Strange Stories of the Great Valley: The Adventures of a Boy Pioneer


Doby finds a knife under an uprooted tree.

[See page 12








Strange Stories of the Great Valley

Copyright, 1917, by Harper & Brothers
Printed in the United States of America


Foreword ix
Chapter I.    Long, Long Ago 1
Digging for treasure-trove with Parson Cutler among the Mound-Builders' work at Marietta.
Chapter II.    Taming the Wild 15
Helping Johnny Appleseed to teach a red deer near the seat of Burr's Conspiracy at the Fairy Isle of Belpre.
Chapter III.    Gobble! Gobble! 28
Bagging a wild turkey to feast Ol' Pap Soisson after his story of the French Grant at Gallipolis.
Chapter IV.    Making a Scout 41
Saving Simon Kenton's foxhound from the dangers of the new city of Cincinnati.
Chapter V.    Blue-jay Feathers 55
Riding with Colonel Johnson's Long Hunters down the Clark War Road to the rescue of Boonesboro.
Chapter VI.    Left Hind Foot 77
Henry Clay's home at Ashland and a runaway slave from Cumberland Gap.
Chapter VII.    The Drowsy Village 96
A man-hunt in the vineyards of the Dufours' Swiss colony at Vevay.
Chapter VIII.    Goin' to Meetin' 109
Wrestling with Lorenzo Dow and the rowdies in camp-meeting time at the Big Falls.
Chapter IX.    Under the Elm 123
A boy's trial by Judge Jonathan Jennings during a recess of the Constitutional Convention at Corydon.
Chapter X.    The Spelling-match 139
Reciting and writing by moonlight to please a little stranger in an early school of Spencer County.
Chapter XI.    A Pioneer Puppy 154
Struggling with wolves on the way to Old Vincennes over the bottom-land of the Wabash.
Chapter XII.    One Percussion Cap 166
How a bear disturbed Father Rapp's model communistic village at Harmony.
Chapter XIII.    The Voyageur 178
A type of the early inhabitants.
Chapter XIV.    The Beavers' Dam 190
Creatures of the wild help to save a town.
Afterword 221


"Good Luck! Good Luck!" Shouted Doby. "I've Found the Thing I most Need" Frontispiece
The Bird Jumped at the Boy. The Boy Stabbed at the Bird. Facing p. 38
Each Savage Gibed at the Boy's Painted Talisman, but Each Obeyed Its Message "       74
Doby Whipped Out His Knife and Cut the Thongs "     116


IN the very heart of our United States is a vast and wonderful valley.

Through the primeval hardwood forests of its hillsides, long ago, ran the naked, rollicking boys of the Stone Age, choosing the best paths as they hurried out to play, each one with his pet wolf puppy.

Afterward, in the rich alluvial soil of the bottom-lands, fur-clouted lads of the Mound-Builders laid out good trails whereon every one could drive tandem his team of captured fawns.

Later still, Indian striplings found the streams that might best bear, with least portage, the birch-bark canoe in which, with his doeskin blanket aflutter and his trained hawk on prow, many a one has shot the rapids.

Then came the white men.

They discovered these routes and followed them.

Over the waterways, in the native canoes which he borrowed, sailed the Jesuit missionary explorer with standard and altar; then the French trading "voyageur" with bundles of skins and bead trinkets.

Through the old forest paths marched the scarlet-coated British soldier and the ragged Continental volunteer who defied him.

By the trails advanced the best of all scouts, the backwoodsman. His suit of fringed buckskin, with his 'coonskin cap and his moccasins, made up the most artistic, the most serviceable, and the most characteristic garb the New World has yet evolved. His vigorous body, his keen intelligence, and his warm heart bespoke the true American—the father of a mighty race.

Following fast upon the heels of these trooped the home-seekers, the builders of a nation.

For picturesque effect and political significance, the groups who floated down the Ohio River in home-made flatboats, and the families who crossed overland through the romantic Cumberland Gap in their wagon-trains, have never been excelled.

The saboted French, the wide-breeched Germans, the straw-crowned Swiss, the beshawled Irish, the shad-coated New-Englander, the gray-frocked Quaker, the sandy Scotch, all mingled in the brotherhood of citizenship, while laughing black slaves looked on.

The wings of the air—geese, ducks, and songbirds; the hoofs of the fields—deer, buffalo, and boar; the fins of the rivers—bass, trout, and pickerel—all added to the zest of this new life, as did also the luscious growth of plants and the odor of flowers.

One hundred years ago, this Middle West of ours had reached a most interesting period. Never before and never since could there have been more curious happenings than in those stirring times.

One boy, coming down the river then to seek his fortune, heard tales of the past and hopes for the future from the people whom he met.

Strong Parson Cutler, quaint Johnny Appleseed, brave Simon Kenton, Colonel Johnson's Long Hunters, pious Lorenzo Dow, the reformer Rapp, the statesman Henry Clay, the legislator Jennings, and the boy Abraham Lincoln were all his friends.

The strange stories about them in this book are almost true! For that boy told them to a person who told them to another person who told them to me. In substance they are a faithful picture of the sort of adventures that helped pioneer lads of the Great Valley to grow into the full measure of men.

J. G.

Indiana, 1917





A Mound-Builder's Treasure-trove

"O—YI—O! O—yi—o!" sang fifteen-year-old Obadiah Holman—called Doby for short—as he tried to skip a flat stone across the big river. "O—yi—o! O—yi—o!"

Dark clouds were tumbling up from the southwest, but March sunshine still dimpled and danced and sparkled with the current.

"It is pretty water. That's what the Indian name means, O—yi—o, beautiful. A river beautiful," and he hopped about joyously, kicking out another hatchet-shaped stone or two on the stream's edge of one of the choice town lots of the O—hi—o river-port of Marietta in the new[2] farthest northwest State of Ohio, beyond whose small beginnings of civilization lay the wilderness of the great Northwest Territory in this year of 1816.

A flatboat made of green-oak planks, which held a family's household goods and farming tools, was anchored 'longshore in a bayou that promised safety from the coming storm.

The boxes and bales on it, made shipshape against wind and water, were stacked in the form of a hollow square. They stood as walls to this tiny floating fort. They protected the people and animals traveling on it. The walls, in turn, were covered with branches of trees.

The boy's father was one of many pioneers, some from stony New England, some from sandy eastern coasts, who had joined the crowds of emigrants floating westward down the Ohio. Like most of the others, he was searching for a place where he could afford to buy rich land on which to build a homestead.

"I couldn't see our boat, 'though I was looking straight at it," the boy said, proudly. "It is exactly like a piece of the river-bank."

"If the Indians cannot see it, or if they fail to shoot through the barriers if they do notice us as we drift down-stream, I, too, Doby, will be pleased with our work on it," answered his father, as they[3] hurried up a hill before the wind toward Marietta's great stockade of Campus Martius.

This fort was a hundred and eighty feet square and twenty feet high. It was made of logs, each one flattened at the sides to fit snugly to the next one, planted in the earth at the lower end and sharpened to a point at the upper, like a huge picket fence without a crack in it, big enough for a giant's dooryard. There were boxes for lookouts atop the wall, blockhouses on its corners, and cabins inside its strong defenses.

Parson Cutler, at the head of the Ohio land company's New England shareholders, had ceremoniously blessed this fort when it was completed and ready to stand guard over the million and a half of their fertile acres.

As he neared it Doby said, "Ma has already gone inside to the schoolma'am's house."

"She means to get a book so she can give you a lesson every day as we move. This town isn't quite thirty years old, yet it has had an academy for twenty. 'Tis probably your ma's last chance to talk with scholars."

"I'll study the book," promised Doby. "I don't want to be a dunce like the boys who can't spell their own names. Some cannot even cut their initials on trees in the towns where we[4] stop." And Doby sniffed with scorn. "If I had a really good knife—a strong one—I could carve better than I do now," he sighed, as he thought of his one great need.

"Piff! Puff!" the wind echoed his sigh. "Piff! Puff! Puff!"

Rain was close on their heels.

Mr. Holman pulled his 'coonskin cap down tight over his long hair, girded up his fringed buckskin breeches, and ran for the fort, his heavy boots clumping out a path through last year's weed-stalks.

Doby tucked his cap under his arm and let his tow thatch take the breeze and, light as a ball in his moccasins, bounded along behind his father.

They were not swift enough to gain the fort. As the downpour overtook them they ducked underneath the branches of a gnarled and broken oak and found good shelter.

"Much obliged, old tree," laughed Doby. "You've saved us a drenching." He tried to girdle it with his arms. "I can't reach half-way. It's the biggest trunk!"

"This is an old fellow. His crown has been twisted off by some hurricane. There are lightning marks upon him. He feels his age. The storm makes him shiver." And Mr. Hol[5]man placed an uneasy foot upon the quaking roots.

"It's a big tree for such a little hill," was Doby's comment. "I never did see so many funny little hills as are in this valley. Wasn't it lucky there happened to be one over where the Muskingum River comes into the Ohio? It is at the very best spot for Parson Cutler's settlers to build their stockade."

Mr. Holman shook his head as they looked from their own small oak-capped hill to the big one on which stood the fort defying the lightning and wind of the storm quite as boldly as it had often done the burning arrows and the wild rushes of Indian foes.

"That knoll did not happen to be at the point of vantage," he said. "It was built on purpose ages ago as a fort of earthwork to defend this valley."

"Who did it?" asked Doby.

"I don't know. The folks who threw up that earthwork and the one over there—and there—and there," and his father pointed out through the broken curtain of the rain and sleet to a long rampart of earth, then to another circle of low-lying, grass-grown walls, and afterward to several small knobs, some with trees, some without. "The race who did it could not have been white[6] people, for they were all dead and gone centuries before white men came to this continent."

"Maybe they were Indians," ventured Doby.

"Not like any Indians we know. For Indians roam over the country and live by hunting and fishing. Indians never get to be as numerous as these builders of mounds must have been. Only a great nation, somewhat civilized, could put up the immense defenses they did. Each Indian needs more acres than you can imagine to live on—"

"Savages don't work together. They quarrel and kill one another and keep their numbers small," interrupted Doby.

"There may not be as many Indians in the State of Ohio now as there are white people in the town of Pittsburg where we started our boat down the river," his father continued.

Doby considered. "Wigwams and canoes are all that Indians build. These people raised regular forts. Look at that plain! Even a storm like this can't break those heavy banks. See the hail slide down them! It must have taken lots of men with muscle to pile such heaps of dirt." Doby spoke as one who knew what spading meant.

"Back from the river wherever settlers go they find these strange earthworks in the valleys;[7] huge masses for forts, fancy curves for altars, and small piles for tombs. Walls surround what must have been good-sized hamlets." As his father raised his voice to be heard against the swish of the sleet Doby stared out over the plain with round eyes. "Those walls where the trees are swaying so are as high as Cutler's stockade. There is some timber-work, but no masonry in any of them. They inclose half a hundred acres."

"What are those long ditches?" queried Doby, catching sleet on his eyebrows as he leaned forward to look.

"They must have been canals full of water leading from one walled town to another. 'Tis trade and commerce on short cuts that made it possible to keep up such thickly populated villages as the Mound-Builders must have had." Gusts of wind were fanning his words away, but Mr. Holman was determined to tell Doby all he could, so he added: "Rivers are big highways. Canals are smaller ones. A country thrives when its citizens can trade with one another by easy routes. The new towns that settlers are building in Ohio need just such waterways to make the bartering good." Here he became emphatic. "If these old canals are mended or new ones built—as the State is planning to do—[8] then the countryside will again be full of rich towns." Suddenly they both had to hang on to the tree for safety.

"Whew! What a blast!" cried Doby. "See the trees go down!"

"Watch out!" yelled his father. Leaping to one side, he caught Doby's hand and fled down the hill with the boy like a living kite on short tether waving behind him.

There was roaring—grinding—snapping—crashing. Then came showers of branches—leaves—bark—clods.

Doby had done a series of flipflaps. He was dizzy and confused, but he lent a hand to his father, who was flat on the ground.

The uproar deepened. Then it shrilled away. In another moment the sleet was gone, the sun was bright, the storm had passed.

The oak was standing on its head, kicking its heels in the air. The mound was a lopsided dirt-pile.

Already dozens of excited men were pouring out of the stockade. They ran with shovels and rakes and sticks to poke about in the cavity which the capsized oak's roots had torn through the mound.

The genial parson came with them and looked on laughingly, to see fair play at the digging.[9] This Dr. Mannassah Cutler was one of the big men of his time. He held the standard of his town so high that each of the other Ohio settlements had to set its best foot forward to keep up with Marietta's march of progress. He had a scholar's interest in mounds. He ordered them preserved. He had an explorer's interest in their treasures. He examined them scientifically. He had a leader's interest in his people. He made them play fair. He was their court of last resort.

In spite of the desperate curiosity driving him, Doby had not the weight to hold his own at the front of this line of human gophers. He was forced back to a spot where he could use nothing but his ears. For two or three hours all he got out of the hole was some scraps of conversation like this:

"Any gold?"

"Never is any gold."

"Any money?"

"Never is any money."

"Any jewelry?"

"Copper bracelets. Who wants copper bracelets?"

"Pearl beads, gone dull."

"Fine cloth wrappings—coarse cloth—all rotted through."


"Clay pots, every one broken."

"Bones, bones, bones. Ashes, ashes, ashes."

"The oak must be five or six, perhaps seven or eight hundred years old."

"Stuff buried when it was an acorn isn't much account now."

Not until after dark did the greedy crowd give up searching or cease to hope for hidden treasure where so much else was buried.

"No luck in this mound. Nothing but boys buried here."

Curled in his sleeping-blanket within the fort walls, Doby gave himself up to thoughts of the boys whose bones were once clothed with plumpness like his own. "I wonder if those boys started the fires in the earthwork watch-towers on the highest hills, where deep ashes show that countless fires have flashed in signal warning to other far-away towers."

In his dreams, he found himself running with the horde of young barbarians into a walled town. With them slamming shut great gates, heaving the bars in place, racing across the moat, hoisting aloft the drawbridge, barricading the second set of gates, covering stores of corn, herding women and children in huts of sod, catching blazing arrows. In scant fur garments, wild of hair, jingling his copper anklets, armed[11] with spears and shouting an uncouth language, he pranced along the top of mountain mounds and defied a besieging enemy.

After such activity further sleep was impossible. Doby sat up, tied a knot in the corner of his blanket, and just before dawn mounted the sentry's ladder, wedged the knot in the slot between pickets, and lowered himself to the outside world.

Still under the spell of his fancies, he declared to himself, "Those boys would not vanish without leaving me something. They liked me first rate, even if they did all have to turn to bones. I'll go back where they are and do some digging."

He ran to the mound, seized one of the abandoned shovels, and dug and dug. The spectral light o' day gave him a chill sensation. The six or eight hundred years of weird memories grinning at him from the skulls in this desecrated tomb filled him with awe. But he was more inquisitive than he was nervous, so he made the shovel fly. In the loosened dirt, he used his fingers as a rake and dragged out funny old tobacco-pipes well worth the trouble of burrowing.

As the light grew stronger his fingers struck something different—the promise of a big find.[12] He could not pull it out. He dared not use the clumsy shovel. He went through his pockets and found one of the hatchet-shaped stones he had picked up at the river's brink. He used it as a lever and gently pried out a knife. It was long and sharp and just the right weight for his hand.

Here was treasure indeed. Beautifully shaped, double-edged, an ancient poniard, a knife of flint!

"Good luck! Good luck!" shouted Doby, not at all surprised to see that his father and the parson had followed him and were now near enough to ask, "What are you up to?"

"I've found the thing I most need—a really good knife. Bring on a pie! I can cut it. Or I can skin a rabbit. I can whittle anything." He looked at the parson. "Do you suppose that it will be right for me to keep this knife?"

The parson reassured him. "Although the laws of treasure-trove are complicated, I am glad to be able to tell you that in this case—in most cases like yours—finding is keeping."

"I suppose that is because there are no Mound-Builders left," reasoned Doby, trying the edge of his knife on his thumb. "What became of them?"

Doctor Cutler answered: "Perhaps some[13] powerful enemy came along and killed them all. Perhaps some dreadful disease overtook them and they perished. Perhaps they were akin to the southern people—Aztecs and others—whom the Spaniards discovered in the tropics. They may have heard about their own kin far away. And then they may in time have gathered their goods together and floated down the river."

"Ha!" cried Doby, "that was sensible. If they were clever enough to build all those fine mounds, I know they were adventurous and emigrated down the river beautiful. I hope that is what they did. I'm glad they left this knife for me." Then he turned over his digging-stone. "This little hatchet they might have made also."

The parson shook his head. "No; you must have pried that out of the river mouth. Those stone hatchets were made by prehistoric men who lived ages before the Mound-Builders' time."

"O—oh!" gasped Doby, "o—oh! the stone-hatchet men lived a long, long time before the Mound-Builders came. The Mound-Builders lived a long, long time before the Indians came. The Indians were here a long, long time before we came. Everything is so old—old—old—[14] that I can't think how old. If this country is so old—old—old, why do we call it the new West?"

"Because it is new to us. The West is new in the same way that this day is new. It is full of fresh promise for you and for me and for our race. Some day this will be the very heart of America!"



The Fairy Isle in Burr's Conspiracy

"LET'S pretend, Doby, that I'm an Indian," whispered Obadiah Holman to himself, as he slipped along, pigeon-toed and silent, in his moccasins, "and I'll sneak up on that buck and give it a scare."

The white flag of the buck's tail had caught Doby's eye. His keen sight made out the dun form under the antlers. He advanced slowly through the undergrowth, knowing that the wind blew toward him—that the buck could not catch his scent.

He hoped to have a good view of it. Then he meant to give a great shout to startle it, just for the fun of seeing it flee, crashing through the forest.

His father's flatboat was tied to a tree on the lee shore of an island which was sometimes called the Fairy Isle and sometimes the Haunted[16] Isle. Near by, across the Ohio River, was the settlement of Belpre.

Mr. Holman, on trading bent, had taken his scow to Belpre, while his wife watched the flatboat and Doby went hunting for fresh meat in the safety of the Haunted Isle.

It was secure from the ordinary dangers of the river, for Indians and renegades alike avoided this place. They feared the ghost of a beautiful scarlet-cloaked lady, the ghost of a magnificent velvet-clad gentleman, and the ghosts of liveried servants wandering there.

Once upon a time the common people of Belpre and the soldiery of her army post would scull across the river to catch envious glimpses of the island's house of brick and stone, so different from their own wooden cabins, and to stare open-mouthed at fine folk arrayed in satins and laces, living so elegantly just beyond the frontier's workaday world.

Then on an evil day the gallant family on the island had been arrested and marched away and exiled as criminals. The house had been burned to warn other offenders against the Republic.

And ever since, on chill and foggy days, when the mists hung over the river, ghosts walked in the ruins of the splendid mansion hidden among[17] the flowering trees of the Fairy Isle. They drifted through the desolation where once sweet gardens bloomed. They danced with the wind in weird couples on the forsaken lawns. And when the broken moonlight came it showed them huddled in gray, fantastic groups along the shore.

The shuddering boatmen hugged the opposite bank and turned away their faces that they might not see too plainly the beckoning fingers of vapor, the foggy hair, and the trailing robes of cloud, so unreal, so full of romance, and so disquieting to all who knew the story of this place.

Doby was not to be startled by ghosts; at least he said he wasn't. Though ghosts and goblins were merely names to him, he liked the idea of a Fairy Isle.

Few boys could carry the heavy guns of that day for any distance. Doby did not try to do so. His plan was to get what game he could with snare and knife. He was bidden to keep within running distance of the boat, and he set rabbit-traps in the brier patches.

From the briers he had sighted the buck. It was all aquiver, snorting and twitching its ears. Doby hid behind a buckeye and softly shinned into the first crotch lest the restless beast should turn and charge in his direction.


"I'd like to know what is the matter with the buck," thought Doby. "It is watching something that makes it half curious and half afraid."

The boy stared into the glen before him until his eyes became accustomed to the shadows—until he saw what the buck saw. When he did see he almost fell out of the tree with astonishment. He looked again. He shut his eyes; he opened them; stared some more; he blinked; then he gazed fixedly.

"No wonder the buck is nervous," gasped Doby. "I'm s'prised myself," and still he looked and could not believe that he saw what he really did see.

For there on a log, in the shade of an elm, sat a gnome—a big gnome.

Doby was perfectly willing to be entertained by ghosts and fairies in the gossip of the river towns. He liked such stories. But he knew, of course, that there are no such things as wraiths and sprites. Even on a fairy isle there could not possibly be a gnome.

"I feel dreadfully queer to be looking at him when I know he isn't there," and something inside of Doby began to turn round and round.

The gnome, all of a faded bark color like the earth he grubbed in, sat with his feet crossed,[19] his thin arms akimbo, his beard hanging in a point down his breast, and his hair tied in a wad on his head so that it had a shape something of a peaked-cap style.

He was motionless. He was not a crooked stump. He was not a gnarled branch. He was alive! Laughter was running out of his mouth like cider gurgling from a jug. Between chuckles, his soft, clear voice was scolding the buck.

"Now, Mr. Red Deer," he was saying, "this is the third time I have caught you trying to break down the brush barricade and nipping at my seedling apple-trees. Don't you know that seedlings can never grow up to be trees and bear fruit if you tear the fence and reach over and bite their heads off?"

The deer was so inquisitive about the quaint, still figure with the soothing voice, that it advanced and retreated as if in fascination, while the voice flowed on: "How can you be so greedy, Mr. Deer? I'm ashamed of you. I'll have to carry away the seedlings so you can't get them. I'll plant them in neat orchard rows for a farmer I know."

Doby craned forward, his mouth agape. He must watch this thing through, no matter what happened.


"If I were you," continued the gnome, "I'd be a good stag and run along home, before some boy with a stone knife speared at me." Here the unbelievable gnome stared straight across the glade into Doby's face and winked. Winked!

This was too much! With a thump Doby tumbled from the tree. With a leap the deer vanished from the glen.

Doby thought, "This is the queerest dream I've ever had. I know I'll be all right as soon as I wake up."

He did not wake up. He was picked up—by the gnome!

Gentle hands helped him. A friendly face looked into his. A musical voice said, "I reckon you're not hurt a mite. That was no bump for a boy. I was wishing I had some one to help me; so you are in time to give Johnny a boost with his apple seedlings."

Johnny! Apple seedlings!

"O—o—h!" Doby regarded the gnome with a different interest. "O—o—h! Are you Johnny Appleseed? The man who is traveling over this countryside, gathering up apple seeds from the cider presses, cleaning and sprouting and transplanting them for the farmers who don't know how to do it for themselves? Starting[21] orchards for settlers? Teaching 'em how to make trees grow?"

"Yes, I'm Jonathan Chapman, the nurseryman."

"Coming down the river, we talked about you. I heard about these secret seedling-pens where you hid people while the War of 1812 was going on. Those folks must have been much obliged to you for saving their scalps from the British Indians."

Modest Johnny nodded. Then, "Take your knife, son," he said. "It looks like a good flint. I'll show you how to prune these little trees as we handle and move them. Now is your chance to learn spring planting."

Doby rolled up his sleeves, spat on his hands, dug his soft-shod toes into the ground, and went at it. His teacher was the wisest grower in the Ohio Valley.

This eerie companion told him: "Our native fruits, cherries, plums, haws, crabapples, pawpaws, huckleberries, gooseberries, and grapes, all reached perfection in the magic gardens of this isle, where once the owners of this fine estate helped me with my experiments in raising plants. I find that they need only a little cultivation to make them hang heavy with harvest around every barren frontier home."


Doby licked his lips. "I suppose you know how to gather sugar from maple-tree sap and when to pick honey from bee-trees!" He was sure that, "Fruit does make corn bread and bacon taste better."

"Wild roses, honeysuckle, goldenrod, and clematis would nod a glad 'Good morning' at the door of every lonesome cabin if we welcomed them with care," continued Johnny, hoping to interest the boy.

The idea of spreading healthfulness through a fruit diet and joy by way of flower-gardens was part of Johnny's self-sacrificing religion. He preached it with ardor to every listener.

For more than a hundred years his words and his plants have borne fruit through these valleys.

Doby stopped work from time to time to ramble and root about the wreckage of the fine house. He asked, "Wasn't that grand Irish gentleman, Mr. Blennerhasset, who bought this island home, a friend of Aaron Burr's when Burr was Vice-President of the United States?"

"He was a friend and a welcome guest here," Johnny answered.

"If Mr. Blennerhasset and other friends of Aaron Burr wanted to give him ships from the boat-builders in Marietta and hire him men[23] from the idlers in the West, why shouldn't they be allowed to do so? Why shouldn't they man a fleet for him? If Aaron Burr wished to help free Mexico from the Spanish, why wasn't it right for him to try it? Mexico is always out of luck."

Johnny's face grew sad. "Many good people, like the Blennerhassets, thought it right to help free Mexico. But our Government learned that Burr had plans to take a piece of our Western country, to organize it into a separate state, to join it to Mexico and perhaps to rule it all himself."

"To split off a part of his own country and make himself a king! Gold crowns and scepters—oh—fine!" cried Doby, sarcastically. "That's why they call him a traitor, and no wonder. The people who helped him to break up our independent nation ought to be punished, even if they were innocent of his motive. No good comes of treason."

Johnny brightened up. "Perhaps great good may, after all, grow out of the sad mistake of Burr's conspiracy. It has made the Government think that if the East and West had been better acquainted, if the people of both sections had been able to travel back and forth and had come to think of themselves as all belonging[24] to the same United States, the idea of separating under Burr would never have occurred to them. So now, to guard against any more such treason, it is going to build a fine road straight 'cross country, from East to West, so that the two sections will be tied together with a bond which all can understand."

