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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesSatanstoe; Or, The Littlepage Manuscripts: A Tale Of The Colony - Chapter 28
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Satanstoe; Or, The Littlepage Manuscripts: A Tale Of The Colony - Chapter 28 Post by :automate Category :Long Stories Author :James Fenimore Cooper Date :May 2012 Read :2250

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Satanstoe; Or, The Littlepage Manuscripts: A Tale Of The Colony - Chapter 28

CHAPTER XXVIII

"Between two worlds life hovers like a star,
'Twixt night and morn, upon the horizon's verge:
How little do we know that which we are!
How less what we may be! The eternal surge
Of time and tide rolls on, and bears afar
Our bubbles: as the old burst, new emerge,
Lashed from the foam of ages; while the graves
Of empires heave but like some passing wave."

BYRON.


It was now announced by Herman Mordaunt in person, that the watch was set for the night, and that each man might seek his rest. The crowded state of the Nest was such, as to render it no easy matter to find a place in which to sleep, straw being our only beds. At length we found our pallets, such as they were; and, spite of all that had passed that evening, truth compels me to admit that I was soon in a profound sleep. There was no exception to this rule among the Mooseridge party, I believe, fatigue proving to to be more powerful, than either successful love, unsuccessful love, or personal apprehension.

It was about three o'clock, when I felt a significant pressure of the arm, such as one gives when he especially wishes to attract attention. It was Jason Newcome, employed in awakening the men of the house, without giving such an alarm as might reach the ears without. In a few minutes everybody was up and armed.

As the morning, just before the appearance of light, when sleep is heaviest, is the hour when savages usually attack, no one was surprised at these preparations, which were understood to be ordered by Herman Mordaunt, who was a-foot, and on the look-out himself, at a place favourable to observation. In the mean time, we men, three or four-and-twenty in all, assembled in the court, in waiting for a summons to the gate, or the loop. Jason had executed his trust so dexterously, that neither female nor child knew anything of our movement; all sleeping, or seeming to sleep in the security of a peaceful home. I took an occasion to compliment the ex-pedagogue and new miller, on the skill he had shown; and we fell into a low discourse, in consequence.

"I have been thinking that this warfare may put a new face on these settlements, Corny," continued Jason, after we had conversed some little time, "more especially as to the titles."

"I cannot see how they are to be affected, Mr. Newcome, unless the French should happen to conquer the colony, a thing not very likely to happen."

"That's just it; exactly what I mean, as to principle. Have not these Hurons conquered this particular settlement? I say they have. They are in possession of the whull of it, this house excepted; and it appears to me that if we ever get re-possession, it will be by another conquest. Now, what I want to know is this--does not conquest give the conquerors a right to the conquered territory? I have no books here, yet; but I'm dreadful forgetful, or I _have read that such is the law."

I may say that this was the first direct demonstration that Jason ever made on the property of Herman Mordaunt. Since that time he has made many more, some of which I, or he who may be called on to continue this narrative, will probably relate; but I wish to record, here, this as the first in a long series of attempts which Jason Newcome has practised, in order to transfer the fee-simple of the mill-lot at Ravensnest, from the ownership of those in whom it is vested by law, to that of his own humble, but meritorious person.

I had little time to answer this very singular sort of reasoning; for, just then, Herman Mordaunt appeared among us, and gave us serious duty to perform. The explanations with which his orders were preceded, were these. As had been anticipated, the Indians had adopted the only means that could prove effective against such a fortress as the Nest without the aid of artillery. They were making their preparations to set the building on fire, and had been busy all night in collecting a large amount of pine-knots, roots, &c., which they had succeeded in piling against the outer logs, at the point where one wing touched the cliff, and where the formation of the ground enabled them to approach the building without incurring much risk. Their mode of proceeding is worthy of being related. One of the boldest and most skilful of their number had crept to the spot, and posted himself so close to the logs as to be safe from observation, as well as reasonably safe from shot. His associates had then extended to him one end of a long pole, they standing below, some on a shelf of the cliff, and the rest on the ground; all being safe from harm so long as they kept close to their respective covers. Thus disposed, these children of the forest passed hours in patient toil, in forwarding by means of a basket, the knots, and 'other combustibles, up to the warrior, who kept his position close under the building, and who piled them in the way most favourable to his object.

