Page:Yule Logs.djvu/314

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298
A NEW ENGLAND RAID

"From Mount Hope; he was made prisoner by Philip, and escaped," said Stephen Carter.

"After running the gantlet, and coming out of it alive, which not one man in fifty succeeds in doing," said the colonel; "and it seems to me he has been on the go ever since. No marvel if he dropped from his horse in a dead faint after he had delivered your message. He's a Spartan! A cheer for brave Josh Blackstone!"

And the cheer went up right gladly, whilst the women brushed the tears from their eyes, and the men muttered in their beards, "He's a brave lad! a right brave lad!"


All through that winter and the following spring and summer the war raged; a reign of terror spread over the land.

When Josiah Blackstone reached his home he found the house burnt to the ground, the trees in the orchard felled, only the trodden-down grave of his grandsire left to mark where his inheritance had been.

Father, mother, Rena, were no more! He stood desolate and alone. His father, he was told, had defended himself bravely; more than one Indian had fallen by his hand; but at last overpowered by numbers, he had been slain. Of his mother and Rena's fate he failed to learn anything; they had disappeared. One thing he discovered, namely, that it was not the Wampanoags, Philip's tribe of Indians, who had wrought this destruction, but the squaw Sachem Weetamoo's, and Josh there and then made up his mind that he would follow her up and discover the fate of his mother and sister. The Plymouth Colony had put the conduct of all military affairs into the hands of Colonel Church, a friend of the Blackstones, and straightway Josh offered him his services, which were readily accepted, and he was enrolled in the corps, and rapidly rose to the rank of captain. The knowledge of Indian warfare he had gained from his friend was only equalled by Colonel Church