“Would that I had you in my power again,” shouted back Girty; “for by ——! I would willingly forego all other vengeance on the whites, to take my revenge on you. I regret the garrison did not choose some one to reply who was not already doomed to death. It was my desire to save bloodshed; but my offer has been rejected from the mouth of one I hate; and now I leave you to your fate. To-morrow morning will see your bulwarks in ruins, and yourselves, your wives and little ones, in the power of a foe that never forgives an injury nor forgets an insult. Farewell till then! I bide my time.”
As Girty concluded altogether, he began to ease himself down from the stump, when his progress was not a little accelerated by hearing a voice from the garrison cry out:
“Shoot the —— rascal!—don’t let him escape!”
Instantly some five or six rifles were brought to bear upon him; and his fate might then have been decided forever, had not the voice of Nickolson warned them to beware of firing upon a flag of truce. Girty, however, made good his retreat, and the garrison was disturbed no more that night. Before morning the Indians, after having killed all the domestic cattle they could find belonging to the station, began their retreat; and by daylight their camp was deserted; though many of their fires were still burning brightly, and several pieces of meat were found on roasting-sticks around them, all showing a late and hasty departure.
[Footnote 22: The foregoing is strictly authentic.]
[Footnote 23: This celebrated reply of Reynolds to Girty, is published, with but slight variations, in all the historical sketches that we have seen relating to the attack on Bryan’s Station and is, perhaps, familiar to the reader.]
THE FOE PURSUED.
As Algernon had stated to Girty, the country was indeed roused to a sense of their danger. The news of the storming of Bryan’s Station had spread fast and far; and, early on the day succeeding the attack, reinforcements began to come in from all quarters; so that by noon of the fourth day, the station numbered over one hundred and eighty fighting men.
Colonel Daniel Boone, accompanied by his son Israel, and brother Samuel, commanded a considerable force from Boonesborough—Colonel Stephen Trigg, a large company from Harrodsburgh—and Colonel John Todd, the militia from Lexington. A large portion of these forces was composed of commissioned officers, who, having heard of the attack on Bryan’s Station by an overwhelming body of Indians, had hurried to the scene of hostilities, and, like brave and gallant soldiers as they were, had at once taken their places in the ranks as privates. Most noted among those who still held command under the rank of Colonel, were Majors Harlan, McGary, McBride, and Levi Todd; and Captains Bulger, Patterson and Gordon.