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 2 of 30)
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to turn the corn, they
stopped : and so it
turned out, that be
fore Annawon, who


was lying half asleep

with his son beside him, realized that the enemy were upon him,
Capt. Church had stepped across his prostrate body, and secured
all his arms, which had been stacked a little to one side.


"The old chief saw that he had been outwitted, and, after
the first start and exclamation of surprise, lay in perfect stillness
with true Indian stoicism. Meantime the rest of Capt. Church's
party had gone to the other Indians of the band, who were
lying about fires a little distance away, and telling them that
Annawon was taken, and that they were entirely surrounded b^
whites, but that, if they would give up their guns, they should
have quarter, persuaded them to yield their arms.

" Capt. Church had succeeded ; but his position was by no
means an enviable one. Should his captives find out the truth,
they could by sheer force of numbers overcome him. He, too,
was worn out with his work. Bidding his men keep watch for a
couple of hours, he lay down, and fell asleep. But he took the
precaution to throw one of his legs over Annawon, and the other
over his son, so that neither could move without disturbing him.
At the end of the two hours he awoke. Annawon lay with his
eyes wide open, watching him. Together they remained eying
one another. At length the old Indian rose, and strode off into
the forest. Capt. Church, as he was gone some time, fearing:
that some villany was preparing, made the chief's son lie beside
him in such a way that no bullet could reach him without first
killing the Indian. But his precautions were needless ; for the
old man soon returned, bearing with him the belt of King Philip,
which he had taken from its hiding-place. Kneeling down, he
presented it to Capt. Church, saying in broken English,

" ' Great captain, you have killed Philip, and conquered his
country: for I believe that I and my company are the last that
war against the English, so suppose the war is ended by your
means ; and therefore these things belong to you.'


" The war was, as Annawon had said, at an end. He had no
heart to fight further ; and his captor marched him off the next
morning with his men to Plymouth, where shortly after he was
tried for the murder of many English, and, notwithstanding Capt.
Church's efforts in his behalf, was executed."

" What I can't understand," said Tom Longwood, " is why
Annawon did not try to escape the next morning. He must
have seen then how much stronger his own party was than that
of Capt. Church."

" I suppose he did not think that he would be shot by the
settlers," said Mr. Longwood. " Very likely Capt. Church prom
ised him his life. After Annawon had brought King Philip's
belt, they sat by the fire, and talked together till morning. It
is certain that Capt. Church tried his utmost to save him, and
that he was very much depressed when he heard of his taking-
off. But Annawon confessed that he had put whites to death
by torture, and there was no chance for him after that."

"How glad I am that all those days are over!" said Rose
Waring. " It was very kind of you, Mr. Longwood, to take so
much trouble to amuse us ; and I am sure we all thank you very

"Yes, indeed!" they all cried; and Ned Grant said, "I hope
that to-morrow night you will feel like telling us another."

" How would it do," said Mr. Longwood, " for each of you
young people to tell a story? We shall be here five nights
more, and there are ten of you. That would give us ten stories
in all, two on each evening. We might make the condition that
they should be from American history. There are a great many



books on that subject in the library, and you can easily hunt
up some story if you do not know one already. What say you
all ? Shall we try it ? "

The question was put to vote, and it was decided that the
plan should be tried. Then lots were drawn, and each had his
or her day allotted. Carrie Longwood and Will Morgan drew
theirs for the next evening, while at the very end of all came
little Jack Hastings.

" I know what I shall tell," said that young gentleman. " My
great-grandmother "

" Don't tell us to-night, Jack," said Mrs. Longwood. " It is
high time that we all went to bed, if we want to be fresh in
the morning for to-morrow's fun."

So they all trooped off up-stairs, and soon the parlor fire
was flickering and blinking to an empty room.


" DEAR me, girls ! " said
Gertrude Hastings when
they were up-stairs, " I am
so glad that our rooms open
into one another ! It is like
all sleeping in the same
room. Those Indian stories
have made my blood creep,
and I expect to hear a war-
whoop at any moment."

" I am so sleepy," said
Kate, " that I don't think a
hundred war-whoops could
wake me to-night. It must
be the sea air. I never am
so in New York."

