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      Among the enemy were some Sakis, or Sacs, fighting for the Outagamies, while others of their tribe were among the allies of the French. Seeing the desperate turn of affairs, they escaped from time to time and came over to the winning side, bringing reports of the state of the beleaguered camp. They declared that sixty or eighty women and children were already dead from hunger and thirst, besides those killed by bullets and arrows; that the fire of the besiegers was so hot that the bodies could not be buried, and that the camp of the Outagamies and Mascoutins was a den of infection.


      [140] Commission of Colonel Francis Nicholson, 18 May, 1710. Instructions to Colonel Nicholson, same date.


      V1 from despair, exciting by voice and gesture the few soldiers that remained. The fire of my platoon was so sharp that the enemy seemed astonished." The Indians, encouraged, began to rally. The French officers who commanded them showed admirable courage and address; and while Dumas and Ligneris, with the regulars and what was left of the Canadians, held the ground in front, the savage warriors, screeching their war-cries, swarmed through the forest along both flanks of the English, hid behind trees, bushes, and fallen trunks, or crouched in gullies and ravines, and opened a deadly fire on the helpless soldiery, who, themselves completely visible, could see no enemy, and wasted volley after volley on the impassive trees. The most destructive fire came from a hill on the English right, where the Indians lay in multitudes, firing from their lurking-places on the living target below. But the invisible death was everywhere, in front, flank, and rear. The British cheer was heard no more. The troops broke their ranks and huddled together in a bewildered mass, shrinking from the bullets that cut them down by scores.and begin to be a great author. Isn't that an exalted stand

      V1 from despair, exciting by voice and gesture the few soldiers that remained. The fire of my platoon was so sharp that the enemy seemed astonished." The Indians, encouraged, began to rally. The French officers who commanded them showed admirable courage and address; and while Dumas and Ligneris, with the regulars and what was left of the Canadians, held the ground in front, the savage warriors, screeching their war-cries, swarmed through the forest along both flanks of the English, hid behind trees, bushes, and fallen trunks, or crouched in gullies and ravines, and opened a deadly fire on the helpless soldiery, who, themselves completely visible, could see no enemy, and wasted volley after volley on the impassive trees. The most destructive fire came from a hill on the English right, where the Indians lay in multitudes, firing from their lurking-places on the living target below. But the invisible death was everywhere, in front, flank, and rear. The British cheer was heard no more. The troops broke their ranks and huddled together in a bewildered mass, shrinking from the bullets that cut them down by scores.

      There they sat side by side on the big sofa in the seductive half light of the great roombut something was the matter. They made no progress. Perhaps having desired this moment so much, the realization of it frightened them. With too much feeling they were dumb; and they did not know each other well enough to be comfortably silent together. So each made various attempts to start something which only resulted in utter banality. They found themselves talking as primly as a couple in an old-fashioned romance. The sources of laughter were frozen up. And the more self-conscious they became, the stiffer grew their tongues.His provincials displeased him, not without reason; for the greater part were but the crudest material for an army, unruly, and recalcitrant to discipline. Some of them came to the rendezvous at Carlisle with old province muskets, the locks tied on with a string; others brought fowling-pieces of their own, and others carried nothing but walking-sticks; while many had never fired a gun in their lives. [648] Forbes reported to Pitt that their officers, except a few in the higher ranks, were "an extremely bad collection of broken inn-keepers, horse-jockeys, and Indian traders;" nor is he more flattering towards the men, though as to some of them he afterwards changed his mind. [649]


      Yours for ever,

      Another ally appeared at the camp. This was a personage long known in Western fireside story as Captain Jack, the Black Hunter, or the Black Rifle. It was said of him that, having been a settler on the farthest frontier, in the Valley of the Juniata, he returned one evening to his cabin and found it burned to the ground by Indians, and the bodies of his wife and children lying among the ruins. He vowed undying vengeance, raised a band of kindred spirits, dressed and painted like Indians, and became the scourge of the red man and the champion of the white. But he and his wild crew, useful as they might have been, shocked Braddock's sense of military fitness; and he received them so coldly that they left him. [213]Pen gasped: "Dad!" and keeled over on a chair. The swoon was perfectly genuine, but she lost consciousness only for the space of a breath, and thereafter her wits worked with the swiftness of desperation. He was deaf to truth, to reason, to sense, very well then, she must use a woman's weapons against him. It was Pendleton's transports of distress that gave her her cue.

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      V1 time only eight in the place. Most of the Indians also were gone on their summer hunt, though the Demoiselle remained with a band of his tribesmen. Great was the screeching of war-whoops and clatter of guns. Three of the traders were caught outside the fort. The remaining five closed the gate, and stood on their defence. The fight was soon over. Fourteen Miamis were shot down, the Demoiselle among the rest. The five white men held out till the afternoon, when three of them surrendered, and two, Thomas Burney and Andrew McBryer, made their escape. One of the English prisoners being wounded, the victors stabbed him to death. Seventy years of missionaries had not weaned them from cannibalism, and they boiled and eat the Demoiselle. [65]

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      They have fathers and brothers and aunts and uncles; but I can'tCHAPTER XV.


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