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for the purpose of being tortured and burnt on the pile. While the dreadful preparations were making near the village, the unhappy victim being already tied to the stake, and the Indians arriving from all quarters to join in the cruel act or to witness it, two English traders, Messrs. Arundel and Robbins, (I delight in making this honourable mention of their names,) shocked at the idea of the cruelties which were about to be perpetrated, and moved by feelings of pity and humanity, resolved to unite their exertions to endeavour to save the prisoner's life by offering a ransom to the war chief, which he, however refused, because, said he, it was an established rule among them, that when a prisoner who had been given as a present, was refused adoption, he was irrevocably doomed to the stake, and it was not in the power of any one to save his life. Besides, added he, the numerous war captains who were on the spot, had it in charge to see the sentence carried into execution. The two generous Englishmen, however, were not discouraged, and determined to try a last effort. They well knew what effects the high-minded pride of an Indian was capable of producing, and to this strong and noble passion they directed their attacks: “ But,” said they, in reply to the answer which the chief had made them,
among all those chiefs whom you have mentioned, " there is none who equals you in greatness; you 6 are considered not only as the greatest and bra".vest; but as the best man in the nation.'
you really believe what you say ?” said at once
the Indian, looking them full in the face. « Indeed “ we do." Then, without saying another word, he blackened himself, and taking his knife and tomohawk in his hand, made his way through the crowd to the unhappy victim, crying out with a loud voice: “ What have you to do with my prisoner ?" and at once cutting the cords with which he was tied, took him to his house which was near Mr. Arundel's, whence he was forthwith secured and carried off by safe hands to Detroit, where the commandant, being informed of the transaction, sent him by water to Niagara, where he was soon afterwards liberated. The Indians who witnessed this act, said that it was truly heroic; they were so confounded by the unexpected conduct of this chief, and by his manly and resolute appearance, that they had not time to reflect upon what they should do, and before their astonishment was well over, the prisoner was out of their reach.-HECKEWELDER.
MARVELLOUS SAGACITY IN TRACING FOOTSTEPS. It is certain that the Indians, by the prints of the feet and by other marks and signs perceivable only to themselves, can readily discover, not only that men have passed through a particular path or line of march, but they can discriminate to what particular nation those men belong, and whether they are their friends or their enemies. They also sometimes make discoveries by examining obscure places, and by that means get informed of an enemy's design. Nay, there are those among them who pretend to
be able to discriminate among various marks of human footsteps the different nations of those to whom they respectively belong. I shall not undertake to assert thus far, but I shall relate an anecdote, the truth of which I firmly believe, in proof of their extraordinary sagacity in this respect.
In the beginning of the summer of the year 1755, a most atrocious and shocking murder was unexpectedly committed by a party of Indians, on fourteen white settlers within five miles of Shamokin. The suryiving whites, in their rage, determined to take their revenge by murdering a Delaware Indian, who happened to be in those parts and was far from thinking himself in any danger. He was a great friend to the whites, was loved and esteemed by them, and in testimony of their regard, had received from them the name of Duke Holland, by which he was generally known. This Indian, satisfied that his nation was incapable of committing such a foul murder in a time of profound peace, told the enraged settlers, that he was sure that the Delawares were not in any manner concerned in it, and that it was the act of some wicked Mingoes or Iroquois, whose custom it was to involve other nations in wars with each other, by clandestinely committing murders, so that they might be laid to the charge of others than themselves. But all his representations were vain; he could not convince exasperated men whose minds were fully bent upon revenge. At last, he offered that if they would give him a party to accompany him, he would go with them in quest of the
murderers, and was sure he could discover them by the prints of their feet and other marks well known to him, by which he would convince them that the real perpetrators of the crime belonged to the Six Nations. His proposal was accepted; he marched at the head of a party of whites and led them into the tracks. They soon found themselves in the most rocky parts of a mountain, where not one of those who accompanied him was able to discover a single track, nor would they believe that man had ever trodden upon this ground, as they had to jump over a number of crevices between the rocks, and in some instances to crawl over them. Now they began to believe that the Indian had led them across those rugged mountains in order to give the enemy time to escape, and threatened him with instant death the moment they should be fully convinced of the fraud. The Indian, true to his promise, would take pains to make them perceive that an enemy had passed along the places through which he was leading them; here he would shew them that the moss on the rock had been trodden down by the weight of a human foot, there that it had been torn and dragged forward from its place; further he would point out to them that pebbles or small stones on the rocks had been removed from their beds by the foot hitting against them, that dry sticks by being trodden upon were broken, and even that in a particular place, an Indian's blanket had being dragged over the rocks, and removed or loosened the leaves lying there, so that they lay no more flat as in other places; all
which the Indian could perceive as he walked along, without even stopping. At last arriving at the foot of the mountain on soft ground, where the tracks were deep, he found out that the enemy were eight in number, and from the freshness of the foot prints, he concluded that they must be encamped at no great distance. This proved to be the exact truth, for after gaining the eminence on the other side of the valley, the Indians were seen encamped, some having already laid down to sleep, while others were drawing off their leggings * for the same purpose, and the scalps they had taken were hanging up to dry. " See !” said Duke Holland to his astonished companions," there is the enemy! not of my na" tion, but Mingoes, as I truly told you. They are “ in our power; in less than half an hour they will « all be fast asleep. We need not fire a gun, but go up
and tomohawk them. We are nearly two to one, and need apprehend no danger. Come on, " and you will now have your full revenge !". But the whites, overcome with fear, did not choose to follow the Indian's advice, and urged him to take them back by the nearest and best way, which he did, and when they arrived at home late at night, they reported the number of the Iroquois to have been so great, that they durst not venture to attac them.
This account is faithfully given as I received it. from Duke Holland himself, and took it down in
* Indian stockings