Notwithstanding all tnis r
she made no haste to get
into bed, but joined the
other girls, who, in their

night-dresses, had crouched around the blazing fire. They were




all deep in some of the many subjects that girls find to talk
about; and might have continued there till morning, had not
Mrs. Longwood come in and packed them all off to bed, when
their tongues soon stopped for the night.

It must have been about three o'clock in the morning when
Gertrude awoke suddenly. The blaze had all died away from
the fire, and only a few embers threw a dull red glow on the
ceiling. As she lay there only half conscious, she heard a noise,
crunch, crunch, on the snow outside. In an instant all the In
dian stories came back to her mind, and she started up in bed
in a fright. But a moment's thought told her that Indians had
long ago ceased to rouse people from their sleep. Still the
noise went on, crunch, crunch. Something, she was sure, was
wrong. Perhaps it was a burglar. She felt a strong desire to
lie down, and cover her head with the bed-clothes, but, putting
away all such suggestions, jumped up, and, making her way to
the window, looked out.

The moon was just setting; but there was still light enough
to make out the cause of her fright. It was Garm. He was
walking slowly about, keeping guard over every thing. What a
sudden change it made in her feelings ! Now she felt as safe as
a little while before she had been frightened. She tapped softly
on the pane; and he looked up, and, seeing her, stood still a
moment, and wagged his tail, and then resumed his walk.

Her window looked out upon the sea ; and there, as she
raised her eyes, close in shore, was a great ocean-steamer.
Gertrude could make out clearly the outlines of her masts and
the red flame that poured from her smoke-stacks as she made
her way onward.


But she soon found . herself shivering with cold: so she left
the window. " I'll just put one of these logs on the fire," she
said: " a little blaze is such good company." And then she hopped
into bed again, and, long before the blaze had sprung up, was
fast asleep.

Morning arrived in due time, and with it the breakfast-hour.
When Mr. and Mrs. Longwood came down stairs, they found
the girls all waiting in the parlor; but not a boy was to be seen.


"Why, this is very strange!" said Mr. Longwood after they
had all said good-morning. "Where are the boys?"

" I have not heard a sound," said Kate, " and I have been
down stairs more than half an hour."

"What heavy sleepers they must be! Bridget!" he called to
the maid who was standing in the hall, " go up to the young
gentlemen's rooms, and tell them that breakfast is ready."


" Sure, it's skatin' they've been this hour, sur," said Bridget.
" I saw thim wid their skates in their hands whin I first came

"This will never do," said Mrs. Longwood. "They must
always have something to eat before going out, or they'll be
catching cold. Bridget, tie a napkin to the piazza-post. Master
Tom will remember that that was the way we called him to din
ner last summer, when he was out boating."

The napkin was tied up; and the girls who gathered at the
window to watch soon saw the five boys, side Ipy side, with hands
joined, come gliding down toward them, the two dogs plunging
and slipping and barking wildly behind.

And in less than no time they were up at the house, and
sitting around the table.

"Well, young people," said Mr. Longwood when they had
been helped, "how did you sleep?"

All declared that they had not opened their eyes till daylight,
except Gertrude, who told the story of her fright.

" I suppose," said Ned Grant, " that, if it had been a real
Indian, you would have been very much frightened."

" Yes, indeed I should," said Gertrude.

" And yet there was an Indian crouched within fifty feet of
your bed all night long."

" O Ned Grant, what an awful story ! " said two or three of
the girls.

" It isn't a story at all," said Ned. " Mary Ann, the cook, is
a Shinnecock Indian. I went out to the kitchen before going
skating to see if I couldn't get a piece of bread. I was afraid.


having just got over a bad cold, to go out before eating. Mary
Ann gave me a slice of bread and butter and a glass of milk ;
and while I v/as eating it she told me that she was a Shin-
necock Indian, and that the tribe lived only two miles away on
land reserved for them by the government. She told me ever
so much beside ; and I got so interested, that all the fellows had
their skates on, and were off, before I reached the lake. I am
going to see her again some time."

" I suppose," said little Jack, " that the bread she gave you
must have been Indian bread."

"O Jack," they all cried, "what a wretched joke! But is it
true, Mr. Longwood, that there is a tribe of Indians close to us ? "

" Yes," said that gentleman, "not two miles away. Before
we go back, we will all go over there in the big sleigh. We can
go to-day if you like."

