Saturday, May 22, 2021


The Abduction of Boone's Daughter by the Indians
Carl Ferdinand Wimar

Molly's wrists were being chafed badly by her bonds. All she could do was bear the pain, her captors showed no signs of slowing down. Little did she realize that the men were not what they seemed. Though she knew little of the native inhabitants, she did note that while their were similarities in their languages and the way they dressed, there were differences.

She was beginning to suspect that the men who captured her and the others were not Abenaki. Especially as the party continued to head west, not north, nor to the south. After crossing the Great River the men had harried the captives along, almost as if they feared pursuit. She knew the Abenaki lived on both sides of the Great River, though they were being pressured in the west by the powerful Iroquois Confederation. Her mother would, no doubt, be shocked by her knowledge of such things. Had she still been alive.

Molly listened when the men discussed such things, so she knew something of the affairs of the region. Now she wished she knew more, like how to speak the language of these men. As she thought of these things, the band continued to move at a fast pace.

One of the boys, Joshua Hawkins, a boy of thirteen, tripped over a tree root and fell, crying out as he did so. One of the warriors reached for his tomahawk and cut the boy's bonds, the boy, thinking they were letting him go almost smiled. Then his look turned to one of horror as he saw the painted man raise his tomahawk again.

Molly gasped when the tomahawk fell, ending Joshua's life. However, she had no time to mourn the boy as her own captor growled at her and tugged sharply on the rawhide encircling her wrists. She nearly stumbled but managed to keep her feet. The warband moved on, sparing no time for the dead boy in their wake.

Short Bear couldn't believe the stupidity of the oafish White Turtle. He had killed the English boy without a second's hesitation, wasting a valuable captive. These people were worth something, either in trade to other tribes, or in working around the village, doing the disagreeable jobs no one else wanted. Rarely, a captive might become a valued member of the tribe. He shook his head and growled at the yellow haired girl, giving a sharp tug on the rawhide tying her to him. Short Bear's legs were beginning to burn, was Spotted Wolf going to make them run forever?

Though the warband were indeed Abenaki, from the Goasiak, this particular band was not happy with the decisions of their sachem. They wanted war, the sachem held out for peace while the English continued to take their land. So they had acted, against the wishes of their tribe, in truth they were now renegades. Men of no people.

Black Deer's plan, which he explained to Spotted Wolf before his death, was to wipe out the settlement, then head west, leaving a trail to confuse any pursuers into thinking the attackers had been Mohawk, and not Abenaki. As they moved west, Spotted Wolf began to realize that Black Deer's plan wasn't very well thought out.

"Hold!" Spotted Wolf raised a hand, it was getting late in the day, it was time to camp. He also needed to think of his next move. Perhaps they should head north and trade their captives to the Wyandot, he could not think of what else to do. He also realized that returning to their own village was out of the question.

He was beginning to wish he had talked this out with Black Deer in more depth, he now realized that what they had now was no plan at all. He would talk with the other men, get their thoughts. Spotted Wolf realized that he was in over his head.

Ensign Charles Mayberry surveyed the carnage his small company had caused. Most of the natives had fled into the forest, his men had managed to kill some of them, the ones who had stayed and fought to buy time for the others to flee. Three of his own men were down, one dead and two wounded. Neither wounded man would live to see another sunrise, their wounds were too grievous and the nearest doctor was five miles to the south at Number 4. Carrying them that distance would surely kill them.

As he walked towards the native houses, his sergeant came up to him. "Sir, what do we do with the village? All the natives have fled into the forest, do we pursue?"

Mayberry turned to look incredulously at Sgt. Adams, "Are you mad Sergeant? Pursue the savages into the forest, their natural element, we would be cut to pieces. Torch the village, we must get back to the fort."

"And the wounded Sir?"

"Arrange to have them carried, along with the dead man, who was it did you say?"

"Perkins, Sir, Private Perkins."

"Very well, now see to the village Sergeant."


Blue Otter could feel his spirit beginning to drift away. He watched as the soldiers began to burn the homes of his people. At least many of them had managed to escape into the woods. Perhaps they would go to his brother's village, he didn't know. As he watched, he saw the soldier with the fancy coat draw a very long knife from his sash. He wondered what it was, never having seen a sword before.

Blue Otter thanked the Grandmother for accepting his blood into her, soon he would be in the spirit world, perhaps he would see his father again. He hoped so.

"Not dead yet, are you? Ye bloody rascal." Mayberry drew his sword as the badly wounded man grimaced at him from the ground. With a sharp thrust, he finished him. He had never used the sword before and had been surprised when the man had hissed as the blade went into him.

"Deuced odd that." Mayberry began to return the sword to its scabbard, then realized it was bloody, so he wiped the blade clean on the leggings of the man he had just killed.

