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956 > Page 956 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 ..

956 INDIAN TRAGEDIES AND ROMANCES. cover. Soon the spies saw their swarthy foes as they glided from tree to tree and rock to rock, till their position was surrounded, except on the western perpendicular side, and all hope of escape was cut off. In this perilous condition, nothing was left but to sell their lives as dearly as possible, and this they resolved to do, and advised the girl to escape to the Indians, and tell them she had been taken prisoner. She said, ' No! death to me, in the presence of my own people, is a thousand times sweeter than captivity and slavery. Furnish me with a gun, and I will show you I can fight as well as die. This place I leave not. Here my bones shall lie bleaching with yours, and should either of you escape, you will carry the tidings of my death to my few relations.' Remonstrance proved fruitless. The two spies matured their plan of defense, and vigorously commenced the attack from the front, where, from the narrow backbone of the mount, the savages had to advance in single file and without any covert. Beyond this neck the warriors availed themselves of the rocks and trees in advancing, but in passing from one to the other they must be exposed for a short time, and a moment's exposure of their swarthy forms was enough for the unerring rifles of the spies. The Indians being entirely ignorant of how many were in ambuscade, made them the more cautious how they advanced. "After bravely maintaining the fight in front and keeping the enemy in check, they discovered a new danger threatening them. The arch foe now made evident preparations to attack them on the flank, which could be most successfully clone by reaching an isolated rock lying in one of the ravines on the southeim hill-side. This rock once gained by the Indians, they could bring the spies under point-blank shot of the rifle without the possibility of escape. Our brave spies saw the hopelessness of their situation, which nothing could avert but a brave companion and an unerring shot. These they had not; but the brave never despair. With this impending fate resting upon them they continued calm and calculating, and as unwearied as