Richard Markham.

Colonial Days : being stories and ballads for young patriots ; as recounted by five boys and five girls ; in Around the yule log, Aboard the Mavis, On the edge of winter online

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Online LibraryRichard MarkhamColonial Days : being stories and ballads for young patriots ; as recounted by five boys and five girls ; in Around the yule log, Aboard the Mavis, On the edge of winter → online text (page 1 of 30)
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Colonial Days.


Stories and Ballads for Young Patriots,












COPYRIGHT 187918801881,



Around the Yule Log.




THE sun had been gone more
than an hour on a certain cold
winter's evening, and only a dull
glow in the west told where he
had set. But his light was not
missed ; for overhead the moon
shone out clear and white through
the frosty air, making the snow
that lay deep all about flash and
glitter like a burnished shield.

The air was so still, that,
above the dull booming of the
ocean, one could hear the train
more than two miles away, as it
puffed slowly onward through the
Shinnecock Hills ; and the dri
vers of the sleighs, who had been
for it at the station, left off stamping about the plat-



form and swinging their arms about them, and made haste to get
their teams ready.

In one of the cars that was drawing near there was great con
fusion. Ten boys and girls were reaching up to the racks above
their heads for their parcels, or were busily at work putting on their
wraps. A lady and gentleman vainly tried to make themselves
heard above the uproar caused by a blue-gray Skye terrier, who,
roused by the confusion, was barking at the top of his lungs, without
stopping for a moment to take breath.

"Thistle, be quiet ! " said the gentleman.

But Thistle absolutely refused ; and even when Carrie Long-
wood picked him up, and held him under her seal-skin jacket, he
still kept up a muffled " woof- woof- woof."

Had it not been for his rude conduct, I should have presented
you in form to all this party. As it is, I shall only have just time
to tell you their names before the train stops and they leave it;
The gentleman and lady are Mr. and Mrs. Longwood, and Tom and
Carrie are their children. They have asked eight of their young
friends to pass the holiday week with them at their place on the
seashore ; and now at last the long and tedious miles through the
scrub-oak forest have been passed over, and they are nearly at their
journey's end.

The house has always been shut in winter, while the family are
in the city ; but Mr. Longwood had sent down a week before, and
fires had been kindled, a good stock of provisions laid in, and a first-
rate cook engaged.

At this very moment she was standing in the kitchen doorway,
listening for the whistle of the engine ; and no sooner did she hear


it coming across the fields than she hurried back, and saying, " La
sakes ! now they will be here in no time, and mighty hungry, I
specs," set about broiling her chickens with great zeal.

Meantime the train had stopped at the station, and our party
was making all speed to get out. There were Rose and Kate
Waring, Charlie and Will Morgan, Lou and Ned Grant, and Ger
trude Hastings and her little brother Jack.

How fresh and crisp the air seemed after the close car ! They
stood in a little group for a moment, watching the departing train,
which, after much wheezing and coughing on the part of the en
gine, had got under way again, and was fast disappearing in the
distance. But Tom Longwood was much too excited to stand still
longer, and crying, " Come, boys ! come, girls ! " led the way to a
great four-horse sleigh which stood waiting, the horses stamping
and shaking their bells impatiently. It took but a moment for all
to get their seats, and draw the robes about them. Crack went
the whip : the leaders plunged and danced for a moment; and then,
settling down to their work, away they all went down the broad
village street at a rattling pace, every bell jingling its loudest, and
every boy and girl talking as fast as tongue could wag.

On they sped, leaving the village behind, the roar of the surf
growing louder as they came nearer the sea, until they saw before
them, at only a little distance from the water's edge, a group of
houses standing out bold and clear in the bright moonlight. All
were dark but one, and in that there was a perfect glow of light.
Every window was bright ; and in the parlor, as they drove up, they
could see a blazing fire, that filled the whole of the great chimney-
place, and made candles useless.



" They are evidently expecting us," said Mr. Long-wood.
" I hope they have something to eat," said Tom : "I am as
hungry as a bear."

" I think that we can trust Mary Ann not to let us go to

bed supperless," said Mr.

Longwood. "See! there she
is at the door."

