He found no one at the fort to assist him in protecting it, and a few days after his arrival the Indians became so troublesome and threatening that he found it would be impossible to remain there, protect the fort single-handed, and carry on trading operations successfully.
One afternoon the Indians appeared before the fort in numbers, threatening that if the place was not vacated at once they would murder the occupants. They then made a rush and got within the enclosure, and soon after retired.
Captain Godfrey had fortunately purchased from the master of the vessel in which he brought his merchandize to the fort, a small boat. The boat had been securely moored at the island below the fort.
The day following the assembling at the fort the savages again appeared and attempted to steal the boat, and would have done so had not Mrs. Godfrey succeeded in reaching the shore in time to discharge a musket at the thieves. The Redskins pulled the boat to the spot where she stood, but Mrs. Godfrey never moved from the position she had taken. When the Indians were in the act of jumping on shore she ordered them to take the boat back to the place from whence they had loosed it. One of the Redskins, a tall, muscular fellow, who could speak some English, asked her if she would get into the boat and go with them. If so, the boat would be taken back and made fast. She replied, “I have no doubt you are an honest man and would do no injury to a weak, pale-faced woman, I will go with you.” And as she said these words, she sprang into the boat and sat down, resting the musket upon her knees.
The Indians paddled the boat back to the place whence they had loosed it, and not one of them uttered a word. After the boat had been made fast Mrs. Godfrey was assisted ashore by the tall, muscular savage, his four companions walking away without saying a word. They were soon joined by their tall, muscular friend, and a few minutes later all were lost to view among the trees on the shore.
Mrs. Godfrey retired to the fort, where she was warmly congratulated by her husband for the tact and courage she had displayed in presence of the savages. She replied, “the Indians seemed completely taken aback when I jumped into the boat and had not recovered from their surprise when they parted from me, and while I was sitting in the boat, the deep, black eyes of the tall, muscular fellow looked straight and steady at me, and at times I felt as though they were piercing me through and through.”
The evening was a solemn one at Fort Frederick. The Captain and his wife talked over their situation, and the children were restless, the slightest noise about the place making the little ones tremble like aspen leaves. The Captain and his wife agreed that it would be useless, while the Indians were so troublesome, to remain at the Fort and attempt to transact business with the settlers, who were few indeed.