Page:Yule Logs.djvu/305

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into wilds, and our familiar hunting-grounds know us no more. We have suffered much, and so we have risen, and will burn your houses and your towns, and send you back from whence you came. I will show your people that the red man can fight for his own and conquer."

"Fight you may, but you will not conquer," said Josh. "I do not say you are wrong, Philip; if I were in your stead I should doubtless feel as you do. But the time is past for you to drive us out; we have made this land our own, rightly or wrongly, and we shall keep it. Be wise while it is yet time; do not light a torch which will set your forests on fire and destroy your people."

"It is too late; I am bound," answered the King. "Farewell, Josiah Blackstone. There is your horse, ride quickly south, and warn your people; avoid the great forest." And having so spoken, the huge form leaped up the Mount, bounding from hillock to hillock, and so disappeared.

"A child of nature, a man with a big heart, worthy to be a king. I am sorry to lose him for my friend!" sighed Josh. Then mounting his horse, he rode in the direction Philip had indicated. As Thusick had said, the summer nights were short, but the day had not yet dawned when Josh perceived flames and smoke rising in various directions. The settlements and homesteads were far apart, there were few roads, and communication was difficult. Checking his horse, Josh looked around, and was startled by the lurid redness of the sky, and by every other sign of a vast conflagration near at hand.

"I must be approaching Brookfield," he thought; "I have ridden farther west than I imagined."

Suddenly the flames shot up, shrieks of agony filled the air, and by the fierce light he saw a crowd of men, women, and children coming in the direction of the forest. He remembered Philip's words, and knew the danger lay there. Riding quickly forward he placed himself in front