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Christopher Evans
Christopher Evans

Falcon Studios - Masqulin - Taking Care Of Busi... [TOP]

The Carolinians were now in possession of theentire sea-coast, with a trifling exception, which formsthe Atlantic boundary of Beaufort and Charlestondistricts. They had but few, and those small andscattered, interior settlements. A few miles from theseashore, and the Indian lands generally girdled them in,still in the possession as in the right of the aborigines.But few treaties had yet been effected for the purchaseof territory fairly out of sight of the sea; thosetracts only excepted which formed the borders of suchrivers, as, emptying into the ocean and navigable tosmall vessels, afforded a ready chance of escape tothe coast in the event of any sudden necessity. Inthis way, the whites had settled along the banks ofthe Combahee, the Coosaw, the Pocota-ligo, and othercontiguous rivers; dwelling generally in small communitiesof five, seven, or ten families; seldom of more,and these taking care that the distance should be slightbetween them. Sometimes, indeed, an individualadventurer more fearless than the rest, drove his stakes,and took up his lone abode, or with a single family, insome boundless contiguity of shade, several miles fromhis own people, and over against his roving neighbour;pursuing in many cases the same errant life, adoptingmany of his savage habits, and this too, without riskingmuch, if any thing, in the general opinion. For a longseason, so pacific had been the temper of the Yemasseestowards the Carolinians, that the latter had finallybecome regardless of that necessary caution whichbolts a door and keeps a watch-dog.

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THE inmates of the Block House, as we rememberhad been warned by Hector of the probable approachof danger, and preparation was the word in consequence.But what was the preparation meant? Underno distinct command, every one had his own favouriteidea of defence, and all was confusion in their councils.The absence of Harrison, to whose direction allparties would most willingly have turned their ears,was now of the most injurious tendency, as it leftthem unprovided with any head, and just at the momentwhen a high degree of excitement prevailed againstthe choice of any substitute. Great bustle and littleexecution took the place of good order, calm opinion,deliberate and decided action. The men were readyenough to fight, and this readiness was an evil of itself,circumstanced as they were. To fight would havebeen madness then - to protract the issue and gaintime was the object; and few among the defenders ofthe fortress at that moment were sufficiently collectedto see this truth. In reason, there was really buta single spirit in the Block House, sufficiently deliberatefor the occasion - that spirit was a woman's - thewife of Granger. She had been the child of povertyand privation - the severe school of that best tutor,necessity, had made her equable and intrepid. Shehad looked suffering so long in the face, that she nowregarded it without a tear. Her parents had neverbeen known to her, and the most trying difficultiesclung to her from infancy up to womanhood. Soexercised, her mind grew strong in proportion to its trials,and she had learned, in the end, to regard them with adegree of fearlessness far beyond the capacities ofany well-bred heir of prosperity and favouring fortune.The same trials attended her after marriage - since thepursuits of her husband carried her into dangers, towhich even he could oppose far less ability thanhis wife. Her genius soared infinitely beyond hisown, and to her teachings was he indebted for many ofthose successes which brought him wealth in afteryears. She counselled his enterprises, prompted orpersuaded his proceedings, managed for him wiselyand economically; in all respects proved herself unselfish;and if she did not at any time appear abovethe way of life they had adopted, she took care tomaintain both of them from falling beneath it - aresult too often following the exclusive pursuit of gain.Her experience throughout life, hitherto, served heradmirably now, when all was confusion among thecouncils of the men. She descended to the courtbelow, where they made a show of deliberation, and,in her own manner, with a just knowledge of humannature, proceeded to give her aid in their generalprogress. Knowing that any direct suggestion from awoman, and under circumstances of strife and trial,would necessarily offend the amour propre of the nobleranimal, and provoke his derision, she pursued a sort ofmanagement which an experienced woman is usuallyfound to employ as a kind of familiar - a wily littledemon, that goes unseen at her bidding, and does herbusiness, like another Ariel, the world all the whileknowing nothing about it. Calling out from the crowdone of those whom she knew to be not only the mostcollected, but the one least annoyed by any unnecessaryself-esteem, she was in a moment joined byGrayson, and leading him aside, she proceeded tosuggest various measures of preparation and defence,certainly the most prudent that had yet been made.This she did with so much unobtrusive modesty, thatthe worthy woodman took it for granted, all the while,that the ideas were properly his own. She concludedwith insisting upon his taking the command.

The sharp click of the cock followed the words ofGrayson, who was an able shot, and the next momentthe full report came burdened with a dozen echoes fromthe crowding woods around. A cry of pain - then ashout of fury, and the reiterated whoop followed, andas one of their leaders reeled and sunk under theunerring bullet, the band in that station, as had beenpredicted by Grayson, rushed forth to where he stood,brandishing their weapons with ineffectual fury, andlifting their wounded comrade, as is their generalcustom, to bear him to a place of concealment, andpreserve him from being scalped, by secret burial, inthe event of his being dead. They paid for their temerity.Following the direction of their leader, whosedecision necessarily commended their obedience, theCarolinians took quite as much advantage of theexposure of their enemies, as the member of theloopholes in that quarter of the building would admit.Five muskets told among the group, and a reiteratedshout of fury indicated the good service which thedischarge had done, and taught the savages a lesson ofprudence, which, in the present instance, they hadbeen too ready to disregard. They sunk back intocover, taking care however to remove their hurtcompanions, so that, save by the peculiar cry which withthem marks a loss, the garrison were unable todetermine what had been the success of their dischargesHaving driven them back into the brush, however,without loss to themselves, the latter were now sanguinewhere, before, their confined and cheerless positionhad taught them a feeling of despondency not calculatedto improve the comforts of their case.

Sanutee had been greatly aided in the progress ofthis war by the counsels of the celebrated Creek chief,Chigilli, who led a small band of the lower Creeks andEuchees in the insurrection. With his advice, hedetermined upon attacking the Carolinian army beforethe dawn of the ensuing day. That night arrangedtheir proceedings, and, undaunted by the communicationof his fate, revealed to him in the vision of Matiwan,which, perhaps - with the subdued emotionsof one who had survived his most absorbing affections - he was not unwilling to believe, he roused his warriorsat a sufficiently early hour, and they set forward,retracing their steps, and well prepared to surprisetheir enemy. The voice of the whippoorwill regulatedtheir progress through the doubtful and darknight, and without interruption they went on for a mileor more, until their scouts brought them word that theyellow blankets of the whites glimmered through theshadows of the trees before them. With increasedcaution, therefore, advancing, they came to a pointcommanding a full view of the place of repose of theCarolinian army. Here they halted, placing themselvescarefully in cover, and waiting for the earliestshow of dawn in which to commence the attack by adeadly and universal fire upon the tents and their flyinginmates. In taking such a position, they placedthemselves directly between the two divisions of thepalatine's force, which, skirting the copse on eitherhand, stood in no less readiness than themselves, withtheir movement, to effect its own; and when thesavages advanced upon the unconscious camp, to comeout upon their wings and rear, taking them at a vantagewhich must give a fatal defeat to their enterprise. 041b061a72


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