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A short story by Etta Belle Walker

Indian Tales

Title:     Indian Tales
Author: Etta Belle Walker [More Titles by Walker]

In the year 1774 the Indians began to give serious trouble to the settlers on New River. One day several children, those of the Lybrooks' and the Snydow's, were playing down by the river. They heard a dog barking and upon looking up, saw some Indians approaching. One of the boys ran along the edge of the stream trying to make his escape and warn the family. But one of the Indians ran ahead and cut off that means of escape. He also fired at two boys who were farther out in the stream, but fortunately missed them.

While the Indian was aiming at the boys, one of them ran up a rough path which had been made by the animals as they went back and forth to drink. The boy scrambled up this path and darted by the Indian who tried his best to catch him. The Indian gave pursuit and the boy ran until he came to a wide gulley about ten feet wide. This the boy easily jumped, but the Indian hesitated and threw a buffalo tug which struck his head and hurt his back. But he never stopped running until he reached his father's home and slipped into the fort where he told the parents of the attack.

In the meantime, five of the children who were playing in the river climbed into the canoe. The Indians waded out, then swimming to the side of it, pulled out the children, killed them, and took their scalps.

An older girl, about thirteen years old, turned over the canoe and swam downstream, then jumped to the opposite bank. One of the Indians pursued her and she screamed loudly for help. A faithful guard dog came to her rescue and as the Indian reached out to grab her, the dog jumped at the Indian, tearing the flesh in his thigh, and threw him down. This gave the girl time to make her escape.

The Indian struck the dog a blow with his club which finally made him let up on the man. The faithful dog went to the canoe and stood guard over the five scalped children until their people came to take them away for burial. Then the dog refused to leave the spot and began to howl in a most pitiful way. He ran into the woods and back again, keeping up his cries until one of the men followed him to see what was troubling him. There near a tree, he found a little boy of six years, bleeding to death from a scalp wound.

In 1760 two Indians were seen hiding around Mill Creek. Mr. Painter, his brother John and William Moore went in search of them. After some time they came to a newly fallen pine tree which had a very bushy top.

"We had better be careful," Mathias Painter said as they neared the fallen tree. "There may be Indians hidden in it." As he spoke, an Indian fired from the tree. His bullet grazed John's temple not injuring him. Then the other two white men fired at the Indians, striking one of them who fell to the ground. They supposed him to be dead, so they pursued the one who had fled, leaving his gun and loot behind him.

But the Indian was strong and he outran the two men. Imagine their surprise when they returned, and found the Indian gone whom they had supposed dead, taking the guns and pack of skins with him. The white men picked up his trail and followed him. He hid himself in a sink-hole and when the men came near he opened fire on them. He poured out his powder on the dry grass in front of him so he could reload his gun more quickly. He fired at least thirty times before the two men finally were able to kill him.

The Indian who had gotten away met a young woman of the neighborhood who was riding horseback. He tore her from the horse and forced her to go with him. This happened near where New Market stands today. They travelled about twenty miles or more. The Indian became impatient because she complained of being so tired. People near Keesleton heard cries in the night. The next day when they went to see who had made them, they found a pine knot on which blood was still fresh. Nearby, they found the poor girl, already dead from the cruel blows and from loss of blood.

[The end]
Etta Belle Walker's short story: Indian Tales