Doby studied over the idea. "'Twill stir up commerce and patriotism and loyalty. All travelers, all farmers, all dealers, even you and I will be glad to have a great highway—a big national pike."

He picked up an arm-load of trees to lug them toward the shore. Johnny told him to look back. "The buck may follow us," he said.

Doby was sure that its antlers showed among the brush. "I'll have pa shoot it when he comes back. If I don't get a rabbit we will need venison."

"Don't," begged Johnny. "I can't bear to see anything shot. I want to be a brother to dumb animals as well as to men and to plants."

"What if the buck chews these trees?" asked the boy. "What if it gets dangerous?"

The gentle answer was: "Be more careful of the trees. Take heed for yourself. Never hurt any living thing. Let that pretty creature be.[25] Some day I may be able to domesticate the deer and the buffalo as I am doing now with our wild plants."

Quite to himself, hungry Doby gave an impatient sniff. He was thinking, "I don't intend to abuse anything; likewise I don't intend to let anything abuse me—not an old bobtailed thief of a buck, anyway."

His mother climbed a stool and peeped over the high wall of baggage on the flatboat to smile at him and his new friend, as he took his spade and tried to keep pace with Johnny in digging a series of deep holes.

The nurseryman said, "I intend to plant mulberry-trees in this sunny spot."

"I know," cried Doby. "This hole grows to grow a tree to grow a leaf to grow a worm to grow a silk frock to grow a fine lady," and he returned his mother's smile.

Behind them the silent buck had ventured up to take a browse at the seedlings. Doby foolishly ran toward it to drive it off. Angrily it rose on its hind legs to strike him.

Horrified Johnny felt that death was coming in that brutal downward cut of hoof. Instantly, desperately, he flung his spade at the deer. The metal clanged on its antlers. The deer turned aside. Doby vaulted to the top of[26] the boat's barricade, yelling for Johnny to follow him.

Johnny had seized the other spade and had thrown it in his own defense. It hit the deer on the flank. Doby and his mother shrieked like mad. Startled and confused by the attack and the noise, the buck took flight.

Whirling about wildly, it chose the one dangerous direction—straight away, over the sunny open space where the digging had been done. Its forelegs went down in one hole, its head seemed to light in another, and the flying brute turned a complete somersault. Leaves and grass and dirt filled the air.

Doby's screams redoubled. Johnny gained the boat's wall. He knew they were out of danger's reach, should the buck turn back to rend them, for the baggage stockade would protect them.

But he was shaken by their peril. While getting his breath and calming Doby and his mother, he watched uneasily for the next movement of the irate beast.

After many minutes of waiting he knew that it would never move again. Its neck was broken.

Then Johnny Appleseed leaned his bark-colored form back against the woodsy setting[27] of the leaf-covered boat wall, crossed his feet, set his arms akimbo—the kindest gnome who ever lived, the good spirit of the Fairy Isle, the best-known and most-beloved character on the frontier—and murmured to Doby:

"Now that the deer has done the killing himself, you might as well have some fresh venison to eat before we go on with our work."



Hard Times on the French Grant

"IT is, 'Doby, do this,' and, 'Doby, do that,' from morning to night. I've worked and worked and wor-r-rked," groaned Obadiah Holman, "'til both of my heels are stone-bruised and I have a rag on every toe."

The expression of his face showed that he held strong feelings on the subject of child labor and that those feelings were all against it.

Chore-boys did not get together and organize themselves in the olden days. Protests against overtime jobs received so little attention that Doby grumbled: "No use to sputter. S'pose I'll have to keep right on quarryin'."

He had dropped his task to glance about the town of Gallipolis. It was a lean and wizened, yet quaint and romantic settlement of Old World Frenchmen. The log cabins were the same cubes of houses that pioneers were every[29]where building. But the town had a different air from bustling Pittsburg or dignified Marietta. He examined one home after another.

In the tiny holes of windows hung beribboned curtains of white. Never before had he seen frilled curtains; never before a curtain in a cabin window where there was neither sash nor glass.

Under the windows were crocuses and daffodils and leaf points of the lilies-of-France showing gaily. Beside each door were sociable little benches inviting the passer-by to stop and chat. Under the eaves hung tambourines ready for a moment's playtime.

Doby wondered over these attempts at refinement of living in a land where as yet the bare living itself was not quite certain. "This is a brave little town," he decided.

Half a dozen years later there was born near here, at Point Pleasant, that Ulysses S. Grant, whose soldierly courage under difficulties, and whose steadfast purpose to make the best of national disaster, should forever remain a watchword for those struggling to win success.

His achievements were brilliant and worldwide. Those of his neighbors were smaller but happily complete; for in a few years more they, too, overcame their handicaps.


Warned by rumors of Indians down the river, Doby's father had tied up his flatboat at this hamlet and had brought his wife and son ashore until the waterway became safe again.

To return the rather meager hospitality of Ol' Pap Soisson, a French bachelor, who had offered them half of his cabin, Mr. Holman was taking some round stones from the wash of the creek and was building for his host a safe cobblestone chimney.

Most of the settlers had chimneys woven like birds' nests, of sticks plastered together with mud, inside and out. When they dried out they became dangerous. A stone one was fire-proof. It could hold the heat, could reflect it into the room, and could cook food better than the plastered one.

In the business of piling up masonry for the chimney Doby was first assistant. Ol' Pap Soisson was a poor second. Doby was an unwilling worker, but the bachelor useless. He was too small, too weak, too old.

As he himself explained to Doby, "It is of a certainty that I have never yet had enough of the food to make a growth or a strength." His bright eyes measured the boy as if to guess how stocky he himself might become if fed aright. "Greed possesses me when I sit at the savory[31] meals prepared by that so accomplished madam, your mother."

He chuckled comfortably as he recalled the breakfasts, the dinners, and the suppers which she had given him. The thought of them helped him to roll up a big stone. Exhausted, but triumphant, he sat upon it and became sociable.

"Once I lived in Paris. To me, at my trade of wigmaker, comes the man Duer, of the Scioto Company, dealers in land American. I am then of the restlessness of youth. To work at a living is a matter uninteresting. That horror of all horrors—the Reign of Terror—approaches." He glared fiercely and made a gesture of cutting his throat. "To escape its mad mob of hungry-driven guillotinists I seek a land where successful revolutionists like the Americans enjoy liberty restrained." His whole quivering body expressed utter fear resulting from the "freedom" of the French Revolution. "When the Scioto Company's agent offers us land in this saner Republic so prosperous, scores of us small tradesmen give him our savings in exchange for paper titles to New World estates. Gladly we leave that disturbed kingdom. Gladly we come to this." Here the little man danced a few steps of derision, jeered at his own cabin, and snapped his fingers at the landscape.


"Land is a good thing," declared practical Doby. "You got land, didn't you?"

"By the truth, no! Our titles, you understand, are of a badness unbelievable. We are ruined. Swindle is the name of it. Voyaging through discomforts numerous and cuisine scant, by ocean, by forest, by mountain, by stream, in that long ago, we have arrived." He raised his eyebrows in a grimace. "The land is not ours, but that of another. Like lambs we are shorn by that Duer American. We cannot pluck sugar from the trees of maple as is promised us. We cannot light the candles of the barberry-bush as is also promised. To live we must have agriculture. Agriculture is an art. We know it not. For me, I am a wigmaker. That is my art. Behold!" He threw out ten fingers to cover the case. "In ignorance of agriculture we starve; we freeze. Some die. Some wander away."

Doby sat down beside him to express sympathy. Mr. Holman gave his whole attention to the tale.

"Seeing us about to perish, the United States, in pity, gives us this land. It is the French Grant, in that year of the famine which is worse than all other bad times, of the date 1790."


"How many acres?" asked Doby, who every day talked about land values with all sorts of emigrants.

"Of the number of forty thousand."

"Forty thousand acres make a big grant," cried Doby, much relieved by his country's bit of justice toward these men. "A large colony can live well on that much land."

"Ha!" shrugged Ol' Pap Soisson. "With that we take courage. By day we learn the so necessary agriculture. By night we fiddle, step to measure, sing the 'Marseillaise.' On Sunday, to preserve respect to ourselves and to honor the Virgin, we say a mass and make a toilette of fashionable attire."

Doby stared. "Do you mean to tell me that you dressed up in your city wigs and furbelows? In the wilderness?" he demanded.

"Of a certainty, yes! We love the good appearance. We want the laughter and the social life. Arrayed, I promenade the street for pleasure. A wild red heathen with a hatchet comes from behind and scalps me of my holiday wig, my best one!"

"No!" cried Doby. "No!"

"Yes! Yes!" bobbing his head a dozen times, the Frenchman insisted. "Yes! Yes!" He added: "The land is full of game. To pursue[34] it is to live well. But see! for a quarter of a century I run from bear, from deer, from charging buffalo. Never do I pursue. Ever I am the pursued one. Of meat I taste little; of game nothing." He shook his head. "Now—have the young men of our kind learned the pioneering. We old mastered it not."

Doby was shocked. Such robbery and disappointment worried him. He looked to his father to say something cheery to the plucky little man.

Mr. Holman, big and brawny, equal to any demand of frontier life, gazed kindly at Ol' Pap Soisson, who had found its trials almost too much for him. "We will give you a taste of game to-day. Go, Doby, and shoot that gobbler we have been hearing."

"But, pa," protested Doby, "wild turkey isn't good in the spring. Nobody eats it."

"It will be good if your ma cooks it. I know some one who can eat it," and he smiled at the Frenchman.

Ol' Pap Soisson flashed thirty-two white teeth in assent.

Stone-bruised heels were forgotten. Rags were torn from Doby's toes. They did not hurt—much. He slipped on his moccasins, not because his bare feet minded the March rime of[35] frost, but just because all hunters did wear moccasins.

He carried bow and arrows. Pioneer boys were clever with these, for they were easy to pack about. Early guns were heavy.

"Wild turkeys are hard to shoot," he remembered as he trotted along the edge of the wood. "If I can't get that gobbler, I'll bring home something to cook in the new oven. Ol' Pap Soisson deserves a square meal."

His father had pointed out the probable turkey-run. Doby had expected to discover tracks at once, but he had to keep on and on, still in sight of the cabin, until, when at last he did find fresh traces, he must have been all of four miles away. But what are four miles to a hunter? Mere detail!

He hid himself in the heart of a sycamore and waited for game to pass. Sitting astride a limb in a rough old tree is much easier than lugging stone for an oven, especially if it is one of those big outdoor affairs fastened to the chimney.

His father would build a vent to make the draught strong. Then a fire would have to burn for hours in the oven until the stones were scorching. The coals would then be raked out and the turkey—if Doby got it—would be shut[36] in the hot empty oven to let the reflected, heat roast it.

"If I were to tell that bony bachelor about the apple turnovers and rabbit pie, the gingerbread and quail dumplings, the baked beans and mince tarts, the succotash and blackberry short-cake, the whole shoats and cinnamon buns, the halved squash pudding and caraway cookies that ma can bake in such an oven, the poor fellow would lick his chops and fall sick from in-di-ges-tion of the im-ag-i-na-tion!"

From some source Doby had learned that, in the Old World, every plant and animal which is good to eat had been discovered and used by men centuries before people had begun to write down any sort of history. In the New World of the Americas, the natives had long ago found out what was good to eat on their continent, and could show the immigrating white man delicious foods which he had never before tasted—the golden maize, the bison, and the turkey. Doby felt that a personal experience of some of these dainties would make Ol' Pap Soisson joyous. So he kept his eye out for the turkey.

He was hidden where he could not be seen by any man. He fancied that he could not be noticed by any wild creature and that he him[37]self could see everything about him. Deluded hunter! If he had been clever enough to peer more closely into the weeds below him, what trouble he might have saved!

Soon, along the run far to the north, there was a stir. He could not make it out. To the south was other movement.

"Doby, 'tend to business," he cautioned himself.

From the north came a turkey—a gobbler—the gobbler. This was luck. Doby fitted an arrow.

From the south came a boy—a big boy—an Indian. This was not so lucky. Doby slackened his bowstring.

The savage had already seen the turkey. Silent and shadowy, he crept from tree to tree toward the stately bird. His stalk was a model of woodcraft.

What chance had Doby against such skill—against any grown boy? Very little. Against a wild Indian he had none at all.

The dismayed Holman sat so still that he could hear his own ribs creak. This was no longer his game. The hunter Doby was in danger of becoming the hunted Doby. He lost all appetite for turkey.

The wise gobbler—he was neither young nor[38] tender—kept a sharp outlook on the shadows, an alert regard for his own giblets. He was watching the Indian quite as closely as the Indian was watching him, and with as much anxiety as Doby was watching them both. Then with a strategic side-step he scuttled into the weeds near the foot of Doby's tree and was off at a tangent.

Instantly the Indian let fly one arrow, then a second one. Both whizzed in the same direction and at the same mark. There followed a great squawk and flutter. A turkey with an arrow through its neck flopped into sight and went scurrying north over the run. The Indian was in hot pursuit.

When the quarry and the chase were out of sight Doby noticed—oh, dull-eyed white man!—what he should have observed at first, that a turkey hen must have been waiting all this time in the weeds for that gobbler to come along.

The Indian's first arrow had pinned the gobbler to the ground. There he still was, lying flat. By accident, the second arrow had struck the hidden hen. Perhaps because the gobbler had fallen out of his sight, perhaps because the flight of the hen deceived and confused him, the Indian had followed the wounded turkey and Doby was left behind with the dead one.



All this action had been so quick that Doby could do nothing. Now he slung his bow and arrows out of the way, got down, and drew his precious stone knife to cut the gobbler loose. He meant to hasten away south toward home with the prize.

He pulled the arrow from the ground, then out through the bird's thigh and wing.

Ignorant Doby! Foolish boy! Not to know what playing 'possum is!

The gobbler sprang to life. Did he run? Not he! A turkey cock is a fighting cock. He whetted his spurs. His crest rose in menace. His wattles blazed scarlet. He flew at Doby in a fury.

Taken by surprise, the boy covered his face with his hand and began blindly to lunge and to fend with his knife every time the gobbler struck at him. The bird jumped at the boy. The boy stabbed at the bird. The battle grew. The gobbler would not run. Doby could not.

He never knew how long he fought. But he did fight and fight hard. The gobbler fought and fought harder. Doby was knocked down.

After a while, a long while, he opened his eyes and sat up. He feebly gazed around him. He stared at his foe. They had fought to a[40] finish. The boy was almost finished. The gobbler lying beside him was quite finished.

Hours and hours later, Ol' Pap Soisson, keeping an excited lookout, went running to meet Doby. The boy's feet were a mass of blisters. His clothes were a tattered ruin from the spurs of the vanquished. His arms were numb with lugging the fifteen-pound turkey over those four long miles. His hands were swollen. His head was tied up.

The astonishment and delight of the little Frenchman pleased Doby. His compliments, so spattered with exclamation points, were praises most agreeable to the hunter.

What are a few scratches and bumps? What are bruises and cuts? Taken in a good cause, they are nothing. Simply nothing!

Any boy would have agreed with Doby when he said, sincerely, as he at last sat down to watch the first fire crackle in the new oven, "A fellow feels all good and rested when he can quit work and take a little time off for some lively sport which will fill the larder and feed the hungry."



Cincinnati's Early Days

"THIS rise of land is a hill. Why do they call it a 'knob,' I wonder? While I am in Cincinnati I want to act as much like city folks as I can, so I'll try to remember to say 'knob' whenever I mean hill," and Obadiah Holman sat down on the knob and looked at the city.

His far-sighted blue eyes were trained for the open, not for roofs and walls, so they passed over brick and stone architecture, well worth noting in this new land of log and plank buildings, to watch a bit of greensward near the edge of the knob where some form of animal life was stirring.

He was instantly ready for lively observation. "I believe that's a dog. Two dogs! They must be having a race. The yellow pup is the faster." Leaping up, Doby put[42] his fingers in his mouth and whistled shrilly, hoping to change the direction of the run. He would like to see two dogs at play, even if they were strange dogs.

They did not hear him. They were far away and they disappeared from his sight in a flash.

He sat down again. He was disappointed. Their passing had given him a singularly deserted feeling. "I wish they had come up here to be company for me. A whole cityful," thought Doby, remembering the three thousand inhabitants of Cincinnati, "is such a crowd of people that a boy emigrant doesn't know any person and he feels left out of everything and—anyway—no boy can have a really good time without a dog."

Doby had another reason for being forlorn. He had been rejected by a group of men whom he wanted to join on an expedition into Kentucky. No one likes to be snubbed. He was trying to forget the uncomfortable experience by visiting all the points of interest in the city and then by climbing to the top of the knob where he could get a high and impersonal glimpse of things.

Opposite him was the mouth of the Licking River as it flowed north into the Ohio. Half a[43] dozen miles east was the Little Miami. A score or so to the west was the Big Miami.

All low grounds about these river mouths were flooded in spring by what the astonished emigrants called "amazing high freshets," and the towns which the promoters began on them had to be abandoned by "the respectable public" whom their advertisements had drawn there.

But the knob was above the reach of backwater and higher than any rising ague fog.

Three wise men thought it the best place for a city. One, Denman, who was rich, paid two hundred and fifty dollars for the eight hundred acres on the knob. Another, Colonel Patterson, who was influential, had an army post for protection built here. And the third, Filson, who was clever, surveyed the lands and made most valuable maps of the regions round about. The irate Indians scalped Filson for his pains, but the other two waxed prosperous with the growth of their city.

Doby had seen some of Filson's drawings of the surrounding trails. Particularly was he entranced by the map of Kentucky. "Every time I look at that dotted line of the great Clark War Road stretching alongside the Kentucky River away into the wilderness, I want to go down it." His thoughts kept coming back to[44] his grievance like a cat to an empty house. "There is no good reason why a boy shouldn't travel that road any more than there is an excuse for a boy not having a dog." He felt dreadfully sorry for himself. "Perhaps if I had a dog—a fine tracking-hound or a fierce watch-dog—the scouts might need the dog and take me along with it. But I haven't one thing that they want and I can't go."

Up the road of Doby's desire, while it was yet a trail, had come the Indians to the broad plateau of the knob. Long before Filson's time these savages had seen the value of such a lookout. They made it a stopping-place because it could so well be guarded against surprise. Their signal-fires upon it could be seen by all surrounding tribes. Even a smoke message could warn three valleys.

"'Twas such a safe place," thought Doby, whimsically, "that the Miamis had to fight all the time to keep it from other Indians who also wanted to be secure upon it. Constant battles here have given it the name of the 'Miami slaughter-house.'"

George Rogers Clark, the Virginian, a Revolutionary hero, who came across Kentucky hot on the track of the Miamis, used the savage trail to such quick and victorious service against the[45] British, making it part of his route to his renowned conquest of the Northwest, that it had taken his name. He built a sturdy little blockhouse for a fort and supply station on the knob in 1780 as a half-way station between his Kentucky outposts and the forts on the Wabash and the Great Lakes. And there it still stood, like one of Clark's chunky soldiers who was said to sink deeper into the ground every time the enemy charged him and who had no intention of giving up, no matter how many times he was licked.

Cincinnati was founded by Revolutionary soldiers who were paid for their services by grants of land in this neighborhood. Two companies of regular troops in Fort Washington guarded them as they returned to the plow and used their trusty swords to make their little pigs into famous Queen City sausages.

Doby munched on a sweet, lumpy souvenir of his visit to the sugar-factory as he gazed at the glass factory, the furniture-factory, the cotton and hemp spinning and weaving mills, the flour-mills, the tanneries, all the big city buildings where the newly invented steam-engine was beginning to make for the pioneers all the things that they had been obliged to do for themselves by hand.


"Ma will be glad to hear of the machine that can make cloth as fast as I wear it out," and the boy examined the inside of his much-used knife-pocket at a patch which needed a patch itself, although it was already a patch upon another patch.

But all this machinery made his head tired. So did the smoke and the smells and the confusion of streets.

Some rural path—preferably in Kentucky—was the only thing he could think of that would rest him and entertain him when he had no person to talk to and no pet to play with.

So he sat upon the knob and kicked his heels to cool his restless feet. His eyes turned from the city's buildings to its fringe of green. They wandered again to the spot where he had seen the most satisfactory thing of the whole day—those passing dogs.

There was a bunch of tawny leaves blowing along the hillside. He stared at it idly. No, it was not leaves, that patch of uncertain color. It was something living, something leaping.

How uncertainly it moved! How wabbly it was! Doby sat up sharply and peered. He stood up and leaned forward. He shut his eyes for a better long-distance focus and squinted.


"It is the yellow dog again. Dog? No! Fox? It can't be a fox! It surely is a fox." Behind the fox a dog was running. A long chase had tired them both. Their pace was dragging.

"It is the same dog, I do believe, and the same fox that I saw before. What a big circle they must be running!"

All alert now, Doby measured their speed. If he ran forward in quick time at right angles to it, their course would pass quite close to him. Away he flew.

He was thinking, "That fox is exhausted. It can hardly get along. The hunt has been an all-day one. The dog—ah, the poor brave doggie!—is worse off than the fox. He will never catch it. What a fine dog! What a game dog, not to give up when he is outrun! He is my kind of a dog. I'll help him."

Doby rushed down the hill to head off the fox. At most times it would have been a silly and a useless thing to do. But now the spent fox was not equal to any of its sly dodges.

It saw the man creature—that cruel enemy of all wild life—and for one second it paused. On the instant the persistent dog also saw the man creature—that kind friend of all tame brutes—and, reinforced by his presence, leaped with a last bit of strength for the quarry.


Doby was in at the death. He cut the brush. It was a splendid trophy. Then he gave his whole attention to the dog, who had fallen over on one side and lay prone.

"Poor doggie, he looks as though he were going to die!" quavered Doby. "Poor doggie! Come, doggie! I'll carry you to our flatboat and tend you."

So over the hillside and down the terraces and through the unheeding city streets he lugged the limp dog to the landing at the water's edge and into the flatboat and on to a cushion.

"That dog seems to have a little of every kind of breed, so we will call him a foxhound, for short," was Mr. Holman's comment, as Doby bent anxiously over his find with water and milk and bread and meat. "But if you want to do so, you may keep him for your own," he promised, as he always did on every one of those numerous occasions when Doby adopted some hapless stray and wistfully begged to be allowed to take care of it and train it.

Thus, by chance, Doby had within an hour acquired a dog at a time when he fancied that he needed it most.

What a good thing a reliable dog would be to a party of scouts, if the boy who had him could[49] go along to make him do his doggie best! These were Doby's reflections as he watched the fagged one, bit by bit, grow strong and lively.

He proved to be a grateful brute and an affectionate one. He answered Doby's endearments most ardently. But, alas! as he recovered he grew restless. He wanted to be off again.

Now around this dog's neck was a band of leather, the only kind of collar that pioneer puppies knew. Mr. Holman had glanced at this collar. He knew what it meant, but he did not say a word about it. Doby also knew what it meant, but he did not speak of it, either. He sat and stared at it by the hour together.

The collar had been made and fastened on the dog by some other boy. The dog was some other boy's dog. He was a pet dog. If he was set free he might return to some far-away home—to that other boy.

At this moment he was looking at Doby with adoring eyes, as that uncomfortable boy thought, "If I keep him a long time, keep him shut up and well fed, he will finally like me best and be my pet, for I saved his life." The dog wagged a hearty assent to this; and to all Doby's claims to loyalty he pounded his tail thankfully on the resounding floor of the flatboat.

"The scouts would listen to me and take me[50] along, almost surely take me along, if I could show them a good tracking-hound," he argued. "It is my one chance to get in with them." He was more miserable now with the dog than he had ever been without it—well—because he kept thinking.

The dog licked Doby's hands and reached for his face with a moist and loving tongue. "I believe they would take me if he went, too." The dog begged for a joyous tussle. He was the greatest fun to play with.

"You want to stay with me, don't you?" Doby asked of the completely restored and lively hound, flushed and happy as they paused in a romp. But the dog was already beginning to pace back and forth inside the barricaded boat. He whined at every crack. He brought pleading sniffs to Doby's feet.

The boy stood and thought. He must decide what to do about another man's property. The more he thought, the deeper he frowned. His face was a tangled hard knot of lines when, after a long inner struggle, he finally got out his knife to cut a strip of bark from a slippery-elm tree, stopping frequently to sigh over the hard task he had given himself.

On the plain white inner side of the bark his stone knife carved plainly, THE FOX TAIL IS ON[51] HOLMAN'S FLATBOAT IN CINCINNATI HE IS A FINE DOG WE HELPED HIM OBADIAH HOLMAN. Carefully rolling and tying it, he fastened it inside the dog's collar as messages were sometimes sent.

He carried the dog ashore and released him. He was sure that all his hopes for going with the scouts vanished with the dog.

A strange feeling of being grown up came over him. "After this when I ought to do a thing, I'll just go ahead and do it, and not hesitate so long about the deed I know is right."

Acting on this decision, he was silent and showed no childish regrets, when the scouts, gathering on the dock the next afternoon, made ready for their start. They never noticed him. Their thoughts were on Simon Kenton, who was to direct them. He was the pioneer's ideal. He had once saved the life of Daniel Boone, that most famous of all the patriotic Kentucky rangers, and had become his fast friend in consequence.

Kenton's services as an Indian-fighter had given him a name that filled the Middle West. He was brave beyond belief. The number of times that he had been captured and the great difficulties of his escapes never prevented him from offering his help wherever his woodcraft[52] could lead soldiers to victory through savage-infested country.

