Page:A page of American history (1905).djvu/15

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13

have shot him. My brother admired a brave man, but he said that he was foolish that he did not shoot the captain when he had the chance, for it is a man's duty to kill his enemy. But all the people said that the stranger white men were the bravest men they ever saw. They laughed at death and went toward it with joy, as a young man runs to a handsome woman. When first we met the stranger white men, they had built up, right in our path, a strong fence of thick tree trunks and behind that were the stranger white men and in the woods on each side were the white men from T'Ho and Sacci. Some of the stranger white men were clothed in uniform, the had they always wore while others were naked to the waist, with a red cloth tied around their heads and their swords buckled about their waists. Their big bodies were pink and red in the sunlight and from their throats came their strange war cry, Hu-Ha! Hu-Ha! (evidently a Hurrah). They were brave men and shot keenly. Some of them were such good shooters that no man could hope to escape when once they pointed at him; no, whether he ran or walked or crawled, it made no difference unless he could hide behind a tree before the shot was fired, and even then some of those who reached the tree were dead as they fell behind it, for the balls had found them., even as they ran behind it.

"So for a time we greatly feared these strange white men and only sought to keep out of their reach. Had they stayed behind their defences and only used their guns as they could use them, no one knows what might have happened, for our people were so scared of the big, pink-skinned men with their terrible cries and their death shots, that they could not be made to stand up against them. But the stranger white men were too brave, for they threw their lives away, and when they found that we did not come up to them, they jumped over the wall that they had made and came to seek us. We hid behind the trees and rocks, wherever we could, that they might not see us, and so, one by one, we killed them. They killed many of us but we were many times their numbers and so they died. Brave men, very brave. Some died laughing and some with strange words in their own tongue, but none died cowardly. I do not think any escaped. I think they lay where they died, for in those days we had no time to eat or to sleep or to bury the dead."