Susquesus had the merit of discovering the projected attempt, the arrangements for which had completely escaped the vigilance of the sentinels. It would seem that the Onondago, aware of the artifices of the red-man, and acquainted in particular with the personal character of Jaap's friend. Muss, did not believe the night would go by without some serious attempt on the house. The side of the cliff was much the weakest point of the fortress, having no other protection than the natural obstacles of the rocks, which were not inaccessible, though somewhat difficult of ascent, and the low picketing, already mentioned. Under such circumstances, the Indian felt certain the assault would be made on that side. Placing himself on watch, therefore, he discovered the first attempts of the Hurons, but did not let them be known to Herman Mordaunt, until they were nearly completed; his reason for the delay being the impatience of the pale-faces, which would not have suffered the enemy to accomplish his object, so far as preparations were concerned; the thing of all others he himself thought to be the most desirable. By allowing the Hurons to waste their time and strength in making arrangements for an assault that was foreseen, and which might be met and defeated, a great advantage was obtained; whereas, by driving them prematurely from an artifice they were known to be engaged in, they would have recourse to another, and the difficulty of discovery would be added to our other disadvantages. So Susquesus reasoned, as was said at the time; and it is certain that so he acted.

But, the time had come to meet these covert preparations Herman Mordaunt now held a consultation, on the subject of our proceedings. The question submitted was, whether we ought to let the Hurons go any further; whether we should shoot the adventurous savage who was known still to be posted under the logs of the house, and scatter his pile of knots, by a sortie; or, whether it were wiser to let the enemy proceed to the extremity of actually lighting his fire, before we unmasked. Something was to be said in favour of each plan. By shooting the savage who had made a lodgment under our walls, and scattering his pile, we should unquestionably defeat the present attempt; but, in all probability, another would be made the succeeding night; whereas, by waiting to the last moment, such an effectual repulse might be given to our foes, as would at once terminate their expedition.

On consultation, and weighing all the points as they offered, it was decided to adopt the latter policy. But one spot commanded a view of the pile at all, and that was a loop, that had been cut only the day before, and which looked directly down on the place, from a projection that existed in the second story, and which ran around the whole building. These projections were common enough, in the architecture of the provinces at that day, being often adopted in exposed positions, purposely to afford the means of protecting the inferior and external portions of the dwellings. The Nest possessed this advantage, though the loops necessary to complete the arrangement, had only quite recently been cut. At this loop, then, I stationed myself, for a short time, watching what was going on below. The night was dark, but there was no difficulty, in distinguishing the pile of knots, which to me seemed several feet high, besides being of some length, or in noting the movements of the Indian who had built it. At the moment I took my stand at the loop, this man was actually engaged in setting fire to his combustibles.

For several minutes Guert and I watched our enemy while he was thus employed, for the Huron was obliged to proceed with the utmost caution, lest a light prematurely shed around should betray him. He cautiously lighted his knots quite within the pile, having left a place for that purpose; and his combustibles were well in flames before the latter began to throw their rays to any distance. We had a quantity of water provided in the room from which we beheld all these movements, and might at any time have extinguished the fire, by pouring a stream through our loop, provided we did not wait too long. But Guert objected to 'spoiling the sport,' as he called it, insisting that the logs of the house would be slow to ignite, and that we might at any moment scatter the knots, by a rapid sortie. His wish was to let the enemy proceed in his designs, as far as would be at all safe, in order to render his defeat more overwhelming.

Owing to our position, directly over his head, we had no chance to see the face of the incendiary while he was thus engaged. At length he cast a glance upward, as if to note the effect of the flames, which were beginning to throw their forked tongues above the pile, when we both recognised Jaap's prisoner, Muss. The sight proved too much for Guert's philosophy, and thrusting the muzzle of his rifle through the loop, he blazed away at him, without much regard to aim. This report was a sort of signal for action, the whole house, and all the outer, world appearing to be in a clamour in an instant. I had no means of seeing Muss, but some of our look-outs, who had him in view most of the time, told me, after all was over, that the fellow seemed much astonished at the suddenness of this assault; that he gazed up at the loop an instant, uttered a loud exclamation, then yelled the war-whoop at the top of his voice, and went bounding off into the darkness, like a buck put up unexpectedly from his lair. The fields all around the Nest seemed to be alive with whooping demons. Herman Mordaunt had done little towards embellishing the place; and stumps were standing in hundreds all about it, many having been left within twenty yards of the buildings. It now seemed as if every one of these stumps had an Indian warrior lodged behind it, while bands of them appeared to be leaping about in the gloom, under the rocks. At one time, I fancied we must be surrounded by hundreds of these ruthless foes, though I now suppose that their numbers were magnified by their activity and their infernal yells. They manifested no intention to attack, nevertheless, but kept screaming around us in all directions, occasionally discharging a rifle, but, as a whole, waiting the moment when the flames should have done their work.

