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A short story by Charles M. Skinner

A Chestnut Log

Title:     A Chestnut Log
Author: Charles M. Skinner [More Titles by Skinner]

There is no doubt that farmer Lovel had read ancient history or he would not have been so ready in the emergency that befell him one time in the last century. He had settled among the New Hampshire hills near the site that is now occupied by the village of Washington and had a real good time there with bears and Indians. It was when he was splitting rails on Lovel Mountain--they named it for him afterward--that he found himself surrounded by six Indians, who told him that he was their prisoner. He agreed that they had the advantage over him and said that he would go quietly along if they would allow him to finish the big chestnut log that he was at work on. As he was a powerful fellow and was armed with an axe worth any two of their tomahawks, and as he would be pretty sure to have the life of at least one of them if they tried to drive him faster than he wanted to go, they consented. He said that he would be ready all the sooner if they would help him to pull the big log apart, and they agreed to help him. Driving a wedge into the long split he asked them to take hold, and when they had done this he knocked out the wedge with a single blow and the twelve hands were caught tight in the closing wood. Struggle as the savages might, they could not get free, and after calmly enjoying the situation for a few minutes he walked slowly from one to the other and split open the heads of all six. Then he went to work again splitting up more chestnuts.

[The end]
Charles M. Skinner's short story: Chestnut Log