Half a dozen times and more he had run the gauntlet. Three times he is said to have been tied to the stake for torture and burning. During several periods of captivity he was most brutally treated. Yet in every important battle with the redskins in his own State and out of it he was one of the directing powers. Between-times he was a matchless spy and a fearless ranger. Even now, although he was past middle age, he had a splendid body, a tireless mind, and a dauntless courage.

"If any one can rescue the besieged wagon-train from the Indians, this is the scout who will do it," said Mr. Holman. And they all rose respectfully as the gray-eyed giant came among them.

They knew him to be fond of animals and kind to pets, so there was no surprise that a dog should be hanging on his heels. The wonder was that this should chance to be Doby's dog—the so-called foxhound. In noisy recognition the happy pup leaped upon the boy, licked his face, knocked him over backward, and tried to eat him up.

"Oh, you bad bow-bow," laughed Doby, returning the embrace.


"Wow-wow," answered the hound, rolling over on his back in an ecstasy of delight at the meeting.

Simon Kenton's speech was as old-fashioned as his big brave heart. He asked the boy, "Be ye Obadiah Holman?"

Doby nodded with something like a bow. "Well, then, I'm huntin' for ye. I want a boy to go with us into Kentucky. Git ready to start instanter." On Kenton's arm was hanging a small suit of fringed buckskin. "Put these duds on. They'll fit well enough. When I found the note in the collar I reckoned on ye bein' young," and the tall scout smiled down on the boy. "I fetched a leetle rifle for ye."

The other men objected in chorus: "He's nothing but a boy. He can't go. We can't take a boy and we can't take a dog."

"Don't want to take the dog; never do take the dog," was the easy answer.

"The boy is too small," was the second chorus.

The bright gray eyes ran over Doby from his eager face to his moccasined toes. Then Simon Kenton said "He is big enough for me. I can use him on this ventur'. I've taken chances afore on folks that befriended my dog. Nary chance did I ever lose."


Without more ado he took command of the expedition. He showed each man his duty. Then he said to Doby: "I'll trust ye. Climb into yer new suit, son, and scoot along. Show us yer ready for business. I reckon ye'll never be anybody's small boy again. When ye made up yer mind to give a man the things that belonged to him—the minute ye wrote that note—w'y, just that minute ye growed into a first-class scout!"



An Indian Talisman on Clark's Kentucky War Road

"I LOOK so grand that I want to say, 'Sir,' every time I speak to myself," and Obadiah Holman swaggered a little as he donned his equipment.

His coonskin cap was set atilt. Its short ringed tail was a tassel bobbing over his left ear. He wore a man's suit of fringed buckskin. He had shortened his "galluses" and hitched up his breeches to a very comfortable fit. Leggings added a picturesque touch to them. His shirt, which was worn outside like a coat, had a belt to hold in the fullness. Cut off a little at the bottom and fringed anew, and treated the same way at the cuffs, it had become exactly his size. Best of all, it was not new.

When he appeared among the other scouts,[56] his clothes had the same worn effect of a serviceable uniform that theirs did.

Doby glowed with pride when he considered the company he kept. What patriotic duties had not these scouts been in? What good work had not these uniforms seen?

He resolved with all the best that was in him to be worthy of the place Simon Kenton had given him with Johnson's Long Hunters—the Kentucky cavalrymen.

The War of 1812 was now all over. But who could forget the services of these men through that trying time? For the grizzled veterans all about him were Col. Richard Johnson's troopers, the bravest and boldest men in the West.

When William Henry Harrison, the governor of the Northwest Territory, the man who had won the battle of Tippecanoe in 1811, against the Indians, and so saved the Northwest to civilization, had later, in 1813, become so hard pressed in his struggle against Tecumseh's forces allied with that Indian's British friends, farther east near Detroit, it was the Kentucky regiment of Johnson's men whose furious valor broke the stout line of British regulars on the Thames River and who kept the Middle West from the clutches of old England.


A grateful country afterward made Colonel Johnson Vice-President of the United States.

Boys and men cheered the doughty Kentuckians wherever they appeared.

Said one of them to Doby: "That Indian chief Tecumseh was a smart man. He had more sense than most white men. He was a king, if ever a man was. When the natives in his absence ceded to the whites so much of the land around Fort Wayne, he was angry. He organized all the Western Indians into a confederacy whose plan was to drive the Americans out of the country. For he understood very soon the thing that it took the other Indians a long time to learn. That was, the English and American way of buying land.

"You see, the French, who came here first, met the Indians on terms of friendly equality. The Indians responded to this by offering hospitality. The French accepted it gratefully. The Indians passed the peace pipes and said: 'Our Great Spirit tells us to welcome our pale-face brothers. Our hunting-grounds are his.' And the happy-go-lucky Frenchmen made their best society bows and said, 'After you, kind friends, we will use them.' And they got along together first rate."

"Our folks don't want to share and share[58] alike with savages," declared Doby. "We want to buy the land outright."

"That's what makes the trouble," answered the old Indian-fighter, "savages do not know what buying land means. They never get our point of view. When we give an Indian 'fire-water' and a disgracefully small piece of money for his land, he thinks it is a present because we thank him for the chance to hunt on that land. He fully expects us to buy it again the next day and the next and the next. He thinks it is still his after all this so-called buying."

"He gives us a deed to it," said Doby. "Anybody can understand what a land title is."

"An Indian cannot. One day a white man, all smiles, comes to an Indian's land, gives him a tawdry present, juggles a piece of parchment, and shows the Indian how to make his mark among printed words which he cannot read. Next day, the white man, all frowns, says to the Indian, 'What d'you mean, making yourself to hum on my ground? Git out!' and he kicks him off. It makes the Indian mad."

The veteran wagged his beard and his sweeping curly hair like an old lion shaking his mane. "That's the real cause of the Indian uprisings. General Harrison, who is a just and far-seeing[59] ruler, has done his best to compel fair play on both sides. Between the greed of the whites and the treachery of the savages he hasn't had much luck."

"You fought with the other Long Hunters at New Orleans, didn't you?" asked Doby.

"At that battle we licked the British again. The treaty of peace had been signed, but word hadn't reached the South and we went at it and hammered the beef-eaters fair and hard. Ah, those were the good old times. Nothin' like it nowadays. Nothin' but a few odd jobs of rescue-work like this one we are on. No real fightin'."

Doby looked in true respect at his friends of many scars. His hand went up to his cap. He took it off in the presence of these patriots.

The Kentucky settlers called these men "Long Hunters" because they could stay out more weeks on hunting-trips than less stalwart backwoodsmen. "Long Knives" was the name the Indians gave them on account of the ferocious dirks they carried. Even Doby sported his stone knife in a formidable sheath.

Soft-hearted Simon Kenton had taken Doby along for a "lucky penny" or "pocket-piece" as a later time would have taken some entertaining child for a "mascot."


Like the other two dozen men in the group, Doby boasted a tomahawk swung on his hip.

"A tomahawk is wild and savage-looking," laughed one of the men, seeing how gingerly Doby handled the murderous thing, "but this one has been tamed. It will be used to chop kindling-wood and to cut brush, unless we get into a brash with redskins and you want to try its edge on a scalp."

Also Doby had a powder-horn swung over his shoulder. In the hollow of his left arm was as light a flintlock as that day afforded. It was possible for him to carry the weight of this weapon because, oh, joy of joys! between his knees was a Kentucky thoroughbred!

"No old nag to bring up the cows"—Doby was almost bursting with pride—"will do for a fellow who is going West to fight Indians. He needs a fast horse. This is one of the blue-grass best."

Every scout's saddle-bags carried rations for several days. They would not use their rifles for game, nor would they build a fire except at some station. They were traveling as light as possible, as fast as their mounts would allow, and with as little noise as they could.

"Boonesboro'll keep the wagon-train as long as the grub holds out. The pesky redskins 'ain't[61] got a thing to do but to lay round an' besiege the stockade 'til the buffaler come. When the herds git here the redskins will follow the game north and the wagon-train can move again. Trouble is that folks in stockades can't git along without eatin', and these are plumb out o' vittles." And Simon Kenton, who had often gone hungry in the Indian country, gave a little sigh of sympathy. "It ain't likely that we will have a brash with Injuns hereabouts." Yet these sagacious scouts slept in their clothes, had no fires, and took turns, two at a time, doing sentinel duty. They rode, always, with guns primed and loaded and ready under their trigger fingers.

Their plan was to add their force to the small number of men in the train at Boonesboro and with a little food to bring them out to within reach of game and to escort them north to Cincinnati. The Indians generally fell back from any "Long Knives" train.

The scouts had crossed the Ohio River at Cincinnati, coming down, gathering a few more fighters as they went. Doby's father, a seasoned frontiersman, had gone with them because he was anxious to learn the prospects for buying farming land in this richest soil of all the States.


Now they were whirling down toward the Salt Lick Springs on the old Clark War Road of Indian raids. At first the famous path led them to the southwest.

Doby had ridden bareback from babyhood. He could "break" a colt or subdue a "fractious" mare, but never had he gone down any pike at the pace these Kentuckians set him as they tore away on their errand of mercy.

His legs clung to the saddle, his moccasins stuck to the stirrups, his hands grasped the bridle-rein as they flew. The scrambling up-hill over rough ground, the breakneck sliding down into valleys, were his delight. But when he saw the swollen Kentucky River that he must plunge into for the first of several times on its winding course, he could have screamed with hysterical excitement. He had no choice whether to go or to stay. His horse carried him with the others on a rush into the turbulent stream. The shock of the water and the sensation of leaving solid earth for this swirling danger shook his chest with heavy sobs.

There is a contagion of courage as well as of fear. He caught the spirit of his companions. By imitating them he was able to hold his horse's head at an acute angle to the bank, so that the constant up-stream effort kept the[63] swimming animal from being swept down. He stayed abreast of the others and landed with them at the road on the opposite shore.

Then magnificent forests and open glades spun by them. They entered canebrakes, those bottom-land stretches of succulent sugar-bearing canes where wild turkeys scuttled in flocks before the sound of hoofs.

Simon Kenton smiled at Doby: "There ye be! Cane! Turkey! Kain tu'key! There's where we git our name."

One night when they stopped to rest, Doby discovered on a flat-faced boulder some crude outline pictures like the childish cartoons of first-reader pupils. There were round turtles, square horses, spindle-legged boys, moon faces, pigs with curly tails; just such things as he had drawn on his slate many a time. All had been cut or scraped in with a sharp point of stone or metal.

What boy could resist such a challenge? "Must be some sort of a wilderness school near here," Doby thought as he whipped out his too ready knife. Using the tip of the hilt, for he dare not risk the precious point, he scratched a bird, to face another bird, something like a blue jay which was already drawn to perch in this menagerie.


"I'll have to do something to tell what my bird and the other fellow's bird are called," and he picked up a couple of fallen blue-jay feathers. With a paste of mud he added them, one to each bird, for a flaunting tail, grinning to think how surprised the children would be when they noticed this addition to their art-gallery.

Simon Kenton, coming up, seemed to regard this as a serious matter. "That pictur' is Injun writin'; lots of it hereabouts; every line and dot means somethin'; can't tell what the varmints 'll think of your sign," and he shook his head dubiously; but he would not let the boy try to erase it. "Better quit foolin' with it."

Doby was rather dismayed by this bit of indiscretion on his part. But in the rapid going of the next few hours and in the flurry of the wild-pig hunt which they allowed themselves when they came within hail of the station, he forgot his regrets.

At this station they gave themselves a hot pork supper and a good rest.

A Kentucky station was from the first settlement of that coveted State a spot full of romance, of danger, and of delight.

So fair was Kentucky, so rich, so promising, that native red men and immigrating white men were ever ready to fight for a piece of her fertile[65] soil. Never was she more beautiful than in those days when numerous battles caused her to be named the "dark and bloody ground."

Her stations, far apart, were built of log houses set in a hollow square to form a solid wall toward the open country. Tiny loopholes for rifles were the only windows on the outside walls. At each corner was a two-story blockhouse, or "flanker," set up in such a way with loopholes that the men inside could see and could cover with guns the outside fort walls without themselves being seen by the Indians. There were huge gates to these forts. They could defy and they did defy many a savage attack. They were snug places for emigrants to stop.

Doby employed his idle hour making a "shrieker." First he cut a willow whistle. On it he fastened the bladder of the slaughtered pig. Then he took an immense breath, blew into the whistle, and filled the bladder with air. When he could blow no longer he jerked it out of his mouth. The air from the bladder rushed back through the whistle with a hair-raising squeal.

Doby hopped in glee. But he dared not use it when they started again on the dangerous War Road. There was always the chance of attracting some foe.


"When we get inside the next station I'm going to give it one good blow, Injuns or no Injuns," he declared.

So far had they now come by the road southwest, south, southeast, and south again, that they were in the heart of Kentucky and approaching Harrod's station not far distant from Boonesboro.

At Harrod's they had meant to eat hot game and save their full saddle-bags for the wagon-train. But the sight of an Indian trading at the post made them pause and go into a consultation with the storekeeper.

A general store was kept in each of these stations. It dealt in every article a settler could want. Here a trapper, red or white, who never had any money could "swap" his furs for powder and coffee with a storekeeper who never had any money, either. Though powder and coffee were each a dollar a pound, neither the buyer nor the seller ever saw that dollar. Trading was the rule.

Doby paid little heed to anything except the Indian, who stood motionless beside a pile of 'coonskins which he had laid on a tobacco bale. Any boy would have known that Indian for a warrior. He wore a plain blanket. There were no feathers and no paint to be seen upon him,[67] yet he looked the wild fighting-man. He was tall and straight, haughty of bearing, cruelly beautiful. He ignored the hunters with royal indifference while he waited for his goods to be packed.

As Doby eyed the savage he thought: "How handsome he is and how powerful! Perhaps Tecumseh had the same appearance."

Under the boy's admiring stare the Indian stood absolutely and perfectly still, minute after minute, minute after minute, until Doby became possessed of an impulse to test that stolidity, to shock that dignity. So he impishly blew into the pig's-bladder whistle. Its blast rent the air.

With snake-like quickness the Indian's hand shot out. He grabbed the whistle and hid it in his blanket. He offered a blue-jay feather in exchange. Doby felt indignant at this sort of trading and showed that he did, whereupon the Indian, who certainly had seemed to have neither paint nor feathers upon him, stuck the first feather and then a second one in the front of Doby's cap. In so doing he left a streak of paint on the boy's forehead. It was of the same shape and color as the feather.

The boy's face flamed with anger, but when the watching Kenton said, "Make your man[68]ners, bub," Doby thrust his hand into the Indian's palm and said, "How?"

The Indian answered, "How?"

These two words were considered to be a complete conversation of the friendliest sort between any two members of the white and red races.

Calmly and instantly Kenton pushed the boy from the store into the midst of the hunters, who were hurriedly up and away. Night was closing in, but they increased their pace. Kenton told Doby: "Under his blanket that chief is rigged up for battle. He is buying guns and ammunition."

"A storekeeper will sell any Indian any amount of bullets to shoot any number of settlers, if the savage merely says he wants 'em for buffalo," thought Doby, in bitter contempt of that thing we call commercialism, which allows one man to sacrifice others for his own mercenary profit.

"To git through the varmints' stampin'-ground, we must use this dark night for to cover us," and Kenton glanced at the black clouds and at the occasional flashes of lightning. He listened to the wind in the trees. He stopped to consult the others and laid his ear to the ground, "for buffaler," he said.


For here the War Road, the Indian trail, and the Buffalo trace all coincided to run through a very long, narrow ravine.

They decided to risk the trip through the ravine. The byways were long and difficult. In the ravine there was danger of Indians in ambush, danger of a cloudburst, and danger of meeting the buffalo herds almost due on their annual migration north. But where was there not danger?

To these hardy soldiers danger was their bread and meat and they rejoiced in it. So when they felt no quake of earth from moving hoofs, they took the ravine at a run. They knew it was the sort of night when the war of fire and water in the air might frighten buffalo into a stampede; and Doby, blinking in the lightning, listened between thunderclaps for other noises.

They were nearing the southern end of the ravine, too far from the northern entrance to turn back, when they caught the far-away rumble of myriad pounding hoofs. They spurred ahead. If they could reach the plain and turn aside before the oncoming herds entered the ravine they were safe. Kenton put his hand on Doby's bridle and they ran for their lives straight toward the buffalo, which they could[70] not see, but which they could hear plainer and plainer with every hurrying second.

The rangers ahead yelled triumphantly as one by one they gained the open and swerved in safety around to the east. Their shouts were drowned in a vast bellowing that grew so near it roared in their ears like heavy surf.

Kenton and Doby were bringing up the rear. Kenton's horse stepped into a hole and went down heavily. Doby's leaped ahead. After a few jumps he was able to check it. He wheeled and came back. Kenton had gained his feet, but his mount was doomed—a broken leg. There was no help for the poor brute but a merciful bullet. To this sad use unhappy Doby put his proud flintlock. To Kenton, who was badly jarred, he reached a firm hand and took him up behind.

Too late now to gain the plain, impossible to face the flying, panic-stricken hordes, there was nothing for it but to flee straight back over the course they had come.

To be overtaken was to be trampled down to earth, ground into fragments and totally destroyed. Oh, the irony of traveling for days and days through a country where the buffalo would have been harmless and then to meet[71] them in the one hour and the one place where they meant death to man!

Kenton, recovering himself under the prick of their danger, watched by the lightning flashes for an opening in the sides of the ravine. He soon saw a tiny brook trickling from a cleft. They bolted from the trace and stopped in it. Although it was only a tiny pocket set back and up from the sides of the bluff, it was enough to shelter them and their horse. In less than two minutes the herd came sweeping past below them.

All night long, under a stormy sky, they huddled in their covert and saw and heard and smelled the buffalo as they galloped past. All day long, through the clearing weather, they watched more buffalo and more buffalo—walking now. All night long again, under clear skies and brilliant stars, they listened to the stragglers sedately following behind.

The man and boy had food in their saddle-bags and water at their feet. The horse drank and helped himself to green stuff.

Kenton said: "Give the Injuns followin' the herds time to vamoose. Then we go on. Our folks won't hunt for us, 'cause they think we're wiped out."

"If we trail alone, do you suppose the In[72]dians will scalp us—you and me?" quavered Doby. His bright dreams had been to win glory by defeating Indians in open battle. Never at any time had he planned to have them destroy him on the sly.

"Think likely—yes," drawled Kenton. "Ye must git used to close calls. I've had 'em many and many a time. Don't wash yer face. That's yer big chance."

"Don't wash my face?" repeated Doby. "Don't wash my face!"

"The chief marked that paint daub an' set the feathers on ye for some reason. He liked that noisy whistle. 'Tis Injun nature to return a favor. Likely he stalked us when ye drew that pictur'. Blue jays may be his totem."

"O-oh!" breathed Doby. "O-oh! Will this mark save me? Will it save you?"

"Perhaps. Two guns won't amount to much if there 're Injuns in the ravine or the canebrake. We are in plain sight here; no use to try to hide."

They could not stay longer where they were in the cramped little hollow. They must follow the trace. There was no other way out. The doubly loaded horse stepped into the road; but he was uneasy. He snorted and backed about.


"Hold your face so the light will strike it. Turn from side to side so the blue in your cap will show," commanded Kenton.

Crows on a dead tree above the ravine shrieked something at them. Doby clutched the rein, for the bushes on the opposite bank had parted ever so little. Red of nostril, white of eye, the horse stood still and twitched his sensitive ears.

The crows called again. They circled widely. They returned to chatter a warning.

Kenton, who never was known to lose his self-control, said, calmly: "Go on. My gray curls will make a purtier scalp than your hank o' tow; 'f I don't fret, you needn't."

Doby went on. The horse needed constant petting and coaxing. The crows flapped and cawed, following a hiding something—an evil something moving near the trail. The horse quivered and shied at the unseen peril stalking him.

They reached the end of the ravine and descended into the canebrake of the bottom-land which led to the Kentucky River. Far away on the other side of the river they could see the stockade of Boonesboro.

"Could we signal the stockade?" faltered Doby.


"We'll be made into broth if we do," was the quiet reply.

Some Indians were cannibals. At this reminder, Doby's spine turned to water and he slumped into a heap. But Kenton caught him up and shook him forcibly with the words: "I once felt that-a-way myself. Ye can git used to 't. Keep right on. The cane's full of the pesky redskins."

"I don't see any," gasped Doby, in forlorn hope.

"Nary glimpse. Watch the crows. Show yer passport. They're there," declared Kenton.

When the horse found that he could not hang back, he bolted. Wilder and wilder his pace grew. Fear had seized him past all control.

Ever the canes, before, beside, behind their mad flight wavered for a wicked pursuing foe who peeped and ran.

Ever the crows in dread curiosity beat the air and croaked in apprehension.

Ever the boy, with his blue-jay feathers upright, clung to the saddle and lifted his white face so plainly marked, with an attempt at bravado.

As the ford came in sight and the trampled clearing at its edge showed an open space of ground they knew that the crisis was near.



What was that sound? Shrill and weird, cutting their ears, they caught the note of the pig's-bladder "shrieker"—Doby's whistle!

"Don't shoot," said Kenton. "Whatever happens—don't shoot—mind that—don't shoot!"

Then—from the canebrake on three sides of the clearing sprang the nimble-footed savages who had teased and outrun their horse. The painted bodies closed across the entrance to the ford. Paralyzed with fear, the sweating horse crouched.

The ears of Kenton and Doby were deafened with war-whoops, their nostrils sickened by dangling scalps. A horrid threatening dance swung round them. Tomahawks hurled past them. Color and noise, stench and motion, caught them in a hideous vortex. Each savage gibed at the boy's painted talisman, but each obeyed its message. They did not touch him.

Doby did not scream—he could not. Kenton never moved, resistance was futile. In a great swoop the Indians bore down upon them. They were covered with a shower of blue-jay feathers thrown by murderous fingers as with wild gestures and wilder laughter the Indians vanished into the canebrake to follow the buffalo north for more profitable hunting.


Surprised Boonesboro did not know what to make of the flurry. The sentries halloed from the "flankers," and the Long Hunters, who had never thought to see them again, swung wide the gates, and Kenton and Doby swam across to Boonesboro—the end of their trail.



A First Survey for the Underground Railway

AS though bell metal had been softly touched, a note of clear low mirth came to the ear. Irresistible chuckles, one after another, in purest glee followed. Gurgle upon gurgle of laughter was added to it. And Obadiah Holman, who never in his life had heard anything quite so musical or so funny, burst into sympathetic giggles before he was really awake or knew what it was all about.

He was curled up on a bundle in an emigrant wagon. He raised his head and peeped out of the round hole in the back of its canvas cover.

A hard day's ride had tired him. He had climbed into this wagon for a short snooze and had taken instead a heavy sleep of several hours. During that time his company of emigrants had been joined by another wagon-train which they were expecting from a detour to the[78] east, and all had gone into camp together for the night.

The boy looked out on such a curious scene that he asked of himself, "Where am I, Doby?" to be sure that he was not still in dreamland.

Against a purple sky, star-spangled, stood a solid bank of black-green forest. In front of this woodsy background were the white tops of the wagons. Silhouetted upon their canvases were the horses and the cows, picketed for the night inside the protecting wall of the wagon-beds.

In the center, under the red glow of after-supper fires, a few belated emigrants were finishing their tasks.

Among them Doby saw, what he had never seen before, what he had been expecting to see with this coming wagon-train, and what he was hoping for a glimpse of—black men!

Close to the tail-gate of the wagon, on a saddle which he was supposed to be cleaning, sat a youth who was the color of a "tar baby." There was a gourd in his hand. Out of his round throat came those sounds which had so delighted the boy. And every time he laughed he waved the gourd, threw back his kinky head, opened a tremendous mouth, and showed a double set of teeth perfect enough for a[79] dentist's sign. A mocking-bird might have envied the trill in his laugh.

He rolled up his eyes until only the whites showed. Doby clutched the canvas in alarm. What if they should not come down again?

"So that is a darky," he thought as he stared. "I can guess how he got the name."

Many a boy has seen a darky, but few have ever watched one with a gourd fiddle, the primitive African violin.

New England Doby did not approve of slavery. He had been taught that it was a dreadful thing. So it gave him something of a surprise to see what he had supposed would be a miserable, downtrodden captive having such a very good time.

Tuning his fiddle and swinging his bow, the negro began to play and to dance and to sing, drawing round him a dozen or so of other black boys who joined the dance and the song, giving themselves up to such utter enjoyment as Doby had never seen among any white people.

At first his Northern ears could not make out the words of the song. When he had guessed at them, he listened with his attention so divided between the syllables and the melody and the negroes' appearance and actions, that[80] their full meaning did not come to him until long afterward.

Night wind in the trees, peeper frogs in the sedges, bare feet thumping on the turf, and the sweet obligato of the gourd strings accompanied the lyric tenor, who sang:

"Dar am a b'ar,
A big, la'ge b'ar,
He wave hes tail so high,
He wave hes tail,
Hes big, la'ge tail
At no'th star in de sky.
"Dar am a b'ar,
A sma', wee b'ar,
He wave hes tail so high,
He wave hes tail,
Hes sma', wee tail
At no'th star in de sky.
"All night he wave,
Big b'ar he wave,
And show de nig' what dar.
He wave hes tail,
Hes big, la'ge tail,
'Til nigger see dat star.
"All night he wave,
Sma' b'ar he wave,
And show de nig' what dar.
He wave hes tail,
Hes sma', wee tail,
'Til nigger see dat star."


