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957 > Page 957 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. 957 the strongest desire of life and the resistance of a numerous foe could produce. Soon McClellan saw a tall and swarthy figure preparing to spring from a covert so near to the fatal rock that a bound or two would reach it and all hope of life then was gone. He felt that all depended on one single advantageous shot; and, although but an inch or two of the warrior's body was exposed, and that at a distance of eighty or a hundred yards, he resolved to risk all, coolly raised his rifle to his face, and shading the sight with his hand, he drew a bead so sure that he felt conscious it would do the deed. He touched the trigger with his finger; the hammer came down, but, in place of striking fire, it broke his flint into many pieces; and, although he felt that the Indian must reach the rock before he could adjust another flint, he proceeded to the task with the utmost composure. Casting his eye to the fearful point suddenly he saw the warrior stretching every muscle for the leap; and with the agility of the panther he made the spring, but instead of reaching the rock, he gave a most hideous yell, and his dark body fell and rolled down the steep into the valley below. He had evidently received a death shot from some unknown hand. A hundred voices re-echoed from below the terrible shout. It was evident that they had lost a favorite warrior as well as being disappointed, for a time, of the most important movement. A very few minutes proved that the advantage gained would be of short duration; for already the spies caught a glimpse of a tall, swarthy warrior, cautiously advancing to the covert so recently occupied by his fellow-companion. Now, too, the attack in front was renewed with increased fury, so as to require the incessant fire of both spies to prevent the Indians from gaining the eminence; and in a short time McClellan saw a warrior making preparations to leap on the fatal rock. The leap was made, and the Indian turning a somersault, his corpse rolled clown the hill toward his former companion. Again an unknown agent had interposed in their behalf. This second sacrifice cast dismay into the ranks of the assailants, and just as the sun was