Considering the fearful circumstances in which he was placed, Herman Mordaunt was wonderfully collected. For myself, I felt as if I had fifty lives to lose, Anneke being, uppermost in my thoughts. The females, however, behaved uncommonly well; making no noise, and using all the self-command they could assume, in order not to distract the exertions of their husbands and friends. Some of the wives of the sturdy settlers, indeed, actually exhibited a species of stern courage that would have done credit to soldiers; appearing in the court, armed, and otherwise rendering themselves useful. It often happened that women of this class, by practising on deer, and wolves, and bears, got to be reasonably expert with fire-arms, and did good service in attacks on their dwellings. I remarked, in all the commoner class of females, that night, a sort of fierce hostility to their savage foes, in whom they doubtless saw only the murderers of children, and wretches who made no distinction of sex or age, in pursuing their heartless warfare. Many of them appeared like the dams of the inferior animals when their young were in danger.

An interval of ten or fifteen minutes must have occurred between the moment when Guert discharged his rifle and that in which the battle really began. All this time the fire was gathering head, our tardy attempts to extinguish it proving a complete failure. But little apprehension was felt on this account, however, the flames proving an advantage, by casting their light far into the fields, and even below the rocks, while they did not reach the court at all; thus placing a portion of the enemy, should they venture to attack, under a bright light, while it left us in darkness. The only point, however, at which we could fear a serious assault, was on the side of the rocks, where the court had no other protection than the low, but close and tolerably strong picket. Fortunately, the formation of the ground on that side prevented one who stood on the meadows below from firing into the court from any point within the ordinary range of the rifle. It was this circumstance that had determined the site of the garrison.

Such was the state of things when Anneke's own girl came to ask me to go to her mistress, if it were possible for me to quit my station, were it only for a minute. Having no particular duty to perform, there was no impropriety in complying with a request which, in itself, was every way so grateful to my feelings. Guert was near me at the time, and heard what the young negress said; this induced him to inquire if there was no message for himself; but, even at that serious moment, Mary Wallace did not relent. She had been kinder than common in manner, the previous night, as the Albanian had admitted; but, at the same time, she had appeared to distrust her own resolution so much, as even to give less direct encouragement than had actually escaped her on previous occasions.

I found Anneke expecting me in that little parlour where I had so recently listened to her sweet confessions of tenderness the evening before. She was alone, the instinct of her sex teaching her the expediency of having no witness of the feelings and language that might escape two hearts that were united as were ours, under circumstances so trying. The dear girl was pale as death when I entered; she had doubtless been thinking of the approaching conflict, and of what might be its frightful consequences; but, my presence instantly caused her face to be suffused with blushes, it being impossible for her sensitive mind not to revert to what had so lately occurred. This truth to the instinctive principle of her nature could hardly be extinguished in woman, even at the stake itself. Notwithstanding the liveliness and varying character of her feelings, Anneke was the first to speak.

"I have sent for you, Corny," she said, laying a hand on her heart, as if to quiet its throbbings, "to say one word in the way of caution--I hope it is not wrong."

"You _can do nothing wrong, beloved Anneke," I answered; "or, nothing that would seem so in my eyes. Be not thus agitated. Your fears have increased the danger, which we consider as trifling. The risks Guert, Dirck, and myself have already run, are tenfold those which now beset us."

The dear girl submitted to have an arm of mine passed around her waist, when her head dropped on my breast, and she burst into tears. Enabled by this relief to command her feelings a little, it was not long ere Anneke raised herself from the endearing embrace I felt impelled to give her, though still permitting me to hold both her hands; and she looked up into my face, with the full confidence of affection, renewing the discourse.

"I could not suffer you to engage in this terrible scene, Corny," she said, without one word, one look, one sign of the interest I feel in you. My dear, dear father has heard all; and, though disappointed, he does not disapprove. You know how warmly he has wished Mr. Bulstrode for a son, and can excuse that preference; but he desired me, not ten minutes since, as he left me, after giving me a kiss and his blessing, to send for you, and to say that he shall hereafter look upon you as my and his choice. Heaven alone knows whether we are to be permitted to meet again, dear Corny; but, should that never be granted us, I feel it will relieve your mind to know that we shall meet as the members of one family."

