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

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 233 pages of information about Wacousta .
of all but a double line of what appeared to be women, armed with war-clubs and tomahawks.  Along the line were now seen to pass, in slow succession, the prisoners that had previously been observed.  At each step they took (and it was evident they had been compelled to run the gauntlet), a blow was inflicted by some one or other of the line, until the wretched victims were successively despatched.  A loud yell from the warriors, who, although hidden from view by the intervening orchards, were evidently merely spectators in the bloody drama, announced each death.  These yells were repeated, at intervals, to about the number of thirty, when, suddenly, the bridge was again deserted as before.

After the lapse of a minute, the tall figure of a warrior was seen to advance, holding a female in his arms.  No one could mistake, even at that distance, the gigantic proportions of Wacousta,—­as he stood in the extreme centre of the bridge, in imposing relief against the flood that glittered like a sea of glass beyond.  From his chest there now burst a single yell; but, although audible, it was fainter than any remembered ever to have been heard from him by the garrison.  He then advanced to the extreme edge of the bridge; and, raising the form of the female far above his head with his left hand, seemed to wave her in vengeful triumph.  A second warrior was seen upon the bridge, and stealing cautiously to the same point.  The right hand of the first warrior was now raised and brandished in air; in the next instant it descended upon the breast of the female, who fell from his arms into the ravine beneath.  Yells of triumph from the Indians, and shouts of execration from the soldiers, mingled faintly together.  At that moment the arm of the second warrior was raised, and a blade was seen to glitter in the sunshine.  His arm descended, and Wacousta was observed to stagger forward and fall. heavily into the abyss into which his victim had the instant before been precipitated.  Another loud yell, but of disappointment and anger, was heard drowning that of exultation pealed by the triumphant warrior, who, darting to the open extremity of the bridge, directed his flight along the margin of the river, where a light canoe was ready to receive him.  Into this he sprang, and, seizing the paddle, sent the waters foaming from its sides; and, pursuing his way across the river, had nearly gained the shores of Canada before a bark was to be seen following in pursuit.

How felt—­how acted Colonel de Haldimar throughout this brief but terrible scene?  He uttered not a word.  With his arms still folded across his breast, he gazed upon the murder of his child; but he heaved not a groan, he shed not a tear.  A momentary triumph seemed to, irradiate his pallid features, when he saw the blow struck that annihilated his enemy; but it was again instantly shaded by an expression of the most profound despair.

“It is done, gentlemen,” he at length remarked.  “The tragedy is closed, the curse of Ellen Halloway is fulfilled, and I am—­childless!—­Blackwater,” he pursued, endeavouring to stifle the emotion produced by the last reflection, “pay every attention to the security of the garrison, see that the drawbridge is again properly chained up, and direct that the duties of the troops be prosecuted in every way as heretofore.”

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