Edward Ellis.

The Boy Hunters of Kentucky



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Without the sun or any beaten path to help, the boys found it hard work to keep from going astray; but their former experience in the woods was of much help, and the distance from home was not great enough to place them in serious danger. The fall of snow increased, and before long the flakes were so dense that they could see only a short way ahead.

Good fortune, however, attended the young hunters, and, much to their delight, they struck the trail leading to the salt lick very near the spot where they had left it. This was followed until it could serve them no longer. By this time the snow-fall ceased, and they knew they were on the right course.

So it proved, and it was early in the afternoon when they came in sight of the clearing where stood the home of the Burton brothers.

The family, as may be supposed, were alarmed by the tidings. Mr. Burton had seen nothing of the Wyandots, and if any of them had been prowling near his home, the dog for once failed to discover them. But no time was lost in preparing for a hostile visit.

Jack did not tarry, and travelled over the mile of trail leading to his own house at a faster rate than ever before.

He found his father equally ignorant of the presence of the hostiles. Hua-awa-oma and his son had not allowed themselves to be seen, though it was clear they had been close to his cabin. He too made every preparation for an attack from the war party. He had enough water and provisions in his house to last the inmates a week, and his wife was able to handle a rifle with a skill little short of that of her husband.

The afternoon and night passed without anything being seen of the hostiles. On the morrow the father stealthily left his home, and made a prolonged scout through the surrounding forest. He came back at nightfall, with the good news that not a sign of a Wyandot was to be found. He visited the camp where they had spent a part of the previous day, but failed to catch a glimpse of a single warrior, and the dreaded attack was never made.

Toward the close of the last century, General Anthony Wayne was sent by President George Washington into the West to subdue the combined Indian tribes, who not only committed many outrages, but had defeated all the previous expeditions despatched against them.

Among those who served under the famous "Mad Anthony" was Jack Gedney, then grown to sturdy young manhood. At the famous Treaty of Greenville the representative chiefs of the powerful Indian confederation agreed to a peace, which was hardly broken until the war of 1812, nearly twenty years later.

Our young friend Jack was present at this memorable meeting, and there met the celebrated leader, Hua-awa-oma, and his son Arowaka, the latter having grown into a fine warrior.

During the friendly talk that Jack had with these two the father explained what he meant when, after the boy had spared the life of young Arowaka, he promised that he would "no hurt people of Jack." The chief had arranged to destroy the families of both Burton and Gedney, but out of gratitude to Jack he withdrew the entire party, and went back to his tribe without firing a hostile shot.

The chief and his warriors, however, fired many such afterwards, but never against a member of the two families I have named.

And thus it was that the bread which Jack Gedney cast upon the waters in his youth, when he showed Christian charity toward a helpless foe, came back to him after many days.

THE END

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