"We are the only children of our parents, Anneke, and our union will gladden their hearts almost as much as it can gladden our own."

"I have thought of this, already. I shall have a mother, now; a blessing I hardly ever knew!"

"And one that will dearly, dearly love you, as I know by her own opinions, again and again expressed in my presence."

"Thank you, Corny--and thanks to that respected parent, too. Now, go, Corny; I am fearful this selfish gratification only adds to the danger of the house--go; I will pray for your safety."

"One word, dearest;--poor Guert!--You cannot know how disappointed he is, that I alone should be summoned here, at such a moment."

Anneke seemed thoughtful, and it struck me she was a little distressed.

"What can I do to alter this?" she said, after a short pause. "A woman's judgment and her feelings may not impel her the same way; then Mary Wallace is a girl who appreciates propriety so highly!"

"I understand you, Anneke. But, Guert is of so noble a disposition, and acknowledges all his defects so meekly, and with so much candour! Man cannot love woman better than he loves Mary Wallace. Her extreme prudence is a virtue, in his eyes, even while he suffers by it."

"I cannot change Mary Wallace's nature, Corny," said Anneke, smiling sadly, and, as I fancied, in a way that said 'were it I, the virtues of Guert should soon outweigh his defects;' "but Mary will be Mary, and we must submit. Perhaps to-morrow may bring her wavering mind to something like decision; for these late events have proved greatly Mr. Ten Eyck's friends. But Mary is an orphan, and prudence has been taught her as her great protection. Now, go, Corny, lest you be missed."

The dear girl parted from me hurriedly, but not without strong manifestation of feeling. I folded her to my heart; that being no moment for affectations or conventional distance; and I know _I was, while I trusted Anneke might be, none the less happy for remembering we had exchanged these proofs of mutual attachment.

Just as I reached the court, I heard a yell without, which my experience before Ty had taught me was the whoop the Hurons give when they attack. A rattling fire succeeded, and we were instantly engaged in a hot conflict. Our people fought under one advantage, which more than counter-balanced the disadvantage of their inferiority in numbers. While two sides of the buildings, including that of the meadows, or the one on which an assault could alone be successful, were in bright light, the court still remained sufficiently dark to answer all the purposes of defence. We could see each other, but could not be distinguished at any distance. Our persons, when seen from without, must have been confounded, too, with the waving shadows of the pickets.

As I approached the pickets, through the openings of which our people were already keeping up a dropping fire on the dark-looking demons who were leaping about on the meadows below, I learned from Herman Mordaunt, himself, who received me by an affectionate squeeze of the hand, that a large body of the enemy was collected directly under the rocks, and that Guert had assumed the duty of dislodging them. He had taken with him, on this service, Dirck, Jaap, and three or four more of the best men, including both of our Indians. The manner in which he proposed to effect this object was bold, and like the character of the leader of the party. As so much depended on it, and on its success, I will explain a few of its more essential details.

The front of the house ranged north and south, facing westward. The two wings, consequently, extended east and west. The fire had been built at the verge of the cliff, and at the north-east angle of the building. This placed the north and east sides of the square in light, while it left the west and south in deep darkness. The gate opening to the west, it was not a very hopeless thing to believe it practicable to lead a small party round the south-west angle of the house, to the verge of the cliff, where the formation of the ground would allow of a volley's being given upon those savages who were believed to be making a lodgment directly beneath our pickets, with a view of seizing a favourable moment to scale them. On this errand, then, Herman Mordaunt now gave me to understand my friends had gone.

"Who guards the gate, the while?" I asked, almost instinctively.

"Mr. Worden, and your old acquaintance and my new tenant, Newcome. They are both armed, for a parson will not only fight the battles of the spirit, but he will fight those of the field, when concerned. Mr. Worden has shown himself a man in all this business."

Without replying, I left Herman Mordaunt, and proceeded to the gate myself, since there was little to be done in the court. _There we were strong enough; stronger, perhaps, than was necessary; but I greatly distrusted Guert's scheme, the guard at the gate, and most of all the fire.

