D'Ri and I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 195 pages of information about D'Ri and I.

“We’ll know soon,” said a voice near me, “whether he could have killed Ronley in a fair fight.”

I turned to look at those few in the arena.  There were half a dozen of them now, surrounding my adversary, a man taller than the rest, with a heavy neck and brawny arms and shoulders.  He had come out of the crowd unobserved by me.  He also was stripped to the shirt, and had rolled up his sleeves, and was trying the steel.  He had a red, bristling mustache and overhanging brows and a vulgar face—­not that of a man who settles his quarrel with the sword.  I judged a club or a dagger would have been better suited to his genius.  But, among fighters, it is easy to be fooled by a face.  In a moment the others had gone save his Lordship and that portly bald-headed man I had heard him rebuke as “Sir Charles.”  My adversary met me at the centre of the arena, where we shook hands.  I could see, or thought I could, that he was entering upon a business new to him, for there was in his manner an indication of unsteady nerves.

“Gentlemen, are you ready?” said his Lordship.

But there are reasons why the story of what came after should be none of my telling.  I leave it to other and better eyes that were not looking between flashes of steel, as mine were.  And then one has never a fair view of his own fights.

[1] The intrepid Fitzgibbon, the most daring leader on the Canadian frontier those days, told me long afterward that he knew the building—­a tall frame structure on the high shore of a tributary of the St. Lawrence.  It was built on a side of the bluff and used originally as a depot for corn, oats, rye, and potatoes, that came down the river in bateaux.  The slide was a slanting box through which the sacks of grain were conveyed to sloops and schooners below.  It did not pay and was soon abandoned, whereupon it was rented by the secret order referred to above.  The slide bottom was coated with lard and used for the hazing of candidates.  A prize fight on the platform was generally a feature of the entertainment.  A man was severely injured in a leap on the bayonets, after which that feature of the initiation was said to have been abandoned.

XIV

This is the story of Corporal Darius Olin, touching his adventure in the Temple of the Avengers, at some unknown place in Upper Canada, on the night of August 12, 1813, and particularly the ordeals of the sword, the slide, and the bayonet to which Captain Ramon Bell was subjected that night, as told to Adjutant Asarius Church, at Sackett’s Harbor, New York:—­

“Soon es I see whut wus up, I gin a powerful lift on thet air shackle-chain.  I felt ’er give ‘n’ bust.  A couple o’ men clim’ int’ the seat front uv us, ‘n’ the hosses started hell bent.  I sot up with my hands ’hind uv me ‘n the wagin.  I kep’ ’em there tight ‘n’ stiff, es ef the iron wus holdin’ uv ’em.  Could n’t git no chance t’ say nuthin’ t’ Ray.  Hustled us upstairs, ‘n’ when we come in t’ thet air big room they tuk him one way an’ me ’nother.

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D'Ri and I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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