As the balls would rake the subnascent appendage, making it twinge with the sharp sting, he would cry out:
“Oh! oh, Lort! haf’ mercy on me and mine!”
But his cries availed nothing; and so losing all patience, he raised up his head, and, looking at the enemy, called to them:
“Oh, now, t’ere! quit t’at tam nonsense, will you?”
The boat was, finally, saved, with all on board, except the young man and the horses. (For further particulars of this affair, see “Western Adventure,” page 275-6.)
Ramsey discovered at the commencement of the fray that this was not the boat he was in quest of, and so, leaving the Indians to accomplish its capture as they pleased, he hastened onward in the hope of still overtaking the right vessel. In this he failed; already had it reached its destination, and the Waltons were in their new home. He returned, and reported his ill success to Durant, who was greatly vexed at the issue of his undertaking, but resolved to renew his efforts to obtain possession of Ellen, or in some way work her ruin.
STILL AT WORK.
An evil heart, bent on mischief, is never contented in idleness, but, like the volcanic fires, its passions and thirst for revenge, when not in open eruption, are actively at work in secret and darkness, preparing for new outbursts, bearing death along their path, and leaving devastation, blight and ruin in their wake. This was much the case with Louis Durant, after the failure of his attempt on the boat. He was resolved to accomplish the villainy on which he had set his heart, and to this end determined to leave no means untried, be they ever so base, which lay within his reach.
To proceed openly, however, was not exactly practicable, as by so doing too many eyes would be upon him; and he was too cowardly to face an open foe on fair ground. So he went to work in secret.
After mature deliberation, and the revolving and the re-revolving of the matter in his mind, he concluded to join the Indians, and through their aid accomplish the consummation of his designs. In carrying out this plan, he was very materially aided by his old accomplice in crime, Ramsey, whose familiarity with the red men gave him at once the facilities for introducing his friend to their notice, which he did with a flourish and eulogium. Things went on smoothly enough while Durant was learning the language, customs, manners and habits of his new allies. He had as much as he could do to convince them of his bravery and undaunted courage, which qualities, believing he was deficient in them, they as often as possible put to the test. In many of these adventures he barely came off with credit whole, a thing he found absolutely necessary to maintain any kind of credit with this singular people, and, for this purpose, he called into action every particle of courage from every crack and crevice of his system, and brought the whole to bear upon one point, the wavering of his own heart, and, with it, the staying of his almost quaking limbs, and ready-to-run-away feet. He had just “quantum sufficit” for this purpose, and none to spare.