Page:Yule Logs.djvu/300

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less alike of the blows which hailed upon him, of the thongs which tore his flesh. Faster, ever faster, on he went, blood pouring down his body until the white skin was red and mauled. As he neared the goal the yells of rage grew louder, the onslaught fiercer, but he never wavered, though his breath came short and hard; verily, they were beating it out of him.

A blow struck him high up on the neck; he staggered, but the yells of delight which greeted this sign of failing strength so maddened him, that with a supreme effort he leaped forward, threw out his arms, and caught at something which stayed his course. A rushing sound as of the incoming tide surged round him, died out, and stillness as of death crept over him as he slipped unconscious to the ground.

That last spurt saved Josh Blackstone's life. His outstretched arms had clasped neither pillar nor post, but King Philip's knees! and straightway Thusick sprang forward and pleaded that the white man should be delivered to her, that she might heal him, and so he would once again afford them sport. Her words were greeted with shouts of approval, for he had done bravely. Usually victims failed to traverse half the appointed space before they succumbed, but he had fallen at the goal and was still living! So Thusick's prayer was granted, and he was delivered into her hands.

Hardly had the judgment been passed when a messenger arrived bringing news to Philip that the Boston men were sending troops against him, and that it were well for him to hasten and destroy the nearest villages and homesteads before they came up to give him battle. Philip needed no urging; in an incredibly short time the camp of Mount Hope was left to the old men, women, and children, and before the mid-day sun was high in the heavens the last plumed savage had disappeared. Strange stillness reigned where, but a short time before,