PRITCHARD (involuntarily). Oh, Boone, we’re sold!
BOONE (quickly). No! Saved! The British will take a ransom, and Boonesborough will pay it to the uttermost farthing. (In a low voice.) Come, strategy! Strategy! I will break through to-night.
PRITCHARD. Great Chief Black Fish, to you we have surrendered. With your braves we will take the trail to the British encampment.
BLACK FISH (grunting with pleasure). Umph! Much money for paleface prisoners. (To Hawk Eye). Give prisoners bison meat. Water. See they not die on road. No want to lose money they bring. Braves march now. Boone not go. Boone stay with us.
[While Black Fish has been speaking the braves and their prisoners line up for departure. Meantime, from the woods in background other Indians have joined the group. Those who have captured Boone describe the feat in dumbshow. The newly arrived Indians bear food, a blanket or so, a war-drum, pipes, etc.
BOONE (striving to speak gaily). A good journey, my lads. I shall be thinking of you.
EDWARD BRYAN (low: aside, full of commiseration). You will be here alone!
(hurriedly, seeing that Bryan’s remark has been overheard by the
With my kind brothers! (Quickly, seeing that Black Fish’s back is
turned.) March bravely, lads. Remember Boonesborough!
Your hand, Boone.
(clasping Pritchard’s hand).
[They look at each other a long moment. Then the line, Indian-guarded, and led by Hawk Eye, marches out, left.
Now we make a great feast. Celebrate.
[They all sit on ground. War-pipe is passed. Gourds with grape wine. Dried fish. Dried fruits. General hum of excitement and pleasure. Animated and colorful groups. Boone smokes the war-pipe when it is passed to him. Drinks and eats freely with the others. Through it all, now soft, now loud, sounds the drone of the war-drum. Now and again a young buck yells jubilantly, or ejaculates a shrill “E-yah!” of pleasure. They rise from feasting to dance in a war-circle about the drum, right. Boone does a few steps with them, and then retreats to left of stage. More dances. Speeches with short guttural words and grunts. Waving of tomahawks. Shrill cries. Another circle is formed about the war-drum. Attention drifts away from Boone. Finally, after a second dance about the war-drum Eagle’s Feather gives a sudden cry of “Boone! Boone gone!” Intense excitement. Cries of rage. General search as Indians exeunt right and left. One or two lag behind and look in bushes. Eagle’s Feather pulls back swinging moss from hollow tree and looks within. Then the baffled Indians dart off stage, right. A moment later Boone enters from left. Looks warily about him, right, left, and background. Then darts into hollow tree. A moment later the Indians, headed