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of age, of fair complexion, with blue eyes, and ment of some coming evil, which the very an immense head of bushy hair, which seemed singular conduct of the dog had created, alnever to have known the use of the comb. though he would scarcely acknowledge this to His feet were naked, and his trousers and himself. shirt, the only articles of dress he wore at The man made no reply, but continued whitthe moment, were of a homespun somewhat tling, whistling the air of “Yankee Doodle.” resembling in colour the hunting-frock of his “Answer me, Ephraim Giles !” peremptorily master. A thick black leather strap was also resumed Mr. Heywood; “leave off that eternal around his loins, evidently part of an old whittling of yours if you can, and explain to bridle-rein.
| me your meaning.” The master and the Frenchman drew near! “Etarnal whittling, do you call it, boss? I the fire and lighted their pipes. The ex-mili- guess it's no sich thing. No man knows better taire thrust a quid of tobacco into his cheek, nor you that if I can whittle the smallest stick and taking up a small piece of pine board that in creation, I can bring down the stoutest oak rested against the chimney-corner, split a as well as ere a fellow in Michigan. Work is portion of this with his jack-knife, and com- work-play is play-it's only the difference, I menced whittling. The boy busied himself in reckon, of the axe and the knife.” clearing the table, throwing occasionally scraps “Will you answer my question like a man, of bread and dried venison, which had consti- and not like a fool as you are ?" shouted the tuted the chief portion of the meal, to the dog, other, stooping and extending his left hand, who, however, contrary to his usual custom, the fingers of which he insinuated into the paid little attention to these marks of favour, stock already described, while with a powerful but moved impatiently, at intervals, to the jerk he brought both the man to his feet and door, then returning squatted himself again on the blood into his usually cadaverous cheek. his haunches, at a short distance from his Ephraim Giles, half throttled and writhing master, and uttering a low sound betwixt a with pain, made a movement as if he would whine and a growl, looked piteously up into have used the knife in a less innocent manner his face.
than whittling, but the quick, stern eye of his “Vat de devil is de matter wid you, Loup master detected the involuntary act, and his Garou ?” remarked the Canadian at length, as hand, suddenly relinquishing its hold of the removing his pipe from his lips, he stretched collar, grasped the wrist of the soldier with his legs, and poised himself in his low wood- such a vice-like pressure that the fingers imbottomed chair, putting forth his right hand at mediately opened, and the knife fell upon the the same time to his canine follower. “You hearth. not eat, and you make noise as you wish me to The violence of his own act brought Mr. see one raccoon in de tree.”
Heywood at once to a sense of the undue “ Loup Garou doesn't prate about coons, I severity he had used towards his servant, and guess," drawled the man in the faded uniform, he immediately said, taking his handwithout however withdrawing his attention “Ephraim Giles, forgive me. I have been from the very interesting occupation in which rather rough with you, but it was not intended. he was engaged. “That dog, I take it, Le Noir, Yet, I know not how it is, the few words you means somethin' else—somethin' more than we spoke just now have made me anxious to know human critters know. By gosh, Boss,” looking what you meant, and I could not repress my for the first time at him who stood in that impatience to hear your explanation." relation to him, “ if we can't smell the varmint, The soldier had never before remarked so I take it Loup Garou does.”
much dignity of manner about his “boss," as “What has got into your foolish head now, he termed Mr. Heywood, and this fact, added Ephraim Giles ?” he sharply questioned. “You to the recollection of the severe handling he do nothing but prophesy evil. What ‘varmint had just met with, caused him to be a little do you talk of, and what has Loup Garou to do more respectful in his address. with it? Speak, what do you mean, if you “Well, I reckon,” he said, picking up his mean anything at all ?”
knife, and resuming his whittling, but in a less As he uttered this half rebuke he rose absorbed manner, “I meant no harm, but abruptly from his chair, shook the ashes from merely that Loup Garou can nose an Injun his pipe, and drew himself to his full height, better nor any of us.” with his back to the fire. There had been “ Nose an Indian better than any of us! nothing very remarkable in the observation Well, perhaps he can ; he sees them every day; made by the man to whom he had just ad- but what has that to do with his whining and dressed himself, but he was in a peculiar state growling just now ?” of mind, that gave undue importance to every “Well I'll tell you, boss, what I mean, more word, seconding, as it did, a vague presenti- | plain like. You know that patch of wood bor
dering on the prairie, where you set me to cut, Garou, who stood at the front doorway, was t'other day ?”
renewed even more plaintively than before. “I do. What of that?"
Mr. Heywood's cheek blanched. It was not “Well then, this morning I was cutting down with fear, for he was a man incapable of fear, as big an oak as ever grew in Michigan, as I in the usual acceptation of the word; but said afore, when as it went thunderin' through | independently of certain vague apprehensions the branches, with noise enough to scare every for others, his mind had been in a great buffalo within a day's walk, up started, not degree unhinged by an unaccountable presentwenty yards from its top, ten or a dozen or so timent of evil, which, as if instinctively, had of Injuns, all gruntin' like pigs, and lookin' as come over it that day. It was this which, fierce as so many red devils. They didn't look inducing a certain irresoluteness of thought quite pleased, I calculate."
and action, had led him into a manifestation "Indeed!” remarked Mr. Heywood musingly. of peevish contradiction in his address to “A party of Pottawatomies, I suppose, from Ephraim Giles. There are moments when, the neighbourhood of the Fort. We all know without knowing why, the nerves of the strongthere is an encampment of them there, but est, the purposes of the wisest, are unstrung; they are our friends."
and when it requires all our tact and self-pos« Maybe so," continued Ephraim Giles, “ but session, to conceal from others the momentary these varmint didn't look over friendly. And weakness we almost blush to admit to ourthen I guess the Pottawatomies don't dress in selves. war paint, except when they dance for liquor." | But there was no time for reflection. The
" And are you quite sure these Indians were approach to the door was suddenly shaded, in their war paint ?” asked his master, with | and, in the next instant, the dark forms of three an ill-concealed look of anxiety.
or four savages, speedily followed by others, No mistake about it." replied Giles, still amounting in all to twelve besides their chief, whittling, - and I could almost swear, short as
who was in the advance, crossed the threshold; the squint was I got of them, that they were
and without uttering a word either of anger or part of those who fought us on the Wabash
salutation, squatted themselves on the floor. two years ago.”
They were stout, athletic warriors; the perfect
symmetry of whose persons could not be con“ And why did you not name this the instant
cealed even by the hideous war-paint with you got home ?” somewhat sternly demanded Mr. Heywood.
which they were thickly streaked; inspiring
anything but confidence in the honesty or " Where's the use of spilin' a good dinner ?”
friendliness of their intentions. The head of remarked Ephraim Giles. “It was all smokin'
each was shaved and painted, as well as his hot when I come in from choppin', and I thought
person, and only on the extreme crown had it best for every man to tuck in his belly full,
been left a tuft of hair, to which were attached before I said a word about it. Besides, I reckon
feathers and small bones, and other fantastic I don't know as they meant any harm, seein' as
| ornaments peculiar to their race. A few carhow they never carried off my topknot; only it
ried American rifles, the majority, the common was a little queer they were hid in that way in
gun periodically dealt out to the several tribes the bush, and looked so fierce when they fust
as presents from the British government; wbile jumped up in their nasty paint.”
all had, in addition to their pipe and tomahawk, “Who knows,” remarked Mr. Heywood,
the formidable and polished war-club. taking down his rifle from the side of the hut
Such visiters, and so armed and painted, opposite to the chimney, and examining the
were not of a character to remove the apprepriming, “but that these fellows may have
hensions of the little party in the farm-house. tracked you back, and are even now lurking
Their very silence, added to their dark and near us.”
threatening looks, created more than mere - Le Noir,” he continued to the Canadian, suspicion,-a certainty of evil design; and who, imitating his example, had taken down deeply, bitterly did Mr. Heywood curse in his a long duck gun from the same side of the hut, heart, the folly of Ephraim Giles in failing to "take your dog with you and reconnoitre in apprise him of his rencontre with these people, the neighbourhood. You speak Indian, and if at the earliest moment after his return. Had . any of these people are to be seen, ascertain he done so, there might have been a chance, who they are, and why-"
nay, a certainty of relief; for he knew that a Here he was interrupted by the gradually party from the Fort, consisting of a non-comapproaching sounds of rattling deer-hoofs, so missioned officer and six men, were even now well known as composing one of the lower fishing not more than two miles higher up the ornaments of the Indian war-dress, while, at river. He was aware that the boy Wilton was the same moment, the wild moaning of Loup an excellent runner, and that within an hour VOL. VI.
