Thrilling Adventures by Land and Sea

Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Charlie Kirschner and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.








"Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances,
Of moving accidents by flood and field."


There is a large class of readers who seek books for the sake of the amusement they afford. Many are not very fastidious as to the character of those they select, and consequently the press of the present day teems with works which are not only valueless, so far as imparting information is concerned, but actually deleterious in their moral tendency, and calculated to vitiate and enervate the mind. Such publications as pander to a prurient taste find a large circulation with a portion of society who read them for the same reason that the inebriate seeks his bowl, or the gambler the instruments of his vocation--for the excitement they produce. The influence of works of this description is all bad--there is not a single redeeming feature to commend them to the favor or toleration of the virtuous or intelligent. It cannot be expected that minds accustomed to such reading can at once be elevated into the higher walks of literature or the more rugged paths of science. An intermediate step, by which they may be lifted into a higher mental position, is required.

There is in the adventures of the daring and heroic, something that interests all. There is a charm about them which, while it partakes of the nature of Romance, does not exercise the same influence upon the mind or heart. When there are noble purposes and noble ends connected with them, they excite in the mind of the reader, noble impulses.

The object of the present compilation is to form a readable and instructive volume--a volume of startling incident and exciting adventure, which shall interest all minds, and by its attractions beget thirst for reading with those who devote their leisure hours to things hurtful to themselves and to community. We have endeavored to be authentic, and to present matter, which, if it sometimes fail to impart knowledge or instruction, or convey a moral lesson, will, at least, be innoxious. But we trust we have succeeded in doing more than this--in placing before the reading public something that is really valuable, and that will produce valuable results.


Incident at Resaca de la Palma
True Heroism
Thrilling Incident
Incident in the War of Mexican Independence
Sketch from Life on the Ocean
Escape from Shipwreck
The Hunter's Wife
Deaf Smith, the Texan Spy
Escape from a Shark
Adventure with Pirates
A Sea-Fowling Adventure
Adventure with a Cobra di Capello
Combat of Wild Animals
Perilous Incident on a Canadian River
Leopard Hunting
Hunting the White Rhinoceros
A Leopard Hunt
Life in California
A Storm among the Icebergs
Fall of the Rossberg
The Rifleman of Chippewa
Shipwreck of the Blendenhall
Adventures of Sergeant Champe
Adventure with Pirates
Kenton, the Spy
The Dying Volunteer
Escape from a Mexican Quicksand
Charged by a Rhinoceros
Burning of the Erie
Conflict with an Indian
Fire on the Prairies
The Captain's Story
Tussle with a Wildcat
Incident in Frontier Life
Encounter with Robbers
Shipwreck of the Monticello
A Jungle Recollection
Attack of Boonesborough
Thrilling Incidents of Battle
Family Attacked by Indians
Thrilling Incident
Adventures of Dr. Bacon
A Battle with Snakes
Estill's Defeat
Incident at Niagara Falls
Skater chased by a Wolf
Our Flag on the Rocky Mountains
Running the Canon
The Rescue
Shipwreck of the Medusa
Hunting the Moose
Perilous Escape from Death
Fire in the Forest
Pirates of the Red Sea
General Jackson and Weatherford
Cruise of the Saldanha and Talbot
A Carib's Revenge
Massacre of Fort Mimms
The Freshet
The Panther's Den
Adventure with Elephant's
The Shark Sentinel
Hunting the Tiger
Indian Devil
Bear Fight
The Miners of Bois-Monzil
Ship Towed to Land by Bullocks
Destruction of a Ship by a Whale
Burning of the Kent


Attack on the Lighthouse
Before the Gale
Escape from a Shark
Tiger and Buffalo
Charge of the Buffalo
Loss of the Blendenhall
Death of Montgomery
Escape from the Rhinoceros
The Pursuit
Loss of the Monticello
Attack on Boonesborough
Death of the Widow's Daughter
Attacked by Wolves
Attack on Estill's Station
Our Flag on the Rocky Mountains
A Sail in Sight
Savages Torturing a Captive
Gen. Jackson and Weatherford
Gen. Coffee's Attack on the Indians
Hunting the Rhinoceros
Hunting the Tiger
Ship towed by Bullocks
Burning of the Kent



Sergeant Milton gives the following account of an incident which befel him at the Battle of Resaca de la Palma.

"At Palo Alto," says he, "I took my rank in the troop as second sergeant, and while upon the field my horse was wounded in the jaw by a grape-shot, which disabled him for service. While he was plunging in agony I dismounted, and the quick eye of Captain May observed me as I alighted from my horse. He inquired if I was hurt. I answered no--that my horse was the sufferer. I am glad it is not yourself,' replied he; 'there is another,' (pointing at the same time to a steed without a rider, which was standing with dilated eye, gazing at the strife,) 'mount him,' I approached the horse, and he stood still until I put my hand upon the rein and patted his neck, when he rubbed his head alongside of me, as if pleased that some human being was about to become his companion in the affray.

"On the second day, at Resaca de la Palma, our troop stood anxiously waiting for the signal to be given, and never had I looked upon men on whose countenances were more clearly expressed a fixed determination to win. The lips of some were pale with excitement, and their eyes wore that fixed expression which betokens mischief; others, with shut teeth, would quietly laugh, and catch a tighter grip of the rein, or seat themselves with care and firmness in the saddle, while quiet words of confidence and encouragement were passed from each to his neighbor. All at once Captain May rode to the front of his troop--every rein and sabre was tightly grasped. Raising himself and pointing at the battery, he shouted, 'Men, _follow_!' There was now a clattering of hoofs and a rattling of sabre sheaths--the fire of the enemy's guns was partly drawn by Lieutenant Ridgely, and the next moment we were sweeping like the wind up the ravine. I was in a squad of about nine men, who were separated by a shower of grape from the battery, and we were in advance, May leading. He turned his horse opposite the breastwork, in front of the guns, and with another shout 'to follow,' leaped over them. Several of the horses did follow, but mine, being new and not well trained, refused; two others balked, and their riders started down the ravine to turn the breastwork where the rest of the troop had entered. I made another attempt to clear the guns with my horse, turning him around--feeling all the time secure at thinking the guns discharged--I put his head toward them and gave him spur, but he again balked; so turning his head down the ravine, I too started to ride round the breastwork.

"As I came down, a lancer dashed at me with lance in rest. With my sabre I parried his thrust, only receiving a slight flesh-wound from its point in the arm, which felt at the time like the prick of a pin. The lancer turned and fled; at that moment a ball passed through my horse on the left side and shattered my right side. The shot killed the horse instantly, and he fell upon my left leg, fastening me by his weight to the earth. There I lay, right in the midst of the action, where carnage was riding riot, and every moment the shot, from our own and the Mexican guns, tearing up the earth around me. I tried to raise my horse so as to extricate my leg but I had already grown so weak with my wound that I was unable, and from the mere attempt, I fell back exhausted. To add to my horror, a horse, who was careering about, riderless, within a few yards of me, received a wound, and he commenced struggling and rearing with pain. Two or three times, he came near falling on me, but at length, with a scream of agony and a bound, he fell dead--his body touching my own fallen steed. What I had been in momentary dread of now occurred--my wounded limb, which was lying across the horse, received another ball in the ankle.

"I now felt disposed to give up; and, exhausted through pain and excitement, a film gathered over my eyes, which I thought was the precursor of dissolution. From this hopeless state I was aroused by a wounded Mexican, calling out to me, '_Bueno Americano,_' and turning my eyes toward the spot, I saw that he was holding a certificate and calling to me. The tide of action now rolled away from me and hope again sprung up. The Mexican uniforms began to disappear from the chapparal, and squadrons of our troops passed in sight, apparently in pursuit. While I was thus nursing the prospect of escape, I beheld, not far from me, a villainous-looking ranchero, armed with an American sergeant's short sword, dispatching a wounded American soldier, whose body he robbed--the next he came to was a Mexican, whom he served the same way, and thus I looked on while he murderously slew four. I drew an undischarged pistol from my holsters, and laying myself along my horse's neck, watched him, expecting to be the next victim; but something frightened him from his vulture-like business, and he fled in another direction. I need not say that had he visited me I should have taken one more shot at the enemy, and would have died content, had I succeeded in making such an assassin bite the dust. Two hours after, I had the pleasure of shaking some of my comrades by the hand, who were picking up the wounded. They lifted my Mexican friend, too, and I am pleased to say he, as well as myself, live to fight over again the sanguine fray of _Resaca de la Palma."_


While the plague raged violently at Marseilles, every link of affection was broken, the father turned from the child, the child from the father; cowardice and ingratitude no longer excited indignation. Misery is at its height when it thus destroys every generous feeling, thus dissolves every tie of humanity! the city became a desert, grass grew in the streets; a funeral met you at every step.

The physicians assembled in a body at the Hotel de Ville, to hold a consultation on the fearful disease, for which no remedy had yet been discovered. After a long deliberation, they decided unanimously, that the malady had a peculiar and mysterious character, which opening a corpse alone might develope--an operation it was impossible to attempt, since the operator must infallibly become a victim in a few hours, beyond the power of human art to save him, as the violence of the attack would preclude their administering the customary remedies. A dead pause succeeded this fatal declaration. Suddenly, a surgeon named Guyon, in the prime of life, and of great celebrity in his profession, rose and said firmly, "Be it so: I devote myself for the safety of my country. Before this numerous assembly I swear, in the name of humanity and religion, that to-morrow, at the break of day, I will dissect a corpse, and write down as I proceed, what I observe." He left the assembly instantly. They admired him, lamented his fate, and doubted whether he would persist in his design. The intrepid Guyon, animated by all the sublime energy which patriotism can inspire, acted up to his word. He had never married, he was rich, and he immediately made a will; he confessed, and in the middle of the night received the sacraments. A man had died of the plague in his house within four and twenty hours. Guyon, at daybreak, shut himself up in the same room; he took with him an inkstand, paper, and a little crucifix. Full of enthusiasm, and kneeling before the corpse, he wrote,--"Mouldering remains of an immortal soul, not only can I gaze on thee without horror, but even with joy and gratitude. Thou wilt open to me the gates of a glorious eternity. In discovering to me the secret cause of the terrible disease which destroys my native city, thou wilt enable me to point out some salutary remedy--thou wilt render my sacrifice useful. Oh God! thou wilt bless the action thou hast thyself inspired." He began--he finished the dreadful operation, and recorded in detail his surgical observations. He left the room, threw the papers into a vase of vinegar, and afterward sought the lazaretto, where he died in twelve hours--a death ten thousand times more glorious than the warrior's, who, to save his country, rushes on the enemy's ranks,--since he advances with hope, at least, sustained, admired, and seconded by a whole army.


An incident occurred at the Key Biscayne lighthouse, during the Florida war, which is perhaps worth recording. The lighthouse, was kept by a man named Thompson. His only companion was an old negro man; they both lived in a small hut near the lighthouse. One evening about dark they discovered a party of some fifteen or twenty Indians creeping upon them, upon which they immediately retreated into the lighthouse, carrying with them a keg of gunpowder, with the guns and ammunition. From the windows of the lighthouse Thompson fired upon them several times, but the moment he would show himself at the window, the glasses would be instantly riddled by the rifle balls, and he had no alternative but to lie close. The Indians meanwhile getting out of patience, at not being able to force the door, which Thompson had secured, collected piles of wood, which, being placed against the door and set fire to, in process of time not only burnt through the door, but also set fire to the stair-case conducting to the lantern, into which Thompson and the negro were compelled to retreat. From this, too, they were finally driven by the encroaching flames, and were forced outside on the parapet wall, which was not more than three feet wide.


The flames now began to ascend as from a chimney, some fifteen or twenty feet above the lighthouse. These men had to lie in this situation, some seventy feet above the ground, with a blazing furnace roasting them on one side, and the Indians on the other, embracing every occasion, as soon as any part of the body was exposed to pop at them. The negro incautiously exposing himself, was killed, while Thompson received several balls in his feet, which he had projected beyond the wall.

Nearly roasted to death, and in a fit of desperation, Thompson seized the keg of gunpowder, which he had still preserved from the hands of the enemy, threw it into the blazing lighthouse, hoping to end his own sufferings and destroy the savages. In a few moments it exploded, but the walls were too strong to be shaken, and the explosion took place out of the lighthouse, as though it had been fired from a gun.

The effect of the concussion was to throw down the blazing materials level with the ground, so as to produce a subsidence of the flames, and then Thompson was permitted to remain exempt from their influence. Before day the Indians were off, and Thompson being left alone, was compelled to throw off the body of the negro, while strength was left him, and before it putrefied.

The explosion was heard on board a revenue cutter at some distance, which immediately proceeded to the spot to ascertain what had occurred, when they found the lighthouse burnt, and the keeper above, on top of it. Various expedients were resorted to, to get him down; and finally a kite was made, and raised with strong twine, and so manoeuvered as to bring the line within his reach, to which a rope of good size was next attached, and hauled up by Thompson. Finally, a block, which being fastened to the lighthouse, and having a rope to it, enabled the crew to haul up a couple of men, by whose aid Thompson was safely landed on terra firma.

The Indians had attempted to reach him by means of the lightning rod, to which they had attached thongs of buckskin, but could not succeed in getting more than half way up.



The following thrilling narrative is from a translation in Sharpe's Magazine. A captain in the Mexican insurgent army is giving an account of a meditated night attack upon a hacienda situated in the Cordilleras, and occupied by a large force of Spanish soldiers. After a variety of details, he continues:

"Having arrived at the hacienda unperceived, thanks for the obscurity of a moonless night, we came to a halt under some large trees, at some distance from the building, and I rode forward from my troop, in order to reconnoitre the place. The hacienda, so far as I could see in gliding across, formed a huge, massive parallelogram, strengthened by enormous buttresses of hewn stone. Along this chasm, the walls of the hacienda almost formed the continuation of another perpendicular one, chiselled by nature herself in the rocks, to the bottom of which the eye could not penetrate, for the mists, which incessantly boiled up from below, did not allow it to measure their awful depth. This place was known, in the country, by the name of 'the Voladero.'"

"I had explored all sides of the building except this, when I know not what scruple of military honor incited me to continue my ride along the ravine which protected the rear of the hacienda. Between the walls and the precipice, there was a narrow pathway about six feet wide; by day, the passage would have been dangerous; but, by night, it was a perilous enterprize. The walls of the farm took an extensive sweep, the path crept round their entire basement, and to follow it to the end, in the darkness, only two paces from the edge of a perpendicular chasm, was no very easy task, even for as practiced a horseman as myself. Nevertheless, I did not hesitate, but boldly urged my horse between the walls of the farm-house and the abyss of the Voladero. I had got over half the distance without accident, when, all of a sudden, my horse neighed aloud. This neigh made me shudder. I had just reached a pass where the ground was but just wide enough for the four legs of a horse, and it was impossible to retrace my steps."

"'Hallo!' I exclaimed aloud, at the risk of betraying myself, which was even less dangerous than encountering a horseman in front of me on such a road. 'There is a Christian passing along the ravine! Keep back,'"

"It was too late. At that moment, a man on horseback passed round one of the buttresses which here and there obstructed this accursed pathway He advanced toward me. I trembled in my saddle; my forehead bathed in a cold sweat."

"'For the love of God! can you not return?' I exclaimed, terrified at the fearful situation in which we both were placed."

"'Impossible!' replied the horseman."

"I recommended my soul to God. To turn our horses round for want of room, to back them along the path we had traversed, or even to dismount from them--these were three impossibilities, which placed us both in presence of a fearful doom. Between two horsemen so placed upon this fearful path, had they been father and son, one of them must inevitably have become the prey of the abyss. But a few seconds had passed, and we were already face to face--the unknown and myself. Our horses were head to head, and their nostrils, dilated with terror, mingled together their fiery breathing. Both of us halted in a dead silence. Above was the smooth and lofty wall of the hacienda; on the other side, but three feet distant from the wall, opened the horrible gulf. Was it an enemy I had before my eyes? The love of my country, which boiled, at that period, in my young bosom, led me to hope it was."

"'Are you for Mexico and the Insurgents?' I exclaimed in a moment of excitement, ready to spring upon the unknown horseman, if he answered me in the negative."

"'_Mexico e Insurgente_--that is my password, replied the cavalier. 'I am the Colonel Garduno.'"

"'I am the Captain Castanos.'"

"Our acquaintance was of long standing; and, but for mutual agitation, we should have had no need to exchange our names. The colonel had left us two days since, at the head of the detachment, which we supposed to be either prisoners, or cut off, for he had not been seen to return to the camp."

"'Well, colonel,' I exclaimed, 'I am sorry you are not a Spaniard; for, you perceive, that one of us must yield the pathway to the other."

"Our horses had the bridle on their necks, and I put my hands to the holsters of my saddle to draw out my pistols."

"'I see it so plainly,' returned the colonel, with alarming coolness, 'that I should already have blown out the brains of your horse, but for the fear lest mine, in a moment of terror, should precipitate me with yourself, to the bottom of the abyss.'"

"I remarked, in fact, that the colonel already held his pistols in his hands. We both maintained almost profound silence. Our horses felt the danger like ourselves, and remained as immovable as if their feet were nailed to the ground. My excitement had entirely subsided. 'What are we going to do?' I demanded of the colonel."

"'Draw lots which of the two shall leap into the ravine.'"

"It was, in truth, the sole means of resolving the difficulty. 'There are, nevertheless, some precautions to take,' said the Colonel."

"'He who shall be condemned by the lot, shall retire backward. It will be but a feeble chance of escape for him, I admit; but, in short, there is a chance, and especially one in favor of the winner,'"

"'You cling not to life, then?' I cried out, terrified at the _sang-froid_ with which this proposition was put to me."

"'I cling to life more than yourself,' sharply replied the colonel, 'for I have a mortal outrage to avenge. But the time is fast slipping away. Are you ready to proceed to draw the last lottery at which one of us will ever exist?"

"How were we to proceed to this drawing by lot? By means of the wet finger, like infants; or by head and tail, like the school boys? Both ways were impracticable. Our hands imprudently stretched out over the heads of our frightened horses, might cause them to give a fatal start. Should we toss up a piece of coin, the night was too dark to enable us to distinguish which side fell upward. The colonel bethought him of an expedient, of which I never should have dreamed."

"'Listen to me, captain,' said the colonel, to whom I had communicated my perplexities. 'I have another way. The terror which our horses feel, makes them draw every moment a burning breath. The first of us two whose horse shall neigh,--"

"'Wins!' I exclaimed, hastily."

"'Not so; shall be looser. I know that you are a countryman, and, as such, you can do whatever you please with your horse. As to myself, who, but last year, wore a gown of a theological student, I fear your equestrian prowess. You may be able to make your horse neigh: to hinder him from doing so, is a very different matter.'"

"We waited in deep and anxious silence until the voice of one of our horses should break forth. The silence lasted for a minute--for an age! It was my horse who neighed the first. The colonel gave no external manifestation of his joy; but, no doubt, he thanked God to the very bottom of his heart."

"'You will allow me a minute to make my peace with heaven?' I said, with falling voice."

"'Will five minutes be sufficient?'"

"'It will,' I replied."

"The colonel pulled out his watch. I addressed toward the heavens, brilliant with stars, which I thought I was looking to for the last time, an intense and burning prayer."

"'It is time,' said the colonel."

"I answered nothing, and, with a firm hand, gathered up the bridle of my horse, and drew it within my fingers, which were agitated by a nervous tremor."

"'Yet one moment more,' I said to the colonel, for I have need of all my coolness to carry into execution the fearful manoeuver which I am about to commence."

"'Granted,' replied Garduno."

"My education, as I have told you, had been in the country. My childhood, and part of my earliest youth, had almost been passed on horseback. I may say, without flattering myself, that if there was any one in the world capable of executing this equestrian feat, it was myself. I rallied myself with an almost supernatural effort, and succeeded in recovering my entire self-possession, in the very face of death. Taking it at the worst, I had already braved it too often to be any longer alarmed at it. From that instant, I dared to hope afresh."

"As soon as my horse felt, for the first time since my rencounter with the colonel, the bit compressing his mouth, I perceived that he trembled beneath me. I strengthened myself firmly on my stirrups, to make the terrified animal understand that his master no longer trembled. I held him up with bridle and the hams, as every good horseman does in a dangerous passage, and, with the bridle, the body, and the spur, together, succeeded in backing him a few paces. His head was already a greater distance from that of the horse of the colonel, who encouraged me all he could with his voice. This done, I let the poor, trembling brute, who obeyed me in spite of his terror, repose for a few moments, and then recommenced the same manoeuver. All on a sudden, I felt his hind legs give way under me. A horrible shudder ran through my whole frame. I closed my eyes, as if about to roll to the bottom of the abyss, and I gave to my body a violent impulse on the side next to the hacienda, the surface of which offered not a single projection, not a tuft of weeds to check my descent. This sudden movement joined to the desperate struggles of my horse, was the salvation of my life. He had sprung up again on his legs, which seemed ready to fall from under him, so desperately did I feel them tremble."

"I had succeeded in reaching between the brink of the precipice and the wall of the building, a spot some few inches broader. A few more would have enabled me to turn him round; but to attempt it here would have been fatal, and I dared not venture. I sought to resume my backward progress, step by step. Twice the horse threw himself on his hind legs, and fell down upon the same spot. It was in vain to urge him anew, either with voice, bridle, or spur; the animal obstinately refused to take a single step in the rear. Nevertheless, I did not feel my courage yet exhausted, for I had no desire to die. One last, solitary chance of safety, suddenly appeared to me, like a flash of light, and I resolved to employ it. Through the fastening of my boot, and in reach of my hand, was placed a sharp and keen knife, which I drew forth from its sheath. With my left hand I began caressing the mane of my horse, all the while letting him hear my voice. The poor animal replied to my caresses by a plaintive neighing; then, not to alarm him abruptly, my hand followed, by little and little, the curve of his nervous neck, and finally rested upon the spot where the last of the vertebrae unites itself with the cranium. The horse trembled; but I calmed him with my voice. When I felt his very life, so to speak, palpitate in his brain beneath my fingers, and leaned over toward the wall, my feet gently slid from the stirrups, and, with one vigorous blow, I buried the pointed blade of my knife in the seat of the vital principle. The animal fell as if thunderstruck, without a single motion; and, for myself, with my knees almost as high as my chin, I found myself a horseback across a corpse! I was saved! I uttered a triumphant cry, which was responded to by the colonel, and which the abyss re-echoed with a hollow sound, as if it felt that its prey had escaped from it. I quitted the saddle, sat down between the wall and the body of my horse, and vigorously pushed with my feet against the carcass of the wretched animal, which rolled down into the abyss. I then arose, and cleared, at a few bounds, the distance which separated the place where I was from the plain; and, under the irresistible reaction of the terror which I had long repressed, I sank into a swoon upon the ground. When I reopened my eyes, the colonel was by my side."



Carthagena lies in the parallel of ten degrees twenty-six minutes north, and seventy-five degrees thirty-eight minutes west longitude; the harbor is good, with an easy entrance; the city is strongly fortified by extensive and commanding fortifications and batteries, and, I should suppose, if well garrisoned and manned, they would be perfectly able to repel any force which might be brought to bear against them. It was well known, at this time, that all the provinces of Spain had shaken off their allegiance to the mother country, and declared themselves independent. Carthagena, the most prominent of the provinces, was a place of considerable commerce; and, about this time, a few men-of-war, and a number of privateers, were fitted out there. The Carthagenian flag now presented a chance of gain to the cupidity of the avaricious and desperate, among whom was our commander, Captain S. As soon, therefore, as we had filled up our water, &c., a proposition was made by him, to the second lieutenant and myself, to cruise under both flags, the American and Carthagenian, and this to be kept a profound secret from the crew, until we had sailed from port. Of course, we rejected the proposition with disdain, and told him the consequence of such a measure, in the event of being taken by a man-of-war of any nation,--that it was piracy, to all intents and purposes, according to the law of nations. We refused to go out in the privateer, if he persisted in this most nefarious act, and we heard no more of it while we lay in port.

In a few days we were ready for sea, and sailed in company with our companion, her force being rather more than ours, but the vessel very inferior, in point of sailing. While together, we captured several small British schooners, the cargoes of which, together with some specie, were divided between two privateers. Into one of the prizes we put all the prisoners, gave them plenty of water and provisions, and let them pursue their course: the remainder of the prizes were burned. We then parted company, and, being short of water, ran in toward the land, in order to ascertain if any could be procured. In approaching the shore, the wind died away to a perfect calm; and, at 4 P.M., a small schooner was seen in-shore of us. As we had not steerage way upon our craft, of course it would be impossible to ascertain her character before dark; it was, therefore, determined by our commander to board her with the boats, under cover of the night. This was a dangerous service; but there was no backing out. Volunteers being called for, I stepped forward; and very soon, a sufficient number of men to man two boats offered their services to back me. Every disposition was made for the attack. The men were strongly armed, oars muffled, and a grappling placed in each boat. The bearings of the strange sail were taken, and night came on perfectly clear and cloudless. I took command of the expedition, the second lieutenant having charge of one boat. The arrangement was to keep close together, until we got sight of the vessel; the second lieutenant was to board on the bow, and I on the quarter. We proceeded in the most profound silence; nothing was heard, save now and then a slight splash of the oars in the water, and, before we obtained sight of the vessel, I had sufficient time to reflect on this most perilous enterprise.

My reflections were not of the most pleasant character, and I found myself inwardly shrinking, when I was aroused by the voice of the bowman saying, "There she is, sir, two points on the starboard bow." There she lay, sure enough, with every sail hoisted, and a light was plainly seen, as we supposed, from her deck, it being too high for her cabin windows. We now held a consultation, and saw no good reason to change the disposition of the attack, except that we agreed to board simultaneously. It may be well to observe here, that any number of men on a vessel's deck, in the night, have double the advantage to repel boarders, because they may secrete themselves in such a position as to fall upon an enemy unawares, and thereby cut them off, with little difficulty. Being fully aware of this, I ordered the men, as soon as we had gained the deck of the schooner, to proceed with great caution, and keep close together, till every hazard of the enterprize was ascertained. The boats now separated, and pulled for their respective stations, observing the most profound silence. When we had reached within a few yards of the schooner, we lay upon our oars for some moments; but could neither hear nor see any thing. We then pulled away cheerily, and the next minute were under her counter, and grappled to her; every man leaped on the deck without opposition. The other boat boarded nearly at the same moment, and we proceeded, in a body, with great caution, to examine the decks. A large fire was in the caboose, and we soon ascertained that her deck was entirely deserted, and that she neither had any boat on deck nor to her stern. We then proceeded to examine the cabin, leaving an armed force on deck. The cabin, like the deck, being deserted, the mystery was easily unraveled. Probably concluding that we should board them under cover of the night, they, no doubt, as soon as it was dark, took to their boats, and deserted the vessel. On the floor of the cabin was a part of an English ensign, and some papers, which showed that she belonged to Jamaica, The little cargo on board consisted of Jamaica rum, sugar, fruit, &c.

The breeze now springing up, and the privateer showing lights, we were enabled to get alongside of her in a couple of hours. A prize-master and crew were put on board, with orders to keep company. During the night, we ran along shore, and, in the morning, took on board the privateer the greater part of the prize's cargo.

Being close in shore in the afternoon, we descried a settlement of huts; and, supposing that water might be obtained there, the two vessels were run in, and anchored about two miles distant from the beach. A proposition was made to me, by Captain S., to get the water-casks on board the prize schooner, and, as she drew a light draught of water, I was to run her in, and anchor her near the beach, taking with me the two boats and twenty men. I observed to Captain S. that this was probably an Indian settlement, and it was well known that all the Indian tribes on the coast of Rio de La Hache were exceedingly ferocious, and said to be cannibals; and it was also well known, that whosoever fell into their hands, never escaped with their lives; so that it was necessary, before any attempt was made to land, that some of the Indians should be decoyed on board, and detained as hostages for our safety. At the conclusion of this statement, a very illiberal allusion was thrown out by Captain S., and some doubts expressed in reference to my courage; he remarking, that if I was afraid to undertake the expedition, he would go himself. This was enough for me; I immediately resolved to proceed, if I sacrificed my life in the attempt. The next morning, twenty water-casks were put on board the prize, together with the two boats and twenty men, well armed with muskets, pistols, and cutlasses, with a supply of ammunition; I repaired on board, got the prize under way, ran in, and anchored about one hundred yards from the beach. The boats were got in readiness, and the men were well armed, and the water casks slung ready to proceed on shore, I had examined my own pistols narrowly, that morning, and had put them in complete order, and, as I believed, had taken every precaution for our future operations, so as to prevent surprise.

There were about a dozen ill-constructed huts, or wigwams; but no spot of grass, or shrub, was visible to the eye, with the exception of, here and there, the trunk of an old tree. One solitary Indian was seen stalking on the beach, and the whole scene presented the most wild and savage appearance, and, to my mind, argued very unfavorably. We pulled in with the casks in tow, seven men being in each boat; when within a short distance of the beach, the boat's heads were put to seaward, when the Indian came abreast of us. Addressing him in Spanish, I inquired if water could be procured, to which he replied in the affirmative. I then displayed to his view some gewgaws and trinkets, at which he appeared perfectly delighted, and, with many signs and gestures, invited me on shore. Thrusting my pistols into my belt, and buckling on my cartridge-box, I gave orders to the boats' crew, that, in case they discovered any thing like treachery or surprise, after I had gotten on shore, to cut the water-casks adrift, and make the best of their way on board the prize. As soon as I had jumped on shore, I inquired if there were any live stock, such as fowls, &c., to be had. Pointing to a hut about thirty yards from the boats, he said that the stock was there, and invited me to go and see it. I hesitated, suspecting some treachery; however, after repeating my order to the boats' crews, I proceeded with the Indian, and when within about half a dozen yards of the hut, at a preconcerted signal, (as I supposed,) as if by magic, at least one hundred Indians rushed out, with the rapidity of thought. I was knocked down, stripped of all my clothing except an inside flannel shirt, tied hand and foot, and then taken and secured to the trunk of a large tree, surrounded by about twenty squaws, as a guard, who, with the exception of two or three, bore a most wild and hideous look in their appearance. The capture of the boat's crews was simultaneous with my own, they being so much surprised and confounded at the stratagem of the Indians, that they had not the power, or presence of mind, to pull off.

After they had secured our men, a number of them jumped into the boats, pulled off, and captured the prize, without meeting with any resistance from those on board, they being only six in number. Her cable was then cut, and she was run on the beach, when they proceeded to dismantle her, by cutting the sails from the bolt-ropes, and taking out what little cargo there was, consisting of Jamaica ram, sugar, &c. This being done, they led ropes on shore, when about one hundred of them hauled her up nearly high and dry.

By this time the privateer had seen our disaster stood boldly in, and anchored within less than gun shot of the beach; they then very foolishly opened a brisk cannonade; but every shot was spent in vain. This exasperated the Indians, and particularly the one who had taken possession of my pistols. Casting my eye round, I saw him creeping toward me with one pistol presented, and when about five yards off, he pulled the trigger. But as Providence had, no doubt, ordered it, the pistol snapped; at the same moment, a shot from the privateer fell a few yards from us, when the Indian rose upon his feet, cocked the pistol, and fired it at the privateer; turning round with a most savage yell, he threw the pistol with great violence, which grazed my head, and then, with a large stick, beat and cut me until I was perfectly senseless. This was about ten o'clock, and I did not recover my consciousness until, as I supposed, about four o'clock in the afternoon. I perceived there were four squaws around me, one of whom, from her appearance,--having on many gewgaws and trinkets,--was the wife of a chief. As soon as she discovered signs of returning consciousness, she presented me with a gourd, the contents of which appeared to be Indian meal mixed with water; she first drank, and then gave it to me, and I can safely aver that I never drank any beverage, before or since, which produced such relief.

Night was now coming on; the privateer had got under weigh, and was standing off-and-on, with a flag of truce flying at her mast-head. The treacherous Indian with whom I had first conversed came, and with a malignant smile, gave me the dreadful intelligence that, at twelve o'clock that night, we were to be roasted and eaten.

Accordingly, at sunset, I was unloosed and conducted, by a band of about half a dozen savages, to the spot, where I found the remainder of our men firmly secured, by having their hands tied behind them, their legs lashed together, and each man fastened to a stake that had been driven into the ground for that purpose. There was no possibility to elude the vigilance of these miscreants. As soon as night shut in, a large quantity of brushwood was piled around us, and nothing now was wanting but the fire to complete this horrible tragedy. Then the same malicious savage approached us once more, and, with the deepest malignity, taunted us with our coming fate. Having some knowledge of the Indian character, I summoned up all the fortitude of which I was capable, and, in terms of defiance, told him, that twenty Indians would be sacrificed for each one of us sacrificed by him. I knew very well that it would not do to exhibit any signs of fear or cowardice; and, having heard much of the cupidity of the Indian character, I offered the savage a large ransom if he would use his influence to procure our release. Here the conversation was abruptly broken off by a most hideous yell from the whole tribe, occasioned by their having taken large draughts of the rum, which now began to operate very sensibly upon them; and, as it will be seen, operated very much to our advantage. This thirst for rum caused them to relax their vigilance, and we were left alone to pursue our reflections, which were not of the most enviable or pleasant character. A thousand melancholy thoughts rushed over my mind. Here I was, and, in all probability, in a few hours I should be in eternity, and my death one of the most horrible description. "Oh!" thought I, "how many were the entreaties and arguments used by my friends to deter me from pursuing an avocation so full of hazard and peril! If I had taken their advice, and acceded to their solicitations, in all probability I should, at this time, have been in the enjoyment of much happiness." I was aroused from this reverie by the most direful screams from the united voices of the whole tribe, they having drunk largely of the rum, and become so much intoxicated that a general fight ensued. Many of them lay stretched on the ground, with tomahawks deeply implanted in their skulls: and many others, as the common phrase is, were "dead drunk." This was an exceedingly fortunate circumstance for us. With their senses benumbed, of course they had forgotten their avowal to roast us, or, it may be, the Indian to whom I proposed ransom had conferred with the others, and they, no doubt, agreed to spare our lives until the morning. It was a night, however, of pain and terror, as well as of the most anxious suspense; and when the morning dawn broke upon my vision, I felt an indescribable emotion of gratitude, as I had fully made up my mind, the night previous, that long before this time I should have been sleeping the sleep of death. It was a pitiable sight, when the morning light appeared, to see twenty human beings stripped naked, with their bodies cut and lacerated, and the blood issuing from their wounds; with their hands and feet tied, and their bodies fastened to stakes, with brushwood piled around them, expecting every moment to be their last. My feelings, on this occasion, can be better imagined than described; suffice it to say, that I had given up all hopes of escape, and gloomily resigned myself to death. When the fumes of the liquor had in some degree worn off from the benumbed senses of the savages, they arose and approached us, and, for the first time, the wily Indian informed me that the tribe had agreed to ransom us. They then cast off the lashings from our bodies and feet, and, with our hands still secure, drove us before them to the beach. Then another difficulty arose; the privateer was out of sight, and the Indians became furious. To satiate their hellish malice, they obliged us to run on the beach, while they let fly their poisoned arrows after us. For my own part, my limbs were so benumbed that I could scarcely walk, and I firmly resolved to stand still and take the worst of it--which was the best plan I could have adopted; for, when they perceived that I exhibited no signs of fear, not a single arrow was discharged at me. Fortunately, before they grew weary of this sport, to my great joy, the privateer hove in sight. She stood boldly in, with the flag of truce flying, and the savages consented to let one man of their own choosing go off in the boat to procure the stipulated ransom. The boat returned loaded with articles of various descriptions, and two of our men were released. The boat kept plying to and from the privateer, bringing such articles as they demanded, until all were released except myself. Here it may be proper to observe, that the mulatto man, who had been selected by the Indians, performed all this duty himself, not one of the privateer's crew daring to hazard their lives with him in the boat. I then was left alone, and for my release they required a double ransom. I began now seriously to think that they intended to detain me altogether. My mulatto friend, however, pledged himself that he would never leave me.

Again, for the last time, he sculled the boat off. She quickly returned, with a larger amount of articles than previously. It was a moment of the deepest anxiety, for there had now arrived from the interior another tribe, apparently superior in point of numbers, and elated with the booty which had been obtained. They demanded a share, and expressed a determination to detain me for a larger ransom. These demands were refused, and a conflict ensued of the most frightful and terrific character. Tomahawks, knives, and arrows, were used indiscriminately, and many an Indian fell in that bloody contest. The tomahawks were thrown with the swiftness of arrows, and were generally buried in the skull or the breast; and whenever two came in contact, with the famous "Indian hug," the strife was soon over with either one or the other, by one plunging the deadly knife up to the hilt in the body of his opponent; nor were the poisoned arrows of less swift execution, for, wherever they struck, the wretched victim was quickly in eternity. I shall never forget the frightful barbarity of that hour; although years have elapsed since its occurrence, still the whole scene in imagination is before me, the savage yell of the warwhoop, and the direful screams of the squaws, still ring afresh in my ears. In the height of this conflict, a tall Indian chief, who, I knew, belonged to the same tribe with the young squaw who gave me the drink, came down to the beach where I was. The boat had been discharged, and was lying with her head off. At a signal given by the squaw to the chief, he caught me up in his arms, with as much ease as if I had been a child, waded to the boat, threw me in, and then, with a most expressive gesture, urged us off. Fortunately, there were two oars in the boat, and, feeble as I was, I threw all the remaining strength I had to the oar. It was the last effort, as life or death hung upon the next fifteen minutes. Disappointed of a share of the booty, the savages were frantic with rage, especially when they saw I had eluded their grasp. Rushing to the beach, about a dozen threw themselves into the other boat, which had been captured, and pulled after us; but, fortunately, in their hurry, they had forgotten the muskets, and being unacquainted with the method of rowing, of course they made but little progress, which enabled us to increase our distance.

The privateer having narrowly watched all these movements, and seeing our imminent danger, stood boldly on toward the beach, and in the next five minutes she lay between us and the Indians, discharging a heavy fire of musketry among them. Such was the high excitement of my feelings, that I scarcely recollected how I gained the privateer's deck. But I was saved, nevertheless, though I was weak with the loss of blood, and savage treatment,--my limbs benumbed, and body scorched with the piercing rays of the sun,--the whole scene rushing through my mind with the celerity of electricity! It unmanned and quite overpowered me; I fainted, and fell senseless on the deck.

The usual restoratives and care were administered, and I soon recovered from the effects of my capture. Some of the others were not so fortunate; two of them, especially, were cut in a shocking manner, and the others were so dreadfully beaten and mangled by clubs, that the greatest care was necessary to save their lives.



Received orders this day to proceed to London with the ship; and, as the easterly gale abated, and the wind hauled round southward and westward, we got under way, stood out of Falmouth harbor, and proceeded up the British Channel. At sunset, it commenced to rain, and the weather was thick and cloudy. The different lights were seen as far as the Bill of Portland. At midnight, lost sight of the land, and it blew a gale from off the French coast: close reefed the topsails, and steered a course so as to keep in mid-channel. At daybreak, the ship was judged to be off Beachy Head; the weather being so thick, the land could not be seen. The fore and mizzen-topsails were now furled, and the ship hove to. The rain began now to fall in torrents, and the heavy, dense, black clouds rose, with fearful rapidity, from the northward, over the English coast, when suddenly the wind shifted from the south-west to the north, and blew a hurricane. The mist and fog cleared away, and, to our utter astonishment, we found ourselves on a lee shore, on the coast of France, off Boulogne heights. The gale was so violent, that no more sail could be made. The ship was so exceedingly crank, that when she luffed up on a wind, her bulwarks were under water. As she would not stay, the only alternative was, to wear; of course, with this evolution, we lost ground, and, consequently, were driven nearer, every moment, toward the awful strand of rocks. The scene was now terrific; many vessels were in sight, two of which we saw dashed on the rocks; with the tremendous roar of the breakers, and the howling of the tempest, and the heavy sea, which broke as high as the fore-yard, death appeared inevitable. There was only one hope left, and that was, that, should the tide change and take us under our lee-beam, it might possibly set us off on the Nine-fathom bank, which is situated at a distance of twelve miles north-northwest, off Boulogne harbor. On the event of reaching this bank, the safety of the ship and lives of the crew depended,--as it was determined there to try the anchors, for there was no possibility of keeping off shore more than two hours, if the gale continued.

We were now on the larboard tack, and, for the last half hour, it was perceived that the tide had turned, and was setting to the northward; this was our last and only chance, for the rocks were not more than half a mile under our lee, and as it was necessary to get the ship's head round on the starboard tack, which could only be done by wearing, it was certain that much ground would be lost by that evolution. The anchors were got ready, long ranges of cables were hauled on deck, and the ends were clinched to the mainmast below; this being done, the axes were at hand to cut away the masts.

[Illustration: BEFORE THE GALE.]

Captain G. was an old, experienced seaman; and I never saw, before or since, more coolness, judgment, and seamanship, than were displayed by him on this trying occasion. In this perilous trial, the most intense anxiety was manifested by the crew, and then was heard the deep-toned voice of Captain G., rising above the bellowing storm, commanding silence. "Take the wheel," said he to me; and then followed the orders, in quick succession: "Lay aft, and man the braces--see every thing clear forward, to wear ship--steady--ease her--shiver away the main-topsail--put your helm up--haul in the weather fore-braces,--gather in the after-yards." The ship was now running before the wind, for a few moments, directly for the rocks; the situation and scene were truly awful, for she was not more than three hundred yards from the breakers. I turned my head aside--being at the helm--to avoid the terrific sight, and silently awaited the crisis. I was roused, at this moment, by Captain G., who shouted, "She luffs, my boys! brace the main-yard sharp up--haul in the larboard fore-braces--down with the fore-tack, lads, and haul aft the sheet;--right the helm! steady, so--haul taut the weather-braces, and belay all." These orders were given and executed in quick succession. The ship was now on the starboard tack, plunging bows under at every pitch. Casting a fitful glance over my shoulder, I saw that we were apparently to leeward of the rocks. Very soon, however, it was quite perceptible that the tide had taken her on the lee beam, and was setting her off shore.

The gloom began now to wear away, although it was doubtful whether we should be able to reach the bank, and, if successful, whether the anchors would hold on. Orders were given to lay aloft and send down the top-gallant-yards, masts, &c. The helm was relieved, and I sprung into the main rigging, the chief mate going up forward. With much difficulty, I reached the main-topmast cross-trees, and, when there, it was almost impossible to work, for the ship lay over at an angle of at least forty-five degrees, and I found myself swinging, not perpendicularly over the ship's deck, but at least thirty feet from it. It was no time, however, for gazing. The yard rope was stoppered out on the quarter of the yard, the sheets, clewlines, and buntlines, cast off, and the shift slackened, and then simultaneously from both mast-heads the cry was heard, "Sway, away!" The parrel cut, the yard was quickly topped and unrigged, and then lowered away on deck. The next duty to be performed, was sending down the top-gallant masts. After much difficulty and hard work, this was also accomplished; and, although I felt some pride in the performance of a dangerous service, yet, on this occasion, I was not a little pleased when I reached the deck in safety.

By this time, we had gained four miles off shore, and it was evident that the soundings indicated our approach to the bank. Tackles were rove and stretched along forward of the windlass, as well as deck-stoppers hooked on to the ringbolts fore and aft. "Loose the fore-topsail!" shouted Captain G., "we must reach this bank before the tide turns, or, by morning, there will not be left a timber head of this ship, nor one of us, to tell the sad tale of our disaster." The topsail was loosed and set, and the ship groaned heavily under the immense pressure of canvass; her lee rail was under water, and every moment it was expected that the topmast or the canvass would yield. The deep-sea-lead was taken forward and hove: when the line reached the after-part of the main channels, the seaman's voice rose high in the air, "By the deep, nine!" It was three o'clock. "Clew up and furl the fore-topsail!" shouted Captain G. The topsail furled of itself, for the moment the weather sheet was started, it blew away from the bolt-rope; the foresail was immediately hauled up and furled. Relieved from the great pressure of canvass, and having now nothing on her except the main-topsail and fore-topmast-staysail, she rode more upright. The main-topsail was clewed up and fortunately saved, the mizzen-staysail was set. "Stand by, to cut away the stoppers of the best bower anchor--to let it go, stock and fluke," said Captain G. "Man the fore-topmast-staysail down-haul; put your helm down! haul down the staysail." This was done, and the ship came up handsomely, head to wind, "See the cable tiers all clear--what water is there?" said Captain G. The leadsman sang out in a clear voice, "And a half-eight!" By this time, the ship had lost her way. "Are you all clear forward there?" "Ay, ay, sir!" was the reply. "Stream the buoy, and let go the anchor!" shouted Captain G. The order was executed as rapidly as it was given; the anchor was on the bottom, and already had fifty fathoms of cable run out, making the windlass smoke; and, although the cable was weather-bitted, and every effort was made with the deck-stoppers and tackles to check her, all was fruitless. Ninety fathoms of cable had run out. "Stand by, to let go the larboard anchor," said Captain G.; "Cheerily, men--let go!" In the same breath he shouted, "Hold on!" for just then there was a lull, and having run out the best bower-cable, nearly to the better end, she brought up. No time was now lost in getting service on the cable, to prevent its chafing. She was now riding to a single anchor of two thousand weight, with one hundred fathoms of a seventeen-inch hemp cable. The sea rolled heavily, and broke in upon the deck fore and aft; the lower yards were got down; the topsail-yards pointed to the wind; and as the tide had now turned, the ship rode without any strain on her cable, because it tended broad on the beam.

The next morning presented a dismal scene, for there were more than fifty sail in-shore of us, some of whom succeeded in reaching the bank, and anchored with loss of sails, topmasts, &c. Many others were dashed upon the rocks, and not a soul was left to tell the tale of their destruction. I shall not forget that, on the second day, a Dutch galliot was driven in to leeward of us; and although, by carrying on a tremendous press of canvass, she succeeded in keeping off shore until five P.M., yet, at sunset she disappeared, and was seen no more. After our arrival in London, we learned that this unfortunate vessel was driven on the rocks, and every soul on board perished.

The gale continued four days, at the expiration of which time, it broke. At midnight, the wind hauled round to the eastward, and the weather became so excessively cold, that, although we commenced heaving in the cable at five A.M., yet we did not get the anchor until nine that night. Close-reefed topsails were set on the ship and we stood over to the English coast, and anchored to the westward of Dungeness. During the whole period of this gale, which lasted four days, Captain G. never for one moment left the deck; and although well advanced in years, yet his iron constitution enabled him to overcome the calls of nature for rest; and, notwithstanding the situation of the ship, was, perhaps more critical than many of those less fortunate vessels which stranded upon the rocks, yet his coolness, and the seaman-like manner with which the ship was handled, no doubt were the means of our being saved.


Thomas Cooper was a fine specimen of the North American trapper. Slightly but powerfully made, with a hardy, weather-beaten, yet handsome face; strong, indefatigable, and a crack shot--he was admirably adapted for a hunter's life. For many years he knew not what it was to have a home, but lived like the beasts he hunted--wandering from one part of the country to another, in pursuit of game. All who knew Tom were much surprised when he came, with a pretty young wife, to settle within three miles of a planter's farm. Many pitied the poor young creature, who would have to lead such a solitary life; while others said, "If she was fool enough to marry him, it was her own look-out." For nearly four months Tom remained at home, and employed his time in making the old hut he had fixed on for their residence more comfortable. He cleared and tilled a small spot of land around it, and Susan began to hope that, for her sake, he would settle down quietly as a squatter. But these visions of happiness were soon dispelled, for, as soon as this work was finished, he recommenced his old erratic mode of life, and was often absent for weeks together, leaving his wife alone, yet not unprotected, for, since his marriage, old Nero, a favorite hound, was always left at home as her guardian. He was a noble dog--a cross between the old Scottish deerhound and the bloodhound, and would hunt an Indian as well as a deer or bear, which, Tom said, "was a proof they Injins was a sort o' warmint, or why should the brute beast take to hunt 'em, nat'ral like--him that took no notice of white men?"

One clear, cold morning, about two years after their marriage, Susan was awakened by a loud crash, immediately succeeded by Nero's deep baying. She recollected that she had shut him in the house, as usual, the night before. Supposing he had winded some solitary wolf or bear prowling around the hut, and effected his escape, she took little notice of the circumstance; but a few moments after came a shrill, wild cry, which made her blood run cold. To spring from her bed, throw on her clothes, and rush from the hut, was the work of a minute. She no longer doubted what the hound was in pursuit of. Fearful thoughts shot through her brain; she called wildly on Nero, and, to her joy, he came dashing through the thick underwood. As the dog drew near, she saw that he galloped heavily, and carried in his mouth some large, dark creature. Her brain reeled; she felt a cold and sickly shudder dart through her limbs. But Susan was a hunter's daughter, and, all her life, had been accustomed to witness scenes of danger and of horror, and in this school had learned to subdue the natural timidity of her character. With a powerful effort, she recovered herself, just as Nero dropped at her feet a little Indian child, apparently between three and four years old. She bent down over him; but there was no sound or motion: she placed her hand on his little, naked chest; the heart within had ceased to beat: he was dead! The deep marks of the dog's fangs were visible on the neck; but the body was untorn. Old Nero stood, with his large, bright eyes fixed on the face of his mistress, fawning on her, as if he expected to be praised for what he had done, and seemed to wonder why she looked so terrified. But Susan spurned him from her; and the fierce animal, who would have pulled down an Indian as he would a deer, crouched humbly at the young woman's feet. Susan carried the little body gently in her arms to the hut, and laid it on her own bed. Her first impulse was to seize the loaded rifle that hung over the fire-place, and shoot the hound; and yet she felt she could not do it, for, in the lone life she led, the faithful animal seemed like a dear and valued friend, who loved and watched over her, as if aware of the precious charge intrusted to him. She thought, also, of what her husband would say, when, on his return, he should find his old companion dead. Susan had never seen Tom roused. To her he had ever shown nothing but kindness; yet she feared as well as loved him, for there was a fire in those dark eyes which told of deep, wild passions hidden in his breast, and she knew that the lives of a whole tribe of Indians would be light in the balance against that of his favorite hound.

Having securely fastened up Nero, Susan, with a heavy heart, proceeded to examine the ground around the hut. In several places she observed the impression of a small moccasined foot; but not a child's. The tracks were deeply marked, unlike the usual light, elastic tread of an Indian. From this circumstance Susan easily inferred that the woman had been carrying her child when attacked by the dog. There was nothing to show why she had come so near the hut: most probably the hopes of some petty plunder had been the inducement. Susan did not dare to wander far from home, fearing a band of Indians might be in the neighborhood. She returned sorrowfully to the hut, and employed herself in blocking up the window, or rather the hole where the window had been, for the powerful hound had, in his leap, dashed out the entire frame, and shattered it to pieces. When this was finished, Susan dug a grave, and in it laid the little Indian boy. She made it close to the hut, for she could not bear that wolves should devour those delicate limbs, and she knew that there it would be safe. The next day Tom returned. He had been very unsuccessful, and intended setting out again, in a few days, in a different direction.

"Susan," he said, when he had heard her sad story, "I wish you'd left the child where the dog killed him. The squaw's high sartain to come back a seekin' for the body, and 'tis a pity the poor crittur should be disappointed. Besides, the Indians will be high sartain to put it down to us; whereas, if so be as they'd found the body 'pon the spot, may be they'd onderstand as 'twas an accident like, for they 're unkimmon cunning warmint, though they an't got sense like Christians."

"Why do you think the poor woman came here?" said Susan. "I never knew an Indian squaw so near the hut before?"

She fancied a dark shadow flitted across her husband's brow. He made no reply; and, on repeating the question, said angrily, "How should I know? 'Tis as well to ask for a bear's reasons as an Injin's."

Tom only staid at home long enough to mend the broken window, and plant a small spot of Indian corn, and then again set out, telling Susan not to expect him home in less than a month. "If that squaw comes this way agin," he said, "as may be she will, just put out any victuals you've a-got for the poor crittur; though may be she wont come, for they Injins be onkimmon skeary." Susan wondered at his taking an interest in the woman, and often thought of that dark look she had noticed, and of Tom's unwillingness to speak on the subject. She never knew that on his last hunting expedition, when hiding some skins which he intended to fetch on his return, he had observed an Indian watching him, and had shot him, with as little mercy as he would have shown to a wolf. On Tom's return to the spot, the body was gone; and in the soft, damp soil was the mark of an Indian squaw's foot; and by its side, a little child's. He was sorry then for the deed he had done; he thought of the grief of the poor widow, and how it would be possible for her to live until she could reach her tribe, who were far, far distant, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains; and now to feel, that, through his means, too, she had lost her child, put thoughts into his mind that had never before found a place there. He thought that one God had formed the red man as well as the white--of the souls of the many Indians hurried into eternity by his unerring rifle; and they, perhaps, were more fitted for their "happy hunting grounds," than he for the white man's heaven. In this state of mind, every word his wife had said to him seemed a reproach, and he was glad again to be alone, in the forest, with his rifle and his hounds.

The afternoon of the third day after Tom's departure, as Susan was sitting at work, she heard something scratching and whining at the door. Nero, who was by her side, evinced no signs of anger, but ran to the door, showing his white teeth, as was his custom when pleased. Susan unbarred it, when, to her astonishment, the two deerhounds her husband had taken with him, walked into the hut, looking weary and soiled. At first she thought Tom might have killed a deer not far from home, and had brought her a fresh supply of venison; but no one was there. She rushed from the hut, and soon, breathless and terrified, reached the squatter's cabin. John Wilton and his three sons were just returned from the clearings, when Susan ran into their comfortable kitchen; her long, black hair, streaming on her shoulders, and her wild and bloodshot eyes, gave her the appearance of a maniac. In a few unconnected words, she explained to them the cause of her terror, and implored them to set off immediately in search of her husband. It was in vain they told her of the uselessness of going at that time--of the impossibility of following a trail in the dark. She said she would go herself: she felt sure of finding him; and, at last, they were obliged to use force to prevent her leaving the house.