Several melodious baritones took up the air and a superb bass joined in. To this happy narcotic the boy gave himself up and went to sleep again.

Doby's place in the train was with Simon Kenton's group of mounted scouts. Many of them had belonged to Col. Richard Johnson's Kentucky regiment of rangers. From Boonesboro, they had accompanied this wagon party of Quaker emigrants northward on the road to Lexington.

The Quakers were a religious sect who did not believe in slavery. They had left the Carolinas, where it was practised, and were going north across the Ohio, where it was not allowed. They were opposed to war in any form and continually preached the gospel of peace.

Through the dangerous State of Kentucky, which was ever the battle-ground between the southern Creek and Cherokee, and the northern Shawnee and Delaware Indians, the rangers traveled with the Quakers to so intimidate the Indians that no fighting would be necessary.

The other wagon-train was from Virginia. It was made up of groups who had the greatest pride in family honor, worldly estates, and ceremonial government. They expected to found in the center of this fertile Kentucky new farms,[82] and homes, where lavish hospitality and dignified elegance should imitate the easy life of the Old Dominion.

They were bringing their household goods, their slaves, and their domestic animals with them. All were armed and ready to defend their possessions and their views with vigor.

The Quakers, in serene self-denial, stood for the moral doctrine of freedom in body and mind and spirit. They wore plain clothes and used plain speech and practised plain living.

The common cause of keeping their scalps intact had linked these different peoples together for protection on the trip, just as the prospect of making a better living had driven them both northward through Cumberland Gap.

Oh, Cumberland Gap! That "high-swung gateway of the mountains!" What boy has not in fancy joined Daniel Boone when he held in his hand the key to this wondrous portal? When that famous frontiersman opened the gates and started on its course the most tremendous tide of emigration this continent had ever seen, and when as scout he went before his countrymen, he had more adventures than ever before fell to the lot of any one pioneer as he blazed for them the trail through the Middle West.


The spunky little settlements around the fort at Watauga, on the eastern side of the mountains, continually fought the Indians to keep them from extending their tribal lines north. By this bravery the Gap was kept open for travel. Henderson's land company secured home acres. Boone pointed out the acres and by the force of his splendid personality kept the scattered settlers loyal to the United States and to one another during the trying days of the Revolution.

Nothing could be better than the view from Cumberland Gap. Nothing much worse than the path through it. Rough, miry, stony, over-flowed, washed out, precipitous—all this and more! Every fault that a road could have this one displayed. Yet because it was the only road nature had cut through the mountains, Watauga guarded it and Boone's followers trod it as never road was traveled before.

Between 1775 and 1790 seventy thousand people sweated in the jagged up-hill climb to its sixteen hundred feet of height, paused for a moment to look at the sides of the mountains towering another thousand feet above the Gap, and then slid and scrambled down on the Kentucky side. In 1816 they were still coming over this wilderness road.


Doby was tired of the twice-told tales of its hardships. He wanted to make his rest-times as pleasant as possible, so on the second night he left the wagging gray-beards and in sheer exuberance he tried to run down a rabbit in the glade where they were encamped. All work and talk broke off to see him do it.

The younger the rabbit the easier to catch. With every day's growth of its hopping-muscles it waxes more enduring. Doby, having picked an older rabbit than he thought, was hard pressed to tire the lively creature out. He called for help. The older men instantly forbade the younger ones to join the hunt. The boy who began it must finish it to prove his right to the game.

He shouted to the darkies. They huddled in an excited bunch, but they did not come.

Then as a matter of honor Doby was obliged to catch that rabbit. So of course he did!

But he was over-tired, out of breath, and a little indignant as he said to the lyric tenor, "Next time, come and help." And he tried the grand manner of a Virginia slave-owner.

Such a bow and a scrape and a grin as he got!

"Yas, sir, nex' time, Mars'er Dob', yas, sir."

"Well, then, why didn't you come this time?"


"'Cause you is red-headed, Mars'er Dob'!" with a polite and complimentary flourish.

In anger too great for words, Doby stalked away. If he had had one of the Virginia whips he would have laid it on that darky then and there. Red-headed! He had pummeled many a chum for that one word.

"I am not red-headed. It is the firelight that makes my hair look coppery. I don't so much mind being called tow-headed, because I am a little bit tow-headed," he conceded, "but red-headed, never!"

"Don't bother to dress the rabbit," said Simon Kenton to Doby.

"Why not?" asked the boy, putting back his stone knife as quickly as he had pulled it out, for Kenton's slightest wish was law to him.

"The niggers 'll steal it 'fore sun-up."


"Red-head for luck! That coon with a high voice needs a left hind foot, or I miss my guess."


"Watch and see," was the puzzling answer.

So Doby slept on top of his rabbit to save it. But in the morning it was gone.

He spied around.

About a freshly built knob of kinks on the[86] tenor's head, the taint of over-warm rabbit fur was climbing above all other odors, as the tuneful one hummed, "Dar am a b'ar," with flagrant unconsciousness.

As an article of diet, Doby lost his interest in rabbit, but as a charm it might prove exciting, so he decided to keep still and "watch and see."

It is one of the results of slavery that the superstitions of the "quarters" creep into the "big house" where the master lives.

Thus it happened that when they came to Ashland, one of those splendid estates which slave labor made possible, in the neighborhood of Lexington, the lucky boy, Doby, who looked red-headed but was not, became one of the important persons invited with the Virginia "gentlemen," the scout "officers," and the Quaker "preachers," by the statesman, Henry Clay, to be his guest at dinner and to view his model house and grounds.

Some of the Virginians had known Henry Clay when, as the barefooted "mill boy" of the "Slashes"—a newly cleared region—he had ridden back and forth in the Old Dominion with grist for his widowed mother, and they now rejoiced in his self-made prosperity. Several of the scouts had worked with him in political changes and they were proud of his positions of[87] trust. Many of the preachers of the "Society of Friends," as the Quakers called themselves, had discussed with the great leader the evils and injustice of slavery; no one knew better than they how hard Henry Clay worked to influence the laws which were intended to help the blacks' condition and which tended toward final emancipation for them.

In the evening, by torch-light on the lawn, darkies played the banjo and danced and sang for the company.

Not one of them equaled the lyric tenor of the wagon-train, so Doby wandered away from the lawn and in curiosity strolled out through the quarters where the slaves lived. All the little whitewashed houses were deserted, for the servants were allowed to look on at all festivities and "minstrel shows." He was turning back when from one of the cabins there came a tiny sound.

Again he heard that never-to-be-forgotten chime of distant silver bells, that low gurgle of exquisite music. He would have known that voice any place. How did the Virginia slave happen to be here and not with the wagons? Why should that note of sadness creep into his sigh? Why was he weeping?

His sobbing rose, so touched with grief, so[88] poignant with despair, that Doby's heart-strings tightened. He could hardly bear to hear it.

Then some motherly creature began to croon, "Da, chil' honey, poo' chil' honey, don' you cry—"

The lyric tenor wailed in broken syllables: "My daddy—he whipped—he die—my mammy—she whipped—she run away. I want my mammy—"

"Da, chil' honey, poo' chil' honey, don' you cry—"

"I want my mammy—I don' want ole Virginny—I don' want this yere—I want my mammy—" The chant was torn with sorrow.

Then came the comforting, "Don' cry, honey," over and over again.

Poor Doby, listening in distressed sympathy, could not in the least make out this black thief of the rabbit foot, whose lilting laughter had turned to such bitter tears.

The boy who had heard both, stole away to hide in one of the wagons and to cry himself to sleep over a trouble he could not understand.

He was ashamed to worry his father or Simon Kenton with further questions about the slaves, who left them next day when the Virginians stopped at their prospective settlement north of Lexington.


With the picturesque and merry blacks went much of the zest of life in the wagon-train, and Doby was glad when the Ohio River came in sight and the journey was at an end.

Busying himself with the luggage behind some hogsheads on the wharf while the wagon-train was loading the ferryboat to cross the river, Doby heard a strange Kentuckian hiss to another in a stage whisper, "How many Quaker women in this company?"

He could not catch the mumbled reply, but the decision of the first Kentuckian, "We will speak to each one of those women and find out," held such menace in its tone that it made the boy uncomfortable.

These women of the Society of Friends, whom Doby had never thought of counting in all the time that he had been with them, had already gone aboard the ferry. Through the long hard trip they had managed to keep their calm appearance of perfect neatness and order in dress and possessions.

Their full gray skirts almost touched the ground. Their clean white kerchiefs were crossed surplice-wise on their gray waists. Snowy inner caps showed at the edges of their gray scoop bonnets. Long gray shawls were folded over their hands clasped primly in front of them.


They looked as much alike as doves in a cote.

It was an adventure for Doby to peer down into the tunnel of one of these bonnets. He never could tell whether he would find a kindly grandmother, an earnest matron, or a blushing maid, in the other end of its cavernous depths.

Why, then, since they were all so much alike outwardly, should these two rough men, who had sprung from the wharf, have reason to speak to any one of them? What difference did it make how many there were of them?

As he went aboard, they all looked as usual to him. Seated on the boxes and bales, they had as much serene dignity as though the noisy boat had been a bench in a silent "meeting-house."

It was plain, as the boat left shore, that the two Kentuckians meant to carry out their plan. Doby, close on their heels, heard them ask the same question of each in turn, "Are you going to Cincinnati?"

If she lifted her head as she gently answered, one man glanced sharply into her bonnet. If she did not look up, the other man stooped and stared into the bonnet. Between them they made sure of a view of every concealed face.

Mr. Holman whispered to Doby, "Sheriff[91] and deputy," and Doby was more confused than ever. What were they hunting for?

He was so curious that he stood closer and closer to them, until one turned upon him with a harsh scowl and bade him "git!"

Baffled, he retreated to the bow, and was about to seat himself on a coil of rope on the up-stream side when he noticed another Quakeress standing behind some tall piles of boxes. She was without a shawl. Her bonnet strings were untied. Her arms were folded and her hands shoved out of sight in her surplice.

She was shaking as with a chill; her whole figure, in spite of its immaculate dress, had a hunched-up and miserable appearance.

Doby started toward her to offer help in case she was ill.

She was peeping round the corner of the pile of boxes and she drew back suddenly as the two officers came toward the bow. Although they had not yet seen her, they were sure to do so. But why should she be afraid of them?

They stepped forward briskly. She started violently and fell headlong into the river.

With a shriek for "Help!" Doby jumped to the rail. In the wild glance that he gave to locate the Quakeress before he dived to her assistance he saw the white soles of two bare[92] feet, two long black legs in frog stroke, a bonnet sinking, a kinky head atop black arms, which came out freely from gray flowing sleeves.

With an expert movement, to make a turn and a neat dive, the figure went under the ferryboat. It was the lyric tenor! Sucked under by the current!

All this Doby noted in one flash, as, too late to check his own impetuous jump to the rescue, he also went into the river.

He swam upward against the current. That much of common sense was left in him, for all the surprise and horror of the darky's dreadful disappearance under the boat where the doomed creature could not rise, and where no one could rescue him.

There was a cry of, "Man overboard!"

Every person on the boat rushed to starboard. In Doby's ears there was great confusion and roaring. On the boat was the same thing. But one tidy Quakeress, without rumpling her surplice, made fast one end of the rope coil to the rail and threw the other end to Doby.

April is not a good month for swimming even in the friendly Ohio. Shirt and breeches of buckskin were very heavy; the chill of the water was unnerving. The current was stronger than he thought, and the nearing shore seemed[93] much farther than it had looked from the deck of the ferry. So he was not too proud of his swimming skill to allow himself to be hauled on board. He was deeply grateful for the line.

There was too much help, Doby thought. His clothes were peeled off, he was rubbed dry, and dressed anew, with some dozen or so men, women, and children taking part in his toilet and the eyes of everybody on him and his unlucky ducking.

With the chill and the shock, his teeth chattered so that he could not tell them about the poor darky, try as he would.

So the two Kentucky officers went ashore, each grumbling to the other about some "miscount." And Doby was hurried to his own flatboat home, standing at the wharf, where a warm welcome and a cozy supper were given to them and their guest, Simon Kenton, by Doby's waiting mother.

Then, and not till then, did Doby's father indulge in laughter long and loud. But Kenton, with a merry twinkle, merely asked, "Tell us, son, how much was on purpose and how much just happened so."

His father added, "You managed to get all the attention of the boat at the time the runaway did not want it for himself."


Doby was still shuddering with horror at the fate of the black, and he was ready to faint as he gasped, "The darky is drownded!"

"Don't think it," cried Mr. Holman. "He swam underwater with the current, came up clear, took a big breath, dived toward the shore, and swam away perfectly safe. I saw him climb into the bushes on shore. He will roll in somebody's hay until his dress is dry; then travel north to-night, watching for the Quakers to pick him up."

"The Society of Friends is working out a regular plan for helpin' runaways that is liable to grow into a big thing one of these days," was Simon Kenton's prophecy.

When the first Quaker who felt a throb of pity for the wretched runaway cowering for mercy at his feet, resolved to be a true Friend to the unfortunate, by defying man's law of property and obeying God's law of mercy, he surveyed in his mind the earliest routes for the underground railway, as he considered to which Friend farther north he should send this fugitive.

The underground railway was never built of wooden cross-ties nor of steel rails. Its right of way was in the hearts of those who guarded the secret paths and the hidden shelters through[95] which the slaves passed to the land of their hopes.

Past the perils of the auction-block, the lash, and the bloodhounds, a vast emigration of blacks were smuggled through Cincinnati—the Cumberland Gap of their race—and, guided by that celestial scout, the north star, won their way to Canada and to freedom.

Doby was vastly relieved about his lyric tenor. Still, he asked, "How will he know which way to go?"

Simon Kenton sang softly,

"He wave hes tail,
Hes sma', wee tail,
At no'th star in de sky."

Then Doby smiled happily, "And he won't mind cold and hunger and he can't be captured while he has such faith in the luck that a boy—almost red-headed—gave him; and he wears in his kinks the left hind foot of a stolen rabbit!"



Edward Eggleston's Favorite Spring at Vevay

A STEAMBOAT'S paddles churned the Ohio backwater as she strove to make a landing at Vevay, coming down.

Everybody on ships and on shore rushed for places to get a view of her. Plainly her name showed on her sides, the New Orleans. A queer little vessel was she. Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steam-engine, had himself designed and built her. She was the second steam craft in the whole wide world, and the first on Western waters.

Several others had been set afloat in the four years since she had made her initial trip, but she was still certain to have a crowd of cheering admirers whenever she chose to show off her great accomplishment of going up-stream against the current.

For two months he had been a river-traveler,[97] and, therefore, Obadiah Holman knew that she could puff away as soon as she cared to do so, no matter if the landlubbers did use hot arguments to prove that, "It stands to reason that she cain't never go ag'in natur'."

The boy hung over the side of his father's flatboat and watched the people who were watching the steamer. "I've seen a lot of towns," thought he, "but never any as quiet as this."

There was something in the changing sky above the misty blue hills, something in the deep water which reflected the sky and the hills, something in the long vistas and the fragrant air, that may have reminded a little band of Swiss colonists of their native mountain-land. They loved this place as soon as they saw it and settled here.

Log cabins were built somewhat like the cottages which the herdsmen of Switzerland set up among the Alps. Tiny chalets they were, and they were perched on the prettiest heights above the river and the valley so that the beauty-loving Swiss might have the finest views.

"Oh, sleepy little town! how enchanting you are!" The boy inhaled the breeze. "It smells delicious." He scanned the acres of good bottom-land between Indian and Plum creeks[98] and took in the terraced hillsides. Everywhere were stakes and trellises. "Ha! Grapes are in bloom. That's what I smell. They are raising grapes."

He eagerly studied out the plan of the vineyards and the fields. It interested him, this art which the Swiss had brought with them to the banks of the Ohio. It would have been even more interesting could he have foreseen that the grape culture begun by John Francis Dufour and his brother John James Dufour in this valley was to spread up and down the river and along the Great Lakes and become one of the sources of the wealth of the Middle West.

His thirsty senses soon discovered a spring on the hillside. Reaching down to the deck, he picked up a light-weight wooden bucket by its woven-willow bail, resolving as soon as the boat docked to run up the hill and get a drink from the spring. The taste of river water was becoming tiresome to him.

"The landing looks like a hay-field," he laughed as the people bobbed about. Every woman and child and nearly every man wore a straw hat, the first ones he had ever seen. Skill in weaving straw was another art introduced by the clever Swiss. In the May sunshine this[99] entirely new style of head-covering suggested comfort. "Take off your 'coonskin, Doby," said the boy to himself. "Its season is over. The Swiss are weaving the left-over straw-stacks into a millinery show."

He examined the faces under the hats. It was easy to pick out the Swiss from among the New England emigrants and the roustabouts of the river. They were more graceful and shorter of stature. Indeed, the Swiss were so compact in physique that the master of the wagon-train who freighted them from their port at Norfolk, Virginia, in 1801, across the Alleghany Mountains to the flatboats at Pittsburg, complained that six and one-quarter cents a hundredweight was not enough money for the women and children who rode, since it took more than one person to make a hundredweight and little people were as much trouble as big ones.

The Swiss used French words. And because the French were always friendly to Indians, the squaws of the region seemed to feel sure of the hospitality of this village. They hung about the Swiss like bees about the grape blooms.

"Beggars, beggars, beggars!" sneered Doby. "They beg for themselves and beg for the pappooses slung up behind them. They beg for[100] their families and beg for the dogs at their heels."

He scowled at our native red race as it filed along below him on the wharf. "They can't be made to work and the Swiss will have to feed 'em or the braves will threaten war." Some idea of ultimate justice stirred in Doby's mind, for he shook his head at a fat pappoose as he reflected: "We have taken their hunting-ground without their leave. They are making us pay for it without our leave."

Moving about with the crowd was one figure more uncouth than the squaws. It was a ragged, blanketed, straw-hatted creature. Doby noticed it. On its feet were mismatched gear, a torn moccasin for the right foot, a broken leather boot for the left. No scarecrow could have worn worse clothes.

As Doby leaned over the edge of the boat and stared, the shapeless thing raised its head and returned the gaze. Then he saw that it was a man, a white man, whose face was sodden with gin and lined with evil; a degraded outcast deported from some Old World prison.

Numbers of such wretches were dumped on Eastern coasts. Few wandered so far inland as Vevay. Doby recoiled from the threatening leer the drunkard threw at him. Instinctively[101] he laid his right hand on the hilt of his stone knife, for he had the same sense of danger approaching that the man has who claps his hand to his sword.

The steamboat was already loading with produce for the up-river trip. Piles of new straw hats were tossed aboard. Skins of grape-juice, protected by straw cratings, were stacked on deck. Firkins of marmalade were handled carefully. Straw boxes of raisins were properly stowed. A few bottles of delicate home-made wine were handed as compliments to the officers of the boat.

Bottles always aroused the thirst of Indians. A bulky squaw threw herself between an officer and the giver of the wine. She demanded "firewater."

"Go along," cried the indignant officer. "This is not firewater. You can't get drunk on this," and he retreated with his present.

The squaw imagined that one long orgy gurgled in that bottle. She snatched it from him and rushed through the groups near by. As she ran she slipped the bottle into the cloth wrappings which held the pappoose on her back. Ducking down among her friends, she came up in another place and stood with her hands folded, looking as innocent as any squaw could.


No one could tell her from the others except the scarecrow whom Doby was watching. With his eyes on Doby's face, he slipped a ready hand about the pappoose and lifted the bottle out. The squaw, whose heart and mind and nerves were all entwined about that one thing, felt it go. She gave a grunt and lunged at the man.

Away he scampered. She pounded after him. There was the cry, "Stop thief!" And the crowd, who had only a vague idea of what it was all about, galloped through the town in his wake.

Still clinging to his bucket, Doby leaped the gap between his boat and the shore and caught up with the others just as the people, now grown angry, had made the man a prisoner. The squaw was also taken in custody. The marshal held the bottle. A dignified gentleman, the only unruffled person in town, was saying in a quiet voice, "Bring them into my house."

Although this gentleman's house was only fourteen feet by twenty, it had, since the beginning of the settlement, been used as a county clerk's office, a post-office, and a court-house. Its owner, John Francis Dufour, had been given most of the town's positions of trust.

The house filled with the principal actors in the play. The mob, who could not see or hear[103] what was happening, stood outside and yelled: "Put 'em in jail! Give 'em the whipping-post!" The Indians stood in sullen rage.

Doby had never seen a mob before. It made him think of Pontius Pilate, and he was filled with worry.

The whipping-post was an old affair. The town was tired of it. It had never done any business. But the jail was new. A court-house—a brick one—and a jail—a log one—had been building through the year. The court-house was not yet finished, but the jail was.

One offender had already been sentenced to the jail. No sooner had he been put in at night than he began to whittle, and in the morning he was gone. Now that they had another captive, civic pride demanded that justice be satisfied in some way. His colonists looked to Dufour to do this for them.

This man was famous for his sturdy common sense and that quality which the early Hoosiers dubbed "gumption."

He immediately sent the harmful bottle of harmless wine back to the unlucky officer, so that the boat might leave port at once. Part of the mob followed the bottle. He turned the squaw over to three other squaws with directions to take her home. Of course the whole[104] tribe trailed along to see this feat accomplished. Thus away went a second dangerous group in quite another direction.

Then Judge Dufour said to the prisoner: "I will bind you over for trial. In default of bail, you must be temporarily incarcerated." Between two citizens sworn in for the purpose the prisoner shuffled past Doby on his way to the jail. He was locked and double locked up. He was a very satisfactory picture of a villain as he glowered through the bars. This dramatic glimpse of a truly bad man satisfied the remnant of the mob. The excitement died down.

But Doby himself was restless. He went to the spring and filled his bucket. It was a good spring and most attractive to boys. For the two famous Vevay brothers, Edward and George Cary Eggleston, who years later wrote delightful stories of this part of Indiana and other histories of their country, found as much fascination and beauty around the hillside springs as Doby did.

Several times during the day he wandered back to the spring. At each one he found himself taking a round-about way past the jail to get another peep at the outlaw. He shuddered till his bucket rattled when he recalled how this[105] criminal had suddenly turned the friendly villagers into a vindictive mob.

After supper he tried to explain his nervousness by saying: "This moonlight gives me fidgets. I guess I'll run up to the spring again and get us all a fresh drink before we go to bed. I'm not a bit sleepy."

"It's rather late for boys to be out," objected his mother.

"It is," agreed his father. "But 'tis such a bright night that I'll sit here and watch you climb. I do not feel sleepy myself."

The open hillside had seemed inviting as Doby viewed it from the boat. As he mounted higher and higher the perspective changed. The sheltering home boat sank in lonesome distance. The shadows of the trellises twisted grotesquely at his feet as if to twine about them. Calls of "whip-poor-will" came mournfully from afar. The May night was turning chill. The solitary path had lost its accustomed look. He began to shiver.

"This isn't as pleasant as I thought 'twould be. I'll get the water and hurry home," he resolved as he knelt at the spring. In the damp loam where the spring dribbled in front of him were the prints of the feet of one who had been there before him. They were fresh and[106] distinct. Born and bred near the frontier and raised to read its signs, he understood the prints at a glance. But he bent nearer in the moonlight to be sure he was not mistaken.

One was of a broken boot sole. The other was a moccasin impression.

There was nothing else.

He did some thinking. "This is odd. A white man wouldn't hop up on one foot to drink. Neither would an Indian. And no one man would wear a moccasin on his right foot and a boot on his left." Oh, wouldn't he? Doby's memory jumped. The scarecrow on the wharf, the prisoner in the jail, had just such feet.

He retreated from the spot as though the culprit himself stood in the tracks. He was not thirsty any more. He told himself in quaking thoughts: "Even if I didn't notice the prints this afternoon, they must have been there. They can't be fresh, 'though they do look so. The man has been in jail for hours."

Perhaps so; but the boy could not drive himself back to the spring. The moonlight only served to make the shadows blacker. They threatened him. He seemed paralyzed where he stood. Nothing was real but the dread that filled him. Even the earth and sky were changing hideously.


From the town came the cry of, "Fire! fire! fire!"

Bells clanged. Women screamed. Dogs howled. Men yelled for "help! help! help!"

A red glare filled the valley. Smoke hid the moon.

"The jail is on fire! The prisoner will burn!"

The whole village was violently astir. Yet Doby could not move. He was frozen.

A series of malicious chuckles, a burst of derisive laughter, wild shouts of defiance echoed along the hillside. And the escaped prisoner—the fire-bug—glad to find some one to vent his fury upon, came plunging toward the boy.

The red eyes, the jagged teeth, the outstretched claws, in movement, broke the spell upon him. He leaped aside to save himself. There was no time to draw his knife. He flipped the empty bucket wrong side up, over the drunkard's head.

Surprised and blinded, the man clutched and tore at the bail under his chin. He had trouble in freeing himself. In that moment of respite Doby flew down-hill like blowing tumbleweed. He sprang into the flatboat and flung up the barricade.

But there was no danger. The prisoner—a[108] prisoner no longer—did not follow. He fled into the wilderness never to return.

John Francis Dufour directed the men in putting out the fire. He promised them another jail in case another bad man came to town. He reassured the women. He cuddled the frightened children. For a second time that day he quieted his village.

Doby, still wide awake, stuck close to the boat and to his father. No more running around at night! He thought these matters over. If one small bottle of mildest wine had set a thousand folks into a turmoil twice within twelve hours, what might not a big jug of genuine "fire-water" have done?