at least, he could have reached and brought “What do you think of these people, Le down that party who, as was their wont, when Noir ?” at length asked Mr. Heywood, without absenting themselves from the Fort on these however removing his gaze from his visiters; fishing excursions, were provided with their “ can they be friendly Pottawatomies ?" arms. However, it might not be too late yet,' “ Friendly Pottawatomie ! no sare,” reand he determined to make the attempt. To turned the Canadian seriously, and shrugging call and speak to the boy aside, would, he was his shoulders. “Dey no dress—no paint like well aware, excite the suspicions of his un- de Pottawatomie, and I not like der black look. welcome guests, while it was possible that, as No sare, dey Winnebago.” they did not understand English-so at least He laid a strong emphasis on the last word, he took it for granted—a communication made and, as he expected, a general “ ugh” among to him boldly in their presence, would be con- | the party attested that he had correctly named strued into some domestic order.
their tribe. " Wilton,” said he calmly to the boy, who! While they were thus expressing their constood near the doorway with alarm visibly jectures in regard to the character and intendepicted on his countenance, and looking as iftions of their guests, and inwardly determining he would eagerly seize a favourable opportunity to sell their lives as dearly as possible if atof escape, “make all haste to the fishing-party tacked, Ephraim Giles had risen from his above. Tell them what is going on here, and seat in the corner of the chimney, and with his ask the sergeant or corporal, whoever may be eyes fixed on the stick he was whittling, walked in command, to lose no time in pulling down coolly out of the door, and sauntered down the the stream. You will come back with them; pathway leading to the river. But, if he had quick, lose not a moment."
calculated on the same indifference to his Delighted at the order, the boy made no actions that the Indians had manifested toanswer, but hatless, shoeless as he was, dis-wards those of the boy, he was mistaken. The appeared round the corner of the house. whole party watched him as he slowly apStrange to say, the Indians, although they had proached the water, and then, when he had seemingly listened with attention to Mr. Hey got about half-way, the chief, suddenly springwood while issuing these directions, did not ing to his feet, and brandishing his tomahawk, make the slightest movement to impede the demanded in broken, but perfectly intelligible boy's departure, or even to remark on it,- | English, where he was going. merely turning to their chief, who uttered a “Well, I want to know !" exclaimed Ephraim sharp and apparently satisfied “Ugh.”
Giles, turning round, and, in a tone indicating All this time Mr. Heywood and Le Noir surprise that he should thus have been interstood at some little distance from the Indians, | rupted. “Only goin' over thar," he continued and nearly on the spot they had previously pointing to the haystacks on the opposite side occupied, the one holding his rifle, the other of the river, around which stood many cattlehis duck gun, the butts of both resting on the | “goin' to give out some grub to the beasts, and floor. At each moment their anxiety increased, | I'll be back in no time to give you out some and it seemed an age before the succour they whiskey.” Then, resuming his course, he went had sent for could possibly arrive. How long, on, whittling as unconcernedly as before. moreover, would these taciturn and forbidding The chief turned to his followers, and a low, mannered savages wait before they gave some yet eager conversation ensued. Whether it indication of overt hostility? And, even if was that the seeming indifference of the man, nothing were done prior to the arrival of the or his promise of the whiskey on his return, or fishing-party, would these latter be in sufficient that some other motive influenced them, they force to awe them into a pacific departure? contented themselves with keeping a vigilant The Indians were twelve in number, exclusively watch upon his movements. of their chief, all fierce and determined. They, | Mr. Heywood and the Frenchman looked at with the soldiers, nine; for neither Mr. Hey- each other with surprise. They could not wood nor Le Noir, seemed disposed to count account for the action of Ephraim Giles at that upon any efficient aid from Ephraim Giles, moment, although it was his office to cross the who during this dumb scene, continued whit-river daily, but at different hours, for the purtling before the Indians, apparently as cool pose he had named; yet how the Indians could and indifferent to their presence as if he had suffer this, if their intentions were really hosconceived them to be the most peaceably dis tile, it was impossible for them to understand. posed persons in the world. He had, however, In proportion as the hopes of the one were attentively listened to the order given to Wilton raised by this circumstance, those of the other by his master, and had not failed to remark were depressed. that the Indians had not, in any way, inter 1 While the master and the man were indulgfered with his departure.