Mary Ann was a Shinne-
cock Indian, one of a tribe
of whom we shall have more
to say farther on ; and very
stout and comfortable she
seemed, as she stood waiting
to welcome them. Around
her head was wrapped a
gorgeous turban; and she
looked so jolly, that Tom, as
he rushed up to shake hands
with her, said,

" Why, Mary Ann, you
look as blooming as a rose ! "

" La sakes ! Master Tom,
now you jist git along," said
Mary Ann, very much pleased.
What else she would have said, no one knows; for Thistle,
discovering of a sudden his old summer friend Garm, a great
English mastiff, set up such a wild and joyful barking, rushing
about under every one's feet, that no one could hear a word;



and all were fain to run into the house, and leave the dogs to
renew their acquaintance in the snow.

They had hardly thrown off their wraps, when another sleigh
drove up loaded with the trunks ; and then there was a great
tramping of feet in the hall as the men carried them up-stairs
under the direction of the two maids who had come from the
city with the party. In the midst of the confusion, supper was
announced ; and the promptness with which the call to it was
obeyed showed that the long ride had given them all good
appetites. If any other proof had been needed, the rapidity with
which Mary Ann's chickens disappeared would have furnished it.

The dogs soon found out what was going on, and both put
in an appearance at the dining-room door ; Garm advancing with
a smiling countenance, and a suggestive sniffing of the air, his
great tail waving slowly back and forth ; while Thistle rushed
forward to Carrie, and, sitting up on his haunches, waved his
paws wildly in the air. But the rules of the family were strict,
that the dogs should not be fed at the table ; and so they had
to control their impatience as best they could till the meal was

As soon as they rose from the table, all went out on the
front piazza ; the girls catching up cloaks and shawls as they
passed through the hall, while the boys waited only to seize
their hats. It was a perfect night. Not a thousand feet away
the ocean was breaking on the beach, and the air was filled with
the never-ceasing thunder of the surf. Through the gaps in the
sand-hills they could see the waves leaping and plunging far out
at sea, while a broad lane of dazzling silver led from the shore


out to where the moon hung clear and white over the changing
waters. Directly in front of them, not a stone's-throw distant, lay
the little Lake Agawam, its surface gleaming in the bright light.
Overhead there was a stiff breeze blowing, and great masses of
white clouds were hurrying across the sky before it.

"How the clouds do fly!" said Rose Waring.

"Yes," said Mrs. Longwood. "They remind me of a little
piece of poetry :

The deep blue sea of sky-world

Is white with many a sail :
All canvas spread, ropes taut o'erhead,

They fly before the gale.

From the far North, southward bearing,

Are they fresh from arctic seas?
Have they sailed the north-west passage,

Sealed to other craft than these?

Are their crews the ghosts of sailors

From earth long passed away?
Is the skipper bold of spirit-mould?

Is this their heaven alway?

' Ahoy ! whence come ye, shipmates ? '

But no answering hail is heard :
The shrill wind whistles through their shrouds;

They pass without a word."

" It is curious," said Ned Grant very seriously, " how different
objects in nature suggest thoughts to one. Just as the clouds


have been speaking to Mrs. Longwood, so the lake before us is
now speaking audibly to me."

" What does it say ? " asked Mrs. Longwood.

" ' Come and skate on me,' " said Ned.

"Oh, what a splendid idea!" said Tom; while they all
laughed. " Let us take a run down, and see how the ice is."

So all the boys took to their heels down the path ; while the
girls, finding standing still rather cold work, began to move toward
the door to go in.

The boys were back in no time. They pronounced the ice
excellent, and were wild to get out their skates, and begin at
once. But Mr. Longwood said, "No: we have all been travelling
five hours, and are pretty tired. If we overdo matters at the
start, we shall not have half so good a time afterward. So let
us put off skating till to-morrow, and all go into the parlor and
have some games. I fancy Mary Ann may have some apples
and nuts."

" It seems almost a pity not to skate," said Tom, looking
longingly at the lake. " It may snow before morning, and then
our chance will all be gone."

" I don't think that there is much danger of that," said Mr.
Longwood, laughing. " At all events, none of the girls could
go ; and it would not be at all polite, Master Tom, to go off
and leave them by themselves."