" The skating is prime," said Tom, " and it may not last. If
it should snow, there would be an end to it ; while the Shinnecock
Indians are not likely to run away."

" Not very far in this cold weather, at all events," said Mr.
Longwood. " Perhaps it is better not to try any excursions on
our first day. The lake will give us plenty of amusement; and
it is so close at hand, that, if any get tired, they can easily come
to the house and rest."

So as soon as breakfast and prayers were over, they all set
out. The boat-pier made a capital place for the girls to sit
while the boys put on their skates ; and in a very few moments
they were all on their feet and away, except Rose Waring, who
stood holding her skates in her hand, and looking after them
with quite a melancholy face.


"Why, Rose," said Charlie Morgan, "how solemn you look!
Sit down here, and I'll have your skates on before you can say
Jack Robinson."

" But I don't know how to skate," said Rose.

" Oh ! you'll learn in no time," said Charlie encouragingly.
" I learned in an hour. Come : Ned Grant and I will hold you
up on each side, and you'll get the hang of it at once."

So Rose had her skates put on, and started off with a boy
on either side. But she soon found that the expectation Charlie
had held out, of her learning in an hour, was a vain one. As
long as the two boys held her up, she got on very well ; but,
the minute they let go, down she went in a heap. Half an hour
passed, and she made no more progress than at first. She was
a very considerate girl ; and so, as she saw that she was keeping
them from skating, and as she knew that they would never leave
her by. herself, she suddenly discovered that she was very tired,
and decided that her skates must come off. The boys .remon
strated ; but she persisted.

Just as she had got on her feet without them, Tom and Will
came down.

" Why, Rose ! " they cried, " what is the matter ? "

"She says she is tired," said Ned Grant; "but I know that it
is only because she thinks that she is troubling us."

" Wait a moment," said Tom : " I have an idea." And, taking
off his skates, he ran to the house. A moment later, they saw
him coming back with a rocking-chair over his head.

" It just occurred to me that Rose could sit on this, and we
-could push her. I think it will run nearly as easily as a sled ;


and, if it doesn't, there is a sled in the barn. Perhaps, now that
I have my skates off, I had better get that, in case the chair
doesn't work." So off he went again, and soon was back with
the sled, and a rug that he had picked up on the way.

The chair was tried, and the sled both ; but the boys pronounced
in favor of the sled, because it had a long rope, and three or
four could draw it at once. So Rose, snugly tucked up in the
rug, was soon flying to the other end of the lake, where the others

" It is pretty cold," said Carrie after a time : " one has to
keep moving to keep warm. I should think you would freeze on
that sled, Rose."

" I should," said Rose ; " but Tom tucked me up so snugly,
that I am as warm as toast."

" There is a great pile of old fence-rails on our land close by
the lake," said Tom ; " and I am sure that we could have some to
make a fire on the ice."

At that they all set out again in the direction of home ; and,
Mr. Longwood's consent being gained, a bright blaze was soon
made, and the young folk gathered around it, sitting down on
sundry rails that were to feed the fire when it grew low.

Just then Ned Grant gave a frantic scream.

" What is the matter ? " they all cried.

' That," said Ned with much gravity, " was a war-whoop. I
saw Mary Ann out by the kitchen-door, and thought that perhaps
she would think it a polite attention on my part to salute her
after the manner of her nation."

" It seems to have been a very effective salute, at all events."


said Tom; " for she is coming this way. Look out, Ned, for your
scalp; for she may be on the war-path."

" That basket doesn't look like it," said Ned. " I hope it's

Mary Ann by this time had reached the lake, and was walking
over the ice toward them with as much care as if she expected
to see her heels fly into the air at any moment.

" Hillo, Mary Ann ! what's in that basket?" said Tom, skating
toward her, and trying to take it.

" Now you jist git along," said Mary Ann. " Fust thing you
know, I'll be down; and that's no laughing matter. Young folks
is mighty risky of their lives. I'd no more put them skates on
my feet than I'd fly."

The basket did contain sandwiches, and they air munched them
with great satisfaction.

