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953 > Page 953 of The romance and tragedy of pioneer life. A popular account of the heroes and adventurers who, by their valor and war-craft, beat back the savages from the borders of civilization and gave the American forests to the plow and the sickle ..

WAYNE'S SCOUTS. 953 of the entire plain. Here our spies took up a position from which they could observe all the movements of the Indians in the valley below. Every day added new accessions of warriors to the company. They wdtnessed their exercises of horse-racing, running foot-races, ball-playing, jumping, throwing the tomahawk, and dancing the old sachems looking on with their Indian indifference, the squaws engaged in their usual drudgery, and the children in their playful gambols. The arrival of each new war party was greeted with terrible shouts, which, striking the mural face of Mount Pleasant, re-echoed from the various indentations of the surrounding hills in a thousand reverberations, as if a million fiends were gathered at a universal revelry. Terrific as these yells would sound in the ear of those unaccustomed to Indian war-festivities, they were but martial music to our spies; strains, which awakened their watchfulness, and newly strung their courage and bravery. From their early youth they had been accustomed to it, having been bred in the frontiers. They were well practiced in all the subtilty, craft, and cunning of the Indian warfare, as well as the ferocity and blood-thirsty nature of the savage warriors, and consequently not at all excited at the scenes seen in and heard from the valley at their feet. The place of observation selected by them was well chosen; nor did they neglect to efface carefully and completely all traces of their presence. On several occasions small parties of Indians would ascend Mount Pleasant from the eastern side for the purpose of scouting the country in the vicinity of their camping-ground, in order to satisfy themselves that they were not watched or surprised by their enemy. Then the spies would seclude themselves in the deep fissures of the rocks on the west, again leaving their hiding-places when their uninvited and unwelcome visitors had disappeared. Besides this, their place was well-secured, having but one narrow entrance over a ridge, which could be passed by only one person at a time, and which was in complete command of their rifles. They were, therefore,