Page:Yule Logs.djvu/317

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"I am quite willing you should go; I am expecting reinforcements, and cannot move forward myself. Take twenty men, and let the Indian guide you," said the colonel.

In the briefest possible space of time, Josh was on his way with a small but well-armed force, for they reasoned the Indian might be numerically mistaken, and Weetamoo be stronger than he represented. The Indian led them along roads known only to native hunters, creeping through the forest stealthily as the tiger ready to pounce upon his prey; then they worked their way up towards the far-away river, where Weetamoo had taken refuge. The day was dawning when they came in sight of her camp, the outlines of the tents just visible through the river mist resting in white clouds over the marshy land. Quickly, noiselessly, with practised skill, Josh disposed his men along the river front and round the camp, in such a manner as to render escape almost impossible. The orders were, not to kill the savages, but to make them prisoners. This order applied more especially to the squaw Sachem; she of all others was to be taken alive. Then headed by Josh, a rush was made into the midst of the camp.

Aroused from their slumbers, wholly unprepared and unarmed, this last remnant of the three hundred warriors made but a faint resistance, and finding they could save their lives by yielding, they did so. At the first alarm a woman crept out of her tent through the long rushes. Quickly as a serpent she glided down towards the river. "Cowards!" she had hissed when she saw her people yield, and yet in her heart she knew they could not well do otherwise. Favoured by the mist, she had evaded the guard, reached the water's edge, when suddenly she lifted her head and looked back. Josh, feeling sure she would make for the river, was close at hand, and saw the passionate face and angry eyes flash out upon him. He sprang