I was soon at Mr. Worden's side. There the reverend gentleman was, sure enough, with Jason Newcome at his elbow. Their duty was to keep the gate in that precise condition in which it could be barred, or unbarred, at the shortest notice, as friends or foes might seek admission. The parties appeared to be fully aware of the importance of the trust they filled, and I asked permission to pass out. My first object was the fire, for it struck me Herman Mordaunt felt too much confidence in his means of extinguishing it, and that our security had been neglected in that quarter. I was no sooner outside the buildings, therefore, than I turned to steal along the wall to the north-west corner, where alone I could get a view of the dangerous pile.

The brightness of the glare that was gleaming over the fields and stumps, that came within the compass of the light from the fire, added to my security by the contrast, though it did not tell well for that particular source of danger. The dark stumps, many of which were charred by the fires of the clearing, and were absolutely black, seemed to be dancing about in the fields, under the waving light, and twice I paused to meet imaginary savages ere I had gained the corner of the house. Each alarm, however, was idle, and I succeeded in obtaining the desired view. Not only were the knots burning fiercely, but a large sheet of flame was clinging to the logs of the house, menacing us with a speedy conflagration. The danger would have been greater, but a thunder-shower had passed over the settlement only an hour before we were alarmed, and coming from the north, all that side of the house had been well drenched with rain. This occurred after 'Muss' had commenced his pile, or he might have chosen another side of the building. The deep obscurity of that gust, however, was probably one of the means of his success. He must have been at work during the whole continuance of the storm.

I was not absent from the gate two minutes. That brief space was sufficient for my first purpose. I now desired Jason to enter the court, and to tell Herman Mordaunt not to delay a moment in applying the means for extinguishing the flames. There was greater danger from them than there possibly could be from any other attack upon the pickets, made in the darkness of the morning. Jason was cool by temperament, and he was a good agent to be employed on such a duty. Promising to be quick, he left us, and I turned my face towards Guert and his party. As yet, nothing had been heard of the last. This very silence was a source of alarm, though it was difficult to imagine the adventurer had met with an enemy, since such a collision must have been somewhat noisy. A few spattering shot, all of which came from the west side of the buildings, and the flickering light of the fire, were the only interruptions to the otherwise death-like calm of the hour.

The same success attended me in reaching the south-west as in reaching the north-west angle of the house. To me, it seemed as if the savages had entirely abandoned the fields in my vicinity. When I took my stand at this corner of the building, I found all its southern side in obscurity, though sufficient light was gleaming over the meadows to render the ragged edges of the cliff visible in that direction. I looked along the log walls to this streak of light, but could see no signs of my friends. I was certain they were not under the house, and began to apprehend some serious indiscretion on the part of the bold Albanian. While engaged in endeavouring to get a clue to Guert's movements, by devouring every dark object I could perceive with my eyes, I felt an elbow touched lightly, and saw a savage in his half-naked, fighting attire, at my side. I could see enough to ascertain this, but could not distinguish faces. I was feeling for my hunting-knife, when the Trackless's voice stayed my hand.

"He wrong"--said the Onondago, with emphasis. "Head too young--hand good--heart good--head very bad. Too much fire--dark here--much better."

This characteristic criticism on poor Guert's conduct, served to tell the whole story. Guert had put himself in a position in which the Onondago had refused to remain; in other words, he had gone to the verge of the cliff, where he was exposed to the light of the fire, and where he was necessarily in danger of being seen. Still, no signs of him were visible, and I was on the point of moving along the south side of the building, to the margin of the rocks, when the Trackless again touched my arm, and said "There!"

There our party was, sure enough! It had managed to reach the verge of the rocks at a salient point, which placed them in an admirable position for raking the enemy, who were supposed to be climbing to the pickets, with a view to a sudden spring, but at a dangerous distance from the buildings. The darkness had been the means of their reaching that point, which was about a hundred yards from the spot where I had expected to find them, and admirably placed for the intended object. The whole procedure was so much like Guert's character, that I could not but admire its boldness, while I condemned its imprudence. There was, however, no time to join the party, or to warn its leader of the risks he ran. We, who stood so far in the rear, could see and fully appreciate all the danger, while he probably did not. There the whole party of them stood, plainly though darkly drawn in high relief, against the light beyond, each poising his rifle and making his dispositions for the volley. Guert was nearest to the verge of the rocks, actually bending over them; Dirck was close at his side; Jaap just behind Dirck; Jumper close at Jaap's elbow; and four of the settlers, bold and hardy men, behind the Oneida.