" It's eleven o'clock already," said Carrie. " How the time has
flown ! And I'm rather tired too. What do you say, girls, to going
in, and resting till dinner ? "

The girls all fell in with her plan, and the boys were soon left

" I have an idea," said Tom. " There is an ice-boat at the
upper end of the lake, and I know the man who owns it. If one
of you fellows will go with me, we will hunt him up, and see if
he won't take us out in her."

Will Morgan and he thereupon set off; and in about twenty
minutes little Jack, who was on the lookout, called out, " There
they come! They've got her! I see a sail!"

A minute later the ice-boat was right abreast of them, flying


like the wind ; Tom and Will standing up and waving their hats,
and shouting like two young lunatics.

" Hold hard ! " the others could just hear a gruff voice call in
the distance ; and the next instant the boat came around in the wind,
and moved slowly toward them. One after another, they took
turns in sailing. The breeze was strong, and the boat fairly flew.
The captain turned out to be a jolly fellow too, and he let the
boys help manage her ; and altogether they were in such a wild
state of delight, that the napkin tied to the piazza-post to tell
them that dinner was ready was not seen at all, and Mr. Longwood
had to come down to the pier and call again and again before
they heard.

After dinner, they went skating again as wildly as if they had
not seen ice for a twelvemonth. And now I must tell you what
befell Jack Hastings. It had got to be four o'clock, and the
boys were playing snap-the-whip. Jack was on the very end.
How it happened so, I know not ; for he was a little fellow, and
they were always very careful of him. Will Morgan, who was
the strongest, cracked the whip ; and he did it with such force,
that poor Jack was thrown down, and sent flying over the ice.
Very little harm would have been done by this, for Jack had had
at least fifty hard tumbles that day before ; but it so happened
that they were near the edge of the lake, and close at hand was
a hole that had been broken to make a place for some cattle to

Toward this hole Jack went flying, and into it he plumped.
The water could not have been more than a foot deep ; but when
he got on his feet, and came out, he was pretty thoroughly wet.



His coat had protected his body ; but they could hear the water
crunch in his boots as he walked.

" Off with his skates, fellows ! quick ! " cried Ned Grant,
stooping down to take off his own. "Run, youngster!" he cried
as Jack shook off the last strap ; and, taking him by the shoulder,
he hurried him along till they reached the house, all panting
from the run.

Mrs. Longwood, who was in the hall, took in the situation at
a glance ; and Master Jack was hurried up-stairs, and, before he
knew it, had his wet things off, and was perched up on a table,
where Bridget rubbed him dry, while Mrs. Longwood rummaged
in his trunk for a change of clothes. They were soon forthcom
ing ; though Bridget's sharp eye found that a button was off, and
so she stopped to put it on. Jack did not in the least object to
the delay, but seemed to take a great satisfaction in the whole
business. Especially did he enjoy it, when, in answer to his
mild insinuation that a hot lemonade was capital to ward off
colds, Mrs. Longwood sent Bridget down to make one.

But after dinner, when they had all gathered around the fire,
Master Jack was discovered to be very hoarse ; and Mrs. Long-
wood, in spite of his appeals, and his statement that there was
nothing the matter with him, decided that he must go to bed
instanter. So he was packed off up-stairs ; and his bed was put
into her room, so that she would be close at hand in case he
should grow worse in the night.

Jack was at first quite inconsolable. " You see," he said to
Margaret, Tom and Carrie's old nurse, who had been in the
family for years, and who Helped him undress, " I know a splen-

4 8


did story about my great-grandmother, and I am so afraid that
some of the fellows may tell it ! However," he went on, " I don't
see how it can be helped ; and I don't believe they any of them
ever met her, anyway." And, with this bit of comfort in his.
thoughts, he rolled over, and was soon asleep.




" MY story," said Will,
when they had all drawn
up into a great circle be
fore the fire, " has to do
with Indians. I am very
sorry that it has, because
Gertrude begged that there
should be no Indian sto
ry this evening, as she did
not want to have another
fright. It would be a
pretty difficult thing to find
any part of early American
history in which Indians
did not play a part ; and
as it is not very long, and
the Indians did not alto
gether have the best of it.
perhaps it will not disturb
her slumbers, after all.
is a ballad ; and the incidents it describes must have taken




place in King Philip's War, of which Mr. Longwood told us last

"It is called


Fair blew the wind at Marblehead

Long years ago, on a morn in May,
When the little fleet of fishing craft,

Outward-bound, left the quiet bay;
And the band of women upon the pier
Watched them grow fainter, with sigh and tear.
True hearts have the women of Marblehead.

