Ay! but it did not end there. I was sent by Major Effingham, at Sir William's own bidding, to outflank
the French, and carry the tidings of their disaster across the portage, to the fort on the Hudson. Just
hereaway, where you see the trees rise into a mountain swell, I met a party coming down to our aid,
and I led them where the enemy were taking their meal, little dreaming that they had not finished the
bloody work of the day
And you surprised them
If death can be a surprise to men who are thinking only of the cravings of their appetites. We gave them
but little breathing time, for they had borne hard upon us in the fight of the morning, and there were few
in our party who had not lost friend or relative by their hands
When all was over, the dead, and some say the dying, were cast into that little pond. These eyes have
seen its waters colored with blood, as natural water never yet flowed from the bowels of the 'arth
It was a convenient, and, I trust, will prove a peaceful grave for a soldier. You have then seen much
service on this frontier
! said the scout, erecting his tall person with an air of military pride;
there are not many echoes among
these hills that haven't rung with the crack of my rifle, nor is there the space of a square mile atwixt
Horican and the river, that killdeer hasn't dropped a living body on, be it an enemy or be it a brute beast.
As for the grave there being as quiet as you mention, it is another matter. There are them in the camp
who say and think, man, to lie still, should not be buried while the breath is in the body; and certain it is
that in the hurry of that evening, the doctors had but little time to say who was living and who was dead.
Hist! see you nothing walking on the shore of the pond
'Tis not probable that any are as houseless as ourselves in this dreary forest
Such as he may care but little for house or shelter, and night dew can never wet a body that passes its
days in the water
, returned the scout, grasping the shoulder of Heyward with such convulsive strength
as to make the young soldier painfully sensible how much superstitious terror had got the mastery of a
man usually so dauntless.
By heaven, there is a human form, and it approaches! Stand to your arms, my friends; for we know not
whom we encounter
? demanded a stern, quick voice, which sounded like a challenge from another world, issuing
out of that solitary and solemn place.
What says it
? whispered the scout;
it speaks neither Indian nor English
? repeated the same voice, which was quickly followed by the rattling of arms, and a menacing
! cried Heyward, advancing from the shadow of the trees to the shore of the pond, within a few
yards of the sentinel.
D'où venez-vous - où allez-vous, d'aussi bonne heure
? demanded the grenadier, in the language and with
the accent of a man from old France.
Je viens de la découverte, et je vais me coucher
Etes-vous officier du roi
Sans doute, mon camarade; me prends-tu pour un provincial! Je suis capitaine de chasseurs (Heyward
well knew that the other was of a regiment in the line); j'ai ici, avec moi, les filles du commandant de la