Sgt. Josiah Adams had watched as the ensign had killed the wounded man with his sword, then cleaned it on the dead man's clothing. Though he had seen such things on battlefields in Europe, it still made him queasy.

While Adams was fairly sure that he had probably killed men in battle, he couldn't be sure. Standing in the ranks and firing volleys into the rapidly thickening powder smoke one could never be sure.

After becoming a sergeant, his job had become making sure that the men did what the officers wanted. In Europe he had carried a spontoon, not a firelock. Here they needed every man to carry a firelock, other than the officers of course. But this Mayberry fellow scared him a bit. The man seemed rather bloodthirsty.

Private James Moore walked past his sergeant, carrying a torch with which to set another of the Indian huts on fire. "Bit of a bloody-minded lad isn't he Sarn't?" He said as he nodded towards the officer.

Adams started to agree then realized who he was talking to, "Watch that talk Private, be about your business, we're setting off soon. Move!"

From the trees a young man watched his village burn. His mother and his father had both been slain in the initial attack, he had watched a soldier kill his brother with a long knife, the longest knife he had ever seen.

He resolved then and there to take that man's long knife, his fancy red coat, and his life. Especially his life. He would follow the soldiers back to their fort and await his chance.

With all of his family dead, he had no other purpose in life but to avenge them, then join them in the spirit world.

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  1. Please explain the comment, "Deuced odd that." And is it properly punctuated? Would, Deuced, odd that. be more correct. I am guessing as I had not heard the phrase before. Perhaps it is Old English.

    1. It's an English expression, just means "really odd."

    2. I’ve heard it, but can’t remember where.

    3. They'd have to be old movies... I've seen very few new movies.

    4. 'Black Adder' (Rowan Atkinson) used that phrase in several of the epochs (BA was a different time period per season.)

      But then again, so did 'Bunny Wigglesworth' in "Zorro, the Gay Blade." (yet another movie not able to be made in today's environment...) (but a rather funny one. Nobody makes more fun of George Hamilton than... George Hamilton.)

    5. I don't know how much it's used these days, but it's been around.

    6. Okay, thank you. So, was it that Mayberry was being casual about the actuality of killing? Perhaps he found it wasn't as revolting as he had thought it might be. Perhaps he found he even enjoyed it. Why not, the Sarge and Pvt both made comment of that. This Mayberry sounds like a psychopath. Keep an eye on that one.

      What a good little soldier, killing and clearing the path for King and country.

    7. More will be revealed about Mayberry, provided he doesn't lose his hair...

    8. (Don McCollor)...From Partridge's "Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English". 'Deuced odd' is not listed. 'Deuce" was a curse for bad luck deriving from playing cards from about 1690. 'Deuced' (as a curse) dates from about 1774, 'Deucedly' (used as extremely) from about 1815 [it could have been in use well before then as a synonym for 'dammed']. Expression fits the period...

  2. Sarge the warriors providing delay tactics so the women and children could evacuate was something noted as a practice even as late as The Battle of The Little Bighorn. That has always been the natural reaction of most societies.

    I try not to wish ill of anyone, even fictional, but Mayberry is not my favorite.

    1. Not sure where I'll go with that character, I don't like him myself.

    2. It'; what all true protectors of whatever civilization they are part of are supposed to do. Stand, and die if necessary, to protect the innocent.

      Unlike, oh, say.... Broward County...

      When the protectors don't protect is a sure sign of civilizational decline.

      Which, of course, means that even the Indians had civilization. Including slaves, murder, rape, theft, dealing with waste products and trash, ya know, all the 'fun' parts of civilizations...

      As to Mayberry, he's the type of jerk that survives and rises to the top, spreading stupidity and incompetence everywhere he goes. A more modern version of Mayberry would be him coming in as a manager with an MBA and no knowledge of an organization and just disrupting the ever-living poop out of it.

      Or... He could be forced to take a dirt nap. Which, comes to mind, I've wanted to do to every MBA that came into any organization I belonged to and who wanted to 'improve' said organization. Instead of a tomahawk I could use my trusty Estwing Roofing Hatchet.

    3. He would be the type to get an MBA then join a company and promise "to change the way we do business." Argh!

    4. I'm thinking that Mayberry, born of the manor, has daddy issues. Now, in this business of soldiering, he has a new motive to prove himself, to fit into the boots as it were. That marks him as dangerous for he is unpredictable and with a vengeance. Already by his actions is he a marked man. Of course, truth being stranger than fiction, this one might outlive the rest.

  3. Hey Old AFSarge;

    The Cycle starts, the Ensign don't understand the way of the Indians and he has started the "Blood Feud", This kind of stuff was common on the frontier, and a lot of the officers bought their commissions, it made for a how shall we say an "interesting" quality of Officers in the English Army. But the Officers were the ones that were more educated for the times

    1. Bear in mind that Mayberry's company is independent of the British Army, raised by the Governor of New Hampshire. Similarly equipped but not officially on the Crown's payroll. That will change as the war heats up.