The next morning at daybreak, Wilton and his two sons were mounted, and ready to set out, intending to take Nero with them; but nothing could induce him to leave his mistress: he resisted passively for some time, until one of the young men attempted to pass a rope round his neck, to drag him away: then his forbearance vanished, and he sprang upon his tormentor, threw him down, and would have strangled him, if Susan had not been present. Finding it impossible to make Nero accompany them, they left without him, but had not proceeded many miles before he and his mistress were at their side. They begged Susan to return; told her of the inconvenience she would be to them. It was no avail; she had but one answer,--"I am a hunter's daughter, and a hunter's wife." She told them that, knowing how useful Nero would be to them in their search, she had secretly taken a horse and followed them.

The party rode first to Tom Cooper's hut, and there, having dismounted, leading their horses through the forest, followed the trail, as only men long accustomed to savage life can do. At night they lay on the ground, covered with their thick, bear-skin cloaks: for Susan only, they heaped a bed of dried leaves; but she refused to occupy it, saying, it was her duty to bear the same hardships they did. Ever since their departure, she had shown no sign of sorrow. Although slight and delicately formed, she never appeared fatigued: her whole soul was absorbed in one longing desire--to find her husband's body; for, from the first, she had abandoned the hope of ever again seeing him in life. This desire supported her through everything. Early the next morning they were on the trail. About noon, as they were crossing a small brook, the hound suddenly dashed away from them, and was lost in the thicket. At first they fancied they might have crossed the track of a deer or wolf; but a long, mournful howl soon told the sad truth, for, not far from the brook, lay the faithful dog on the dead body of his master, which was pierced to the heart by an Indian arrow.

The murderer had apparently been afraid to approach on account of the dogs, for the body was left as it had fallen--not even the rifle was gone. No sign of Indians could be discovered, save one small footprint, which was instantly pronounced to be that of a squaw. Susan showed no grief at the sight of the body: she maintained the same forced calmness, and seemed comforted that it was found. Old Wilton staid with her to remove all that now remained of her darling husband, and his two sons set out on the trail, which soon led them into the open prairie, where it was easily traced through the tall, thick grass. They continued riding all that afternoon, and the next morning by daybreak were again on the track, which they followed to the banks of a wide but shallow stream. There they saw the remains of a fire. One of the brothers thrust his hand among the ashes, which were still warm. They crossed the river; and, in the soft sand on the opposite bank, saw again the print of small, moccasined footsteps. Here they were at a loss; for the rank prairie-grass had been consumed by one of those fearful fires so common in the prairies, and in its stead grew short, sweet herbage, where even an Indian's eye could observe no trace. They were on the point of abandoning the pursuit, when Richard, the younger of the two, called his brother's attention to Nero, who had, of his own accord, left his mistress to accompany them, an if he now understood what they were about. The hound was trotting to and fro, with his nose to the ground, as if endeavoring to pick out a cold scent Edward laughed at his brother, and pointed to the track of a deer that had come to drink at the river. At last he agreed to follow Nero, who was now cantering slowly across the prairie. The pace gradually increased, until, on a spot where the grass had grown more luxuriantly than elsewhere, Nero threw up his nose, gave a deep bay, and started off at so furious a pace, that, although well mounted, they had great difficulty in keeping up with him. He soon brought them to the borders of another forest, where, finding it impossible to take their horses further, they tethered them to a tree, and set off again on foot. They lost sight of the hound, but still, from time to time, heard his loud baying far away. At last they fancied it sounded nearer instead of becoming less distinct; and of this they were soon convinced. They still went on in the direction whence the sound proceeded, until they saw Nero sitting with his fore-paws against the trunk of a tree, no longer mouthing like a well-trained hound, but yelling like a fury. They looked up in the tree, but could see nothing, until, at last, Edward espied a large hollow about half way up the trunk. "I was right, you see," he said. "After all, it nothing but a bear; but we may as well shoot the brute that has given us so much trouble."

They set to work immediately with their axes to fell the tree. It began to totter, when a dark object, they could not tell what, in the dim twilight, crawled from its place of concealment to the extremity of a branch, and from thence sprung into the next tree. Snatching up their rifles, they both fired together; when, to their astonishment, instead of a bear, a young Indian squaw, with a wild yell, fell to the ground. They ran to the spot where she lay motionless, and carried her to the borders of the wood, where they had that morning dismounted. Richard lifted her on his horse, and springing himself into the saddle, carried the almost lifeless body before him. The poor creature never spoke. Several times they stopped, thinking she was dead: her pulse only told the spirit had not flown from its earthly tenement. When they reached the river which had been crossed by them before, they washed the wounds, and sprinkled water on her face. This appeared to revive her; and when Richard again lifted her in his arms to place her on his horse, he fancied he heard her mutter, in Iroquois, one word,--"revenged!" It was a strange sight, those two powerful men tending so carefully the being they had a few hours before sought to slay, and endeavoring to stanch the blood that flowed from wounds which they had made! Yet so it was. It would have appeared to them a sin to leave the Indian woman to die; yet they felt no remorse at having inflicted the wound, and doubtless would have been better pleased had it been mortal; but they would not have murdered a wounded enemy, even an Indian warrior, still less a squaw. The party continued their journey until midnight, when they stopped, to rest their jaded horses. Having wrapped the squaw in their bear-skins, they lay down themselves, with no covering save the clothes they wore. They were in no want of provisions, as, not knowing when they might return, they had taken a good supply of bread and dried venison, not wishing to loose any precious time in seeking food while on the trail. The brandy still remaining in their flasks, they preserved for the use of their captive. The evening of the following day, they reached the trapper's hut, where they were not a little surprised to find Susan. She told them that, although John Wilton had begged her to live with them, she could not bear to leave the spot where everything reminded her of one to think of whom was now her only consolation; and that, while she had Nero, she feared nothing. They needed not to tell their mournful tale--Susan already understood it but too clearly. She begged them to leave the Indian woman with her. "You have no one," said she, "to tend and watch her as I can do; besides, it is not right that I should lay such a burden on you." Although unwilling to impose on her mind the painful task of nursing her husband's murderess, they could not allow but that she was right; and seeing how earnestly she desired it, at last consented to leave the Indian woman with her.

For many weeks Susan nursed her charge, as tenderly as if it had been her sister. At first she lay almost motionless, and rarely spoke; then she grew delirious, and raved wildly. Susan fortunately could not understand what she said, but often turned shuddering away, when the Indian woman would strive to rise from her bed, and move her arms, as if drawing a bow; or yell wildly, and cower in terror beneath the clothes--reacting in her delirium the fearful scenes through which she had passed. By degrees reason returned; she gradually got better, but seemed restless and unhappy, and could not bear the sight of Nero. The first proof of returning reason she had shown, was a shriek of terror when he once accidentally followed his mistress into the room where she lay. One morning Susan missed her; she searched around the hut, but she was gone, without having taken farewell of her kind benefactress.

A few years after, Susan Cooper,--no longer "pretty Susan," for time and grief had done their work--heard, late one night, a hurried knock, which was repeated several times before she could open the door, each time more loudly than before. She called to ask who it was at that late hour of night. A few hurried words in Iroquois was the reply, and Susan congratulated herself on having spoken before unbarring the door. But, on listening again, she distinctly heard the same voice say, "Quick--quick!" and recognized it as the Indian woman's voice she had nursed. The door was instantly opened, when the squaw rushed into the hut, seized Susan by the arm, and made signs to her to come away. She was too much excited to remember then the few words of English she had picked up when living with the white woman. Expressing her meaning by gestures, with a clearness peculiar to the Indians, she dragged rather than led Susan from the hut. They had just reached the edge of the forest when the wild yells of the Indians sounded in their ears. Having gone with Susan a little way into the forest, her guide left her. For nearly four hours she lay there, half dead with cold and terror, not daring to move from her place of concealment. She saw the flames of the dwelling, where so many lonely hours had been passed, rising above the trees, and heard the shrill "whoops" of the retiring Indians. Nero, who was lying by her side, suddenly rose and gave a low growl. Silently a dark figure came gliding among the trees directly to the spot where she lay. She gave herself up for lost; but it was the Indian woman, who came to her, and dropped at her feet a bag of money, the remains of her late husband's savings. The grateful creature knew where it was kept; and while the Indians were busied examining the rifles and other objects more interesting to them, had carried it off unobserved. Waving her arm around to show that all was now quiet, she pointed in the direction of Wilton's house, and was again lost among the trees.

Day was just breaking when Susan reached the squatter's cabin. Having heard the sad story, Wilton and two of his sons started immediately for the spot. Nothing was to be seen save a heap of ashes. The party had apparently consisted of only three or four Indians; but a powerful tribe being in the neighborhood, they saw it would be too hazardous to follow them. From this time, Susan lived with the Wiltons. She was as a daughter to the old man, and a sister to his sons, who often said, "That, as far as they were concerned, the Indians had never done a kindlier action than in burning down Susan Cooper's hut."



About two years after the Texan revolution, a difficulty occurred between the new government and a portion of the people, which threatened the most serious consequences--even the bloodshed and horrors of civil war. Briefly, the cause was this: The constitution had fixed the city of Austin as the permanent capital, where the public archives were to be kept, with the reservation, however, of a power in the president to order their temporary removal, in case of danger from the inroads of a foreign enemy, or the force of a sudden insurrection.

Conceiving that the exceptional emergency had arrived, as the Camanches frequently committed ravages within sight of the capital itself, Houston, who then resided at Washington, on the Brazos, dispatched an order commanding his subordinate functionaries to send the state records to the latter place, which he declared to be, _pro tempore_, the seat of government.

It is impossible to describe the stormy excitement which the promulgation of this fiat raised in Austin. The keepers of hotels, boarding-houses, groceries, and faro-banks, were thunderstruck,--maddened to frenzy; for the measure would be a death-blow to their prosperity in business; and, accordingly, they determined at once to take the necessary steps to avert the danger, by opposing the execution of Houston's mandate. They called a mass meeting of the citizens and farmers of the circumjacent country, who were all more or less interested in the question; and, after many fiery speeches against the asserted tyranny of the administration, it was unanimously resolved to prevent the removal of the archives, by open and armed resistance. To that end, they organized a company of four hundred men; one moiety of whom, relieving the other at regular periods of duty, should keep constant guard around the state-house until the peril passed by. The commander of this force was one Colonel Morton, who had achieved considerable renown in the war for independence, and had still more recently displayed desperate bravery in two desperate duels, in both of which he had cut his antagonist nearly to pieces with the bowie-knife. Indeed, from the notoriety of his character, for revenge as well as courage, it was thought that President Houston would renounce his purpose touching the archives, so soon as he should learn who was the leader of the opposition.

Morton, on his part, whose vanity fully equaled his personal prowess, encouraged and justified the prevailing opinion, by his boastful threats. He swore that if the president did succeed in removing the records by the march of an overpowering force, he would then, himself, hunt him down like a wolf, and shoot him with as little ceremony, or stab him in his bed, or waylay him in his walks of recreation. He even wrote the hero of San Jacinto to that effect. The latter replied in a note of laconic brevity:

"If the people of Austin do not send the archives, I shall certainly come and take them; and if Colonel Morton can kill me, he is welcome to my ear-cap."

On the reception of this answer, the guard was doubled around the state-house. Chosen sentinels were stationed along the road leading to the capital, the military paraded the streets from morning till night, and a select caucus held permanent session in the city hall. In short, everything betokened a coming tempest.

One day, while matters were in this precarious condition, the caucus at the city hall was surprised by the sudden appearance of a stranger, whose mode of entering was as extraordinary as his looks and dress. He did not knock at the closed door--he did not seek admission there at all; but climbing, unseen, a small, bushy-topped, live oak, which grew beside the wall, he leaped, without sound or warning, through a lofty window. He was clothed altogether in buckskin, carried a long and heavy rifle in his hand, wore at the button of his left suspender a large bowie-knife, and had in his leathern belt a couple of pistols half the length of his gun. He was tall, straight as an arrow, active as a panther in his motions, with dark complexion, and luxuriant, jetty hair, with a severe, iron-like countenance, that seemed never to have known a smile, and eyes of intense, vivid black, wild and rolling, and piercing as the point of a dagger. His strange advent inspired a thrill of involuntary fear, and many present unconsciously grasped the handles of their side-arms.

"Who are you, that thus presumes to intrude among gentlemen, without invitation?" demanded Colonel Morton, ferociously essaying to cow down the stranger with his eye.

The latter returned his stare with compound interest, and laid his long, bony finger on his lip, as a sign--but of what, the spectators could not imagine.

"Who are you? Speak! or I will cut an answer out of your heart!" shouted Morton, almost distracted with rage, by the cool, sneering gaze of the other, who now removed his finger from his lip, and laid it on the hilt of his monstrous knife.

The fiery colonel then drew his dagger, and was in the act of advancing upon the stranger, when several caught him and held him back, remonstrating. "Let him alone, Morton, for God's sake. Do you not perceive that he is crazy?"

At the moment, Judge Webb, a man of shrewd intellect and courteous manners, stepped forward, and addressed the intruder in a most respectful manner:

"My good friend, I presume you have made a mistake in the house. This is a private meeting, where none but members are admitted."

The stranger did not appear to comprehend the words; but he could not fail to understand the mild and deprecatory manner. His rigid features relaxed, and moving to a table in the center of the hall, where there were materials and implements for writing, he seized a pen, and traced one line: "I am deaf." He then held it up before the spectators, as a sort of natural apology for his own want of politeness.

Judge Webb took the paper, and wrote a question: "Dear sir, will you be so obliging as to inform us what is your business with the present meeting?"

The other responded by delivering a letter, inscribed on the back, "To the citizens of Austin." They broke the seal and read it aloud. It was from Houston, and showed the usual terse brevity of his style:

"FELLOW CITIZENS:--Though in error, and deceived by the arts of traitors, I will give you three days more to decide whether you will surrender the public archives. At the end of that time you will please let me know your decision."


After the reading, the deaf man waited a few seconds, as if for a reply, and then turned and was about to leave the hall, when Colonel Morton, interposed, and sternly beckoned him back to the table. The stranger obeyed, and Morton wrote: "You were brave enough to insult me by your threatening looks ten minutes ago; are you brave enough now to give me satisfaction?"

The stranger penned his reply: "I am at your service!"

Morton wrote again: "Who will be your second?"

The stranger rejoined: "I am too generous to seek an advantage; and too brave to fear any on part of others; therefore, I never need the aid of a second."

Morton penned: "Name your terms."

The stranger traced, without a moment's hesitation: "Time, sunset this evening; place, the left bank of the Colorado, opposite Austin; weapons, rifles; and distance, a hundred yards. Do not fail to be in time!"

He then took three steps across the floor, and disappeared through the window, as he had entered.

"What?" exclaimed Judge Webb, "is it possible Colonel Morton, that you intend to fight that man? He is a mute, if not a positive maniac. Such a meeting, I fear, will sadly tarnish the luster of your laurels."

"You are mistaken," replied Morton, with a smile; "that mute is a hero whose fame stands in the records of a dozen battles, and at least half as many bloody duels. Besides, he is the favorite emissary and bosom friend of Houston. If I have the good fortune to kill him, I think it will tempt the president to retract his vow against venturing any more on the field of honor."

"You know the man, then. Who is he? Who is he?" asked twenty voices together.

"Deaf Smith," answered Morton, coolly.

"Why, no; that can not be. Deaf Smith was slain at San Jacinto," remarked Judge Webb.

"There, again, your honor is mistaken," said Morton. "The story of Smith's death was a mere fiction, got up by Houston to save the life of his favorite from the sworn vengeance of certain Texans, on whose conduct he had acted as a spy. I fathomed the artifice twelve months since."

"If what you say be true, you are a madman yourself!" exclaimed Webb. "Deaf Smith was was never known to miss his mark. He has often brought down ravens in their most rapid flight, and killed Camanches and Mexicans at a distance of of two hundred and fifty yards!"

"Say no more," answered Colonel Morton, in tones of deep determination; "the thing is already settled. I have already agreed to meet him. There can be no disgrace in falling before such a shot, and, if I succeed, my triumph will confer the greater glory!"

Such was the general habit of thought and feeling prevalent throughout Texas at that period.

Toward evening a vast crowd assembled at the place appointed to witness the hostile meeting; and so great was the popular recklessness as to affairs of the sort, that numerous and considerable sums were wagered on the result. At length the red orb of the summer sun touched the curved rim of the western horizon, covering it all with crimson and gold, and filling the air with a flood of burning glory; and then the two mortal antagonists, armed with long, ponderous rifles, took their stations, back to back, and at a preconcerted signal--the waving of a white handkerchief--walked slowly and steadily off, in opposite directions, counting their steps until each had measured fifty. They both completed the given number about the same instant, and then they wheeled, each to aim and fire when he chose. As the distance was great, both paused for some seconds--long enough for the beholders to flash their eyes from one to the other, and mark the striking contrast betwixt them. The face of Colonel Morton was calm and smiling; but the smile it bore had a most murderous meaning. On the contrary, the countenance of Deaf Smith was stern and passionless as ever. A side view of his features might have been mistaken for a profile done in cast iron. The one, too, was dressed in the richest cloth; the other in smoke-tinted leather. But that made no difference in Texas then; for the heirs of heroic courage were all considered peers--the class of inferiors embraced none but cowards.

Presently two rifles exploded with simultaneous roars. Colonel Morton gave a prodigious bound upward, and dropped to the earth a corpse! Deaf Smith stood erect, and immediately began to reload his rifle; and then, having finished his brief task, he hastened away into the adjacent forest.

Three days afterward, General Houston, accompanied by Deaf Smith and ten other men, appeared in Austin, and, without further opposition, removed the state papers.

The history of the hero of the foregoing anecdote was one of the most extraordinary ever known in the West. He made his advent in Texas at an early period, and continued to reside there until his death, which happened some two years ago; but, although he had many warm personal friends, no one could ever ascertain either the land of his birth, or a single gleam of his previous biography. When he was questioned on the subject, he laid his finger on his lip; and if pressed more urgently, his brow writhed, and his dark eye seemed to shoot sparks of livid fire! He could write with astonishing correctness and facility, considering his situation; and, although denied the exquisite pleasure and priceless advantages of the sense of hearing, nature had given him ample compensation, by an eye, quick and far-seeing as an eagle's; and a smell, keen and incredible as that of a raven. He could discover objects moving miles away in the far-off prairie, when others could perceive nothing but earth and sky; and the rangers used to declare that he could catch the scent of a Mexican or Indian at as great a distance as a buzzard could distinguish the odor of a dead carcass.

It was these qualities which fitted him so well for a spy, in which capacity he rendered invaluable services to Houston's army during the war of independence. He always went alone, and generally obtained the information desired. His habits in private life were equally singular. He could never be persuaded to sleep under the roof of a house, or even to use a tent-cloth. Wrapped in his blanket, he loved to lie out in the open air, under the blue canopy of pure ether, and count the stars, or gaze, with a yearning look, at the melancholy moon. When not employed as a spy or guide, he subsisted by hunting, being often absent on solitary excursions for weeks and even months together, in the wilderness. He was a genuine son of nature, a grown up child of the woods and prairie, which he worshiped with a sort of Pagan adoration. Excluded by his infirmities from cordial fellowship with his kind, he made the inanimate things of the earth his friends, and entered, by the heart's own adoption, into brotherhood with the luminaries of heaven! Wherever there was land or water, barren rocks or tangled brakes of wild, waving cane, there was Deaf Smith's home, and there he was happy; but in the streets of great cities, in all the great thoroughfares of men, wherever there was flattery or fawning, base cunning or craven fear, there was Deaf Smith an alien and an exile.

Strange soul! he hath departed on the long journey, away among those high, bright stars, which were his night-lamps; and he hath either solved or ceased to ponder the deep mystery of the magic word, "life." He is dead; therefore let his errors rest in oblivion, and his virtues be remembered with hope.


While she was lying in the harbor at Havana, it was very hot on board the Royal Consort, about four o'clock in the afternoon of the 14th of July. There was not the slightest movement in the air; the rays of the sun seemed to burn down into the water. Silence took hold of the animated creation. It was too hot to talk, whistle, or sing; to bark, to crow, or to bray. Every thing crept under cover, but Sambo and Cuffee, two fine-looking blacks, who sat sunning themselves on the quay, and thought "him berry pleasant weather," and glistened like a new Bristol bottle.

Sambo and Cuffee, as we have said, were sitting on the quay, enjoying the pleasant sunshine, and making their evening repast of banana, when they heard the plunge into the water by the side of the Royal Consort, and presently saw Brook Watson emerging from the deep, his hands to his eyes to free them from the brine, balancing up and down, spattering the water from his mouth, and then throwing himself forward, hand over hand, as if at length he really felt himself in his element.

"Oh, Massa Bacra!" roared out Sambo, as soon as he could recover from his astonishment enough to speak, "Oh, Senor! he white man neber go to swim! Oh, de tiburon! he berry bad bite, come de shark; he hab berry big mouth; he eatee a Senor all up down!"

Such was the exclamation of Sambo, in the best English he had been able to pick up, in a few years' service, in unlading the American vessels, that came to the Havana. It was intended to apprise the bold but inexperienced stranger, that the waters were filled with sharks, and that it was dangerous to swim in them. The words were scarcely uttered, and, even if they were heard, had not time to produce their effect, when Cuffee responded to the exclamation of his sable colleague, with--

"Oh, Madre de Dios! see, see, de tiburon! de shark!--ah, San Salvador! ah, pobre joven! matar, todo comer, he eat him all down, berry soon!"

This second cry had been drawn from the kind-hearted negro, by seeing, at a distance in the water a smooth-shooting streak, which an inexperienced eye would not have noticed, but which Sambo and Cuffee knew full well. It was the wake of a shark. At a distance of a mile or two, the shark had perceived his prey; and, with the rapidity of sound, he had shot across the intervening space, scarcely disturbing the surface with a ripple. Cuffee's practiced eye alone had seen a flash of his tail, at the distance of a mile and a half; and, raising his voice to the utmost of his strength, he had endeavored to apprise the incautious swimmer of his danger. Brook heard the shout, and turned his eye in the direction in which the negro pointed; and, well skilled in all the appearances of the water, under which he could see almost as well as in the open air, he perceived the sharp forehead of the fearful animal rushing toward him, head on, with a rapidity; which bade defiance to flight.

[Illustration: ESCAPE FROM A SHARK]

In a moment, the dreadful monster had shot across the entire space that separated him from Brook; and had stopped, as if its vitality had been, instantly arrested, at the distance of about twelve feet from our swimmer. Brook had drawn himself up in the most pugnacious attitude possible, and, was treading water with great activity. The shark, probably unused to any signs of making battle, remained, for one moment, quiet; and then, like a flash of lightning, shot sidelong off, and came round in the rear. Brook, however, was as wide awake as his enemy.

The plashing of the oars of Sambo and Cuffee warned the sagacious monster of gathering foes. Whirling himself over on his back, and turning up his long, white belly, and opening his terrific jaws, set round with a double row of broad, serrated teeth, the whole roof of his mouth paved with horrent fangs, all standing erect, sharp, and rigid, just permitting the blood-bright red to be seen between their roots, he darted toward Brook. Brook's self-possession stood by him in this trying moment. He knew very well if the animal reached him in a vital part, that instant death was his fate; and, with a rapid movement, either of instinct or calculation, he threw himself backward, kicking, at the same moment, at the shark. In consequence of this movement, his foot and leg passed into the horrid maw of the dreadful monster, and were severed in a moment,--muscles, sinews, and bone. In the next moment, Sambo and Cuffee were at his side; and lifted him into the boat, convulsed with pain, and fainting with loss of blood. Brook was taken on board, bandages and styptics were applied, and in due season the youth recovered.

The place of his lost limb was supplied by a wooden one; and industry, temperance, probity, and zeal, supplied the place of a regiment of legs, when employed to prop up a lazy and dissipated frame.



Early in the morning, the whole fleet was in motion, starting all together, for the sake of mutual protection. The wind and tide were both fair, and we proceeded along the coast with great rapidity, and were soon out of sight of the Min and its beautiful and romantic scenery. The plan of mutual protection soon seemed to be abandoned, and the vessels soon separated into threes and fours, each getting on as well and as fast as it could. About four o'clock in the afternoon, and when we were some fifty or sixty miles from the Min, the captain and the pilot came hurriedly down to my cabin, and informed me that they saw a number of Jan-dous, right ahead, lying in wait for us. I ridiculed the idea, and told them that they imagined every junk they saw to be a pirate; but they still maintained that they were so, and I therefore considered it prudent to be prepared for the worst. I got out of bed, ill and feverish as I was, and carefully examined my fire-arms, clearing the nipples of my gun and pistols, and putting on fresh caps. I also rammed down a ball upon the top of each charge of shot in my gun, put a pistol in each side-pocket, and patiently awaited for the result. By the aid of a small pocket-telescope, I could see, as the nearest junk approached, that her deck was crowded with men; I then had no longer any doubts regarding her intentions. The pilot, an intelligent old man, now came up to me, and said that he thought resistance would be of no use; I might manage to beat off one junk, or even two, but I had no chance with five of them. Being at that time in no mood to take advice, or be dictated by any one, I ordered him off to look after his own duty. I knew perfectly well, that if we were taken by the pirates, I had not the slightest chance of escape; for the first thing they would do, would be to knock me on the head and throw me overboard, as they would deem it dangerous to themselves were I to get away. At the same time, I must confess, I had little hopes of being able to beat off such a number, and devoutly wished myself anywhere rather than where I was. The scene around me was a strange one. The captain, pilot, and one or two native passengers were taking up the boards of the cabin floor, and putting their money and other valuables out of sight, among the ballast. The common sailors, too, had their copper cash, or "tsien," to hide; and the whole place was in a state of bustle and confusion. When all their more valuable property was hidden, they began to make some preparations for defense. Baskets of small stones were brought up from the hold, and emptied out on the most convenient parts of the deck, and were intended to be used instead of fire-arms, when the pirates came to close quarters. This is a common mode of defense in various parts of China, and is effectual enough when the enemy has only similar weapons to bring against them; but on the coast of Fokien, where we were now, all the pirate junks carried guns; and, consequently, a whole deck-load of stones could be of little use against them.

I was surrounded by several of the crew, who might well be called "Job's comforters," some suggesting one thing and some another; and many proposed that we should bring the junk round and run back to the Min. The nearest pirate was now within two or three hundred yards of us, and, putting her helm down, gave us a broadside from her guns. All was now dismay and consternation on board our junk, and every man ran below, except two who were at the helm. I expected every moment that these also would leave their post; and then we should have been an easy prey to the pirates. "My gun is nearer you than those of the Jan-dous," said I to the two men, "and if you move from the helm, depend upon it, I will shoot you." The poor fellows looked very uncomfortable; but, I suppose, thought they had better stand the fire of the pirates than mine, and kept at their post. Large boards, heaps of old clothes, mats, and things of that sort, which were at hand, were thrown up to protect us from the shot; and, as we had every stitch of sail set, and a fair wind, we were going through the water at the rate of seven or eight miles an hour.

The shot from the pirate fell considerably short of us, I was therefore enabled to form an opinion of the range and power of their guns, which was of some use to me. Assistance from our cowardly crew was quite out of the question, for there was not a man among them brave enough to use the stones which he had brought on deck; and which, perhaps, might have been of some little use when the pirates came nearer. The fair wind and all the press of sail which we had crowded on the junk proved of no use to us. Again the nearest pirate fired on us. The shot this time fell just under our stern. I still remained quiet, as I had determined not to fire a single shot until I was quite certain my gun would take effect. The third broadside, which followed this, came whizzing over our heads and through the sails, without, however, wounding either the men at the helm or myself.

The pirates now seemed quite sure of their prize, and came down upon us, hooting and yelling like demons, at the same time loading their guns, and evidently determined not to spare their shot. This was a moment of intense interest. The plan which I had formed from the first, was now about to be put to proof; and, if the pirates were not the cowards which I believed them to be, nothing could save us from falling into their hands. Their fearful yells seem to be ringing in my ears even now, after this lapse of time, and when I am on the other side of the globe.

The nearest junk was now within thirty yards of ours; their guns were loaded, and I knew that the next discharge would completely rake our decks "Now," said I to our helmsman, "keep your eyes fixed on me, and the moment you see me fall flat on the deck, you must do the same, or you will be shot." I knew that the pirate, who was now on our stern, could not bring his guns to bear upon us, without putting his helm down and bringing his gangway at right angles with our stern, as his guns were fired from the gangway. I therefore kept a sharp eye upon the helmsman, and the moment I saw him putting the helm down, I ordered our steersman to fall flat on their faces behind some wood, and, at the same moment, did so myself. We had scarcely done so, when bang! bang! went their guns, and the shot came whizzing close over us, splintering the wood about us in all directions. Fortunately none of us were struck. "Now, mandarin, now! they are quite close enough," cried out my companions, who did not wish to have another broadside like the last. I, being of the same opinion, raised myself above the high stern of our junk; and while the pirates were not more than twenty yards from us, hooting and yelling, I raked their decks, fore and aft, with shot and ball from my double-barreled gun.

Had a thunderbolt fallen among them, they could not have been more surprised. Doubtless, many were wounded, and probably some killed. At all events, the whole of the crew, not fewer than forty or fifty men, who, a moment before, crowded the deck, disappeared in a marvellous manner; sheltering themselves behind the bulwarks, or lying flat on their faces. They were so completely taken by surprise, that their junk was left without a helmsman; her sails flapped in the wind; and, as we were still carrying all sail, and keeping on her right course, they were soon left a considerable way astern.

Another was now bearing down upon us as boldly as his companion had done, and commenced firing in the same manner. Having been so successful with the first, I determined to follow the same plan with this one, and to pay no attention to his firing until he should come to close quarters. The plot now began to thicken; for the first junk had gathered way again, and was following in our wake, although keeping at a respectful distance; and three others, although still further distant, were making for the scene of action, as fast as they could. In the meantime, the second was almost alongside, and continued giving us a broadside, now and then, with his guns. Watching their helm as before, we sheltered ourselves as well as we could; at the same time, my poor fellows who were steering, kept begging and praying that I would fire into our pursuers as soon as possible, or we should be all killed. As soon as we came within twenty or thirty yards of us, I gave them the contents of both barrels, raking their decks as before. This time the helmsman fell, and, doubtless, several were wounded. In a minute or two I could see nothing but boards and shields, which were held up by the pirates, to protect themselves from my firing; their junk went up into the wind, for want of a helmsman, and was soon left some distance behind us.

While I was watching this vessel, our men called out to me that there was another close on our lee-bow, which I had not observed on account of our mainsail. Luckily, however, it proved to be a Ning-po wood-junk, like ourselves, which the pirates had taken a short time before, but which, although manned by these rascals, could do us no harm, having no guns. The poor Ning-po crew, whom I could plainly see on board, seemed to be very much down-hearted and frightened. I was afterward informed, that when a junk is captured, all the principal people, such as the captain, pilot, and passengers, are taken out of her, and a number of the pirates go on board and take her into some of their dens among the islands, and keep her there until a heavy ransom is paid, both for the junk and the people. Sometimes, when a ransom can not be obtained, the masts, and spars, and everything else which is of any value, are taken out of her, and she is set on fire.

The two other piratical junks which had been following in our wake for some time, when they saw what had happened, would not venture any nearer; and at last, much to my satisfaction, the whole set of them bore away.


One pleasant afternoon in summer, Frank Costello jumped into his little boat, and pulling her out of the narrow creek where she lay moored, crept along the iron-bound shore until he reached the entrance of one of those deep sea-caves, so common upon the western coast of Ireland. To the gloomy recesses of these natural caverns, millions of sea-fowl resort during the breeding season; and it was among the feathered tribes then congregated in the "Puffin Cave," that Frank meant, on that evening, to deal death and destruction. Gliding, with lightly-dipping oars, into the yawning chasm, he stepped nimbly from his boat, and making the painter fast to a projecting rock, he lighted a torch, and, armed only with a stout cudgel, penetrated into the innermost recesses of the cavern. There he found a vast quantity of birds and eggs, and soon became so engrossed with his sport that he paid no attention to the lapse of time, until the hollow sound of rushing waters behind him made him aware that the tide, which was ebbing when he entered the cave, had turned, and was now rising rapidly. His first impulse was to return to the spot where he had made his boat fast; but how was he horrified on perceiving that the rock to which it had been secured was now completely covered with water. He might, however, still have reached it by swimming; but, unfortunately, the painter, by which it was attached to the rock, not having sufficient scope, the boat, on the rising of the tide, was drawn, stern down, to a level with the water; and Frank, as he beheld her slowly fill and disappear beneath the waves, felt as if the last link between the living world and himself had been broken. To go forward was impossible; and he well knew that there was no way of retreating from the cave, which, in a few hours, would be filled by the advancing tide. His heart died within him, as the thought of the horrid fate which awaited him flashed across his mind. He was not a man who feared to face death; by flood or field, on the stormy sea and the dizzy cliff, he had dared it a thousand times with perfect unconcern; but to meet the grim tyrant there, alone, to struggle hopelessly with him for life in that dreary tomb, was more than his fortitude could bear. He shrieked aloud in the agony of despair--the torch fell from his trembling hand into the dark waters that gurgled at his feet, and, flashing for a moment upon their inky surface, expired with a hissing sound, that fell like a death-warning upon his ear. The wind, which had been scarcely felt during the day, began to rise with the flowing of the tide, and now drove the tumultuous waves with hoarse and hideous clamor into the cavern. Every moment increased the violence of the gale that howled and bellowed as it swept around the echoing roof of that rock-ribbed prison; while the hoarse dash of the approaching waves, and the shrill screams of the sea-birds that filled the cavern, formed a concert of terrible dissonance, well suited for the requiem, of the hapless wretch who had been enclosed in that living grave! But the love of life, which makes us cling to it in the most hopeless extremity, was strong in Frank Costello's breast; his firmness and presence of mind gradually returned, and he resolved not to perish without a struggle. He remembered that, at the farther extremity of the cavern, the rock rose like a flight of rude stairs, sloping from the floor to the roof; he had often clambered up those rugged steps, and he knew that, by means of them, he could place himself at an elevation above the reach of the highest tide. But the hope thus suggested was quickly damped when he reflected that a deep fissure, which ran perpendicularly through the rock, formed a chasm ten feet in width, in the floor of the cavern, between him and his place of refuge. The tide, however, which was now rising rapidly, compelled him to retire every instant, further into the cavern, and he felt that the only chance he had left him for life was to endeavor to cross the chasm. He was young, active, and possessed of uncommon courage, and he had frequently, by torch-light, leaped across the abyss, in the presence of his companions, few of whom dared to follow his example. But now, alone and in utter darkness, how was he to attempt such a perilous feat? The conviction that death was inevitable if he remained where he was, decided him. Collecting a handful of loose pebbles from one of the numerous channels in the floor, he proceeded cautiously over the slippery rocks, throwing at every step a pebble before him, to ascertain the security of his footing. At length he heard the stone, as it fell from his fingers, descend with a hollow, clattering noise, that continued for several seconds. He knew he was standing on the brink of the chasm. One quick and earnest prayer he breathed to the invisible Power, whose hand could protect him in that dread moment--then, retiring a single pace, and screwing every nerve and muscle in his body to the utmost tension, he made a step in advance, and threw himself forward into the dark and fearful void. Who can tell the whirlwind of thought that rushed through his brain in the brief moment that he hung above that yawning gulf? Should he have miscalculated his distance, or chosen a place where the cleft was widest--should his footing fail, or his strength be unequal to carry him over, what a death were his! Dashed down that horrible abyss--crashing from rock to rock, until he lay at the bottom a mutilated corpse. The agony of years was crowded into one moment--in the next, his feet struck against the firm rock on the opposite side of the chasm, and he was saved. At least, he felt that he had for the moment escaped the imminent peril in which he was placed, and, as he clambered joyfully up the rugged slope at the end of the cave, he thought little of the dangers he had still to encounter. All through that long night he sat on the narrow ledge of a rock, while the angry waves thundered beneath, and cast their cold spray every instant over him. With the ebbing of the tide, the sea receded from the cavern; but Frank hesitated to attempt crossing the chasm again; his limbs had become stiff and benumbed, and his long abstinence had so weakened his powers that he shrank from the dangerous enterprise. While giving way to the most desponding reflections, a stentorian hilloa rang and echoed through the cavern; and never had the human voice sounded so sweetly in his ear. He replied to it with a thrilling shout of joy, and, in a few minutes, several persons with torches appeared advancing. A plank was speedily thrust across the fissure, and Frank Costello once more found himself amid a group of his friends, who were warmly congratulating him upon his miraculous escape. They told him that, from his not having returned home the preceding night, it was generally concluded that he had been drowned, and a party of his neighbors proceeded in a boat, early in the morning, in search of his body. On reaching "Puffin Hole," they discovered his boat fastened to a rock, and full of water, as she had remained on the ebbing of the tide. This circumstance induced them to examine the cavern narrowly, and the happy result of their search is already known.


I might have slept some four or five hours, and a dreamless and satisfying sleep it was; but certain it is--let scholiasts say what they will, and skeptics throw doubts by handfulls on the assertions of metaphysicians--that, before I awoke, and in my dreamless slumber, I had a visible perception of peril--a consciousness of the hovering presence of death! How to describe my feelings I know not; but, as we have all read and heard that, if the eyes of a watcher are steadily fixed on the countenance of a sleeper for a certain length of time, the slumberer will be sure to start up--wakened by the mysterious magnetism of a recondite principle of clairvoyance; so it was that, with shut eyes and drowsed-up senses, an inward ability was conferred upon me to detect the living from the presence of danger near me--to see, though sleep-blind, the formless shape of a mysterious horror crouching beside me; and, as if the peril that was my nightmate was of a nature to be quickened into fatal activity by any motion on my part, I felt in my very stupor the critical necessity of lying quite still; so that, when I at last awoke and felt that as I lay with my face toward the roof, there was a thick, heavy, cold, creeping thing upon my chest, I stirred not, nor uttered a word of panic. Danger and fear may occasionally dull the sense and paralyse the faculties, but they more frequently sharpen both, and ere I could wink my eye, I was broad awake and aware that, coiling and coiling itself up into a circle of twists, an enormous serpent was on my breast. When I tell you that the whole of my chest, and even the pit of my stomach, were covered with the cold, scaly proportions of the reptile, you will own that it must have been one of considerable size.

What my thoughts were--so made up of abhorrence, dread, and the expectation--nay, assurance of speedy death, that must follow any movement on my part--I can never hope to tell in language sufficiently distinct and vivid to convey their full force. It was evident the loathsome creature had at length settled itself to sleep; and I felt thankful that, attracted by my breath, it had not approached the upper part of my throat. It became quite still, and its weighty pressure--its first clammy chillness becoming gradually (so it seemed to me) of a burning heat--and the odious, indescribable odor which exhaled from its body and pervaded the whole air--so overwhelmed me, that it was only by a severe struggle I preserved myself from shrieking. As it was, a cold sweat burst from every pore. I could hear the beating of my heart--and I felt, to my increased dismay, that the palsy of terror had began to agitate my limbs! "It will wake," thought I, "and then all is over!" At this juncture, something--it might have been a wall-lizard, or a large beetle--fell from the ceiling upon my left arm, which lay stretched at my side. The snake, uncoiling its head, raised itself, with a low hiss, and then, for the first time, I saw it,--saw the hood, the terrible crest glistening in the moonshine. It was a Cobra di Capello! Shading my eyes to exclude the dreadful spectacle, I lay almost fainting, until again all was quiet. Had its fiery glances encountered mine, all would have been over; but, apparently, it was once more asleep, and presently I heard the Lascar moving about, undoing the fastenings of the tent, and striking a light. A thought suddenly struck me, and, with an impulse I could then ascribe to nothing short of desperation, though its effects were so providential, I uttered, in a loud, but sepulchral tone, "Kulassi! Lascar." "Sahib!" was the instantaneous response, and my heart beat quicker at the success of my attempt. I lay still again, for the reptile, evidently roused, made a movement, and its head, as I suppose, fell on my naked arm. Oh God! the agony of that moment, when suppressed tremor almost gave way to madness! I debated with myself whether I should again endeavor to attract the attention of the Kulassi, or remain perfectly quiet; or whether it would not be better than either to start up at once and shake the disgustful burden from me. But the latter suggestion was at once abandoned, because of the assurance I felt that it would prove fatal; impeded by the heavy coils of the creature, weak and nerveless from excitement, I could not escape its fangs. Again, therefore, I spoke with the hollow but distinct accents which arise from the throat when the speaker is afraid to move a muscle:--"Kulassi Chiragh!"--Lascar, a lanthorn! "Latah own Sahib." I am bringing it, sir. There was then a sound of clanking metal--light, advancing, flashes across the roof of the veranda--and, at the noise of coming steps, lo! one after one its terrible coils unwinding, the grisly monster glided away from my body; and the last sounds that struck my sense of hearing were the--"Ya illahi samp!" Oh God! a snake!--of the lascar; for I fainted away for the first time in my life.



We were conducted to a gallery which commanded a view of a narrow court or area beneath, inclosed by walls and palisades. This was the arena in which the spectacle was to take place. Unfortunately, the space allotted to spectators was so narrowed by the great number of European ladies who were present, that we could only find indifferent standing room, where, in addition to this inconvenience, the glare of the sun was very oppressively felt; but the drama which began to be acted in our sight in the deep space below, was such that every discomfort was forgotten in beholding it. We there beheld six mighty buffaloes, not of the tame species, but the sturdy offspring of the Arni-buffalo of the hill country, at least four feet and a half high from the ground to the withers, with enormous widely-spread horns, several feet long. There they stood, on their short, clumsy hoofs, and, snorting violently, blew out their angry breath from their protruded muzzles, as if they were already aware of the nearly approaching danger. What terribly powerful brutes! what vast strength in their broad and brawny necks! It would have been a noble sight, had not their eyes the while expressed such entire stupidity.

A rattling of sticks, and the cries of several kind? of bestial voices were heard--to which the buffaloes replied with a deep bellowing. On a sudden, from an opened side door, there darted forth a huge tiger, certainly from ten to eleven feet in length, and four in height. Without much hesitation, he sprang with a single long bound right amid the buffaloes; one of which, winding his body out of the reach of the formidable horns, he seized by the neck with both claws and teeth at once. The weight of the tiger almost overthrew the buffalo. A hideous combat now took place. Groaning and bellowing, the buffalo dragged his powerful assailant up and down the arena; while the others, with their heavy, pointed horns, dealt the tiger fearful gashes, to liberate their fellow beast. A deep stillness reigned among the public; all the spectators awaited with eager suspense the issue of this contest between the tiger and the buffaloes; as well as the fate of some unfortunate asses, which latter, to increase the sport, being made perforce witnesses of the sanguinary action, at first looked down upon it from their poles with inexpressible horror, and afterward, when their supports were shaken by the butting of the buffaloes, fell to the ground as if dead, and, with outstretched limbs, lay, expecting their fate with the greatest resignation--without making a single effort to save themselves. Two other tigers, of somewhat less stature, were now, with great difficulty, driven in; while the main struggle was still going forward. But no efforts could induce them to attempt an attack of any kind; they shrank down like cats, crouching as closely as possible to the walls of the inclosure, whenever the buffaloes, who still continued, however, to butt at their enemy with the utmost desperation, approached them. The great tiger had, at last, received a push in the ribs, which lifted him from his seat. He came tumbling down, and crawled like a craven into a corner; whither he was pursued by the buffalo, maddened by the pain of his lacerated neck--and there had to endure many thrusts with his horns, at each of which he only drew up his mouth with a grimace of pain, without making the smallest motion to ward off the attack.

The spectacle was by no means ended here. Other combatants were driven in, and fought with more or less energy.



A young man and his sister have kept this ferry several years, during which they have performed many acts of heroic benevolence, and have rescued numbers of their fellow creatures from a watery grave. One of these had so much of perilous adventure in it, that I shall make no apology for giving some account of it, the more especially as I was myself one of the trembling and anxious spectators of the whole scene.

A raft of timber, on its way down the river to the nearest port, was dashed to pieces by the violence of the rapids. There was the usual number of men upon it, all of whom, except two, were fortunate enough to get upon a few logs, which kept together, and were comparatively safe, while their two poor comrades, were helplessly contending with the tumbling waves, almost within reach of them, but without their being able to afford them the slightest assistance. After a minute or two, and when one more would have been their last, a long oar or sweep, belonging to the wretched raft, came floating by. They instantly seized it, and held on till they were carried down more than a mile, loudly calling for help as they went along; but what aid could we render them? No craft, none, at least, which were on the banks of the river, could live in such a boiling torrent as that; for it was during one of the high spring freshets. But the ferryman was of a different opinion, and could not brook the thought of their dying before his eyes without his making a single effort to save them. "How could I stand idly looking on," he said to me afterward, "with a tough ash oar in my hand, and a tight little craft at my feet, and hear their cries for help, and see them drowned?" He determined, at all risks, to try to rescue them from the fate which seemed to us inevitable. He could not, however, go alone, and there was not another man on that side of the river within half a mile of him. His sister knew this, and, courageously, like another Grace Darling, proposed, at once, to accompany him in his perilous adventure. From being so often on the water with her brother, she knew well how to handle an oar. Often, indeed, without him she had paddled a passenger across the ferry in her little canoe. He accepted her proposal, and we had the satisfaction of seeing the light punt put off from the shore opposite to that from which we were idly and uselessly looking on, and go gallantly over the surging torrent toward the sinking men. We feared, however, that it would not be in time to save them, as their cries for help grew fainter and fainter, till each one, we thought, would have been their last. We saw that the oar, with the drowning men clinging to it, was floating rapidly down the middle of the stream, which, in this particular locality, is more than a quarter of a mile in breadth, and would inevitably, in two or three minutes more, be in the white water among the breakers, when their fate must be sealed, and the boat, if it followed, dashed to pieces among the rocks. This was the principal point of danger, and they had to run down within a most fearful proximity of it, to cross the course down which the drowning men were drifting, and, as they did so, to seize hold of them without losing their own headway; for there was not time for that. They succeeded in shooting athwart the current, rapid as it was, just below the men. With breathless and painful anxiety we saw them execute this dangerous manoeuver. We saw the ferryman lean over the side of his boat, for a moment, as it passed them, while his sister backed water with her oar.

"They are saved!" some one said, close behind me, in a whisper so deep and earnest that I started, and turned to look at the speaker; when another, who heard him, exclaimed, "No, no! they are gone! they are lost! the boat has left them!" And sure enough, it had. But, in an instant afterward, just as we thought they were about to be driven into the fatal breakers, they turned, to our inexpressible delight, as if drawn by some invisible power (the rope the ferryman had attached to the oar was, indeed, invisible to us,) and followed the boat.

The ferryman and his sister had yet to pull a fearful distance for the time they had to do it in, to get out of that part of the current leading to the breakers: and they accomplished it. The man had the bow oar, and we could see the tough ash bend like a willow-wand as he stretched out to keep the head of the boat partially up the stream. His sister, too, "kept her own," and the little punt shot out rapidly into the comparatively quiet stream, beyond the influence of the fearful current, which was rapidly driving them upon the breakers. When this was accomplished, our fears for the noble-hearted brother and sister were at an end, and we took a long breath; it was, indeed, a relief to do so. Still we continued to watch their further proceedings with the deepest interest.

The moment they got into a less rapid current, which, they knew, led into comparatively still water they ceased rowing, and allowed the punt to float down with it. The young ferryman now drew up the sweep alongside, and succeeded in getting the two unfortunate men into his boat. While he was doing this, his sister went aft, and used her oar as a rudder to steer the boat. At the foot of the current, which they soon afterward reached, there was no further danger. But we watched them still; and we saw them row ashore, on their own side of the river. One of the poor fellows was so much exhausted, that the ferryman had to carry him on his back to the nearest house, where he soon recovered.

Twelve months after this took place, I had the satisfaction of presenting to this worthy ferryman, in the presence of above five hundred men, a beautiful silver medallion, sent out to me by the Royal Humane Society--to which I had transmitted an account of the occurrence. Nor was the heroine of my story forgotten. A similar medallion was given to him for his sister. She could not, with propriety, be present herself, as it was the annual muster-day of the militia in that locality.



Down went the boats with a splash. Each boat's crew sprang over the rail, and in an instant the larboard, starboard, and waist-boats were manned. There was great rivalry in getting the start. The waist-boat got off in pretty good time; and away went all three, dashing the water high over their bows. Nothing could be more exciting than the chase. The larboard boat, commanded by the mate, and the waist-boat, by the second mate, were head and head. "Give way, my lads, give way!" shouted P----, our headsman; "we gain on them; give way! A long, steady stroke! That's the way to tell it!" "Ay, ay!" cried Tabor, our boat-steerer. "What do you say, boys? Shall we lick 'em?" "Pull! pull like vengeance!" echoed the crew; and we danced over the waves, scarcely seeming to touch them. The chase was now truly soul-stirring. Sometimes the larboard, then the starboard, then the waist-boat took the lead. It was a severe trial of skill and muscle. After we had run two miles at this rate, the whales turned flukes, going dead to windward. "Now for it, my lads!" cried P----. "We'll have them the next rising. Now pile it on! a long, steady pull! That's it! that's the way! Those whales belong to us. Don't give out! Half an hour more, and they're our whales!" The other boats veered off at either side of us, and continued the chase with renewed ardor. In about half an hour we lay on our oars to look round for the whales. "There she blows! right ahead!" shouted Tabor, fairly dancing with delight. "There she blows--there she blows!" "Oh, Lord, boys, spring!" cried P----. "Spring it is! What d'ye say, now, chummies? Shall we take those whales?" To this general appeal, every man replied by putting his weight on his oar, and exerting his utmost strength. The boat flew through the water with incredible swiftness, scarcely rising to the waves. A large bull whale lay about a quarter of a mile ahead of us, lazily rolling in the trough of the sea. The larboard and starboard boats were far to leeward of us, tugging hard to get a chance at the other whales, which were now blowing in every direction. "Give way! give way, my hearties!" cried P----, putting his weight against the aft oar. "Do you love gin? A bottle of gin to the best man! Oh, pile it on, while you have breath! pile it on!" "On with the beef, chummies! Smash every oar! double 'em up or break 'em!" "Every devil's imp of you, pull! No talking; lay back to it; now or never!"

On dashed the boat, cleaving its way through the rough sea, as if the briny element were blue smoke. The whale, however, turned flukes before we could reach him. When he appeared again above the surface of the water, it was evident that he had milled while down, by which manoeuver he gained on us nearly a mile. The chase was now almost hopeless, as he was making to windward rapidly. A heavy black cloud was on the horizon, portending an approaching squall, and the barque was fast fading from sight. Still we were not to be baffled by discouraging circumstances of this kind, and we braced our sinews for a grand and final effort. "Never give up, my lads," said the headsman, in a cheering voice. "Mark my words, we'll have the whale yet. Only think he's ours, and there's no mistake about it, he will be ours. Now for a hard, steady pull! Give way!" "Give way, sir! Give way all!" "There she blows! Oh, pull, my lively lads! Only a mile off!" "There she blows!" The wind had by this time increased almost to a gale, and the heavy, black clouds were scattering over us far and wide. Part of the squall had passed off to leeward, and entirely concealed the barque. Our situation was rather unpleasant: in a rough sea, the other boats out of sight, and each moment the wind increasing. We continued to strain every muscle till we were hard upon the whale. Tabor sprang to the bow, and stood by with the harpoon. "Softly, softly, my lads," said the headsman. "Ay, ay sir!" "Hush-h-h! softly! Now's your time, Tabor!" Tabor let fly the harpoon, and buried the iron. "Give him another!" "Stern all!" thundered P----. "Stern all!" And, as we rapidly backed from the whale, he flung his tremendous fluke high in the air, covering us with a cloud of spray. He then sounded, making the line whiz as it passed through the chocks. When he rose to the surface again, we hauled up, and the second mate stood ready in the bow to dispatch him with lances. "Spouting blood!" said Tabor, "he's a dead whale! he won't need much lancing." It was true enough; for, before the officer could get within dart of him, he commenced his dying struggles. The sea was crimsoned with his blood. By the time we had reached him, he was belly up. We lay upon our oars a moment, to witness his last throes, and when he turned his head toward the sun, a loud, simultaneous cheer, burst from every lip.



Mr. Cumming has published a volume containing a record of his hunting exploits in Africa, in the year 1848. The following interesting accounts of adventures are from his work.

On the morning, says Mr. Cumming, I rode into camp, after unsuccessfully following the spoor of a herd of elephants for two days, in a westerly course. Having partaken of some refreshment, I saddled up two steeds and rode down the bank of Ngotwani, with the Bushman, to seek for any game I might find. After riding about a mile along the river's green bank, I came suddenly upon an old male leopard, lying under the shade of a thorn grove, and panting from the great heat. Although I was within sixty yards of him, he had not heard the horse's tread. I thought he was a lioness, and, dismounting, took a rest in my saddle on the Old Gray, and sent a bullet into him. He sprang to his feet and ran half way down the river's bank, and stood to look about him, when I sent a second bullet into his person, and he disappeared over the bank. The ground being very dangerous, I did not disturb him by following then, but I at once sent Ruyter back to camp for the dogs. Presently he returned with Wolf and Boxer, very much done up with the sun. I rode forward, and, on looking over the bank, the leopard started up and sneaked off alongside of the tall reeds, and was instantly out of sight. I fired a random shot from the saddle to encourage the dogs, and shouted to them; they, however, stood looking stupidly around, and would not take up his scent at all. I led them over his spoor, again and again, but to no purpose; the dogs seemed quite stupid, and yet they were Wolf and Boxer, my two best.

