Wacousta : a tale of the Pontiac conspiracy — Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 196 pages of information about Wacousta .

CHAPTER II.

Without borrowing the affecting language of the unhappy girl—­a language rendered even more touching by the peculiar pathos of her tones, and the searching agony of spirit that burst at intervals through her narrative—­ we will merely present our readers with a brief summary of what was gleaned from her melancholy disclosure.  On bearing her cousin to the bedroom, after the terrifying yell first heard from without the fort, she had flown down the front stairs of the blockhouse, in the hope of reaching the guardroom in time to acquaint Captain Baynton with what she and Clara had witnessed from their window.  Scarcely, however, had she gained the exterior of the building, when she saw that officer descending from a point of the rampart immediately on her left, and almost in a line with the block-house.  He was running to overtake and return the ball of the Indian players, which had, at that moment, fallen into the centre of the fort, and was now rolling rapidly away from the spot on which Miss de Haldimar stood.  The course of the ball led the pursuing officer out of the reach of her voice; and it was not until he had overtaken and thrown it again over the rampart, she could succeed in claiming his attention.  No sooner, however, had he heard her hurried statement, than, without waiting to take the orders of his commanding officer, he prepared to join his guard, and give directions for the immediate closing of the gates.  But the opportunity was now lost.  The delay occasioned by the chase and recovery of the ball had given the Indians time to approach the gates in a body, while the unsuspicious soldiery looked on without so much as dreaming to prevent them; and Captain Baynton had scarcely moved forward in execution of his purpose, when the yelling fiends were seen already possessing themselves of the drawbridge, and exhibiting every appearance of fierce hostility.  Wild, maddened at the sight, the almost frantic Madeline, alive only to her father’s danger, rushed back towards the council-room, whence the startling yell from without had already been echoed, and where the tramp of feet, and the clashing of weapons, were distinguishable.

Cut off from his guard, by the rapid inundation of warriors, Captain Baynton had at once seen the futility of all attempts to join the men, and his first impression evidently had been to devote himself to the preservation of the cousins.  With this view he turned hastily to Miss de Haldimar, and hurriedly naming the back staircase of the block-house, urged her to direct her flight to that quarter.  But the excited girl had neither consideration nor fear for herself; she thought only of her father:  and, even while the fierceness of contest was at its height within, she suddenly burst into the council-room.  The confusion and horror of the scene that met her eyes no language can render:  blood was flowing in every direction, and dying and dead officers, already stripped of their

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Wacousta : a tale of the Pontiac conspiracy — Volume 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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