"I have decided," he murmured, when at last he became as quiet and as drowsy as the village of Vevay, "that I'll take my stand with the men who say, 'Down with the demon, RUM!'"



Circuit-riding over the "Buffalo Trace"

ON the flat top of the stump by the log-cabin door was a trencher of soft soap. By its side stood a big gourd dipper of spring water. A wash-trough, made from a five-foot section of oak-tree trunk which had been burnt and scraped through the center to hollow it out like a tub, was closer to the door, almost on its threshold.

This home-made tub was steaming with ten gallons or so of hot water. A hand-woven towel hung over its edge.

Obadiah Holman sat on the rail fence and viewed these articles with disfavor. He did not like the look of things.

It was not his cabin nor his stump. His family were visitors here. They had floated down the Ohio River from Pittsburg to the settlements where the Big Falls stretched across[110] the stream. The rainbow mist above the tumbled beauty of the rapids marked the end of the water road.

Boats could go no farther. So all were being unloaded, and a strong party of emigrants were making up a wagon-train to take the trail across Indiana to the fort at Vincennes.

Settlers in and around the Big Falls were eager to open their cabins to these travelers.

New Albany was built below the Falls on the rich alluvial bottom-land, and, alas! also within reach of the river freshets.

"She reminds me," Doby had thought at first sight of her, "of a pretty girl shaking in her shoes for fear the water will come up and wet her feet. About every other year she gets a soaking. When the river goes down she keeps on shaking with chills 'n' fever from the ague vapors that the floods leave behind. It is the price she has to pay for the big crops the bottom-land gives her."

If Doby ever came to be seized with the dreaded chills 'n' fever—the great scourge of all new countries—the one malady the pioneers were sure to catch from the miasma of newly opened ground, he would never again speak lightly of it.

When two settlers met, the most important[111] greeting was, "Ketched the agur yit?" The dismal head-shaking which the one who had had it gave, struck such apprehension into the heart of the one who had not had it, that he really could not enjoy the perfect health of the moment for the dread of that future hour when "the shakes would git 'im sure."

The circuit-riding preachers who ministered to the souls of these river people carried ample saddle-bags. In those saddle-bags was an endless collection of "yarbs" and powders and bottles, which the preachers carried to comfort the bodies of their hearers.

The pioneer doctor of divinity was "called" to preach, not by the financial head of his congregation, but by the voice of the Lord. He would not accept worldly money for spiritual service. But for the herbs he gathered and brewed and the bitter concoctions he made, he expected to be paid. On the sale of them he lived.

Some emigrants avoided the river. In the beautiful hills above the falls, higher still than Jeffersonville, were tiny hamlets of Old World folk, Irish, Swiss, German, and French, still wearing their native peasant costumes.

All these places gave shelter and staple foods to the emigrants. In return they accepted salt,[112] tobacco, sugar, steel tools, and the small luxuries of the river like packets of mail and newspapers and almanacs.

Doby liked the people. "But whenever we come to a town, then ma begins to wash me," he sighed. "I don't see why. My hands are hardly dirty at all. Brooks are good enough tubs for me. I do not need so much soap. That towel is ma's. I know that towel whatever town I see it in. 'Tis so scratchy that it skins the curlicues in my ears." He eyed the instruments of torture askance.

He had to draw on his stock of courage to prepare himself for the ordeal by thinking, "I do want to go to meeting and I can't go unless I'm washed according to ma's ideas."

So when the call came, "Dob-ee! Dob-ee! Time for a scrub!" he went meekly to the operation.

Red and shining, his hair slicked down stylishly with bear's grease, his best homespun suit on, Doby mounted a borrowed horse to sit behind his mother, and formed one of a company who fared away to the grove where the meeting was held.

His shoes were tied round his waist by a thong. They were ready to put on when he came in sight of the meeting-place. Cobbled[113] shoes of leather were the most expensive luxury a pioneer boy could own. Neither Doby nor any other backwoods fellow would think of wearing them if he could possibly go barefoot or use his moccasins.

He and his mother were following a little procession of neighbors over the very best thoroughfare in all that region, the "Buffalo Trace."

In the spring when the buffalo came up from the South to graze through the summer on Northern plains, the great herds crossed the Ohio River below the Big Falls. There were thousands and thousands of buffalo. It took days and days for the long parade of them to pass the settlements. Their countless hoofs beat out a path wide enough for the largest wagons and hard enough to make a perfect road.

Riding the "Buffalo Trace" was the best of going.

"Although it is a new country and a strange horse, I feel safe on the road to-day," said his mother, "for there is plenty of company. The preacher rides around such a big circle of settlements that he cannot get to any one place very often."

"When he does come," Doby observed, "it is the big event. Everybody goes to hear him.[114] But I don't think there are many folks near us just now. Some have dropped out of sight around the bend and there isn't any one ahead of us."

For a moment the mother was uneasy. The "Trace" between the grim lines of dark forests seemed suddenly a dreary lane. The distant murmur of the Big Falls always trembling in the air was very like a growling beast. She gave the nag a hasty whack and jounced along at livelier gait.

"Now I can see horses ahead of us," began Doby in a loud tone. "But"—and his voice sank to a whisper—"the men are not on them. How odd their motions are! What are they doing?"

The mother stopped their horse as suddenly as she had started it. She backed into some elders and, peeping through the blossoms, she studied the scene so far before them. She decided: "Those four men are up to mischief. I know it—I am perfectly sure of it by the way they act. They are sneaking away from something."

"They haven't seen us, but they are ready to make tracks. See 'em go!" cried Doby, as the men sprang to saddle and fled at a gallop along the "Trace" to the meeting-grounds.


The mother considered a moment. "Such young rowdies like to play pranks on the preacher. They must have been doing something of that kind when we first saw them at the forest edge of bushes. Perhaps they have hidden his Bible. That is one of the things such jokers do. We will follow their tracks into the undergrowth and get his Book back for him."

Doby did not fancy entering that unknown forest where more miscreants might be lurking. But as his mother expected him to hold the flintlock ready for any danger they might meet, there was nothing for him to do but to swallow his doubts and to turn the horse in when they came to the trampled spot.

More boldly than he felt, he peered about as they followed the line of disturbed branches into the heart of the forest.

After a few rods, "O-o-oh!" murmured his mother, "o-o-oh!" with pity and indignation in her tone.

Here was a jest! The best of all frontier tricks! The funniest thing a practical joker could imagine!

In front of them, tied to a tree, was not the preacher's Bible, but the preacher himself, bound and gagged and left alone.

The hour for his sermon was close at hand,[116] yet here he was, silent and helpless, a mile from the meeting. Young huskies of the border considered it a fair game to bait the circuit-riders and to make it as difficult as possible for them to reach their hearers. If one baffled them and arrived at the appointed place on his circuit, they tried to keep him from preaching by all sorts of traps.

Why not? they argued. He was a grown man. Let him take his chances in work and play, just as they did themselves.

Doby leaped from the horse, whipped out his knife, and cut the thongs.

The preacher, as he found himself released, rolled his eyes in a frenzy of excitement and exclaimed: "Behold! I prayed for help, and, lo! an angel of the Lord with his shining sword hath freed me from the bondage of sinners."

The boy blushed awkwardly at the idea of acting the part of an angel. But privately he thought it not too much praise for his cherished knife. "No big, long sword could have done as good a job of snipping loose as this sharp stone knife did," he bragged to himself.

To the mother's words of sympathy and further offers of help the preacher gave no heed. He cared nothing for his bodily hurts, nothing for his humiliation, nothing for himself. "I am a shepherd in the service of my Master. I must go to feed my lambs."



With immense nervous energy, even while they stood staring, he retrieved his horse, which had been stampeded farther into the wood. Then he fixed his rummaged saddle-bags, mounted, and galloped off, singing a hymn so loudly and triumphantly that it echoed in their ears like a battle-call.

"His name is Lorenzo Dow. He is not afraid of man or devil," said the mother, half in praise, half in criticism of this great Methodist preacher. "His manner is strange beyond belief; yet he sways all hearts toward righteousness."

"He is a lively one. They must have sneaked up on him, four to one, to get him," Doby guessed.

Mother and son hurried after him and came to the top of the next hill in time to see him, at a mad run and yelling lustily, charge down upon his late captors as they crossed the valley.

The huskies were taken all aback. There was something of witchcraft in the way their prisoner appeared before them. Their minds were too slow to form a plan to stop him. He whirled past them like a storm, went over the next hill, and straightway was in the grove.

Doby and his mother were among the many[118] to see the spare figure of the circuit-riding preacher mount a stump in the grove and in ringing tones proclaim the Church militant.

It was that perfect thing which comes in the easy times after corn-planting, a May day of sunshine and balmy airs.

Boards for seats had been carried from a barn close by and people sat under the new leaves within scent of the wild honeysuckle. Later in the dry summer season these outdoor meetings would become camp-meetings of a sort which lasted for a week at a time. Whole families would bring enough household gear and food and shelter to enable them to live on the spot for that length of time.

Church and prayer meetings would be going day and night under pressure of religious revival. To-day was to be a foretaste of the form of worship the summer-time was sure to bring.

Madcap young pioneers had ridden miles for the sake of a little excitement. They meant to make the preacher furnish them with a wrestling-match as well as a sermon.

Older citizens tried to prevent what seemed to them a sacrilegious brawl. They were outnumbered by the mischief-makers.

Women hid in the barn and peeped through[119] the cracks. "No place for females 'til the tussle is over," quoth the men.

Doby hastily put on his almost forgotten shoes. If there was a fight he wanted to see it. Nobody knew better than he did what a poor place for bare toes a crowd of booted men can be.

The rowdy leader pulled off his 'coonskin cap and grinned at the Methodist. "I learned one lesson from ye in the woods and on the road to-day; in wits ye are smarter than I be. In muscle I kin down ye. Right here on the buffaler waller I kin force ye to a fall."

Lorenzo Dow threw off his shad-bellied coat and his stock, girded up his breeches, stepped into the smooth, hard ring of earth made by wallowing buffaloes, and stood grimly ready for the attack.

Perhaps he was glad to fight. If he won, the news would fly as though the bees had carried it. His cause would then win honor from a successful bout and men would flock to the standard of a Church unafraid. If he lost, he became a sufferer with the martyrs. And for whom do more friends rise up than for the persecuted?

So he welcomed action. He would do anything and bear anything which brought him[120] and his message before the stripling who so much needed the life of the Spirit. He seemed a gallant figure struggling against huge odds.

But he was not so much to be pitied as Doby thought. For he was only forty—not nearly so old as his adventurous life on two continents had made him look. And from constant hard riding over bad roads every muscle in him had taken on the spring of oak.

To wrestle in prayer for his people, to wrestle in set-to for his Church, both were part of his day's work. He went at both with all his might.

Amid wild cheers and wilder cries from the folks about them the wrestler and the preacher clinched. They strained—slipped—pulled—stamped—puffed—tore—in a cruel embrace.

Once the preacher's shoulders touched the dusty mat of the wallow. How the huskies yelled! How the hidden women wailed!

Another struggle followed, more terrific and of longer duration. Doby clapped for the preacher and shrieked and jumped about and enjoyed himself disgracefully. Then before the gaping crowd the sweating, desperate preacher tried a new grapple which he had learned in England. Under the strain of this unexpected hold the confident youth could not use all of his brawn to save himself. He went down—once[121] —twice—three times. There he was; so pinned that he could not rise.

"'Nough?" shouted the onlookers.

"'Nough," groaned the rowdy.

Then the victor, all tousled, stood again upon the stump, his hand on the shoulder of the vanquished. In the silence which followed their discovery of his prowess he began a funny story. At its quips the audience burst into gales of laughter. He told another funny one, and then another, with uproarious results.

Doby listened to every word, yet he could not tell how it happened that presently the voice of Dow, rich and magnetic, held them all entranced. He went from merriment to pathos. The men drew nearer. The women stole out from the barn and joined his audience. Soon under his kind and searching words the throng grew still. These simple folks were touched to the heart. The preacher, now sure of their attention, rose to inspired heights of oratory. He called and held them at his will.

He denounced their sins. They wept over their misdoings. They gave way to hysterical wailings. They cowered on the ground in their remorse and shook with the excitement in spasms called "jerks."

He promised forgiveness to those who truly[122] repented. Over his pictures of a better life they shouted aloud with joy. He gathered them into his Father's fold like hungry lambs and fed them with His Word.

This was Doby's first plunge into the great wave of religious frenzy which was sweeping over the whole country, leaving some extravagances, but much lasting good behind it.

As the borrowed horse plodded on the homeward "Trace" and the Big Falls resounded like a blessing in their ears, Doby, whose face now shone with something brighter than soft soap and water, said to his mother in a tone of high resolve: "I'm a-goin' to mind that preacher. I'm a-goin' to keep the soul inside of me just as clean as clean can be!"



The Building of a Mid-Western State

A MAN sat on a horse. A boy hung on behind the man. And the horse jounced along the trail toward the stone State House at Corydon.

Corydon was near the center of population in Indiana, and for that reason had been made the capital.

Two months before this, in April, 1816, James Madison, President of the United States, had signed an Enabling Act which allowed the people of Indiana Territory to vote for delegates to represent them in writing out a State constitution and in arranging a form of State government.

The delegates had been selected at a popular election. And now, every morning in this fine June weather, they were meeting at the very new State House—that proud stone house—in[124] constitutional convention for the yet newer State, at the sound of the newest possible bell.

Obadiah Holman settled himself on the sharp bones of the old nag's back and said to his father: "Don't you suppose, pa, that it would be a good plan for us to settle in this new State? We are helping with the constitution all we can, and it makes me feel just as though I wanted to be a Hoosier!"

The emigrant-train which was bearing the Holmans' fortunes had left the "river beautiful" far behind and was following a trail "blazed" through a land even more charming than the water path had been.

A big canvas-covered wagon had taken the place of the flatboat. Two oxen tugged the wagon. A horse and a cow ambled behind it. Buckets and tools swung rattling under the bed, clothing dangled at the sides. On the tailgate was spread, three times a day, the jolly good meals that pioneer mothers knew how to cook.

The wagons of the train, all very much alike, kept close together, one behind the other, through the shadowy, sweet-smelling forest. The men walked beside the animals, viewing the land with the inquiring eyes of prospective settlers in this happy Hoosier State where even[125] the Indians and wild beasts were less dangerous than elsewhere.

The train had stopped short at Corydon and gone into camp by the wayside, because the men who formed it wanted to stay through the convention and see what happened. As builders of the new West, they wanted to take lessons from these sturdy Hoosiers who were so seriously bent on making Indiana a good State.

"You see, Doby," explained Mr. Holman, "the reason they discuss questions day after day is because they want to find the very best legal provisions that will give the new State civil and religious liberty, protect the rights of every class, help free education, forbid slavery, take care of the poor, keep down rum, and punish lawbreakers."

At the word "lawbreakers" Doby thought of his own troubles in connection with Corydon and the convention, and he began to snuffle audibly.

"Don't cry," said his father, kindly; "this business of an arrest and a trial is not your fault."

The son dried his eyes by rubbing them across the ringed tail which dangled in front of him from the 'coonskin cap on his father's head, as the horse tried to trot.


Doby did not own a handkerchief. Few pioneer boys did. When he wanted a rag to clean a gun, or to scrub a rabbit-trap, or to bind a wounded knee, or to do any of the things a boy needs a handkerchief for, he had to tear a piece from his homespun shirt or use some other substitute.

At this moment the 'coon's tail was the handy thing.

"I'm not cry—cry—cry—ing," he choked. "I'm just thinking how sor—sor—sor—ry I am because it is my knife that makes the trial—be—cause—cause the cobbler's son is such a bad boy that he had to be arrested."

Now the cobbler was a hunched-back dwarf who went from one settler's homestead to another, making shoes for each family. He was a useful guest in the cabins. Everybody liked him. He was as honest as honest could be. But the cobbler's son—a hulking fellow—"took after" his "ma's folks" and was "light-fingered."

The homely treasures of the wagon-train had tempted him. While following his father around he had looted it of small trinkets.

For his father's sake, Corydon had already forgiven him much petty thieving among his townspeople; but when he robbed the town's guests under the assembled eyes of the greatest[127] lawyers in the whole region it seemed like a defiance of the new State, and of the convention and of the constitution as well.

So it was resolved to make an example of this unruly citizen; to arrest, try, and punish him by a due process of law during a recess of the convention.

And Doby, because his knife was the most important thing stolen, was the chief witness against him.

To change the unhappy current of the boy's thoughts, his father said: "It will be hot in the State House to-day. I hope they will move the session out of doors under that big elm close by. They have talked of doing that as a matter of comfort," and Mr. Holman fanned himself with his fur cap.

"To-day they are doing it," Doby declared as they came in sight of the giant elm with its spread of some hundred and fifty feet of grateful shade.

There the delegates were sitting on chairs, boxes, boards, and stumps, and going on most comfortably with the work in hand. And there Doby, pressed into service for the refreshment of the convention, bore a bucket of spring water and a gourd, from one distinguished politician to another, serving the ones who[128] wanted a drink, and looking into their strong faces, listening to their debates, and watching for the important decisions.

These delegates had come together from all parts of the new State. And since there were no turnpikes nor plank roads nor canals any place in the State, some were splattered with the mire of swampy valleys, some were dusty from the windy hilltops, some were in worn hunting garb, and some had on their farming clothes of homespun. Others had been able to pick their way over better trails and by a process of seeming magic were able to bloom out all "dressed up" for the occasion.

Such lucky ones wore blue-cloth coats with brass buttons and long tails, buff "small clothes" which were something like a boy's "short pants," fine white ruffled linen shirts with "stocks," hand-knitted silk stockings, low shoes, huge beaver hats, and although it was beginning to go out of fashion, those who had "fine heads of hair" wore a queue much beribboned. Also they carried immense canes. They flourished gold watches almost as large and nearly as noisy as alarm-clocks.

Each expected to be addressed as "squire." And every one of them was so called; and with the greatest respect, too, since nearly every one[129] of them had earned this title. But then, the plainly clothed delegates were also called "squire," and for the same reason—they had earned it; and the Hoosiers were quick to give honestly deserved honors.

Yet the men in "smart" attire were exactly like the ones in every-day garments in this one thing—they were bent on doing their work on the constitution the way it ought to be done. It was a sacred trust to them.

For this constitution of the State had to lay down the principles which all future laws were to follow. It outlined the different departments and decided upon the duties of each one. In a system of representative government there must be a legislative department composed of men elected to make the laws, an executive department having control of troops and police officers whose business it is to enforce the laws, and a judicial department made up of courts which are meant to secure justice for all persons under the laws.

Then there must be State officers. Doby counted them on his fingers to be sure that he remembered them, for he was in a hurry to grow up and vote. And after he had watched these delegates take such pains with the constitution, he made up his mind that he should[130] always vote for the best man and keep an eye on him to see that he carried out his oath of office.

On his right hand were, after the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor: Thumb—Secretary of State, who puts the big seal on papers; forefinger—Auditor of State, who keeps the accounts; middle finger—Treasurer of State, who takes care of the money; ring finger—Attorney-General, who is lawyer for the Commonwealth; little finger—Geologist, who knows where the good farm-lands are.

On his left hand were: Superintendent of State Schools; Librarian of State Books; clerk of Supreme Court, who keeps records; clerk of decisions, who publishes them; and a statistician whose official name Doby could not pronounce, but whom he regarded as the wisest man of all since his head was full of figures on every possible subject and he could tell any number, from millions down to one-seventeenth of one-nineteenth per cent. of any articles that could be counted.

Besides these, there were enough boards and committees and various minor offices to have numbered all his toes.

Late in the afternoon the convention adjourned. Court sat. The case of the cobbler's[131] son was called. A stump was spread with the tools of the law. There was a big family Bible for taking the oath, a gourd of home-made poke-berry ink, goose-quills for pens, and a rare sheet or two of paper.

At one side was a magpie nest of small, shining articles—silver spoons and thimbles, gold beads and pewter cups, some pipes and a snuffer. Brave among them was a knife in a "Long Hunter's" sheath—Doby's knife.

How the boy did gloat over that knife!

But he had to let it lie and go to take his place on a log with the other witnesses.

"'Tis far and away the best thing there," thought he as the clerk of the court picked up the leather sheath, took out the curious stone knife, examined it with interest, tried its edge, and then began to sharpen a goose-quill pen-point with it. "I'll keep an eye on it," the nervous owner decided.

A bailiff drummed on the log with a stone until Doby had to shake his ears as though he had been in swimming. This stone gavel called the court to order. A curious crowd of country people, of townspeople, and of delegates gathered under the elm.

Jonathan Jennings, president of the constitutional convention, afterward first Governor[132] of Indiana, and a member of Congress, acting as local or associate judge, sat upon the bench, which in this case was a sturdy, literal bench, it having been borrowed from under the tubs in a neighbor's wash-house.

William Hendricks, afterward third Governor of Indiana and later Senator from Indiana, who was secretary of the convention, became clerk of this local court, by appointment, pro tem.

Both of these empire-builders gave to the case of Doby's old knife the same formal attention that the cause of justice should always command even in the smallest courts.

Jonathan Jennings was young, not much over thirty, and as rosy and blond as Doby himself. His manner was grave and kind as he said: "The court is ready to try the case of the State of Indiana versus Jerry Cobbler. Is the State ready?"

Answer: "It is."

"Is the defendant ready?"

Answer: "He is."

"Then let the case proceed."

The genial clerk, Hendricks, for many years probably the most popular man in Indiana, began, "If it please your Honor, I shall read the information." And then went on to do so, rolling off big words in a sonorous voice, declar[133]ing that "'the aforesaid Jerry Cobbler, in the State of Indiana, on the twenty-fifth day of June, 1816, at the town of Corydon, did then and there take and carry away a certain stone knife, said stone knife being then and there the personal goods of one Obadiah Holman, with the felonious intent then and there to deprive the said Obadiah Holman thereof, against the peace and dignity of the State of Indiana.'"

"Guilty or not guilty?"

"Not guilty."

Thereupon the witnesses were sworn to testify to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

All eyes turned on Doby. He was seized by bashfulness and by the bailiff. Between the two he went through his examination with small credit to himself. He was glad to get back to his seat. He listened to the other witnesses, then to the counsel for the defense, and then to the prosecutor again. It was hard for him to follow the arraignment and the defendant's plea.

"I can see the tracks of a badger better than I can the steps of the law. What's the use of all this talk?" he thought. "Everybody knows that Jerry stole the stuff even if he did say[134] 'Not guilty.' They ought to take it from him, hand it to the owners, give him a lickin' and get back home to supper."

The written law of a State requires that a trial by judge shall go through a certain legal form; the unwritten law of the people of a State demands that a trial shall be dramatic and entertaining. Only thus can the people's power and the force of their justice be shown to them as upon a stage. So this trial had followed the usual course.

The clerk had read the information. The prosecutor had made his accusation. Counsel for defense stood with the prisoner. Witnesses had testified against and for him. Upon the evidence, the judge decided the case in accordance with the law in the matter.

The verdict was against the cobbler's son. He was the thief beyond doubt and he was pronounced "Guilty!"

Then came the sentence.

"You must pay a fine of twelve and one-half cents," decided the judge.

"'Ain't got 'n' money," answered the prisoner.

"Perhaps your friends can pay it for you," suggested his attorney.

"'Ain't got 'n' friends," said the prisoner, with perfect truth.


"The cobbler has friends," murmured the crowd.

Alas! Most of the cobbler's friends were as poor as himself. Those who were well-to-do did not like to part with real money for so undeserving a cause. In those days when most debts were paid by produce and business was done by barter, twelve and a half cents was no small sum. No one offered to pay the fine.

Then Judge Jennings said, "According to the law, if you cannot pay the fine, you must go to jail."

Whereupon the guilty one drawled, "'Ain't got 'n' jail." This also was true.

The one building in town which had a few times been officially dubbed a jail, was now, in the stress of the emergency of a crowded convention time, turned into a temporary boardinghouse. In other words, the jail was full of statesmen!

There was no room in it for Jerry.

The crowd stirred. Some showed pride in this state of affairs; some were plainly disgusted; others amused. Doby didn't know what to think.

Then said the judge to Jerry, "I may release you on your own cognizance."


"'Ain't got 'n' cone-ans," objected the stupid Jerry.

The judge explained: "That means the sentence is suspended. You may be a free man as long as you do not steal any more."

Then the judge gave to his audience a short lecture on honest citizenship and loyalty to the new State. It was so simple that Doby understood its every word, and so earnest that it brought the ready tears to his eyes as he stood close beside the judge, looking up at him.

The court adjourned. Day was closing. Victims of the robberies hastened to prove their properties. They must get back to the wagons by milking-time.

The trial was over. Every one was satisfied—except Doby.

"Don't cry," said his father, impatiently this time, to the boy behind him on the homeward-bound horse.

"I want my knife!" wailed Doby.

His father pulled up short. "We have taken up hours of valuable time! We have stopped the making of a State to get it for you! What more do you want?"


"Hav'n't you got your knife?"



"Who has it?" demanded his father.

"He has," stuttered Doby. "He has. He will come past this cross-trail in a few minutes. He said he was going home this way. Can't we wait and ask him for it?"

"Who?" cried his father. "Ask whom?"

"Him," gulped Doby. "Him. I don't want anybody to arrest him. I love him."

Bewildered, Mr. Holman stared. "What do you mean?"

Doby swallowed hard. He began again: "The clerk picked up my knife and sharpened a goose-quill into a pen-point. Then he gave the knife to the judge. The judge cut a pen for himself. Then he put the knife in his pocket while he was talking to the clerk. My knife is—in—the judge's—pocket—this—minute!"