This was a point that the boys had not thought of: so they
all made haste to join the rest of the party in the parlor.

" What shall we do ? " asked Lou Grant.

"Well, what do you say to some games?" said Carrie.


" I'll tell you what would be much nicer," said Will Morgan.
" Mr. Longwood knows ever so many splendid stories. If he
would tell us one, I know you would be sure to like it."

They all joined in urging this plan so vigorously, that finally
Mr. Longwood agreed to tell a story.

" But what shall it be about ? " he asked.

" Injuns," said little Jack Hastings, who sat at the end of the
circle about the fire, his eyes as big as saucers.

The boys all voted that Jack's choice was a good one ; and
so Mr. Longwood began.

. v ^



" IN the year 1636, when
what I am about to tell you
took place, there was not a
single settlement on Long
Island, and only one or two
along the whole Connecti
cut shore. Everywhere were
wild forests, and the whole
negion hereabout was owned
by a tribe of fierce and war
like Indians, the Pequots.

"At first they had been
friendly to the whites ; but,
after a time, there had come
signs of trouble. A whole
vessel's crew who had gone
up the Connecticut River to
trade with them had been cut
off, and not a man had been
left to tell the tale. Notwith
standing this warning, there were to be found men who were.



willing to run all risks for the sake of the great profit that could
be made in bartering with them.

" One of these was John Oldham, a bold and hardy adven
turer, who had spent years in such traffic. Loading his pinnace
with beads, knives, and other things that the Indians loved, he
would sail to some part of the coast where his coming speedily
became known. Soon his vessel would be crowded with Indians,
eager to exchange beaver-skins and other furs for the bright
trifles that took their eye ; when he would sail back to Plymouth,
where his skins were shipped to England to be sold at a great

" But he ventured too often ; for on one of these journeys,
while off Block Island, his only crew being a boy and two
friendly Indians, he was boarded by some twenty or more Pe-
quots. The cargo was too great a temptation for them : so they
killed Capt. Oldham and cut off his head, carried off the crew
prisoners, and seized the vessel. But his death was avenged
speedily and thoroughly, as you shall hear.

" Hardly had the foul deed been done, when a sail was seen
in the distance, drawing near. It was Skipper John Gallup in
his sloop. He had set out from Connecticut to trade with the
Indians on Long Island, somewhere near where we now are ;
but the wind had changed suddenly, and, coming on to blow, he
was driven toward Block Island. The sail ahead at once at
tracted his attention ; for there were so few craft then, that every
skipper knew at once the name of every sail he met. So Capt.
Gallup knew that it was Capt. Oldham's pinnace : and when, as
he drew nearer, he saw a canoe-load of Indians leave it for the


shore, while on the deck he could count fourteen Pequots, each
man armed, his heart misgave him; for he saw at once that Capt.
Oldham had been killed.


"His own crew was small enough, his two sons, both lads,
and one grown man, were all : so that many a one would have


thought it no cowardice to fly from so large a band of enemies.
But such a thought never entered Skipper Gallup's mind. He
stationed his crew all forward, where they were sheltered by the
bulwarks, and armed them with the two guns and two pistols he
had on board. Then, taking his station at the wheel, he bore
down toward the pinnace. The three in the bows used their
weapons to such good effect as soon as they came within gun
shot, that the whole band of Indians presently left the deck in
great haste and confusion to seek protection from the bullets
below. Then the skipper all at once changed his vessel's course,
and, coming down at full speed before the wind, struck the pin
nace, bows on, on her quarter.

"The shock was tremendous; and she careened so far, that the
Indians thought that she was about to capsize ; and six, filled
with fright, rushed up from below, and jumped overboard, where,
as it was blowing half a gale, and they were two miles from
shore, they were soon drowned.

" Meantime our skipper had again worked his sloop to wind
ward, and was coming down once more to strike the pinnace
as before. This time he hung his great anchor over the bow
in such a way, that, when he struck, her fluke should tear open
the side of the pinnace. His crew were directed to hold their
fire till after they had met, when they were to deliver their shots
through the hole they hoped would be made.