At length I gave it up as a lost affair, and was riding down the river's bank, when I heard Wolf give tongue behind me, and, galloping back, found him at bay with the leopard, immediately beneath where I had fired at him; he was very severely wounded, and had slipped down into the river's bed and doubled back, whereby he had thrown out both the dogs and myself. As I approached, he flew out upon Wolf and knocked him over, and then, running up the bed of the river, took shelter in a thick bush: Wolf, however, followed him, and at this moment my other dogs came up, having heard the shot, and bayed him fiercely. He sprang out upon them, and then crossed the river's bed, taking shelter beneath some large tangled roots on the opposite bank. As he crossed the river, I put a third bullet into him, firing from the saddle, and, as soon as he came to bay, I gave him a fourth, which finished him. This leopard was a very fine old male; in the conflict, the unfortunate Alert was wounded, as usual, getting his face torn open; he was still going upon three legs, with all his breast laid bare by the first water-buck.

In the evening I directed my Hottentots to watch a fine pool in the river, and do their best, while I rode to a distant pool several miles up the Ngotwani, reported as very good for game, to lie all night and watch: my Totties, however, fearing "Tao," disobeyed me. On reaching the water I was bound for, I found it very promising, and, having fastened my two horses to a tree beneath the river's bank, I prepared a place of concealment close by, and laid down for the night.

The river's banks on each side were clad with groves of shady thorn trees. After I had lain some time, squadrons of buffaloes were heard coming on, until the shady grove on the east bank of the water immediately above me was alive with them. After some time the leaders ventured down the river's bank to drink, and this was the signal for a general rush into the large pool of water: they came on like a regiment of cavalry at a gallop, making a mighty din, and obscuring the air with a dense cloud of dust. At length I sent a ball into one of them, when the most tremendous rush followed up the bank, where they all stood still, listening attentively. I knew that the buffalo was severely wounded, but did not hear him fall. Some time after, I fired at a second, as they stood on the bank above me; this buffalo was also hard hit, but did not then fall. A little after, I fired at a third on the same spot; he ran forty yards, and, falling, groaned fearfully: this at once brought on a number of the others to butt their dying comrade, according to their benevolent custom. I then crept in toward them, and, firing my fourth shot, a second buffalo ran forward a few yards, and, falling, groaned as the last; her comrades, coming up, served her in the same manner. A second time I crept in, and, firing a fifth shot, a third buffalo ran forward, and fell close to her dying comrades: in a few minutes all the other buffaloes made off, and the sound of teeth tearing at the flesh was heard immediately.

I fancied it was the hyaenas, and fired a shot to scare them from the flesh. All was still; and, being anxious to inspect the heads of the buffaloes, I went boldly forward, taking the native who accompanied me, along with me. We were within about five yards of the nearest buffalo, when I observed a yellow mass lying alongside of him, and at the same instant a lion gave a deep growl,--I thought it was all over with me. The native shouted "Tao," and, springing away, instantly commenced blowing shrilly through a charmed piece of bone which he wore on his necklace. I retreated to the native, and we then knelt down. The lion continued his meal, tearing away at the buffalo, and growling at his wife and family, who, I found next day, by the spoor, had accompanied him. Knowing that he would not molest me if I left him alone, I proposed to the native to go to our hole and lie down, but he would not hear of it, and entreated me to fire at the lion. I fired three different shots where I thought I saw him, but without any effect; he would not so much as for a moment cease munching my buffalo. I then proceeded to lie down, and was soon asleep, the native keeping watch over our destinies. Some time after midnight other lions were heard coming on from other airts, and my old friend commenced roaring so loudly that the native thought it proper to wake me.

The first old lion now wanted to drink, and held right away for the two unfortunate steeds, roaring terribly. I felt rather alarmed for their safety; but, trusting that the lion had had flesh enough for one night, I lay still, and listened with an attentive ear. In a few minutes, to my utter horror, I heard him spring upon one of the steeds with an angry growl, and dash him to the earth; the steed gave a slight groan, and all was still. I listened to hear the sound of teeth, but all continued still. Soon after this "Tao," was once more heard to be munching the buffalo. In a few minutes he came forward, and stood on the bank close above us, and roared most terribly, walking up and down, as if meditating some mischief. I now thought it high time to make a fire, and, quickly collecting some dry reeds and little sticks, in half a minute we had a cheerful blaze. The lion, which had not yet got our wind, came forward at once to find out what the deuse was up; but, not seeing to his entire satisfaction from the top of the bank, he was proceeding to descend by a game-path into the river-bed within a few yards of us. I happened at the very moment to go to this spot to fetch more wood, and, being entirely concealed from the lion's view above by the intervening high reeds, we actually met face to face! The first notice I got was his sudden spring to one side, accompanied by repeated angry growls, while I involuntarily made a convulsive spring backward, at the same time giving a fearful shriek, such as I never before remember uttering. I fancied, just as he growled, he was coming upon me. We now heaped on more wood, and kept up a very strong fire until the day dawned, the lions feasting beside us all the time, notwithstanding the remonstrances of the little native, who, with a true Bechuana spirit, lamenting the loss of so much good flesh, kept continually shouting and pelting them with flaming brands.

The next morning, when it was clear, I arose and inspected the buffaloes. The three that had fallen were fine old cows, and two of them were partly consumed by the lions. The ground all around was packed flat with their spoor; one particular spoor was nearly as large as that of a borele. I then proceeded to inspect the steeds: the sand around them was also covered with the lion's spoor. He had sprung upon the Old Gray, but had done him no further injury than scratching his back through the skin: perhaps the lion had been scared by the rheims, or on discovering his spare condition, had preferred the buffalo.



Upon the 9th, says Mr. Cumming, it rained unceasingly throughout the day, converting the rich soil on which we were encamped into one mass of soft, sticky clay. In the forenoon, fearing the rain would continue so as to render the valley (through which we must pass to gain the firmer ground) impassible, I ordered my men to prepare to march, and leave the tent with its contents standing, the point which I wished to gain being distant only about five hundred yards. When the oxen were inspanned, however, and we attempted to move, we found my tackle, which was old, so rotten from the effects of the rain, that something gave way at every strain. Owing to this and to the softness of the valley, we labored on till sundown, and only succeeded in bringing one wagon to its destination, the other two remained fast in the mud in the middle of the valley. Next morning, luckily, the weather cleared up, when my men brought over the tent, and in the afternoon the other two wagons.

We followed up the banks of the river for several days, with the usual allowance of sport. On the 16th we came suddenly upon an immense old bull muchocho rolling in mud. He sprang to his feet immediately he saw me, and, charging up the bank, so frightened our horses, that before I could get my rifle from my after-rider he was past us. I then gave him chase, and, after a hard gallop of about a mile, sprang from my horse and gave him a good shot behind the shoulder. At this moment a cow rhinoceros of the same species, with her calf, charged out of some wait-a-bit thorn cover, and stood right in my path. Observing that she carried an unusually long horn, I turned my attention from the bull to her, and, after a very long and severe chase, dropped her at the sixth shot. I carried one of my rifles, which gave me much trouble, that not being the tool required for this sort of work, where quick loading is indispensable.

After breakfast I sent men to cut off the head of this rhinoceros, and proceeded with Ruyter to take up the spoor of the bull wounded in the morning. We found that he was very severely hit, and having followed the spoor for about a mile through very dense thorn cover, he suddenly rustled out of the bushes close ahead of us, accompanied by a whole host of rhinoceros birds. I mounted my horse and gave him chase, and in a few minutes he had received four severe shots. I managed to turn his course toward camp, when I ceased firing, as he seemed to be nearly done up, and Ruyter and I rode slowly behind, occasionally shouting to guide his course. Presently, however, Chukuroo ceased taking any notice of us, and held leisurely on for the river, into a shallow part of which he walked, and, after panting there and turning about for a quarter of an hour, he fell over and expired. This was a remarkably fine old bull, and from his dentition it was not improbable that a hundred summers had seen him roaming a peaceful denizen of the forests and open glades along the fair banks of the secluded Mariqua.

During our march, on the 19th, we had to cross a range of very rocky hills, covered with large loose stones, and all hands were required to be actively employed for about an hour, in clearing them out of the way, to permit the wagons to pass. The work went on fast and furious, and the quantity of stones cleared was immense. At length we reached the spot where we were obliged to bid adieu to the Mariqua, and hold a westerly course across the country for Sicheley. At sundown we halted under a lofty mountain, the highest in the district, called "Lynchie a Cheny," or the Monkey's Mountain.

Next day, at an early hour, I rode out with Ruyter to hunt, my camp being entirely without flesh, and we having been rationed upon very tough old rhinoceros for several days past. It was a cloudy morning, and soon after starting, it came on to rain heavily. I, however, held on, skirting a fine, well-wooded range of mountains, and after riding several miles I shot a zebra. Having covered the carcass well over with branches to protect it from the vultures, I returned to camp, and, inspanning my wagons, took it up on the march. We continued trekking on until sundown, when we started an immense herd of buffaloes, into which I stalked, and shot a huge old bull.

Our march this evening was through the most beautiful country I had ever seen in Africa. We skirted an endless range of well-wooded stony mountains lying on our left, while to our right the country at first sloped gently off, and then stretched away into a level green forest, (occasionally interspersed with open glades,) boundless as the ocean. This green forest was, however, relieved in one direction by a chain of excessively bold, detached, well-wooded, rocky, pyramidal mountains, which stood forth in grand relief. In advance the picture was bounded by forest and mountain; one bold acclivity, in shape of a dome, standing prominent among its fellows. It was a lovely evening: the sky, overcast and gloomy, threw an interesting, wild, mysterious coloring over the landscape. I gazed forth upon the romantic scene before me with intense delight, and felt melancholy and sorrowful at passing so fleetingly through it, and could not help shouting out, as I marched along, "Where is the coward who would not dare to die for such a land?"

In the morning we held for a fountain some miles ahead, in a gorge in the mountains. As we approached the fountain, and were passing close under a steep, rocky, hillside, well wooded to its summit, I unexpectedly beheld a lion stealing up the rocky face, and, halting behind a tree, he stood overhauling us for some minutes. I resolved to give him battle, and, seizing my rifle, marched against him, followed by Carey carrying a spare gun, and by three men leading my dogs, now reduced to eight. When we got close in to the base of the mountain, we found ourselves enveloped in dense jungle, which extended half-way to its summit, and entirely obscured from our eyes objects which were quite apparent from the wagons, I slipped my dogs, however, which, after snuffing about, took right up the steep face on the spoor of the lions, for there was a troop of them--a lion and three lionesses.

The people at the wagons saw the chase in perfection. When the lions observed the dogs coming on, they took right up, and three of them crossed over the sky ridge. The dogs, however, turned one rattling old lioness, which came rumbling down through the cover, close past me. I ran to meet her, and she came to bay in an open spot near the base of the mountain, whither I quickly followed, and coming up within thirty yards, bowled her over with my first shot, which broke her back. My second entered her shoulder; and, fearing that she might hurt any of the dogs, as she still evinced signs of life, I finished her with a third in the breast. The bellies of all the four lions were much distended by some game they had been gorging, no doubt a buffalo, as a large herd started out of the jungle immediately under the spot where the noble beasts were first disturbed.

Showers of rain fell every hour throughout the day, so I employed my men in making feldt-schoens, or, in other words, African brogues for me. These shoes were worthy of a sportsman, being light, yet strong, and were entirely composed of the skins of game of my shooting. The soles were made of either buffalo or cameleopard; the front part, perhaps, of koodoo, or hartebeest, or bushbuck, and the back of the shoe of lion, or hyaena, or sable antelope, while the rheimpy or thread with which the whole was sewed, consisted of a thin strip of the skin of a steinbok.

On the forenoon of this day, I rode forth to hunt, accompanied by Ruyter; we held west, skirting the wooded, stony mountains. The natives had here, many years before, waged successful war with elephants, four of whose skulls I found. Presently I came across two sassaybies, one of which I knocked over; but, while I was loading, he regained his legs and made off. We crossed a level stretch of forest, holding a northerly course for an opposite range of green, well-wooded hills and valleys. Here I came upon a troop of six fine, old bull buffaloes, into which I stalked, and wounded one princely fellow very severely, behind the shoulder, bringing blood from his mouth; he, however, made off with his comrades, and, the ground being very rough, we failed to overtake him. They held for Ngotwani. After following the spoor for a couple of miles, we dropped it, as it led right away from camp.

Returning from this chase, we had an adventure with another old bull buffalo, which shows the extreme danger of hunting buffaloes without dogs. We started him in a green hollow, among the hills, and his course inclining for camp. I gave him chase. He crossed the level, broad strath, and made for the opposite densely-wooded range of mountains. Along the base of these we followed him, sometimes in view, sometimes on the spoor, keeping the old fellow at a pace which made him pant. At length, finding himself much distressed, he had recourse to a singular stratagem. Doubling round some thick bushes, which obscured him from our view, he found himself beside a small pool of rain-water, just deep enough to cover his body; into this he walked, and, facing about, lay gently down and awaited our on-coming, with nothing but his old, gray face, and massive horns above the water, and these concealed from view by the overhanging herbage.

[Illustration: CHARGE OF THE BUFFALO.]

Our attention was entirely engrossed with the spoor, and thus we rode boldly on until within a few feet of him, when, springing to his feet, he made a desperate charge after Ruyter, uttering a low, stifled roar, peculiar to buffaloes, (somewhat similar to the growl of a lion,) and hurled horse and rider to the earth with fearful violence. His horn laid the poor horse's haunch open to the bone, making the most fearful rugged wound. In an instant, Ruyter regained his feet and ran for his life, which the buffalo observing, gave chase, but most fortunately came down, with a tremendous somersault, in the mud, his feet slipping from under him; thus the bushman escaped certain destruction. The buffalo rose much discomfitted, and, the wounded horse first catching his eye, he went a second time after him; but he got out of the way. At this moment, I managed to send one of my patent pacificating pills into his shoulder, when he instantly quitted the field of action, and sought shelter in a dense cover on the mountain side, whither I deemed it imprudent to follow him.


The dense jungles of Bengal was the place of the leopard's resort, and the havoc which it committed among the cattle was prodigious. It was dreaded, far and near, on this account, by the natives, and they scrupulously avoided their spotted enemy, knowing well that when his appetite was whetted with hunger, he was not over scrupulous whether his victims were beasts or men. On one occasion, the monster made a dash upon a herd of beeves, and succeeded in carrying off a large ox; and loud was the lament of the poor Hindoos that one of the sacred herd had thus unceremoniously been assailed and slaughtered before their eyes. A party of the Bengal native infantry, consisting of an officer and five others, having been informed of the circumstance, followed in the direction of the leopard's den determined, if possible, to punish him for this and the many other depredations he had committed. Having come to an intervening ravine, they were about to cross it, when they saw the object of their search on the opposite side. There he was, lying in his lair, heedless of danger, and luxuriously feasting on the carcass of his captive. It was the monster's last meal, however. The party approached with stealthy steps, as near as they could without crossing the defile. "Take your aim! fire!" cried the captain, in Hindostanee, we suppose. They did so, and four balls pierced the leopard, three in the neck and one in a more dangerous place, through the brain. Startled by this unpleasant salute, the animal rose, gazed with glaring eyes on its enemies, at the same time pawing the earth in its pain fury.

The sepoys were astonished that he did not roll lifeless at their feet; but, instead of this, before they had time to reload, the creature, after uttering a terrific cry, sprang across the ravine and seized one of its assailants. It must have been, in some degree, weakened by its wounds; but its strength was yet great, for the man seemed to have no power of resistance to its attack. The leopard, having a hold of the sepoy in its mouth, darted off in the direction of a jungle close at hand, the other soldiers following up as fast as they could, but not daring to fire, lest they should injure their luckless comrade Sometimes they lost sight of the leopard and its bleeding burden; but the blood marks on the grass or on the sand enabled them to regain the trail, and to carry on the pursuit. The animal at length came to a small river; it hesitated for a little on the brink, and then leaped in, still tenaciously retaining its prey. The stoppage thus occasioned enabled the pursuers to gain ground, and, just after the leopard had emerged from the river, and was shaking its skin free from the watery drops, one of the party seized the auspicious moment, and fired. The beast dropped its prey at once, howled furiously, and then fell dead. To their great surprise and joy, the soldiers found that their comrade was still in life, though he had fainted from fear and from weakness occasioned by the loss of blood. He gradually recovered, and, under the stimulating influence of a cup of brandy, was able to proceed home with his comrades. It was many weeks, however, before he was fit for service, and he will retain till his dying day the dental marks received from the leopard, by way of token what it would like to have done with him had there been none but themselves two on the desert wide.

The soldiers returned, some time after, and skinned the animal, carrying home its spotted covering for a trophy; and now, here it is, with the marks of the musket-balls upon it, remembrances of the strange story we have now recounted.


Every man, both honest and dishonest, in California, has his own horse--as a very good-looking, active one can be purchased, tamed to carry the saddle and rider, from the Indians, for four or five dollars; so that every one, I may add, of both sexes, ride in California. No one walks far but the hunter, and he is carried in canoe a long way up the river before he strikes into the forest after the animals he is in pursuit of. This last class of men are the most wild, daring, yet friendly and honest, of the lower class of the white population of California. Well: as the robber as well as the honest man are equally mounted, sometimes a very interesting steeple chase ensues,--ground rough, not being previously chosen, occasionally leaping over pools of water, large stones, and fallen trees. The Indians who use the lasso, generally keep the lead, to strive to throw the noose over either the man or horse they are pursuing. It is made of thongs of bullock-hide twisted into a small rope about thirty or forty feet long, with a noose formed by a running knot at the end of it. One end of the lasso is fastened to the back of the saddle: the entire length of it is kept in a coil on the right hand, and after two or three swings of it over their heads, they will throw it with such accuracy that the smallest object will come within the noose. Thus, then, if an equestrian traveler does not keep a good look-out as he is passing by a bush or thicket, one of these lassoes may be thrown out; the noose, falling over his head, will be jerked tight round his body, and, in the twinkling of an eye, he will be dragged off his horse, and away into the bush, to be stripped of everything he has. By all the accounts I have heard, and from what I have seen, the robbers of California are the most active in the world: the end of the dangerous lasso being firmly fastened to the saddle, enables the rider, as soon as his victim, either man or animal, is noosed, to wheel round his horse, and dash off like an Arab, dragging whatever he has fast after him. There is one method of averting the fall of the lasso noose over the body of a man, either on foot or horseback. If he holds, as he always ought, either sword or gun in his right hand, when he sees the lasso coming, let him instantly raise either and his arm in a horizontal position, and if the noose does fall true, it cannot run farther down, being stopped by sword, gun, or extended arm; then fling it off quick, or it may be jerked tight round the neck. I have known this subterfuge save many a man from robbers and perhaps murderers.

I once hunted for three months in company with a hunter well known in California. In idea, he was wild and imaginative in the extreme; but, in his acts of daring, &c., the most cool and philosophic fellow I ever knew. A commercianto, or merchant, at San Francisco, on whose veracity I know from experience I can depend, told me the following story of this man, which will at once illustrate his general character. This hunter was, some months before I had fallen in with him, making the best of his way down the valley of the Tule Lakes from the interior, with a heavy pack of furs on his back, his never-erring rifle in his hand, and his two dogs by his side. He was joined at the northermost end of the valley by the merchant I had spoken of, who was armed only with sword and pistols. They had scarcely cleared the valley, when a party of robbers galloped out before them. There were four whites, fully armed, and two Indians with the lassos coiled up in their right hands, ready for a throw. The hunter told the merchant, who was on horseback, to dismount instantly, "and to cover." Fortunately for them, there was a good deal of thicket, and trunks of large trees that had fallen were strewed about in a very desirable manner. Behind these logs the merchant and the hunter quickly took up their position, and as they were in the act of doing so, two or three shots were fired after them without effect. The hunter coolly untied the pack of furs from his back, and laid them beside him. "It's my opinion, merchant," said he, "that them varmint there wants either your saddle-bags or my pack, but I reckon they'll get neither." So he took up his rifle, fired, and the foremost Indian, lasso in hand, rolled off his horse. Another discharge from the rifle, and the second Indian fell, while in the act of throwing his lasso at the head and shoulders of the hunter, as he raised himself from behind the log to fire. "Now," said the hunter, as he reloaded, laying on his back to avoid the shots of the robbers, "that's what I call the best of the scrimmage, to get them brown thieves with their lassoes out of the way first. See them rascally whites now jumping over the logs to charge us in our cover." They were fast advancing, when the rifle again spoke out, and the foremost fell; they still came on to within about thirty yards, when another fell; and the remaining two made a desperate charge up close to the log. The hunter, from long practice, was dexterous in reloading his gun. "Now, merchant," said he, "is the time for your pop-guns, (meaning the pistols,) and don't be at all narvous, keep a steady hand, and drop either man or horse. A man of them shan't escape." The two remaining robbers were now up with the log, and fired each a pistol-shot at the hunter, which he escaped by dodging behind a tree close to, from which he fired with effect. As only one robber was left, he wheeled round his horse with the intention of galloping off, when the pistol-bullets of the merchant shot the horse from under him. "Well done, merchant," said the hunter, "you've stopped that fellow's galop." As soon as the robber could disentangle himself from the fallen horse, he took to his heels and ran down a sloping ground as fast as he could. The hunter drew his tomahawk from his belt, and gave chase after him. As he was more of an equestrian than a pedestrian, the nimbleness of the hunter soon shortened the distance between them, and the last of the robbers fell. Thus perished this dangerous gang of six, by the single hand of this brave hunter, and, as the "commercianto" informed me, he acted as coolly and deliberately as if he were shooting tame bullocks for the market. The affair was rather advantageous to the hunter, for, on searching the saddle-bags and pockets of the robbers, he pulled forth some doubloons, and a few dollars, with other valuables they had, no doubt, a short time previously, taken from some traveler; the saddle-bags, arms, and accouterments of the four white men, were packed up, made fast on the saddles of the two horses, and the hunter mounted a third, the merchant mounted another, his horse being shot, and thus they left the scene of action, the bodies of the robbers to the wolves, who were howling about them, and entered San Francisco in triumph.


To prevent the ships separating during the fog, it was necessary to keep fast to the heavy piece of ice which we had between them as a fender, and with a reduced amount of sail on them, we made some way through the pack: as we advanced in this novel mode to the south-west, we found the ice became more open, and the westerly swell increasing as the wind veered to the northwest, at midnight, we found it impossible any longer to hold on by the floe piece. All our hawsers breaking in succession, we made sail on the ships, and kept company, during the thick fog, by firing guns, and by means of the usual signals: under the shelter of a berg of nearly a mile in diameter, we dodged about during the whole day, waiting for clear weather, that we might select the best lead through the dispersing pack; but at nine P.M. the wind suddenly freshened to a violent gale from the northward, compelling us to reduce our sails to a close-reefed main-topsail and storm-staysails: the sea quickly rising to a fearful height, breaking over the loftiest bergs, we were unable any longer to hold our ground, but were driven into the heavy pack under our lee. Soon after midnight, our ships were involved in an ocean of rolling fragments of ice, hard as floating rocks of granite, which were dashed against them by the waves with so much violence, that their masts quivered as if they would fall, at every successive blow; and the destruction of the ships seemed inevitable from the tremendous shocks they received. By backing and filling the sails, we endeavored to avoid collision with the larger masses; but this was not always possible: in the early part of the storm, the rudder of the Erebus was so much damaged as to be no longer of any use; and about the same time, I was informed by signal that the Terror's was completely destroyed, and nearly torn away from the stern-post. We had hoped that, as we drifted deeper into the pack, we should get beyond the reach of the tempest; but in this we were mistaken. Hour passed away after hour without the least mitigation of the awful circumstances in which we were placed. Indeed, there seemed to be but little probability of our ships holding together much longer, so frequent and violent were the shocks they sustained. The loud, crashing noise of the straining and working of the timbers and decks, as she was driven against some of the heavier pieces, which all the activity and exertions of our people could not prevent, was sufficient to fill the stoutest heart, that was not supported by trust in Him, who controls all events, with dismay.

At two P.M. the storm gained its height, when the barometer stood at 28.40 inches, and, after that time, began to rise. Although we had been forced many miles deeper into the pack, we could not perceive that the swell had at all subsided, our ships still rolling and groaning amid the heavy fragments of crushing bergs, over which the ocean rolled its mountainous waves, throwing huge masses one upon another, and then again burying them deep beneath its foaming waters, dashing and grinding them together with fearful violence. The awful grandeur of such a scene can neither be imagined nor described, for less can the feelings of those who witnessed it be understood. Each of us secured our hold, waiting the issue with resignation to the will of Him who alone could preserve us, and bring us safely through this extreme danger; watching with breathless anxiety the effect of each succeeding collision, and the vibrations of the tottering masts, expecting every moment to see them give way, without our having the power to make an effort to save them.

Although the force of the wind had somewhat diminished by four o'clock, yet the squalls came on with unabated violence, laying the ship over on her broadside, and threatening to blow the storm-sails to pieces; fortunately they were quite new, or they never could have withstood such terrific gusts. At this time, the Terror was so close to us, that, when she rose to the top of one wave, the Erebus was on the top of that next to leeward of her; the deep chasm between them filled with heavy rolling masses; and, as the ships descended into the hollow between the waves, the main-topsail yard of each could be seen just level with the crest of the intervening wave, from the deck of the other: from this, some idea may be formed of the height of the waves, as well as of the perilous situation of our ships. The night now began to draw on, and cast its gloomy mantle over the appalling scene, rendering our condition, if possible, more hopeless and helpless than before; but, at midnight, the snow, which had been falling thickly for several hours, cleared away, as the wind suddenly shifted to the westward, and the swell began to subside; and although the shocks our ships still sustained were such that must have destroyed any ordinary vessel in less than five minutes, yet they were feeble compared to those to which we had been exposed, and our minds became more at ease for their ultimate safety.

During the darkness of night and the thick weather, we had been carried through a chain of bergs which were seen in the morning considerably to windward, and which served to keep off the heavy pressure of the pack, so that we found the ice much more open, and I was enabled to make my way, in one of our boats, to the Terror, about whose condition I was most anxious--for I was aware that her damages were of a much more serious nature than those of the Erebus, notwithstanding the skillful and seaman-like manner in which she had been managed, and by which she maintained her appointed station throughout the gale. I found that her rudder was completely broken to pieces, and the fastenings to the stern-post so much strained and twisted, that it would be difficult to get the spare rudder, with which we were fortunately provided, fitted so as to be useful, and could only be done, if at all, under very favorable circumstances. The other damages she had sustained were of less consequence; and it was as great a satisfaction as it has ever since been a source of astonishment to us to find that, after so many hours of constant and violent thumping, both the vessels were nearly as tight as they were before the gale. We can only ascribe this to the admirable manner in which they had been fortified for the service, and to our having their holds so stowed as to form a solid mass throughout.


The summer of 1806 had been very rainy; and on the first and second of September it rained incessantly. New crevices were observed in the flank of the mountain; a sort of cracking noise was heard internally; stones started out of the ground; detached fragments of rocks rolled down the mountain. At two o'clock in the afternoon, on the 2d of September, a large rock became loose, and in falling, raised a cloud of black dust. Toward the lower part of the mountain, the ground seemed pressed down from above; and, when a stick or a spade was driven in, it moved of itself. A man who had been digging in his garden ran away, from fright at these extraordinary appearances; soon a fissure, larger than all the others, was observed; insensibly, it increased: springs of water ceased all at once to flow, the pine trees of the forest absolutely reeled; the birds flew away screaming. A few minutes before five o'clock, the symptoms of some mighty catastrophe became still stronger; the whole surface of the mountain seemed to glide down, but so slowly as to afford time to the inhabitants to go away. An old man, who had often predicted some such disaster, was quietly smoking his pipe; when told by a young man running by, that the mountain was in the act of falling, he rose and looked out, but came into his house again, saying he had time to fill another pipe. The young man, continuing to fly, was thrown down several times, and escaped with difficulty; looking back, he saw the house carried off, all at once.

Another inhabitant, being alarmed, took two of his children, and ran away with them, calling to his wife to follow with the third; but she went in for another, who still remained, (Marianne, aged five;) just then, Francisca Ulrich, their servant, was crossing the room with this Marianne, whom she held by the hand, and saw her mistress; at that instant, as Francisca afterward said, "the house appeared to be torn from its foundation, (it was of wood,) and spun round and round like a teetotum; I was sometimes on my head, and sometimes on my feet, in total darkness, and violently separated from the child." When the motion stopped, she found herself jammed in on all sides, with her head downward, much bruised; and in extreme pain. She supposed she was buried alive, at a great depth; with much difficulty, she disengaged her right hand, and wiped the blood from her eyes. Presently, she heard the faint moans of Marianne, and called her by her name; the child answered that she was on her back, among stones and bushes, which held her fast, but that her hands were free, and that she saw the light, and then something green; she asked whether people would not come soon to take them out.

Francisca answered that it was the day of judgment, and that no one was left to help them, but that they would be released by death, and be happy in Heaven. They prayed together; at last Francisca's ear was struck by the sound of a bell, which she knew to be that of Stenenberg; then seven o'clock struck in another village, and she began to hope there were still living beings, and endeavored to comfort the child; the poor little girl was at first clamorous for her supper; but her cries soon became fainter, and at last quite died away. Francisca, still with her head downward, and surrounded with damp earth, experienced a sense of cold in her feet almost insupportable; after prodigious efforts, she succeeded in disengaging her legs, and thinks this saved her life. Many hours had passed in this situation, when she again heard the voice of Marianne, who had been asleep, and now renewed her lamentations. In the meantime, the unfortunate father, who, with much difficulty, had saved himself and two children, wandered about till daylight, when he came among the ruins to look for the rest of his family; he soon discovered his wife, by a foot which appeared above the ground; she was dead, with a child in her arms. His cries, and the noise he made in digging, were heard by Marianne, who called out. She was extricated, with a broken thigh, and saying that Francisca was not far off, a farther search led to her release also, but in such a state that her life was despaired of. She was blind for some days, and remained subject to convulsive fits of terror. It appeared that the house, or themselves, at least, had been carried down about one thousand five hundred feet from where it stood before.

In another place, a child two years old was found unhurt, lying on his straw mattress upon the mud, without any vestige of the house from which he had been separated. Such a mass of earth and stones rushed at once into the lake of Sowertey, although five miles distant, that one end of it was filled up, and a prodigious wave passing completely over the island of Schwanau, seventy feet above the usual level of the water, overwhelmed the opposite shore, and, as it returned, swept away into the lake many houses with their inhabitants. The chapel of Olton, built of wood, was found half a league from the place it had previously occupied, and many large blocks of stone completely changed their position.



At the time of the French and Indian wars, the American army was encamped on the plains of Chippewa. Colonel St. Clair, the commander, was a bold and meritorious officer; but there was mixed with his bravery a large share of rashness or indiscretion. His rashness, in this case, consisted in encamping on an open plain beside a thick wood, from which an Indian scout could easily pick off his outposts, without being exposed, in the least, to the fire of the sentinel.

Five nights had passed, and every night he had been surprised by the disappearance of a sentry, who stood at a lonely post in the vicinity of the forest. These repeated disasters had struck such a dread into the breasts of the remaining soldiers, that no one would volunteer to take the post, and the commander, knowing it would be throwing away their lives, let it remain unoccupied several nights.

At length a rifleman of the Virginia corps, volunteered his services. He was told the danger of the duty; but he laughed at the fears of his comrades, saying he would return safe, to drink the health of his commander in the morning. The guard marched up soon after, and he shouldered his rifle, and fell in. He arrived at his bounds, and, bidding his fellow-sentinels good-night, assumed the duties of his post.

The night was dark, from the thick clouds that overspread the firmament. No star shone on the sentinel as he paced his lonely path, and naught was heard but the mournful hoot of the owl, as she raised her nightly wail from the withered branch of the venerable oak. At length, a low rustling among the bushes on the right, caught his ear. He gazed long toward the spot whence the sound seemed to proceed; but saw nothing, save the impenetrable gloom of the thick forest which surrounded the encampment. Then, as he marched onward, he heard the joyful cry of "all's well," after which he seated himself upon a stump, and fell into a reverie. While he thus sat, a savage entered the open space behind, and, after buckling his tunic, with numerous folds, tight around his body, drew over his head the skin of a wild boar, with the natural appendages of those animals. Thus accoutred, he walked past the soldier, who, seeing the object approach, quickly stood upon his guard. But a well-known grunt eased his fears, and he suffered it to pass, it being too dark for any one to discover the cheat. The beast, as it appeared to be, quietly sought the thicket to the left; it was nearly out of sight, when, through a sudden break in the clouds, the moon shone bright upon it. The soldier then perceived the ornamented moccasin of an Indian, and, quick as thought, prepared to fire. But, fearing lest he might be mistaken, and thus needlessly alarm the camp, and also supposing, if he were right, the other savages would be near at hand, he refrained, and having a perfect knowledge of Indian subtlety and craft, quickly took off his coat and cap, and, after hanging them on the stump where he had reclined, secured his rifle, and softly groped his way toward the thicket. He had barely reached it, when the whizzing of an arrow passed his head, and told him of the danger he had escaped. Turning his eyes toward a small spot of cleared land within the thicket, he perceived a dozen of the same _animals_ sitting on their hind legs, instead of feeding on the acorns, which, at this season, lay plentifully upon the surface of the leaves; and, listening attentively, he heard them conversing in the Iroquois tongue. The substance of their conversation was, that, if the sentinel should not discover them, the next evening, as soon as the moon should afford them sufficient light for their operations, they would make an attack upon the American camp. They then quitted their rendezvous, and soon their tall forms were lost in the gloom of the forest. The soldier now returned to his post, and found the arrow sunk deep in the stump, it having passed through the breast of his coat.

He directly returned to the encampment, and desired the orderly at the marquee to inform the commander of his wish to speak with him, having information of importance of communicate. He was admitted, and, having been heard, the colonel bestowed on him the vacant post of lieutenant of the corps, and directed him to be ready, with a picket-guard, to march, at eight o'clock in the evening, to the spot he had occupied the night before, where he was to place his hat and coat upon the stump, and then lie in ambush for the intruders. Accordingly, the party proceeded, and obeyed the colonel's orders. The moon rose, but shone dimly through the thick branches of the forest.

While the new lieutenant was waiting the result of his manoeuver, an arrow whizzed from the same quarter as before. The mock soldier fell on his face. A dozen subdued voices sounded from within the thicket, which were soon followed by the sudden appearance of the Indians themselves. They barely reached the stump, when our hero gave the order to fire, and the whole band were stretched dead upon the plain. After stripping them of their arms and trappings, the Americans returned to the camp.

Twelve chiefs fell at the destructive fire of the white men, and their fall was, undoubtedly, one great cause of the French and Indian wars with the English. The fortunate rifleman, who had originated and conducted the ambuscade, returned from the war, at its termination, with a competency. He was not again heard of, until the parent-country raised her arm against the infant colonies. Then was seen, at the head of a band of Virginia riflemen our hero as the brave and gallant Colonel Morgan.



In the year 1821, the Blendenhall, free trader, bound from England for Bombay, partly laden with broadcloths, was proceeding on her voyage with every prospect of a successful issue. While thus pursuing her way through the Atlantic, she was unfortunately driven from her course, by adverse winds and currents, more to the southward and westward than was required, and it became desirable to reach the island of Tristan d'Acunha, in order to ascertain and rectify the reckoning.

It was while steering to reach this group of islands, that, one morning a passenger, on board the Blendenhall, who chanced to be up on deck earlier than usual, observed great quantities of seaweed occasionally floating alongside. This excited some alarm, and a man was immediately sent aloft to keep a good look-out. The weather was then extremely hazy, though moderate; the weeds continued; all were on the alert; they shortened sail, and the boatswain piped for breakfast. In less than ten minutes, "breakers ahead!" startled every soul, and in a moment all were on deck. "Breakers starboard! breakers larboard! breakers all around!" was the ominous cry a moment afterward, and all was confusion. The words were scarcely uttered, when, and before the helm was up, the ill-fated ship struck, and, after a few tremendous shocks against the sunken reef, she parted about midship. Ropes and stays were cut away--all rushed forward, as if instinctively, and had barely reached the forecastle, when the stern and quarter-deck broke asunder with a violent crash, and sunk to rise no more. Two of the seamen miserably perished--the rest, including officers, passengers, and crew, held on about the head and bows--the struggle was for life!

At this moment the Inaccessible Island, which till then had been vailed in thick clouds and mist, appeared frowning above the haze. The wreck was more than two miles from the frightful shore. The base of the island was still buried in impenetrable gloom. In this perilous extremity, one was for cutting away the anchor, which had been got up to the cathead in time of need; another was for cutting down the foremast, the foretop-mast being already by the board. The fog totally disappeared, and the black, rocky island stood in all its rugged deformity before their eyes. Suddenly the sun broke out in full splendor, as if to expose more clearly to the view of the sufferers their dreadful predicament. Despair was in every bosom--death, arrayed in all its terrors, seemed to hover over the wreck. But exertion was required, and every thing that human energy could devise was effected. The wreck, on which all eagerly clung, was fortunately drifted by the tide and wind between ledges of sunken rocks and thundering breakers, until, after the lapse of several hours, it entered the only spot on the island where a landing was possibly practicable,--for all the other parts of the coast consisted of perpendicular cliffs of granite, rising from amid the deafening surf to the height of twenty, forty, and sixty feet. As the shore was neared, a raft was prepared, and on this a few paddled for the cove. At last the wreck drove right in: ropes were instantly thrown out, and the crew and passengers, (except two who had been crushed in the wreck,) including three ladies and a female attendant, were snatched from the watery grave, which a few short hours before had appeared inevitable, and safely landed on the beach. Evening had now set in, and every effort was made to secure whatever could be saved from the wreck. Bales of cloth, cases of wine, a few boxes of cheese, some hams, the carcass of a milch cow that had been washed on shore, buckets, tubs, butts, a seaman's chest, (containing a tinder-box, and needles and thread,) with a number of elegant mahogany turned bed-posts, and part of an investment for the India market, were got on shore. The rain poured down in torrents--all hands were busily at work to procure shelter from the weather; and with the bed-posts and broadcloths, and part of the foresail, as many tents were soon pitched as there were individuals on the island.

Drenched with the sea and with the rain, hungry, cold, and comfortless, thousands of miles from their native land, almost beyond expectation of human succor, hope nearly annihilated,--the shipwrecked voyagers retired to their tents. In the morning the wreck had gone to pieces; and planks, and spars, and whatever had floated in, were eagerly dragged on shore. No sooner was the unfortunate ship broken up, than, deeming themselves freed from the bonds of authority, many began to secure whatever came to land: and the captain, officers, passengers, and crew were now reduced to the same level, and obliged to take their turn to fetch water, and explore the island for food. The work of exploring was soon over--there was not a bird, nor a quadruped, nor a single tree to be seen. All was barren and desolate. The low parts were scattered over with stones and sand, and a few stunted weeds, rocks, ferns, and other plants. The top of the mountain was found to consist of a fragment of original table-land, very marshy, and full of deep sloughs, intersected with small rills of water, pure and pellucid as crystal, and a profusion of wild parsley and celery. The prospect was one dreary scene of destitution, without a single ray of hope to relieve the misery of the desponding crew. After some days, the dead cow, hams, and cheese were consumed; and, from one end of the island to the other, not a morsel of food could be seen. Even the celery began to fail. A few bottles of wine, which for security had been secreted under ground, only remained. Famine now began to threaten. Every stone near the sea was examined for shellfish, but in vain.

In this dreadful extremity, and while the half-famished seamen were at night squatting in sullen dejection around their fires, a large lot of sea-birds, allured by the flames, rushed into the midst of them, and were greedily laid hold of as fast as they could be seized. For several nights in succession, similar flocks came in; and, by multiplying their fires, a considerable supply was secured. These visits, however, ceased at length, and the wretched party were exposed again to the most severe privation. When their stock of wild fowl had been exhausted for more than two days, each began to fear they were now approaching that sad point of necessity, when, between death and casting lots who should be sacrificed to serve for food for the rest, no alternative remained. While horror at the bare contemplation of an extremity so repulsive occupied the thoughts of all, the horizon was observed to be suddenly obscured, and presently clouds of penguins alighted on the island. The low grounds were actually covered; and before the evening was dark, the sand could not be seen for the number of eggs, which, like a sheet of snow, lay on the surface of the earth. The penguins continued on the island four or five days, when, as if by signal, the whole took their flight, and were never seen again. A few were killed, but the flesh was so extremely rank and nauseous that it could not be eaten. The eggs were collected and dressed in all manner of ways, and supplied abundance of food for upward of three weeks. At the expiration of that period, famine once more seemed inevitable; the third morning began to dawn upon the unfortunate company after their stock of eggs were exhausted; they had now been without food for more than forty hours, and were fainting and dejected; when, as though this desolate rock were really a land of miracles, a man came running up to the encampment with the unexpected and joyful tidings that "millions of sea-cows had come on shore." The crew climbed over the ledge of rocks that flanked their tents, and the sight of a shoal of manatees immediately beneath them, gladdened their hearts. These came in with the flood, and were left in the puddles between the broken rocks of the cove. This supply continued for two or three weeks. The flesh was mere blubber, and quite unfit for food, for not a man could retain it on his stomach; but the liver was excellent, and on this they subsisted. In the meantime, the carpenter with his gang had constructed a boat, and four of the men had adventured in her for Tristan d'Acunha, in hopes of ultimately extricating their fellow-sufferers from their perilous situation. Unfortunately the boat was lost---whether carried away by the violence of the currents that set in between the islands, or dashed to pieces against the breakers, was never known, for no vestige of the boat or crew was ever seen. Before the manatees, however, began to quit the shore, a second boat was launched; and in this an officer and some seamen made a second attempt, and happily succeeded in effecting a landing, after much labor, on the island.

It was to this island that the boat's crew of the Blendenhall had beat their course, and its principal inhabitant, Governor Glass, showed them every mark of attention. On learning the situation of the crew, on Inaccessible Island, he instantly launched his boat, and, unawed by considerations of personal danger, hastened, at the risk of his life, to deliver his shipwrecked countrymen from the calamities they had so long endured. He made repeated trips, surmounted all difficulties, and fortunately succeeded in safely landing them on his own island, after they had been exposed for nearly three months to the horrors of a situation almost unparalleled in the recorded sufferings of seafaring men.

After being hospitably treated by Glass and his company for three months, the survivors obtained a passage to the Cape, all except a young sailor named White, who had formed an attachment to one of the servant girls on board, and who, in all the miseries which had been endured, had been her constant protector and companion; while gratitude on her part prevented her wishing to leave him. Both chose to remain, and were forthwith adopted as free citizens of the little community.



The treason of General Arnold, the capture of Andre, and the intelligence received by Washington through his confidential agents in New York, that many of his officers, and especially a major-general, whose name was given, were connected with Arnold, could not fail to arouse the anxiety and vigilance of the commander-in-chief. The moment he reached the army, then under the orders of Major-General Greene, encamped in the vicinity of Tappan, he sent for Major Lee, who was posted with the light troops some distance in front.

Lee repaired to headquarters, and found Washington in his marquee alone, busily engaged in writing. Lee was requested to take a seat; and a bundle of papers, lying on the table, was given to him for perusal. The purport of these tended to show that Arnold was not alone in his base conspiracy, but that a major-general, whose name was not concealed, was also implicated. This officer had enjoyed, without interruption, the confidence of the commander-in-chief, nor did there exist a single reason in support of the accusation. It altogether rested on the intelligence derived from the papers before him.

Major Lee was naturally shocked at these suspicions, and suggested that they were an invention of the enemy. Washington admitted the plausibility of the suggestion, but remarked that he had the same confidence in Arnold, a few days before, that he now placed in the persons accused.

After some further conversation, Washington disclosed a project, which he had maturely revolved in his own mind. "I have sent for you," he remarked to Lee, "to learn if you have in your corps any individual capable of undertaking a delicate and hazardous enterprise. Whoever comes forward on this occasion will lay me under great obligations personally; and, in behalf of the United States, I will reward him amply. No time is to be lost. He must proceed, if possible, this night. My object is to probe to the bottom the affecting suspicions suggested by the papers you have just read--to seize Arnold, and, by getting him, to save Andre. While my emissary is engaged in preparing for the seizure of Arnold, the agency of others can be traced; and the timely delivery of Arnold to me, will possibly put it in my power to restore the amiable and unfortunate Andre to his friends. My instructions are ready, in which you will find express orders, that Arnold is not to be hurt; but that he be permitted to escape, if it can be prevented only by killing him, as his public punishment is the only object in view. This you can not too forcibly press upon the person who may engage in the enterprise; and this fail not to do. With my instructions, are two letters, to be delivered as ordered, and here are some guineas to defray expenses."

Lee replied, that, as the first step to the enterprise was pretended desertion, it would be difficult to find a commissioned officer, who would undertake it. He knew, however, a sergeant-major of the cavalry, named Champe, who was in all respects qualified for the delicate and adventurous project. Champe was a native of Loudon county, in Virginia, about twenty years of age. He had enlisted in 1776; was rather above the common size, full of bone and muscle, with a saturnine countenance, grave, thoughtful, and taciturn; of tried courage and inflexible perseverance.

Washington was satisfied with this description, and exclaimed that Champe was the very man for the enterprise. Lee promised to persuade him to undertake it, and, taking leave of the general, returned to the camp of the light corps, which he reached about eight o'clock at night. Sending instantly for the serjeant-major, he informed him of the project of the commander-in-chief; and urged upon him, that, by succeeding in the capture and safe delivery of Arnold, he would not only gratify his general in the most acceptable manner, but would be hailed as the avenger of the reputation of the army, stained by a foul and wicked perfidy; and, what could not but be highly pleasing, he would be the instrument of saving the life of Major Andre.

Champe listened with attention to the plan unfolded by Lee, and replied that it met his approbation. Even its partial success was likely to lead to great good, as it would give relief to Washington's mind, and do justice, as he hoped, to suspected innocence. Champe added, that he was not deterred by the danger and difficulty to be encountered, but by the ignominy of desertion, consequent upon his enlisting with the enemy. It did not comport with his feelings to be even suspected of such a crime.

Lee combated the objections of the sergeant with his usual address, and finally subdued his prejudices so far, that Champe consented to undertake the enterprise. The instructions of Washington were then read to him; and Lee particularly cautioned him to exercise the utmost circumspection in delivering the letters, and to take care to withhold from the two individuals addressed under feigned names, knowledge of each other. He was further urged to bear in constant recollection the solemn injunction, so pointedly expressed in the instructions, of forbearing to kill Arnold in any event.

It now remained to arrange the mode of Champe's desertion, for, in order to be received favorably by the British, it was necessary that he should desert under circumstances which should assure them of his sincerity. To cross the numerous patrols of horse and foot, was no small difficulty, which was now increased in consequence of the swarms of irregulars, who sometimes ventured down to the very point of Paulus Hook, with the hope of picking up booty. Evident as were the difficulties in the way, no relief could be afforded by Major Lee, lest it might induce a belief that he was privy to the desertion, which opinion getting to the enemy, would peril the life of Champe. The sergeant was left to his own resources and management, Lee agreeing that in case Champe's departure should be discovered before morning, he would take care to delay pursuit as long as possible.

Lee placed in the hands of the sergeant some gold for his expenses, and enjoining it upon him to apprise him of his arrival in New York as soon as practicable, bade the adventurous Virginian farewell Champe, pulling out his watch, compared it with that of Lee, reminding him of the importance of holding back pursuit, which he was convinced would take place during the night, and which might be fatal, as he would be obliged to adopt a zigzag course, in order to avoid the patrols, which would consume time. It was now nearly eleven. The sergeant returned to camp, and, taking his cloak, valise, and orderly-book, he drew his horse from the picket, and, mounting, set out upon his novel expedition.

Hardly half an hour had elapsed, when Captain Carnes, officer of the day, waited on Major Lee, and, with considerable emotion, told him that one of the patrol had fallen in with a dragoon, who, on being challenged, put spur to his horse, and escaped, though vigorously pursued. Lee, complaining of the interruption, and pretending to be extremely fatigued, answered as if he did not understand what had been said, which compelled the captain to repeat his remark.

"Who can the fellow be that was pursued?" said Lee; "a countryman, probably."

"No," replied the captain; "the patrol sufficiently distinguished him to know that he was a dragoon probably from the army, if not, certainly one of our own."

This idea was ridiculed by Lee as improbable, as, during the whole campaign, but a single dragoon had deserted from the legion. Carnes was not convinced. Much apprehension was felt, at that time, of the effect of Arnold's example. The captain withdrew to examine the squadron of horse, whom he had ordered to assemble in pursuance of established usage on similar occasions. He speedily returned, stating that the deserter was known; he was no less a person than the sergeant-major, who was gone off with his horse, baggage, arms, and orderly-book. Sensibly affected at the supposed baseness of a soldier, who was generally esteemed, Carnes added, that he had ordered a party to prepare for pursuit, and that he had come for written orders from the major.

In order to gain time for Champe, Lee expressed his belief, that the sergeant had not deserted, but had merely taken the liberty to leave camp upon private business or pleasure; an example, Lee said, too often set by the officers themselves, destructive as it was of discipline, opposed as it was to orders, and disastrous as it might prove to the corps in the course of the service.

Some little delay was thus interposed. Carnes began to grow impatient at what seemed the long-winded and unseasonable discourse. It being, at length announced, that the pursuing party were in readiness, Major Lee directed a change in the officer, giving the command to Cornet Middleton. His object was to add to the delay. He knew, moreover, that, from the tenderness of his disposition, Middleton would be reluctant to do any personal injury to Champe, in the event of a pursuit.

Within ten minutes Middleton appeared to receive his orders, which were delivered to him, made out in the customary form, and signed by the major. The directions were, to pursue as far as could be done with safety, Sergeant Champe, who was suspected of deserting to the enemy, and of having taken the road to Paulus Hook; to bring him alive to camp, that he might suffer in the presence of the army, but to kill him if he resisted or attempted to escape after being taken.

Detaining the cornet a few minutes longer, in advising him what course to pursue--urging him to take care of the horse and accoutrements, if taken--and enjoining him to be on his guard, lest he might, by a too eager pursuit, improvidently fall into the hands of the enemy--Lee dismissed Middleton and his party. A shower of rain had fallen soon after Champe's departure, which enabled the pursuing dragoons to find the trail of his horse; for, at that time, the horses being all shod by our own farriers, the shoes were made in the same form which, with a private mark annexed to the fore shoes, and known to the troopers, pointed out the trail of our dragoons, and, in this way, was often useful.

When Middleton departed, it was a few minutes past twelve, so that Champe had the start of his pursuers by little more than an hour. Lee was very anxious, and passed a sleepless night. The pursuing party were, on their part, occasionally delayed by the necessary halts to examine the road, as the impressions of the horse's shoes directed the course. These were, unfortunately, too evident, no other horse having passed over the road since the shower. When the day broke, Middleton was no longer obliged to halt, and he passed on with rapidity.

As the pursuers ascended an eminence to the north of the village of Bergen, Champe was descried not more than half a mile in front. Resembling an Indian in his vigilance, the sergeant at the same moment discovered Middleton and his men, to whose object he was no stranger, and giving spur to his horse, he determined to outstrip them. Middleton, at the same instant, put his horses to the top of their speed; and being, as the legion all were, well acquainted with the country, he recollected a route through the woods to the bridge below Bergen, which diverged from the great road near the Three Pigeons. Reaching the point of separation, he halted, and, dividing his party, directed a sergeant, with a few dragoons, to take the near cut, and possess, with all possible dispatch, the bridge, while he, with the rest of his men, followed Champe. He could not doubt but that Champe, being thus enclosed between him and his sergeant, would deliver himself up. Champe did not forget the short cut, and would have taken it, had he not remembered that it was the usual route of our parties when returning in the day from the neighborhood of the enemy. He consequently avoided it, and wisely resolved to abandon his intention of getting to Paulus Hook, and to seek refuge from two British galleys, lying a few miles to the west of Bergen.

This was a station generally occupied by one or two galleys. Passing through the village of Bergen, Champe took the road toward Elizabethtown Point. Middleton's sergeant gained the bridge, where he concealed himself, ready to intercept Champe as soon as he appeared. In the meantime, Middleton, pursuing his course through Bergen, soon arrived, also, at the bridge, when, to his mortification, he found that Champe had escaped. Returning up the road, he inquired of the villagers of Bergen, whether a dragoon had been seen that morning preceding his party. He was answered in the affirmative, but could learn nothing satisfactory as to the route taken by the fugitive. While engaged in inquiries himself, he spread his party through the village to discover the trail of Champe's horse. Some of the dragoons hit it, just as the sergeant, leaving the village, reached the road to the point.

Pursuit was now vigorously renewed, and again Champe was descried. Apprehending the event, he had prepared himself for it by lashing his valise and orderly-book on his shoulders, and holding his drawn sword in his hand, having thrown away the scabbard. The delay occasioned by Champe's preparations for swimming had brought Middleton within two or three hundred yards. As soon as Champe got abreast of the galleys, he dismounted, and running through the marsh to the river, plunged into it, calling on the people in the galley for help. This was readily given. They fired on our horsemen, and sent a boat to meet Champe, who was taken in, carried on board, and conveyed to New York, with a letter from the captain of the galley, describing the scene, which he had himself witnessed, of Champe's escape.

The horse belonging to Champe, with his equipments, cloak, and sword-scabbard, was recovered by Middleton. About three o'clock in the afternoon, our party returned, and the soldiers, seeing the horse in the possession of the pursuing party, exclaimed that the deserter had been killed. Major Lee, at this heart-rending announcement, rushed from his tent, saw the sergeant's horse led by one of Middleton's dragoons, and began to reproach himself with having been the means of spilling the blood of the faithful and intrepid Champe. Concealing his anguish, he advanced to meet Middleton, but was immediately relieved on seeing the downcast countenance of the officer and his companions. From their looks of disappointment, it was evident that Champe had escaped, and this suspicion was soon confirmed by Middleton's narrative of the issue of their pursuit.