Mr. Holman protested: "But, Doby, you went to the judge and asked him for it. I saw you do that."

"Yes, I told him to please give me what he had in his pocket. And he put his hand in his pocket to get it for me as he was telling me not to feel so sorry about the trial. He said I must not cry about it. Then he pulled his handkerchief instead of my knife from his pocket, and he wiped my eyes and he gave me the handkerchief, and he patted me on the head and went[138] away—" Here poor Doby broke down completely and used the Jennings linen freely.

Mr. Holman was greatly amused to find that the absent-minded judge had given the boy the handkerchief which was needed in place of the knife which was wanted.

How heartily the people's idol—the adored Jonathan Jennings—the great man of the convention—would laugh at his own mistake! How quickly he would "trade back" the knife for the handkerchief, and how happily Doby's tears over the loss of his property would be changed to smiles over its recovery!

The chuckling father and the weeping son reined up beside the trail.

Mr. Holman said to Doby: "I can see the judge coming now. We will stop him. You must speak to him yourself. It will please his sense of justice to have you demand reparation because you feel sure of his kindness. When he gives you the knife he will give you his affection with it. He will be your friend for life."



The Carving of a Great Name

"I WONDER who that other boy is," and Obadiah Holman stared at a slim little fellow, dark and serious-looking, who was having hard work to keep step with his long-legged father.

A group of men and boys were trudging through the big woods in Spencer County, Indiana.

Several movers from Kentucky had fallen in with the wagon-train of emigrants to which the Holman boy's father belonged, and together the men of both companies were looking over a section of land.

"Out of breath, Doby?" asked Mr. Holman.

Doby was out of breath, so he nodded.

His father suggested: "You boys had better sit down on a log and wait 'til we go to the crown of the hill and back. It is more than a mile and the walking is rough."

Most of the home-seekers were pleased with[140] this place. It offered them the finest of soil. The hardwood trees were splendid. The springs were pure. Every tumbling brook suggested water-power to turn their mills. There were few dangerous beasts and no unfriendly Indians.

Wild fruits and berries and nuts, something delicious to eat for almost every month in the year, were growing on the hillsides. Game was plentiful. The climate was mild. The soil was fertile and very deep.

The father of the little boy said: "The titles to the lands in this State are made out by honest officials. That is a very important matter."

All the men wagged their heads over the misfortunes of settlers who were careless about securing the proper officers to record their farms. Hundreds of early homes were lost through legal mistakes.

"If a settler once takes up his land and pays for it, Indiana protects his right to the homestead he has earned," Mr. Holman agreed. But he made this strong objection to the site. "I'm not over-fond of chopping down whole forests of stout oaks, nor of burning them. I'd rather get a section where Nature has done some of the clearing."

The father of the little boy, who was also dark and serious-looking, considered the spot[141] an ideal one. He said: "I do not mind the work of felling trees. My wife loves the woods. She would be safe and happy here. I want to get her away from the Indian war-paths and the panther region. I could build a half-face cabin here and bring my family this fall. We could be comfortable all winter in a snug camp. By spring I'd have a clearing made."

"Land can be bought for about two dollars and a half an acre; one third down, one third next year, and the last third the next," Mr. Holman told him.

He answered, "Another fine thing about this State is the provision for school land in every township." He smiled. "I like that plan. Schools bring the better class of folks. They make a neighborhood intelligent. Until a schoolhouse can be built in this township, lessons are being taught in one of the cabins, I've heard. We are invited to a spelling-match there to-night. Everybody is," and he looked whimsically at his small son and smiled.

The little boy returned the smile with a sudden lightening of his serious childish face, and watched his father with happy eyes as the tall figure strode away with the other men.

Then the two boys on the log edged nearer[142] and nearer to each other. Doby was thinking of the stranger: "He is tall, but I don't believe he is more than eight years old. I'd just as soon play with a nice small chap if there are no big fellows around." So he grinned cheerfully at his companion.

Shyly the little boy moved closer yet.

"It will be easy to like him," Doby decided. "He is so friendly."

Doby could not think of anything to say. He pulled out his stone knife and fell to carving his initials on the beech log.

The little boy gazed at Doby's queer knife. (Boys always noticed that knife. It was the owner's letter of introduction to all chance acquaintances.) Then he opened his own shabby pocket-knife and neatly cut the date—1816—below the bold O H.

Then Doby promptly cut all the figures 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-0 below the date.

The little boy valiantly accepted the challenge and started to make the whole alphabet in capitals. This was a big task, but he slashed away at it and finally the letters stood in proper order. He had not missed one. He glowed with interest in his work.

"Just like he had a lighted candle inside of him," thought Doby, full of admiration for the[143] youthful student. "I'll have to take the dare." So he followed, rather laboriously, with the curlicued small letters. This took a long time. They, too, were correct. Upon this, both boys broke into satisfied laughter and began to talk.

"Do you know how to spell?" asked Doby.

"Every word in my book," answered the little boy, "beginning at the front or beginning at the back, I can spell 'em all." Then he added, honestly: "I can't always remember the order the big words come in. Page twelve is the hard page. My mother drills me on that page every day."

Now they were friends! Doby knew in a flash how the little boy lived and how he thought. He exclaimed, "That is the way my mother does!" And the two boys, one from New England, one from Kentucky, because their mothers were alike, could look into each other's heart with perfect understanding.

Doby said: "The last page in my speller is the hard one. Every day ma teaches me those words and every night I forget 'em."

The little boy pursed his mouth and shook his head as one who had also gone through this troublesome forgetting. "I can read Æsop's fables," he said.

"I have a New England primer," began Doby, painstakingly quoting from its title-page:


New England Primer
For the more easy attaining the true
Reading of English
To which is added,
The Assembly of Divines,
and Mr. Cotton's
Boston: Printed and Sold by
S. Adams, in Queen-street. 1762.

Have you got one?"

The little boy shook his head.

"You ought to have," was Doby's dogmatic decision, "because for ever so many years it has been the most important lesson-book for schools and families. A million boys have studied it and another million grown folks have bought it, and there have been another million besides those."

The little boy was much impressed by these large numbers which Doby knew were true.

"It says:

"Thy life to mend
This Book attend;


An idle Fool
Is whipt at school;


My Book and Heart
Shall never part.


"If I had a fresh-cut pine slab, I could show you how some of it is printed. A slab is a nice slate to scratch verses on—"

The little boy interrupted with this discovery of his own: "Our big wooden shovel is thick. I write on it with a burnt stick. When it is all covered with words, I whittle the writing off in thin shavings. Then I write on the clean wood again."

"That's a bright idea," praised Doby. "I'll try it some time." He carved on the beech:

Zaccheus he
did climb the Tree,
his Lord to see.

The little boy examined it, doubtfully. "Is that poetry?" he asked.

"Yes, indeed," affirmed Doby, pointing out the rhymes. "And that bunch of wavy lines at the bottom are the sycamore-tree that he climbed—in the Bible story, you know."

The little boy did know the Bible story. He showed plainly that he was a friend and acquaintance of the famous Zaccheus. But his eyes traveled from Doby's copy of the primer's illustration to a living sycamore down by the brook and the doubt in them deepened.

Doby hastened to explain: "That's what[146] they call art. I have noticed that poetry and art are sometimes different from the way we might expect them to be. We can't always understand them."

Oh, boys of long ago!

Oh, queer old rhymes and drawings!

If Doby could have rolled over giggling on the log and tried to sing Riley's song of the "Raggedy Man and 'Lisabuth Ann," or if the little Kentuckian could have stuck up his hair in pretended fright, made his eyes round and scary, and begun to recite,

An' gobble'uns 'll git you
Ef you

how easily they might have understood such poetry and what fun they might have had!

Or if they could have seen the art of Adams, or Stark, or Steele, or Bundy, whose canvases hold sycamores with mottled bark glistening in the sunshine, broad leaves rustling in the breeze, white roots wading in the creek, the very buttons a-dance with joy, they would have wanted, as every boy does nowadays, to straightway try to climb them!

"Spelling—well—spelling has to be exactly[147] right or it won't do at all," announced Doby, returning to a safe subject.

At this the little boy brightened. He could understand spelling.

As the men returned and the group began to separate, the little boy said to Doby, "I hav'n't any candle to bring to help light the cabin for the spelling-match to-night."

"Come anyway," urged Doby. "Ma and pa and I are going. We hav'n't any candles to take. Plenty of other people will bring them."

But strangely enough, not one of those who gathered at the friendly settler's cabin after chore-time had remembered to bring the promised candles.

The settler's wife was the schoolma'am. Besides teaching lessons to other people's boys and girls, and mothering her own eight children, and helping her husband, she was a gardener, a florist, a beekeeper, and a chicken-fancier. She was a spinner, a weaver, a seamstress, a milliner, a tanner, a laundress, a dairy-maid, a cook, and a general "handy man."

In attending to the demands of these various trades she had temporarily left out candle-making. She had trusted to her neighbors to help, and they had failed her.

The first ordinance for the rule of the North[148]west Territory had said that, "religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to a good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged."

The laws of the new State of Indiana said the same thing. When a county was surveyed by the government's orders, it was divided into townships, each containing six square miles, or "sections," numbered from one up to thirty-six. Lot 16 in each township was reserved for school purposes.

Until the near-by settlers could build a schoolhouse on this land, the children of that neighborhood had to be taught in their own homes, or the homes of some one of them. If money couldn't be raised to pay a teacher, the pioneer youngsters had to memorize their letters, had to learn to spell and to read the story of Noah and his ark, from fathers, mothers, and circuit-riding preachers.

The hearth of the settler's cabin became the altar where parents struggled to keep alive the flame of desire for better things, until the schoolhouse could be built. To them the little log temple on Lot 16 meant the hope of progress.

Such women as this teacher-mother were not[149] to be dismayed by a small failure like the absence of candles to light her way.

How could she "give out" words with nothing but moonlight to show her the printed page?

Doby was watching her. He was fond of sociability, and any party, 'specially a spelling-party, is better if it can be seen.

Was there any way in which a boy could help her?

He grasped his new friend, the little boy from Kentucky. He whispered excitedly to him. The little boy, timid at first, soon entered into Doby's plan. Together they sidled up to her and secretly got her ear.

She was interested and pleased. She praised their scheme. "Bright as a button," she considered it.

In the settler's dooryard, with the full July moon shining down upon them, the guests formed two opposing lines of a dozen or so of people on each "side," and made ready for the spelling-match.

'Twas "light as day" they all declared; an idle hour for a bit of fun after a hard day's work.

In the deep shadow of the door-jamb, where no one could see him, stood the little boy from Kentucky. When it was time to begin he shut[150] his eyes and, forgetting everything else, he looked into the book of his trained memory.

Beginning at top of the left-hand column on page one, he pronounced aloud, in a firm childish treble, all the words, one after another, in that column.

The two lines, or "sides," of guests, as they had been "chosen up" by their leaders, "took turns," one person at a time, in spelling the words as the little boy gave them out.

The schoolma'am acted as judge. She decided, "C'rect," if the speller got his word right. "Next," she called, if the wrong letters were used.

Beginning at the second column, the little boy pronounced its words in the same way; then he took the third column; then the fourth. The ones who missed the words he gave were "spelled down" and had to take their seats. Slowly the stools and stumps in the yard filled with faulty scholars.

The little boy's thoughts turned the leaf with as much certainty as though he held a printed book in his hand. He began again on page two at the upper left-hand column and went down it; began on column two and finished that; began on column three—how easy it was!

How often and often and often had he and[151] his mother gone over and over these same old words, laughing because he could spell them with the book upside down or with the book shut!

Wouldn't she be happy when he told her how useful a thing her teachings had proved to be! Her love and her pride inspired him to do his best. And wasn't he glad that his father was sitting on the door-step, ready to encourage him if he got scared!

He kept on pronouncing. Page three went blithely for him and so did page four. Then came five—six—seven; word after word column after column.

The boy stood to it bravely, but the spellers were giving out. Three went down on "phthis-icky" and four on "Ticdouloureux."

Those who remained sharpened their wits and went at the words as though they were splitting rails.

Page after page they conquered. But "asafœtida" was too much for them. Even the schoolma'am wanted two f's in it. She found it hard to give one of them up at the command of a little boy. But he was positive on the subject of one f and the crowd stood with him through perfect faith in his ultimatum. She took her seat. At this the match was over. Every one was spelled down.


The sole survivor was the little boy from Kentucky, who stole away with Doby. He did not stay for the praise the spellers wanted to give him.

Doby thought, "I s'pose he will be all puffed up about himself."

But it was a humble little boy who confessed to Doby: "When I got to page twelve, I couldn't remember—just could not remember what comes after 'potentialities' and 'incomprehensibility' except 'asafœtida.' If they had spelled that word—that 'asafœtida'—I could not have told them the next word. I did not know what it was."

Doby was appalled, as well he might be, by this narrow escape. What if they had failed? That their plan had ended fortunately moved him to say, earnestly: "I like you. I am going to give you my New England primer to remember me by. It's got pictures in it. I don't need it any more. I'll put my name on the back cover, then you can always see who gave it to you. The schoolma'am loaned me this lead on purpose so we can do good printing." And he set down primly the letters, OBADIAH HOLMAN.

"Now," he continued, passing over the lead, "you can have your name in the front to show that it is your book."


Smiling happily at the giver and the gift, the little boy from Kentucky, who was soon to become a Hoosier, carefully wrote his name. Doby, straining his eyes in the moonlight, looked over his shoulder and read the words, ABRAHAM LINCOLN.



A Wagon-train Besieged by Fire and Wolves

"SMOKE!" cried Obadiah Holman. "Smoke!" The men of the wagon-train drew together anxiously. They, too, had smelled smoke. But no one of them had wanted to say so.

Now they all agreed, "Yes, Doby," and nodded. Their eyes were on the horizon.

It was near the end of a hot day in July and quite time to go into camp for the night.

The marsh-grass bottoms of a network of creeks had so withered in a long "dry spell," that their green plants had become like tinder. The emigrants were afraid to stop or to make supper fires in such a dangerous spot.

One spark might set the whole wide bottom ablaze.

No wonder then that they moved along as rapidly as they could and gazed at one another[155] in quick alarm at the coming of an acrid current of air.

While they debated what to do the breeze increased. Smoke-clouds tumbled in the northwest. A droning like the hum of distant bees came to their ears.

"Doby, help the men to start fires to the south of us in the path of the wind," cried his father, as part of the folks of the train ran forward to light the grass. The only defense they could muster was their plan to fight fire with fire.

It flamed up. The wicked little tongues noisily licked the ground brown and bare as the now strong wind blew the flames away from the wagons.

Other men were violently busy trying to hurry on to this barren ground the oxen who pulled the wagons, and the horses and cows which followed them.

The ashes were hot to their feet, stifling to their nostrils. The utmost urging was necessary to force them over the burned acres.

Women and children ran along, screaming with fear and constantly stopping to beat one another's garments where the embers had ignited them.

The wagons and their utensils rattled and[156] banged. Cattle lowed. Horses neighed. Men struggled to keep up a semblance of order and to control the animals.

"Whenever there is a panic I must try to keep sensible," thought Doby as he helped steadily at the teams where he was most needed.

From the north they could now see the awful wall of red and black rushing after them as they fled.

In the bedlam of the burned district, between the two great blazing waves, they hung to their animals, covering them and their own bodies with woolen blankets and skirts and coats. They endured with fortitude what they could not remedy.

Doby sat on the yoke between his oxen, for his moccasined feet could not bear the smoldering ground. He tried to quiet the beasts as he listened to the cries of birds above him and the plaints of small, scurrying creatures of the thickets. Deer and wild pigs galloped past without noticing the wagon-train, so wildly were they driven by fear of the coming fire.

The emigrants had managed to get many rods into their charred oasis. In the midst of their suspense the fire which was coming toward them met the district that had already burned, and died down suddenly for lack of fuel. The[157] blaze running from them had leaped into a triangle between two flowing creeks and quenched itself.

The woods on the bluffs had not caught. The danger had passed as quickly as it had come. In the sooty, half-strangled train no serious harm was done.

After a scrambled supper where they stood, most of the emigrants sank to exhausted sleep under doubled sentries. But wakeful Doby sat on a tail-gate and viewed the smoking, blackened landscape with misery in his heart.

He shut his eyes and tried to dream of his future home in Vincennes, to cheer himself with pictures of his favorite heroes. There was the gallant Spaniard, Francis Vigo, in doublet and high boots, in plumed hat and sword, with his following of half-wild "voyageurs" and traders at his heels. There was Father Gibault, the French Jesuit, in black cassock and cap, rallying his willing parishioners to their country's defense. Best of all, there was George Rogers Clark, the frontiersman, in buckskin, whose trained army of fighting patriots inspired both of the other leaders to the conquest of Vincennes and the saving of the Northwest Territory to the Union of States.

These pictures of his imagination would not[158] stay with him. There was too much smoke in his eyes and too many blisters on his feet, so he gave himself up to woe and sighed aloud. He did not know that the sons of the early settlers must always be a bold and fearless lot. Such facts about himself had never reached him.

His conscience—that little candle of his soul—was burning low. He tried to resolve to forget his troubles and to show a cheerful face to the wagon-train, but his better thoughts ended in another groan.

The dismal sound was echoed from the wagon-wheels beneath him. He could not believe his ears, for this was not an echoing place. He was silenced by surprise, but the echo continued. It crept toward the tail-gate—a sobbing breath—and a clumsy little animal fell at his feet.

"Oh!" cried Doby. "Oh, you poor puppy! Where did you come from?"

He picked up the mangled and bony brute. At first it fought him off as though whatever perils had brought it to this wretched plight had made it afraid of both foes and friends.

On the instant Doby forgot his own grievances. He snuggled the wanderer against his wampus and crawled into the wagon with him, eager to apply first aid to the case.

He rubbed the cinders out of its hair. He[159] washed the sores and greased the cuts. With his handy knife he shaped bandages and tied up the wounds. He gave it milk. It moaned with pain and feebly snapped at the fingers which tended it. But, after a while, warm and dry and fed, it cowered in a shawl on his lap and whimpered itself to sleep.

"May I have it for mine?" was the world-old demand of the boy to his parents.

"I think you will be obliged to keep it for a time," answered his father, full of pity for the tiny stray. His mother smiled and set out another cup of milk.

"I would like to know where it came from," mused the boy. "It must have been lost in the fire."

His father and mother looked at each other, but did not speak. Why should they suggest to him that some other wagon-train might have been overtaken by the fire and this little creature be one of the victims of a terrible disaster?

It kept him busy. Although it could not have been more than six weeks old, its unlucky adventures had already rather spoiled its disposition. In return for kindness it often gave bites and snarls.

"It doesn't love back the way I thought a[160] pup would do," said Doby next day, sucking some ugly nips on his thumb as they trailed along. "When it gets old enough to stand solid on its legs, I guess it will be about the fiercest dog of its size in the State."

With this pet to care for and to teach, in addition to his chores for the wagon, Doby could bustle about with some appearance of forgetting their precarious life.

For until the drought should be broken and the sky drop rain to renew the springs and cool the bottoms, each hour became more fraught with danger from the wild.

From the black edges of the moonless nights green eyes glared at the fires of the emigrants. Panthers wailed from the bluff in long shrieks, like frightened children—a sound that chilled the blood of every one in the train.

Wolves howled in the daytime—there is no sound more menacing—and dread hung over the travelers.

So the queer little puppy, who took itself so seriously in spite of the ridiculous look of its wabbly legs and mangled ears, was a source of interest and diversion to the whole company.

When it heard a wolf howl it quickly got to its feet, raised what bristles it had, and answered shrilly, pacing back and forth under the[161] canvas top of the wagon where the boy kept it fastened.

"It wants to get out and fight 'em," cried Doby, proudly. "It wants to eat 'em up. See how eager it looks!"

On the second night of its stay in their wagon-bed it won their gratitude. By its yelping and its scratching at the canvas it sounded the alarm, "Wolf at the door!"

Even after Mr. Holman had caught up his rifle to drive at the wolf, which was by that time quite out of range, the adopted puppy rushed about the wagon-floor in an ecstasy of usefulness and slept no more that night.

Through the depressing, unfriendly land which the flames had desolated, women and children huddled timidly in the wagons, men doubly armed walked close to their domestic animals for fear of a stampede, scouts forged ahead and sentries brought up the rear. Dust, heat, distant puffs of smoke, dried-out or muddy watercourses, all told of a region suffering in an untoward season and of beasts uncomfortable and dangerous.

Their train was followed, not by a pack as they sometimes feared it might be, but by one of those lone gray timber wolves, whose age or ferocity—or something—finds satisfaction in[162] nothing but the silent stalk and the solitary kill.

At last things came to such a pass, at last the lone wolf—it was a gaunt she-wolf—lurked so near, that panic seized the hearts of the emigrants. For no rifle could hit her. Like the horrid werewolf, in whom some of the superstitious travelers still believed, no bullet touched her, so uncanny was her cleverness in getting beyond range after every depredation.

"I'm glad that pa put ma in another wagon, for the wolf picks our stuff every time, probably because we are the last in the train," worried Doby, who was frankly afraid of the gleaming eyes which had twice slipped past the sentries in the darkness and appeared below him during his turn at watching at the tiny round window in the middle of the back of the wagon-top. He was not ashamed to swing his lighted pine-knot torch vigorously most of the time. "Those teeth looked as sharp as knives."

To the excited puppy he promised, "When you are a little bigger I'll let you out to do battle." But the frantic puppy did not want to wait to grow bigger. It was ready at once. Its new master was full of applause for its vigilance.

On the third night an awful moment came.[163] The ready sentries patrolling near, and his father at the oxen's head, seemed far, far away when Doby turned from a moment's soothing of his growling pet to find himself face to face with the blazing eyes in a great, slavering head thrust through the little round window.

He shrieked and called as he beat at the hideous, threatening thing with his burning pine knot.

Men came running to help him. But in the half-light of flickering torches no one dared to fire into the group who had been surprised into a hand-to-hand fight with the wolf. From that medley of human screams and bestial growls, the flash of knives, the thump of clubbing guns, she escaped as strangely as she had done before.

The puppy, licking at Doby's bitten hand, begged ferociously to be allowed to get out and get at her.

His father gave his animals to the care of another and took the boy's watch at the wagon's end in the last of the train. Doby, who could not sleep on account of his pet's restlessness, sat beside his father through the long hours of that fearsome night.

In the darkest time, just before the dawn, when deep sleep had finally settled upon the train, the puppy leaped up and slipped its[164] leash and called in sharp glad barks. Without, under the doubly guarded wagon, the she-wolf crooned. The puppy capered with joy. Softly the coaxing whine was repeated. The puppy answered in baby staccato.

And then they knew! Even Doby knew! Knew whence the puppy came, why it was so fierce, and why the lone wolf stalked the train!

A dozen rifles cracked, but the "unerring" pioneer marksmen could not hit that sly wolf in the darkness. She was out of range again.

The father and son looked at each other in consternation.

There was only one thing to do. Poor Doby did it.

He spoke a word to the guards. Then with his heart-strings quite torn apart he took the beloved and unloving wolf whelp from the wagon, set it upon the ground, and watched it lope away into the waiting dark.

Because a wolf never returns to an uncovered trap, the siege was raised.

When affairs are at their worst a brave spirit struggles hardest. So daylight found Doby cheerfully holding a court of speculating emigrants, who were bent on discussing their late guest, the wolf whelp.

His bandaged hand held his busy knife and[165] he carved on a wide, thick strap of leather as he said: "Oh, never mind about the puppy! I don't care—much. There are other dogs. As soon as a friend of mine, who always keeps his word, gets back to his farm at Urbana, he is going to send me a foxhound by the next wagon-train to our new home at Vincennes." And he showed them the leather collar. Near the fastening he had cut OHIO * KENTUCKY * INDIANA. On one side were the words SIMON KENTON. On the opposite side it said, OBEDIAH HOLMAN. Between the two was the comforting legend, THEIR DOG.



The "Pennsylvania Dutch" Colony on the Wabash

SLEEPY Obadiah Holman shivered and pulled the covers over his head, for gusts of wind were fanning his cheek.

"Sniff, snuff," said the wind. "Grunt—g-r-o-w-l!"

The boy jumped from his bed to the middle of the cabin's puncheon floor. Wide awake now, he listened. What was that sound?

A bear was smelling at his pillow through a crack between the logs of the wall.

Slowly his feet grew cold. Slowly his scalp began to itch.

Only that morning, Father George Rapp, the chief man of the town of Harmony, had said to his boy guest, "Better mix up wet clay with grass, Doby, and chink the hole by your bed, or some wild creature will come along and nip your nose while you are asleep."


At the moment of Father Rapp's command, Doby had been busy. Everybody in Harmony always was busy. The industry of the settlement was epidemic. Even growing boys caught it.

The Harmonists worked early and late. Their clean, blue, homespun-covered figures moved sedately through their gardens, fields and dairies, through their cocoonery and silk-factory, through their brickyard and woolen and oil mills. They toiled without hurry and without useless motions to the time of their own singing or to the music of their little German band.

Even the dogs climbed into the treadmills to do a daily task of turning the smaller machines.

Nothing was bought which they could possibly make themselves. All their surplus goods were sold to outside settlers. Thus, by never taking anything out of their treasury and by always putting something into it, they became so very rich that in 1825, ten years from the time they founded their settlement, Robert Dale Owen, a social experimenter, was glad to buy the town because it seemed to offer such a promise of prosperity to the communistic colony which he himself wanted to establish there.