ing their opposite reflections, without however making any intercommunication of them, , feared not to encounter privation and hardship Ephraim Giles, who had now thrust his knife -encamping at night in the woods, or finding and stick into the pocket of his short skirt, a less desirable repose in the squalid wigwam shoved off the only canoe that was to be seen, 1 of the uncertain Indian and stepping into it and seizing the paddle, On the same side of the river was the gourged it slowly, and without the slightest ap-vernment agency house, and about a quarter of pearance of hurry, to the opposite bank, where, a mile from that a spot generally used as a within less than ten minutes from his departure, place of encampment by the friendly Indians, he again hauled it up. Then, as coolly ascend- now occupied by a numerous band of Pottaing the bank, he approached one of the hay- watomies. Immediately opposite the Fort stacks, and drew from it a few armsfull of itself stood the residence and trading establishfodder, which he spread upon the ground, ment of Mr. Mackenzie-a gentleman who had continuing to do so as the cattle assembled long mixed with the Indians, had much influaround, until he had gained the outermost ence with, and was highly regarded by them; stack bordering immediately upon the wood. and close to his abode lived with his family, This reached, he gave a loud yell, which was consisting of his wife and her sister-French promptly answered in the fiercest tone of dis- Canadians like himself, -- Quilmette, one of appointment by the Indians, who had continued the most attached of his people, and enjoying to watch his movements up to the very moment almost equal popularity with the red men. of his disappearance, and, darting along & About a quarter of a mile beyond Quilmette's, narrow path which skirted the woods, ran with and immediately opposite to the Pottawatomie all his speed towards the Fort, hallooing and encampment, from which it was divided only giving the alarm as he went. His flight had | by the river, was another small but neat dwellnot lasted five minutes when the reports of ing. This belonged to Mr. Heywood, and was several guns, fired in the direction he had just then inhabited by his wife and daughter, both quitted, met his ear, and urged him to even of whom, like himself, had seen better days, greater exertion-until, at length, haggard and and whom he would not permit to reside at breathless, he gained his destination, and made the farm, as well on account of its rudeness of his way to the commanding officer, to whom he accommodation, as of the dread of exposing briefly detailed the startling occurrences he them, in that remote situation, to the very had witnessed.
danger which we have seen he had himself so recently encountered.
Such was the civilian population of that es! CHAPTER II.
sparsely inhabited country in 1812. Let us
now see the strength of its garrison. For the The Fort of Chicago, at that period, stood defence of so distant an outpost, almost cut on a portion of the same ground now occupied off, as we have already shown, from communiby its successor, and was in fact a very epitome cation with the more inhabited portions of of a fortress. On the western side, two block- the state, the American government had not houses constituted its chief defence, while on thought it requisite to provide more than a the north, a subterranean passage led from the single company of soldiers, a force utterly parade-ground to the river, near the banks of inadequate to contend, in a case of emergency, which it had been erected. The uses of this with the hordes of savages that could be colsallyport were twofold ; first, to afford the lected around them within a few hours,--and garrison a supply of water in the event of weeks before succour of any efficient kind & siege-secondly, to facilitate escape, if neces- could be received. This error, grave at any sary. The country around, now a scene of time, in those who sought to extend the influfruitfulness and industry, was at that time a ence of their name and arms throughout that wilderness, tenanted only by the savage, and fertile region, which has now, within the lapse by the few daring and adventurous whites of little more than a quarter of a century, Tho had devoted their lives to purposes of become the very head of American commerce traffic among them; yet their number was so and navigation, was especially so at this partismall as to induce them, with a view to their cular epoch, when the Indian spirit, stirred to safety, to establish themselves as near the fort exertion by the great chief, who had so re28 possible. Roads there were none, and the cently measured his strength with his natural half-formed trail of the Indian furnished the enemies at Tippecanoe, was likely to be aroused only means of communication between this dis- on all occasions where facility of conquest tant part and the less thickly settled portions of seemed to present itself. And yet that governMichigan. Nor were these journeys of fre- ment well knew that there were, even at that qnent occurrence, but performed at long inter-moment, difficulties subsisting between themvals, by the enterprising and robust men who selves and Great Britain of a character to lead
to an interruption of the friendly intercourse the subaltern did not incline to repose that that had hitherto subsisted between the two confidence in the measures or judgment of his countries, and which, if suffered to ripen into captain, which it has been shown the latter hostilities, would necessarily associate many of almost invariably accorded to those in authority the Indian tribes with the forces of England, above himself; and hence arose feelings that, drawing down certain destruction on those without absolutely alienating them for in their remote parts, whose chief hope of immunity relative military positions this could never be from danger lay, in a great degree, on the array -rendered their intercourse daily more and of strength they could oppose to their subtle more formal, until in the end, a sentiment and calculating enemy.
almost of enmity prevailed. In a remote garThis company, consisting of seventy-five men rison like this such an evil was the more to be -many of them married, and with families— regretted, even while there was the greater was under the command of an officer whose probability, from absence of serious occupaconduct throughout these eventful and trying tion, of its occurrence. scenes to be recorded, has often been the sub- The junior subaltern was Ensign Renayne, a ject of much censure;—with what justice the high-spirited young southerner, who had now reader will determine.
been three years at the post, and, within that Captain Headly was one of those officers period had, by his frank demeanour and handwho, without having acquired greater rank at some person, won the regard of all-military the age of forty than he now possessed, had and civil in the neighbourhood. Enterprising, served in the army of the United States from ardent, fearless, and chivalrous, this young his boyhood, and was, in all the minutiæ of the man had passed the first year of what he then service, a strict disciplinarian. He had in his considered his banishment to this remote region, earlier service acquired those habits of disci- in a restless desire for adventure, but at the pline and deference to authority which caused end of that year came a change over him, and him, on all necessary occasions, to regulate his the spirit that had panted exclusively for conduct by the orders of his superiors, and action, now bent before a gentler influence. so strongly was this engrafted on his very Last of the officers of this little fort was the nature, that, while possessing mind, energy, surgeon-doctor Von Vottenberg, who, as his and resolution sufficient to plan the most fea- name would imply, was a descendant of one of sible measures, his dread of that responsibility the earlier families of Dutch settlers in the which circumstances had now forced upon colonies, subsequently the United States. There him, induced the utmost disinclination to de- was nothing remarkable about this gentleman. part from the letter of an instruction once He was short, stout, rather of a bilious temreceived and unrevoked.
perament, clever in his profession, and much These, however, were purely faults of his addicted to compounding whiskey punch, which military education. To a commanding person he not only brewed, but drank most satisfacand dignified manner Captain Headly united torily. a mind highly cultivated, and feelings and sen- Such were the parties at the moment when timents which could not fail to secure the Ephraim Giles, breathless with speed and fanrespect even of those most ready to condemn cying the fierce Winnebagoes close upon his that caution and prudence of character which heels, made his entry into the Fort. The news 80 eminently distinguished his career as a sub- he brought was of a nature to assemble the ordinate soldier. It was well known and con- officers, as well as many of the men and women, ceded that, if he erred, the error grew not so anxious to hear all the details of an occurrence much out of his own want of judgment, but which now, for the first time since their arrival was rather the fruit of the too great deference at the post, had created anything like serious he paid to the judgment of others. In the apprehension. private relations of life he was both liked But there was one of the officers who maniand esteemed, excelling in all those lighter fested more than ordinary uneasiness. His accomplishments that insure favour with so- impatience was great, and, after having whisciety, and seldom fail to win for their possessor pered a few words in the ear of Captain Headly, the approbation of women. Such, indeed, had and received an affirmative reply, coupled with been his success in this particular application an injunction of caution, he left the building in of the gifts with which nature had endowed haste, and proceeded towards the blockhouses, him, that he had for some years been the pos- where, selecting half a dozen men and ordering
ssor of the affections and hand of one of the them to arm on the instant, he passed with noblest of her sex.
them through the gate-sprang into a large The next officer in rank was Lieutenant scow which was unchained from its moorings Elmsley, married also, and about ten years the on the bank of the river, and steered in the junior of Headly. From particular causes I direction of the house already said to have