Lee's joy was now as great as his depression had been a moment before. He informed Washington of the affair, who was sensibly affected by the account of Champe's hair-breadth escape, but was rejoiced that it was of a character to put at rest the suspicions of the enemy, in regard to the supposed deserter.

On the fourth day after Champe's departure, Lee received a letter from him, written the day before, in a disguised hand, without any signature, and stating what had passed, after he got on board the galley, where he was kindly received. He was immediately conducted to New York, and introduced to the British commandant, to whom he presented a letter from the captain of the galley. Being asked to what corps he belonged, and a few other general questions, he was sent under charge of an orderly-sergeant to the adjutant-general, who was rejoiced to find that he was sergeant-major of the legion of horse, hitherto remarkable for their fidelity.

The adjutant-general noted down, in a large folio book, some particulars in regard to Champe--his size, figure, place of birth, countenance, the color of his hair, name of the corps to which he had belonged. After this was finished, he was sent to the commander-in-chief in charge of one of the staff, with a letter from the adjutant-general. Sir Henry Clinton received him very kindly, and detained him more than an hour, asking many questions in regard to the probable fate of Andre--whether the example of Arnold's defection had not contaminated many of the American officers and troops--whether Washington was popular with the army, and what means might be employed to induce the men to desert. To these various interrogatories, some of which were perplexing, Champe answered warily; exciting, nevertheless, hopes that the adoption of proper measures to encourage desertion, would probably bring off hundreds of the American soldiers, including some of the best troops, horse as well as foot. Respecting the fate of Andre, he said he was ignorant, though there appeared to be a general wish in the army that his life might not be taken; and that he believed that it would depend more on the disposition of Congress, than on the will of Washington.

After the close of this long conversation, Sir Henry presented Champe with a couple of guineas, and recommended him to wait on General Arnold, who was engaged in raising an American legion for the service of his majesty. Arnold expressed much satisfaction on being informed of the effect of his example, and the manner of Champe's escape. He concluded his numerous inquiries by assigning quarters to the sergeant. He afterward proposed to Champe to join his legion, promising him the same station he had held in the rebel service, and further advancement. Expressing his wish to retire from the service, and his conviction of the certainty of his being hung, if ever taken by the rebels, he begged to be excused from enlistment; assuring the general, that should he change his mind, he would accept his offer.

Retiring to the assigned quarters, Champe now turned his attention to the delivery of his letters, which he could not effect till the next night, and then only to one of the two incogniti, to whom he was recommended. This man received the sergeant with attention, and having read the letter, assured him of his faithful cooperation. The object for which the aid of this individual was required, regarded those persons implicated in the information sent to Washington. Promising to enter with zeal upon the investigation, and engaging to transmit Champe's letters to Major Lee, he fixed the time and place of their next meeting, when they separated. A day or two afterward, Champe accepted the appointment of recruiting sergeant to Arnold, for the purpose of securing uninterrupted ingress and egress at the house which the general occupied.

The letters which Lee received from Champe, announced that the difficulties in his way were numerous and stubborn, and that his prospect of success was by no means cheering. With respect to the charges against certain officers and soldiers in the American army of an intention to follow Arnold's example, he expressed his decided conviction that they were unfounded; that they had taken their rise in the enemy's camp, and that they would be satisfactorily confuted. But the pleasure which the latter part of this communication afforded was damped by the tidings it imparted respecting Arnold--as on his speedy capture and safe delivery depended Andre's relief.

The interposition of Sir Henry Clinton, who was extremely anxious to save his much-loved aid-de-camp, still continued. It was expected that the examination of witnesses in Andre's case and the defense of the prisoner, would protract the decision of the court of inquiry then assembled, and give sufficient time for the consummation of the project confided to Champe. This hope was disappointed in a manner wholly unexpected. The honorable and accomplished Andre disdained defense, and prevented the examination of witnesses, by confessing the character of the mission, in the execution of which he was arrested. The court reassembled on the second of October. Andre was declared to be a spy, and condemned to suffer accordingly.

The painful sentence was executed on the subsequent day, in the usual form, the commander-in-chief deeming it improper to interpose any delay. In this decision he was warranted by the unpromising intelligence received from Champe--by the still existing implication of other officers in Arnold's conspiracy--by a due regard to public opinion, and by the inexorable necessity of a severe example.

The fate of Andre, hastened by himself, deprived the enterprise committed to Champe of a feature which had been highly prized by the projector, and which had engaged the heart of the individual selected for its execution. Washington ordered Major Lee to communicate what had passed to the sergeant, with directions to encourage him to prosecute with vigor the remaining objects of his instructions. Champe bitterly deplored the fate of Andre, and confessed that the hope of saving the unfortunate young man had been his main inducement in undertaking his dangerous enterprise. Nothing now remained but to attempt the seizure of Arnold. To this object Champe gave his undivided attention. Ten days elapsed before he could conclude his arrangements, at the end of which time, Lee received from him his final communication, appointing the third subsequent night for a party of dragoons to meet him at Hoboken, when he hoped to deliver Arnold to the officer.

From the moment of his enlistment into Arnold's corps, Champe had every opportunity he could desire for watching the habits of that individual. He discovered that it was his custom to return home about twelve every night, and that, previous to going to bed, he generally walked in his garden. During this visit, the conspirators were to seize him, gag him, and carry him across the river.

Adjoining the house in which Arnold resided, and in which it was designed to seize and gag him, Champe had taken out several of the palings and replaced them, so that they might be readily removed, and open a way to the neighboring alley. Into this alley he meant to have conveyed his prisoner, aided by his companions, one of two associates who had been introduced by the friend to whom Champe had been originally made known by letter from the commander-in-chief, and with whose aid and counsel he had so far conducted the enterprise. His other associate was in readiness with the boat at one of the wharves on the Hudson river, to receive the party.

Champe and his friend intended to have placed themselves each under Arnold's shoulder, and to have thus borne him through the most unfrequented alleys and streets to the boat; representing Arnold, in case of being questioned, as a drunken sailor, whom they were conveying to the guard-house. The passage across the river could be easily accomplished.

These particulars were communicated by Lee to Washington, who directed the former to meet Champe, and to take care that Arnold should not be hurt. The appointed day arrived, and Lee with a party of dragoons, left camp late in the evening, with three led horses--one for Arnold, one for the sergeant, and the third for his associate. From the tenor of the last communication from Champe, no doubt was entertained of the success of the enterprise. The party from the American camp reached Hoboken about midnight, where they were concealed in the adjoining wood--Lee, with three dragoons, stationing himself near the river shore.

Hour after hour passed. No boat approached. At length the day broke, and the major retired with his party back to the camp, much chagrined at the failure of the project.

In a few days, Lee received an anonymous letter from Champe's patron and friend, informing him, that on the day preceding the night for the execution of the plot, Arnold had removed his quarters to another part of the town, to superintend the embarkation of troops preparing, as was rumored, for an expedition, to be placed under his own direction. The American legion, consisting chiefly of American deserters, had been transferred from the barracks to one of the transports; it being apprehended that if left on shore till the expedition was ready, many of them might desert.

Thus it happened that John Champe, instead of crossing the Hudson that night, was safely deposited on board one of the transports, from which he never departed till the troops under Arnold landed in Virginia, Nor was he able to escape from the British army till after the junction of Lord Cornwallis, at Petersburgh, when he deserted; and passing through Virginia and North Carolina, safely joined the American army soon after it had passed the Congaree, in pursuit of Lord Rawdon.

Champe's appearance excited extreme surprise among his former comrades, which was not a little increased when they witnessed the cordial reception, which he met with from the late Major, now Lieutenant-Colonel Lee. His whole story soon became known to the corps, and he became an object of increased respect and regard.

Champe was munificently rewarded, and General Washington gave him a discharge from further service, lest, in the vicissitudes of war, he might fall into the enemy's hands, in which event, if recognized, he could expect no mercy. Champe resided in London county, Virginia, after leaving the army. He afterward removed to Kentucky, where he died. For a full account of his adventures, we may refer the reader to Major Lee's Memoirs, to which we have been largely indebted.


There lived, not many years ago, on the eastern shore of Mt. Desert--a large island off the coast of Maine--an old fisherman, by the name of Jedediah Spinnet, who owned a schooner of some hundred tons burden, in which he, together with some four stout sons, was wont to go, about once a year, to the Grand Banks, for the purpose of catching codfish. The old man had five things, upon the peculiar merits of which he loved to boast--his schooner, "Betsy Jenkins," and his four sons. The four sons were all their father represented them to be, and no one ever doubted his word, when he said that their like was not to be found for fifty miles around. The oldest was thirty-two, while the youngest had just completed his twenty-sixth year, and they answered to the names of Seth, Andrew, John, and Samuel.

One morning a stranger called upon Jedediah to engage him to take to Havana some iron machinery belonging to steam engines for sugar plantations. The terms were soon agreed upon, and the old man and his sons immediately set about putting the machinery on board; that accomplished, they set sail for Havana, with a fair wind, and for several days proceeded on their course without any adventure of any kind. One morning, however, a vessel was descried off their starboard quarter, which, after some hesitation, the old man pronounced a pirate. There was not much time allowed them for doubting, for the vessel soon saluted them with a very agreeable whizzing of an eighteen pound shot under the stern.

"That means for us to heave to," remarked the old man.

"Then I guess we'd better do it hadn't we?" said Seth.

"Of course."

Accordingly, the Betsy Jenkins was brought up into the wind, and her main-boom hauled over to windward.

"Now boys," said the old man, as soon as the schooner came to a stand, "all we can do is to be as cool as possible, and to trust to fortune. There is no way to escape that I can see now; but, perhaps, if we are civil, they will take such stuff as they want, then let us go. At any rate there is no use crying about it, for it can't be helped. Now get your pistols, and see that they are surely loaded, and have your knives ready, but be sure and hide them, so that the pirates shall see no show of resistance. In a few moments all the arms which the schooner afforded, with the exception of one or two old muskets, were secured about the persons of our Down Easters, and they quietly awaited the coming of the schooner.

"One word more, boys," said the old man, just as the pirate came round under the stern.

"Now watch every movement I make, and be ready to jump the moment I speak."

As Captain Spinnet ceased speaking, the pirate luffed under the fisherman's lee-quarter, and, in a moment more, the latter's deck was graced with the presence of a dozen as savage-looking mortals as eyes ever rested upon.

"Are you the captain of this vessel," demanded the leader of the boarders, as he approached the old man.

"Yes sir."

"What is your cargo?"

"Machinery for ingines."

"Nothing else?" asked the pirate with a searching look.

At this moment, Captain Spinnet's eye caught what looked like a sail off to the southward and eastward, but no sign betrayed the discovery, and, while a brilliant idea shot through his mind, he hesitatingly replied:

"Well, there is a leetle something else."

"Ha! and what is it?"

"Why, sir, perhaps I hadn't ought to tell," said Captain Spinnet, counterfeiting the most extreme perturbation. "You see, 'twas given to me as a sort of trust, an' 't wouldn't be right for me to give up. You can take any thing else you please, for I s'pose I can't help myself."

"You are an honest codger, at any rate," said the pirate; "but, if you would live ten minutes longer, just tell me what you've got on board, and exactly where it lays."

The sight of the cocked pistol brought the old man to his senses, and, in a deprecating tone, he muttered:

"Don't kill me, sir, don't, I'll tell you all. We have got forty thousand silver dollars nailed up in boxes and stowed away under some of the boxes just forward of the cabin bulkhead, but Mr. Defoe didn't suspect that any body would have thought of looking for it there."

"Perhaps so," chuckled the pirate, while his eyes sparkled with delight. And then, turning to his own vessel, he ordered all but three of his men to jump on board the Yankee.

In a few moments the pirates had taken off the hatches, and, in their haste to get at the "silver dollars," they forgot all else; but not so with Spinnet; he had his wits at work, and no sooner had the last of the villains disappeared below the hatchway, than he turned to his boys.

"Now, boys, for our lives. Seth, you clap your knife across the fore throat and peak halyards; and you, John, cut the main. Be quick now, an' the moment you've done it, jump aboard the pirate. Andrew and Sam, you cast off the pirate's graplings; an' then you jump--then we'll walk into them three chaps aboard the clipper. _Now for it_."

No sooner were the last words out of the old man's mouth, than his sons did exactly as they had been directed. The fore and main halyards were cut, and the two graplings cast off at the same instant, and, as the heavy gaffs came rattling down, our five heroes leaped on board the pirate. The moment the clipper felt at liberty, her head swung off, and, before the astonished buccaneers could gain the decks of the fisherman, their own vessel was a cable's length to leeward, sweeping gracefully away before the wind, while the three men left in charge were easily secured.

"Halloa, there!" shouted Captain Spinnet, as the luckless pirates crowded around the lee gangway of their prize, "when you find them silver dollars, just let us know, will you?"

Half a dozen pistol shots was all the answer the old man got, but they did him no harm; and, crowding up all sail, he made for the vessel he had discovered, which lay dead to leeward of him, and which he made out to be a large ship. The clipper cut through the water like a dolphin, and, in a remarkably short space of time, Spinnet luffed up under the ship's stern, and explained all that had happened. The ship proved to be an East Indiaman, bound for Charleston, having, all told, thirty men on board, twenty of whom at once jumped into the clipper and offered their services in helping to take the pirate.

Before dark, Captain Spinnet was once more within hailing distance of his own vessel, and raising a trumpet to his mouth, he shouted:

"Schooner ahoy! Will you quietly surrender yourselves prisoners, if we come on board!"

"Come and try it!" returned the pirate captain, as he brandished his cutlass above his head in a threatening manner, which seemed to indicate that he would fight to the last.

But that was his last moment, for Seth was crouched below the bulwarks, taking deliberate aim along the barrel of a heavy rifle, and, as the bloody villain was in the act of turning to his men, the sharp crack of Seth Spinnet's weapon rang its fatal death-peal, and the next moment the captain fell back into the arms of his men, with a brace of bullets in his heart.

"Now," shouted the old man, as he leveled the long pivot gun, and seized a lighted match, "I'll give you just five minutes to make your minds up in, and, if you don't surrender, I'll blow every one of you into the other world."

The death of their captain, and, withal the sight of the pivot gun--its peculiar properties they knew full well--brought the pirates to their senses, and they threw down their weapons, and agreed to give themselves up.

In two days from that time, Captain Spinnet delivered his cargo safely in Havana, gave the pirates into the hands of the civil authorities, and delivered the clipper up to the government, in return for which, he received a sum of money sufficient for an independence during the remainder of his life, as well as a very handsome medal from the government.


A secret expedition had been planned by Col. Bowman, of Kentucky, against an Indian town on the little Miama. Simon Kenton and two young men, named Clark and Montgomery, were employed to proceed in advance, and reconnoiter. Kenton was a native of Fauquier county, Virginia, where he was born the fifteenth of May, 1755; his companions were roving backwoodsmen, denizens of the wood, and hunters like himself.

These adventurers set out in obedience to their orders, and reached the neighborhood of the Indian village without being discovered. They examined it attentively, and walked around the cabins during the night with perfect impunity. Had they returned after reconnoitering the place, they would have accomplished the object of their mission, and avoided a heavy calamity. They fell martyrs, however to their passion for horseflesh.

Unfortunately, during their nightly promenade, they stumbled upon a pound, in which were a number of Indian horses. The temptation was not to be resisted. They severally seized a horse and mounted. But there still remained a number of fine animals; and the adventurers cast longing, lingering looks behind. It was melancholy--the idea of forsaking such a goodly prize. Flesh and blood could not resist the temptation. Getting scalped was nothing to the loss of such beautiful specimens of horseflesh. They turned back, and took several more. The horses, however, seemed indisposed to change masters, and so much noise was made, in the attempt to secure them, that at last the thieves were discovered.

The cry rang through the village at once, that the Long-Knives were stealing their horses right before the doors of their wigwams. A great hubbub ensued; and Indians, old and young, squaws, children, and warriors, all sallied out with loud screams, to save their property from the greedy spoilers. Kenton and his friends saw that they had overshot their mark, and that they must ride for their lives. Even in this extremity, however, they could not reconcile their minds to the surrender of a single horse which they had haltered; and while two of them rode in front and led a great number of horses, the other brought up the rear, and, plying his whip from right to left, did not permit a single animal to lag behind.

In this manner, they dashed through the woods at a furious rate with the hue and cry after them, until their course was suddenly stopped by an impenetrable swamp. Here, from necessity, they paused a few minutes, and listened attentively. Hearing no sounds of pursuit, they resumed their course, and, skirting the swamp for some distance in the vain hope of crossing it, they bent their course in a straight direction to the Ohio. They rode during the whole night without resting a moment. Halting a brief space at daylight, they continued their journey throughout the day, and the whole of the following night; and, by this uncommon celerity of movement, they succeeded in reaching the northern bank of the Ohio on the morning of the second day.

Crossing the river would now insure their safety, but this was likely to prove a difficult undertaking, and the close pursuit, which they had reason to expect, rendered it expedient to lose as little time as possible. The wind was high, and the river rough and boisterous. It was determined that Kenton should cross with the horses, while Clark and Montgomery should construct a raft, in order to transport their guns, baggage, and ammunition, to the opposite shore. The necessary preparations were soon made, and Kenton, after forcing his horses into the river, plunged in himself, and swam by their side.

In a few minutes the high waves completely overwhelmed him, and forced him considerably below the horses, who stemmed the current much more successfully than he.

The horses, being left to themselves, turned about and made for the Ohio shore, where Kenton was compelled to follow them. Again he forced them into the water, and again they returned to the same spot, until Kenton became so exhausted by repeated efforts, as to be unable to swim. What was to be done?

That the Indians would pursue them was certain. That the horses would not and could not be made to cross the river in its present state, was equally certain. Should they abandon their horses and cross on the raft, or remain with their horses and brave the consequence? The latter alternative was adopted unanimously. Death or captivity might be tolerated, but the loss of such a beautiful lot of horses, after working so hard for them, was not to be thought of for a moment.

Should they move up or down the river, or remain where they were? The latter plan was adopted, and a more indiscreet one could hardly have been imagined. They supposed that the wind would fall at sunset, and the river become sufficiently calm to admit of their passage; and, as it was thought probable that the Indians might be upon them before night, it was determined to conceal their horses in a neighboring ravine, while they should take their stations in the adjoining wood.

The day passed away in tranquility; but at night the wind blew harder than ever, and the water became so rough, that they would hardly have been able to cross on their raft. As if totally infatuated, they remained where they were until morning; thus wasting twenty-four hours of most precious time in idleness. In the morning, the wind abated, and the river became calm; but, it was now too late. Their horses had become obstinate and intractible, and positively and repeatedly refused to take to the water.

Their masters at length determined to do what ought to have been done at first. They severally resolved to mount a horse, and make the best of their way down the river to Louisville. But their unconquerable reluctance to lose their horses overcame even this resolution. Instead of leaving the ground instantly, they went back upon their own trail, in the vain effort to regain possession of the rest of their horses, which had broken from them in their last effort to drive them into the water. They literally fell victims to their love for horseflesh.

They had scarcely ridden one hundred yards when Kenton, who had dismounted, heard a loud halloo. He quickly beheld three Indians and one white man, all well mounted. Wishing to give the alarm to his companions, he raised his rifle, took a steady aim at the breast of the foremost Indian, and drew the trigger. His gun had become wet on the raft, and flashed.

The enemy were instantly alarmed, and dashed at him. Kenton took to his heels, and was pursued by four horsemen at full speed. He instantly directed his steps to the thickest part of the wood, and had succeeded, as he thought, in baffling his pursuers, when, just as he was entering the wood, an Indian on horseback galloped up to him with such rapidity as to render flight useless. The horseman rode up, holding out his hand, and calling out "Brother! brother!" in a tone of great affection. Kenton observes, that if his gun would have made fire, he would have "brothered" him to his heart's content, but, being totally unarmed, he called out that he would surrender if they would give him quarter and good treatment.

Promises were cheap with the Indian, who, advancing, with extended hands and a withering grin upon his countenance, which was intended for a smile of courtesy, seized Kenton's hand and grasped it with violence. Kenton, not liking the manner of his captor, raised his gun to knock him down, when an Indian, who had followed him closely through the brushwood, sprung upon his back, and pinioned his arms to his side. The one, who had been grinning so amiably, then raised him by the hair and shook him until his teeth rattled, while the rest of the party coming up, fell upon Kenton with their tongues and ramrods, until he thought they would scold or beat him to death. They were the owners of the horses which he had carried off, and now took ample revenge for the loss of their property. At every stroke of their ramrods over his head, they would exclaim in a tone of strong indignation, "Steal Indian hoss! hey!"

Their attention, however, was soon directed to Montgomery, who, having heard the noise attending Kenton's capture, very gallantly hastened up to his assistance, while Clark prudently took to his heels. Montgomery halted within gunshot, and appeared busy with the pan of his gun, as if preparing to fire. Two Indians instantly sprang off in pursuit of him, while the rest attended to Kenton. In a few minutes Kenton heard the crack of two rifles in quick succession, followed by a halloo, which announced the fate of his friend. The Indians returned, waving the bloody scalp of Montgomery, and with countenances and gestures which menaced him with a similar fate.

They then proceeded to secure their prisoner by pinioning him with stout sticks, and fastening him with ropes to a tree. During the operation they cuffed him from time to time with great heartiness, and abused him for a "tief!--a hoss steal!--a rascal!"

Kenton remained in this painful position throughout the night, looking forward to certain death, and most probably torture, as soon as he should reach their town. Their rage against him displayed itself the next morning, in rather a singular manner.

Among the horses which Kenton had taken, was a wild young colt, wholly unbroken, and with all his honors of mane and tail undocked. Upon him Kenton was mounted, without saddle or bridle, with his hands tied behind him, and his feet fastened under the horse's belly. The country was rough and bushy, and Kenton had no means of protecting his face from the brambles, through which it was expected that the colt would dash. As soon as the rider was firmly fastened to his back, the colt was turned loose with a sudden lash, but, after curvetting and capricoling for awhile, to the great distress of Kenton, but to the infinite amusement of the Indians, he appeared to take compassion on his rider, and, falling into a line with the other horses, avoided the brambles entirely, and went on very well. In this manner he rode through the day. At night he was taken from the horse, and confined as before.

On the third day, they came within a few miles of Chillicothe. Here the party halted, and sent forward a messenger to prepare for their reception. In a short time, Blackfish, one of their chiefs, arrived, and regarding Kenton with a stern countenance, thundered out in very good English: "You have been stealing horses?"

"Yes, sir."

"Did Captain Boone tell you to steal our horses?"

"No, sir, I did it of my own accord."

Blackfish made no reply to this frank confession; but, brandishing a hickory switch, he applied it so briskly to Kenton's naked back and shoulders, as to bring the blood freely, and occasion acute pain.

Thus, alternately scolded and beaten, Kenton was conducted to the village. All the inhabitants, men, women, and children, ran out to feast their eyes with a sight of the prisoner; and all, down to the smallest child, appeared in a paroxysm of rage. They whooped, they yelled, they hooted, they clapped their hands, and poured upon him a flood of abuse, to which all that he had yet experienced was courteous and civil. With loud cries, they demanded that their prisoner should be tied to the stake. The hint was instantly complied with; but, after being well thrashed and tormented, he was released for the purpose of furnishing further amusement to his captors.

[Illustration: DEATH OF MONTGOMERY.]

Early in the morning, he beheld the scalp of Montgomery stretched upon a hoop, and drying in the air, before the door of one of their principal houses, he was led out, and ordered to run the gauntlet. A row of boys, women, and men, extended to the distance of a quarter of a mile. At the starting-place, stood two grim warriors with butcher knives in their hands. At the extremity of the line, was an Indian beating a drum; and a few paces beyond the drum was the door of the council-house. Clubs, switches, hoe-handles, and tomahawks, were brandished along the whole line, and, as Kenton saw these formidable preparations, the cold sweat streamed from his pores.

The moment for starting arrived, the great drum at the door of the council-house was struck; and Kenton sprang forward in the race. He, however, avoided the row of his enemies, and, turning to the east, drew the whole party in pursuit of him. He doubled several times with great activity, and at length observing an opening he darted through it, and pressed forward to the council-house with a rapidity which left his pursuers far behind. One or two of the Indians succeeded in throwing themselves between him and the goal, and from these alone he received a few blows, but was much less injured than he could at first have supposed possible.

After the race was over, a council to decide his fate was held, while he was handed over, naked and bound, to the care of a guard in the open air. The deliberation commenced. Every warrior sat in silence, while a large warclub was passed round the circle. Those who were opposed to burning the prisoner on the spot, were to pass the club in silence to the next warrior. Those in favor of burning were to strike the earth violently with the club before passing it.

A teller was appointed to count the votes. This dignitary reported that the opposition had prevailed; and that it was determined to take the prisoner to an Indian town on Mad river, called Waughcotomoco. His fate was announced to him by a renegado white man, who acted as interpreter. Kenton asked "what the Indians intended to do with him upon reaching Waughcotomoco."

"Burn you!" replied the renegado, with a ferocious oath.

After this pleasant assurance, the laconic and scowling interpreter walked away.

The prisoner's clothes were restored to him, and he was permitted to remain unbound. Thanks to the intimation of the interpreter, he was aware of the fate in reserve for him, and resolved that he would never be carried alive to Waughcotomoco. Their route lay through an unprimed forest, abounding in thickets and undergrowth. During the whole of the march, Kenton remained abstracted and silent; often meditating an effort for the recovery of his liberty, and as often shrinking from the peril of the attempt.

At length he was aroused from his reverie by the Indians firing off their guns, and raising the shrill scalp-halloo. The signal was soon answered, and the deep roll of a drum was heard far in front, announcing to the unhappy prisoner, that they were approaching an Indian town, where the gauntlet, certainly, and perhaps the stake awaited him.

The idea of a repetition of the dreadful scenes he had just encountered, overcame his indecision, and, with a sudden and startling cry, he sprung into the bushes, and fled with the speed of a wild deer. The pursuit was instant and keen. Some of his pursuers were on horseback, some on foot. But he was flying for his life. The stake and the hot iron, and the burning splinters were before his eyes, and he soon distanced the swiftest hunter in pursuit.

But fate was against him at every turn. Thinking only of the enemy behind, he forgot that there might be an enemy before; and he suddenly found that he had plunged into the center of a fresh party of horsemen, who had sallied from the town at the firing of the guns, and happened, unfortunately, to stumble upon the poor prisoner, now making a last effort for freedom. His heart sunk at once from the ardor of hope to the lowest pit of despair, and he was again haltered and driven into captivity like an ox to the slaughter.

On the second day he arrived at Waughcotomoco. Here he was again compelled to run the gauntlet, in which he was severely hurt. Immediately after this ceremony, he was taken to the council-house, and all the warriors once more assembled to determine his fate.

He sat silent and dejected upon the floor of the cabin, when the door of the council-house opened, and Simon Girty, James Girty, John Ward, and an Indian, came in with a woman as a prisoner, together with seven children and seven scalps. Kenton was immediately removed from the council-house, and the deliberations of the assembly were protracted to a very late hour, in consequence of the arrival of the last-named party with a fresh drove of prisoners.

At length he was again summoned to attend the council-house, being informed that his fate was decided. Upon entering, he was greeted with a savage scowl, which, if he had still cherished a spark of hope, would have completely extinguished it. Simon Girty threw a blanket upon the floor, and harshly ordered him to take a seat upon it. The order was not immediately complied with, and Girty impatiently seizing his arm, jerked him roughly upon the blanket, and pulled him down.

In a menacing tone, Girty then interrogated him as to the condition of Kentucky.

"How many men are there in Kentucky?"

"It is impossible for me to answer that question," replied Kenton; "but I can tell you the number of officers, and their respective ranks, and you can judge for yourself."

"Do you know William Stewart?"

"Perfectly well; he is an old and intimate acquaintance."

"What is your own name?"

"Simon Butler!" replied Kenton, who had been known formerly by that name.

Never did the announcement of a name produce a more powerful effect. Girty and Kenton had served as spies together in Dunmore's expedition. The former had not then abandoned the society of the whites for that of the savages, and had become warmly attached to Kenton during the short period of their services together. As soon as he heard the name, he threw his arms around Kenton's neck, and embraced him with much emotion.

Then turning to the assembled warriors, who had witnessed this scene with much surprise, Girty informed them that the prisoner, whom they had just condemned to the stake, was his ancient companion and bosom-friend; that they had traveled the same war-path, slept upon the same blanket, and dwelt in the same wigwam. He entreated them to spare him the anguish of witnessing the torture, by his adopted brothers, of an old comrade; and not to refuse so trifling a favor as the life of a white man to the earnest intercession of one, who had proved, by three years' faithful service, that he was zealously devoted to the cause of the Indians.

The speech was listened to in silence, and some of the chiefs were disposed to grant Girty's request. But others urged the flagrant misdemeanors of Kenton; that he had not only stolen their horses, but had flashed his gun at one of their young men; that it was in vain to suppose that so bad a man could ever become an Indian at heart, like their brother Girty; that the Kentuckians were all alike, very bad people, and ought to be killed as fast as they were taken; and, finally, they observed that many of their people had come from a distance, solely to assist at the torture of the prisoner; and pathetically painted the disappointment and chagrin, with which they would hear that all their trouble had been for nothing.

Girty continued to urge his request, however, with great earnestness, and the debate was carried on for an hour and a half, with much energy and heat. The feelings of Kenton during this suspense may be imagined.

At length the warclub was produced, and the final vote was taken. It was in favor of the prisoner's reprieve. Having thus succeeded in his benevolent purpose, Girty lost no time in attending to the comfort of his friend. He led him into his own wigwam, and, from his own store, gave him a pair of moccasins and leggins, a breechcloth, a hat, a coat, a handkerchief for his neck, and another for his head.

For the space of three weeks, Kenton lived in tranquility, treated with much kindness by Girty and the chiefs. But, at the end of that time, as he was one day with Girty and an Indian named Redpole, another Indian came from the village toward them, uttering repeatedly a whoop of peculiar intonation. Girty instantly told Kenton it was the distress-halloo, and that they must all go instantly to the council-house. Kenton's heart fluttered at the intelligence, for he dreaded all whoops, and heartily hated all council-houses, firmly believing that neither boded him any good. Nothing, however, could be done, to avoid whatever fate awaited him, and he sadly accompanied Girty and Redpole back to the village.

On entering the council-house, Kenton perceived from the ominous scowls of the chiefs, that they meant no tenderness toward him. Girty and Redpole were cordially received, but when poor Kenton offered his hand, it was rejected by six Indians successively, after which, sinking into despondence, he turned away, and stood apart.

The debate commenced. Kenton looked eagerly toward Girty, as his last and only hope. His friend seemed anxious and distressed. The chiefs from a distance rose one after another, and spoke in a firm and indignant tone, often looking sternly at Kenton. Girty did not desert him, but his eloquence was wasted. After a warm discussion, he turned to Kenton and said, "Well, my friend, _you must die!_"

One of the stranger chiefs instantly seized him by the collar, and, the others surrounding him, he was strongly pinioned, committed to a guard, and marched off. His guard were on horseback, while he was driven before them on foot, with a long rope round his neck. In this manner they had marched about two and a half miles, when Girty passed them on horseback, informing Kenton that he had friends at the next village, with whose aid he hoped to be able to do something for him. Girty passed on to the town, but finding that nothing could be done, he would not see his friend again, but returned to Waughcotomoco by a different route.

The Indians with their prisoner soon reached a large village upon the headwaters of the Scioto, where Kenton, for the first time, beheld the celebrated Mingo chief, Logan, so honorably mentioned in Jefferson's Notes on Virginia. Logan walked gravely up to the place where Kenton stood, and the following short conversation ensued:

"Well, young man, these people seem very mad at you?"

"Yes, sir, they certainly are."

"Well; don't be disheartened. I am a great chief. You are to go to Sandusky. They speak of burning you there. But I will send two runners to-morrow to help you."

Logan's form was manly, his countenance calm and noble, and he spoke the English language with fluency and correctness. Kenton's spirits revived at the address of the benevolent chief, and he once more looked upon himself as providentially rescued from the stake.

On the following morning, two runners were despatched to Sandusky as the chief had promised. In the evening they returned, and were closeted with Logan. Kenton felt the most burning anxiety to know the result of their mission, but Logan did not visit him until the next morning. He then walked up to him, accompanied by Kenton's guard, and, giving him a piece of bread, told him that he was instantly to be carried to Sandusky; and left him without uttering another word.

Again Kenton's spirits sunk. From Logan's manner, he supposed that his intercession had been unavailing, and that Sandusky was to be the scene of his final suffering. This appears to have been the truth. But fortune had not finished her caprices. On being driven into the town, for the purpose of being burnt on the following morning, an Indian agent, from Canada, named Drewyer, interposed, and once more was he rescued from the stake. Drewyer wished to obtain information for the British commandant at Detroit; and so earnestly did he insist upon Kenton's being delivered to him, that the Indians at length consented, upon the express condition that, after the required information had been obtained, he should be again restored to their possession. To this Drewyer consented, and, with out further difficulty, Kenton was transferred to his hands. Drewyer lost no time in removing him to Detroit. On the road, he informed Kenton of the condition upon which he had obtained possession of his person, assuring him, however, that no consideration should induce him to abandon a prisoner to the mercy of such wretches.

At Detroit, Kenton's condition was not unpleasant. He was obliged to report himself every morning to an English officer; and was restricted to certain boundaries through the day. In other respects he scarcely felt that he was a prisoner. His wounds were healed, and his emaciated limbs were again clothed with a fair proportion of flesh. He remained in this state of easy restraint from October, 1777, until June, 1778, when he meditated an escape.

He cautiously broached his project to two young Kentuckians, then at Detroit, who had been taken with Boone at the Blue Licks, and had been purchased by the British. He found them as impatient as himself of captivity, and resolute to accompany him. He commenced instant preparations. Having formed a close friendship with two Indian hunters, he deluged them with rum, and bought their guns for a mere trifle. These he hid in the woods, and returning to Detroit, managed to procure powder and ball, with another rifle.

The three prisoners then appointed a night for their attempt, and agreed upon a place of rendezvous. They met at the time and place appointed, without discovery, and, taking a circuitous route, avoiding pursuit by traveling only during the night, they at length arrived safely at Louisville, after a march of thirty days.



The sun had risen in all his glorious majesty, and hung over the eastern horizon like a wall of glowing fire; and its bright rays danced merrily along the lake of Teseneo--over the glittering domes of Mexico--past the frowning battlements of Chapultepec, and lit, in all their glorious effulgence, upon, the blood-stained field of Molino del Rey.

The contest was over--the sound of battle had died away, save an occasional shot from the distant artillery of the castle, or the fire of some strolling riflemen.

I was standing beside the battered remains of the mill door, above which the first footing had been gained upon the well-contested wall, and gazing over the plain, now saturated with the blood of my fellow-soldiers, which that morning waved green with flowing grass, when I heard a low and feeble wail in the ditch beside me. I turned towards the spot, and beheld, with his right leg shattered by a cannon ball, a voltiguer lying amid the mangled. He had been passed by in the haste of gathering up the wounded under the fire from the castle, and the rays of the burning sun beat down with terrible fervor upon the wounded limb, causing heavy groans to issue from his pallid lips, and his marble countenance to writhe with pain.

"Water, for God's sake, a drink of water!" he faintly articulated, as I bent over him.

Fortunately, I had procured a canteen of water, and placing it to his lips, he took a long, deep draught, and then sunk back exhausted upon the ground.

"The sun," he murmured, "is killing me by its rays; can not you carry me into the shade?"

"I can procure assistance, and have you taken to the hospital."

"No, do not, my sands of life are most out. An hour hence, I shall be a dead man. Carry me into the shade of the mill, and then, if you have time to spare, listen to my dying words, and, if you are fortunate enough to return to the United States, bear me back a message to my home, and to anoth--" he paused, and motioned me to carry him into the shade. I did so, and the cold wind which swept along the spot appeared to revive him, and he continued:

"You, sir, are a total stranger to me, and, from your uniform belong to another corps, and yet I must confide this, the great secret of all my recent actions, and the cause of my being here, to you. Would to God that I had reflected upon the fatal steps I had taken, and I should now have been at my home, enjoying the society of kind friends, instead of dying upon the gory field, and in a foreign land. My father was a wealthy man, in the town of G----h, in the state of Virginia, and moved in the best society of the place. I had received an excellent education, had studied law and was admitted, in the twenty-fourth year of my age, to practice at the bar. I had early seen and admired a young lady of the place, a daughter of an intimate friend of father's, and fortunately the feeling was reciprocated, and we were engaged to be married. The war in Mexico had been in existence some twelve months, and many flocked to the standard of their country. It so happened, that about this time, a recruiting office had been opened in the town, and several of my young friends had enlisted to go and try their fortunes on the plains of Mexico. One night there was a grand party in the place, in honor of those who were about to depart for the seat of war, and both myself and Eveline were at the hall. Among those who were assembled at that evening was Augustus P., a talented young man, and accomplished scholar, gay and lively in his manners, free and cheerful in his disposition, and a universal favorite with the fair sex. He had been for some time paying his addresses to Eveline, as I deemed, in rather too pointed a manner. As the party had assembled in the long hall, and the dance was about to commence, I asked for her hand for the first set."

'It is engaged,' she replied, as I thought, rather tartly.

'To whom, if I may be so bold as to inquire?' I demanded.

'To Augustus P.,' was the immediate reply.

I smothered my rising indignation the best I could, and proudly returned the smile of malignant joy my rival gave me.

'Perhaps I can engage it for a second set,' I calmly replied.

'Mr. P. has engaged it for the entire evening,' she pettishly replied, and rising and taking his hand they took their station upon the floor.

I remained thunderstruck and rooted to the spot, until I saw the eyes of my hated rival fixed upon me, and, throwing off the spell that bound me, I assumed a proud, cold look. As I swept by the dancers, Eveline paused for a moment when just beside me, and, bending close to her ear, I whispered, 'Eveline, farewell forever.'

She turned slightly pale, and asked, 'when?'

'To-night, I join the army for Mexico,' I firmly replied.

A deep flush passed haughtily across her brow, and then waving her hand gracefully, she replied, 'Go,' and glided through the mazes of the dance.

I rushed from the spot, and never paused until I had entered the recruiting office, and offered myself a candidate for the army.

'Are you a good, moral man, of well-regulated habits?' asked the sergeant.

'Can give a hundred certificates, if necessary, I hastily replied.

'I rather think you'll do,' said the officer with a smile, and he enrolled me as a soldier. 'When do you wish to leave?'

'Now--to-night--to-morrow--any time,' I eagerly answered.

'Promptness is a good quality, you will make a good soldier. Get ready to start at eight o'clock in the morning, for Newport, Ky.'

'I will be ready,' and, rushing from the room, I hastened home, packed up my things, and threw myself down on the bed to sleep. But it was impossible. Heavy thoughts were crowding my mind with lightning speed, and I resolved to depart the next day, without bidding adieu to father or mother, sister or brother; but feeling a deep respect, which I held for my father's advice, would prevail and I should be induced to remain at home. I made the resolve and carried it out. The next morning I was at the office by seven o'clock, was furnished with a suit of regimentals, and departed for the railroad depot to start for Wheeling. As I hurried along, who should turn the corner of the street but Eveline, and we met for the last time on earth. I informed her of my intentions, and, without manifesting any disposition of regret at my departure, she gaily said: "'Good bye, and may good luck attend you,' and she glided away.

"A new fuel was added to my desire to hasten from such scenes; and I had soon left the town for the Ohio. I will not weary you with further details, as my breath is failing fast. Suffice it to say I arrived in Mexico, and, here I am, perishing by inches upon the battle-field.

"Here," he continued, "is a ring," taking one from his finger, and presenting it to me, "which was given me by Eveline as a bond of our marriage contract. I have worn it ever since, and, as I told her then, 'it shall leave me but with my death,' Take it to her, when you get back, and, if she be not married, give it to her, and tell her he who sent it never forgot her for a single moment, even in his dying hour, and is lying beneath the clods of a foreign soil. This Bible, give back to my father, and tell him I have studied its precepts: to my mother and sisters, say that I have sent them a son's and brother's dying love; tell my brothers to beware of human strife."

He faltered in his speech, and then murmuring, "I am going," pressed my hand feebly and expired. I dug a lone grave upon the field, and laid him to "sleep his last sleep," until that day when all shall be summoned to a final account.

One year rolled on, and how chequered by passing events! Chapultepec had fallen, the city of Mexico was taken, and peace, thrice glorious peace, had waved her pinions over the land of war. The volunteers were joyfully hastening to their homes, and, among the rest, I once more trod my native land, a freeman again in heart and soul. A spell of sickness at first confined me several weeks, but at length I rose wearied and feeble from my bed, and my physicians recommended a change of air. I traveled into Virginia, and one evening I entered the town of G----h. I inquired for the family of my friend, and was directed to a fine-looking building upon the principal street. I advanced and rang the bell, and anxiously waited an answer. At length the door opened, and an old grey-headed man stood before me, the lines of his face marked by care, and his whole appearance betokened one who had a deep grief at heart.

"Mr. ----, I presume?" said I, bowing.

"The same, sir; won't you walk in?" replied the old man, politely.

I entered the house, and was soon seated in the parlor, when the old man started to leave the room.

"I have something of importance for your private ear," said I, hastily.

He turned towards me, and taking the Bible from my pocket, I held it up to view. Quicker than thought, the aged father sprang forward, caught the book in his hand, and murmured, as the tears fell slowly over his aged cheeks:

"My son, my son, you bring news of him."

"I do, but it is very bad," I answered, my voice trembling as I spoke, and I retold to him the scenes upon the battle-field.

When I had finished, the old man clasped his hands in agony, and, raising his eyes toward the ceiling, exclaimed, in deep and fervent tones, "God's will be done!"

At this moment, a young lady of pale, care-worn countenance entered the parlor, and, rising, I said, "Miss Eveline ----, I believe?"

"The same," she calmly replied.

As her eyes glanced at the ring, which I silently presented, she stretched forth her hand, grasped it convulsively, then fell suddenly forward upon the carpet, the blood oozing rapidly from her mouth. The terrible ordeal had broken a blood-vessel, and her spirit passed unchecked to another world.

A plain, marble slab, in the graveyard of the town of G----h, upon which is engraved the lone word, "Eveline," marks the last resting place of the betrothed of the Dying Volunteer.



A few days afterward, another adventure befell me; and I began to think I was destined to become a hero among the "mountain men."

A small party of the traders--myself among the number--had pushed forward ahead of the caravan. Our object was to arrive at Santa Fé a day or two before the wagons, in order to have every thing arranged with the governor for their entrance into the capital. We took the route by the Cimmaron.

Our road, for a hundred miles or so, lay through a barren desert, without game, and almost without water. The buffalo had all disappeared, and deer were equally scarce. We had to content ourselves on the dried meat which we had brought from the settlements. We were in the deserts of the artemisia. Now and then we could see a stray antelope bounding away before us, but keeping far out of range. They, too, seemed to be unusually shy.

On the third day after leaving the caravan, as we were riding near the Cimmaron, I thought I observed a pronged head disappearing behind a swell in the prairie. My companions were skeptical, and none of them would go with me; so, wheeling out of trail, I started alone. One of them--for Gode was behind--kept charge of my dog, as I did not choose to take him with me, lest he might alarm the antelopes. My horse was fresh and willing; and, whether successful or not, I knew I could easily overtake the party by camping-time.

I struck directly toward the spot where I had seen the object. It appeared to be only half a mile or so from the trail. It proved more distant--a common illusion in the crystal atmosphere of these upland regions.

A curiously formed ridge, traversed the plain from east to west. A thicket of cactus covered part of its summit. Toward the thicket I directed myself.

I dismounted at the bottom of the slope, and leading my horse silently up among the cactus plants, tied him to one of their branches. I then cautiously crept through the thorny leaves toward the point where I fancied I had seen the game. To my joy, not one antelope, but a brace of those beautiful animals, was quietly grazing beyond; but alas! too far off for the carry of my rifle. They were fully three hundred yards distant, upon a smooth, grassy slope. There was not even a sage bush to cover me, should I attempt to approach them. What was to be done?

I lay for several minutes, thinking over the different tricks, known in hunter craft, for taking the antelope. Should I imitate their call? Should I hoist my handkerchief and try to lure them up? I saw that they were too shy; for, at short intervals, they threw up their graceful heads, and looked inquiringly around them. I remembered the red blanket on my saddle. I could display this upon the cactus-bushes, perhaps it would attract them.

I had no alternative; and was turning to go back for the blanket; when, all at once, my eye rested upon a clay-colored line, running across the prairie, beyond where the animals were feeding. It was a break in the plain, a buffalo road, or the channel of an _arroyo_, in either case, the very cover I wanted, for the animals were not a hundred yards from it; and were getting still nearer to it as they fed.

Creeping back out of the thicket, I ran along the side of the slope toward a point, where I had noticed that the ridge was depressed to the prairie level. Here, to my surprise, I found myself on the banks of a broad arroyo, whose water, clear and shallow, ran slowly over a bed of sand and gypsum.

The banks were low, not over three feet above the surface of the water, except where the ridge impinged upon the stream. Here there was a high bluff; and, hurrying around its base, I entered the channel, and commenced wading upward.

As I had anticipated, I soon came to a bend where the stream, after running parallel to the ridge, swept around and canoned through it. At this place I stopped, and looked cautiously over the bank. The antelopes had approached within less than rifle range of the arroyo; but they were yet far above my position. They were still quietly feeding, and unconscious of danger. I again bent down and waded on.

It was a difficult task proceeding in this way. The bed of the creek was soft and yielding, and I was compelled to tread slowly and silently, lest I should alarm the game; but I was cheered in my exertions by the prospect of fresh venison for my supper.

After a weary drag of several hundred yards, I came opposite to a small clump of wormwood bushes, growing out of the bank. "I may be high enough," thought I, "these will serve for cover."

I raised my body gradually, until I could see through the leaves. I was in the right spot. I brought my rifle to a level; sighted for the heart of the buck, and fired. The animal leaped from the ground, and fell back lifeless. I was about to rush forward, and secure my prize, when I observed the doe, instead of running off as I expected, go up to her fallen partner, and press her tapering nose to his body. She was not more than twenty yards from me, and I could plainly see that her look was one of inquiry and bewilderment. All at once, she seemed to comprehend the fatal truth; and, throwing back her head, commenced uttering the most piteous cries, at the same time running in circles around the body.

I stood wavering between two minds. My first impulse had been to reload, and kill the doe; but her plaintive voice entered my heart, disarming me of all hostile intentions. Had I dreamed of witnessing this painful spectacle, I should not have left the trail. But the mischief was now done. "I have worse than killed her," thought I, "it will be better to despatch her at once."

Actuated by these principles of common, but to her fatal, humanity, I rested the butt of my rifle, and reloaded. With a faltering hand, I again leveled the piece and fired:

My nerves were steady enough to do the work. When the smoke floated aside, I could see the little creature bleeding upon the grass--her head resting upon the body of her murdered mate.

I shouldered my rifle, and was about to move forward, when, to my astonishment, I found that I was caught by the feet. I was held firmly as if my legs had been held in a vice.

I made an effort to extricate myself; another, more violent, and equally unsuccessful, and, with a third, I lost my balance, and fell back upon the water. Half suffocated, I regained my upright position, but only to find that I was held as fast as ever. Again I struggled to free my limbs. I could neither move them backward nor forward--to the right nor the left; and I became sensible that I was gradually going down. Then the fearful truth flashed upon me--I was sinking in a quicksand! A feeling of horror came over me. I renewed my efforts with the energy of desperation. I leaned to one side, then to the other, almost wrenching my knees from their sockets. My feet remained as fast as ever. I could not move them an inch.

The soft, clingy sand already overtopped my horse-skin boots, wedging them around my ankles, so that I was unable to draw them off; and I could feel that I was still sinking slowly but surely, as though some subterraneous monster was leisurely dragging me down. This very thought caused me a fresh thrill of horror, and I called aloud for help. To whom? There was no one within miles of me--no living thing. Yes! the neigh of my horse answered me from the hill, mocking me in my despair.

I bent forward as well as my constrained position would permit; and, with frenzied fingers commenced tearing up the sand. I could barely reach the surface, and the little hollow I was able to make filled up almost as soon as it had been formed. A thought occurred to me. My rifle might support me, placed horizontally. I looked for it. It was not to be seen. It had sunk beneath the sand. Could I throw my body flat, and prevent myself from sinking deeper? No! The water was two feet in depth. I should drown at once. This last hope left me as soon as formed. I could think of no plan to save myself. I could make no further effort. A strange stupor seized upon me. My very thoughts became paralyzed. I knew that I was going mad. For a moment I was mad.

After an interval, my senses returned. I made an effort to rouse my mind from its paralysis, in order that I might meet death, which I now believed to be certain, as a man should. I stood erect. My eyes had sunk to the prairie level, and rested upon the still bleeding victims of my cruelty. My heart smote me at the sight. Was I suffering a retribution of God? With humbled and penitent thoughts, I turned my face to heaven, almost dreading that some sign of omnipotent anger would scowl upon me from above. But no! The sun was shining as bright as ever; and the blue canopy of the world was without a cloud. I gazed upward with earnestness known only to the hearts of men in positions of peril like mine.

As I continued to look up, an object attracted my attention. Against the sky, I distinguished the outlines of a large bird. I knew it to be the obscene bird of the plains, the buzzard vulture. Whence had it come? Who knows? Far beyond the reach of human eye, it had seen or scented the slaughtered antelopes; and, on broad, silent wing was now descending to the feast of death. Presently another, and another, and many others, mottled the blue field of the heavens, curving and wheeling silently earthward. Then the foremost swooped down upon the bank, and, after gazing around for a moment, flapped off toward its prey. In a few seconds, the prairie was black with filthy birds, who clambered over the dead antelopes, and beat their wings against each other, while they tore out the eyes of the quarry with their fetid beaks. And now came gaunt wolves, sneaking and hungry, stealing out of the cactus thicket; and loping, coward-like, over the green swells of the prairie. These, after a battle, drove away the vultures, and tore up the prey, all the while growling and snapping vengefully at each other. "Thank heaven! I shall at least be saved from this."

I was soon relieved from the sight. My eyes had sunk below the level of the bank. I had looked my last on the fair, green earth. I could now see only the clayey wall that contained the river, and the water that ran unheeding past me. Once more I fixed my gaze upon the sky, and, with prayerful heart, endeavored to resign myself to my fate. In spite of my endeavors to be calm, the memories of earthly pleasures, and friends, and home, came over me, causing me, at intervals, to break into wild paroxysms, and make fresh, though fruitless struggles. And I was attracted by the neighing of my horse. A thought entered my mind, filling me with fresh hope. "Perhaps my horse--" I lost not a moment. I raised my voice to its highest pitch, and called the animal by name. I knew that he would come at my call. I had tied him but slightly. The cactus limb would snap off. I called again, repeating words that were well known to him. I listened with a bounding heart. For a moment there was silence. Then I heard the quick sounds of his hoof, as though the animal was rearing and struggling to free himself; then I could distinguish the stroke of his heels, in a measured and regular gallop.

Nearer came the sounds; nearer and clearer, until the gallant brute bounded out on the bank above me. There he halted, and, flinging back his tossed mane, uttered a shrill neigh. He was bewildered, and looked upon every side, snorting loudly.

I knew that, having once seen me, he would not stop until he had pressed his nose against my cheek--for this was his usual custom. Holding out my hands I again uttered the magic words. Now looking downward he perceived me, and, stretching himself, sprang out into the channel. The next moment, I held him by the bridle. There was no time to be lost. I was still going down, and my arm-pits were fast nearing the surface of the quicksand. I caught the lariat, and, passing it under the saddle-girths, fastened it in a tight, firm knot. I then looped the trailing end, making it secure around my body. I had left enough of the rope, between the bit-ring and the girths, to enable me to check and guide the animal, in case the drag upon my body should be too painful.

All this while the dumb brute seemed to comprehend what I was about. He knew, too, the nature of the ground on which he stood, for, during the operation, he kept lifting his feet alternately to prevent himself from sinking. My arrangements were at length completed, and, with a feeling of terrible anxiety, I gave my horse the signal to move forward. Instead of going off with a start, the intelligent animal stepped away slowly, as though he understood my situation. The lariat tightened, I felt my body moving, and the next moment experienced a wild delight, a feeling I can not describe, as I found myself dragged out of the sand. I sprang to my feet with a shout of joy. I rushed up to my steed, and, throwing my arms around his neck, kissed him with as much delight as I would have kissed a beautiful girl. He answered my embrace with a low whimper, that told me that I was understood.

I looked for my rifle. Fortunately, it had not sunk deeply, and I soon found it. My boots were behind me, but I staid not to look for them, being smitten with a wholesome dread of the place where I had left them. I was not long in retreating from the arroyo; and, mounting, I galloped back to the trail. It was sundown before I reached the camp, where I was met by the inquiries of my companions. I answered all their questions by relating my adventures, and, for that night, I was again the hero of the camp-fire.


On the 22d, says Mr. Cumming, ordering my men to move on toward a fountain in the center of the plain, I rode forth with Ruyter, and held east through a grove of lofty and wide-spreading mimosas, most of which were more or less damaged by the gigantic strength of a troop of elephants, which had passed there about twelve months before. Having proceeded about two miles with large herds of game on every side, I observed a crusty-looking, old bull borèlé, or black rhinoceros, cocking his ears one hundred yards in advance. He had not observed us; and soon after he walked slowly toward us, and stood broadside to, eating some wait-a-bit thorns within fifty yards of me. I fired from my saddle, and sent a bullet in behind his shoulder, upon which he rushed forward about one hundred yards in tremendous consternation, blowing like a grampus, and then stood looking about him. Presently he made off. I followed but found it hard to come up with him. When I overtook him I saw the blood running freely from his wound.


