“They did their duties—they have gone—God rest their souls, and give peace to their bones!” and taking up a paddle, the noble old hunter pulled steadily for the Kentucky shore in silence, followed by the other boats in the same manner. There they landed, placed the canoes in safety, in case they should again be needed, rekindled their fire, and encamped for the night.
On the following morning, they set out upon their homeward journey; where they finally arrived, without any events occurring worthy of note.
[Footnote 11: A hunter’s phrase for taking sight.]
THE INDIANS AND THEIR PRISONERS.
As you ascend the Miami from its mouth at the present day, you come almost immediately upon what are termed the Bottoms, or Bottom Lands, which are rich and fertile tracts of country, of miles in extent, and sometimes miles in breadth, almost water level, with the stream in question slowly winding its course through them, like a deep blue ribbon carelessly unrolled upon a dark surface. They are now mostly under culture, and almost entirely devoted to the production of maize, which, in the autumn of the year, presents the goodly sight of a golden harvest. At the time of which we write, there were no such pleasant demonstrations of civilization, but a vast unbroken forest instead, some vestiges of which still remain, in the shape of old decaying trees, standing grim and naked,
“To summer’s heat and winter’s blast,”
like the ruins of ancient structures, to remind the beholder of former days.
On these Bottoms, about ten miles above the mouth of the Miami, Wild-cat and his party, with their prisoners, encamped on the evening the attack was made upon the renegade, as shown in the preceding chapter. Possessing caution in a great degree, and fearful of the escape of his prisoners, Wild-cat spared no precautions which he thought might enhance the security of Younker and Reynolds. Accordingly, when arrived at the spot where he intended to remain for the night, the chief ordered stakes to be driven deep into the earth, some distance apart, to which the feet of the two in question, after being thrown flat upon their backs, in opposite directions, were tightly bound, with their hands still corded to the crossbars as before. A rope was next fastened around the neck of each, and secured to a neighboring sapling, in which uncomfortable manner they were left to pass the night; while their captors, starting a fire, threw themselves upon the earth around it, and soon to all appearance were sound asleep.