Ella Barnwell eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 242 pages of information about Ella Barnwell.

CHAPTER XVII.

THE ATTACK AND RESULT.

Meantime the repairing of the pallisades had been going bravely forward, every moment rendering the garrison more and more secure, which served not a little to revive their spirits; and when at length the women had all entered, the gate been barred, and they had seen themselves well supplied with water, they could restrain their feelings no longer, and one grand, simultaneous cheer burst from their lips.

“Now then,” said Father Albach, “let ’em come, and I reckon as how they’ll meet with a warm reception.  But to draw ’em on, we must send out a party to make a feint to fight the others.”

Thirteen young men, among whom was Isaac, were accordingly selected, to pass out by the eastern gate and commence firing rapidly; while the remainder, with loaded muskets, were to range themselves along the western pickets, and be ready to pour their deadly contents into the swarthy horde of besiegers, in case their attack should be made in that quarter.  As the young men departed, all relapsed into a solemn silence of anxious suspense; which was presently broken by the rapid discharge of firearms, outside the fort, accompanied with cheers and yells from both the whites and Indians.  Now was the all important moment—­the war sounds were gradually growing more and more distant—­and every eye of the inner garrison was strained in breathless expectation, in the direction of the spring, while every rifle was cocked and in rest, ready for any emergency.

Suddenly the tall weeds—­which a moment before had been quietly waving in the morning breeze—­became dreadfully agitated; and the next instant, as if by magic, the ground was peopled by some five hundred hideous savages; who, led on by the notorious renegade, now rushed forward, with wild frantic yells, to the western pallisades, where our gallant little band stood drawn up ready to receive them.  They had advanced in a tremendous body, to within a few feet of the fort, when the word “Fire,” uttered in a clear, manly voice, resounded above their own frightful yells, and was followed the next moment by a terrible volley of leaden balls, that carried death and terror into their serried ranks.  With one simultaneous yell of rage, consternation, and disappointment, they halted a moment in indecision; when another death-dealing volley, from the gallant Kentuckians, decided their course of action; and again yelling fearfully, they parted to the right and left, and bearing their dead and wounded with them, rushed for the covert of a neighboring forest.  At the same moment, the party which had sallied forth upon the Lexington road, to make a feint of attacking their decoys, entered the fort by the eastern gate, in high spirits at the success of their maneuver.

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Ella Barnwell from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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