The chase led through a large herd of blue wildebeests, zebras, and springboks, which gazed at us in utter amazement. At length I fired my second barrel, but my horse was fidgety, and I missed. I continued riding alongside of him, expecting in my ignorance that at length he would come to bay, which rhinoceroses never do; when suddenly he fell flat on his broadside on the ground, but recovering his feet, resumed his course as if nothing had happened. Becoming at last annoyed at the length of the chase, as I wished to keep my horses fresh for the elephants, and being indifferent whether I got the rhinoceros or not, as I observed that his horn was completely worn down with age and the violence of his disposition, I determined to bring matters to a crisis; so, spurring my horse, I dashed ahead, and rode right in his path. Upon this, the hideous monster instantly charged me in the most resolute manner, blowing loudly through his nostrils; and, although I quickly wheeled about to my left, he followed me at such a furious pace for several hundred yards, with his horrid horny snout within a few yards of my horse's tail, that my little Bushman, who was looking on in great alarm, thought his master's destruction inevitable. It was certainly a very near thing; my horse was extremely afraid, and exerted his utmost energies on the occasion. The rhinoceros, however, wheeled about, and continued his former course; and I, being perfectly satisfied with the interview which I had already enjoyed with him, had no desire to cultivate his acquaintance any further, and accordingly made for camp.


The steamboat Erie, under command of Captain Titus, left the dock at Buffalo on the afternoon of August 9th, 1841, laden with merchandise, destined for Chicago. As nearly as could be ascertained, she had on board about two hundred persons, including passengers and crew.

The boat had been thoroughly overhauled and recently varnished. At the moment of her starting, though the wind was blowing fresh, every thing promised a pleasant and prosperous voyage. Nothing occured to mar this prospect till about eight o'clock in the evening, when the boat was off Silver Creek, about eight miles from the shore, and thirty-three miles from the city, when a slight explosion was heard, and immediately, almost instantaneously, the whole vessel was enveloped in flames. Among the passengers were six painters, who were going to Erie to paint the steamboat Madison. They had with them some demijohns filled with spirits of turpentine and varnish, which, unknown to Captain Titus, were placed on the boiler-deck directly over the boilers. One of the firemen who was saved, says he had occasion to go on deck, and seeing the demijons, removed them. They were replaced, but by whom is not known. Their inflammable contents undoubtedly aided the flames in their rapid progress.

Captain Titus, who was on the upper deck at the time of the explosion, rushed to the ladies' cabin to obtain the life-preservers, of which there were about one hundred on board; but, so violent was the heat, he found it impossible to enter the cabin. He returned to the upper deck, on his way giving orders to the engineer to stop the engine, the wind and the headway of the boat increasing the fierceness of the flames and driving them aft. The engineer replied, that in consequence of the flames he could not reach the engine. The steersman was instantly directed to put the helm hard a-starboard. She swung slowly around, heading to the shore, and the boats--there were three on board--were then ordered to be lowered. Two of the boats were lowered, but, in consequence of the heavy sea on, and the headway of the vessel, they both swamped as soon as they touched the water.

We will not attempt to describe the awful and appalling condition of the passengers. Some were frantic with fear and horror, others plunged headlong madly into the water, others again seized upon any thing buoyant upon which they could lay hands. The small boat forward had been lowered. It was alongside the wheel, with three or four persons in it, when the captain jumped in, and the boat immediately dropped astern, filled with water. A lady floated by with a life-preserver on. She cried for help. There was no safety in the boat. The captain threw her the only oar in the boat. She caught the oar and was saved. It was Mrs. Lynde of Milwaukie, and she was the only lady who escaped.

In this condition, the boat, a mass of fierce fire, and the passengers and crew endeavoring to save themselves by swimming or supporting themselves by whatever they could reach, they were found by the steamboat Clinton, at about ten o'clock that night. The Clinton had left Buffalo in the morning, but, in consequence of the wind, had put into Dunkirk. She lay there till near sunset, at which time she ran out, and had proceeded as far as Barcelona, when just at twilight the fire of the Erie was discovered, some twenty miles astern. The Clinton immediately put about, and reached the burning wreck.

It was a fearful sight. All the upper works of the Erie had been burned away. The engine was standing, but the hull was a mass of dull, red flames. The passengers and crew were floating around, screaming in their agony, and shrieking for help. The boats of the Clinton were instantly lowered and manned, and every person that could be seen or heard was picked up, and every possible relief afforded. The Lady, a little steamboat lying at Dunkirk, went out of that harbor as soon as possible, after the discovery of the fire, and arrived soon after the Clinton. By one o'clock in the morning, all was still except the melancholy crackling of the flames. Not a solitary individual could be seen or heard on the wild waste of waters. A line was then made fast to the remains of the Erie's rudder, and an effort made to tow the hapless hulk ashore. About this time the Chautauque came up and lent her assistance.

The hull of the Erie was towed within about four miles of shore, when it sank in eleven fathoms of water. By this time it was daylight. The lines were cast oft. The Clinton headed her course toward Buffalo, which place she reached about six o'clock.

Upon inquiry it was found that there had been between thirty and forty cabin passengers, of whom ten or twelve were ladies. In the steerage there were about one hundred and forty passengers, nearly all of whom were Swiss and German emigrants. The whole number of persons on board, who were saved, did not exceed twenty-seven.

All that imagination can conceive of the terrible and heart-rending was realized in the awful destruction of this boat. Scores sank despairingly under the wild waters; but there is reason to fear that many, very many, strong men, helpless women, and tender children perished in the flames.

Among the passengers were a young gentleman and lady, who first became acquainted with each other on board. The lady was accompanied by her father. Upon an intimacy of a few hours an attachment seems to have been formed between this couple. When the passengers rushed to the deck, after the bursting forth of the flames, the lady discovered her new acquaintance on a distant part of the deck, forced her way to him, and implored him to save her. The only alternative left them was to jump overboard, or to submit to a more horrible fate. They immediately jumped, the gentleman making the first plunge, with a view of securing for the young and fair being, who had measurably committed to his hands her safety, a plank floating a short distance from the boat. As soon as the plank was secured, the lady leaped into the water and was buoyed up by her clothes, until the gentleman was enabled to float the plank to her. For a short time the young man thought that his fair charge was safe; but soon his hopes were blasted--one of the fallen timbers struck the lady on the head, her form sank upon the water, a momentary quivering was perceptible, and she disappeared from human view. Her father was lost, but the young gentleman was among the number picked up by the Clinton.

There was a fine race-horse on board, who, soon after the alarm, broke from his halter at the bow of the boat, and dashed through the crowd of passengers, prostrating all in his way; and then, rendered frantic by terror and pain, he reared and plunged into the devouring fire, and there ended his agony.

One of the persons saved, in describing the scene, says:--"The air was filled with shrieks of agony and despair. The boldest turned pale. I shall never forget the wail of terror that went up from the poor German emigrants, who were huddled together on the forward deck. Wives clung to their husbands, mothers frantically pressed their babes to their bosoms, and lovers clung madly to each other. One venerable old man, his gray hairs streaming on the wind, stood on the bows, and, stretching out his bony hands, prayed to God in the language of his father-land.

"But if the scene forward was terrible, that aft was appalling, for there the flames were raging in their greatest fury. Some madly rushed into the fire; others, with a yell like a demon, maddened with the flames, which were all around them, sprang headlong into the waves. The officers of the boat, and the crew, were generally cool, and sprang to lower the boats, but these were every one successively swamped by those who threw themselves into them, regardless of the execrations of the sailors, and of every thing but their own safety.

"I tried to act coolly--I kept near the captain, who seemed to take courage from despair, and whose bearing was above all praise. The boat was veering toward the shore, but the maddened flames now enveloped the wheel-house, and in a moment the machinery stopped. The last hope had left us--a wilder shriek rose upon the air. At this moment the second engineer, the one at the time on duty, who had stood by his machinery as long as it would work, was seen climbing the gallows-head, a black mass, with the flames curling all around him. On either side he could not go, for it was now one mass of fire. He sprang upward, came to the top, one moment felt madly around him, and then fell into the flames. There was no more remaining on board, for the boat now broached around and rolled upon the swelling waves, a mass of fire. I seized upon a settee near me, and gave one spring, just as the flames were bursting through the deck where I stood--one moment more and I should have been in the flames. In another instant I found myself tossed on a wave, grasping my frail support with a desperate energy."

One of the not least interesting facts connected with the catastrophe, was that the helmsman was found burnt to a cinder at his post. He had not deserted it even in the last extremity, but grasped with his charred fingers the wheel. His name was Luther Fuller. Honor to his memory!

A boy of twelve years of age, named Levi T. Beebee, belonging to Cleveland, Ohio, was among those saved. He exhibited a degree of self-possession and fortitude rarely surpassed. Though molten lead from the burning deck was dropping on his head, and his hands were scorched by the flames, he clung for at least two hours and a half to the chain leading from the stern to the rudder.


David Morgan had settled upon the Monongahela during the early part of the revolutionary war, and at this time had ventured to occupy a cabin at the distance of several miles from any settlement.

One morning, having sent his younger children out to a field at a considerable distance from the house, he became uneasy about them, and repaired to the spot where they were working. He was armed, as usual, with a good rifle. While sitting upon the fence and giving some directions as to their work, he observed two Indians upon the other side of the field gazing earnestly upon the party. He instantly called to the children to make their escape, while he should attempt to cover their retreat.

The odds were greatly against him, as in addition to other circumstances, he was nearly seventy years of age, and, of course, unable to contend with his enemies in running. The house was more than a mile distant, but the children, having two hundred yards the start, and being effectually covered by their father, were soon so far in front, that the Indians turned their attention entirely to the old man. He ran for several hundred yards with an activity which astonished himself, but perceiving that he would be overtaken, long before he could reach his home, he fairly turned at bay, and prepared for a strenuous resistance. The woods through which they were running were very thin, and consisted almost entirely of small trees, behind which, it was difficult to obtain proper shelter.

Morgan had just passed a large walnut, and, in order to resist with advantage, it became necessary to run back about ten steps in order to regain it. The Indians were startled at the sudden advance of the fugitive, and halted among a cluster of saplings, where they anxiously strove to shelter themselves. This, however, was impossible; and Morgan, who was an excellent marksman, saw enough of the person of one of them to justify him in risking a shot. His enemy instantly fell, mortally wounded.

The other Indian, taking advantage of Morgan's empty gun, sprung from the shelter, and advanced rapidly upon him. The old man, having no time to reload, was compelled to fly a second time. The Indian gained rapidly upon him, and, when within twenty steps, fired, but with so unsteady an aim, that Morgan was wholly unhurt, the ball having passed over his shoulder.

He now again stood at bay, clubbing his rifle for a blow, while the Indian, dropping his empty gun, brandished his tomahawk and prepared to throw it at his enemy. Morgan struck with the butt of his gun, and the Indian hurled his tomahawk at one and the same moment. Both blows took effect; and both of the combatants were at once wounded and disarmed. The breech of the rifle was broken against the Indian's skull, and the edge of the tomahawk was shattered against the barrel of the rifle, having first cut off two of the fingers of Morgan's left hand. The Indian then attempting to draw his knife, Morgan grappled him, and bore him to the ground. A furious struggle ensued, in which the old man's strength failed, and the Indian succeeded in turning him.

Planting his knee on the breast of his enemy, and yelling loudly, as is usual with the barbarians upon any turn of fortune, he again felt for his knife, in order to terminate the struggle at once; but having lately stolen a woman's apron, and tied it around his waist, his knife was so much confined, that he had great difficulty in finding the handle.

Morgan, in the meantime, being an accomplished pugilist, and perfectly at home in a ground struggle, took advantage of the awkwardness of the Indian, and got one of the fingers of his right hand between his teeth. The Indian tugged and roared in vain, struggling to extricate it. Morgan held him fast, and began to assist him in hunting for the knife. Each seized it at the same moment, the Indian by the blade, and Morgan by the handle, but with a very slight hold.

[Illustration: THE LAST SHOT.]

The Indian, having the firmest hold, began to draw the knife further out of its sheath, when Morgan, suddenly giving his finger a furious bite, twitched the knife dexterously through his hand, cutting it severely. Both now sprung to their feet, Morgan brandishing his adversary's knife, and still holding his finger between his teeth. In vain the poor Indian struggled to get away, rearing, plunging, and bolting, like an unbroken colt. The teeth of the white man were like a vice, and he at length succeeded in giving his savage foe a stab in the side. The Indian received it without falling, the knife having struck his ribs; but a second blow, aimed at the stomach, proved more effectual, and the savage fell. Morgan thrust the knife, handle and all, into the body, directed it upward, and, starting to his feet, made the best of his way home.


The following account of one of those fearfully sublime spectacles--a fire on the prairie--is from the "_Wild Western Scenes_" by J.B. Jones. The hunters have been out and are overtaken by night, and are lost in the darkness.

Ere long, a change came over the scene. About two-thirds of the distance around the verge of the horizon a faint light appeared, resembling the scene when a dense curtain of clouds hangs overhead, and the rays of the morning sun steal under the edge of the thick vapor. But the stars could be seen, and the only appearance of clouds was immediately above the circle of light. In a very few minutes the terrible truth flashed upon the mind of Glenn. The dim light along the horizon was changed to an approaching flame. Columns of smoke could be seen rolling upward, while the fire beneath imparted a lurid glare to them. The wind blew more fiercely, and the fire approached from almost every quarter with the swiftness of a race-horse. The darkened vault above became gradually illuminated with a crimson reflection, and the young man shuddered with the horrid apprehension of being burnt alive! It was madness to proceed in a direction that must inevitably hasten their fate, the fire extending in one unbroken line from left to right, and in front of them, and they now turned in a course which seemed to place the greatest distance between them and the furious element. Ever and anon a frightened deer or elk leaped past, and the hounds no longer noticed them, but remained close to the horses. The flames came on with awful rapidity. The light increased in brilliance, and objects were distinguishable far over the prairie. A red glare could be seen on the sides of the deer as they bounded over the tall dry grass, which was soon to be no longer a refuge for them. The young man heard a low continued roar, that increased every moment in loudness, and, looking in the direction whence they supposed it proceeded, they observed an immense, dark, moving mass, the nature of which they could not divine, but it threatened to annihilate every thing that opposed it. While gazing at this additional source of danger, the horses, blinded by the surrounding light, plunged into a deep ditch that the rain had washed in the rich soil. Neither men nor horses, fortunately, were injured; and, after several ineffectual efforts to extricate themselves, they here resolved to await the coming of the fire. Ringwood and Jowler whined fearfully on the verge of the ditch for an instant, and then sprang in and crouched trembling at the feet of their master. The next instant the dark, thundering mass passed overhead, being nothing less than an immense herd of buffaloes driven forward by the flames. The horses bowed their heads as if a thunderbolt were passing. The fire and the heavens were hid from view, and the roar above resembled the rush of mighty waters. When the last animal had sprung over the chasm, Glenn thanked the propitious accident that thus providentially prevented him from being crushed to atoms, and uttered a prayer to Heaven that he might by a like means be rescued from the fiery ordeal that awaited him. It now occurred to him that the accumulation of weeds and grass in the chasm, which saved them from injury when falling in, would prove fatal when the flames arrived. And after groping some distance along the trench, he found the depth diminished, but the fire was not three hundred paces distant. His heart sank within him. But when on the eve of returning to his former position, with a resolution to remove as much of the combustible matter as possible, a gleam of joy spread over his features, as, casting a glance in a contrary direction from that they had recently pursued, he beheld the identical mound he had ascended before dark, and from which his unsteady and erratic riding in the night had fortunately prevented a distant separation. They now led their horses forth, and, mounting without delay, whipped forward for life or death. Could the summit of the mound be attained, they were in safety--for there the soil was not encumbered with decayed vegetation--and they spurred their animals to the top of their speed. It was a noble sight to see the majestic white steed flying toward the mound with the velocity of the wind, while the diminutive pony miraculously followed in the wake like an inseparable shadow. The careering flames were not far behind, and, when the horses gained the summit and Glenn looked back, the fire had reached the base!

Fortunately, that portion of the plain over which the scathing element had spent its fury, was the direction the party should pursue in retracing their way homeward.

The light, dry grass had been soon consumed, and the earth now wore a blackened appearance, and was as smooth as if vegetation had never covered the surface. As the party rode briskly along, (and the pony now kept in advance,) the horses' hoofs rattled as loudly on the baked ground as if it were a plank floor. The reflection of the fire in the distance still threw a lurid glare over the extended heath. As the smoke gradually ascended, objects could be discerned at a great distance, and occasionally a half-roasted deer or elk was seen plunging about, driven to madness by its tortures. And frequently they found the dead bodies of smaller animals that could find no safety in flight.


At the close of the war with Great Britain, in the year 1815, I took command of the brig Ganges, owned by Ebenezer Sage, Esq., then a wealthy and respectable merchant at Middleton. I sailed from New York on the 20th of August, bound for Turk's Island for a cargo of salt, and, on the 5th of September, I arrived at my destined port. It being the season for hurricanes in that region, it was thought most safe for us to go around into a small harbor on the south side of the island. In order to reach this harbor, we had to go through a narrow, crooked channel, with rocks and dangerous reefs on every side, but, with a skillful pilot, we made our way through safely, and came to anchor. On the next day we commenced taking in our cargo of salt. On the 9th of September, a day that I shall ever remember, my pilot came to me somewhat agitated, and said that there were strong indications of an approaching hurricane, and advised me to make all possible preparations to encounter it.

We therefore quit taking in salt, and made every thing about the ship snug as possible. At twelve o'clock, midnight, the gale commenced, as the pilot had anticipated, and continued to increase until six in the morning, at which time it became most terrific. Every blast grew more and more violent until our cables all parted, and we were left to the mercy of the gale. It blew directly from the land. We got the ship before the wind, as the only course we could pursue. In doing this we were well aware of the dangerous channel we had to pass, and my only hope was, that we might get to sea clear of the land. But this hope soon vanished. In about twenty minutes after we started, the ship struck a rock, which knocked off her rudder, and set her leaking badly. The rudder being gone, we of course had no control of the vessel. She came around side to the wind, and at this moment her mainmast was blown over the side. We at once cut away the rigging that attached it to the hull, and it floated off, and the foremast still standing, the ship swung off again a little before the wind. All hands were soon set to pumping, but we found that in spite of all our exertions, the water rapidly increased in the hold.

The appearance of the elements at this time almost baffles description. So violent was their commotion that no one could stand without grasping something for support. Not a word could be heard that was uttered. I had to communicate every order by means of signs, while I stood on the quarter-deck holding on to the cabin doors. In this situation I endeavored calmly to reflect. Here we were, as we supposed, on the open ocean,--in a tempest of unparalleled violence--with no rudder--one mast gone--boats all lost--and the ship settling under us from the weight of water in the hold. The sky was black almost as midnight above us, and the waves beneath, and around, and over us--for they dashed at quick intervals, like so many furies, across the devoted ship--seemed ready to drown us ere we sank into their dread abyss. The voice of the gale as it howled through the rigging, mingled with the creaking of timbers, and the roar of waters as they struck the vessel, was an awful wail, as it appeared to me, over bodies devoted to almost instant death. Destruction seemed inevitable. It would not, to all human calculation, be protracted even an hour. We were sinking down, down--inch following inch of the fated vessel in rapid succession--down remedilessly to our graves in the maddened sea, amid the monsters of its great deep.

I descended to the cabin, and attempted calmly to surrender myself to Him who made me. My thoughts--oh, how they flew at once to my wife and children at home! I attempted to pray, and for the first time since I had left my pious mother. I _did_ pray--for my family first--and oh how fervently, in closing my supplications, I besought for myself pardon and forgiveness through Him who is ever ready to hear the penitent!

The water had now got on to the cabin floor, I therefore placed myself on the stairs leading on deck. Shortly after this the wind shifted, and in a few minutes the ship struck with a tremendous crash. I rushed on deck, and at once saw rocks fifty feet high, and perpendicular, but a few feet from the after part of the ship, which now soon filled with water, and rolled over toward the land. At its fore part, and at the only point where we could by any possibility have been saved, the rocks descended gradually, and the foremast leaned over them. Not a moment was to be lost. We crawled up the rigging, and, swinging ourselves on to the rocks, made our way up the precipice on our hands and feet, and, reaching the summit, at once sought, in holes in the rock, shelter from the tempest, which still continued so violent that no one could stand upon his feet.

Our escape happened about ten o'clock in the morning; at five in the afternoon the gale had so moderated that we could stand. We then crawled out from our hiding places, and, assembling together, found that all were safe except my brother, who was mate of the ship, and he, we supposed, was lost, in attempting to get on shore. We soon, as was very natural, approached the precipice to learn the fate of the ship. Nothing was to be seen of her but plank, timbers, spars, sails, and rigging, all in one confused, broken mass, and washing up against the rocks. It was truly to us a most deplorable spectacle. We had no resource in the vessel; not a thing of value was left.

As night was approaching, we now walked along before the wind toward the south part of the island, and there found, by the side of a huge pile of rocks, a hole or sort of cave, about eight feet square and five feet high. Here we all crawled in, wet and cold, but with hearts grateful to God for our wonderful preservation. As we were packed very close to each other, the natural warmth of our bodies soon relieved us considerably from the sensation of wetness and cold, and we passed the night as comfortably as our varied miseries would allow.

Morning came, and we left our cave. The gale had much abated, and we could see some distance. We found that we were on a small desolate island, about a mile long, half a mile wide, and about ten miles from the place we left the day before. It was covered mostly with huge rocks, with here and there a small patch of soil, overrun with prickly pear, and inhabited by no living animal excepting lizards and small poisonous snakes. We had been now over twenty-four hours without food or water. Of the latter article, on searching around, we found a little in the hollows on the rocks, but it was about half salt, having been made so by the spray which the gale had thrown from the ocean quite over the island, and the more we drank of it the more thirsty we became. As to food, we were soon convinced that this was out of the question. Toward night, we found a cask near the beach, standing on one end, with one head out, which held about two gallons of water, that had rained in. This was not salt, but smelled badly. We, however, scooped out with our hands about one half of it, and left what remained for the next day. We got some relief from this, and then we returned to our former resting-place for the night.

When we crawled out on the following morning we found that the weather had become fine and clear. We could see vessels passing at a short distance from us, but had no means of making any signal, nor any for leaving the shore. This being the third day of our distress and privation, some of us began to suffer much from hunger. Others suffered more from thirst. We, however, cheered each other with the faint hope that some thing would appear for our relief. We wandered about as we had done the day before, seeking for water but found none. We had nothing to dig with but our hands; these we used, but in vain; no water appeared. Toward night we went to the cask, and drank what remained there. We then returned again to our cave for the night, all much exhausted and low-spirited. Despair began to shade every countenance. Very little was said, and we passed the night well as we could, pressed by hunger and parched by thirst. Morning came, and again we all left our shelter. The weather continued fine and clear. The men again separated in search of water, but being myself very feeble, I took my seat on some rocks near the cave, at a point from whence I could see every thing moving on the water, and with a lingering hope that something would appear for our deliverance.

About ten o'clock, an object loomed up in the distance. I thought it was a boat, but could not at once tell. It approached, and soon I saw it distinctly. It _was_ a boat, with one sail, and was steering directly for a low beach not far from where I was seated. My feelings at this moment were so overcome that I lost all power of utterance. I could not, at first, rise from the rock, My strength, however, shortly returned a little, and I got up and made all the noise I could. Some of the men near at hand heard me, and came up. I at once pointed to the boat, which was now near the shore. They shouted to their companions, and we were all soon at the beach near where the boat was landed. A black man got out of the boat, and came to me with a letter--but, before reading it, I besought him for water. To my surprise he had none, but instead of it had a bottle of rum and a small bag of biscuit. I told him to bring these on shore, and, taking them, I gave each of my crew a swallow of the rum and a biscuit. This had the effect of moistening a little our parched mouths and tongues. I then opened the letter. It was from my warm and faithful friend Mr. Tucker, of Turk's Island, and it read as follows, omitting my name:

"To Captain ----, or any other unfortunate person or persons who may be found on any of the neighboring islands. Come as many as can safely and, should any be left, I will find means to convey those that remain."

The two men, who came in the boat, hesitated about taking all of us at once, as we were nine in number, and with themselves might overload the boat. We could not, however, bear the thought of leaving any behind. We therefore all got aboard, shoved off, and made sail. We had a fair wind, and a smooth sea, and at six o'clock arrived safely at the harbor we had left. Many persons ran to the beach to meet us as we landed, and among the rest was our deliverer, Mr. Tucker.

The next morning, my friend and deliverer gave me a brief history of what had taken place with himself and his fellow-inhabitants on the island, during the gale. Many of their houses were levelled to the ground, and some were blown into the sea. Their cisterns, their only dependence for water, were mostly destroyed. Even the cannon mounted on a small battery were dismounted, and most of the inhabitants were in great distress. Every vessel and boat, that floated about the island, were blown to sea or destroyed. Out of the twenty vessels that were at the island on which Mr. Tucker lived, when the gale came on, only six were heard ever from after. Five out of these six were wrecked on adjacent islands, and every soul on board three of these perished. The gale was said, by the oldest inhabitants, to be the most violent ever known in that region. We remained on the island ten or twelve days, and then, taking passage in a ship bound for New York, reached that city safely on the last of November.


In 1781, Lexington, Ky., was only a cluster of cabins, one of which, near the spot where the courthouse now stands, was used as a schoolhouse. One morning, in May, McKinley, the teacher, was sitting alone at his desk, busily engaged in writing, when, hearing a slight noise at the door, he turned and beheld an enormous wildcat, with her fore feet upon the step, her tail curled over her back, her bristles erect, and her eyes glaring rapidly about the room, as if in search of a mouse.

McKinley's position at first completely concealed him, but a slight and involuntary motion of his chair attracted the cat's attention, and their eyes met, McKinley, having heard much of the powers of "the human face divine," in quelling the audacity of wild animals, attempted to disconcert the intruder by a frown. But puss was not to be bullied. Her eyes flashed fire, her tail waved angrily, and she began to gnash her teeth. She was evidently bent on mischief. Seeing his danger, McKinley hastily rose, and attempted to snatch a cylindrical rule from a table which stood within reach, but the cat was too quick for him.

Darting furiously upon him, she fastened upon his side with her teeth, and began to rend and tear with her claws. McKinley's clothes were soon in tatters, and his flesh dreadfully mangled by the enraged animal, whose strength and ferocity filled him with astonishment. He in vain attempted to disengage her from his side. Her long, sharp teeth were fastened between his ribs, and his efforts served but to enrage her the more. Seeing his blood flow very copiously from the numerous wounds in his side, he became seriously alarmed, and, not knowing what else to do, he threw himself upon the edge of the table, and pressed her against the sharp corner with the whole weight of his body.

The cat now began to utter the most wild and discordant cries, and McKinley, at the same time, lifting up his voice in concert, the two together sent forth notes so doleful as to alarm the whole town. Women, who are generally the first to hear and spread news, were now the first to come to McKinley's assistance. But so strange and unearthly was the harmony within the schoolhouse, that they hesitated long before venturing to enter. At length, the boldest of them rushed in, and, seeing poor McKinley bending ever the corner of the table, she at first supposed that he was laboring under a severe fit of the colic; but quickly perceiving the cat, which was now in the agonies of death, she screamed out, "Why, good heavens, Mr. McKinley, what is the matter?"

"I have caught a cat, madam!" he gravely replied, turning round, while the sweat streamed from his face under the mingled operations of fright, fatigue, and pain.

Most of the neighbors had now arrived. They attempted to disengage the dead cat; but so firmly were her tusks locked between his ribs, that this was a work of no small difficulty. McKinley suffered severely for a time from the effects of his wounds, but at length fully recovered, and lived to a good old age. He was heard to say, that of all the pupils that ever came to his school, the wildcat was the most intractable; that he would at any time rather fight two Indians than one wildcat.


A daughter of Boone's, and a Miss Galloway, were amusing themselves in the immediate neighborhood of the fort, when a party of Indians rushed from a canebrake, and, intercepting their return, took them prisoners. The screams of the terrified girls quickly alarmed the family. Boone hastily collected a party of eight men, and pursued the enemy. So much time, however, had been lost, that the Indians had got several miles the start of them. The pursuit was urged through the night with great keenness by woodsmen capable of following a trail at all times. On the following day they came up with the fugitives, and fell upon them so suddenly and so furiously as to allow them no leisure for tomahawking their prisoners. The girls were rescued, without having sustained any other injury than excessive fright and fatigue. The Indians lost two men, while Boone's party was uninjured.

[Illustration: THE PURSUIT]


In 1782, Wheeling was besieged by a large number of British and Indians. So sudden and unexpected was the attack, that no time was afforded for preparation. The fort, at the period of the assault was commanded by Colonel Silas Zane. The senior officer, Colonel Ebenezer Zane, was in a blockhouse some fifty or a hundred yards outside of the wall. The enemy made several desperate assaults to break into the fort, but at every onset they were driven back. The ammunition for the defence of the fort was deposited in the blockhouse, and there had not been time to remove it before the Indians approached.

On the afternoon of the second day of the siege, the powder of the fort was nearly exhausted, and no alternative remained, but for some one to pass through the enemy's fire to the blockhouse, in order to obtain a supply. When Silas Zane made the proposition to the men, asking if any one would undertake the hazardous enterprise, all at first were silent. After looking at one another for some time, a young man stepped forward, and said he would undertake the errand. Immediately, half a dozen offered their services in the dangerous enterprise.

While they were disputing as to who should go, Elizabeth, sister of the Zanes, came forward and declared, that she would go for the powder. Her brother thought she would flinch from the enterprise, but he was mistaken. She had the intrepidity to dare, and the fortitude to accomplish the undertaking. Her brother then tried to dissuade her from her heroic purpose, by saying that a man would be more fleet, and consequently would run less risk of losing his life.

She replied, that they had not a man to spare from the defence of the fort, and that if she should fall, she would scarcely be missed. Then divesting herself of such articles of clothing as would impede the celerity of her flight, she prepared to start.

The gate was opened, and Elizabeth bounded out at the top of her speed, and ran until she arrived at the door of the blockhouse. Her brother, Colonel Zane, hastened to open the door to his intrepid sister. The Indians did not fire a gun, but exclaimed, as if in astonishment, "_Squaw! squaw! squaw_!"

When she had told her errand, her brother took a tablecloth, fastened it around her waist, and poured into it a keg of powder. She then sallied back to the fort, in high spirits. The moment she was outside of the blockhouse, the whole of the enemy's line fired at her, but the shower of balls fell without doing her any injury. She reached the fort in safety, and the garrison was, in consequence, enabled successfully to repel their savage foe. Such an instance of female daring is worthy of all commemoration.


The Madrid papers recite the particulars of a terrific scene which took place on the 14th of August, 1851, at the house of Don Diego Garcia, an old nobleman, who resided in the vicinity of that capital:

The night was dark and tempestuous. The rain poured down in torrents, and induced the night-watch, who had been reinforced since the recent augmentations of crime in the environs of the capital, to keep close to their quarters. The roads were completely deserted, and at long intervals only the shadow of a human figure flitted past the huge portals of Don Diego's mansion, in anxious haste toward its habitation.

Juan Munoz, the Don's old valet, had been sent to this city, by his master, and was now making the best of his way home. His errand to the capital had been to procure some medicine which his master had been ordered to take, he being at the time violently afflicted by the gout. Juan, as we have said, was picking his way, as best he could, through the deluged streets and roads, when, just as he came in sight of the mansion, he heard the voices of a number of men behind him, and supposing them to be a party of his fellow-servants who had been sent in search of him, since he had been much later than he expected to be, he drew back into an open recess to await their approach. He discovered that he was deceived in his expectations; the men were strangers to him, or, at least, he did not know their voices, but, while passing him, he plainly heard the name of his master pronounced by one of their number, and, stepping forward, he asked if they wished to see Don Diego that night. The men seemed perfectly stupefied by his sudden apparition, but they soon recovered from their surprise, and, after ascertaining that he was alone, he was politely asked to go before them and show the way. Scarcely had he proceeded a dozen yards; when a violent blow on the head laid him prostrate; a knife was then twice thrust into his breast, and the lifeless body was hurled into the middle of the road.

It was close upon midnight, when the wife of Don Diego, while tending her sick husband, was startled by a noise from the adjoining room. She immediately rang the bell, and was answered by the major domo, the only servant who had not retired to rest, being determined to await the return of Juan. As he entered, the door leading to the ante-chamber was also quickly opened, and on the threshold appeared five masked men, who were evidently unprepared to find more than one inmate in the sick chamber. Quick as thought the major-domo attempted to reach the bell-rope, that by a violent alarm he might awake the sleepers and obtain their aid, but quicker even than he was the leader of the masked band, who seized a pistol from his belt, and, with unerring aim, discharged it at the devoted servant. There was a faint cry: the old servant stretched out his hands for support, and then, with a heavy groan, fell to the floor, where death closed his eyes.

This unexpected catastrophe seemed to spur on the robbers to instant work. While one man was posted at each door, the three others insisted upon being informed by Don Diego where he kept his money and valuables; but the sick old man had sank into so complete a lethargy by the dreadful event which had passed under his eye, that he was unable to answer them. As rapidity of movement was, however, rendered peremptory to insure the safety of the band, the chief addressed the Donna for the same purpose, in answer to which, she evinced but little reluctance, and bade them to follow her. The robbers at once declared their readiness, and, after passing along the corridor, entered the dining saloon, where the Donna pointed out a large box, which, she said, contained the plate. Here another difficulty arose. The box, which in reality contained the plate, was securely locked, and the key nowhere to be found. Anxious to get at the rich booty, the leader, with an angry imprecation, put the muzzle of his heavy horse-pistol to the lock; a sharp report followed, and the lid thus unceremoniously opened offered no further obstacle to the rapacity of the invaders. Donna Ignazia took advantage of the joyful excitement of the band, and left the room to descend into the lower story of the mansion, where her hurried summons at the chamber doors of the servants were readily responded to by them, as they had already been awoke by the double report in their master's apartments. The tempest, which had raged so fearfully, had meanwhile ceased; the torrents of rain were followed by a clear night; the fury of the elements appeared as though, in momentary rest, they would gather strength for a fresh outbreak--nature's wrath had given place to the wrath of man.

The inanimate body of Juan Munoz had been discovered by a patrolling body of soldiery, who carried it to the guard-house. The stabs were found to be of minor consequence, and the blow on the head, although it had caused a very severe wound, had occasioned only a temporary loss of consciousness. It must be borne in mind, that two hours had nearly elapsed between the assault upon Munoz and the entrance into the house by the robbers, which time had probably been spent by them in various efforts to gain access. Strong restoratives, judiciously applied, soon brought back animation, and, shortly afterward, Munoz could give a confused narrative of what had befallen him. The officer on duty at once saw through the scheme, and gave orders to proceed to the mansion of Don Diego, which they reached at the precise moment when Donna Ignazia, with an armed body of her own servants, was leading them to the dining saloon. The summons of the officer at the front door was followed by a dead silence on the part of the robbers: but when they heard the measured tramp of the soldiery on the stair-case, they sought for means of instant flight. This, however, had been provided for; a portion of the military had surrounded the house, while the others, reinforced by the servants, approached. The only chance then left to the brigands was to cut their way through, or sell their lives as dearly as possible. In an instant the huge oaken doors of the saloon were closed and barred, the lights were extinguished, the windows opened, and everything made ready for the last desperate chance. Fortune favored them; for the soldiery, not anticipating a leap of their enemies from the high windows, withdrew their sentinels from there in order to make them guard the side and rear outlets of the mansion. Two of the bold ruffians had already made their descent by means of tablecloths, tied together, when the alarm was given. The soldiers rushed to the spot--a third robber was clinging to the frail chance for life, and was rapidly descending, but a well-directed shot bereft him of strength, and, after a few frantic efforts to retain his hold, he fell heavily to the ground. His two comrades made a firm stand: but vain was their boldness against the numbers of assailants, and in a few moments they fell, grievously wounded, into the hands of the victors.

Two more only remained of this desperate band, and the fact of their being shielded by strong bolts massive walls, rendered them no insignificant enemies. Ladders were placed against the windows, but the true aim of the keen-eyed brigands made four successive shots tell with appalling effect, since each of them laid low one of their assailants. At last an attack upon the doors was resolved upon, and soon the heavy blows of the ponderous axe resounded from the massive panels. One door gave way: there was a stunning crash, followed by reports of fire-arms, cries of agony, and the dull sound of falling victims. Again the numbers were successful, but in this instance the victims knew no mercy, and, when at last the tumult ceased, the mutilated corpses of the two brigands could hardly be recognized from three of their late assailants.

The man who had been shot while descending from the window was found to be quite dead, the ball having entered his heart. The two survivors were subsequently identified as Ramon Gomez, and Pietro Vaga, better known as "the Hunchback," two of the most notorious highwaymen and burglars, for whose apprehension a large reward had been offered.


J.V. Brown, Esq., Editor of the Lake Superior Journal, who was on board the Monticello, gives the following graphic account of the disaster:

It becomes our painful duty to record the most perilous shipwreck that has ever occurred on Lake Superior, and having been a passenger on board the Monticello at the time, we are enabled to give all the particulars in relation to the loss of the vessel, and the hardships of the passengers and crew. We went on board the Ontonagon on the afternoon of the 22d September, 1851, on her return from Fond du Lac. She left the river at half-past five o'clock bound for the Sault, with about one hundred persons, twenty tons of copper from the Minnesota mine, and a few barrels of fish from La Pointe, and in coming out of the harbor one of the wheels struck a floating log very heavily, and it is supposed to have loosened the packing boxes around one of the shafts.--She lay on the bar a few minutes on her way out, but the sea at that time was light, and we cannot think it possible that she sprang a leak from the effects of the slight pounding on the light sand.


We had been out about half an hour, when the firemen discovered the water rising around the floors of the engine; they communicated the fact to Capt. Wilson, and it was made known to the passengers, but the leak was not thought to be serious, and created but very little alarm. The pump was put into operation, and on examination the captain and engineer seemed confident that the pump would keep her clear till we could run down to Eagle harbor, a distance of sixty miles; but it was soon discovered, that the water was fast gaining on the pump, and preparations were made immediately for raising water by means of barrels and buckets.

The wind was blowing at first from the westward, but soon changed to the northwest--it was fresh but fair, and aided by sails and all the steam that it was prudent to carry, she came on at a rapid rate, still keeping on her course, in hopes to make the harbor. The passengers and crew worked steadily at the pumps, but the water continued gradually to gain on them. The most of the copper and all the other freight was thrown overboard with a hearty good will--the wealth of the mine seeming of but little consequence at such a time. Every possible means were employed to raise water, and every passenger assisted to the utmost of his strength and ability to keep the sinking vessel afloat. Two pumps, three barrels, and a half dozen pails were constantly in motion, and still the water gained steadily, but surely, on their efforts.

We had now been out about three hours, the wind and waves constantly increasing, when it was found, there was little hope of reaching Eagle harbor; the water had risen nearly to the fires, and was fast gaining ground, notwithstanding all the exertions of those on board. After remaining on her course a few minutes longer, the boat was headed toward the land, and new efforts were put forth to encourage all on board to assist at the pumps and barrels. By this time there was three feet of water or more in the hold, and she moved and rolled heavily through the seas, the wood having to be shifted from one side of the vessel to the other, to keep her in trim.

One fire after the other was rolled into the water, and it became evident to the most hopeful that they would be extinguished entirely, and it was still thought, the wind would take her in under the land even if the steam should fail. It was not long before the fires were reported out--the engines worked lazily for a short time, the clicking of the valves became faint and less frequent, and finally, like the dying struggle of a strong man, it ceased altogether.

Wearied with incessant exertions at the pumps, many gave out and retired to the cabins, seeming to prefer rest to escape from the watery grave into which they were fast sinking. Some were even forced into the hold, to fill barrels and pails, and new efforts were put forth to induce the suffering crew and passengers to hold out an hour longer, with the assurance that we could reach land in that time. With this hope, and that influence which strong minds always exert under such circumstances, many took hold again of the pumps with a kind of desperate exertion, and for a time they even gained on the water. There was another circumstance which encouraged them to work. The boat being careened on one side by the sails, one of the fires was partially out of water, and a fire was kindled again by means of dry wood, oil, and the most combustible matter the boat afforded. This not only assisted our progress toward the land, but it stimulated the passengers to new exertions.

The fires were in this way kindled and extinguished several times, and all felt that they owed much to the irregular exertion of the engines for their preservation, especially as the wind for some time died away, so as to scarcely fill the sails. For two long hours the water-logged vessel drifted in, before soundings could be had. In this region it was well known, that the coast was rocky, and dangerous for landing, and the night was too dark to enable the pilot to distinguish one place from another. A heavy sea rolled in upon the shore, and it seemed like madness to attempt a landing under such circumstances. Accordingly, Captain Wilson decided to come to anchor, and endeavor to keep the vessel afloat till daylight; and as soon as we came into six fathoms water the anchors were let go, and she swung round heavily in the furious waves, that threatened speedily to complete the work of destruction.

Several insane attempts had been thwarted for cutting away the boats, which, had they succeeded, we doubt not, would have proved certain destruction to nine-tenths of all on board; for if the boats had not been swamped at once, they would undoubtedly have been dashed to pieces on the rock-bound shore, leaving others to swim ashore as best they might. The pumping and bailing were continued with the last energies of a noble crew--two or three hours more would bring the light of another day, and it was understood that an attempt would be made to land as soon as it was daylight.

The time wore tediously away, and the passengers and crew were too much exhausted to keep down the water, and still they labored to do so with what strength they had left. Some time before daylight the wind changed to the north; and commenced blowing hard directly upon the shore, and the sea increased rapidly, oftentimes washing into the hatchways where the men were at work bailing, and it became evident to all, that the vessel could be kept afloat only for a short time longer.

At five o'clock it was light enough to see that it was a bold rocky shore, against which the waves dashed high and furiously, but it was too late to choose a place for landing, and the captain ordered the anchors raised. Her bow swung around to the east and in fifteen minutes she struck heavily on the solid rock, about three hundred yards from the shore. The men kept at work pumping and bailing till she struck, when the waves at once swept in upon her deck and filled the hold.

The largest of the two yawls happened to be on the lee side, and it was soon lowered away, and with a line long enough to reach the land, the first and second mates, Messrs. Lucas and Barney, W.T. Westbrook, and one of the crew, started for the shore. The line was made fast to a tree, and they commenced the far more difficult and dangerous task of returning. The little boat seemed to be engulphed by every breaker that it met on its way, and none but strong and true hands could have saved the boat in this emergency, and no one unaccustomed to the dangers of the sea, can imagine the nerve necessary to manage a boat under such circumstances.

The smaller boat, after much difficulty and delay, was got around under the lee and bailed out, but it swamped the first trip ashore, and was not used afterward. By constant, and untiring exertions, the passengers and crew were all landed at half-past eight o'clock, and after securing the shattered boats, as best they could, on the steep side of the rocky shore, they gathered around the fires, to look upon the miserable plight of one another. All were drenched with the water in coming ashore, cold and hungry, worn out by the fatigues of the night and morning, they lopped down around the fires, the sorriest looking gathering that it had ever been our misfortune to witness.

All had been so anxious in seeing the passengers and crew landed safely, that they had not thought about providing for our future wants, and nothing in the shape of provisions or baggage had been brought ashore. After they had looked around them for a few moments, the boat was again manned and the wreck was again explored for provisions, and a few pounds of hard bread, part of a quarter of fresh beef and some boiled beef were brought in, which was as one remarked, a "poor show" for a lunch for so many sharp appetites. After having eaten this mouthful we proposed to start with as many as possible for Eagle river, which was judged to be about thirty-five miles distant, and a party of twenty-two in number set out.

It was noon when we started, with our clothes still wet and heavy, and little or nothing to eat. We worked our way slowly through the cedar swamp; over logs and under logs, up ravines and down ravines, a crooked, trackless, toilsome way, till the middle of the afternoon, when we met two of our fellow passengers on their way back to the wreck. They had been on some distance further, but worn out with the hardships of their journey and hunger, they had turned back disheartened, and advised us to do the same. But we decided to go on, and on we went, through the worst cedar swamps in the world, till the thick woods began to grow dark with the shades of evening, and till a number of the party became completely exhausted with fatigue and hunger. We then concluded to encamp for the night, although we could not have traveled in all the afternoon over five miles, or about a mile an hour.

Without an axe, a few sticks were collected, and two or three poor fires were kindled. All the bits of hard bread, and fresh beef, in all a scanty meal for one person's supper, was produced and rationed out to the twenty-two persons. Every one ate as sparingly as possible, and as we were without tents, we lay down on the cold ground in our wet clothes before the fire, and dozed and shivered with cold till daylight. As soon as we could see to travel, we proceeded on our toilsome way, and after walking about a mile we came to the trail that leads from Lake Superior to Portage Lake, and saw two or three Indians pushing out through the surf a bark canoe, which they soon jumped into and paddled away before the wind. We tried to induce them to return, in hopes to procure something from them to satisfy our craving hunger, but they scarcely deigned to look back.

Some of our party had been from this trail to Eagle river, and it was some consolation to meet with a land mark that was known. We now commenced walking along the beach, which was composed of large pebbles, covered in many places with logs and trees that had washed or tumbled in from off the overhanging banks, making it as tiresome walking as can well be imagined. Frequently, in order to keep the beach, we were obliged to walk within reach of the dash of the waves, and were drenched with the cold flood.

About two miles east of the Portage trail, we discovered near the edge of the bank, which was some ten feet above the lake, the remains of a human being. The clothes of a man, in a good state of preservation, half covered the bleaching bones, the sad, sickening, unburied relics of some poor "shipwrecked brother," who had here ended his voyage "o'er life's stormy main." He had evidently chosen this spot where he could die looking off upon the lake, from whence no succor came, and where he could be easily discovered by the passer by. A description was taken by one of our party of his clothes and the few articles found on them, and we learned on inquiring at Eagle river, that they were undoubtedly the remains of a Mr. Mathews, who got lost from the Algonquin mine a few weeks previous. A brother of the deceased repaired to the spot as soon as possible and brought down the remains for burial at Eagle harbor.

The morning had not far advanced when a number of our party began to lag behind, exhausted from the effects of hunger and weakness, and it was evident that some would have to be left behind, while some of the others might possibly reach Eagle river that day and send assistance. We confidently expected to find some provisions in a warehouse at Gratiot river, twelve miles from Eagle river, and all had hopes to reach there before night. A few of our party pushed forward as fast as possible, to procure food and fires for those behind, but great was our disappointment not to find a particle of provisions at that place.

We kindled a fire, and rested for a few minutes, till a number of our party came up, the larger number being still far behind. It now became more important than ever that some one should reach Eagle river, and seven of our number determined to make the trial. We had now twelve miles further to go, and in our miserable condition we traveled but slowly, but the trail grew better as we proceeded, and we came in sight of Eagle River about four o'clock in the afternoon, and under the circumstances, a more pleasant, inviting village we do not recollect ever to have seen before. Four or five of our party came through the same evening, and a few others of another party came in the next day with similar hardships.

On the Tuesday following, Capt. McKay with the schooner Algonquin, proceeded to the wreck, and brought off the captain, crew, and remaining passengers, and all that could be saved of valuable property.


The hot season of 1849 was peculiarly oppressive, and the irksome garrison duty, at Cherootabad, in the south of India, had for many months been unusually severe. The colonel of my regiment, the brigadier, and the general, having successively acceded to my application for three weeks' leave, and that welcome fact having been duly notified in orders, it was not long before I found myself on the Coimbatore road, snugly packed, guns and all, in a country bullock cart, lying at full length on a mattress, with a thick layer of straw spread under it.

All my preparations had been made beforehand; relays of bullocks were posted for me at convenient intervals, and I arrived at Goodaloor, a distance of a hundred and ten miles, in rather more than forty eight hours.

Goodaloor is a quiet little village, about eleven miles from Coimbatore;--but don't suppose I was going to spend my precious three weeks there.

All loaded, and pony saddled, let us start: the two white cows and their calves; the mattress and blanket rolled up and carried on a Cooly's head Shikaree, horsekeeper, and a village man, with the three guns, while I, myself, bring up the rear. Over a few ploughed fields, and past that large banian tree, the jungle begins.

In a small clump of low jungle, on the sloping bank of a broad, sandy watercourse, the casual passer-by would not have perceived a snug and tolerably strong little hut--the white ends of the small branches that were laid over it, and the mixture of foliage, alone revealing the fact to the observant eye of a practiced woodman. No praise could be too strong to bestow on the faithful Shikaree; had I chosen the spot myself, after a weeks' survey of the country, it could not have been more happily selected.

To the deeply-rooted stump of a young tree on the opposite bank, one of the white cows had been made fast by a double cord passed twice around her horns. Nothing remains to be done: the little door is fastened behind me, the prickly acacia boughs are piled up against it on the outside, and my people are anxious to be off.

The poor cow, too, listens with dismay to the retreating footsteps of the party, and has already made some furious plunges to free herself, and rejoin the rest of the kine, who have been driven off, nothing loth, toward home. Watch her: how intently she stares along the path by which the people have deserted her. Were it not for the occasional stamp of her fore leg, or the impatient side-toss of the head, to keep off the swarming flies, she might be carved out of marble. And now a fearful and anxious gaze up the bed of the nullah, and into the thick fringe of Mimoso, one ear pricked and the other back alternately, show that _instinct_ has already whispered the warning of impending danger. Another plunge to get loose, and a searching gaze up the path; see her sides heave. Now comes what we want--that deep low! It echoes again among the hills: another and another. Poor wretch! you are hastening your doom; far or near, the tiger hears you--under the rock or thicket, where he has lain since morning, sheltered from the scorching sun, his ears flutter as if they were tickled every time he hears that music; his huge, green eyes, heretofore half closed, are now wide open, and, alas! poor cow, gaze truly enough in thy direction; but he has not stirred yet, and nobody can say in what direction giant death will yet stalk forth.

The moon is up--all nature still; the cow, again on her legs, is restless, and evidently frightened. Oh! reader, even if you have the soul of a Shikaree, I despair of being able to convey in words a tithe of the sensations of that solitary vigil: a night like that is to be enjoyed but seldom--a red-letter day in one's existence.

Where is the man who has never experienced the poetic influence of a moonlight scene! Fancy, then, such a one as here described; a crescent of low hills--craggy, steep, and thickly wooded--around you, on three sides, and above them, again, at twenty miles' distance, the clear blue outline of the Neilgherry hills; in your front, the silver sand bed of the dry watercourse divides the thick and somber jungle with a stream of light, till you lose it in the deep shadows at the foot of the hills--all quiet, all still, all bathed in the light of the moon, yourself the only man for miles to come, a solitary watcher--your only companion the poor cow, who, full of fears, and suspicious at every leaf-fall, reminds you that a terrible struggle is about to take place within a few feet of your bed, and that there will be noise and confusion, when you must be cool and collected. Your little kennel would not be strong enough to resist a determined charge, and you are alone, if three good guns are not true friends.

Oh! that I could express sounds on paper as music is written in notes. No, reader, you must do as I have done--you must be placed in a similar situation, to hear and enjoy the terrible roar of a hungry tiger--not from afar off, and listened for, but close at hand, and unexpected. It was like an electric shock;--a moment ago I was dozing off, and the cow, long since laid down, appeared asleep; that one roar had not died away among the hills when she had scrambled on her legs, and stood with elevated head, stiffened limbs, tail raised, and breath suspended, staring, full of terror, in the direction of the sound. As for the biped, with less noise, and even more alacrity, he had grasped his "Sam Nock," whose polished barrels just rested on the lower ledge of the little peep-hole; perhaps his eyes were as round as saucers, and heart beating fast and strong.

Now for the struggle;--pray heaven that I am cool and calm, and do not fire in a hurry, for one shot will either lose or secure my well-earned prize.

There he is again! evidently in that rugged, stony watercourse, which runs parallel, and about two hundred yards behind the hut. But what is that? Yes, lightning: two flashes in quick succession, and a cold stream of air is rustling through the half-withered leaves of my ambush. Taking a look to the rear, through an accidental opening among the leaves, it was plain that a storm, or, as it would be called at sea, a squall, was brewing. An arch of black cloud was approaching from the westward, and, the rain descending, gave it the appearance of a huge black comb, the teeth reaching to the earth. The moon, half obscured, showed a white mist as far as the rain had reached. Then was heard in the puffs of air, the hissing of the distant but approaching downpour: more lightning--then some large heavy drops plashed on the roof, and it was raining cats and dogs.

How the scene was changed! Half an hour ago, solemn, and still, and wild, as nature rested, unpolluted, undefaced, unmarked by man--sleeping in the light of the moon, all was tranquillity; the civilized man lost his idiosyncrasy in its contemplation--forgot nation, pursuits, creed--he felt that he was Nature's child, and adored the God of Nature.

But the beautiful was now exchanged for the sublime, when that scene appeared lit up suddenly and awfully by lightning, which now momentarily exchanged a sheet of intensely dazzling blue light, with a darkness horrible to endure--a light which showed the many streams of water, which now appeared like ribbons over the smooth slabs of rod that lay on the slope of the hills, and gave a microscopic accuracy of outline to every object, exchanged as suddenly for a darkness, which for the moment might be supposed the darkness of extinction--of utter annihilation--while the crash of thunder over head rolled over the echoes of the hills, "I am the Lord thy God."

The storm was at length over, the nullah run dry again. Damp and sleepy, with arms folded and eyes sometimes open, but often shut, I kept an indifferent watch, when the cow, struggling on her legs, and a groan, brought me to my senses. There they were. It was no dream. A large tiger, holding her just behind the ears, shaking her like a fighting dog. By the doubtful light of the watery moon, did I calmly and noiselessly run out the muzzle of my rifle.

I saw him, without quitting his grip of the cow's neck, leap over her back more than once. She sank to the earth, and he lifted her up again. At the first opportunity, I pulled trigger. The left hand missed, I tried the right--it went off--bang!