After a few hours with the strong-willed Father Rapp, who kept the colony going so successfully, Doby had found himself as busy[168] as the other Harmonists. As soon as it was suggested to him, he went to work driving half a dozen pegs into the wall between the logs, and on them laying a board which he had helped split from an oak-tree. He had been obliged to pick up his shavings and his scraps. No carpenter's litter was allowed to mar the perfect neatness and order of the spotless town.

In trying to live up to this high standard of tidiness, Doby had forgotten to daub the fresh clay over the place where his pounding had jarred the chinking out.

He had been proud of his work, for that board on its pegs formed his bed. It was such a comfortable bed with its homespun tick filled with leaves and its patchwork quilt on top.

Now on this very first night he was driven from it by a bear.

"But I'm not scared," said Doby to himself. "I just know I can't be scared. It's nothing but a she bear taking a walk."

While the bear strolled round the cabin and came back to try another sniff, strolled round the other way and came back for yet more sniffs, Doby stood in his linsey-woolsey bed-gown, wondering why he felt so chilly on an August night, and saying over and over in his[169] mind: "I'm trusted to take care of myself. I'm trusted to look after this place. What ought I to do now?"

Doby and his father had been given the cabin to use while they were staying in this Posey County Eden, fifty miles up from the mouth of the Wabash.

As change was the only unchanging thing in Doby's moving life, he was not surprised to find himself alone at night in an outlying cabin of this quaint "Pennsylvania Dutch" colony, while his father, who had brought an important message from Vincennes to George Rapp and Frederick Rapp, his son, was still closeted in the house of those great men.

It had seemed easier in the bright sunset to say to his father, "I'll take care of this place while you are with the Rapps," than it did now all by himself in the dim cabin with that big brute pacing near.

He tried to think, "She can't get me."

Indeed she couldn't. The cabin was as stout as stout could be. The door was four inches thick. Its inside bar was of double strength. The windows were tiny. The wide chimney-top was withed across; nothing could drop down it.

"She can't get the stock."

Cows and oxen were secured in a log barn as[170] snug as the cabin. Pigs were in a lean-to quite as strong. Chickens roosted in tall saplings no bear could climb.

Oh, the men who usually stayed in this cabin knew how to look after stock in the safest way! No one person owned the stock. Each man and woman in the community owned an equal share in every house and in every beast and every tool in the whole property. But no person owned any one thing, not even the clothes he wore. It was all a partnership affair.

"As long as I stay here I must act like one of the community family and do my share. I wonder if they have any partnership rules about bears? What harm can she do?

"She might trample the garden. She might steal the corn."

Another chill shook the small visitor.

"She has sneaked round the bear-traps. She has chosen the farthest-away field." He began to hope, "P'r'aps she won't go in the corn."

There were sounds outside which told him that she was doing the very thing he feared.

Doby silently crept up the ladder to the loft. He peered from its gable window.

The bear was walking along in the moonlight, standing up straight on her hind legs like a person in a fur overcoat.


Over the rail fence, which almost touched the corner of the cabin, she climbed exactly as his mother might have done.

She went down one corn row and up the next, pulling open the husks with her forepaws and examining each ear of the green corn. If it were well filled out and milky, she picked it and piled it, one ear after another, on her arm as his mother might have held firewood. When she had a dozen she walked to the fence and started to climb out of the field. She was not forty feet from Doby.

"Good," he thought. "Now she is going home."

In getting over the fence, she dropped an ear of corn. This provoked her and she threw the whole armload on to the ground. Then she turned back for more.

She could not have noticed Doby nor have suspected any harm, for she selected as much more corn. In the ear it is not easy to carry and she had the same luck with the second batch. As an ear slid out, she spitefully threw the rest away and turned into the field again.

"Oh, the wicked, wasteful thing!" raged Doby. "If she does that many times there won't be half a crop left in this garden."

He slipped down the ladder and stared at a[172] gun hanging on forked sticks over the door. It was a queer gun; the latest-style rifle with cap and ball, which was destined to replace the ordinary flintlock then used by most frontiersmen.

Traders on the river had explained the mechanism of this kind of gun to every passing emigrant. Doby thought: "I can remember every thing I've heard about that newfangled cap gun. Now is my chance to try it."

It was loaded. Every pioneer kept firearms ready for instant use.

Without a sound, Doby moved the table, put a stool on top of it and mounted to the rack.

He could not lift the gun from its place. It was a huge weapon. Even his fifteen-year-old shoulders and his stocky legs were not equal to the task of getting it down. He began to sweat as he glanced round the room. "What shall I do?"

His eyes caught a dark blotch of clothes hanging on the wall. "There are my best breeches. I know I look big in them. I reckon if I had them on I could handle the gun."

In desperate haste he tore off his bed-gown. He girded himself in the manlier garments. He made a final trial—a supreme test of his muscle—and—b-o-o-s-t-e-d the rifle over the hooks!


Remembering to keep the barrel pointed from him and to guard the trigger, he toiled at white heat and dragged the thing up the ladder, "'Cause there may be trouble, and if there is trouble a high spot is the place for me."

He took a peep. The thief had already thrown away another armload, at the same place in the fence, almost under the window. She was in the field.

When she came back again she would be very close to him. He knew he could hit her. He meant to swing the rifle to his shoulder and to take careful aim. He braced his feet. He made the start. But he could not—he could not—positively could not raise that gun to his shoulder. It was more than five feet long and weighed a dozen pounds.

But nothing could stop him now. "I'll have to set it on a rest."

He pulled an old spinning-wheel close to the window. The bar held the gun at an angle, sloping downward. The distaff kept the butt from slipping. He sighted along the barrel's shining steel, training it on the length of fence where the bear was sure to come.

There was a queer thumping under his galluses. "I can't point it at her. But—if—she—gets—in—range—"


He held his eye on the sight and waited. He waited and waited and waited and waited. He grew numb with crouching and goose-fleshed with suspense.

"Suppose she went out the other way! Suppose she climbed some other part of the fence. Suppose—

"Ha! Here she is."

Doby pulled the trigger. The gun roared. The bear roared.

Flames sparkled round him. The gun's recoil kicked him end over end. Banged and battered, and rubbing his shoulder, he lay and blinked. If the safe end of the gun had done this to him, what might not its full cannon force have done to the bear?

He was quite prepared for the scene which was before him as he crawled shakily to the window and ventured a look below. The bear lay stretched out on a huddle of rails and corn.

"Of course she's dead." Doby breathed deep. "I know she must be. But—I guess I'll stay up here 'til pa comes. It won't be long before the folks who heard that gun will get here in a flock." He took another peep and another breath. "That is a big bear. Her pelt is almost prime now in the last of August." He[175] got out his knife and examined its edge. A knife must be in perfect trim to skin a bear.

Then an entirely new suspicion dismayed the boy.

"The pelt of a community bear can't belong to any one person. Nearly a thousand people will each have a small share in it. Father George Rapp, the church and state, will direct Frederick Rapp, the business manager, to sell the pelt. Then we will all have an equal interest in the money after it is in the bank."

In the midst of its successes, the Rapp colony finally failed, as did Owen's socialistic colony after it. Both dwindled away after the strong leaders were gone. Both were forsaken, as all others like them have been, and always for much the same reason as Doby gave, when all by himself in the darkness the honest human nature in his soul said to the listening walls in a burst of indignation: "I am the person who killed the bear. I am the one who ought to have the pelt to do with as I please. I want my own things! Be sensible and sell the fur for money? Put the money in the bank? Own one and nine one hundred and seventy-eighth part of the proceeds? No! I'd like to have the pelt to sit on and to look at and to tell hunters about!"


Still another disagreeable thought came to him. It was so appalling that it turned him pale. "If we came here to live, my stone knife would be everybody's knife. I would have to bring my new dog here to be everybody's dog."

He took another peep at the bear. Then he gazed at the ideal town, perfect in its beauty of flower-hung artistic houses, perfect in its thrifty business arrangement, perfect in the justice of its laws.

He thought of happy-go-lucky old Vincennes, struggling to maintain herself under all sorts of faults and difficulties, of that promised foxhound who was already waiting for him, of the house that his father and mother had planned, and he tightened his galluses, jerked on his shoes, donned his cap, like a knight buckling on his armor, as he proclaimed aloud: "I shall let the town keep the pelt, because it is the polite thing to do. But I am glad that pa chose the other town to live in. I'm going to take my knife and get back home to old Vincennes!"

And so it happened, on account of this decision of the boy's and the more practical investigations of his father, that the stone knife found itself established on the farm which the Holmans bought near the old capital of the Northwest Territory.


There the flint entered upon an age of wood.

Out of the forest on the banks of the Wabash came the farm—by clearing.

Out of the forest rose a house and barn of logs.

Out of the forest were made the tools for the farm and the furniture for the house.

From the trees about them all the pioneers who settled in the Ohio Valley took most of their necessities and many of their luxuries.

The ax, the cross-cut saw, and the draw-knife cut the material for the heavy building. The father's Barlow knife and the son's stone one fashioned all the finer work upon it.

When the big fireplace was finished, Doby could sit in the glow of the back log with his foxhound at his knee in the long autumn evenings, and set his knife to the interesting task of making the utensils which the household needed. After that came the joy of whittling animal-traps, fiddles, darts, drums, bows and arrows, snow-shoes, sleds—anything—everything—the happiest boy in the world could want!



The French Who Followed the Explorers

THERE was a glint of sun on metal. It came through the branches of the willows at the edge of the homestead clearing. A bit of red cloth wavered beside it.

Again the metal shone with a twinkling flash, again the scarlet patch nodded in the light. Beneath the willows the prow of a canoe pushed silently from the Wabash River into the mouth of a little creek that wandered through the farm.

Obadiah Holman crouched motionless like a rabbit when he caught that flash. At the canoe's movement forward he bounded toward home, as a frightened rabbit leaps from danger.

"Indians!" he signaled to his father. "Indians!"

The father, who was unhitching his horses, hastily got them into the log barn. With the flintlock on his arm as it had been all through[179] the fall plowing in this natural open glade of his section of land, he, too, leaped for the cabin, which was already being barricaded by the boy and his mother.

Through peepholes the family watched.

Soon a solitary figure appeared.

"That can't be an Indian," breathed the mother; "but it may be some kind of an Indian decoy."

"We will hold our aim on him and keep under cover," the father decided.

They could see that the new-comer had a mobile, laughing face. His clothes were of fur, picked out with bright cloth, somewhat ragged. A bandana tied back his grizzled curls to show the gold hoops in his ears. A strap across his forehead bore the weight of a pack which hung down his back.

He was playing a lively tune upon an elder flute, stepping to its measures with his moccasined feet.

While eying the man to be sure that he was not a treacherous disguised Indian, and to decide what sort of a chance comer he might be, the father's brow wrinkled with thoughts of this big Northwest and the men it had known and the origin of this wayfarer.

"Whom have we here, Doby?" he asked.


But Doby could not answer. Neither could his mother. Both were on the verge of panic. For it is a nerve-racking thing to stand still and wait for the next movement of a doubtful visitor, who may be going to send a burning arrow into the barn loft or to call a band of warriors to attack the house.

To give his wife and son a chance to collect their wits, the father queried: "Who were the first white folks to come to this part of the country? Perhaps we can guess who this man is."

"The French came earliest," answered the mother.


"About a hundred years ago," she said.

"What did they do?"

"They built a fort and trading post at Miamis where Fort Wayne now is. Then they set up another at Ouiatanon and still another one here." As she stared at the motley figure coming nearer, the mother smiled, for she began to understand that she was now to meet quite a different sort of habitant from any of the varied peoples she had seen in the long journey to this old French settlement of Vincennes.

"Ha!" cried Doby, trying to keep one eye on the loophole and the other on his father's face.[181] "When the Spanish discovered America, they claimed the whole continent. If they had known about this place, they would have set up a flag here. But the French explorers really did find it and their flag is the one that covered it." Here he caught a hint from his father's questions and his mother's recovered calm. "'Twas a race of traders who followed the explorers." He now became eager to examine the stranger. "A half-breed trader! That's what he is!"

"He is so queer-looking," was the mother's objection to him.

Doby was quick with his surmises. "If these French traders made friends with the Indians and sometimes lived with them in their wigwams, and copied all the clever things the Indians knew about living in the open, they would become half Indians themselves. This odd old man is a voyageur. I know he is!"

"But," faltered the mother, "if he is friendly to the Indians, he may not be safe for us to know."

Mr. Holman was sure of his harmless character. "The French never incited the Indians to cruelty. Their influence was all for peaceful barter. He wants to buy any pelts we have for sale and to trade with us."


The mother's New England habits made her long for any kind of a trader to dicker with. No matter how outlandish his garb nor how strange his manner, a peddler was a peddler, and as such she was glad to see him.

So they opened wide the door and called a welcome.

As Doby examined the voyageur at close range, he thought, "I never did see such a wild-looking man," yet the stranger's joyous face, his quick gestures, and his lilting music drew the boy to him irresistibly.

For Doby's pleasure, after the greetings were over, the guest sang the words of his song and then he piped it, as a plover might have done. He whistled the tune and then he trotted it. He changed to calls of feathered songsters and to other measures and to different steps.

Whatever the melody or whatever the dance; whether he sang or whistled or piped, he was a constant swirl of music and laughter and motion. Into Doby's sober life he came as a figure of purest joy, never to be forgotten—a faun of the forest—a creature of fantasy.

To live out of doors and to follow the seasons, to be away from all care, and free to take up the next trading path that beckoned him in the strange new country—that was a voyageur's happy life.


No wonder that these bold spirits of the Old World crowded into the white-winged caravals that could bear them to the great valley of romance and adventure!

No other country has ever seen the like of these voyageurs. No other country ever will. Even in the far north, they are vanishing with the forests and the fur-bearing animals. They can never come again.

There were no bounds to Doby's delight in the grotesque appearance, the bird music, and the elfin dancing of this one.

The contents of his pack were small assortments of hardware. He spread them upon the stump by the log-cabin door.

In a mixture of French and English, as musical as any verse, he told them that ammunition was lying in his canoe. He went and fetched it, and also brought with it his own rifle. These things, even the gun, he would trade for skins.

"All these of the best, the finest, n'est ce pas?" he asked, throwing out his hands and showing his beautiful teeth. "Voilà, m'sieu!"

Doby's father was in need of powder and shot. They fell to business whilst the mother busied herself with supper. She wanted pins, needles, and a candle-snuffer. She hoped after[184] he had eaten home-made dainties, the trader might offer her bargains.

Doby stood enthralled beside the collection of nails, hooks, gimlets, and plow-points. Here were the convenient odds and ends needed to make the work on their new home complete.

First of all—above and beyond everything else in a boy's sight—was the voyageur's percussion-cap rifle. It was the most improved and best firearm of that day. It was not as heavy as most of them. It had seen service. And what was a curious, but entirely sensible thing, someone had cut off a couple of feet from the end of the barrel!

"I believe I could handle that gun," said the boy. "Everybody thinks I am growing fast."

The trader took the hint and nodded for him to try it.

Doby's greedy fingers closed over the trigger. It was rather heavy, of course, but he could lift and he could carry it.

"Fifteen going on sixteen is an age when every boy should have his own rifle," said his father. "But I'm sure our whole fall collection of skins would not pay for it."

The trader gave one appraising glance at the really fine stock they had spread for his[185] examination and shook his head until his ear-rings danced.

Doby's heart sank like lead. Why was he always so foolish as to set his hopes on the one thing that was beyond reach? Why were guns so expensive?

The crafty voyageur was not anxious to part with it. "I think to sell it at much gain to one very rich youth—a hunter great and successful. He is newly a citizen of Vincennes. To him I bear a letter and a present of elegance supreme."

"We back out from the trade," laughed Mr. Holman. "We cannot overbid the rich and great."

Doby's mind shrank into a sordid little ball of envy. It was not fair for a rich boy to have a "present of elegance supreme" and the rifle both! As he opened his mouth to utter his selfish disappointment, a glance at his mother's sympathetic face, and at his father's resigned one, moved him to shut it again. If he could not own a gun, he could at least be decently quiet about his fate. But to be forever borrowing a gun was so humiliating to a big boy!

"Who is this wonderful hunter?" asked the mother, in neighborly curiosity.

"Of the family there are two; it is m'sieu the father, and m'sieu the son. For that son is[186] the letter. I go to the town yonder. I inquire. I present myself to him."

"But what is his name?" insisted Doby's mother.

The voyageur smiled at her vaguely. Then she knew that he could not read the message which he carried. His instructions were to find a hunter and show the letter. Now he pawed around in his nondescript garment and brought out a soiled paper.

The letter had been written on a large sheet of white paper. Then the paper had been folded in such a way that the writing was concealed and the corners turned over to look like a modern envelope. Envelopes themselves had not then been invented. It was sealed with a big red daub of wax.

"Two bits" had been paid to the messenger, who now pointed to the plain script of the address, which he held carefully wrong side up.

Mrs. Holman twisted her head. Then she gasped, and hastily reversing the letter in his polite and willing hand, she looked at her family with startled eyes.

Letters were so much of a rarity in those good old days of long distances and slow transportation that it was perfectly correct to show interest in any man's correspondence.

Indeed, every inhabitant of Vincennes had[187] been known to handle at least twice any letter which came to town, and to register several guesses as to its probable contents, before the person to whom it was addressed felt that he had a social right to claim and open it.

So Doby and his father would not have been considered in the least rude as they sprang to look over the voyageur's shoulder as the mother was already doing.

They read in concert:

"Obadiah Holman, Esquire

The voyageur, who could not spell out an address, was quick enough at reading faces. He said to Mr. Holman, "I make my respects to that hunter so rich and great." And he presented the letter with formality.

"No, no!" cried the father. He handed the legal-looking document to "m'sieu, the son." Now Doby had never before had a letter in his own name. His fingers were shaking and clumsy as he broke the seal, unfolded the sheet, and read in a strained and unnatural voice:

"Harmony, Indiana, August 31, 1816
"Obadiah Holman, Esq.
"Honored Sir:

"For value received in the matter of garden truck, field corn, hived honey, et cetera, saved in the shooting of a[188] she bear by your respected self, the community of Harmony voted to pay the pelt of the bear aforesaid; likewise the pelt of the he bear belonging to the same. Said pelts herewith attached and forwarded.

"Your very obedient servant,
Frederick Rapp."

The voyageur, plainly interested, hastened to get the pelts, to spread them out, and to indicate, now that his best moment had come, that these two bearskins plus two big beaverskins—the finest of their collection—were the price of the rifle.

Privately, Mr. Holman thought this rather a hard bargain, even more than the "much gain" which the trader was entitled to have. Beaver had been scarce and high in value for two years. A good beaver, taken in October, outpriced an August bear whose winter coat was coming well but was not yet in its prime.

One glance at Doby's face brought to the father's mind the day when he had acquired his own flintlock; so he nodded indulgently to close the deal.

The voyageur's words, "It is that you become owner, m'sieu," were the sweetest of sounds in Doby's ears.

Then followed a blissful hour of target-shooting, to learn the ways of the new gun, and then followed, as a matter of course, the over-confi[189]dent moment when the excited boy let the trigger down upon a clumsy thumb.

As his father patiently dressed his wound, Doby's conscience—that New England torch always flickering before his mind—threw its light on a point of conduct he had not noticed until this moment. He saw that he ought to do something that he did not want to do.

The voyageur, chuckling cozily by the hearth, with his picturesque head abob, never knew that the half-grown Doby, who sat staring at his bandaged thumb, was struggling with spiritual forces that nearly tore his heart asunder.

No stranger could guess how great a victory over his own selfish desires the boy had won when he raised his face to his father's and said, "I think, pa, that you should take this new rifle for your own gun and give me the old flintlock."

Doby's father was of upright stuff himself; and he now saw that his son, also, had the making of a just man in him. So he looked at Doby kindly, and the two understood each other perfectly. But all the father said was: "I've had my old flintlock ever since I was your age. I use it every day. I couldn't learn the tricks of one of these newfangled rifles. No, Doby, you can't swap firearms with your pa!"



A Patriot's Sacrifice

HE stood upon a bluff overlooking the Wabash. Outlined against an autumn sunset, his noble figure dominated the landscape.

A velvet cap with a jaunty plume rested lightly upon his short, snow-white, curling hair.

Velvet also were his coat and breeches and the sweeping cavalier cape that clasped on his shoulder. Silken hose and fine linen added to the magnificence of his costume.

It was of a style long gone by, even then, but its sumptuous fashion became him and set off his sturdy old age to its best advantage.

His dress was a habit. He wore it unconsciously. But the sword on his hip—that was another matter!

His lean and practised hand, a bit shaky with his seventy-six years, grew steady and as firm as youth when it swung to position and clasped[191] that hilt. His faithful blade was his best companion.

The deep red of oak, the scarlet of sumac, the yellow of maple, the brown of beech, every color of frost-kissed October mingled in the background and was reflected on the borders of the opal river whose shining length formed the waterway to the outside world.

The little town was all astir. It was a gala day. Banners fluttered at the door of each cozy cabin, and from the tall pole of the old wooden fort of St. Vincent swung the American flag, almost ready for the sunset gun.

On the river, rafts and flatboats, rowboats and small sail moved about and fell into position to make way for a procession of canoes coming down the stream.

The folk of the town, big and little, hurried to the water's edge, waving their arms in welcome and shouting until they were hoarse.

But the man on the bluff kept his high position and his attitude of martial waiting. Under his heavy white brows, his sharp black eyes grew large and tender, for in the distant canoes were his children—his careless, happy children—coming home to him, as they had done twice every year since the old days when he had begun to buy their furs of them. Younger business[192] men now held the fur trade in their own hands, but the voyageurs continued their practice of holiday regatta to greet this white-haired man.

Obadiah Holman, hastening into town, far ahead of his father and mother, was decked in his buckskin. With rifle on shoulder and knife in belt and hound at heel, he walked on air. For he looked like a man, he felt like a man, and he was a man—almost!

More than satisfied with himself, he whistled as he strode, until he came to the person in velvet. Then his vanity dropped to his feet and was whisked away.

Here was one more elegantly attired than he had ever beheld a mortal.

"Doby, make your manners," he commanded himself. Off came his cap and he accomplished a bow.

The gentleman turned square upon him. The bold, dark eyes read him through and through.

The boy's face lit up with admiration at the sight of the noble countenance and at the sound of the kind voice saying, "I give you greeting, stranger."

Impulsive Doby had small knowledge of etiquette. Quite carried away by his good luck in meeting this man, he burst out, impetuously, "I do hope that you are Francis Vigo!"


The dark face—haughty and stern—flashed into a quick foreign smile, but the bare right hand gave Doby a good American grip. "From what my first arriving voyageur tells me, I suspect that you are M'sieu Holman, the son," he said.

They gazed at each other as men will who are destined to become friends. Further words were stopped by the sound of a distant chantey, clear and merry.

Forgetting all else, Francis Vigo answered the call of his children by turning his eyes toward the canoes.

Doby slipped unnoticed to a great rock halfway down the bluff. From this vantage he could watch the fleet of voyageurs. Furbished for their entrance to the town, each wore a turban of scarlet bandana and sash of parti-colors. Ear-rings, thumb-rings, metal compasses, were all adangle.

The paddles feathered as they dipped and the jeweled drops sparkled in the light. Purple martins awheel flipped into the eddies of their wake, great bass leaped athwart their bows, and tiny rainbows sprang anew from every disturbance of the water.

Voices rippled from chantey to roundelay and back to chantey again. The river carried[194] the tune afar and the hills echoed and re-echoed it. From the forward canoe an excited arm pointed to Francis Vigo on the height. A full-throated, "Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!" rose to him.

He gave them a military salute.

They answered with cheers and burst into their best melody as they raced into port.

In the confusion of the shadowed landing torches began to glimmer. On the darker places of the river's brink lanterns bobbed. But a nimbus of golden light still shone around the gallant Vigo. And one by one, as they stepped ashore, the voyageurs ran up the slope to greet him—the hero of their hearts!

Doby gazed in amazement at the volatile Frenchmen surrounding him. "Judging by their enthusiasm, every one of these men might have followed him in battle. But they are most of them too young to have fought in 1779, as he did at the capture of Vincennes. They are honoring him for other things which he has done for them."

Truly they loved him for himself and the many brave deeds through which he had carried their kind.

Francis Vigo was a soldier of fortune—a man out of Spain. With one of his mother country's regiments he had come to the West Indies and[195] to New Orleans; afterward on his own account he had traveled up the Mississippi to Fort St. Louis, where he joined a company of traders and was known as the "Merchant of St. Louis."

In his warehouse among his bundles of valuable skins he was the merchant prince who gave thirty thousand dollars—thirty thousand dollars in big Spanish doubloons—round golden doubloons—which he had bartered for and scared out of many a wicked Portuguese pirate who sneaked up the Mississippi to cheat him or to rob him—gave them to feed and equip the army of George Rogers Clark at a time when the Government had no money to finance anything.

Without the help which Vigo gave to Clark, the little American army could not have lived. Without the army the great Northwest could not have been won.

In pursuit of his business and in his joy of the wild, Vigo had often gone up and down the forest paths. He knew the country, was friendly with each trader, and could call every pirogue by its owner's name.

Doby's rather cool blood began to run faster and his heart to pound with sympathetic interest as, scrambling for turns, the voyageurs[196] fell upon Francis Vigo's neck, kissed his hands, and laughed aloud or wept outright in their delight at the meeting.

One old fellow, in an abandonment of affection, threw himself upon the ground and laid his forehead against the Spaniard's shoe, bathing it with his tears.