    2. And vice-versa. The Indians didn't understand 'European' culture. Which caused a lot of tension and turmoil also.

    3. Clashing cultures, always "exciting."

    4. Bear in mind, that this is a case of the order in the ranks being their downfall. The Sgt, more experienced, defers to the Ensign who seemingly doesn't know his behind from a hole in the ground. Yet he sallies forth in false bravado knowing he can give orders as well as have the support of them...because of the ranks. But ironically, in contrast to his upbringing, the art of diplomacy escapes him. He's likely to get him all kilt.

    5. Perhaps it is fortuitous for young Mayberry that his troop is not yet subordinated into the British Army. Imagine a Cornwallis stripping Mayberry of his rank for his actions. Branded.

    6. We shall see whether Mayberry can redeem himself before his hair decorates some warrior's lodge.

  4. The young man in the forest...with nothing to lose, is by far the most dangerous of adversaries. Having no family, and no home to go to, he is free of responsibility, and accountability. I have a feeling he will have that long knife, and that fancy red coat, and his revenge. He has one foot in the spirit world, and is nearly untouchable on this side.

  5. Ah, the indigenous slaver method of slavery. How wonderful, how precious.

    It's one of the really notable things about the various Scandinavian cultures during the 'Viking' era. Slaves had rights, lots of rights, and could petition to redress or even petition for freedom. So score one for the bloody Vikings.

    Some Indian cultures had the same attitude. Others didn't. Especially amongst slaves taken from their worst enemies.

    Funny thing about slavery... In Roman Times, before the later Imperial phase, many layers of slaves had more rights than 'free' citizens.

    On the other hand, that was rather a stupid thing to do, go all that way for captives and kill one. Of course, being impetuous youths (and not Yutes, that's a different tribe,) these fine young braves have gone against their tribal leader's wishes, stirred up a hornet's nest, pissed off the English, probably the French when they find out about it, and the other local tribes to whom they do not belong to. Way to go, ya bunch of idiots.

    And, thus, the basis of way too much bloodshed for 300 years is condensed into, what, 5 short episodes of excellent goodness in research and writing? Indians not following their leaders and their agreements. Settlers not following their leaders and their agreements. Blood-thirsty Indians causing too much ruckus. Blood-thirsty English causing too much ruckus. And 'governments' on both sides unable or unwilling to control their titular followers.

    1. Taking captives and making them slaves is as old as humanity itself. Regardless of what the Mo Rons at the NY Times might think.

    2. Beans, and others: If you haven't already, read of the Narvaez expedition. The tale involves starting with over 700 soldiers in Florida and ending with four while walking to what would be California then ending in Mexico City. The booklet written by Panfilo de Narvaez years later is harrowing and a good read. Even if you have read it, it bares reading again. It is that good.

    3. Why I mention Narvaez is because they met many indian tribes. Most took them as slaves, some were benign to them though they be slaves, others were brutal in their treatment. Then still other tribes treated the interlopers as equal and with all the rights and privileges as any other person in the village.

    4. Now that is one Hell of a hike!

  6. As you know from your background. We don't speak of the wars back then. We sort of started to practice real genocide right about then. One can see and understand the indian pov. They were being rolled back by superior tech and more and more settlers and there really was no alternative to massacre, genocide, reprisal. By the same token, those people coming to America had been through that with the wars of religion and they were prepared to play that game. What we got was a nearly endless war that didn't end until the extermination was just about complete. We visit the fort at Pemaquid every year and read the history of the place. Nothing about it was pretty. History is a very long story of assimilation. I find it arguable if the last to be assimilated were the Japanese or Chinese. It could go either way. Halsey was kinda right there in 1942. The civilization that now exists in Japan bears little resemblance to the one before Perry got there.

    The neat thing about history is that in many cases, the end is good. That's because the losers seldom get a chance to share their side. Not having a written language the stone age natives in north America didn't really get to share their side of the story.

    I really hope you can pull it off without going Cooper on us. I think you did a fantastic job telling the german side of history. Nobody paid attention to it and you have not covered the enormous population migrations. CDR Sergei Yonov did some of that for me back when I was a middie in Newport on my first ship. Writing history on a grand scale is documenting loss on a tragic scale. Few do it well. You my friend, are doing it very well.

    1. This one will be harder than the first. Having lived in Germany, I got to know the Germans pretty well. Now if I could only spend some time in an Abenaki village... But what's left of that people is a pale imitation of what went before.

      Time marches on and takes no prisoners.

      Thanks Cap'n.


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