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A short story by Charles M. Skinner

Providence Hole

Title:     Providence Hole
Author: Charles M. Skinner [More Titles by Skinner]

The going of white men into the prairies aroused the same sort of animosity among the Indians that they have shown in other parts of the country when retiring before the advance of civilization, and many who tried to plant corn on the rolling lands of Iowa, though they did no harm to the red men, paid for the attempt with their lives. Such was the fate of a settler who had built his cabin on the Wyoming hills, near Davenport. While working in his fields an arrow, shot from a covert, laid him low, and his scalp was cut away to adorn the belt of a savage. His little daughter, left alone, began to suffer from fears and loneliness as the sun went lower and lower, and when it had come to its time of setting she put on her little bonnet and went in search of him. As she gained the slope where he had last been seen, an Indian lifted his head from the grass and looked at her.

Starting back to run, she saw another behind her. Escape seemed hopeless, and killing or captivity would have been her lot had not a crevice opened in the earth close to where she stood. Dropping on hands and knees she hastily crawled in, and found herself in what seemed to be an extensive cavern. Hardly had she time to note the character of the place when the gap closed as strangely as it had opened and she was left in darkness. Not daring to cry aloud, lest Indians should hear her, she sat upright until her young eyes could keep open no longer; then, lying on a mossy rock, she fell asleep. In the morning the sun was shining in upon her and the way to escape was open. She ran home, hungry, but thankful, and was found and cared for by neighbors. "Providence Hole" then passed into the legends of the country. It has closed anew, however.

[The end]
Charles M. Skinner's short story: Providence Hole