" This onset was even more successful than the first. The
sloop raked the pinnace from bow to stern, tearing open her
side, and causing such fright among the heathen, that four more
leaped overboard. Only four now remained ; and Capt. Gallup


and his man at once boarded the enemy. One Indian came up,
and begged for quarter. They bound him hand and foot, and
put him into the sloop. A second followed. Him they also
bound. But, when they thought an instant, they saw that they
should put themselves in much danger if they spared his life.
What if the two, having loosed one another's bonds, should rise
upon them at night when they were worn out with work ? They
had been taken red-handed ; for there in the pinnace lay the
body of poor Oldham. The risk was too great. Overboard he
must go, and overboard he went to share the fate of his fellows.

"There were now but two left, and these were hidden below,
and were afraid, as well they might be, to show themselves.
The gale was increasing. So Skipper Gallup hastily shifted what
cargo of the pinnace had not been stolen to his own boat, and
such of her .sail and rigging as could be hastily transferred, fas
tened down her hatches, and, taking her in tow, set sail once
more, hoping to carry her into port with him. But the storm
increased so rapidly, that after a time he had to cut her loose ;
and she was never seen again."

The boys indulged in many praises of Skipper Gallup's
bravery ; till at last Will Morgan said,

"And was that the end of the trouble with the Pequots?"

" Oh, no ! " said Mr. Longwood : " they became worse than
ever. Whenever a white man showed himself outside of the
towns, he was sure to find an Indian arrow in wait. At last all
the colonies united, and raised a small army. There was a great
battle, in which over seven hundred of the red men were killed ;
which so weakened them, that the surrounding tribes, their ene
mies, fell upon them, and exterminated them to a man."


" I wonder what became of Skipper Gallup," said Ned Grant.

" I do not know," said Mr. Longwood ; "but one of the sons
who was with him in this affair became a captain, and was killed
in King Philip's War."

" Isn't there some good story about that war ? " asked Ned.

" Yes," said Mr. Longwood : " there are a great many. There
was one man who was a great fighter. At one time, when
almost all alone, he captured sixty Indians."

" I know a good story," interrupted little Jack Hastings. " My
great-grandmother "

" Hush, Jack ! " said his sister. " Do go on, please, Mr.

" King Philip's War," said Mr. Longwood, " was much more
important than the one I have been telling you about. It came
forty years later, when there were a great many more settlers in
the country ; and there were so many tribes engaged in it, and
they were at first so successful, that it seemed that the Indians
would carry out their threat to drive every white man out of
the land.

"The first blood was shed in a town named Swansey. The
people were expecting trouble with the Indians ; and so a day of
humiliation and prayer was ordered, in the hope that God would
hear the cry of his people, and avert the great calamity which
they feared was coming upon them. They had all met in the
meeting-house, which, as of course you know, was more like a
fort than a church, and to which they were always summoned by
the beating of a drum ; for there were no bells in those days.
The prayers were said, and the people were on their way to their




homes, when the fearful war-whoop was heard, and from an
ambush close at hand came a flight of bullets, and several
dropped dead.

" Then the Indians fell upon all the towns and outlying farms.
When the men went out
to work, they were shot
down by an unseen foe.
Those whom the bullet
only wounded, the toma
hawk finished. All made
haste, leaving their homes
to be burned, and their
crops to be destroyed, to
flock into the garrison-
houses, which, built of
heavy logs, were bullet
proof. But many was
the poor man and woman
shot down before they
dreamed of danger, and
many were the captives
carried away to drag out
a miserable existence,
the women and children
as slaves ; the men to run the gauntlet, or to be tortured to death
to satisfy the cruel nature of their captors.

" If you read the histories of that time, you will hear of many
a hairbreadth escape, and many a deed of daring. At one time,




in one of the garrison-houses, a woman in the second story was
turning cheeses, and had slipped back a small shutter to let in

light. An Indian who
was on the watch fired
at the opening. The
ball passed complete
ly through the cheese
that the woman held
in her hand, but did
her no injury.

