Page:Boys of the Fort.djvu/261
RELIEF AT LAST——CONCLUSION.
The attack did not come until half an hour later, and during the time of waiting the nerves of the boys were strained to the utmost. The seriousness of the situation was depicted upon the faces of all the soldiers, who felt that the coming contest must decide whether or not the fort was to stand.
The firing began on the part of the Indians and desperadoes, who advanced upon the stronghold from four points of the compass at once. The enemy had learned the folly of massing their force, and Indians and whites came on in a wide open skirmish line.
The soldiers within the stockade fired upon the advancing foe as best they could. Yet by the time red men and desperadoes were within reach of the stockade only three of the foe had fallen.
As before, some of the Indians carried a board with strips nailed across it for steps, and the desperadoes had a similar contrivance. The two boards were placed at opposite ends of the