Whether a hanging fire is an excuse or not, the tiger relinquished his hold and was off with a bound. The cow staggered and struggled, and, in few seconds, fell, and, with a heavy groan, ceased to move. The tiger had killed the cow within a few feet of me, and escaped scathless.

Night after night did I watch for his return. I had almost despaired of seeing him again, when, one night, about eleven o'clock, my ears caught the echo among the rocks, and then the distant roar--nearer--nearer--nearer; and--oh, joy!--answered. Tiger and tigress!--above all hope!--coming to recompense me for hundreds of night watchings--to balance a long account of weary nights in the silent jungle, in platforms on trees, in huts of leaf and bramble, and in damp pits on the water's edge--all bootless; coming--coming--nearer and nearer.

Music nor words, dear reader, can stand me in any stead to convey the sound to you; the first note like the trumpet of a peacock, and the rest the deepest toned thunder. Stones and gravel rattled just behind the hut on the path by which we came, and went, and a heavy step passed and descended the slope into the nullah. I heard the sand crunching under his weight before I dared to look. A little peep. Oh, heavens! looming in the moonlight, there he stood, long, sleek as satin, and lashing his tail--he stood stationary, smelling the slaughtered cow. No longer the cautious, creeping tiger, I felt how awful a brute he was to offend. I remembered how he had worried a strong cow in half a minute, and that, with his weight alone, my poor rickety little citadel would fall to pieces. As if the excitement of the moment was insufficient, the monster, gazing down the dry watercourse, caught sight of his companion, who, advancing up the bed of the nullah, stood irresolutely about twenty yards off. The bully, who was evidently the male, after smelling at the head, came round the carcass, making a sort of complaisant purring--"humming a kind of animal song," and to it he went tooth and nail.

As he stood with his two fore feet on the haunch, while he tugged and tore out a beef-steak, I once more grasped old "Sam Nock," and ran the muzzle out of the little port. The white linen band marked a line behind his shoulders, and rather low, but, from the continued motion of his body, it was some moments before eye and finger agreed to pull trigger--bang! A shower of sand rattled on the dry leaves, and a roar of rage and pain satisfied me, even before the white smoke, which hung in the still air, had cleared away, to show the huge monster writhing and plunging where he had fallen. Either directed by the fire, or by some slight noise made in the agitation of the moment, he saw me, and, with a hideous yell, scrambled up: the roaring thunder of his voice filled the valley, and the echoes among the hills answered it, with the hootings of tribes of monkeys, who, scared out of sleep, sought the highest branches, at the sound of the well-known voice of the tyrant of the jungle. I immediately perceived, to my great joy, that his hind quarters were paralyzed and useless, and that all danger was out of the question. He sank down again on his elbows, and as he rested his now powerless limbs, I saw the blood welling out of a wound in the loins, as it shone in the moonlight, and trickled off his sleek-painted hide, like globules of quicksilver. As I looked into his countenance, I saw all the devil alive there. The will remained--the power only had gone. It was a sight never to be forgotten. With head raised to the full stretch of his neck, he glared at me with an expression of such malignity, that it almost made one quail. I thought of the native superstition of singeing off the whiskers of the newly killed tiger to lay his spirit, and no longer wondered at it. With ears back, and mouth bleeding, he growled and roared in fitful uncertainty, as if he were trying, but unable, to measure the extent of the force that had laid him low.

Motionless myself, provocation ceased, and without further attempt to get on his legs, he continued to gaze on me; when I slowly lowered my head to the sight, and again pulled trigger. This time, true to the mark, the ball entered just above the breastbone, and the smoke cleared off with his death-groan. There he lay, foot to foot with his victim of last night, motionless--dead. My first impulse was to tear down the door behind, and get a thorough view of his proportions; but remembering that his companion, the tigress, had vanished only a short time ago close to the scene of action, I thought it as well to remain where I was; so, enlarging the windows with my hands, I took a long look, and then jovially attacked the coffee without reference to noise, and fell back on the mattress to sleep, or to think the night's work over. "At last, I have got him: his skin will be pegged out to-morrow, drying before the tent door." When my people came in the morning, they found me seated on the dead tiger. Coolies were sent for to carry the beast, and I gave the pony his reins all the way back to the tent.




On the tenth of March, 1778, Daniel Boone, having been taken prisoner by the Indians, was conducted to Detroit, when Governor Hamilton himself offered one hundred pounds sterling, for his ransom; but so great was the affection of the Indians for their prisoner, that it was positively refused. Boone's anxiety on account of his wife and children was incessant, and the more intolerable as he dared not excite the suspicions of his captors by any indication of a wish to return home.

The Indians were now preparing for a violent attack upon the settlements in Kentucky. Early in June, four hundred and fifty of the choicest warriors were ready to march against Boonesborough, painted and armed in a fearful manner. Alarmed at these preparations, he determined to make his escape. He hunted and shot with the Indians as usual, until the morning of the sixteenth of June, when, taking an early start, he left Chillicothe and directed his steps to Boonesborough. The distance exceeded one hundred and sixty miles, but he performed it in four days, during which he eat only one meal. He appeared before the garrison like one risen from the dead. He found the fortress in a bad state, and lost no time in rendering it more capable of defence. He repaired the flanks, gates, and posterns, formed double bastions, and completed the whole in ten days.

On the eighth of August, the enemy appeared. The attack upon the fort was instantly commenced; and the siege lasted nine days, during which, an almost incessant firing was kept up. On the twentieth of August, the enemy retired with a loss of thirty-seven killed and a great many wounded. This affair was highly creditable to the spirit and skill of the pioneers.


There is a man now living in East Dixfield, Oxford county, me, who actually caught in his mouth a ball discharged from a musket. He was at the battle of Bridgewater, in the war of 1812, and, while biting off the end of a cartridge, for the purpose of loading his gun, was struck by a ball, which entered on the left side of his face, knocking out eight of his teeth, cut off the end of his tongue, and passed into his throat. He raised it, went to the hospital, staid out the remainder of his enlistment, and returned home with the bullet in his pocket.

The New Orleans Picayune, one of whose editors was an eye-witness of the most of the leading battles in Mexico, copies the foregoing paragraph, and appends to it the following relation:

We can relate an incident even more strange than this. At the siege of Monterey, in 1846, and, while General Worth's troops were advancing to storm the small fort, known as La Soldada, a man, named Waters, an excellent soldier, belonging to Ben McCulloch's Rangers, caught a large grape-shot directly in his mouth. It was fully the size of a hen's egg, was rough, uneven in shape, and, in its course, completely carried out the four upper teeth of the ranger, and part of the jaw, cut off the four lower teeth, as with a chisel, split his tongue in twain, carried away his palate, went through the back of his head, and, striking a tendon, glanced down, and lodged under the skin on the shoulder-blade, where it was extracted by a surgeon, and safely placed in the pocket of Waters for future reference.

No man thought the wounded ranger could live, he could swallow neither food nor water. We saw him two nights afterward, in a room in the Bishop's Palace, which had been converted into a hospital, sitting bolt upright among the wounded and the dying--for the nature of his terrible hurt was such that he could not lie down without suffocating. His face was swollen to more than twice its ordinary size--he was speechless of course--his wants were only made known by means of a broken slate and pencil, and he was slowly applying a wet sponge to his mouth, endeavoring to extract moisture, which might quench the fever and intolerable thirst under which he was suffering. By his side lay young Thomas, of Maryland, a member of the same company, who was mortally wounded the morning after, and who was now dying. Wounded men, struck that afternoon in Worth's advance upon the Grand Plaza, were constantly being brought in, the surgeons were amputating and dressing the hurts of the crippled soldiers by a pale and sickly candle-light, and the groans of those in grievous pain added a new horror to the scene, which was at best frightful. We recollect, perfectly well, a poor fellow struck in both legs by a grape-shot, while advancing up one of the streets. He was begging lustily, after one of his limbs had been amputated, that the other might be spared him, on which to hobble through the world. Poor Thomas, as gallant a spirit as ever lived, finally breathed his last; we brought Waters a fresh cup of water with which to moisten his wounds, and then left the room to catch an hour's sleep; but the recollections of that terrible night will not soon be effaced from my memory.

The above incident occurred on the night of the 23d and morning of the 24th of September, 1846. During the early part of the month of February following, while passing into the old St. Charles, in this city, we were accosted with a strange voice by a fine-looking man, who seemed extremely glad to see us, although he had a most singular and unaccountable mode of expressing himself. We recollected the eye as one we had been familiar with, but the lower features of the face, although in no way disfigured, for the life of us, we could not make out.

"Why, don't you know me?" in a mumbling, half-indistinct, and forced manner, said the man, still shaking our hand vigorously. "I'm Waters."

And Waters it was, in reality, looking as well and as healthy as ever, without showing the least outward sign that he had ever caught a grape-shot in his mouth. A luxuriant growth of mustaches completely covered his upper lip, and concealed any scar the iron missile might have made; an imperial on his under lip hid any appearance of a wound at that point; and, with the exception of his speech, there was nothing to show that he had ever received the slightest injury about the face. His tongue, which was terribly shattered, was still partially benumbed, rendering articulation both difficult and tiresome; but he assured us he was every day gaining more and more the use of it, and, in his own words, he was soon to be "just as good as new"

It is needless to say that we were glad to see him--to meet one we had never expected to encounter again in such excellent plight. Any one who could have seen him sitting in that apartment of the Bishop's Palace, his face swollen, and, with a gravity of countenance, which would have been ludicrous, even to the causing of laughter, had it not been for his own precarious situation, and the heart-rending scenes around, would have been equally as much astonished and rejoiced, as we were, on again so unexpectedly beholding him.

A correspondent of the "Inquirer" has sent us the following, which is quite as remarkable as either of the foregoing:

Very extraordinary incidents have been published lately, of shot having been caught in the mouths of soldiers, in the course of battle, in the war of 1812, and in the Mexican war; but an incident, perhaps more remarkable, for the coolness of the individual on the occasion, occurred at the battle of Fort Drane, fought, in August, 1837, under the command of the late Col. B.K. Pierce. This was one of the most signal and desperate engagements of that bloody war. The Seminoles, under their renowned chief, Osceola, had taken a very commanding position in an extensive sugar field, near the stockade, strengthened on the east side by a dense hammock. Three desperate onsets were made during the battle, and the enemy were finally driven from the field to the protection of the hammock. During the hottest of the battle, a soldier belonging to the detachment under the command of Lieut. Pickell, whose position was a little in advance of the two wings, of the name of Jackson, having just fired, received a shot from a tall Indian, not twenty yards distant, which broke through the outer parts of his pantaloons, and lodged in his right-hand pocket. Feeling the slight sting of the half-spent ball, he thrust his hand in his pocket, drew out the bullet, and dropped it into the barrel of his musket, upon the charge of powder he had just before put in; then, with the unerring aim of a true marksman, leveled his piece, and, as quick as lightning, his adversary was measured upon the ground. The wound was fatal--the warrior survived the shot but a few minutes.

The above is one of the many incidents that occurred in the recent war with the Florida Indians which, for peril and brave feats, on the part of the American soldiers and officers, has scarcely ever been equaled. The above incident is stated as it actually occurred.


On the night of the eleventh of April, 1787, the house of a widow in Bourbon county, Kentucky, became the scene of a deplorable adventure. She occupied what was called a double cabin, in a lonely part of the county. One room was tenanted by the old lady herself, together with two grown sons, and a widowed daughter with an infant. The other room was occupied by two unmarried daughters from sixteen to twenty years of age, together with a little girl.

The hour was eleven o'clock at night, and the family had retired to rest. Some symptoms of an alarming nature had engaged the attention of the young man for an hour, before anything of a decided character took place. At length hasty steps were heard in the yard, and quickly afterward several loud knocks at the door, accompanied by the usual exclamation, "Who keeps house?" in very good English.

The young man, supposing from the language that some benighted travelers were at the door, hastily arose, and was advancing to withdraw the bar that secured it, when his mother, who had long lived upon the frontier, and had probably detected the Indian tone in the demand for admission, instantly sprang out of bed, and ordered her son not to admit them, declaring that they were Indians.

She instantly awakened her other son, and the young men seizing their guns, which were always charged, prepared to repel the enemy. The Indians finding it impossible to enter under their assumed characters, began to thunder at the door with great violence, but a single shot from a loop-hole obliged them to shift the attack to some less exposed point, and, unfortunately, they discovered the door of the other cabin, which contained the three daughters. The rifles of the brothers could not be brought to bear on this point; and, by means of several rails taken from the yard fence, the door was forced from its hinges, and the girls were at the mercy of the savages. One was instantly secured, but the eldest defended herself desperately with a knife she had been using at the loom, and stabbed one of the Indians to the heart, before she was tomahawked.

In the meantime, the little girl, who had been overlooked by the enemy in their eagerness to secure the others, ran out into the yard, and might have effected her escape, had she taken advantage of the darkness, and fled; but instead of looking to her own safety, the terrified little creature ran round the house, wringing her hands, and crying that her sisters were killed.


Just then the child uttered a loud scream, followed by a few faint moans, and all was silent. Presently the crackling of flames was heard, accompanied by a triumphant yell from the Indians, announcing that they had set fire to that division of the house, which had been occupied by the daughters, and of which they held undisputed possession.

The fire was quickly communicated to the rest of the building, and it became necessary to abandon it or perish in the flames. The door was thrown open, and the old lady, supported by her eldest son, attempted to cross the fence at one point, while her daughter carrying her child in her arms, and attended by the younger of the brothers, ran in a different direction. The blazing roof shed a light over the yard but little inferior to that of day, and the savages were distinctly seen awaiting the approach of their victims. The old lady was permitted to reach the stile unmolested, but in the act of crossing, received several balls in her breast, and fell dead. Her son, providentially, remained unhurt, and, by extraordinary agility, effected his escape.

The other party succeeded in reaching the fence unhurt, but in the act of crossing were vigorously assailed by several Indians, who, throwing down their guns, rushed upon them with their tomahawks. The young man defended his sister gallantly, firing upon the enemy as they approached, and then wielding the butt of his rifle with a fury that drew their whole attention upon himself, and gave his sister an opportunity of effecting her escape. He quickly fell however under the tomahawks of his enemies, and was found at daylight, scalped and mangled in a shocking manner. Of the whole family, consisting of eight persons, only three escaped. Four were killed upon the spot, and one, the second daughter, carried off as a prisoner.

The neighborhood was quickly alarmed, and, by daylight, about thirty men were assembled, under the command of Colonel Edwards. A light snow had fallen during the latter part of the night, and the Indian trail could be followed at a gallop. It led directly into the mountainous country bordering on the Licking, and afforded evidences of great hurry and precipitation on the part of the fugitives. Unfortunately, a hound had been permitted to follow the whites, and as the trail became fresh, and the scent warm, she followed it with eagerness, baying loudly and giving the alarm to the Indians. The consequences of this imprudence were soon manifest. The enemy finding the pursuit keen, and perceiving the strength of their prisoner began to fail, instantly sunk their tomahawks in her head, and left her still warm and bleeding upon the snow.

As the whites came up, she regained strength enough to wave her hand in token of recognition, and appeared desirous of giving them some information, with regard to the enemy, but her strength was too far gone. Her brother sprang from his horse and endeavored to stop the effusion of blood, but in vain. She gave him her hand, muttered some inarticulate words, and expired.


In mid-winter about four years since, says Miss Martineau, in her Norway and the Norwegians, a young man named Hund, was sent by his master on an errand about twenty miles, to carry provisions to a village in the upper country. The village people asked him for charity, to carry three orphan children on his sledge a few miles on his way to Bergen, and to leave them at a house on the road, when they would be taken care of until they could be brought from Bergen. He took the little things, and saw that the two elder were well wrapped up from the cold. The third he took within his arms and on his knee, as he drove, clasping it warm against his breast--so those say who saw them set off, and it is confirmed by one who met the sledge on the road, and heard the children prattling to Hund, and Hund laughing merrily at their little talk. Before they got half way, however, a pack of hungry wolves, burst out upon them from a hollow in the thicket to the right of the wood. The beasts followed close to the back of the sledge. Closer and closer the wolves pressed. Hund saw one about to spring at his throat. It was impossible for the horse to go faster than he did, for he went like the wind--so did the wolves. Hund in desperation, snatched up one of the children behind him, and threw it over the back of the sledge. This stopped the pack a little. On galloped the horse. But the wolves were soon crowded around again, with the blood freezing to their muzzles. It was easier to throw over the second child than the first--and Hund did it. But on came again the infuriated beasts--gaunt with hunger, and raging like fiends for the prey. It was harder to give up the third--the dumb infant that nestled in his breast, but Hund was in mortal terror. Again the hot breath of the wolves was upon him. He threw a way the infant and saved himself. Away over the snow flew the sledge, the village was reached, and Hund just escaped after all the sacrifice he had made. But he was unsettled and wild, and his talk, for some time whenever he did speak, night or day, was of wolves--so fearful had been the effect upon his imagination.




Dr. Bacon and Rev. Mr. Marsh, attempted to cross from the city of Mosul, on the Tigris, to Oroomiah, the residence of the Nestorian Christians. On their passage through the Kurdish mountains, they were robbed, and narrowly escaped being murdered, and were finally forced to return to Mosul.

Dr. Bacon, after describing their departure from Diarbekr, says:

"I defer to another time the description of our romantic and picturesque passage down the Tigris. By the care of Providence, our whole party completed this stage, as they had completed the previous and more fatiguing ones, in safety and comfortable health. We arrived in Mosul on the 16th of May, in seven days from Diarbekr, and immediately set about making preparations for continuing our journey into the mountains.

"The engaging of mules, the hiring of servants, and the preparation of provisions, detained us in Mosul until Wednesday, the 21st of May. The meantime was spent by us in visiting the excavations on the opposite side of the river. In the mound of Koyunjik, we followed our guide through a labyrinth of narrow corridors, lighted dimly by occasional openings in the firm clay overhead. Some of the sculptures were described in Mr. Leyard's volumes; others have been since unearthed, and some most interesting galleries had just been left by the picks of the workmen. Time, at present, does not permit me to describe them; but I may mention as among the most interesting of the recent discoveries, a succession of slabs carved with a representation of the original transportation of the great winged bulls which adorned the stately entrances of the palaces of Ninus and Sardanapalus. A collection of small, inscribed stones, has also been found, supposed to contain public records; and, but a day or two ago, the workmen brought in the report of new and still grander sculptures just discovered.

"We had expected to start on Wednesday at sunrise; but various petty hindrances detained us until late in the afternoon. We then united in prayer with the family in whose cares, anxieties, and dangers we had shared through so many weary weeks, and hastened to our saddles. Passing the Tigris by a rude ferry, we rode in the setting sunlight by the once mysterious mounds of Koyunjik. The reapers who were still busy within the grassy walls of fallen Ninevah, came up to us as we passed, with their sickles on their heads, to present the offering of the first fruits of harvest. We hurried on, however, and stopped for the night at a small village little more than an hour from the gate of Mosul."

On the third day they reached the town of Akkre, among the mountains, where they were obliged to stay three days, waiting for the Kurdish muleteers. They performed the Sabbath service in a cavern of the mountain which the native christians had fitted up as a secret chapel. Leaving Akkre on Monday morning, the 26th of May, they entered the most dangerous part of the mountains. Mr. B. says:

"We spent this day's nooning by a spring that bursts out near the top of a steep mountain, and ate our dinner under a tree that distilled upon the rocks a fragrant gum. Mounting again at two o'clock, in half an hour we reached the summit, whence we looked down a giddy descent upon the swift but winding Zab. Here it became necessary to leave our animals, and work our way down the almost precipitous road, while the mules slid, scrambled, and tumbled after us as best they might. As I was pushing on a little in advance of the party, I was met, in a narrow turn of the path, by an old bearded man, with a dagger in his girdle, who reached out his hand toward me. I was uncertain at first how to understand it; but his only object was to press my hand to his lips with a fervent '_salam aleikum_' (Peace be with you,) to which I responded, according to usual form, '_aleikum salam_,' (with you be peace.) Meeting with others of his party, they asked us if we were Nesrani, (Nazarenes--Christians,) and saluted us with the same respect, going some distance back on their path with us to show us a cool water spring. 'They then went their ways, and we saw them no more;' but I shall not easily forget the satisfaction which they showed in recognizing us as fellow believers here in the land of the infidel, and the kindness with which they went out of their way to offer us a 'cup of cold water in the name of a disciple.'"

That night they spent on the banks of the river Zab. The next day, after traversing a wild pass, hemmed in by perpendicular rocks, more than a thousand feet in hight, they reached the village of Bizeh, in a valley of the mountains, and secured a house-top for the night:

"About the middle of the night, Mr. Marsh was waked by a slight noise, and, lifting his head, saw a party of five or six armed men creeping stealthily toward our roof, which, on the side toward the hill on which they were, was only four or five feet from the ground. The foremost man stopped short for a moment at Mr. Marsh's movement, and turning to his followers, called out 'Khawaja!' (the gentlemen!) Then seeing that our old guard was asleep at the stepping stone, he climbed upon the roof at another corner, and stood for a moment with his long gun at his side. Mr. Marsh raised himself upon his arm, and demanded in Arabic, 'What do you want?' The man probably did not understand the language: at any rate, he made no answer, but turned to the old man, and conversed earnestly with him in a low tone. The other men gathered near them, as if to listen and take part. But they all finally went away without doing any mischief."

The next morning the sentinel who had kept watch over their baggage attempted to dissuade them from going the direct road, as the people of the next village had heard of their coming, and were determined to kill them. However, they kept on; and, in the course of two or three hours, their guide was stopped by a company of six armed men:

"The place was admirably chosen for the purpose. The narrow path along the cliff by which we had come, here widened into a little platform large enough for our mules to stand upon together. In front of us, a ledge of broken rocks jutted from the mountain and ran down, crossing our path, and leaving only a very small passage. In front of this path stood our challengers. Six worse-looking men, whether in form, dress, or feature, it would be difficult to imagine. Each man wore around his high, conical felt hat, a turban of handkerchiefs of every hue and texture; in his hand a long gun with short and narrow breech; and in his belt the universal Kurdish curved and two-edged dagger. The leader of the gang was a man of middle age, with black eyes and a grisly, untrimmed beard, and with half his front teeth knocked out."

After some discussion, the robbers consented to allow them to pass, on the payment of fifty piastres, (two dollars and a half,) which they agreed to do, provided they were conducted to the house of the Agha. The robbers objected to this, and, provoked by the delay, leveled their guns at the party. At this juncture, the chief muleteer advanced the necessary money, and they were spared.

"These transactions, from the time we were stopped, occupied about an hour. We now passed with our ragged regiment straggling around us, now with their long guns under our ears, and now cutting off the long bends of our crooked and little used path. In about ten minutes from the pass, we were hailed by another party, posted upon a hillside, and a discussion of many minutes ensued between them and our escort, in which our Kurdish muleteers took an active part. The result was, that we moved on with an addition of two men to our guard. We soon began to perceive that we were going toward the Agha rather as prisoners than as guests. The castle, (if it may be dignified by the name,) which was now in sight, was of no promising appearance. It was a rude, rectangular building, with a small white tower at one corner, on which the workmen were still engaged. It was situated on the side of a hill which formed the head of a valley opening into the ravine we had just left. The small windows and the roof were crowded with men, women, and children, gazing at our singular cavalcade. As we drew near, some women who were bathing in a brook, rose, and gazed at us with irrepressible curiosity. We stopped at the door of the castle.

"Here the assault began. The men of our guard flew like savage dogs at our servants: Khudhr and Ablahad seized the arms which were girded about them, slashing furiously with their daggers, to cut the straps of their guns and pistols. The turbans were torn from their heads, and appropriated among the rabble. Similar violence was about to be shown us, when these operations were suddenly interrupted by the appearance, from the castle, of Melul Agha.

"He was a man taller by several inches than any of his tribe, and with an expression of face which was that of one accustomed to be obeyed, He was dressed in a more elegant style than could have been expected in these mountains; wearing upon his head a turban of gray silk, and a long rifle slung from his shoulders. With a melo-dramatic wave of his hand, which was at once obeyed, he motioned his noisy tribe to desist, and, approaching us, pointed out a tree, a few hundred feet up the hill, to which we might retire. As we moved alone toward this spot, a grim suspicion of his intentions crossed our minds. Might it not be for convenience in dispatching us, that we had been removed? We seated ourselves quietly in the shade, and watched the proceedings. The property of the muleteers and donkey-drivers had been unloaded and placed by itself. One of our loads had been thrown from the mule, and the other was now brought near us, taken from the animal, and laid under a neighboring tree. Mr. Marsh now went down toward the castle to assist Khudhr in bringing the rest of our property toward the tree. This done, Khudhr returned to the crowd to learn what he could of their intentions. He soon came back to us in evident terror, and said, with a significant motion of his hand, that they were intending to kill us."

After sending the servant a second time, he came back with the announcement that the Agha would examine their baggage, take what he pleased, and send them on to another Agha; but would not allow them to return to Mosul.

This examination was soon made, and the party was plundered of one thousand piasters, (forty-four dollars,) besides razors, knives, and a quantity of clothing.

The whole affair was conducted with a politeness of manner which was highly creditable to the Agha, and calculated to put us very much at our ease. He showed himself, in every thing,

----"As mild a mannered man
As ever scuttled ship, or cut a throat"

For instance, in searching our trunk, his eye was caught by a small, sealed parcel, which I supposed to contain jewelry; I immediately told him, through a servant, that it was not mine, but had been given to me, in America, to be delivered in Europe. He immediately put it down, and proceeded with the search.

"During these operations, several women, some from curiosity, others from pity, had gathered around us. Among the latter class, was one, who, from her dress, beauty, and demeanor, could be no other than the wife of the Agha. She was dressed in a faded, but once magnificent robe, and trowsers of silk, and wore upon her head a massive and elaborately-carved ornament of silver. She moved among the fierce and blood-thirsty savages, with an air of mingled scorn and anxiety, reproaching them with the shame of the transaction, and pleading earnestly that our lives and property be spared. She warned them, also, that our injuries would inevitably be visited upon their heads.

"Having finished his search, the Agha, with the old men of the tribe, gathered on a ledge of rocks, just behind us, and consulted long and earnestly. We sat down and dined with what appetite we could muster."

After the robbers had come to their decision, a second search of the baggage took place, which Mr. Bacon thus describes:

"The pressure of greater and more important dangers had made me quite resigned to such petty losses as these, and I watched, with much amusement, the appropriation of unusual articles. A black silk cravat which had seen much service in New Haven drawing-rooms, was twisted about the suspicious-looking head of an uncommonly dirty boy. A pair of heavy riding-boots were transferred to the shoulders of a youth who bore the 'gallows mark' upon his features with unmistakable distinctness. A satin vest of Mr. Marsh's was circulating through the crowd, on the person of a dirty child, who boasted no other wealth but a ragged shirt and a green pomegranate. I looked at the youngster with a smile of congratulation; but he turned upon his heel and strutted gravely away, his new garment trailing on the ground at every step.

"Having lightened our baggage considerably at this haul, they proceeded to search our persons. It had been our first movement, on being placed by ourselves, to transfer our watches, together with a locket,--all priceless memorials of distant or departed friends--from the waistcoat to the pantaloons fob; a pocket compass attached to my watchguard, was cared for; likewise, the little note-book in which I was accustomed to place the map of each day's journey. We knew not how soon we might be wandering in the mountains on foot, and without a guide. Dr. Bacon had with him two English sovereigns, and we were uncertain what to do with them. If we should openly give them to the robbers, we dreaded the effect of the _auri sacra fames_. If discovered in a secret place, we might be stripped in the search for more. The attempt to conceal them in the earth might be perilous. They were finally placed in the waistcoat fob, from which the watch had been taken, with the hope that the clumsy Kurds might overlook it.

"They began with me. The Agha, with an irresistible smile and bow of apology, passed his hand about my waist, feeling for a money belt, then over my dress; finding that one of my breeches' pockets was full, he motioned me to empty it, and seemed satisfied when I drew out a handkerchief and a pair of gloves. Dr. Bacon was then searched, even more superficially; but as the hand passed over the waistcoat pocket, something jingled. I held my breath as Dr. B. put in his hand and drew out a seal, which he had bought at Mosul as an antique Upon Mr. Marsh, the Agha found a gold pencil case, which pleased him wonderfully. On being told of its use, he scrawled with the pencil on the beyur-haldeh, an autograph, for which I have a peculiar value. The mystery of this was, that he restored the pencil, with a grin of self-righteousness, to Mr. Marsh."

After waiting some time in suspense, the travelers were suffered to leave, in charge of a Kurdish guard:

"It soon became evident that we were not on the road to Oroomiah. Whither we were going, was a matter of painful mystery. At the distance of more than a mile, as we passed a village, a single Christian, a man of Akkre, came out in a crowd of curious villagers, to offer his sympathy. As each of us passed him, he bowed, with his head to the ground, and with the strongest expression of regard, urged us to remain with him there, as he would guarantee our safety. It was not for us, however, to say, and we pressed forward; but Khudhr soon brought us the intelligence, which he had obtained here, that we were being led to the village of a Mullah, a very holy man, under whose protection we might feel entirely secure. He added, that toward Oroomiah it would be quite impossible to go; our only escape was toward Mosul."

The Mullah received them kindly, entertained them a day in his house, where all the diseased persons in the neighborhood were brought for them to cure, and started with them early on the morning of the 30th of May, to accompany them on their way back to Mosul. On reaching a village, toward noon, a scene took place, which is of so much interest that we give Mr. Bacon's account of it in full:

"We were assisted from our horses by a remarkably ill-looking set of men, whom we supposed to have come out to see us from curiosity. An unprepossessing young gentleman, with a scar that divided his nose and his upper lip, and a silver-mounted dagger, took a seat near the Mullah, and a violent discussion immediately commenced, of the drift of which, we were, happily, ignorant. Soon, another party of villagers appeared, headed by another young man, who was quite the counterpart of the first, even to the scar in his lip; but his dagger-hilt and sheath were of solid silver, set with precious stones, and the long ringlets which hung upon his shoulders, were still more daintily curled. The arrival of this reinforcement renewed the violence of the discussion, between the Mullah on one side, and the young men on the other. It plainly related to us, and the fierce looks of the Kurds, as they walked to and fro with their hands on their daggers, would have alarmed us, had we not had full confidence in the power and good will of our friend. The controversy had a good deal subsided, when the approach of still another party renewed it once more. The Agha himself was coming. He was a man of fifty years, with a once gray beard, dyed a bright red, and with his lower eyebrows stained a livid blue-black. He greeted us with a ferocious smile, and entered at once into earnest conversation with Mullah Mustafa. The conversation was interrupted, now and then, by one of his amiable sons leaping from his seat, and speaking violently, to the great apparent satisfaction of the crowd.

"We soon learned the nature of these discussions from Khudr, who had been an attentive and agitated listener to the whole. The respectable old gentleman, it seems, had sent his first son to murder us, placing the second at a convenient distance to assist him. The latter, surprised that the business lagged, came up to see to it. And the Agha himself, finding that business lagged, came finally to attend to it himself. The Mullah urged the danger of injuring persons of consequence. 'The sword of the Frank is long,' said he. But this argument was without effect. Mustafa then appealed to him not to disgrace his hospitality. These men were under his own protection, and he would not see them wronged. This argument also failed. He now urged that we were men of influence at Mosul, and were going direct to Constantinople; that, by securing our influence against his colleague and rival, Melul Agha, he might secure a perpetual supremacy in the district of Sherwan.

"This plea gained the case; the eyes of the old savage glistened with diabolical satisfaction as he thought of the villainous trick he was about to play upon his rival. He drew from his bosom a letter and handed it to the Mullah, who read it and handed it to our servant. It was written by Melul Agha, to Khan Abdul, our present host, directing him to take the rest of our property, and murder us without fail. This letter had been written on the blank page of another letter, sent to Melul Agha, by Mustafa Agha, of Ziba, who resides at Akkre. It was the last scoundrel who had sent letters in advance of us into the mountains, inviting them to murder us--and this, all for the sake of making a little impression on the government at Mosul."

After these hair-breadth escapes from murder, the party returned in safety to Mosul.


Since the exhibitions in London of the two Hindoo snake-charmers--the first we believe who ever visited Europe--everything relating to serpents seems to have acquired additional interest. Many facts regarding the nature and habits of the various species have been published, affording much information and still greater astonishment.

Waterton, in his "Wanderings in South America and the Antilles, in 1812-24," relates some stories of so marvellous a character, that, coming from a less authentic source, their truth might be reasonably doubted.

While in the region of Mibri Hill, Mr. Waterton long sought in vain for a serpent of large size, and finally, offered a reward to the negroes if they would find him one. A few days afterward one of the natives, followed by his little dog, came to him with the information that a snake of respectable dimensions had been discovered a short distance up the hill; and armed with an eight feet lance, and accompanied by two negroes with cutlasses and the dog, he at once started to take a look at it. Mr. Waterton states that he was barefoot, with an old hat, check shirt and trousers on, and a pair of braces to keep them up. His snakeship was pointed out as lying at the roots of a large tree which had been torn up by a whirlwind. But the remainder of the story shall be given in the traveler's own words:

I advanced up to the place slow and cautious. The snake was well concealed, but at last I made him out; it was a coulacanara, not poisonous, but large enough to have crushed any of us to death. On measuring him afterward, he was something more than fourteen feet long. This species of snake is very rare, and much thicker in proportion to its length than any other snake in the forest. A coulacanara of fourteen feet in length, is as thick as a common boa of twenty-four feet. After skinning this snake, I could easily get my head into his mouth, as the singular formation of the jaws admits of wonderful extension.

On ascertaining the size of the serpent, I retired slowly the way I came, and promised four dollars to the negro who had shown it to me, and one dollar to the other who had joined us. Aware that the day was on the decline, and that the approach of night would be detrimental to the dissection, a thought struck me that I could take him alive. I imagined that if I could strike him with the lance behind the head, and pin him to the ground, I might succeed in capturing him. When I told this to the negroes, they begged and entreated me to let them go for a gun and bring more force, as they were sure the snake would kill some of us. Taking, however, a cutlass from one of the negroes, and then ranging both of the sable slaves behind me, I told them to follow me, and that I would cut them down if they offered to fly. When we had got up to the place, the serpent had not stirred: but I could see nothing of his head, and judged by the folds of his body that it must be at the farthest side of the den. A species of woodbine formed a complete mantle over the branches of the fallen tree, almost impervious to the rain or the rays of the sun. Probably he had resorted to this sequestered place for a length of time, as it bore marks of an ancient settlement.

I now took my knife, determined to cut away the woodbine, and break the twigs in the gentlest manner possible, till I could get a view of his head. One negro stood guard close behind me with a cutlass. The cutlass which I had taken from the first negro, was on the ground close beside me, in case of need. After working in dead silence for a quarter of an hour, with one knee all the time on the ground, I had cleared away enough to see his head. It appeared coming out between the first and second coils of his body, and was flat on the ground. This was the very position I wished it to be in. I rose in silence, and retreated very slowly, making a sign to the negroes to do the same. The dog was sitting at a distance in mute observance. I could now read in the faces of the negroes, that they considered this a very unpleasant affair; and they made another vain attempt to persuade me to let them go for a gun. I smiled in a good-natured manner, and made a feint to cut them down with the weapon I had in my hand. This was all the answer I made to their request, and they looked very uneasy.

It must be observed that we were about twenty yards from the snake's den. I now ranged the negroes behind me, and told him who stood next to me, to lay hold of the lance the moment I struck the snake, and that the other must attend my movements. It now only remained to take their cutlasses from them; for I was sure that if I did not disarm them, they would be tempted to strike the snake in time of danger, and thus forever spoil his skin. On taking their cutlasses from them, if I might judge from their physiognomy, they seemed to consider it as a most intolerable act of tyranny. Probably nothing kept them from bolting, but the consolation that I was betwixt them and the snake. Indeed, my own heart, in spite of all I could do, beat quicker than usual. We went slowly on in silence, without moving our arms or heads, in order to prevent all alarm as much as possible, lest the snake should glide off, or attack us in self-defence. I carried the lance perpendicularly before me, with the point about a foot from the ground. The snake had not moved, and on getting up to him, I struck him with the lance on the near side, just behind the neck, and pinned him to the ground. That moment the negro next to me seized the lance and held it firm in its place, while I dashed head foremost into the den to grapple with the snake, and to get hold of his tail before he could do any mischief.

On pinning him to the ground with the lance, he gave a tremendous loud hiss, and the little dog ran away, howling as he went. We had a sharp fray in the den, the rotten sticks flying on all sides, and each party struggling for superiority. I called out to the second negro to throw himself upon me, as I found I was not heavy enough. He did so, and the additional weight was of great service. I had now got a firm hold of his tail, and after a violent struggle or two, he gave in, finding himself overpowered. This was the moment to secure him. So while the first negro continued to hold the lance firm to the ground, and the other was helping me, I contrived to unloosen my braces, and with them tied the snake's mouth.

The snake now finding himself in an unpleasant predicament, tried to better himself, and set resolutely to work, but we overpowered him. We contrived to make him twist himself round the shaft of the lance, and then prepared to convey him out of the forest. I stood at his head, and held it firm under my arm, one negro supporting the belly and the other the tail. In this order we began to move slowly toward home, and reached it after resting ten times; for the snake was too heavy for us to support, without stopping to recruit our strength. As we proceeded onward with him, he fought hard for freedom, but it was all in vain. We untied the mouth of the bag, kept him down by main force, and then cut his throat.

The week following, a curious conflict took place near the spot where I had captured the large snake. In the morning I had been following a species of paroquet, and, the day being rainy, I had taken an umbrella to keep the gun dry, and had left it under a tree: in the afternoon, I took Daddy Quashi (the negro) with me to look for it. While he was searching about, curiosity led me toward the place of the late scene of action. There was a path where timber had formerly been dragged along. Here I observed a young coulacanara, ten feet long, slowly moving onward; and I saw he was thick enough to break my arm, in case he got twisted around it. There was not a moment to be lost. I laid hold of his tail with the left hand, one knee being on the ground; and, with the right hand, I took off my hat, and held it as I would hold a shield for defence.

The snake instantly turned, and came on at me with his head about a yard from the ground, as if to ask me what business I had to take such liberties with his tail. I let him come, hissing and open-mouthed, within two feet of my face, and then, with all the force that I was master of, drove my fist, shielded by my hat, full in his jaws. He was stunned and confounded by the blow, and, ere he could recover himself, I had seized his throat with both hands, in such a position that he could not bite me. I then allowed him to coil himself around my body and marched off with him as my lawful prize. He pressed me hard, but not alarmingly so.


In the spring of 1782, a party of twenty-five Wyandots secretly approached Estill's station, and committed shocking outrages. Entering a cabin, they tomahawked and scalped a woman and her two daughters. The neighborhood was instantly alarmed. Captain Estill speedily collected a body of twenty-five men, and pursued the hostile trail with great rapidity. He came up with the savages on Hinkston fork of Licking, immediately after they had crossed it; and a most severe and desperate conflict ensued.

Estill, unfortunately, sent six of his men under Lieutenant Miller, to attack the enemy's rear. The Indian leader immediately availed himself of this dimunition of force, rushed upon the weakened line of his adversaries, and compelled him to give way. A total route ensued. Captain Estill was killed together with his gallant lieutenant, South. Four men were wounded and fortunately escaped. Nine fell under the tomahawk, and were scalped. The Indians also suffered severely, and are believed to have lost half of their warriors.

[Illustration: Attack on Estill's Station.]


On Saturday, the 13th of July, 1850, as a boy, ten years old, was rowing his father over to their home on Grand Island, the father being so much intoxicated as not to be able to assist any more than to steer the canoe, the wind, which was very strong off shore, so frustrated the efforts of his tiny arm, that the canoe in spite of him, got into the current, and finally into the rapids, within a very few rods of the Falls! On went the frail shell, careering and plunging as the mad waters chose. Still the gallant little oarsman maintained his struggle with the raging billows, and actually got the canoe, by his persevering manoeuvring so close to Iris Island, as to have her driven by a providential wave in between the little islands called the Sisters. Here the father and his dauntless boy were in still greater danger for an instant; for there is a fall between the two islands, over which had they gone, no earthly power could have withheld their final passage to the terrific precipice, which forms the Horse-shoe Fall. But the sudden dash of a wave capsized the canoe, and left the two struggling in the water. Being near a rock, and shallow, the boy lost no time, but seizing his father by the coat collar, dragged him up to a place of safety, where the crowd of anxious citizens awaited to lend assistance. The poor boy on reaching the shore in safety, instantly fainted, while his miserable father was sufficiently sobered by the perils he had passed through. The canoe was dashed to pieces on the rocks ere it reached its final leap.


A thrilling incident in American country life is vividly sketched in "Evenings at Donaldson Manor." In the winter of 1844, the relater went out one evening to skate, on the Kennebec, in Maine, by moonlight, and, having ascended that river nearly two miles, turned into a little stream to explore its course.

"Fir and hemlock of a century's growth," he says, "met overhead and formed an archway, radiant with frostwork. All was dark within; but I was young and fearless; and, as I peered into an unbroken forest that reared itself on the borders of the stream, I laughed with very joyousness; my wild hurrah rang through the silent woods, and I stood listening to the echo that reverberated again and again, until all was hushed. Suddenly a sound arose--it seemed to me to come from beneath the ice; it sounded low and tremulous at first, until it ended in a low, wild yell. I was appalled. Never before had such a noise met my ears. I thought it more than mortal; so fierce, and amid such an unbroken solitude, it seemed as though from the tread of some brute animal, and the blood rushed back to my forehead with a bound that made my skin burn, and I felt relieved that I had to contend with things earthly and not spiritual; my energies returned, and I looked around me for some means of escape. As I turned my head to the shore, I could see two dark objects dashing through the underbrush, at a pace nearly double in speed to my own. By this rapidity, and the short yells they occasionally gave, I knew at once that these were the much-dreaded gray wolf.

"I had never met with these animals, but, from the description given of them, I had very little pleasure in making their acquaintance. Their untamable fierceness, and the enduring strength, which seems part of their nature, render them objects of dread to every benighted traveler.

"There was no time for thought; so I bent my head and dashed madly forward. Nature turned me toward home. The light flakes of snow spun from the iron skates, and I was some distance from my pursuers, when their fierce howl told me I was their fugitive. I did not look back; I did not feel afraid, or sorry, or even glad; one thought of home, the bright faces waiting my return--of their tears, if they should never see me again, and then every energy of body and mind was exerted for escape. I was perfectly at home on the ice. Many were the days that I had spent on my good skates, never thinking that at one time they would be my only means of safety. Every half minute, an alternate yelp from my ferocious followers, told me too certain that they were in close pursuit. Nearer and nearer they came; I heard their feet pattering on the ice nearer still, until I could feel their breath, and hear their sniffling scent.

"Every nerve and muscle in my frame was stretched to the utmost tension. The trees along the shore seemed to dance in the uncertain light, and my brain turned with my own breathless speed, yet still they seemed to hiss forth their breath with a sound truly horrible, when an involuntary motion on my part, turned me out of my course. The wolves, close behind, unable to stop, and as unable to turn on the smooth ice, slipped and fell, still going on far ahead; their tongues were lolling out, their white tusks glaring from their bloody mouths, their dark, shaggy breasts were fleeced with foam, and, as they passed me, their eyes glared, and they howled with fury.

"The thought flashed on my mind, that, by these means, I could avoid them, viz: by turning aside whenever they came too near; for they, by the formation of their feet, are unable to run on the ice, except in a straight line.

"At one time, by delaying my turning too long, my sanguinary antagonists came so near, that they threw the white foam over my dress, as they sprang to seize me, and their teeth clashed together like the spring of a fox-trap!

"Had my skates failed for one instant, had I tripped on a stick, or caught my foot in a fissure in the ice, the story I am now telling would never have been told.

"I thought over all the chances; I knew where they would take hold of me, if I fell; I thought how long it would be before I died; and then there would be a search for the body that would already have its tomb! for, oh! how fast man's mind traces out all the dread colors of death's picture, only those who have been so near the grim original can tell.

"But I soon came opposite the house, and, my hounds,--I knew their deep voices,--roused by the noise, bayed furiously from the kennels. I heard their chains rattle; how I wished they would break them! and then I would have protectors that would be peer to the fiercest denizens of the forest. The wolves, taking the hint conveyed by the dogs, stopped in their mad career, and, after a moment's consideration, turned and fled. I watched them until their dusky forms disappeared over a neighboring hill; then, taking off my skates, I wended my way to the house, with feelings which may be better imagined than described. But, even yet, I never see a broad sheet of ice in the moonshine, without thinking of the sniffling breath, and those fearful things that followed me closely down the frozen Kennebec."


We find the following incident of placing the American flag on the highest point of the Rocky Mountains, in "Col. Fremont's Narrative:"

We managed to get our mules up to a little bench about a hundred feet above the lakes, where there was a patch of good grass, and turned them loose to graze. During our rough ride to this place, they had exhibited a wonderful surefootedness. Parts of the defile were filled with angular, sharp fragments of rock, three or four and eight or ten feet cube; and among these they had worked their way leaping from one narrow point to another, rarely making a false step, and giving us no occasion to dismount. Having divested ourselves of every unnecessary encumbrance, we commenced the ascent. This time, like experienced travelers, we did not press ourselves, but climbed leisurely, sitting down so soon as we found breath beginning to fail. At intervals, we readied places where a number of springs gushed from the rocks, and, about 1800 feet above the lakes, came to the snow line. From this point, our progress was uninterrupted climbing. Hitherto, I had worn a pair of thick moccasins, with soles of _parfleche_, but here I put on a light, thin pair, which I had brought for the purpose, as now the use of our toes became necessary to a further advance. I availed myself of a sort of comb of the mountain, which stood against the wall like a buttress, and which the wind and the solar radiation, joined to the steepness of the smooth rock, had kept almost entirely free from snow. Up this, I made my way rapidly. Our cautious method of advancing, at the outset, had spared my strength; and, with the exception of a slight disposition to headache, I felt no remains of yesterday's illness, In a few minutes we reached a point where the buttress was overhanging, and there was no other way of surmounting the difficulty than by passing around one side of it, which was the face of a vertical precipice of several hundred feet.

Putting hands and feet in the crevices between the blocks, I succeeded in getting over it, and, when I reached the top, found my companions in a small valley below. Descending to them, we continued climbing, and in a short time reached the crest. I sprang upon the summit, and another step would have precipitated me into an immense snow field, five hundred feet below. To the edge of this field was a sheer icy precipice; and then, with a gradual fall, the field sloped off for about a mile, until it struck the foot of another lower ridge. I stood on a narrow crest, about three feet in width, with an inclination of about 20° N., 51° E. As soon as I had gratified the first feelings of curiosity, I descended, and each man ascended in his turn; for I would only allow one at a time to mount the unstable and precarious slab, which, it seemed, a breath would hurl into the abyss below. We mounted the barometer in the snow of the summit, and, fixing a ramrod in a crevice, unfurled the national flag to wave in the breeze, where flag never waved before.


During our morning's ascent, we had met no sign of animal life, except a small sparrow-like bird. A stillness the most profound, and a terrible solitude, forced themselves constantly on the mind as the great features of the place. Here, on the summit, where the stillness was absolute, unbroken by any sound, and solitude complete, we thought ourselves beyond the region of animated life; but, while we were sitting on the rock, a solitary bee (_bromus, the humble-bee_) came winging his flight from the eastern valley, and lit on the knee of one of the men.

It was a strange place, the icy rock and the highest peak of the Rocky mountains, for a lover of warm sunshine and flowers; and we pleased ourselves with the idea that he was the first of his species to cross the mountain barrier--a solitary pioneer to foretell the advance of civilization. I believe that a moment's thought would have made us let him continue his way unharmed; but we carried out the law of this country, where all animated nature seems at war; and, seizing him immediately, put him in at least a fit place--in the leaves of a large book, among the flowers we had collected on our way.


Col. Fremont, in his narrative, gives the following account of a perilous adventure of himself and party, in attempting to run a canon, on the river Platte. They had previously passed three cataracts:

We reëmbarked at nine o'clock, and, in about twenty minutes, reached the next canon. Landing on a rocky shore at its commencement, we ascended the ridge to reconnoiter. Portage was out of the question. So far as we could see, the jagged rocks pointed out the course of the canon, on a winding line of seven or eight miles. It was simply a narrow, dark chasm in the rock; and here the perpendicular faces were much higher than in the previous pass, being at this end two to three hundred, and further down, as we afterward ascertained, five hundred feet in vertical height.

Our previous success had made us bold, and we determined again to run the canon. Every thing was secured as firmly as possible; and, having divested ourselves of the greater part of our clothing, we pushed into the stream. To save our chronometer from accident, Mr. Preuss took it, and attempted to proceed along the shore on the masses of rock, which, in places, were piled up on either side; but, after he had walked about five minutes, every thing like shore disappeared, and the vertical wall came squarely down into the water. He therefore waited until we came up.

An ugly pass lay before us. We had made fast to the stern of the boat a strong rope about fifty feet long; and three of the men clambered along among the rocks, and, with this rope, let her slowly through the pass. In several places, high rocks lay scattered about in the channel; and, in the narrows, it required all our strength and skill to avoid staving the boat on the sharp points. In one of these, the boat proved a little too broad, and stuck fast for an instant, while the water flew over us; fortunately, it was but for an instant, as our united strength forced her immediately through. The water swept overboard only a sextant and a pair of saddle-bags. I caught the sextant as it passed by me; but the saddle-bags became the prey of the whirlpools. We reached the place where Mr. Preuss was standing, took him on board, and, with the aid of the boat, put the men with the rope on the succeeding pile of rocks.

We found this passage much worse than the previous one, and our position was rather a bad one. To go back was impossible; before us, the cataract was a sheet of foam; and, shut up in the chasm by the rocks, which, in some places, seemed almost to meet overhead, the roar of the water was deafening, We pushed off again; but, after making a little distance, the force of the current became too great for the men on shore, and two of them let go the rope. Lajeunesse, the third man, hung on, and was jerked headforemost into the river, from a rock about twelve feet high; and down the boat shot, like an arrow, Bazil following us in the rapid current, and exerting all his strength to keep in mid channel--his head only seen occasionally like a black spot in the white foam. How far we went, I do not exactly know; but we succeeded in turning the boat into an eddy below. "_'Cre Dieu,_" said Bazil Lajeunesse, as he arrived immediately after us, "_Je crois bien que j'ai nage un demi mile._" He had owed his life to his skill as a swimmer, and I determined to take him and two others on board, and trust to skill and fortune to reach the other end in safety. We placed ourselves on our knees, with the short paddles in our hands, the most skillful boatman being at the bow; and again we commenced our rapid descent. We cleared rock after rock, and shot past fall after fall, our little boat seeming to play with the cataract. We became flushed with success, and familiar with danger; and, yielding to the excitement of the occasion, broke forth into a Canadian boat-song. Singing, or rather shouting, we dashed along, and were, I believe, in the midst of the chorus, when the boat struck a concealed rock immediately at the foot of a fall, which whirled her over in an instant. Three of my men could not swim, and my first feeling was to assist them, and save some of our effects; but a sharp concussion or two convinced me that I had not yet saved myself. A few strokes brought me into an eddy, and I landed on a pile of rocks on the left side. Looking around, I saw that Mr. Preuss had gained the shore on the same side, about twenty yards below; and a little climbing and swimming soon brought him to my side. On the opposite side, against the wall, lay the boat, bottom up; and Lambert was in the act of saving Descoteaux, whom he had grasped by the hair, and who could not swim.

For a hundred yards below, the current was covered with floating books and boxes, bales and blankets, and scattered articles of clothing; and so strong and boiling was the stream, that even our heavy instruments, which were all in cases, kept on the surface, and the sextant, circle, and the long, black box of the telescope, were in view at once. For a moment, I felt somewhat disheartened. All our books--almost every record of the journey--our journals and registers of astronomical and barometrical observations--had been lost in a moment, But it was no time to indulge in regrets; and I immediately set about endeavoring to save something from the wreck. Making ourselves understood as well as possible by signs, (for nothing could be heard in the roar of the waters,) we commenced our operations. Of every thing on board, the only article that had been saved was my double-barreled gun, which Descoteaux had caught and clung to with drowning tenacity. The men continued down the river on the left bank. Mr. Preuss and myself descended on the side we were on; and Lajeunesse, with a paddle in his hand, jumped on the boat alone, and continued down the canon. She was now light, and cleared every bad place with much less difficulty. In a short time he was joined by Lambert and the search was continued for about a mile and a half, which was as far as the boat could proceed in the pass.

Here the walls were about five hundred feet high, and the fragments of rocks from above had choked the river into a hollow pass, but one or two feet above the surface. Through this, and the interstices of the rock, the water found its way. Favored beyond our expectations, all our registers had been recovered, with the exception of one of my journals, which contained the notes and incidents of travel, and topographical descriptions, a number of scattered astronomical observations, principally meridian altitudes of the sun, and our barometrical register west of Laramie. Fortunately, our other journals contained duplicates of the most important barometrical observations. In addition to these, we saved the circle; and these, with a few blankets, constituted every thing that had been rescued from the waters.


A young girl has been captured at her father's hut, when all the males of the household are absent hunting wolves. She is seized by the Indians, and borne swiftly away to the encampment of a war party of the Osages. She is then placed in a "land canoe" and hurried rapidly forward toward their villages. Among the party she recognizes one whose life she had been instrumental in saving, when a prisoner. He recognizes her, and promises to assist her escape. At this point the following narrative commences:

At a late and solemn hour, the Indian who had been the captive the night before, suddenly ceased his snoring, which had been heard without intermission for a great length of time; and when Mary instinctively cast her eyes toward him, she was surprised to see him gently and slowly raise his head. He enjoined silence by placing his hand upon his mouth. After carefully disengaging himself from his comrades, he crept quietly away, and soon vanished entirely from sight on the northern side of the spreading beech. Mary expected he would soon return and assist her to escape. Although she was aware of the hardships and perils that would attend her flight, yet the thought of again meeting her friends was enough to nerve her for the undertaking, and she waited with anxious impatience the coming of her rescuer. But he came not. She could attribute no other design in his conduct but that of effecting her escape, and yet he neither came for her, nor beckoned her away. She had reposed confidence in his promise, for she knew that the Indian, savage as he was, rarely forfeited his word; but when gratitude inspired a pledge, she could not believe that he would use deceit. The fire was now burning quite low, and its waning light scarce cast a beam upon the branches overhead. It was evidently not far from morning, and every hope of present escape entirely fled from her bosom. But just as she was yielding to despair, she saw the Indian returning in a stealthy pace, bearing some dark object in his arms. He glided to her side, and motioned to her to leave the snow-canoe, and also to take with her all her robes with which she had been enveloped. She did his bidding, and then he carefully deposited the burden he bore in the place she had just occupied. A portion of the object becoming unwrapped, Mary discovered it to be a huge mass of snow, resembling in some respects a human form, and the Indian's stratagem was at once apparent to her. Relinquishing herself to his guidance, she was led noiselessly through the bushes about a hundred paces distant from the fire, to a large fallen tree that had yielded to some furious storm, when her conductor paused. He pointed to a spot where a curve caused the huge trunk to rise about a foot from the surface of the snow, under which was a round hole cut through the drifted snow down to the earth, and in which were deposited several buffalo robes, and so arranged that a person could repose within, without coming in contact with the frozen element around. Mary looked down, and then at her companion to ascertain his intentions. He spoke to her in a low tone, enough of which she comprehended to understand that he desired her to descend into the pit without delay. She obeyed, and when he had carefully folded the robes and divers furs about her body, he stepped a few paces to one side, and gently lifting up a round lid of snow-crust, placed it over the aperture. It had been so smoothly cut, and fitted with such precision when replaced, that no one would have been able to discover that an incision had been made. He then bid Mary a "dud by" in bad English, and set off on a run in a northern direction for the purpose of joining the whites.

With the first light of morning, the war-party sprang to their feet, and hastily despatching a slight repast, they set out on their journey with renewed animation and increased rapidity. Before starting, the chief called to Mary, and again offered some food; but no reply being returned, or motion discovered under the robe which he imagined enveloped her, he supposed she was sleeping, and directed the party to select the most even route when they emerged in the prairie, that she might as much as possible enjoy her repose.

The Indian who had planned and executed the escape of Mary, with the well-devised cunning for which the race is proverbial, had told his companions that he would rise before day and pursue the same direction in advance of them, and endeavor to kill a deer for their next night's meal. Thus his absence created no suspicion, and the party continued their precipitate retreat.

But, about noon, after casting many glances back at the supposed form of the captive reclining peacefully in the snow-canoe, the chief, with much excitement, betrayed by his looks, which seemed to be mingled with an apprehension that she was dead, abruptly ordered the party to halt. He sprang to the canoe, and convulsively tearing away the skins, discovered only the roll of snow! He at first compressed his lips in momentary rage, and then burst into a fit of irrepressible laughter. But the rest raved and stamped, and uttered direful imprecations and threats of vengeance. Immediately they were aware of the treachery of the absent Indian, and resolved with one voice that his blood should be an atonement for the act.

The snow was quickly thrown out, and the war-party adjusted their weapons, with the expectation of encountering the whites; and then whirling about they retraced their steps far more swiftly than they had been advancing. Just as the night was setting in, they came in sight of the grove where they had encamped. They slackened their pace, and looking eagerly forward, seemed to think it not improbable that the whites had arrived in the vicinity, and might be lying in ambush awaiting their return in search of the maid. They then abandoned the canoe, after having concealed it under some low bushes, and entered the grove in a stooping and watchful posture. Ere long the chief attained the immediate neighbor of the spreading tree, and with an arrow drawn to its head, crept within a few paces of the spot where he had lain the preceding night. His party were mostly a few feet in the rear, while a few were approaching in the same manner from the opposite direction. Hearing no sound whatever, he rose up slowly, and with an "ugh" of disappointment, strode carelessly across the silent and untenanted place of encampment.

Vexation and anger were expressed by the savages in being thus disappointed. They hoped to wreak their vengeance on the whites, and resolved to recapture the maiden. Where they expected to find them, the scene was silent and desolate. And they now sauntered about under the trees in the partial light of the moon that struggled through the matted branches, threatening in the most horrid manner, the one who had thus baffled them. Some struck their tomahawks into the trunks of trees, while others brandished their knives, and uttered direful threats. The young chief stood in silence, with his arms folded on his breast. A small ray of light that fell upon his face exhibited a meditative brow, and features expressing both firmness and determination. He had said that the captive should be regained, and his followers ever and anon regarded his thoughtful attitude with the confidence that his decision would hasten the accomplishment of their desires. Long he remained thus, motionless and dignified, and no one dared to address him.

The young chief called one of the oldest of the party, who was standing a few paces distant absorbed in thought, to his side, and after a short conference the old savage prostrated himself on the snow, and endeavored, like a hound, to scent the tracks of his recreant brother. At first he met with no success, but when making a wide circuit round the premises, still applying his nose to the ground occasionally, and minutely examining the bushes, he paused abruptly, and announced to the party that he had found the precise direction taken by the maid and her deliverer. Instantly they all clustered round him, evincing the most intense interest. Some smelt the surface of the snow, and others examined the bushes. Small twigs, not larger than pins, were picked up and closely scrutinized. They well knew that anyone passing through the frozen and clustered bushes must inevitably sever some of the twigs and buds Their progress was slow, but unerring. The course they pursued was the direction taken by Mary and her rescuer. It was not long before they arrived within a few feet of the place of the maiden's concealment. But now they were at fault. There were no bushes immediately around the fallen tree. They paused, the chief in the van, with their bows and arrows and tomahawks in readiness for instant use. They knew that the maiden could not return to her friends on foot, or the treacherous savage be able to bear her far on his shoulder. They thought that one or both must be concealed somewhere in the neighborhood, and the fallen tree, were it hollow, was the place most likely to be selected for that purpose. After scanning the fallen trunk a few minutes in silence, and discovering nothing to realize their hopes, they uttered a terrific yell, and commenced striking their tomahawks in the wood, and ripping up the bark in quest of some hiding-place. But their search was in vain. The fallen trunk was sound and solid throughout, and the young chief sat down on it within three paces of Mary! Others, in passing about, frequently trod on the very verge of the concealed pit.

Mary was awakened by the yell, but knew not that the sound came from her enemies. The Indian had told her that he would soon return, and her heart now fluttered with the hope that her father and her friends were at hand. Yet she prudently determined not to rush from her concealment until she was better assured of the fact. She did not think that the savages would ever suspect that she was hid under the snow, but yet she thought it very strange that her father did not come to her at once. Several minutes had elapsed since she had been startled by the sounds in the immediate vicinity. She heard the tramp of men almost directly over her head, and the strokes against the fallen trunk. She was several times on the eve of rising up, but was as often withheld by some mysterious impulse. She endeavored to reflect calmly, but still she could not, by any mode of conjecture, realize the probability of her foes having returned and traced her thither. Yet an undefinable fear still possessed her, and she endeavored with patience to await the pleasure of her friends. But when the chief seated himself in her vicinity, and fell into one of his fits of abstraction, and the whole party became comparatively still and hushed, the poor girl's suspense was almost insufferable. She knew that human beings were all around her, and yet her situation was truly pitiable and lonely. She felt assured that if the war-party had returned in pursuit of her, the means which enabled them to trace their victim to the fallen trunk would likewise have sufficed to indicate her hiding place. Then why should they hesitate? The yells that awakened her were not heard distinctly, and under the circumstances she could not believe that she was surrounded by savages. On the other hand, if they were her friends, why did they not relieve her? Now a sudden, but, alas! erroneous thought occurred to her. She was persuaded that they were her friends, but that the friendly Indian was not with them--he had perhaps directed them where she could be found, and then returned to his home. Might not her friends, at that moment, be anxiously searching for her? Would not one word suffice to dispel their solicitude, and restore the lost one to their arms? She resolved to speak. Bowing down her head slightly, so that her precise location might not instantly be ascertained, she uttered in a soft voice the word "FATHER!" The chief sprang from his seat, and the party was instantly in commotion. Some of the savages looked above, among the twining branches, and some shot their arrows in the snow, but fortunately not in the direction of Mary while others ran about in every direction, examining all the large trees in the vicinity. The chief was amazed and utterly confounded. He drew not forth an arrow, nor brandished a tomahawk. While he thus stood, and the rest of the party were moving hurriedly about, a few paces distant, Mary again repeated the word "FATHER!" As suddenly as if by enchantment every savage was paralyzed. Each stood as devoid of animation as a statue. For many moments an intense silence reigned, as if naught existed there but the cheerless forest trees. Slowly at length, the tomahawk was returned to the belt, and the arrow to the quiver. No longer was a desire to spill blood manifested. The dusky children of the forest attributed to the mysterious sound a supernatural agency. They believed it was a voice from the perennial hunting grounds. Humbly they bowed their heads, and whispered devotions to the Great Spirit. The young chief alone stood erect. He gazed at the round moon above him, and sighs burst from his breast, and burning tears ran down his stained cheek. Impatiently, by a motion of the hand, he directed the savages to leave him, and when they withdrew he resumed his seat on the fallen trunk, and reclined his brow upon his hand. One of the long feathers that decked his head waved forward, after he had been seated thus a few minutes, and when his eye rested upon it he started up wildly, and tearing it away, trampled it under his feet. At that instant the same "FATHER!" was again heard. The young chief fell upon his knees, and, while he panted convulsively, said, in English, "Father! Mother! I'm your poor William--you loved me much--where are you? Oh tell me--I will come to you--I want to see you!" He then fell prostrate and groaned piteously. "Father! Oh! where are you?"

"Whose voice was that?" said Mary, breaking through the slight incrustation that obscured her, and leaping from her covert.

The young chief sprang from the earth--gazed a moment at the maid--spoke rapidly and loudly in the language of his tribe to his party, who were now at the place of encampment, seated by the fire they had kindled--and then, seizing his tomahawk, was in the act of hurling it at Mary, when the yells of the war-party and the ringing discharges of fire-arms arrested his steel when brandished in the air. The white men had arrived! The young chief seized Mary by her long, flowing hair--again prepared to strike the fatal blow--when she turned her face upward, and he again hesitated. Discharges in quick succession, and nearer than before, still rang in his ears. Mary strove not to escape. Nor did the Indian strike. The whites were heard rushing through the bushes--the chief seized the trembling girl in his arms--a bullet whizzed by his head---but, unmindful of danger, he vanished among the dark bushes with his burden.

"She's gone! she's gone!" exclaimed Roughgrove, looking aghast at the vacated pit under the fallen trunk.

"But we will have her yet," said Boone, as he heard Glenn discharge a pistol a few paces apart in the bushes. The report was followed by a yell, not from the chief, but Sneak, and the next moment the rifle of the latter was likewise heard. Still the Indian was not dispatched, for the instant afterward his tomahawk, which had been hurled without effect, came sailing over the bushes, and penetrated a tree hard by, some fifteen or twenty feet above the earth, where it entered the wood with such a force that it remained firmly fixed. Now succeeded a struggle--a violent blow was heard--the fall of the Indian, and all was still. A minute afterward Sneak emerged from the thicket, bearing Mary in his arms, and followed by Glenn.

"Is she dead? Oh, she's dead!" cried Roughgrove, snatching her from the arms of Sneak.

"She has only fainted!" exclaimed Glenn, examining the body of the girl, and finding no wounds.

"She's recovering!" said Boone, feeling her pulse.

"God be praised!" exclaimed Roughgrove, when returning animation was manifest.

"Oh, I know you won't kill me! for pity's sake, spare me!" said Mary.

"It is your father, my poor child!" said Roughgrove, pressing the girl to his heart.

"It is! it is!" cried the happy girl, clinging rapturously to the old man's neck, and then, seizing the hands of the rest, she seemed to be half wild with delight.


On the 17th of June, 1816, the Medusa, French frigate, commanded by Captain Chaumareys, and accompanied by three smaller vessels, sailed from the island of Aix, for the coast of Africa, in order to take possession of some colonies. On the 1st of July, they entered the tropics; and there, with a childish disregard to danger, and knowing that she was surrounded by all the unseen perils of the ocean, her crew performed the ceremony usual to the occasion, while the vessel was running headlong on destruction. The captain, presided over the disgraceful scene of merriment, leaving the ship to the command of an M. Richefort, who had passed the ten preceding years of his life in an English prison--a few persons on board remonstrated in vain; though it was ascertained that they were on the banks of Arguise, she continued her course, and heaved the lead, without slackening the sail. Every thing denoted shallow water, but M. Richefort persisted in saying that they were in one hundred fathoms. At that very moment only six fathoms were found; and the vessel struck three times, being in about sixteen feet water, and the tide full flood. At ebb-tide, there remained but twelve feet water; and after some bungling manoeuvres, all hope of getting the ship off was abandoned.

When the frigate struck, she had on board six boats, of various capacities, all of which could not contain the crew and passengers; and a raft was constructed. A dreadful scene ensued. All scrambled out of the wreck without order or precaution. The first who reached the boats refused to admit any of their fellow-sufferers into them, though there was ample room for more. Some, apprehending that a plot had been formed to abandon them in the vessel, flew to arms. No one assisted his companions; and Captain Chaumareys stole out of a port-hole into his own boat, leaving a great part of the crew to shift for themselves. At length they put off to sea, intending to steer for the sandy coast of the desert, there to land, and thence to proceed with a caravan to the island of St. Louis.

The raft had been constructed without foresight or intelligence. It was about sixty-five feet long and twenty-five broad, but the only part which could be depended upon was the middle; and that was so small, that fifteen persons could not lie down upon it. Those who stood on the floor were in constant danger of slipping through between the planks; the sea flowed in on all its sides. When one hundred and fifty passengers who were destined to be its burden, were on board, they stood like a solid parallelogram, without a possibility of moving; and they were up to their waists in water.

The desperate squadron had only proceeded three leagues, when a faulty, if not treacherous manoeuvre, broke the tow-line which fastened the captain's boat to the raft; and this became the signal to all to let loose their cables. The weather was calm. The coast was known to be but twelve or fifteen leagues distant; and the land was in fact discovered by the boats on the very same evening on which they abandoned the raft. They were not therefore driven to this measure by any new perils; and the cry of "_Nous les abandonons_!" which resounded throughout the line, was the yell of a spontaneous and instinctive impulse of cowardice, perfidy, and cruelty; and the impulse was as unanimous as it was diabolical. The raft was left to the mercy of the waves; one after another, the boats disappeared, and despair became general. Not one of the promised articles, no provisions, except a very few casks of wine, and some spoiled biscuit, sufficient for one single meal was found. A small pocket compass, which chance had discovered, their last guide in a trackless ocean, fell between the beams into the sea. As the crew had taken no nourishment since morning, some wine and biscuit were distributed; and this day, the first of thirteen on the raft, was the last on which they tasted any solid food--except such as human nature shudders at. The only thing which kept them alive was the hope of revenge on those who had treacherously betrayed them.

The first night was stormy; and the waves, which had free access, committed dreadful ravages, and threatened worse. When day appeared, twelve miserable wretches were found crushed to death between the openings of the raft, and several more were missing; but the number could not be ascertained, as several soldiers had taken the billets of the dead, in order to obtain two, or even three rations. The second night was still more dreadful, and many were washed off; although the crew had so crowded together, that some were smothered by the mere pressure. To soothe their last moments, the soldiers drank immoderately; and one, who affected to rest himself upon the side, but was treacherously cutting the ropes, was thrown into the sea. Another, whom M. Correard had snatched from the waves, turned traitor a second time, as soon as he recovered his senses; but he too was killed. At length the revolted, who were chiefly soldiers, threw themselves upon their knees, and abjectly implored mercy. At midnight, however, they rebelled again. Those who had no arms, fought with their teeth, and thus many severe wounds were inflicted. One was most wantonly and dreadfully bitten above the heel, while his companions were beating him upon the head with their carbines, before throwing him into the sea. The raft was strewed with dead bodies, after innumerable instances of treachery and cruelty; and from sixty to sixty-five perished that night. The force and courage of the strongest began to yield to their misfortunes; and even the most resolute labored under mental derangement. In the conflict, the revolted had thrown two casks of wine, and all the remaining water, into the sea; and it became necessary to diminish each man's share.

A day of comparative tranquillity succeeded. The survivors erected their mast again, which had been wantonly cut down in the battle of the night; and endeavored to catch some fish, but in vain. They were reduced to feed on the dead bodies of their companions. A third night followed, broken by the plaintive cries of wretches, exposed to every kind of suffering, ten or twelve of whom died of want, and awfully foretold the fate of the remainder. The following day was fine. Some flying fish were caught in the raft; which, mixed up with human flesh, afforded one scanty meal.


A new insurrection to destroy the raft, broke out on the fourth night; this too, was marked by perfidy, and ended in blood. Most of the rebels were thrown into the sea. The fifth morning mustered but thirty men alive; and these sick and wounded, with the skin of their lower extremities corroded by the salt water. Two soldiers were detected drinking the wine of the only remaining cask; they were instantly thrown into the sea. One boy died, and there remained only twenty-seven; of whom fifteen only seemed likely to live. A council of war, preceded by the most horrid despair, was held; as the weak consumed a part of the common store, they determined to throw them into the sea. This sentence was put into immediate execution! and all the arms on board, which now filled their minds with horror, were, with the exception of a single sabre, committed to the deep. Distress and misery increased with an accelerated ratio; and even after the desperate means of destroying their companions, and eating the most nauseous aliments, the surviving fifteen could not hope for more than a few days' existence. A butterfly lighted on their sail the ninth day, and though it was held to be a messenger of good, yet many a greedy eye was cast upon it.

Three days more passed over in inexpressible anguish, when they constructed a smaller and more manageable raft, in the hope of directing it to the shore; but on trial it was found insufficient. On the seventeenth day, a brig was seen; which, after exciting the vicissitude of hope and fear, proved to be the Argus, sent out in quest of the Medusa. The inhabitants of the raft were all received on board, and were again very nearly perishing, by a fire which broke out in the night. The six boats which had so cruelly cast them adrift, reached the coast of Africa in safety; and after many dangers among the Moors, the survivors arrived at St. Louis.

After this, a vessel was dispatched to the wreck of the Medusa, to carry away the money and provisions; after beating about for eight days, she was forced to return. She again put to sea, but after being away five days, again came back. Ten days more were lost in repairing her; and she did not reach the spot till fifty-two days after the vessel had been lost; and dreadful to relate, three miserable sufferers were found on board. Sixty men had been abandoned there by their magnanimous countrymen. All these had been carried off except seventeen, some of whom were drunk, and others refused to leave the vessel. They remained at peace as long as their provisions lasted. Twelve embarked on board a raft, for Sahara, and were never more heard of. Another put to sea on a hen-coop, and sunk immediately. Four remained behind, one of whom, exhausted with hunger and fatigue, perished. The other three lived in separate corners of the wreck, and never met but to run at each other with drawn _knives_. They were put on board the vessel, with all that could be saved from the wreck of the Medusa.

The vessel was no sooner seen returning to St. Louis, than every heart beat high with joy, in the hope of recovering some property. The men and officers of the Medusa jumped on board, and asked if any thing had been saved. "Yes," was the reply, "but it is all ours now;" and the naked Frenchmen, whose calamities had found pity from the Moors of the desert, were now deliberately plundered by their own countrymen.

A fair was held in the town, which lasted eight days. The clothes, furniture, and necessary articles of life belonging to the men and officers of the Medusa, were publicly sold before their faces. Such of the French as were able, proceeded to the camp at Daceard, and the sick remained at St. Louis. The French governor had promised them clothes and provisions, but sent none; and during five months, they owed their existence to strangers--to the British.


The habits of the moose, in his manner of defence and attack, are similar to those of the stag, and may be illustrated by the following anecdote from the "Random Sketches of a Kentuckian:"

Who ever saw Bravo without loving him? His sloe-black eyes, his glossy skin, flecked here and there with blue; his wide-spread thighs, clean shoulders, broad back, and low-drooping chest, bespoke him the true stag-hound; and none, who ever saw his bounding form, or heard his deep-toned bay, as the swift-footed stag flew before him, would dispute his title. List, gentle reader, and I will tell you an adventure which will make you love him all the more.

A bright, frosty morning in November, 1838, tempted me to visit the forest hunting-grounds. On this occasion, I was followed by a fine-looking hound, which had been presented to me a few days before by a fellow-sportsman. I was anxious to test his qualities, and, knowing that a mean dog will not often hunt well with a good one, I had tied up the eager Bravo, and was attended by the strange dog alone. A brisk canter of half an hour brought me to the wild forest hills. Slackening the rein, I slowly wound my way up a brushy slope some three hundred yards in length. I had ascended about half way, when the hound began to exhibit signs of uneasiness, and, at the same instant a stag sprang out from some underbrush near by, and rushed like a whirlwind up the slope. A word, and the hound was crouching at my feet, and my trained Cherokee, with ear erect, and flashing eye, watched the course of the affrighted animal.

"On the very summit of the ridge, full one hundred and fifty yards, every limb standing out in bold relief against the clear, blue sky, the stag paused, and looked proudly down upon us. After a moment of indecision, I raised my rifle, and sent the whizzing lead upon its errand. A single bound, and the antlered monarch was hidden from my view. Hastily running down a ball, I ascended the slope; my blood ran a little faster as I saw the gouts of blood' which stained the withered leaves where he had stood. One moment more, and the excited hound was leaping breast high on his trail, and the gallant Cherokee bore his rider like lightning after them.

"Away--away! for hours we did thus hasten on, without once being at fault, or checking our headlong speed. The chase had led us miles from the starting-point, and now appeared to be bearing up a creek, on one side of which arose a precipitous hill, some two miles in length, which I knew the wounded animal would never ascend.

"Half a mile further on, another hill reared its bleak and barren head on the opposite side of the rivulet. Once fairly in the gorge, there was no exit save at the upper end of the ravine. Here, then, I must intercept my game, which I was able to do by taking a nearer cut over the ridge, that saved at least a mile.

"Giving one parting shout to cheer my dog, Cherokee bore me headlong to the pass. I had scarcely arrived, when, black with sweat, the stag came laboring up the gorge, seemingly, totally reckless of our presence. Again I poured forth the 'leaden messenger of death,' as meteor-like he flashed by us. One bound, and the noble animal lay prostrate within fifty feet of where I stood. Leaping from my horse, and placing one knee upon his shoulder, and a hand upon his antlers, I drew my hunting knife; but scarcely had its keen point touched his neck, when, with a sudden bound, he threw me from his body, and my knife was hurled from my hand. In hunters' parlance, I had only 'creased him.' I at once saw my danger, but it was too late. With one bound, he was upon me, wounding and almost disabling me with his sharp feet and horns. I seized him by his wide-spread antlers, and sought to regain possession of my knife, but in vain; each new struggle drew us further from it. Cherokee, frightened at the unusual scene, had madly fled to the top of the ridge, where he stood looking down upon the combat, trembling and quivering in every limb.

"The ridge road I had taken placed us far in advance of the hound, whose bay I could not now hear. The struggles of the furious animal had become dreadful, and every moment I could feel his sharp hoofs cutting deep into my flesh; my grasp upon his antlers was growing less and less firm, and yet I relinquished not my hold. The struggle had brought us near a deep ditch, washed by the fall rains, and into this I endeavored to force my adversary, but my strength was unequal to the effort; when we approached to the very brink, he leaped over the drain. I relinquished my hold and rolled in, hoping thus to escape him; but he returned to the attack, and, throwing himself upon me, inflicted numerous severe cuts upon my face and breast before I could again seize him. Locking my arms around his antlers, I drew his head close to my breast, and was thus, by great effort, enabled to prevent his doing me any serious injury. But I felt that this could not last long; every muscle and fiber of my frame was called into action, and human nature could not long bear up under such exertion. Faltering a silent prayer to Heaven, I prepared to meet my fate.

"At this moment of despair, I heard the faint bayings of the hound; the stag, too, heard the sound, and, springing from the ditch, drew me with him. His efforts were now redoubled, and I could scarcely cling to him. Yet that blessed sound came nearer and nearer! Oh how wildly beat my heart, as I saw the hound emerge from the ravine, and spring forward with a short, quick bark, as his eye rested on his game. I released my hold of the stag, who turned upon the new enemy. Exhausted, and unable to rise, I still cheered the dog, that, dastard-like, fled before the infuriated animal, who, seemingly despising such an enemy, again threw himself upon me. Again did I succeed in throwing my arms around his antlers, but not until he had inflicted several deep and dangerous wounds upon my head and face, cutting to the very bone.

"Blinded by the flowing blood, exhausted and despairing, I cursed the coward dog, who stood near, baying furiously, yet refusing to seize his game. Oh! how I prayed for Bravo! The thoughts of death were bitter. To die thus in the wild forest, alone, with none to help! Thoughts of home and friends coursed like lightning through my brain. At that moment, when Hope herself had fled, deep and clear over the neighboring hill, came the baying of my gallant Bravo! I should have known his voice among a thousand. I pealed forth in one faint shout, 'On Bravo, on!' The next moment, with tiger-like bounds, the noble dog came leaping down the declivity, scattering the dried autumnal leaves like a whirlwind in his path. 'No pause he knew,' but, fixing his fangs in the stag's throat, he at once commenced the struggle.

"I fell back completely exhausted. Blinded with blood, I only knew that a terrible struggle was going on. In a few moments, all was still, and I felt the warm breath of my faithful dog, as he licked my wounds. Clearing my eyes from gore, I saw my late adversary dead at my feet, and Bravo, 'my own Bravo,' as the heroine of a modern novel would say standing over me. He yet bore around his neck a fragment of the rope with which I had tied him. He had gnawed it in two, and, following his master through all his windings, arrived in time to rescue him from a horrible death.

"I have recovered from my wounds. Bravo is lying at my feet. Who does not love Bravo? I am sure I do, and the rascal knows it--don't you, Bravo? Come here, sir!"


In the narrative of Moses Van Campen, we find the following incident related. He was taken prisoner by the Seneca Indians, just after Sullivan's expedition in the Revolution, on the confines of the white settlements in one of the border counties of Pennsylvania. He was marched through the wilderness, and reached the headquarters of the savages near Fort Niagara. Here he was recognized as having, a year or two previously, escaped, with two others, from his guard, five of whom he slew in their sleep with his own hand.


On this discovery being made, the countenances of the savages grew dark and lowering. He saw at once that his fate was to be decided on the principles of Indian vengeance, and, being bound, had but little hope of escape. He, however, put on the appearance of as much unconcern as possible. The Indians withdrew by themselves to decide in what manner they should despatch their unhappy victim. They soon returned, their visages covered with a demoniac expression. A few went to gathering wood; another selected a spot, and soon a fire was kindled. Van Campen looked upon these preparations, which were being made to burn him alive, with feelings wrought up to the highest pitch of agony; yet he, with much effort, appeared calm and collected. At last, when the preparations were completed, two Indians approached, and began to unloose the cords with which he was bound. To this he submitted. But the moment he was fully loosed, he dashed the two Indians aside--felling one upon the earth with a blow of his fist--and darted off toward the fort, where he hoped to receive protection from the British officers. Tomahawks gleamed in the air behind him--rifle balls whistled around--but onward still he flew. One unarmed Indian stood in his path and intercepted him. With a giant spring, he struck him in the breast with his feet, and bore him to the earth. Recovering himself, he again started for the woods, and, as he was running for life--with the fire and faggot behind him, and a lingering death of torture--he soon outstripped all his pursuers. It being near night, he effected his escape, arrived at the fort, and was sent down the river to Montreal, to be out of the way of the savage Senecas, who thirsted for his blood as a recompense for that of their brethren whom he had slain.


"The summer of 1825 was unusually warm in both hemispheres, particularly in America, where its effects were fatally visible in the prevalence of epidemical disorders. During July and August, extensive fires raged in different parts of Nova Scotia, especially in the eastern division of the peninsular. The protracted drought of the summer, acting upon the aridity of the forests, had rendered them more than naturally combustible; and this, facilitating both the dispersion and the progress of the fires that appeared in the early part of the season, produced an unusual warmth. On the 6th of October, the fire was evidently approaching New Castle; at different intervals fitful blazes and flashes were observed to issue from different parts of the woods, particularly up the northwest, at the rear of New Castle, in the vicinity of Douglasstown and Moorfields, and along the banks of the Bartibog. Many persons heard the crackling of falling trees and shriveled branches, while a hoarse rumbling noise, not dissimilar to the roaring of distant thunder, and divided by pauses, like the intermittent discharges of artillery, was distinct and audible. On the 7th of October, the heat increased to such a degree, and became so very oppressive, that many complained of its enervating effects. About twelve o'clock, a pale, sickly mist, lightly tinged with purple, emerged from the forest and settled over it.

"This cloud soon retreated before a large, dark one, which, occupying its place, wrapped the firmament in a pall of vapor. This incumbrance retaining its position till about three o'clock, the heat became tormentingly sultry. There was not a breath of air; the atmosphere was overloaded; and irresistible lassitude seized the people. A stupefying dullness seemed to pervade every place but the woods, which now trembled, and rustled, and shook with an incessant and thrilling noise of explosions, rapidly following each other, and mingling their reports with a discordant variety of loud and boisterous sounds. At this time, the whole country appeared to be encircled by a _fiery zone_, which, gradually contracting its circle by the devastation it had made, seemed as if it would not converge into a point while any thing remained to be destroyed. A little after four o'clock, an immense pillar of smoke rose, in a vertical direction, at some distance northeast of New Castle, for a while, and the sky was absolutely blackened by this huge cloud; but a light, northerly breeze springing up, it gradually distended, and then dissipated into a variety of shapeless mists. About an hour after, or probably at half past five, innumerable large spires of smoke, issuing from different parts of the woods, and illuminated the flames that seemed to pierce them, mounted the sky. A heavy and suffocating canopy, extending to the utmost verge of observation, and appearing mere terrific by the vivid flashes and blazes that darted irregularly through it, now hung over New Castle and Douglass in threatening suspension, while showers of flaming brands, calcined leaves, ashes, and cinders, seemed to scream through the growling noise that prevailed in the woods. About nine o'clock, P.M., or shortly after, a succession of loud and appalling roars thundered through the forests. Peal after peal, crash after crash, announced the sentence of destruction. Every succeeding shock created fresh alarm; every clap came loaded with its own destructive energy. With greedy rapidity did the flames advance to the devoted scene of their ministry; nothing could impede their progress. They removed every obstacle by the desolation they occasioned, and several hundred miles of prostrate forests and smitten woods marked their devastating way.

"The river, tortured into violence by the hurricane, foamed with rage, and flung its boiling spray upon the land. The thunder pealed along the vault of heaven--the lightning appeared to rend the firmament. For a moment all was still, and a deep and awful silence reigned over every thing. All nature appeared to be hushed, when suddenly a lengthened and sullen roar came booming through the forests, driving a thousand massive and devouring flames before it. Then New Castle and Douglasstown, and the whole northern side of the river, extending from Bartibog to the Naashwaak, a distance of more than one hundred miles in length, became enveloped in an immense sheet of flame, that spread over nearly six thousand square miles! That the reader may form a faint idea of the desolation and misery, which no pen can describe, he must picture to himself a large and rapid river, thickly settled for one hundred miles or more on both sides of it. He must also fancy four thriving towns, two on each side of this river, and then reflect that these towns and settlements were all composed of wooden houses, stores, stables and barns; that these barns and stables were filled with crops, and that the arrival of the fall importations had stocked the warehouses and stores with spirits, powder, and a variety of cumbustible articles, as well as with the necessary supplies for the approaching winter. He must then remember that the cultivated or settled part of the river is but a long, narrow strip, about a quarter of a mile wide, lying between the river and almost interminable forests, stretching along the very edge of its precints and all around it. Extending his conception, he will see the forests thickly expanding over more than six thousand square miles, and absolutely parched into tinder by the protracted heat of a long summer.

"Let him then animate the picture, by scattering countless tribes of wild animals, and hundreds of domestic ones, and even thousands of men in the interior. Having done all this, he will have before him a feeble outline of the extent, features, and general circumstances of the country, which, in the course of a few hours, was suddenly enveloped in fire. A more ghastly or a more revolting picture of human misery can not well be imagined. The whole district of cultivated land was shrouded in the agonizing memorials of some dreadful deforming havoc. The songs of gladness that formerly resounded through it were no longer heard, for the voice of misery had hushed them. Nothing broke upon the ear but the accents of distress; the eye saw nothing but ruin, and desolation, and death. New Castle, yesterday a flourishing town, full of trade and spirit, and containing nearly one thousand inhabitants, was now a heap of smoking ruins; and Douglasstown, nearly one-third of its size, was reduced to the same miserable condition. Of the two hundred and sixty houses and storehouses, that composed the former, but twelve remained; and of the seventy that comprised the latter, but six were left. The confusion on board of one hundred and fifty large vessels, then lying in the Mirimachi, and exposed to imminent danger, was terrible--some burned to the water's edge, others burning, and the remainder occasionally on fire.

"Dispersed groups of half-famished, half-naked, and houseless creatures, all more or less injured in their persons, many lamenting the loss of some property, or children, or relations and friends, were wandering through the country. Of the human bodies, some were seen with their bowels protruding, others with the flesh all consumed, and the blackened skeletons smoking; some with headless trunks, and severed extremities; some bodies were burned to cinders, others reduced to ashes; many bloated and swollen by suffocation, and several lying in the last distorted position of convulsing torture; brief and violent was their passage from life to death, and rude and melancholy was their sepulchre--'unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.' The immediate loss of life was upward of five hundred beings! Thousands of wild beasts, too, had perished in the woods, and from their putrescent carcasses issued streams of effluvium and stench that formed contagious domes over the dismantled settlements. Domestic animals of all kinds lay dead and dying in different parts of the country. Myriads of salmon, trout, bass, and other fish, which, poisoned by the alkali formed by the ashes precipitated into the river, now lay dead or floundering and gasping on the scorched shores and beaches, and the countless variety of wild fowl and reptiles shared a similar fate.

"Such was the violence of the hurricane, that large bodies of ignited timber, and portions of the trunks of trees, and severed limbs, and also parts of flaming buildings, shingles, boards, &c., were hurried along through the frowning heavens with terrible velocity, outstripping the fleetest horses, spreading destruction far in the advance, thus cutting off retreat. The shrieks of the affrighted inhabitants, mingling with the discordant bellowing of cattle, the neighing of horses, the howling of dogs, and the strange notes of distress and fright from other domestic animals, strangely blending with the roar of the flames and the thunder of the tornado, beggars description.

"Their only means of safety was the river, to which there was a simultaneous rush, seizing whatever was buoyant, however inadequate; many attempted to effect a crossing; some succeeded; others failed, and were drowned. One woman actually seized a bull by the tail, just as he plunged into the river, and was safely towed to the opposite shore. Those who were unable to make their escape across plunged into the water to their necks, and, by a constant application of water to the head, while in this submerged condition, escaped a dreadful burning. In some portions of the country, the cattle were nearly all destroyed. Whole crews of men, camping in the interior, and engaged in timber-making, were consumed.

"Such was the awful conflagration of 1825, on the Mirimachi."


The commerce of the Red Sea has, almost from time immemorial, greatly suffered from the depredations of Arab pirates, who infest the entire coasts. The exploits of one individual is dwelt upon by his late _confreres_ with particular enthusiasm; and his career and deeds were of so extraordinary a character, that we feel justified in giving the following brief detail of them, as furnished by an English traveler:

This dreadful man, Ramah ibn Java, the _beau ideal_ of his order, the personation of an Arab sea robber, was a native of a small village near Jiddah. At an early period he commenced a mode of life congenial to his disposition and nature. Purchasing a boat, he, with a band of about twelve companions, commenced his career as a pirate, and in the course of a few months he had been so successful that he became the owner of a vessel of three hundred tons, and manned with a lawless crew. It was a part of his system to leave British vessels unmolested, and he even affected to be on good terms with them. We have heard an old officer describe his appearance. He was then about forty-five years of age, short in stature, but with a figure compact and square, a constitution vigorous, and the characteristic qualities of his countrymen--frugality, and patience of fatigue. Several scars already seamed his face, and the bone of his arm had been shattered by a matchlock ball when boarding a vessel. It is a remarkable fact that the intermediate bones sloughed away, and the arm, connected only by flesh and muscle, was still, by means of a silver tube affixed around it, capable of exertion.

Ramah was born to be the leader of the wild spirits around him. With a sternness of purpose that awed those who were near him into a degree of dread, which totally astonished those who had been accustomed to view the terms of equality in which the Arab chiefs appear with their followers, he exacted the most implicit obedience to his will; and the manner in which he acted toward his son exhibits the length he was disposed to go with those who thwarted, or did not act up to, the spirit of his views. The young man, then a mere stripling, had been dispatched to attack some boats, but he was unsuccessful. "This, dastard, and son of a dog!" said the enraged father, who had been watching the progress of the affair, "you return unharmed to tell me! Fling him over the side!" The chief was obeyed; and but for a boat, which by some chance was passing some miles astern, he would have been drowned. Of his existence the father for many months was wholly unconscious, and how he was reconciled we never heard; but during the interval he was never known to utter his name. No cause, it appears, existed for a repetition of the punishment; for while yet a youth, he met the death his father would have most coveted for him. He fell at the head of a party that was bravely storming a fort.

Many other acts of cruelty are related of him. Having seized a small trading boat, he plundered her, and then fastened the crew--five in number--round the anchor, suspended it from the bows, cut the cable, and let the anchor, with its living burden, sink to the bottom. He once attacked a small town on the Persian Gulf. In this town lived one Abder Russel, a personal friend of the narrator, who related the visit of the pirates to his dwelling. Seized with a violent illness, he was stretched on a pallet spread on a floor of his apartment; his wife, to whom he was devotedly attached, was attending him, his head placed in her lap. A violent noise arose below--the door was heavily assailed--it yielded--a sharp conflict took place--shouting and a rushing on the stair-case was heard, and the pirates were in the apartment. "I read their purpose," said Abder to me, "In their looks; but I was bed-ridden, and could not raise a finger to save her for whose life I would gladly have forfeited my own, Ramah, the pirate captain, approached her. Entreaties for life were unavailing; yet for an instant her extreme beauty arrested his arm, but it was only for an instant. His dagger again gleamed on high, and she sank a bleeding victim beside me. Cold and apparently inanimate as I was, I nevertheless felt her warm blood flowing past me, and with her life it ebbed rapidly away. My eyes must have been fixed with the vacant look of death: I even felt unmoved as he bent down beside me, and, with spider-like fingers, stripped the jewels from my hand--the touch of that villain who had deprived me of all which in life I valued. At length, a happy insensibility stole over me. How long I remained in this condition I know not; but when I recovered my senses, fever had left me--cool blood again traversed my veins. Beside me was a faithful slave, who was engaged bathing my temples. He had escaped the slaughter by secreting himself while the murderers remained in the house."

Ramah, although a man of few words with his crew, was nevertheless very communicative to our officers, whenever he fell in with them. According to his own account, he managed them by never permitting any familiarities, nor communicating big plans, and by an impartial distribution of plunder; but the grand secret, he knew full well, was in his utter contempt of danger, and that terrible, untaught eloquence, at the hour of need, where time is brief, and sentences must be condensed into words, which marked his career. Success crowned all his exploits; he made war, and levied contributions on whom he pleased. Several times he kept important sea-port towns in a state of blockade, and his appearance was every where feared and dreaded.

He took possession of a small sandy islet, not many miles from his native place, where he built a fort, and would occasionally sally forth, and plunder and annoy any vessel that he met with. Although now perfectly blind and wounded in almost every part of his body, yet such was the dread inspired by the energy of this old chief, that, for a long time, no one could be found willing to attack the single vessel which he possessed. At length, a sheik, bolder than his neighbors, proceeded in three heavy boats to attack Ramah. The followers of the latter, too well trained to feel or express alarm, save that which arose from affection for their chief, painted in strong terms the overwhelming superiority of the approaching force, and counseled his bearing away from them; but he spurned the idea. The evening drew near, and closed upon him. After a severe contest they gained the deck. An instant after, dead and dying, the victor and the vanquished, were given to the wind. Ramah, with a spirit in accordance with the tenor of his whole career, finding the day was going against him, was led by a little boy to the magazine, and then, it is supposed, applied the pipe he had been smoking during the action to the powder. Such, to his life, was the fitting end of the pirate chief.



After the battle of Tallapoosa, General Jackson returned with his victorious army to Fort Williams; but, determined to give his enemy no opportunity of retrieving the misfortune that had befallen him, he recommenced operations immediately afterward. On the 7th of April, 1814, he again set out for Tallapoosa, with the view of forming a junction with the Georgia troops under Colonel Milton, and completing the subjugation of the country. On the 14th of that month, the union of the two armies was effected, and both bodies moved to a place called the Hickory Ground, where, it was expected, the last final stand would be made by the Indians, or terms of submission would be agreed on. The principal chiefs of the different tribes had assembled here, and, on the approach of the army, sent a deputation to treat for peace. Among them was Weatherford, celebrated equally for his talents and cruelty, who had directed the massacre at Fort Mimms. It had been the intention of General Jackson, to inflict a signal punishment upon him, if ever in his power. Struck, however, with the bold and nervous eloquence of this fearless savage, and persuaded of the sincerity of his wishes for peace, he dismissed him without injury. Some of the speeches of this warrior have been preserved, and exhibit a beautiful specimen of the melancholy but manly tone of a savage hero, lamenting the misfortunes of his race. Addressing General Jackson, he said, "I am in your power--do with me as you please. I am a soldier. I have done the white people all the harm I could; I have fought them, and fought them bravely. There was a time when I had a choice, and could have answered you: I have none now,--even hope is ended. Once I could animate my warriors; but I can not animate the dead. My warriors can no longer hear my voice; their bones are at Talladega, Tallushatchee, Emuckfaw, and Tohopeka. While there was a chance of success, I never left my post, nor supplicated peace. But my people are gone; and I now ask it for my nation and myself." He shortly afterward became the instrument of restoring peace, which was concluded by the total submission of the Indians. They agreed to retire in the rear of the army, and occupy the country to the east of the Coosa; while a line of American posts was established from Tennessee and Georgia, to the Alabama, and the power and resources of these tribes were thus effectually destroyed.


At midnight of Saturday, the 30th of November, 1811, with a fair wind and a smooth sea, we weighed from our station, in company with the Saldanha frigate, of thirty-eight guns, Captain Packenham, with a crew of three hundred men, on a cruise, as was intended, of twenty days--the Saldanha taking a westerly course, while we stood in the opposite direction.

We had scarcely got out of the lock and cleared the heads, however, when we plunged at once into all the miseries of a gale of wind blowing from the west. During the three following days, it continued to increase in violence, when the islands of Coll and Tiree became visible to us. As the wind had now chopped round more to the north, and continued unabated in violence, the danger of getting involved among the numerous small islands and rugged headlands, on the northwest coast of Inverness-shire, became evident. It was therefore deemed expedient to wear the ship round, and make a port with all expedition. With this view, and favored by the wind, a course was shaped for Lochswilly, and away we scudded under close-reefed foresail and main-topsail, followed by a tremendous sea, which threatened every moment to overwhelm us, and accompanied by piercing showers of hail, and a gale which blew with incredible fury. The same course was steered until next day about noon, when land was seen on the lee-bow. The weather being thick, some time elapsed before it could be distinctly made out, and it was then ascertained to be the island of North Arran, on the coast of Donegal, westward of Lochswilly. The ship was therefore hauled up some points, and we yet entertained hopes of reaching an anchorage before nightfall, when the weather gradually thickened, and the sea, now that we were upon the wind, broke over us in all directions. Its violence was such, that in a few minutes several of our ports were stove in, at which the water poured in in great abundance, until it was actually breast high on the lee-side of the main deck. Fortunately, but little got below, and the ship was relieved by taking in the foresail. But a dreadful addition was now made to the precariousness of our situation, by the cry of "land a-head!" which was seen from the forecastle, and must have been very near. Not a moment was now lost in wearing the ship round on the other tack, and making what little sail could be carried, to weather the land we had already passed. This soon proved, however, to be a forlorn prospect, for it was found that we should run our distance by ten o'clock. All the horrors of shipwreck now stared us in the face, aggravated tenfold by the darkness of the night, and the tremendous force of the wind, which now blew a hurricane. Mountains are insignificant when speaking of the sea that kept pace with it; its violence was awful beyond description, and it frequently broke over all the poor little ship, that shivered and groaned, but behaved admirably.

The force of the sea may be guessed from the fact of the sheet-anchor, nearly a ton and a half in weight, being actually lifted on board, to say nothing of the forechain-plates' board broken, both gangways torn away, quarter-galleries stove in, &c. In short, on getting into port, the vessel was found to be loosened through all her frame, and leaking at every seam. As far as depended on her good qualities, however, I felt assured at the time, we were safe, for I had seen enough of the Talbot to be convinced we were in one of the finest sea-boats that ever swam. But what could all the skill of the ship-builder avail in a situation like ours? With a night full fifteen hours long before us, and knowing that we were fast driving on the land, anxiety and dread were on every face, and every mind felt the terrors of uncertainty and suspense. At length, about twelve o'clock, the dreadful truth was disclosed to us!

Judge of my sensation when I saw the frowning rocks of Arran, scarcely half a mile distant on our lee-bow. To our inexpressible relief, and not less to our surprise, we fairly weathered all, and were congratulating each other on our escape, when, on looking forward, I imagined I saw breakers at no great distance on our lee; and this suspicion was soon confirmed, when the moon, which shone at intervals, suddenly broke out from behind a cloud, and presented to us a most terrific spectacle. At not more than a quarter of a mile's distance on our lee-beam, appeared a range of tremendous breakers, among which it seemed as if every sea would throw us. Their height, it may be guessed, was prodigious, when they could be clearly distinguished from the foaming waters of the surrounded ocean. It was a scene seldom to be witnessed, and never forgotten! "Lord have mercy upon us!" was now on the lip of every one--destruction seemed inevitable. Captain Swaine, whose coolness I have never seen surpassed, issued his orders clearly and collectedly, when it was proposed, as a last resource, to drop the anchors, cut away the masts, and trust to the chance of riding out the gale. This scheme was actually determined on, and every thing was in readiness, but happily was deferred until an experiment was tried aloft. In addition to the close-reefed main-topsail and foresail, the fore-topsail, and trysail were now set, and the result was almost magical. With a few plunges, we cleared not only the reef, but a huge rock upon which I could with ease have tossed a biscuit, and in a few minutes we were inexpressibly rejoiced to see both far astern.

We had now miraculously escaped all but certain destruction a second time, but much was yet to be feared. We had still to pass Cape Jeller, and the moments dragged on in gloomy apprehension and anxious suspense. The ship carried sail most wonderfully, and we continued to go along at the rate of seven knots, shipping very heavy seas, and laboring much--all with much solicitude looking out for daylight. The dawn at length appeared, and to our great joy we saw the land several miles astern, having passed the Cape and many other hidden dangers during the darkness.

Matters, on the morning of the 5th, assumed a very different aspect from that which we had experienced for the last two days; the wind gradually subsided, and, with it the sea, and a favorable breeze now springing up, we were enabled to make a good offing. Fortunately, no accident of consequence occurred, although several of our people were severely bruised by falls. Poor fellows! they certainly suffered enough; not a dry stitch, not a dry hammock have they had since we sailed. Happily, however, their misfortunes are soon forgot in a dry shirt and a can of grog.

The most melancholy part of the narrative is still to be told. On coming up to our anchorage, we observed an unusual degree of curiosity and bustle in the fort; crowds of people were congregated on both sides, running to and fro, examining us through spyglasses; in short, an extraordinary commotion was apparent. The meaning of all this was but too soon made known to us by a boat coming alongside, from which we learned that the unfortunate Saldanha had gone to pieces, and every man perished! Our own destruction had likewise been reckoned inevitable, from the time of the discovery of the unhappy fate of our consort, five days beforehand; and hence the astonishment at our unexpected return. From all that could be learned concerning the dreadful catastrophe, I am inclined to believe that the Saldanha had been driven on the rocks about the time our doom appeared so certain in another quarter. Her lights were seen by the signal-tower at nine o'clock of that fearful Wednesday night, December 4th, after which it is supposed she went ashore on the rocks at a small bay called Ballymastaker, almost at the entrance of Lochswilly harbor.

Next morning the beach was strewed with fragments of the wreck, and upward of two hundred of the bodies of the unfortunate sufferers were washed ashore. One man--and one only--out of the three hundred, was ascertained to have come ashore alive, but almost in a state of insensibility. Unhappily, there was no person present to administer to his wants judiciously, and, upon craving something to drink, about half a pint of whiskey was given him by the people, which almost instantly killed him. Poor Packenham's body was recognized amid the others, and like these, stripped quite naked by the inhuman wretches, who flocked to the wreck as to a blessing! It is even suspected that he came on shore alive, but was stripped and left to perish. Nothing could equal the audacity of the plunderers, although a party of the Lanark militia was doing duty around the wreck. But this is an ungracious and revolting subject, which no one of proper feeling would wish to dwell upon. Still less am I inclined to describe the heart-rending scene at Buncrana, where the widows of many of the sufferers are residing. The surgeon's wife, a native of Halifax, has never spoken since the dreadful tidings arrived. Consolation is inadmissible, and no one has yet ventured to offer it.


In a work recently published in London, by Captain Millman, are to be found some of the most thrilling scenes, from life in the tropics, it has ever been our fortune to meet with. The following account of a Carib's revenge on a sea captain, named Jack Diver, on one of the narrow mountain paths of Guadaloupe, is exceedingly graphic and forcible:

While he was making up his mind, a dark figure had stolen unperceived close behind him, with a small basket in his hand of split reeds, out of which came a low buzzing, murmuring sound. He lay down quietly across the path, at the point of the first angle of the elbow of the mountain spar, not many feet from the hind legs of the horse. Jack Diver with a scowling look, turned his horse round with some difficulty. It plunged and reared slightly, but went on. Occupied with retaining his seat, the master of the transport scarcely perceived the figure lying in the path. He could not see who it was, for the face of the man was toward the ground. But the horse saw it at once. The animal, accustomed to mountain roads from its birth, had often stepped over both men and animals which are sometimes forced in the narrowest parts to lie down to let the heavier and stronger pass, in that highly dangerous and disagreeable method, lifted his feet cautiously, one by one, so as not to tread on the prostrate figure. As the horse was above him, the man lifted with one hand the lid of the basket, and a swarm of wasps flew suddenly out, buzzing and humming fiercely, and in a moment they began to settle on the moving object. The horse commenced switching his tail to drive them away, pricking up his ears, and snorting with terror.

The man on the path lay quite still until they had thus moved on a few yards, and then he raised his head a little, and watched them with his keen black eyes. The wasps, driven off for a moment, became only the more irritated, and returned with vigor and wonderful pertinacity to the attack,--beginning to sting the poor animal furiously in all the tender parts. They assailed the wretched master in his turn, darting their venomed barbs into his face and hands, and driving him nearly frantic. The horse plunged furiously, and Jack Diver, losing his stirrups and his presence of mind together, twisted his hands into the horse's mane, to keep his seat, letting the reins fall on his neck. At last, with a rear and a bound into the air, the maddened animal darted off at a gallop; but the faster he went, the closer stuck the persevering wasps. Jack Diver shut his eyes, screaming with fear and pain. Then the Carib chief rose up, and again the hawk-like scream echoed along the valley. The turn is to be made--can the horse recover himself? Yes, maddened as he is, he sees the danger instinctively. His speed slackens--he throws himself on his haunches, with his fore feet on the very brink of the precipice. One more chance! The blind, infatuated man remains on his back. Again the horse feels the stings of his deadly persecutors; again he plunges forward, striving to turn quickly round the corner. Round, and he is in comparative safety. On a sudden, from behind a buttress of projecting rock, there start across the path three dusky forms, flinging their hands wildly in the air. Then was heard that rare and awful sound, the shriek of a horse in the fear of a certain and coming death; when swerving one side, he lost his footing on the slippery shelf, and struggling madly, but unsuccessfully, to recover it, he fell over and over--down--down--a thousand feet down! From the sailor's lips there came no cry.



On the 30th of August, 1813, Fort Mimms, which contained one hundred and fifty men, under the command of Major Beasely, besides a number of women and children, was surprised by a party of Indians. The houses were set on fire, and those who escaped the flames fell victims to the tomahawk. Neither age nor sex was spared; and the most horrible cruelties, of which the imagination can conceive, were perpetrated. Out of the three hundred persons which the fort contained, only seventeen escaped to carry the dreadful intelligence to the neighboring stations.

This sanguinary and unprovoked massacre excited universal horror, and the desire of revenge. The state of Tennessee immediately took active measures for punishing the aggressors. General Jackson was ordered to draft two thousand of the militia and volunteers of his division; and General Coffee was directed to proceed with five hundred mounted men to the frontier of the state. The former, having collected a part of his force, joined General Coffee on the 12th of October, at Ditto's landing, on the Tennessee. They then marched to the Ten Islands, in the same river. A few days afterward, General Coffee was detached with nine hundred men to attack a body of the enemy, posted at Tallushatchee. He arrived early in the morning within a short distance of it, and, dividing his force into two columns, completely surrounded it. The Indians, for a long time, made a desperate resistance, and did all that was possible for men to do who were in their situation. But they were finally overpowered, with the loss of one hundred an eighty-six men.


The freshet at Bangor, Me., in the spring of 1846, is thus described in "Forest Life and Forest Trees:"

The first injury to the city was from the breaking away of a small section of the jam, which came down and pressed against the ice on our banks. By this, twenty houses in one immediate neighborhood, on the west bank of the river alone, were at once inundated, but without loss of life. This occurred in the daytime, and presented a scene of magnificent interest. The effect of this small concussion upon the ice near the city was terrific. The water rose instantly to such a height as to sweep the buildings and lumber from the ends of the wharves, and to throw up the ice in huge sheets and pyramids. This shock was resisted by the great covered bridge on the Penobscot, which is about one thousand feet in length, and this gave time to save much property But meanwhile another auxiliary to the fearful work had been preparing, by the breaking up of the ice in the Kenduskeag river. This river flows through the heart of the city, dividing it into two equal portions. The whole flat, on the margin of the river, is covered with stores and public buildings, and is the place of merchandise for the city. The Kenduskeag runs nearly at right angles with the Penobscot, at the point where they unite. The Penobscot skirts the city on the eastern side, and on the banks of this river are the principal wharves for the deposit of lumber.

I must mention another circumstance to give you a just idea of our situation. There is a narrow spot in the river, about a mile below the city, at High Head, in which is a shoal, and from which the greatest danger of a jam always arises, and it was this that caused the principal inundation.

The next incident occurred at midnight, when the bells were rung to announce the giving way of the ice. It was a fearful sound and scene. The streets were thronged with men, women, and children, who rushed abroad to witness the approach of the icy avalanche. At length it came rushing on with a power that a thousand locomotives in a body could not vie with; but it was vailed from the eye by the darkness of a hazy night, and the ear only could trace its progress by the sounds of crashing buildings, lumber, and whatever it encountered in its pathway, except the glimpses that could be caught of it by the light of hundreds of torches and lanterns that threw their glare upon the misty atmosphere. The jam passed on, and a portion of it pressed through the weakest portion of the great bridge, and thus, joining the ice below the bridge, pressed it down to the narrows at High Head. The destruction, meanwhile, was in progress on the Kenduskeag, which poured down its tributary ice, sweeping mills, bridges, shops, and other buildings, with masses of logs and lumber, to add to the common wreck.

At that moment, the anxiety and suspense were fearful whether the jam would force its way through the narrows, or there stop and pour back a flood of waters upon the city; for it was from the rise of the water consequent upon such a jam that the great destruction was to be apprehended. But the suspense was soon over. A cry was heard from the dense mass of citizens who crowded the streets on the flat, "The river is flowing back!" and so sudden was the revulsion, that it required the utmost speed to escape the rising waters. It seemed but a moment before the entire flat was deluged; and many men did not escape from their stores before the water was up to their waists. Had you witnessed the scene, occurring as it did in the midst of a dark and hazy night, and had you heard the rushing of the waters, and the crash of the ruins, and seen the multitudes retreating in a mass from the returning flood, illumined only by the glare of torches and lanterns, and listened to the shouts and cries that escaped from them to give the alarm to those beyond, you would not be surprised at my being reminded of the host of Pharaoh as they fled and sent up their cry from the Red Sea, as it returned upon them in its strength.

"The closing scene of this dreadful disaster occurred on Sunday evening, beginning at about seven o'clock. The alarm was again rung through the streets that the jam had given way. The citizens again rushed abroad to witness what they knew must be one of the most sublime and awful scenes of nature, and also to learn the full extent of their calamity. Few, however, were able to catch a sight of the breaking up of the jam, which, for magnitude, it is certain, has not occurred on this river for more than one hundred years. The whole river was like a boiling cauldron, with masses of ice upheaved as by a volcano. But soon the darkness shrouded the scene in part. The ear, however, could hear the roaring of the waters and the crash of buildings, bridges, and lumber, and the eye could trace the mammoth ice-jam of four miles long, which passed on majestically, but with lightning rapidity, bearing the contents of both rivers on its bosom, The noble covered bridge of the Penobscot, two bridges of the Kenduskeag, and the two long ranges of saw-mills, besides other mills, houses, shops, logs, and lumber enough to build up a considerable village. The new market floated over the lower bridge across the Kenduskeag, a part of which remains, and, most happily, landed at a point of the wharves, where it sunk, and formed the nucleus of a sort of boom, which stopped the masses of floating lumber in the Kenduskeag, and protected thousands of dollars' worth of lumber on the wharves below."


The occupants of a few log cabins in the vicinity of the Bayou Manlatte, a tributary of the noble Bay of Pensacola, situated in the western part of the then territory of Florida, had been for some weeks annoyed by the mysterious disappearance of the cattle and goats, which constituted almost the only wealth of these rude countrymen; and the belated herdsman was frequently startled by the terrible half human cry of the dreaded panther, and the next morning, some one of the squatters would find himself minus of a number of cloven feet. About this time I happened into the settlement on a hunting excursion, in company with another son of Nimrod, and learning the state of affairs, resolved, if possible, to rid the "clearing" of its pest, and bind new laurels on our brows. The night before our arrival, a heifer had been killed within a few rods of the cabin, and the carcass dragged off toward the swamp, some two miles distant, leaving a broad trail to mark the destroyer's path; this being pointed out to us, Ned and myself resolved to execute our enterprise without delay--this was to "beard the lion in his den." Having carefully charged our rifles and pistols, and seen that our bowies were as keen as razors, we set out on the trail, which soon brought us to the edge of the Bayou Manlatte swamp--which covers a surface of some thousands of acres, being a dense muddy hammock of teti, bay, magnolia, cane, grape vines, &c. A perpetual twilight reigned beneath the dense foliage supported by the rank soil, and our hearts beat a few more pulsations to the minute, as we left the scorching glare of the noon day sun, and plunged into the gloomy fastnesses of the bear and alligator; to these latter gentlemen, whose clumsy forms were sprawling through the mud on every side, we gave no further heed other than to keep without the range of the deadly sweep of their powerful tails, with which they bring their unsuspecting prey within reach of their saw-like jaws; the bears we did not happen to meet, or we should most assuredly have given them some of the balls designed for the panthers.

Well, we followed the trail half a mile into the swamp, when on an elevated spot, we suddenly encountered the half-devoured body of the unfortunate heifer, apparently just deserted by the captors. We cautiously advanced a few paces further over a pavement of bones, "clean scraped and meatless," and entered an open space, when a sight met my eyes which certainly made me wish myself safe at home, or in fact, anywhere else but where I was. About twenty-five feet from us we saw, instead of one, an old she-panther and two cubs nearly grown, while directly over them, on the blasted and sloping trunk of an immense gum-tree, crouched the "old he one of all," lashing his sides fiercely with his tail, and snorting and spitting like an enraged cat, an example which was imitated by the three below. Here was a dilemma, on the particularly sharp horns of which we found ourselves most uncomfortably situated. To retreat would induce an immediate attack, the consequence of an advance would be ditto, so we stood _en tableaux_, for a brief second, our guns cocked and aimed, Ned drawing a bead on the dam, while I did the same on the sire. It seemed madness to fire. We were not long uncertain as to our course, for the old fellow suddenly bounded from the trunk upon me, with a deafening roar. I fired as he sprang, and the report of my piece was re-echoed by that of Ned's. I sprang aside, dropping my rifle and drawing my long and heavy knife; it was well I did so, for the mortally-wounded beast alighted on the very spot I had left. He turned and sprang upon me. I avoided the blow of its powerful paw, and grappling with him I rolled on the turf, winding my right arm tight around his neck, and hugging close to his body to avoid his teeth and claws, while I dealt rapid thrusts with my knife. I was very powerful; but never was in a situation where I felt more sensibly the need of exerting all my muscle. The contest was soon decided--my knife passing through the brute's heart--

"And panting from the dreadful close,
And breathless all, the champion rose."

And it was full time that I should do so, for Ned, having put a ball through the head of the dam, was now manfully battling with her two cubs; the poor fellow was sore pressed, streaming with blood from numberless scratches, and almost in a state of nature, for the sharp claws of the cubs had literally undressed him by piecemeal. His savage assailants also, bore upon their bloody hides numerous tokens of his prowess in wielding his bowie.

Their system of attack seemed to be to spring suddenly upon him, striking with their paws, and as they did so, in most instances, simultaneously, it was impossible for him to defend himself, strong and active as he was; and had no assistance been at hand, they would undoubtedly have gained the victory. It was a brave sight though, to see the tall, strong hunter, meeting their attacks undauntedly, standing with his left arm raised to defend his head and throat, and darting his knife into their tough bodies as he threw them from him, but to meet the next moment their renewed efforts for his destruction.

All this I caught at one glance, as I rushed to his rescue. "Ned!" shouted I, mad and reckless with excitement, "take the one on your left!" And we threw ourselves upon them. I met my antagonist in his onward leap, and making a desperate blow at him, my wrist struck his paw, and the knife flew far from my hand. There was nothing else for me but to seize him by the loose skin of the neck with both hands, and hold on like "grim death," keeping him at arm's length, while his paws beat a tattoo to a double quick time on my breast and body, stripping my garments into ribbons in a most workmanlike manner, and ornamenting my sensitive skin with a variety of lines and characters, done in red--a process which I did not care to prolong, however, beyond a period when I could soonest put a stop to the operation.

As I was debating how to attain so desirable an end, the remembrance of the small rifle pistol, in my belt, and which, till now, in the hurry of the conflict I had forgotten, suddenly flashed upon my mind, and, disengaging one hand, I drew it forth, cocked it with my thumb, and the next moment the panther's brains were spattered in my face.

I turned to look for Ned, and found him trying to free himself from the dead body of the panther, whose teeth were fastened, in their death grip, to the small remnant of his hunting coat which hung around his neck; I separated the strip of cloth with my recovered knife, and we sank panting to the ground, while our hearts went up in thankfulness for deliverance from so imminent danger to life and limb. After resting awhile, we washed the blood--our blood--from our bodies, and decorating them with "what was left," somewhat after the fashion of the Indian who wears only a "breech clout," we took the scalps of the four panthers, and started on our homeward march. Our success was speedily known in the clearing, and in the evening a barbecue was had in oar honor, to furnish which a relation of the unfortunate heifer met with a fate scarcely less terrible. This exploit added not little to our reputation among the hunter folk.


On the 27th, as day dawned, says Mr. Cumming, I left my shooting-hole, and proceeded to inspect the spoor of my wounded rhinoceros. After following it for some distance I came to an abrupt hillock, and fancying that from the summit a good view might be obtained of the surrounding country, I left my followers to seek the spoor, while I ascended. I did not raise my eyes from the ground until I had reached the highest pinnacle of rock. I then looked east, and to my inexpressible gratification, beheld a troup of nine or ten elephants quietly browsing within a quarter of a mile of me. I allowed myself only one glance at them, and then rushed down to warn my followers to be silent. A council of war was hastily held, the result of which was my ordering Isaac to ride hard to camp, with instructions to return as quickly as possible, accompanied by Kleinboy, and to bring me my dogs, the large Dutch rifle, and a fresh horse. I once more ascended the hillock to feast my eyes upon the enchanting sight before me, and, drawing out my spy-glass, narrowly watched the motions of the elephants. The herd consisted entirely of females, several of which were followed by small calves.

Presently, on reconnoitering the surrounding country, I discovered a second herd, consisting of five bull elephants, which were quietly feeding about a mile to the northward. The cows were feeding toward a rocky ridge that stretched away from the base of the hillock on which I stood. Burning with impatience to commence the attack, I resolved to try the stalking system with these, and to hunt the troop of bulls with dogs and horses. Having thus decided, I directed the guides to watch the elephants from the summit of the hillock, and with a beating heart I approached them. The ground and wind favoring me, I soon gained the rocky ridge toward which they were feeding. They were now within one hundred yards, and I resolved to enjoy the pleasure of watching their movements for a little before I fired. They continued to feed slowly toward me, breaking the branches from the trees with their trunks, and eating the leaves and tender shoots. I soon selected the finest in the herd, and kept my eye on her in particular. At length two of the troup had walked slowly past at about sixty yards, and the one which I had selected was feeding with two others, on a thorny tree before me.

My hand was now as steady as the rock on which it rested; so, taking a deliberate aim, I let fly at her head, a little behind the eye. She got it hard and sharp, just where I aimed, but it did not seem to affect her much. Uttering a loud cry, she wheeled about, when I gave her the second ball close behind the shoulder. All the elephants uttered a strange rumbling noise, and made off in a line to the northward at a brisk ambling pace, their huge, fan-like ears flapping in the ratio of their speed. I did not wait to load, but ran back to the hillock to obtain a view. On gaining its summit, the guides pointed out the elephants: they were standing in a grove of shady trees, but the wounded one was some distance behind with another elephant, doubtless its particular friend, who was endeavoring to assist it. These elephants had probably never before heard the report of a gun, and, having neither seen nor smelt me, they were unaware of the presence of man, and did not seem inclined to go any further. Presently my men hove in sight, bringing the dogs; and when these came up, I waited some time before commencing the attack, that the dogs and horses might recover their wind. We then rode slowly toward the elephants, and had advanced within two hundred yards of them when, the ground being open, they observed us and made off in an easterly direction; but the wounded one immediately dropped astern, and the next moment was surrounded by the dogs, which, barking angrily, seemed to engross all her attention.

Having placed myself between her and the retreating troop, I dismounted to fire, within forty yards of her, in open ground. Colesberg was extremely afraid of the elephants, and gave me much trouble, jerking my arm when I tried to fire. At length I let fly; but, on endeavoring to regain my saddle, Colesberg declined to allow me to mount; and when I tried to lead him, and run for it, he only backed toward the wounded elephant. At this moment I heard another elephant close behind; and looking about, I beheld the "friend," with uplifted trunk, charging down upon me at top speed, shrilly trumpeting, and following an old black pointer named Schwart, that was perfectly deaf and trotted along before the enraged elephant quite unaware of what was behind him. I felt certain that she would have either me or my horse. I, however, determined not to relinquish my steed, but to hold on by the bridle. My men, who, of course, kept at a safe distance, stood aghast with their mouths open, and for a few seconds my position was certainly not an enviable one. Fortunately, however, the dogs took off the attention of the elephants; and just as they were upon me, I managed to spring into the saddle, where I was safe. As I turned my back to mount, the elephants were so very near that I really expected to feel one of their trunks lay hold of me. I rode up to Kleinboy for my double-barreled two-grooved rifle: he and Isaac were pale and almost speechless with fright. Returning to the charge, I was soon once more alongside and, firing from the saddle, I sent another brace of bullets into the wounded elephant. Colesberg was extremely unsteady, and destroyed the correctness of my aim.


The friend now seemed resolved to do some mischief, and charged me furiously, pursuing me to a distance of several hundred yards. I therefore deemed it proper to give her a gentle hint to act less officiously, and, accordingly, having loaded, I approached within thirty yards, and give it her sharp, right and left, behind the shoulder, upon which she at once made off with drooping trunk, evidently with a mortal wound. I never recur to this day's elephant shooting without regretting my folly in contenting myself with securing only one elephant. The first was now dying, and could not leave the ground, and the second was also mortally wounded, and I had only to follow and finish her; but I foolishly allowed her to escape, while I amused myself with the first, which kept walking backward, and standing by every tree she passed. Two more shots finished her: on receiving them, she tossed her trunk up and down two or three times, and, falling on her broadside against a thorny tree, which yielded like grass before her enormous weight, she uttered a deep, hoarse cry, and expired. This was a very handsome old cow elephant, and was decidedly the best in the troop. She was in excellent condition, and carried a pair of long and perfect tusks. I was in high spirits at my success, and felt so perfectly satisfied with having killed one, that, although it was still early in the day, and my horses were fresh, I allowed the troop of five bulls to remain unmolested, foolishly trusting to fall in with them next day.


With my companion, one beautiful afternoon, rambling over the rocky cliffs at the back of the island, (New Providence, W.I.,) we came to a spot where the stillness and the clear transparency of the water invited us to bathe. It was not deep. As we stood above, on the promontory, we could see the bottom in every part. Under the headland, which formed the opposite side of the cove, there was a cavern, to which, as the shore was steep, there was no access but by swimming, and we resolved to explore it. We soon reached its mouth, and were enchanted with its romantic grandeur and wild beauty. It extended, we found, a long way back, and had several natural baths, into all of which we successively threw ourselves; each, as they receded further from the mouth of the cavern, being colder than the last. The tide, it was evident, had free ingress, and renewed the water every twelve hours. Here we thoughtlessly amused ourselves for some time.

At length the declining sun warned us that it was time to take our departure from the cave, when, at no great distance from us, we saw the back or dorsal fin of a monstrous shark above the surface of the water, and his whole length visible beneath it. We looked at him and at each other in dismay, hoping that he would soon take his departure, and go in search of other prey; but the rogue swam to and fro, just like a frigate blockading an enemy's port.

The sentinel paraded before us, about ten or fifteen yards in front of the cave, tack and tack, waiting only to serve one, if not both of us, as we should have served a shrimp or an oyster. We had no intention, however, in this, as in other instances, of "throwing ourselves on the mercy of the court." In vain did we look for relief from other quarters; the promontory above us was inaccessible; the tide was rising, and the sun touching the clear, blue edge of the horizon.

I, being the leader, pretended to a little knowledge in ichthyology, and told my companion that fish could hear as well as see, and that therefore the less we said, the better; and the sooner we retreated out of his sight, the sooner he would take himself off. This was our only chance, and that a poor one for the flow of the water would soon have enabled him to enter the cave and help himself, as he seemed perfectly acquainted with the _locale_, and knew that we had no mode of retreat, but by the way we came. We drew back out of sight, and I don't know when I ever passed a more unpleasant quarter of an hour. A suit in chancery, or even a spring lounge at Newgate, would have been almost a luxury to what I felt when the shades of night began to darken the mouth of our cave, and this infernal monster continued to parade, like a water-bailiff, before its door. At last, not seeing the shark's fin above the water, I made a sign to Charles, that cost what it might, we must swim for it, for we had notice to quit by the tide; and if we did not depart, should soon have an execution in the house. We had been careful not to utter a word, and, silently pressing each other by the hand, we slipped into the water; and, recommending ourselves to Providence, struck out manfully. I must own I never felt more assured of destruction, not even when I once swam through the blood of a poor sailor--while the sharks were eating him--for the sharks then had something to occupy them; but this one had nothing else to do but to look after us--we had the benefit of his undivided attention.

My sensations were indescribably horrible. I may occasionally write or talk of the circumstance with levity, but whenever I recall it to mind, I tremble at the bare recollection of the dreadful fate that seemed inevitable. My companion was not so expert a swimmer as I was, so that I distanced him many feet, when I heard him utter a faint cry. I turned round, convinced that the shark had seized him, but it was not so; my having left him so far behind had increased his terror, and induced him to draw my attention. I returned to him, held him up, and encouraged him. Without this he would certainly have sunk; he revived with my help, and we reached the sandy beach in safety, having eluded our enemy, who, when he neither saw nor heard us, had, as I concluded he would, quitted the spot.

Once more on terra firma, we lay gasping for some minutes before we spoke. What my companions thoughts were, I do not know; mine were replete with gratitude to God, and renewed vows of amendment; and I have every reason to think, that although Charles had not so much room for reform as myself, that his feelings were perfectly in unison with my own.

We never repeated this amusement, though we frequently talked of our escape and laughed at our terrors, yet, on these occasions, our conversation always took a serious turn; and, upon the whole, I am convinced that this adventure did us both a vast deal of good.



A Gentleman in the civil service of the British East India Company, relates the following:

"When a tiger springs on an elephant, the latter is generally able to shake him off under his feet, and then woe be to him. The elephant either kneels on him and crushes him at once, or gives him a kick which breaks half his ribs, and sends him flying perhaps twenty paces. The elephants, however, are often dreadfully torn; and a large old tiger clings too fast to be thus dealt with. In this case it often happens that the elephant himself falls, from pain, or from the hope of rolling on his enemy; and the people on his back are in very considerable danger both from friends and foes. The scratch of a tiger is sometimes venomous, as that of a cat is said to be. But this does not often happen; and, in general, persons wounded by his teeth or claws, if not killed outright, recover easily enough.

"I was at Jaffna, at the northern extremity of the Island of Ceylon, in the beginning of the year 1819: when, one morning, my servant called me an hour or two before my usual time, with, 'Master, master! people sent for master's dogs--tiger in the town!' Now, my dogs chanced to be some very degenerate specimens of a fine species, called the _Poligar_ dog, which I should designate as a sort of wiry-haired grayhound, without scent. I kept them to hunt jackals; but tigers are very different things: by the way, there are no real tigers in Ceylon; but leopards and panthers are always called so, and by ourselves as well as by the natives. This turned out to be a panther. My gun chanced not to be put together; and while my servant was doing it, the collector, and two medical men, who had recently arrived, came to my door, the former armed with a fowling-piece, and the latter with remarkably blunt hog-spears. They insisted upon setting off without waiting for my gun, a proceeding not much to my taste. The tiger (I must continue to call him so) had taken refuge in a hut, the roof of which, as those of Ceylon huts in general, spread to the ground like an umbrella; the only aperture into it was a small door, about four feet high. The collector wanted to get the tiger out at once. I begged to wait for my gun; but no--the fowling-piece (loaded with ball, of course) and the two hog-spears were quite enough. I got a hedge-stake, and awaited my fate, from very shame. At this moment, to my great delight, there arrived from the fort an English officer, two artillery-men, and a Malay captain; and a pretty figure we should have cut without them, as the event will show. I was now quite ready to attack, and my gun came a minute afterward. The whole scene which follows took place within an enclosure, about twenty feet square, formed, on three sides, by a strong fence of palmyra leaves, and on the fourth by the hut. At the door of this the two artillery-men planted themselves; and the Malay captain got on the top, to frighten the tiger out, by worrying it--an easy operation, as the huts there are covered with cocoa-nut leaves. One of the artillery-men wanted to go in to the tiger, but we would not suffer it. At last the beast sprang; this man received him on his bayonet, which he thrust apparently down his throat, firing his piece at the same moment. The bayonet broke off short, leaving less than three inches on the musket; the rest remained in the animal, but was invisible to us: the shot probably went through his cheek, for it certainly did not seriously injure him, as he instantly rose upon his legs, with a loud roar, and placed his paws upon the soldier's breast. At this moment, the animal appeared to me to about reach the center of the man's face; but I had scarcely time to observe this, when the tiger, stooping his head, seized the soldier's arm in his mouth, turned him half round staggering, threw him over on his back, and fell upon him. Our dread now was, that if we fired upon the tiger, we might kill the man: for a moment there was a pause, when his comrade attacked the beast exactly in the same manner as the gallant fellow himself had done. He struck his bayonet into his head; the tiger rose at him--he fired; and this time the ball took effect, and in the head. The animal staggered backward, and we all poured in our fire. He still kicked and writhed; when the gentlemen with the hog-spears advanced, and fixed him, while the natives finished him, by beating him on the head with hedge-stakes. The brave artillery-man was, after all, but slightly hurt: he claimed the skin, which was very cheerfully given to him. There was, however, a cry among the natives that the head should be cut off: it was; and in so doing, the knife came directly across the bayonet. The animal measured scarcely less than four feet from the root of the tail to the muzzle There was no tradition of a tiger having been in Jaffna before; indeed, this one must have either come a distance of almost twenty miles, or have swam across an arm of the sea nearly two in breadth; for Jaffna stands on a peninsula, on which there is no jungle of any magnitude."


There is an animal in the deep recesses of the forests of Maine, evidently belonging to the feline race, which, on account of its ferocity, is significantly called "Indian Devil"--in the Indian language, "the Lunk Soos;" a terror to the Indians, and the only animal in New England of which they stand in dread. You may speak of the moose, the bear, and the wolf even, and the red man is ready for the chase and the encounter. But name the object of his dread, and he will significantly shake his head, while he exclaims, "He all one debil!"

An individual by the name of Smith met with the following adventure in an encounter with one of these animals on the Arromucto, while on his way to join a crew engaged in timber-making in the woods.

He had nearly reached the place of encampment, when he came suddenly upon one of these ferocious animals. There was no chance for retreat, neither had he time for reflection on the best method of defence or escape. As he had no arms or other weapons of defence, his first impulse, in this truly fearful position, unfortunately, perhaps, was to spring into a small tree near by; but he had scarcely ascended his length when the desperate creature, probably rendered still more fierce by the promptings of hunger, sprang upon and seized him by the heel. Smith, however, after having his foot badly bitten, disengaged it from the shoe, which was firmly clinched in the creature's teeth, and let him drop. The moment he was disengaged, Smith sprang for a more secure position, and the animal at the same time leaped to another large tree, about ten feet distant, up which he ascended to an elevation equal to that of his victim, from which he threw himself upon him, firmly fixing his teeth in the calf of his leg. Hanging suspended thus until the flesh, insufficient to sustain the weight, gave way, he dropped again to the ground, carrying a portion of flesh in his mouth. Having greedily devoured this morsel, he bounded again up the opposite tree, and from thence upon Smith, in this manner renewing his attacks, and tearing away the flesh in mouthfuls from his legs. During this agonizing operation, Smith contrived to cut a limb from the tree, to which he managed to bind his jack-knife, with which he could now assail his enemy at every leap. He succeeded thus in wounding him so badly that at length his attacks were discontinued, and he finally disappeared in the dense forest. During the encounter, Smith had exerted his voice to the utmost to alarm the crew, who, he hoped, might be within hail. He was heard, and in a short time several of the crew reached the place, but not in time to save him from the dreadful encounter. The sight was truly appalling. His garments were not only rent from him, but the flesh literally torn from his legs, exposing even the bone and sinews. It was with the greatest difficulty he made the descent of the tree. Exhausted through loss of blood, and overcome by fright and exertion, he sunk upon the ground and immediately fainted; but the application of snow restored him to consciousness. Preparing a litter from poles and boughs, they conveyed him to the camp, washed and dressed his wounds, as well as circumstances would allow, and, as soon as possible, removed him to the settlement, where medical aid was secured. After a protracted period of confinement, he gradually recovered from his wounds, though still carrying terrible scars, and sustaining irreparable injury. Such desperate encounters are, however of rare occurrence, though collisions less sanguinary are not infrequent.


A sanguinary encounter with bears took place in the vicinity of Tara-height, on the Madawaska river, a few years since:

"A trap had been set by one of the men, named Jacob Harrison, who, being out in search of a yoke of oxen on the evening in question, saw a young bear fast in the trap, and three others close at hand in a very angry mood, a fact which rendered it necessary for him to make tracks immediately. On arriving at the farm, he gave the alarm, and, seizing an old dragoon sabre, he was followed to the scene of action by Mr. James Burke, armed with a gun, and the other man with an axe.

"They proceeded direct to the trap, supplied with a rope, intending to take the young bear alive. It being a short time after dark, objects could not be distinctly seen; but, on approaching close to the scene of action, a crashing among the leaves and dry branches, with sundry other indications, warned them of the proximity of the old animals. When within a few steps of the spot, a dark mass was seen on the ground--a growl was heard--and the confined beast made a furious leap on Jacob, who was in advance, catching him by the legs. The infuriated animal inflicted a severe wound on his knee, upon which he drew his sword and defended himself with great coolness.

"Upon receiving several wounds from the sabre, the cub commenced to growl and cry in a frightful and peculiar manner, when the old she-bear, attracted to the spot, rushed on the adventurous Harrison, and attacked him from behind with great ferocity. Jacob turned upon the new foe, and wielded his trusty weapon with such energy and success, that in a short time he deprived her of one of her fore paws by a lucky stroke, and completely disabled her, eventually, by a desperate cut across the neck, which divided the tendons and severed the spinal vertebrae. Having completed his conquest, he had ample time to dispatch the imprisoned cub at leisure."

"During the time this stirring and dangerous scene, we have related, was enacting, war was going on in equally bloody and vigorous style at a short distance. Mr. Burke, having discharged his gun at the other old bear, only slightly wounded him; the enraged Bruin sprang at him with a furious howl. He was met with a blow from the butt-end of the fowling-piece. At the first stroke, the stock flew in pieces, and the next the heavy barrel was hurled a distance of twenty feet among the underwood by a side blow from the dexterous paw of the bear. Mr. Burke then retreated a few feet, and placed his back against a large hemlock, followed the while closely by the bear, but, being acquainted with the nature of the animal and his mode of attack, he drew a large hunting knife from his belt, and, placing his arms by his side, coolly awaited the onset.

"The maddened brute approached, growling and gnashing his teeth, and, with a savage spring, encircled the body of the hunter and the tree in his iron gripe. The next moment, the flashing blade of the _couteau chasse_ tore his abdomen, and his smoking entrails rolled upon the ground. At this exciting crisis of the struggle, the other man, accompanied by the dog, came up in time to witness the triumphal close of the conflict.

"Two old bears and a cub were the fruit of this dangerous adventure--all extremely fat--the largest of which, it is computed, would weigh upward of two hundred and fifty pounds. We have seldom heard of a more dangerous encounter with bears, and we are happy to say that Mr. Burke received no injury; Mr. Jacob Harrison, although torn severely, and having three ribs broken, recovered under the care of an Indian doctor of the Algonquin tribe."


On Tuesday, February 22, 1831, a violent detonation was suddenly heard in the coal mine of Bois-Monzil, belonging to M. Robinot. The waters from the old works rushed impetuously along the new galleries. "The waters, the waters!" such was the cry that resounded from the affrighted workmen throughout the mine. Only ten miners out of twenty-six were able to reach the entrance. One of them brought off in his arms, a boy eleven years old, whom he thus saved from sudden death; another impelled by the air and the water, to a considerable distance, could scarcely credit his escape from such imminent danger; a third rushed forward with his sack full of coals on his shoulders, which, in his fright, he had never thought of throwing down.

The disastrous news, that sixteen workmen had perished in the mine of M. Robinot, was soon circulated in the town of St. Etienne. It was regarded as one of those fatal and deplorable events unfortunately, too common in that neighborhood, and on the ensuing Thursday it was no longer talked of. Politics, and the state of parties in Paris, exclusively occupied the public attention.

The engineers of the mines, however, and some of their pupils, who, on the first alarm, had hastened to the spot, still remained there, continuing their indefatigable endeavors to discover the miners who were missing. Nothing that mechanical science, manual labor, and perseverance, prompted by humanity, could perform, was left undone.

Thirty hours had already elapsed since the fatal accident, when two workmen announced the discovery of a jacket and some provisions belonging to the miners. The engineers immediately essayed to penetrate into the galleries where these objects had been found, which they accomplished with much difficulty, by crawling on their hands and feet. In vain they repeatedly called aloud; no voice, save the echo of their own, answered from those narrow and gloomy vaults. It then occurred to them to strike with their pickaxes against the roof of the mine. Still the same uncheering silence! Listen! yes! the sounds are answered by similar blows! Every heart beats, every pulse quickens, every breath is contracted; yet, perhaps, it is but an illusion of their wishes--or, perhaps, some deceitful echo. They again strike the vaulted roof. There is no longer any doubt. The same number of strokes is returned. No words can paint the varied feelings that pervaded every heart. It was (to use the expression of a person present) a veritable delirium of joy, of fear, and of hope.

Without losing an instant, the engineers ordered a hole to be bored in the direction of the galleries, where the miners were presumed to be; at the same time, they directed, on another point, the formation of an inclined well, for the purpose of communicating with them.

Two of the engineer's pupils were now dispatched to the mayor of St. Etienne, to procure a couple of fire pumps, which they conducted back to the mine, accompanied by two firemen. In the ardor of youthful humanity, these young men imagined that the deliverance of the miners was but the affair of a few hours; and, wishing to prepare an "agreeable surprise" for the friends of the supposed victims, they gave strict injunctions at the mayoralty to keep the object of their expedition a profound secret.

Notwithstanding the untiring efforts made to place these pumps in the mine, it was found impossible. Either they were upon a plane too much inclined to admit of their playing with facility, or the water was too muddy to be received up the pipes; they were therefore abandoned. In the meantime, the attempts made to reach the miners by sounding or by the inclined well, seemed to present insurmountable difficulties. The distance to them was unknown; the sound of their blows on the roof, far from offering a certain criterion, or, at least, a probable one, seemed each time to excite fresh doubts; in short, the rock which it was necessary to pierce, was equally hard and thick, and the gunpowder unceasingly used to perforate it, made but a hopeless progress. The consequent anxiety that reigned in the mine may be easily conceived. Each of the party, in his turn, offered his suggestions, sometimes of hope, sometimes of apprehension; and the whole felt oppressed by that vague suspense, which is, perhaps, more painful to support than the direst certainty. The strokes of the unfortunate miners continued to reply to theirs, which added to their agitation, from the fear of not being able to afford them effectual help. They almost thought that in such a painful moment their situation was more distressing than those they sought to save, as the latter were, at any rate, sustained by hope.

While most of the party were thus perplexed by a crowd of disquieting ideas, produced by the distressing nature of the event itself, and by their protracted stay in a mine where the few solitary lamps scarcely rendered "darkness visible," the workmen continued their labors with redoubled ardor; some of them were hewing to pieces blocks of the rock, which fell slowly and with much difficulty; others were actively employed in boring the hole before named, while some of the engineers' apprentices sought to discover new galleries, either by creeping on "all fours," or by penetrating through perilous and narrow crevices and clefts of the rock.

In the midst of their corporeal and mental labors, their attention was suddenly excited from another painful source. The wives of the hapless miners had heard that all hope was not extinct. They hastened to the spot; with heart-rending cries and through tears alternately of despair and hope, they exclaimed, "Are they _all_ there?" "Where is the father of my children? Is _he_ among them, or has he been swallowed up by the waters?"

At the bottom of the mine, close to the water-reservoir, a consultation was held on the plan to be pursued. Engineers, pupils, workmen, all agreed that the only prospect of success consisted in exhausting the water, which was already sensibly diminished, by the working of the steam-pump; the other pumps produced little or no effect, notwithstanding the vigorous efforts employed to render them serviceable. It was then proposed remedying the failure of these pumps by _une chaine a bras_, viz, by forming a line, and passing buckets from one to the other; this method was adopted, and several of the pupils proceeded with all speed to St. Etienne. It was midnight. The _generale_ was beat in two quarters of the town only. The Hotel de Ville was assigned as the place of rendezvous. On the first alarm, a great number of persons hurried to the town-hall, imagining a fire had broken out, but, on ascertaining the real cause, several of them returned home, apparently unmoved. Yet these same persons, whose supposed apathy had excited both surprise and indignation, quickly reappeared on the scene, dressed in the uniform of the National Guard. So powerful is the magic influence of organized masses, marching under the orders of a chief, and stimulated by _l'esprit de corps_.

It was truly admirable to see with what address and rapidity the three or four hundred men, who had hastened to Bois-Monzil, passed and repassed the buckets, by forming a chain to the bottom of the mine. But their generous efforts became too fatiguing to last long. Imagine a subterranean vault, badly lighted, where they were obliged to maintain themselves in a rapid descent in a stooping posture, to avoid striking their heads against the roof of the vault, and, most of the time, up to the middle in the water, which was dripping from every side; some idea may then be formed of their painful situation. They were relieved from this laborious duty by the _Garde Nationale_ of St. Etienne, whose zeal and enthusiasm exceeded all praise. But a more precious reinforcement was at hand; the workmen from the adjacent mines now arrived in great numbers. From their skill and experience every thing might be expected; if they failed there was no further hope.

The _chaine a bras_ was again renewed by companies of the National Guard, relieved every two hours, who, at respective distances, held the lights, and under whose orders they acted. It was a cheering spectacle to behold citizens of all ranks engaged in one of the noblest offices of humanity, under the direction of poor colliers.

The immense advantages of the organization of the National Guard, were never more strikingly exemplified than on this occasion. Without them, there would have been no means or possibility of uniting together an entire population; of leading the people from a distance of more than three miles, night and day, so as to insure a regular and continued service; all would have been trouble and confusion. With them, on the contrary, every thing was ready, and in motion, at the voice of a single chief; and the whole was conducted with such precision and regularity as had never on similar occasions, been witnessed before.

The road from St. Etienne to Bois-Monzil, exhibited a scene of the most animated kind. In the midst of the motley and moving multitude, the National Guards were seen hurrying to and fro; chasseurs, grenadiers, cavalry and artillery-men, all clothed in their rich new costume, as on a field day. Some of the crowd were singing _a la Parisienne_, others were lamenting, praying, hoping, despairing, and, by "fits and starts," abandoning themselves to those opposite extravagances of sentiment so peculiarly characteristic of a French population. When night drew her sable curtains around, the picturesque of the scene was still more heightened. Fresh bands of miners, conducted by their respective chiefs, coming in from every side; their sooty visages lighted up by glaring torches; National Guards arriving from different parts of the country, to join their comrades of St. Etienne; farmers and peasants, on horseback and afoot, hastening to offer their humane aid; sentinels posted--muskets piled--watch-fires blazing, and, in short, the _tout ensemble_ rendered the approaches of Bois-Monzil like a bivouac on the eve of an expected battle; happily, however, the object of these brave men was to preserve life and not to destroy it.

On Saturday, the _chaine a bras_ was discontinued, as the engineers had brought the pumps effectually to work. Suddenly a cry of joy was echoed from mouth to mouth, "They are saved! they are saved! six of them are freed from their subterraneous prison!" shouted a person at the entrance of the mine. The rumor was instantly repeated along the crowd, and a horseman set off at full speed for St. Etienne, with the gratifying news; another followed, and confirmed the report of his predecessor. The whole town was in motion, and all classes seemed to partake of the general joy, with a feeling as if each had been individually interested. In the exuberance of their delight they were already deliberating on the subject of a _fete_, to celebrate the happy event, when a third horsemen arrived. The multitude thronged round him, expecting a more ample confirmation of the welcome tidings. But their joy was soon turned to sorrow, when they were informed that nothing had yet been discovered, save the dead bodies of two unfortunate men, who, together had left eleven children to lament their untimely fate.

On Sunday, the workmen continued their labor with equal zeal and uncertainty as before. A sort of inquietude and hopelessness, however, occasionally pervaded their minds, which may be easily accounted for, from the hitherto fruitless result of their fatiguing researches. Discussions now took place on what was to be done; differences of opinion arose on the various plans proposed, and, in the meantime, the sounds of the hapless victims from the recesses of the rocky cavern continued to be distinctly audible. Every moment the embarrassment and difficulties of the workmen increased. The flinty rock seemed to grow more impenetrable; their tools either broke, or became so fixed in the stone, that it was frequently impossible to regain them. The water filtered from all parts, through the narrow gallery they were perforating, and they even began to apprehend another irruption.

Such was the state of things on Monday morning, when, at four o'clock, an astounding noise was heard, which re-echoed throughout the Whole extent of the mine. A general panic seized on every one; it was thought that the waters had forced a new issue. A rapid and confused flight took place; but, luckily, their fears were soon allayed on perceiving that it was only an immense mass of rock, detached from the mine, which had fallen into a draining-well. This false alarm, however, operated in a discouraging manner, on the minds of the workmen; and it required some management to bring them back to their respective stations, and to revive that ardor and constancy, which they had hitherto so nobly displayed.

They had scarcely renewed their endeavors to bore through the rock, when suddenly one of them felt the instrument drawn from his hands, by the poor imprisoned miners. It was, indeed, to them, the instrument of deliverance from their cruel situation. Singular to relate, their first request was neither for food nor drink, but for _light_, as if they were more eager to make use of their eyes, than to satisfy the pressing wants of appetite! It was now ascertained that eight of the sufferers still survived; and this time an authentic account of the happy discovery was dispatched to St. Etienne, where it excited the most enthusiastic demonstrations of sympathy and gladness. But there is no pleasure unmixed with alloy; no general happiness unaccompanied by particular exceptions. Among the workmen, was the father of one of the men who had disappeared in the mine. His paternal feelings seemed to have endowed him with superhuman strength. Night and day he never quitted his work but for a few minutes to return to it with redoubled ardor; one sole, absorbing thought occupied his whole soul; the idea that his son, his _only_ son, was with those who were heard from within. In vain he was solicited to retire; in vain they strove to force him from labors too fatiguing for his age. "My son is among them," said he, "I hear him; nothing shall prevent my hastening his release;" and, from time to time, he called on his son, in accents that tore the hearts of the bystanders. It was from his hand that the instrument had been drawn. His first question was "my child?" Like Apelles, let me throw a vail over a father's grief. His Antoine was no more, he had been drowned.

For four days several medical men were constantly on the spot, to contribute all the succors that humanity, skill, and science could afford. It was they who introduced through the hole, broth and soup, by means of long, tin tubes, which had been carefully prepared beforehand. The poor captives distributed it with the most scrupulous attention, first to the oldest and weakest of their companions; for, notwithstanding their dreadful situation, the spirit of concord and charity had never ceased for a single moment to preside among them. The man who was appointed by the others to communicate with, and answer the questions of their deliverers, displayed, in all his replies, a gayety quite in keeping with the French character. On being asked what day he thought it was, and on being informed that it was Monday, instead of Sunday, as he had supposed, "Ah!" said he, "I ought to have known that, as we yesterday indulged ourselves freely in drinking--water." Strange that a man should have the heart to joke, who had been thus "cabin'd, cribb'd, confin'd," during five days, destitute of food, deprived of air, agitated by suspense, and in jeopardy of perishing by the most horrible of all deaths!

There still remained full sixteen feet of solid rock between the two anxious parties; but the workmen's labors were now, if possible, redoubled by the certainty of complete success. At intervals, light nourishment in regulated quantities, continued to be passed to the miners; this, however they soon rejected, expressing but one desire, that their friends would make haste. Their strength began to fail them; their respiration became more and more difficult; their utterance grew feebler and fainter; and toward six o'clock in the evening, the last words that could be distinguished, were--"Brothers make haste!"

The general anxiety was now wound up to the highest pitch; it was, perhaps, the most trying crisis yet experienced since the commencement of their benevolent labors; at length the moment of deliverance was, all at once, announced, and at ten o'clock it was accomplished. One by one, they appeared, like specters, gliding along the gallery which had just been completed; their weak and agitated forms supported by the engineers, on whom they cast their feeble eyes, filled with astonishment, yet beaming with gratitude. Accompanied by the doctors, they all with one single exception, ascended to the entrance of the mine, without aid; such was their eagerness to inhale the pure air of liberty. From the mouth of the mine to the temporary residence allotted them, the whole way was illuminated. The engineers, pupils, and the workmen, with the National Guard under arms, were drawn up in two lines to form a passage; and thus, in the midst of a religious silence, did these poor fellows traverse an attentive and sympathizing crowd, who, as they passed along, inclined their heads, as a sort of respect and honor to their sufferings.

Such are the affecting particulars of an event, during the whole of which, every kind of business was suspended at St. Etienne; an event which exhibited the entire population of a large town, forming, as it were, but one heart, entertaining but one thought, imbued with one feeling, for the god-like purpose of saving the lives of eight poor, obscure individuals. Christians, men of all countries, whenever and wherever suffering humanity claims your aid--"Go ye and do likewise!"



A few years since the ship Ariadne, freighted principally with live cattle, started on a voyage from Quebec, bound to Halifax. A gale came on, which continued to increase in fury, until it became a perfect hurricane. The ship was dismasted, and when the mainmast fell, three poor fellows were crushed to death. A little before sunset, on the second day of the gale, the appalling cry of "Breakers ahead!" was raised. All eyes were instinctively turned in one direction; and, about a mile off, the sea was as a boiling caldron. Toward the breakers the hull was now drifting, unmanageable, every moment threatened with destruction. For about half an hour, there was intense anxiety, and an agony of suspense on board. At length she entered the breakers. A large wave raised her, and she struck heavily on the rocks as the waves receded; it was evident, from constant striking upon the bottom, that the vessel must soon go to pieces; and the sea made a clean break over her, about half of the length from the stern. The officers and crew were huddled together upon the deck forward, intent upon devising means of escape; at last the captain thought of a plan, which, though novel, proved successful. He fastened ropes to the horns of several bullocks, and drove them into the sea, their strong, instinctive love of life impelled them forward, and several of them reached the shore. The ropes were fastened by some men, who had assembled for the relief of those on the vessel, and after much exertion and danger all on board were rescued from their perilous situation, and landed in safety.


The following thrilling account of the destruction of the whale ship Ann Alexander, Captain John S. Deblois, of New Bedford, by a large sperm whale, is from the lips of the captain himself. A similar circumstance has never been known to occur but once in the whole history of whale-fishing, and that was the destruction of the ship Essex, some twenty or twenty-five years ago, and which many of our readers fully remember. We proceed to the narrative as furnished by Captain Deblois, and which is fully authenticated by nine of the crew, in a protest under the seal of the United States Consul, Alexander Ruden, Jr., at Paita.

The ship Ann Alexander, Captain J.S. Deblois, sailed from New Bedford, Mass., June 1st, 1850, for a cruise in the South Pacific for sperm whale. Having taken about five hundred barrels of oil in the Atlantic, the ship proceeded on her voyage to the Pacific. Nothing of unusual interest occurred until when passing Cape Horn, one of the men, named Jackson Walker, of Newport, N.H., was lost overboard in a storm. Reaching the Pacific, she came up the coast and stopped at Valdivia, on the coast of Chili, for fresh provisions, and the 31st of May last, she called at Paita for the purpose of shipping a man. The vessel proceeded on her return voyage to the South Pacific.

On the 20th of August last she reached what is well known to all whalers, as the "Off-shore ground," in latitude five degrees fifty minutes south, longitude one hundred and twenty degrees west. In the morning of that day, at about nine o'clock, whales were discovered in the neighborhood, and about noon, the same day, they succeeded in making fast to one. Two boats had gone after the whales--the larboard and the starboard, the former commanded by the first mate, the latter by Captain Deblois. The whale which they had struck, was harpooned by the larboard boat. After running some time, the whale turned upon the boat, and rushing at it with tremendous violence lifted open its enormous jaws, and taking the boat in, actually crushed it into fragments as small as a common chair! Captain Deblois immediately struck for the scene of the disaster with the starboard boat, and succeeded, against all expectation, in rescuing the whole of the crew of the boat--nine in number!

There were now eighteen men in the starboard boat, consisting of the captain, the first mate, and the crews of both boats. The frightful disaster had been witnessed from the ship, and the waste boat was called into readiness, and sent to their relief. The distance from the ship was about six miles. As soon as the waste boat arrived, the crews were divided, and it was determined to pursue the same whale, and make another attack upon him. Accordingly they separated, and proceeded at some distance from each other, as is usual on such occasions, after the whale. In a short time, they came up to him, and prepared to give him battle. The waste boat, commanded by the first mate, was in advance. As soon as the whale perceived the demonstration being made upon him, he turned his course, suddenly, and making a tremendous dash at this boat, seized it with his wide-spread jaws, and crushed it to atoms, allowing the men barely time to escape his vengeance, by throwing themselves into the ocean.

Captain Deblois, again seeing the perilous condition of his men, at the risk of meeting the same fate, directed his boat to hasten to their rescue, and in a short time succeeded in saving them all from a death little less horrible than that from which they had twice as narrowly escaped. He then ordered the boat to put for the ship as speedily as possible; and no sooner had the order been given, than they discovered the monster of the deep making toward them with his jaws widely extended. Fortunately, the monster came up and passed them at a short distance. The boat then made her way to the ship and they all got on board in safety.

After reaching the ship a boat was dispatched for the oars of the demolished boats, and it was determined to pursue the whale with the ship. As soon as the boat returned with the oars, sail was set, and the ship proceeded after the whale. In a short time she overtook him, and a lance was thrown into his head. The ship passed on by him, and immediately after they discovered that the whale was making for the ship. As he came up near her, they hauled on the wind, and suffered the monster to pass her. After he had fairly passed, they kept off to overtake and attack him again. When the ship had reached within about fifty rods of him, they discovered that the whale had settled down deep below the surface of the water, and, as it was near sundown, they concluded to give up the pursuit.

Captain Deblois was at this time standing in the night-heads on the larboard bow, with lance in hand, ready to strike the monster a deadly blow should he appear, the ship moving about five knots, when working on the side of the ship, he discovered the whale rushing toward her at the rate of fifteen knots! In an instant, the monster struck the ship with tremendous violence, shaking her from stem to stern! She quivered under the violence of the shock, as if she had struck upon a rock! Captain Deblois immediately descended into the forecastle, and there, to his horror, discovered that the monster had struck the ship two feet from the keel, abreast the foremast, knocking a great hole entirely through her bottom. Springing to the deck, he ordered the mate to cut away the anchors and get the cables overboard, to keep the ship from sinking, as she had a large quantity of pig iron on board. In doing this, the mate succeeded in getting only one anchor and one cable clear, the other having been fastened around the foremast. The ship was then sinking rapidly. The captain went to the cabin, where he found three feet of water; he, however, succeeded in procuring a chronometer, sextant, and chart.

Reaching the decks, he ordered the boats to be cleared away, and get water and provisions, as the ship was keeling over. He again descended to the cabin, but the water was rushing in so rapidly that he could procure nothing. He then came upon deck, ordered all hands into the boats, and was the last to leave the ship, which he did by throwing himself into the sea, and swimming to the nearest boat! The ship was on her beam end, top-gallant yards under the water. They then pushed off some distance from the ship, expecting her to sink in a very short time. Upon an examination of the stores they had been able to save, he discovered that they had only twelve quarts of water, and not a mouthful of provisions of any kind! The boats contained eleven men each; were leaky, and night coming on, they were obliged to bail them all night to keep them from sinking!

Next day, at daylight, they returned to the ship, no one daring to venture on board but the captain, their intention being to cut away the masts, and fearful that the moment the masts were cut away that the ship would go down. With a single hatchet, the captain went on board, cut away the mast, when the ship righted. The boats then came up, and the men, by the sole aid of spades, cut away the chain cable from around the foremast, which got the ship nearly on her keel. The men then tied ropes around their bodies, got into the sea and cut a hole through the decks to get out provisions. They could procure nothing but about five gallons of vinegar and twenty pounds of wet bread. The ship threatened to sink, and they deemed it prudent to remain by her no longer, so they set sail in their boats and left her.

On the 22d of August, at about five o'clock P.M., they had the indescribable joy of seeing a ship in the distance. They made signal and were soon answered, and in a short time they were reached by the ship Nantucket, of Nantucket, Mass., Captain Gibbs, who took them all on board, clothed and fed them, and extended to them in every way the greatest possible hospitality.

On the succeeding day Captain Gibbs went to the wreck of the ill-fated Ann Alexander, for the purpose of trying to procure something; but, as the sea was rough, and the attempt considered dangerous, he abandoned the project. The Nantucket then set sail for Paita, where she arrived on the 15th of September, and where she landed Captain Deblois and his men. Captain Deblois was kindly received and hospitably entertained at Paita by Captain Bathurst, an English gentleman residing there, and subsequently took passage on board the schooner Providence, Captain Starbuck, for Panama.



The annexed engraving represents the burning of the Kent, East Indiaman, in the Bay of Biscay. She had on board in all six hundred and forty-one persons at the time of the accident. The fire broke out in the hold during a storm. An officer on duty, finding that a spirit cask had broken loose, was taking measures to secure it, when a lurch of the ship caused him to drop his lantern, and, in his eagerness to save it, he let go the cask, which suddenly stove in, the spirits communicated with the flame, and the whole place was instantly in a blaze. Hopes of subduing the fire at first were strong, but soon heavy volumes of smoke and a pitchy smell told that it had reached the cable-room.

In these awful circumstances, the captain ordered the lower decks to be scuttled, to admit water; this was done; several poor seamen being suffocated by the smoke in executing the order; but now a new danger threatened, the sea rushed in so furiously, that the ship was becoming water-logged, and all feared her going down. Between six and seven hundred human beings, were by this time crowded on the deck. Many on their knees earnestly implored the mercy of an all-powerful God! while some old stout-hearted sailors quietly seated themselves directly over the powder magazine,--expecting an explosion every moment, and thinking thus to put a speedier end to their torture.

In this time of despair, it occurred to the fourth mate to send a man to the foremast, hoping, but scarce daring to think it probable, that some friendly sail might be in sight. The man at the foretop looked around him; it was a moment of intense anxiety; then waving his hat, he cried out, "A sail, on the lee-bow!"

Those on deck received the news with heart-felt gratitude, and answered with three cheers. Signals of distress were instantly hoisted, and endeavors used to make toward the stranger, while the minute guns were fired continuously. She proved to be the brig Cambria, Captain Cook, master, bound to Vera Cruz, having twenty Cornish miners, and some agents of the Mining Company on board. For about a quarter of an hour, the crew of the Kent doubted whether the brig perceived their signals: but after a period of dreadful suspense, they saw the British colors hoisted, and the brig making toward them.

On this, the crew of the Kent got their boats in readiness; the first was filled with women, passengers, and officers' wives, and was lowered into a sea so tempestuous as to leave small hope of their reaching the brig; they did, however, after being nearly swamped through some entanglement of the ropes, getting clear of the Kent, and were safely taken on board the Cambria, which prudently lay at some distance off.

After the first trip, it was found impossible for the boats to come close alongside of the Kent, and the poor women and children suffered dreadfully, in being lowered over the stern into them by means of ropes. Amid this gloomy scene, many beautiful examples occurred of filial and parental affection, and of disinterested friendship; and many sorrowful instances of individual loss and suffering. At length, when all had been removed from the burning vessel, but a few, who were so overcome by fear as to refuse to make the attempt to reach the brig, the captain quitted his ill-fated ship.

The flames which had spread along her upper deck, now mounted rapidly to the mast and rigging, forming one general conflagration, and lighting up the heavens to an immense distance around. One by one her stately masts fell over her sides. By half-past one in the morning the fire reached the powder magazine; the looked-for explosion took place, and the burning fragments of the vessel were blown high into the air, like so many rockets.

The Cambria, with her crowd of sufferers, made all speed to the nearest port, and reached Portsmouth in safety, shortly after midnight, on the 3d of March, 1825, the accident having taken place on the 28th of February. Wonderful to tell, fourteen of the poor creatures, left on the Kent, were rescued by another ship, the Caroline, on her passage from Alexandria to Liverpool.


Rate this Story: 
No votes yet


No reviews yet.