Page:Adventures of Rachel Cunningham.djvu/36

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altogether, without a trace-step of the route they had taken being known.

On the following day a Proclamation was issued by the Governor, offering a large reward for their apprehension.

They had crossed the country in various directions, and by bye-roads had successfully eluded pursuit, although parties in active chase were dispatched, and pressing forward through all parts to gain a scent, if possible, of the course they might have chosen, till however, at length their luck forsook them.

They had passed the night at a tavern, the keeper, or landlord of which, happened also to be a post-master. They regaled themselves and enjoyed their supper and wine there, in seemingly high spirits and jollity; yet mine host, for some cause or other conceived, that he discovered a something singularly strange in their manners. They retired to bed, breakfasted there the next morning, paid their bill, and departed, the mail arrived at the tavern with Governor Kent's Proclamation, describing the person of Van Swearingen and that of his paramour and accomplice in the murder of his wile. Suspicion was at once directed towards them, and the post-master, collecting a few neighbours, set off instantly in pursuit and overlook them near the red-river, in Kentucky County. On being approached and ordered to surrender, he (the Sheriff,) drew and discharged a brace of pistols at the party, as also, the same did Rachel, swearing vehemently at the line, that she would not be taken alive, and defending herself in desperate resistance with the butt-ends of her pistols to the very last extremity against their assailants, till at length quite exhausted and overpowered by numbers only, or she, Rachel, would not have yielded, they were both taken, secured, and brought back prisoners to Alleghany County, to await the decree of justice and punishment of the law by and in expiation of their hideous offences and horrible crimes of matchless atrocity under the hands of the common executioner.

Her conduct, while on trial, was most vehemently outrageous after sentence, in jail her imprecations and threats of vengeance to all around her were truly terrific, and at