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955 > Page 955 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. 955 sound of footsteps caught his practiced ear, and upon turning around he saw two squaws within a few feet of hiin. Upon turning the jut of the hill, the eldest squaw gave one of those far-reaching whoops peculiar to Indians. White at once comprehended his perilous situation. If the alarm should reach the camps or town, he and his companion must inevitably perish. Self-preservation compelled him to inflict a noiseless death on the squaws, and in such a manner as, if possible, to leave no trace behind. Ever rapid in thought and prompt in action, he sprang upon his victims with the rapidity and power of the lion, and, grasping the throat of each, sprang into the river. He thrust the head of the eldest under the water. While making strong efforts to submerge the younger, who, however, powerfully resisted him, and during the short struggle with this young athlete, to his astonishment, she addressed him in his own language, though in almost inarticulate sounds. Releasing his hold, she informed him that she had been a prisoner for ten years, and was taken from below Wheeling, and that the Indians had killed all the family, and that her brother and herself were taken prisoners, but he succeeded on the second night in making his escape. During this narrative White had drowned the elder squaw, and had let her float off with the current, wdiere it would not, probably, be found out soon. He now directed the girl to follow him, and, with his usual speed and energy, pushed for the mount. They had scarcely gone half-way when they heard the alarm-cry some quarter of a mile down the stream. It was supposed some party of Indians, returning from hunting, had struck the river just as the body of the squaw floated past. White and the girl succeeded in reaching the rpount, where McClellan had been no indifferent spectator to the sudden commotion among the Indians. The prairie party of warriors were seen immediately to strike off in every direction, and White and the girl had scarcely arrived before a party of some twenty warriors reached the eastern acclivity of the mount and were cautiously and carefully keeping under