Jack wrote in one of his letters that as they fared along, down toward the sown lands of the upper Mohawk, Solomon began to develop talents of which none of his friends had entertained the least suspicion.
“He has had a hard life full of fight and peril like most of us who were born in this New World,” the young man wrote. “He reminds me of some of the Old Testament heroes, and is not this land we have traversed like the plains of Mamre? What a gentle creature he might have been if he had had a chance! How long, I wonder, must we be slayers of men? As long, I take it, as there are savages against whom we must defend ourselves.”
The next morning they met a company of one of the regiments of General Herkimer who had gone in pursuit of Red Snout and his followers. Learning what had happened to that evil band and its leader the soldiers faced about and escorted Solomon and his party to Oriskany.
THE FIRST FOURTH OF JULY
Mrs. Scott and her child lived in the family of General Herkimer for a month or so. Settlers remote from towns and villages had abandoned their farms. The Indians had gone into the great north bush perhaps to meet the British army which was said to be coming down from Canada in appalling numbers. Hostilities in the neighborhood of The Long House had ceased. The great Indian highway and its villages were deserted save by young children and a few ancient red men and squaws, too old for travel. Late in June, Jack and Solomon were ordered to report to General Schuyler at Albany.
“We’re gettin’ shoveled eroun’ plenty,” Solomon declared. “We’ll take the womern an’ the boy with us an’ paddle down the Mohawk to Albany. They kind o’ fell from Heaven into our hands an’ we got to look a’ter ‘em faithful. Fust ye know ol’ Herk ‘ll be movin’ er swallered hull by the British an’ the Injuns, like Jonah was by the whale, then what ’ud become o’ her an’ the Leetle Cricket? We got to look a’ter ’em.”
“I think my mother will be glad to give them a home,” said Jack. “She really needs some help in the house these days.”
The Scotts’ buildings had been burned by the Indians and their boats destroyed save one large canoe which had happened to be on the south shore of the river out of their reach. In this Jack and Solomon and “Mis’ Scott” and the Little Cricket set out with loaded packs in the moon of the new leaf, to use a phrase of the Mohawks, for the city of the Great River. They had a carry at the Wolf Riff and some shorter ones but in the main it was a smooth and delightful journey, between wooded shores, down the long winding lane of the Mohawk. Without fear of the Indians they were able to shoot deer and wild fowl and build a fire on almost any part of the shore. Mrs. Scott insisted on her right to do the cooking. Jack kept a diary of the trip, some pages of which the historian has read. From them we learn: