But we will not dwell longer on this unpleasant picture of a wretched man exposing his own dark soul to the eyes of others. All the night long he continued to rave in this fever-crazed manner, Hamilton, and much of the time Ellen, too, a witness of his madness. As morning drew near he fell into a more tranquil slumber, and the violence of the fever seemed to have passed. With the early dawn seizing a favorable moment, when all their enemies were asleep, the lovers made their escape. Ramsey and the Indians were so much occupied with Durant, they did not think of the prisoners as they would have done under other circumstances, though they did not feel desirous of seeing the deeds of the past day re-enacted. It was some time before they noticed the escape, and then no pursuit was instituted until after the morning meal was dispatched.
Hamilton and Ellen made the best of their way down the Ohio, and early in the evening had the good fortune to fall upon the camp of a party of whites, under the direction of Ellen’s brother, who had busied himself day and night to raise the force and go in quest of the captives, having resolved never to cease his efforts until his sister was rescued, or her fate learned and her death avenged.
The meeting was a happy one; and as the object of the expedition was accomplished, the party returned home, when there was a time of general rejoicing.
We have little more to say. As the reader will conclude without reading the fact, Walter and Ellen were married, according to their original arrangements, and afterward lived in the enjoyment of that happiness which love alone can procure, and which can be found only at the domestic fireside where peace reigns; their descendants may still be found in Kentucky and other western states.
Durant recovered from his hurt, and lived for some years to plot more mischief, and fail in his designs. He at last quarreled with one of his savage followers, and in a fit of anger, struck him a blow with his fist. The indignity was never forgotten or forgiven. The Indian vowed to be revenged, and he kept his oath; dogging the steps of his foe, he found an opportunity to inflict a wound, which felled his adversary to the earth. With proper attention he might have recovered, but his enemy left him disabled and bound, to die by slow inches!
His wound, at first very painful, soon began to mortify, and he felt the worms in his still living body! Vultures came to feast upon him, ere the vital spark of existence had gone out within him, and he had not the strength left to lift a hand, or speak a word in his own defense, though their long beaks were stretched over him and planted in his flesh and eyes! And when death at last came, and laid his icy fingers upon his heart, for the final stilling of its disquiet and guilty throbbing, his failing senses were suddenly and momentarily aroused, and the curdling blood sent again with quickened impulse through his veins, as his dull ears were saluted with the horrible sound of the howlings of wild beasts in the distance; and the last things that his closing, almost sightless balls beheld were the glaring eyes of the monsters of the forest, as they gloated over their prey!