Scarce had a fortnight passed and gone,

'Twas the Lord's Day morning, clear and calm,

From the open doors of the meeting-house
Came the sound of the closing psalm,

And the words of prayer for those at sea,

That the Lord would be with them where'er they be.
Warm hearts have the women of Marblehead.

Why do the goodwives crowd on the steps,

Shading their eyes to look over the bay?
What is so strange in yon incoming sail?

Why do they start when they hear one say,
" By the cut of her jib, 'tis my goodman's boat ;
Tis 'The William and Mary,' right well I know't"?
Sharp eyes have the women of Marblehead.

"What harm can have fallen the fishing-fleet,

That he comes alone at this early day?"
Through the crowd, at her word, a tremor runs :

" To the pier ! " they cry ; " to the pier ! Away !


What hinders the men, that so slow they sail?
Will they never get closer, and answer our hail?"
Wild fears have the women of Marblehead.

" Skipper, ahoy ! What news do ye bring ?

Tell us at once, does all go well?"
" God have mercy ! " the skipper said :

" Hard is my fate such news to tell.
Taken or slain are all our men,
Routed at night by the Indian."

God pity the women of Marblehead !

''Anchors down in a sheltered cove,

Reckoned we nought of a hidden foe.
Down came the heathen five hundred strong,

All of our crews asleep below :
Some they slew with a savage zest,
But to sail the fleet they saved the rest."

What news is this, women of Marblehead ?

" I and my mates we watched our chance :

Four of our foes we pitched into the sea,
Sharp was the fight, but our lives were at stake,

Crowded all sail ; and so here we be.
Two of the red men we have fast bound
Down below deck all safe and sound."

Crazed are the women of Marblehead.

" Kill ! " screamed a fisher-wife lank and thin :
" They are taken red-handed, these murderers ! "

And she tore her sparse and grizzled hair,
And hurled a stone * the prisoners.


Then all the women in that mad crowd
Tore them to pieces with shriekings loud.

Have a care of the women of Marblehead !

" Dear me ! " said Lou, " do you mean that they actually
killed them ? I don't believe it. Why, it was ever so much
worse than that riding of Floyd Ireson in a cart, that Whittier
wrote about."

" Nevertheless, it is so," said Will. " The old record says that
they, in a tumultuous way, very barbarously murdered them.
Oh ! those were savage days, and neither side had much to boasf
of. In the same book where I found that story there is a letter
from an officer. After telling of their various marches, and the
number of prisoners captured, he says,

"'Dec. 17, we sold Capt. Davenport forty-seven Indians,
young and old, for eighty pounds in money.' '

" Why, what could Capt. Davenport do with them ? " asked

" He burned them at the stake, one a day," said Ned Grant

" Nonsense ! he did nothing of the sort," said Will, seeing
Rose's look of horror. " He probably sold them to the planta
tions in the West Indies as slaves."

" That was about as bad, anyway," said Ned.

" We must remember," said Mr. Longwood, " that there was
hardly a settler who had not lost friends or a home by the sav
ages. They came to be regarded as wild beasts rather than


" The people who landed in ' The Mayflower ' did not think
so," said Carrie. " Almost one of the first things they did was to
make a treaty with the Indians ; and, if any one cheated them, he
was made to pay for it severely. Among their earliest records,"
she went on, taking up a large book, and reading out of it,
" is this :

" ' Josias Plaistowe, for stealing four baskets of corn from the
Indians, is ordered to return them eight baskets, to be fined five
pounds, and hereafter to be called by the name Josias, and not
Mr. as formerly he used to be.' '

" What a learned lady you are ! " said Ned Grant, very much

" You see," laughed Carrie, '^when I came in from the pond
to hunt up a story for my part to-night, I took down an old
book that was all about the Pilgrims. I was so interested, that
I read on until nearly tea-time ; and then all at once I found that
I had no story : so I made up my mind to tell something about
the first settlers of New England."

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 2 of 30)