Page:Yule Logs.djvu/293

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277
A NEW ENGLAND RAID

long black hair hung loosely to her waist, and on her head was a high crown made of the plumage of all manner of birds. Her attitude was majestic, as with outstretched arm, tears streaming from her eyes, she addressed the assembly.

"O brother of my murdered husband! I bring you three hundred warriors, to war against the white man, who slew my beloved, not on the battlefield as a warrior should depart, but by treachery. Long years have I waited to avenge him, but now surely the time has come. The white men are driving us from our hunting-fields; they destroy our forests, so that the wild beasts forsake their lairs, and soon we shall lack food for our children. Let us unite and drive them across the sea from whence they came! I am but a woman, made to carry burdens and to bear sons; but my husband has been slain, and the son I bore him died on my bosom. Shall I not avenge them? Is the time not come?"

Thus spake the squaw, Sachem Weetamoo, the widow of King Philip's brother Alexander, who, being accused of plotting against the English, had been taken as a prisoner to Plymouth, where he died, his people said of poison, but in truth of a fever brought on by anger and vexation at his position.

This had happened upwards of fifteen years ago, but the widowed squaw, Sachem, had never ceased wailing, and importuning Philip to avenge her husband, and now, hearing that he had been called to account for the murder of the missionary, she hastened down with three hundred warriors from the fort on the Pocasset shore, where she dwelt, and urged him, with all the passion of a woman's deadly hatred, to take up arms and drive the white man out of the land.

She had chosen her time well, for but a few days previously Philip had been summoned to Boston and compelled to promise that he would deliver up all English