[Footnote 12: Lest there should seem to the reader an inconsistency in one tribe yielding the fate of their prisoners to the decision of another, we would remark here, that at the period of which we write, the Six Nations were allied and fought for one common interest against the Americans, on the British side, and therefore not unfrequently shared each others dangers and partook of each others spoils.]
[Footnote 13: A practice sometimes, but not always, followed.]
THE TRIAL, SENTENCE, AND EXECUTION.
The council-house in question, was a building of good size, of larger dimensions than its neighbors, stood on a slight elevation, and, as we before remarked, near the center of the village. Into this the warriors and head men of the Piqua tribe now speedily gathered, and proceeded at once to business. An old chief—whose wrinkled features and slightly-tremulous limbs, denoted extreme age—was allowed, by common consent, to act as chairman; and taking his position near the center of the apartment, with a knife and a small stick in his hand, the warriors and chief men of the nation formed a circle around him.
Among these latter—conspicuous above all for his beautiful and graceful form, his dignified manner, and look of intelligence, to whom all eyes turned with seeming deference—was the celebrated Shawanoe chief, Catahecassa, (Black Hoof) whose name occupies no inferior place on the historic page of the present day, as being at first the inveterate foe, and afterward the warm friend of the whites. In stature he was small, being only about five feet eight inches, lightly made, but strongly put together, with a countenance marked and manly, and one that would be pleasing to a friend, but the reverse to an enemy. He was a great orator, a keen, cunning and sagacious warrior, and one who held the confidence and love of his tribe. At the period referred to, he was far past what is usually termed the middle age; though, as subsequent events have proved, only in his noon of life—for at his death he numbered one hundred and ten years.
Upon the ground, within the circle, and near the old chief in the center, were seated Algernon and Younker—the latter having recovered consciousness—both haggard and bloody from their recent brutal treatment. They were sad spectacles to behold, truly, and would have moved to pity any hearts less obdurate than those by which they were surrounded. Their faces bore those expressions of dejection and wan despair, which may sometimes be perceived in the look of a criminal, when, loth to die, he is assured all hope of pardon is past. Not that either Younker or Reynolds felt criminal, or feared death in its ordinary way; but there were a thousand things to harass their minds, besides the dreadful thought of that lingering, horrible torture, which was enough to make the boldest quail, and which they now had not the faintest hope of escaping.