"At another time,
on a very dark night,
a man who was a
capital shot let him
self out of the garri
son-house, and took
his stand just beside
the door. A com
panion within put a
light in one of the
loop-holes of the
house, and retired in
stantly. It was well
that he did so; for the
next instant a bullet
fired by some am
bushed Indian came
out the candle. Our friend


with such good aim, that it put


outside the door, however, was waiting with his rifle to his shoulder.
Quick as thought he fired at the flash of the Indian's gun, and
brought down his man.

" It was not the men alone who did daring deeds. In Dor
chester lived a Mr. Minot, who had two little children. One


Sunday morning, while the rest of the family were at church,
they were left at home alone with a servant-maid. She made
the door fast as usual, and was busy about her household affairs.
On a sudden an Indian appeared, and tried to make his way in.
Not being able to force the door, he ran to the window. The


girl waited only a minute to hide the children under two great
brass kettles, and rushed up stairs for a musket. The Indian
.fired at her as she ran, but missed her. She fired back at him
with better aim, hitting him in the shoulder. But the shot did
not disable him ; and, filled with rage, he made all the more vig
orous efforts to get in. There was no time to load again : so,
catching up a shovel of live coals, she dashed them against his
face with such force, that he made haste to get away. The next
day his dead body was found in the woods, his face one mass
of burns.

" Well, at first it seemed, as I said, as if the Indians were
going to be successful, and drive all the white men out of the
country. Town after town was burned. There was no way of
paying them back in kind ; for their lodges, built of sticks covered
with skins, were rebuilt in a day. Things looked very black for
the colonists.

" But all at once the tide turned. A great battle was fought,
in which many hundred Indian warriors were slain. At last King
Philip, the chief of their whole confederation, was killed ; and then
the war was practically at an end.

"The most successful leader of the settlers was Capt. Church.
He was a man without personal fear. He would venture into
the councils of tribes whom he feared were about to join the
^nemy, and would sit unmoved amid the wildest gesticulation and
fury of orators urging their nation to take up arms against the
whites. Often, by his personal coolness, he weaned a tribe back
to their old alliance. He it was who captured the sixty Indians ;
and this was the way it happened :



" In the battle in which King Philip was killed, one of the
Indians was heard calling out in a loud voice to his men, ' I-oo-
tash ; I-oo-tash /' ' Stand to it ; stand to it ! ' This was old
Annawon, Philip's right-hand man.

"A few days later, when Capt. Church was on a scouting
expedition with one white man and five or six friendly Indians,
they captured one of the enemy, an old fellow, who, on being
questioned, confessed that he had come from Annawon's camp,
which he said was situated in a swamp. He further told that
there were with him some sixty men, and that by hard marching
the camp could be reached by nightfall. Capt. Church had, as I
said, but one white man and five Indians .with him. If he
waited for re-enforcements, he would lose his opportunity ; for it
was well known that Annawon was too wily to ever camp twice
in the same place. He turned to his men. Would they join
him in a forlorn hope to capture this great chief? The white
man answered, ' I am never afraid of going anywhere when you
are with me ; ' and the Indians, so great was Capt. Church's
renown as a warrior, at last consented. The old man whom they
had taken prisoner agreed, if they would spare his life, to pilot
them ; and so they set out, their guide striding before them at
' such a pace, that he was often out of sight.

" At last, as dusk drew near, he halted. This was the time,
he said, when Annawon sent out his scouts. If they went on,
there was danger of being discovered. They must wait an hour
or so, and then it would be safe to move again. Here Capt.
Church asked the old man if he would fight for him. The
Indian bowed low, and said, that, as he owed him his life, he had


consented to show him the way ; but he prayed him that he
might not be made to fight against his old master. He promised,
however, to come to the captain's aid, should any one attack him.
" Then they set out again. Soon they came in sight of the

camp. It was in a
deep recess ; and the
only way to it was
to climb down some
rocks in single file,
in sight of all below.
The guide was sent
first, so that he would
be recognized as a
friend ; and they fol
lowed in his shadow.
A young woman was
pounding corn in a
mortar. When she
pounded, they moved
on ; when she stopped

Online LibraryRichard MarkhamColonial Days : being stories and ballads for young patriots ; as recounted by five boys and five girls ; in Around the yule log, Aboard the Mavis, On the edge of winter → online text (page 1 of 30)