"O-o-h," cried Doby. "O-o-h! That is my voyageur! The one who brought my rifle! He was servant to Francis Vigo when they were both taken as spies at Vincennes, by the British Governor Hamilton. He told me so himself." Here the contagion of the old voyageur's devotion caught Doby and he had to swallow a sob or two. "It's perfectly right for him to be upset by memories. For when the Jesuit Father Gibault persuaded Hamilton to release Francis Vigo, this voyageur and that other old one went back with the Merchant of St. Louis to Colonel Clark at Kaskaskia and helped plan the attack which captured Vincennes." And Doby took off his cap and waved it and shouted with the best of them:

"Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!"

By the next morning's light, at call of reveille, these voyageurs, who had gathered from all points of the compass, made ready to set off for their various stations to begin their winter's[197] work of trapping or of gathering skins from Indians and settlers.

In one of the canoes, in plain attire, sat Francis Vigo and the oldest voyageur—his one-time servant. In another canoe sat the second voyageur of Vigo's historic spying expedition and—looking very conscious of himself and of his newly acquired servant—Doby! bound on a secret errand in the service of his country!

"We need young blood for our nation's future growth," Francis Vigo had said overnight to Mr. Holman. "Give me your son for my assistant on this voyage for the Government. I will train him—make a patriot of him."

Now Mr. Holman knew that Francis Vigo was the one man in the great valley whom Gen. William Henry Harrison had trusted to influence the Indians and the voyageurs in the troubled times before the War of 1812; the one who could go back and forth with negotiations to the Indians' Prophetstown on the Tippecanoe. Both races put their faith and their national confidence in this man. He was their ideal of justice.

So Mr. Holman, whose entire stock of cash in hand was three Spanish dollars—those storied "pieces of eight"—did not hesitate, during his[198] conversation with Francis Vigo, to lay these silver coins on the town blacksmith's anvil as an answer to the request for the boy's services.

The blacksmith had cut each one up into eight sections, like a pie. Two of these "bits" made a "quarter," and six of them equaled seventy-five cents.

This was the currency of the time. So unsettled had the War of 1812 made the nation's credit, so doubtful was the value of federal money, and so unsafe all banks, that a "bit" in the hand was worth, in actual purchasing power, many times its value of paper in the pocket.

One of his dollars Mr. Holman had presented to Francis Vigo with the formal request, "I beg you will accept my contribution to my country's cause in the matter of this voyage."

The second dollar he had given to Doby. "This is a stake for your future fortune," he said.

The third he had put in his own pocket.

Afterward, Doby had asked of his father: "Why did you give Francis Vigo money in such a way that he had to take it? He is the richest man in town. Everybody says so, because the Government owes him thirty thousand dollars. Nobody else in town has that much money."


Doby felt of the "bits" in his pocket and imagined them thirty thousand times as heavy. Rich indeed!

Mr. Holman had a gloomy expression. "I know we will continue to owe him." Then he quoted something about the "law's delay—the insolence of justice," but added, practically, "I don't suppose we ever have that much in our treasury that we want to pay debts with. Our money affairs are in disorder."

Scandalized Doby almost whispered, "Do you mean that he probably hasn't any money except what you gave him?"

Mr. Holman nodded, and glowered at fate. Doby knew that the mission to Fort Wayne on which they were this morning starting was a financial one.

As he sat in his canoe and gripped his paddle for the start, it gave him a curious sensation to reflect that the vigorous old man who was in the next one, ready to steer through the silver water out into the sunrise, was the Spaniard who had used his inherited fortune for the cause of exploration in the New World; was the colonist who had given the fortune he had earned to the cause of the Northwest conquest; was the true American now ready to risk his sole capital of eight bits toward securing[200] financial liberty for an embarrassed government.

Silver and rose, the sky hung over the river. Silver and rose, the water reflected it. The forest, mysterious and vague, surrounded the town. The embarked voyageurs, now in working clothes, looked toward Francis Vigo. They rested on their paddles.

He rose in his prow. Baring his head, he threw out his arms in the form of a cross.

With the simplicity of little children, the voyageurs folded their hands and said their prayers; they crossed themselves; then lifted up their voices in such a hymn that the valley resounded with their praise.

"It is that we separate for the half-year," explained Doby's voyageur, as with every few miles of going up-stream some canoe turned in at a tributary and disappeared for its trading-grounds.

After that morning burst of song they all moved silently. The paddles made no sound. The dull colors of the boats themselves—some birch-bark canoes, some hollowed-out log pirogues—mingled like foliage with the shore line. The men in butternut brown or fur were mere shadows on the river. The woodland and its streams were swallowing up its wild men.


By and by the two canoes with Francis Vigo and Doby in them were alone upon the river.

"Look!" signaled Francis Vigo's eyes to Doby.

A red deer was drinking on the brink.


A bear was at his bath.


A blue heron was fishing in the shallows.

And a saucy kingfisher helped himself to a bite of the red haws stuck in Doby's cap, so much a part of the primeval vastness had they already become.

Once, as they stopped for dinner on the shore, the odor of frying bacon was so delicious to some of the forest creatures that they had a glimpse of a mother wolf bringing her whole whelp family to take a peep at those men creatures who sometimes left such savory scraps behind, and who were, upon a pinch, not such bad eating themselves.

"They like bacon cooked, but they would take me raw," and Doby was glad that he had a rifle of his very own.

In the silence of their forest night camp, whilst the two voyageurs slept with their feet to the fire and the harvest moon looked down upon them through the Indian-summer haze, Francis Vigo explained to the boy the nature of his errand.


"I am getting old," he said. "Time is too precious to waste in making money for myself. I must teach the Northwest the value of an honest currency, else all business will be ruined and our country fall into poverty."

He showed Doby a package wrapped in oilskin. "This priceless paper did not go to Corydon with the documents of Indiana State. It is Government property and must be secretly delivered to the proper agent at Fort Wayne, to go on to Washington. We should have safe banks and vaults for such moneys and papers. They should not be exposed to the mercy of fire and water and chance journeys as this one is. I must use this as an argument to those in authority for the need of national banks. I shall also prove to them the demand for a tariff to protect our industries. These are our present necessities."

"The tariff is to make us money and the banks are to guard it," said Doby, who knew that these two vital measures were expected to influence the fate of the great valley as much as any war had ever done. "So you want to get there before election. And you want them to vote for James Monroe for President, don't you?"

"Yes; because as Secretary of State and as Secretary of War he carried us through the war,[203] we now need him to take us over the financial crisis which always follows a war."

All Saints' Day came in glorious October sunshine. On that day they entered Fort Wayne.

Again in velvet, with gleaming sword, Francis Vigo made ready for an audience.

An enthusiastic bugler of the fort was so impressed by the appearance of the dignitaries in the approaching canoes that he went through his entire repertoire of calls without waiting for official permission, and brought all the people of the town to give welcome to the visitors.

So Doby had the feeling of walking up-stage as he entered the village.

That sensation stayed with him during the few days that they spent at the fort; and it rose high in the hour of their departure when the entire populace showered blessings after them as the velvet cap of the smiling leader waved, "Farewell."

Their going was a spectacle. Yet when they made a landing down the river for the night's camp, all the glory faded. The beautiful country turned cruel and sordid.

"That is a threatening sky," commented Francis Vigo, as he put away his velvet and began to prepare for rough weather.

"Bad wind," from one dejected voyageur.


"More cold," from the other.

"Here comes the rain!" cried Doby.

Dark November filled their camp with melancholy discomfort.

In place of the gallant soldier there hovered over the damp and sickly fire an old, old man, blue with chill, and tired and dispirited.

Doby said to himself: "In the matter of delivering the precious papers and of teaching the district the value of tariff and sound banks, the errand for the Northwest was successful. But in the business of collecting some interest to live on he has failed. That means that he has no way to feed himself this winter. Red tape makes poor clothes and worse meals."

Dismayed and pitiful, the boy longed to comfort that good man who had fallen into the habit of sacrificing himself for his country.

"S-w-i-s-h! S-w-i-s-h!" poured the rain; "W-h-e-w! W-h-e-w!" howled the wind, as the swollen current of the Wabash bore them homeward next day.

"H-o-n-k! H-o-n-k!" cried the wild geese overhead.

"Q-u-a-c-k! Q-u-a-c-k!" complained the migrating ducks as, wearied by the buffeting, they dropped to the water for a little respite and surrounded the canoes with the querulous wails.


A heartless loon laughed long and discordantly over their wretched plight.

The river which had beckoned them with sunlight and with song, now with fickle change of face grabbed them by the prows and hurtled them along at terrific flood speed.

To a voyageur his canoe was as a second skin. He would never think of abandoning it. He took whatever the weather sent.

But as they came to a bend in the river, "Yi! Yi!" shrieked one voyageur in panic. "Yi! Yi!" for danger seemed about to overwhelm them.

A giant sycamore, undermined by the flood, swayed toward them and came over into the river with a crash and spatter that deafened and almost swamped them.

In one moment its mighty top had divided a portion of the river, as a child's hand might turn a rill from a spring, and the new current, seeking an outlet, leaped into a bayou and went sweeping down it, to make a new channel. With instant turn of paddles to escape the tree the voyageurs spun the canoes into the midst of this new current and were borne by its irresistible force through the bayou, over a bar, and into a stream that ran parallel with the river and finally emptied into it.


Like the débris on its surface, the canoes bobbed and tossed with the runaway stream, in constant danger of being crushed by rocks and snagged by thickets. They were part of chaos. With all their might they backed water. The clever voyageurs steered between trees and around stones as the truant flood bore them headlong to almost certain destruction.

But louder than the storm in the trees, stronger than the rush of wind in their ears as they tore along, came the ominous roar of water over a tremendous dam.

To shoot such rapids as he knew was one thing to a voyageur, as part of his day's work. To go over an unknown dam at freshet pace, as the result of an accident, was quite another. Huge, muddy boulders rose suddenly on all sides of them.

"Fend!" yelled the voyageurs as they gripped the paddles to steady the last rush. Dozens of smaller black stones looked like streaks as they miraculously flashed through this strange, rocky gully without hitting a stone.

"The dam is broken!" howled Doby, although he knew he could not be heard. They all saw the broken center and they whirled through it at the speed of an express train, one close behind the other. Below the dam were dozens[207] more of the small black stones, which to their straining eyes seemed to shift and move as fast as they were going themselves.

The almost unendurable strain on their arms and backs suddenly gave way. The new stream emptied itself into a wide bottom and spread out harmlessly in a tame and shallow lake which looked toward the Wabash.

They edged out of the current into quiet backwater. All was as tame as a mill-pond.

Doby, thoroughly shaken, exhausted, and amazed, cried out: "That was about the luckiest escape any one could have! Big stones and little stones! I never saw such a rocky gully! How did we miss them!"

Francis Vigo crossed himself and looked at the boy in grave reproof. He did not believe in luck.

The voyageurs clapped their hands and laughed aloud. To Doby's astonishment, all three of his wet, tired, and discouraged companions glowed with warmth and some new interest.

Their escape—their danger—was already forgotten. They were keen for some plan which had formed in their minds as they came to safe water.

Doby could not follow their thoughts. He turned round eyes from one to the other.


"Big stones were beaver houses," smiled one trader.

"Little black stones were beaver heads," explained the other.

And Francis Vigo added: "The dangerous way of our duty has brought us to the beavers in a year when their fur is of double value. Since towns and people and money have failed us, the wood and stream will give us our living for the year."

Doby's economical Anglo-Saxon mind suddenly flowered into Latin courtesy. He took off his cap to the Spaniard and said so fervently that he knew his gift would be accepted, "Because of the education this voyage has been to me and as a thank-offering that my life is preserved, I present my share in this beaver find to my creditor, Francis Vigo!"

Francis Vigo's face beamed kindly on the ardent boy.

Doby was proud of his dramatic success in this elaborate speech of politeness. He thrilled pleasantly and made a little flourish with his cap.

Alas and alack!

Erratic movement above the point of balance is not the thing for a canoe's safety. Doby's gesture was an unsportsman-like thing and he[209] might have paid for his vanity by a fatal capsize had not the alert voyageur, always suspicious of his impulsive passenger, bent his own body quickly and restored the balance.

The canoe was still upright, but the action of the paddle, the surging of the craft and the other canoe's violent action to avoid being caught in disaster brought them so close to the main stream, that the current had seized them again. Before Doby could realize his fault they were whirling down the Wabash as before.

Whether they would or no, they were on their way home. Some other day in quiet water they would come back to the town of beavers.

Later and later grew the hour. Slowly and more slowly flowed the river. The channel had widened. The pent waters were finding space. The harassed travelers looked about for a landing-spot to spend the night.

At last, the top of a fallen tree at the bottom of a gradual hill seemed to promise a practical buffer.

"Merci!" cried Doby's voyageur. "Fend!" He backed water, and as the other canoe came alongside he raised a shaggy eyebrow in question to Vigo, who assented with a nod.

Together they eased their frail craft from the[210] sweep of the river into the resilient branches of the tree.

They edged inshore, found the ground solid, and pulled up the boats. Other people had picked the tree as a safe harbor. When Doby straightened himself to ease his tired back his eyes met the baleful gleam of an Indian's glance.

Before he could gasp a warning to the others strong fingers closed upon his windpipe. He was lifted by his hair and borne to the top of the hill. All thought and feeling left him.

There was no sound but the r-r-i-i-p-p-p of leaves as heavy bodies were dragged through them; no light but the uncertain moon through ragged clouds.

He had no sense of up or down, of earth or sky. He hurtled along through space with his feet dangling.

He struck a tree, freed himself from the strangler, and collapsed in a heap.

Dimly some sort of light reddened around him. People were feeding a fire. The hollow glade in which he lay swam like a mirage before him.

About the fire circled a dozen or so of very old Indians. They were so absorbed in the ritual of their dance that they ignored the[211] presence of the other group of younger Indians who had brought in the prisoners. Prisoners were a minor thing and of no importance compared with this ceremony, which must not be interrupted.

The old Indians went round and round and round and round, without words, without music, without sound of any kind. Their hands were weaponless, their gestures were as one.

Dizzied and dumfounded by this circular marching, Doby closed his eyes and waited for death by violence.

Vigo and the two voyageurs were in the same plight. Yet none of them was gagged or bound or weaponless. Their captors did not rush forward in triumph with their prey, nor give the conqueror's war-whoop.

They stayed half hidden in the background. Their one desire seemed to be to keep the silence unbroken.

The voyageurs, rough adventurers, soon recovered from the surprise of their capture, and stood lightly poised either to fight or to run.

Escape was the first thought in their minds. Their expression soon changed from shock to curiosity; from curiosity to wide-eyed incredulity.


Even Doby's shattered wits found an uncanny aspect of things. Abject fear was swallowed up by a thrill at the weirdness which breathed from the glade.

The whites looked from the young savages, unarmed, guarding them, to the old ones, unarmed, gyrating monotonously, and using their hands rhythmically.

One of the hardy voyageurs turned green and ghastly under his tan and his knees doubled under him.

Francis Vigo, following his glance, went white to the lips. But the poniard up his sleeve shot out and he pricked the fainting voyageur cruelly. The pain revived the man. His companion received the same treatment.

Even then they were plainly weak with horror. And Francis Vigo, the intrepid soldier, closed his eyes, as though the dancing men were the most dreadful sight of his life—a vision sickening beyond endurance.

While his captors stood rigid in shadow, while the voyageurs shook with nervous chill, while Vigo glanced wildly here and there, Doby stared at this curious feast which could so undo strong men.

For despite its dull and lugubrious setting, feast of some kind it certainly must be.


This place was not a village. There were no wigwams, no women, no children, no ponies, no dogs. All the interest centered on a great flat stone in the center of the glade. It held a bed of glowing coals. Savory meat was roasting there.

The old men, swooping slowly back and forth, were gorging themselves in a strange and barbarous ceremony of united forms of handling—biting—chewing. Solemnly, in an ancient, long-forbidden and almost-forgotten rite, they were invoking some spirit of evil.

From one detail of the medicine-men's costumes to another, from one mesmeric swing of arm and body to the next went Doby's glance in vague alarm. Last of all, he viewed the sizzling rock.

A sacrificial cannibal rock!

Not all the poniards of the realm could have helped Doby to self-control. He swooned upon the turf.

Bending to raise the boy, Francis Vigo brought his own face into a patch of moonlight. His captor recognized him. For what Indian did not know Francis Vigo? Vigo caught the expression of friendliness, and with an imperious gesture signified that they must be taken from this spot.


It was daytime when Doby again opened his eyes. He was between the voyageurs under the fallen tree near the canoes. On the river bank sat the old Indians. Francis Vigo, jaunty in velvet, cap, plume, and sword, was smoking the calumet.

One voyageur whispered to Doby, "Indians want to burn Vincennes."

The other murmured, "Père François tries to prevent that."

The first again: "They mean to join with renegades and capture the fort. Renegades get Government money. Indians get fire-water."

Doby whispered back, "Has he told them that he took the money and the papers worth money to Fort Wayne?"

Both nodded.

"Do they know he has had the fire-water moved away?"

They nodded again.

"Will they believe what he tells them?"

Emphatic bobs of both heads.

With the point of his sword Francis Vigo was drawing a map on the alluvial mud of the inlet. The Indians bent over it. The voyageurs exchanged dismayed glances.

Even before he saw the map it was not hard to guess, that the "merchant of Saint Louis," knowing how to turn greed into profit, had bought the[215] lives of his three followers and had purchased the safety of his home town with the one thing he had to sell—the newly found fur tract.

"They agree to take the beaver dam," was the meaning of one voyageur's sigh.

"They go to it instead of to Vincennes," was the translation of the other's shrug.

Doby thought, "To their old bones, the certainty of furs to bring fire-water is better than the risk of a clash with the whites, who always defeat them."

So the hunched, misshapen, and degraded old savages, each with his attendant youth, embarked upon the now quiet river and paddled out of sight of the alien race who loathed them.

The dominant Vigo, who had lazily watched them depart, now dropped his assumed calm as suddenly as he did the velvet coat.

"Home!" he commanded. "To warn the fort!"

As they hurried along, he declared: "The renegades must be captured and defeated. They are wicked men."

"The Indians are dreadfully wicked," shuddered Doby.

"They know nothing better than their own customs; I pity them," said the great friend of Indians. "Some day over that sacrificial stone shall be hung a bell—I vow it now. I put it in[216] my will. I promise it to my country. A deep-toned bell! It shall call all children to a school to learn the laws of civilization, and all men to a court of justice to keep those laws in force. Old Vigo's tongue can live in a bell and go on preaching something better than greed, something higher than money!"

(For many, many years gone by, and for to-day and for to-morrow, the deep-toned bell above the forgotten stone is calling melodiously. Hundreds of boys have listened to "Old Vigo," the bell, talking to them.)

Although he planned for the better defense of the fort, Vigo was no longer the commandant of militia, as he had been some seasons before this. But he knew that both citizens and soldiers would respond to his warning as to nothing else, so he outlined his strategy as he paddled toward Vincennes.

"The renegades will come across the river by my private ferry—they think I will be far from home—and they expect to meet the savages by appointment at midnight." His face glowed with the spirit which could not be subdued. "They will meet soldiers instead. I can fight bad men of my own race with good appetite," he declared.

It was long past dark when they came to their[217] own town. The dock was deserted. So Doby set off at a run to rouse the early-to-bed militiamen and to summon them to the post.

He had a vast sense of his own importance when he stuck his head in the unlatched doors of the unsuspicious sleeping citizens and yelled: "Arm! Arm! Come to the fort!"

For such clamor followed as few boys may ever be able to stir up. Nightcaps and flintlocks were poked from the windows. But he was beyond the reach of questions or shot ere they got their eyes open. A stream of men, first awakened, were running toward the fort before the last ones could find their boots.

Light-headed from hunger, lack of sleep, and excitement, Doby could not follow all the plans for defense. Friendly Indians and boys disguised as Indians were to take the place of the ones whom Colonel Vigo had bought off up-river. These decoys were to follow the renegades, and in the attack upon the fort were to fight them from the rear.

Doby, with his loaded rifle in his hands for the first attack, and his knife on hip for hand-to-hand work, was given a man's place at a loop-hole of the stockade. He waited in the dark for the signal to the impromptu garrison to surprise the surprisers.


There was a muffled stirring of many feet. First a scuffle—then a run. Shadowy forms advanced upon the seemingly unguarded fort. Thieving hands fumbled at the gates.

In the breathless silence, Colonel Vigo's voice sounded like a pistol-shot. "Fire!" he snapped.

Two dozen rifles spat. The cracking took the invaders completely off their guard. They fell back in astonishment. But they rallied quickly and returned the fusillade.

Boys within the fort lighted torches and waved them to show the defenders how the battle lay.

The attacking renegades were made up of numbers of outlaws, of deserters from the army, and of unlucky or incompetent settlers. Every post in the Northwest had more or less of this human riffraff and many towns had the same unlucky experiences with them.

These robbers did not trust their Indian allies. Treacherous themselves, they suspected the old Indians' motives in joining them. So they had purposely given their own number as much smaller than it was, lest the Indians should turn upon them.

Doby's heart was not the only one which thumped with dismay as the flare of the torches lit up the goodly number of the besiegers.[219] Even Francis Vigo's strategy of replacing their allied Indians with friends of the town could not assure Vincennes of victory. She would have to fight for her life. How curious if the far-away beaver dam should be the thing that bought her safety! It had lessened her foes and given her a fighting chance.

Madly the renegades charged the stockade. Staunchly the citizens helped the handful of soldiers to hold it.

Again the rabble advanced. Fell back! Advanced! Fell back!

Mercy and justice had no place in Doby's mind. His duty was to hold his section of the fort. He banged away with the best of the volunteers and howled like an Indian as the renegades ran from his fire into the volleys of the disguised men behind them.

During a lull in the battle he was proud to be obliged to tie up his head where a bullet had grazed it, and to swagger like an old war-dog as he moved across a barrier to help Colonel Vigo tie up a flesh wound in his sword arm.

Then—on came the renegades! "Hi! Hi! Hi!" was their rallying call.

"Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!" answered the flintlocks.

Over the walls piled the enemy. Through[220] the gates came the disguised Indians, fighting for the fort, and against their supposed allies.

Hand to hand—without command—without system—without mercy. One of those free-for-all defenses in which frontiersmen had to become victorious if they hoped to survive.

The renegades were beaten down, overcome, captured, and imprisoned. The town was saved, as many a settlement in the Great Valley was held for the white race—by the determined spirit of its founders.

Little blood was shed; less talk was heard; least record was made. One item in a dusty old book is all that is printed about that lively night. To wit:

This da. novem. 12. 1816. by Col. F. Vigo licensd ferry freebooters attackd stockade. 9 woundd. loss 1 pk. horse. Attack repulsd.

This document marked the final touch to Doby's education for that important year. He was on his way toward becoming a man and a citizen—for he was at last a soldier—a volunteer soldier—a victorious soldier—in defense of the Great Valley.



THE glory of the Great Valley is in the deeds of her heroes whose conquests are blazoned on the tablets of the nation's memory.

Her prosperity is in the genius of her inventors and the hands of her artisans—those renowned creators of her colossal fortunes.

But her safety lies deep in the hearts of her common people whose names are seldom heard.

On their integrity depends the fate of this land. They are the very life of the United States.

How can we better understand the stuff whereof our people are made, the labor they have done, the ideals they have created, the institutions they have reared in the two centuries since they first set foot in this valley, than by studying their present by the light of their past?

How can we thank them more appropriately for the treasures they give us, than by imitating the sincerity of their lives?


One of them, a boy pioneer, who lived in the times half-way between the lads of to-day and the young men who built the fort at Ouiatanon, has told us his story. It is the plain tale of his hardships and successes in the struggle for a home, where his small daily tasks might help to keep alive, upon the altar of its hearth, the sacred flame of love.

Through his adventures runs the plea for honest citizenship.

His acts declare: Not in war, but in work uplifted by service for others, in peace fraught with neighborly good-will, in self-sacrifice for our country's sake, is the spirit of patriotism that will keep afloat forever over the Great Valley the flag of the Stars and Stripes!




"Particularly spirited is Miss Sweetser's biographical work. Accuracy of historic fact has been the author's commendable aim in all her books. Luckily she has likewise treated her characters as human beings, something which cannot be said of most writers of biography for children."—The Nation.

Octavo, Pictorial Covers, numerous full-page illustrations, many in color



Each Volume Fully Illustrated. Crown 8vo



All these volumes are fully illustrated with numerous full-page drawings and many decorations. Crown 8vo, bound in Red Cloth




By Raymond S. Spears

A farmer's son ventures out into the great world to make a man of himself and succeeds. He embarks in a shanty-boat and sails down the Ohio and Mississippi, where he has all kinds of adventures which will make the boy-reader long to imitate him.


By Raymond S. Spears

A story of self-reliance and independence as well as adventure. Will Sayne and Miles Breton take a voyage of discovery from Ontario and Erie, through Huron to the vast stretch of Lake Superior. They become involved innocently in smugglers' plots.


By Elmer Russell Gregor

The story of two boys who are granted the privilege of a winter of hunting and trapping in the Maine woods under the tuition of their father's famous guide, Old Ben. It is not only a fine story but is filled with the information about wild animals and woodcraft that boys love.


By Elmer Russell Gregor

The same two boys spend a summer in the Rocky Mountains, shoot mountain-lions and wolves, secure photographs of mountain-sheep and bears, pan gold in cañon streams, and are nearly suffocated in a forest fire.

Illustrated. Post 8vo


NEW YORK      Established 1817      LONDON


Transcriber’s Note