took my gun with me when I went after the old cow, and
hardly ever missed bringing home a partridge or a squirrel, which your
grandmother would cook for our dinner next day. We had plenty of game in
those days, and it was splendid hunting any where you took a notion to
go. The woods were full of deer and all kinds of fowl, and so far as
that kind of food was concerned, we lived on the fat of the land.

"One night, after we had been here about a month, I started to hunt up
the cow, and forgot my gun until I had got so far that I concluded I
wouldn't go back after it. I went on through the woods in the direction
I had seen old Brindle go in the morning when I let her out of the
stable, but I could hear no bell. I wandered round and round through the
woods until it got to be quite dark. I must have got 'turned round,' as
we used to say in those days when we got bewildered, and couldn't tell
which way was north or south, for when I gave up hunting for the cow and
concluded to go home I didn't know which way to go.

"However, I started in the direction I thought most likely led towards
home. I had been going straight ahead, as I supposed, for ten or fifteen
minutes, when I heard something coming toward me with a heavy tread, and
pretty soon I heard a growl. Then I knew what it was. I had never seen a
bear in the woods, and I had no idea about what sort of fellows they
were to meet.

"If I had had my gun along I should have stood my ground, but without
any kind of weapon I thought it best to look out for any possible
danger, and made for a tree which stood near me. I was a good climber,
and in a minute I was stowed away safely in the branches. But I had
hardly reached my position when the bear came running up to the tree,
and began walking round and round it, stopping every few seconds to
raise himself up on his hind feet and take a look at me, or else
stretching up against the tree as far as he could reach, as if he
hesitated climbing up after me.

"I had a jack-knife with me, and I cut off a limb, which I trimmed into
something like a club, to defend myself with if he concluded to come up
and make a visit. Whenever he showed a desire to do so, by reaching up
his great black paws and tearing away at the bark with his claws, I
pounded my club against the body of the tree as far down as I could
reach toward him, and that frightened him enough to keep him from
climbing.

"But I couldn't frighten him away. He kept walking round and round the
tree growling and whining very much like a dog, and I made up my mind
that he had concluded to wait for me to come down. But I had no notion
of doing that yet a while.

"Two or three hours went by. I wondered what your grandmother would
think had happened to me. I knew she would be frightened almost to
death, and that worried me, but I saw no way of getting out of the
difficulty I had got into, and concluded I should have to spend the
night in the tree.

"By and by the moon came up. I could see him distinctly then, as he kept
up his march around me. He was an enormous fellow, and a man would have
stood but little chance for his life with him unless he had been well
armed.

"Well, he kept watch of me all night. He got tired of walking, by and
by, and laid down close to the tree. Whenever I stirred, he would rouse
up and resume his walk. Neither of us slept. You may be sure it was a
long night to me. I couldn't help thinking of your poor grandmother, and
wondering what she was doing.

"At last morning came. I thought the bear would be sure to take his
departure then, but he evidently had made up his mind to see the thing
out, for he made no effort to leave.

"It must have been about seven o'clock when I heard some one hallooing
not far off, and, peering through the branches, I saw your grandmother,
with my gun on her shoulder. She had started out to look for me. I saw
that the bear had not discovered her, and I shouted:

"'Don't come any nearer, Susan. I'm up the hickory tree, and there's a
big bear at the foot of it. If he sees you there'll be trouble. You'd
better go back to the house, and I'll come as soon as I can.'

"I saw her stop and look toward us very earnestly, and I knew she was
thinking whether she could help me out of my difficulty. Pretty soon I
saw her rest the gun over a little sapling and take sight at the bear,
who had squatted down a few feet from the foot of the tree, and sat
there looking up at me as if he was trying to make out what I was
shouting so for.

"I was just going to tell your grandmother not to shoot, for I never
once supposed she could hit the animal, when, bang! went the gun, and
the bear gave a growl and a leap into the air, where he spun around like
a top, and then dropped flat on the ground, and never stirred but once
or twice afterward.

"'You've killed him!' I shouted, and slid down from my rather
uncomfortable quarters, just as your grandmother came running up, pale
as a ghost, and almost frightened at what she had dared to do. The
minute she realized there was no danger, she drooped into my arms, and
began to cry.

"We cut up the bear and took most of it to the house. It kept us in meat
for a long time, and we used the skin for a carpet. I didn't forget my
gun after that when I went after old Brindle, you may be quite sure.

"Your grandmother had never fired off a gun before, but when she found
out that they weren't such terrible things after all as she had supposed
they must be, she practiced with my rifle until she could shoot as well
as I could, and after that she used to keep us in partridge and such
game, while I cleared off land for crops. That first shot of hers was
the best one she ever made, however."

"And so grandmother really killed a bear!" cried the children, and
straightway the pleasant-faced, smiling grandmother became a heroine in
their estimation, as they thought over the story grandfather had told.



  =THE NICKEL LIBRARY is not a reprint of Old Stories. It is the only
  fresh, original Library Edition, from celebrated authors, in the
  United States. No double numbers. No low trash, or slang.=

The Nickel Library

Has very justly become the most popular series of novelettes that has
ever been offered to the public. The reason of this is apparent: The
publishers _will not re-print old stories_. Each number of the NICKEL
LIBRARY is fresh and original, and this makes it unlike any other series
in the United States. Every issue is copyrighted by the publishers,
according to the act of Congress. Further than this every number is
complete in itself, no double numbers, and all the books are of uniform
size.