I could scarcely breathe, for painful expectation, when I saw Guert and his companions thus rising from the earth, bringing their entire figures in front of the back-ground of light. I could have called out to warn them of the danger they ran; but it would have done no good, nor was there time for remonstrances. Guert must have felt he occupied a dangerous position, and what he did was done very promptly. Ten seconds after I saw the dark forms, all their rifles were discharged, as it might be at a single crack. One instant passed, in death-like stillness, through all the fields, and in the court; then came a volley from among the stumps at a little distance from our side of the building, and the adventurers on the rocks, or those that could, rushed towards the gate. Two of the settlers, however, and the Oneida, I saw fall, myself. The last actually leaped upward, into the air, and went down the cliff. But Guert, Dirck, Jaap, and the other two settlers, had moved away. It was at that moment that my ears were filled with such yells as I had not supposed the human throat could raise, and all the fields on our side of the house seemed alive with savages. To render the scene more appalling, that was the precise instant when the water, previously provided by Herman Mordaunt, fell upon the flames, and the light vanished, almost as one extinguishes a candle. But for this providential coincidence, there was scarce a chance for the escape of one of the adventurers. As it was, rifle followed rifle, from among the stumps, though it was no longer with any certain aim.

The battle had now become a _melee_. The savages went leaping and whooping forward in the darkness, and heavy blows were given and taken. Guert's clear, manly voice was heard, rising above the clamour, encouraging his companions to press through the throng of their assailants, in tones full of confidence. Both the Trackless and myself discharged our rifles at the foremost of the Hurons, and each certainly brought down his man; but it was not easy to see what we could do next. To stand aloof and see my friends borne down by numbers was impossible, however, and Susquesus and myself fell upon the enemy's rear. This charge of ours had the appearance of a sortie, and it produced a decided effect on the result, opening a passage by which Dirck and the two settlers issued from the throng, and joined us. This was no sooner done, than we all had to stand at bay, retreating little by little, as we could. The result would still have been doubtful, even after we had succeeded in reaching the south-western angle of the building, had it not been for a forward movement on the part of Herman Mordaunt, at the head of half-a-dozen of his settlers. This reinforcement came into the affair with loaded rifles, and a single discharge, given as soon as we were in a line with our friends, caused our assailants to vanish, as suddenly as they had appeared. On reflecting on the circumstances of that awful night, in after-life, I have thought that the force in the rear of the Hurons began to melt away, even before Herman Mordaunts support was received, leaving their front weak and unsustained. At any rate, the enemy fled to their covers, as has just been related, and we entered the gate in a body, closing and barring it, as soon as possible.

I can scarcely describe the change that had come over the appearance of things in that eventful night. The fire was extinguished, even to the embers, and deep darkness had succeeded to the glimmering, waving red light of the flames. The yells, and whoops, and screams, and shouts, for our men had frequently thrown back the defiance of their foes in cheers, were done; a stillness as profound as that of the grave reigning over the whole place. The wounded seemed ashamed even to groan; but our hurt, of whom there were four, went into the house to be cared for, stern and silent. No enemy was any longer to be apprehended beneath the pickets, for the streak of morning was just appearing above the forest, in the east, and Indians rarely attack under the light of day. In a word, _that night, at least, was passed, and we were yet protected by Providence.

Herman Mordaunt now bethought him of ascertaining his precise situation, the extent of his own loss, and, as far as possible, of that which we had inflicted on the enemy. Guert was called for, to aid in this inquiry, but no Guert was to be found! Jaap, too, was absent. A muster was had, and then it was found that Guert Ten Eyck, Jaap Satanstoe, Gilbert Davis, and Moses Mudge were all wanting. The Jumper, too, did not appear; but I accounted for him, and for the two settlers named, having actually seen them fall. Day returned to us slowly, while agitated by the effect of these discoveries; but it brought no relief. We soon ventured to re-open the gates, knowing no Indian would remain very near the building, while it was light; and, having examined all the dangerous covers, we passed outside the court with confidence, in quest of the bodies of our friends. Not an Indian was seen, Jumper excepted. The Oneida lay at the foot of the rocks, dead, and scalped; as did Davis and Mudge on the summit. Everything else human had disappeared. Dirck was confident that six or seven of the Hurons fell by the volley from the cliff, but the bodies had been carried off. As to Guert and Jaap, no traces of them remained, dead or alive.

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