There is another feature, and perhaps the leading one that has brought
this publication into general favor, and that is its pure and wholesome
tone. While the romances are filled with thrilling adventures, many of
them founded upon history, not a profane or vulgar word mars a single
page, and low expressions or slang phrases, which have contaminated too
much of the cheap literature of this country, will not be found in THE
NICKEL LIBRARY.

While the stories are enjoyable to the highest degree, the forest
adventures give so correctly the habits and customs of aboriginal
tribes, that a knowledge of the red man's traits and cruelties will be
gained and retained more vividly than when found in any other form.


CATALOGUE.

=No. 1--RAINBOW, a Romance of Frontier Life.= BY C. LEON MEREDITH. A
splendid story of Early Times.

=No. 2--CANOE BIRD, or, The Witch of the Dakotas.= A tale of the Great
Northwest. BY C. LEON MEREDITH. Abounding in Adventures among the Sioux.

=No. 3--BOY CAPTIVE, or The Exiles of the Great Forest.= BY C. LEON
MEREDITH. A Dashing Tale of the Great Woods.

=No. 4--GRAY WOLF. The Boy Hunter.= BY MARLINE MANLY. A Romance of the
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=No. 5--THE YOUNG GOLD HUNTERS.= A Tale of the Black Hills. BY MARLINE
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ST. GEORGE. A Rousing Story of Kentucky Backwoods.

=No. 7--HOWDEGA, or the Forest Waif.= BY MARLINE MANLY. A Rattling Tale
of the Old Northwest.

=No. 8--DUNCAN, or the Giant of the Woods.= BY C. LEON MEREDITH. A
crowning Forest Story.

=No. 9--THE PIRATES FATE, or Doom of the Esmeralda.= BY WILL FUENTRES.
Best Sea story of the present day.

=No. 10--BUCKEYE PIONEERS, or Perils of the Old Frontier.= By the author
of "Early Time Incidents." Traditional stories of hair-breadth escapes.

=No. 11--MOHAWK RANGERS, An Historical Tale of the Cherry Valley
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=No. 12--BARTOL EDBROOKE, or The Treasure Trove of the Pacific.= BY
WELDON J. COBB, JR. A capital tale of ocean castaways.

=No. 13--BORDER PEARL, or The Hermit of the Gulch.= BY C. LEON MEREDITH.
A powerful romance of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

=No. 14--BEAVER-CAP BEN, or The Boy Trailers.= By T. C. HARBAUGH.
Brimming over full of wild adventure.

=No. 15--BOY WRECKERS, or Secrets of the Sea.= BY DASH DALE. A Tale of
the Hidden Reef.

=No. 16--JACK, THE BEAR MAN; or, The Little Mountain Archer.= BY J. R.
MUSICK, Esq. A story of the Golden Northwest.

=No. 17--LITTLE OSKALOO, or The White Whirlwind.= By T. C. HARBAUGH. A
Story of Ohio in 1794.

=No. 18--RED ROLAND; or The Last Cruise of the Storm King.= BY WILL
FUENTRES. A tale of the old Buccaneers.

=No. 19--FIRE FLINT, or the Trappers of the Wabash.= BY C. LEON
MEREDITH. A rousing story of intrigue and mystery.

=No. 20--DESERT PRINCE, or The Eagle of the Seas.= BY COLONEL PRENTISS
INGRAHAM. A romance of Morocco and its waters.

=No. 21--OLD SOLITARY, or The Ride to Death.= BY MARLINE MANLY. A tale
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    =Each Book contains Thirty-Two Pages, illustrated, and every
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    74 & 76 Randolph Street, CHICAGO.=



Transcriber's Note


Spelling errors include:

  Page 4, "Shawness" changed to "Shawnees".
  Page 6, "stubborness" changed to "stubbornness".
  Page 6, "abrubtly" changed to "abruptly".
  Page 7, "does'nt" changed to "doesn't" twice.
  Page 7, "did'nt" changed to "didn't" twice.
  Page 7, "was'nt" changed to "wasn't".
  Page 8, "was'nt" changed to "wasn't".
  Page 9, "harrangue" changed to "harangue".
  Page 10, "beligerent" changed to "belligerent".
  Page 10, "dispises" changed to "despises".
  Page 10, "particpants" changed to "participants".
  Page 10, "Parqatin" changed to "Parquatin" for consistency.
  Page 11, "she" changed to "the".
  Page 14, "secresy" changed to "secrecy".
  Page 15, "abandond" changed to "abandoned".
  Page 16, "statue" changed to "stature".
  Page 16, "cubboard" changed to "cupboard".
  Page 21, "Paquatoc" changed to "Parquatoc" for consistency.
  Page 22, "ceasd" changed to "ceased".
  Page 24, "saddenly" changed to "suddenly".
  Page 27, "Moocasin" changed to "Moccasin".
  Page 28, "begrimmed" changed to "begrimed".
  Page 28, "appproaching" changed to "approaching".
  Page 28, "settlment" changed to "settlement".
  Page 32, "Briming" changed to "Brimming".





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