Thursday, June 3, 2021

Little Hawk's Revenge

(Source)

Ensign Charles Mayberry was beginning to wonder if the Governor had forgotten his small  detachment. It had been weeks since he had heard anything from Portsmouth. When his detachment had left, he had been under the impression that the rest of the company would be marching out to join them once the new men completed their training.

That had been months ago.

Since then the small settlement to their north had been destroyed by an Abenaki war party, his detachment had been attacked by that same war party, and he had taken his detachment south to destroy the nearest Indian village.

That the village his men destroyed had had nothing to do with the war party which had destroyed the settlement and had attacked his outpost didn't concern the young Ensign, to him all savages were alike. Even the ones allied to the Crown.


Little Hawk had been living near the small fort ever since his village had been destroyed by the soldiers. He caught periodic glimpses of the man with the fancy red coat who had killed his older brother with a long knife. He hungered for that man's scalp.

He had been haunting the forests near the fort, watching and waiting. All of the other survivors, women and children mostly, had fled the area, they had sought refuge at other Abenaki villages. Only Little Hawk remained behind. Before the day his village had died, he and his people had lived in peace with the English settlers. No more.

He was waiting for his moment to strike down the man in the fancy red coat and take his hair. The man was arrogant and often moved beyond the protection of his soldiers. Now that he had discerned the pattern of the man's daily activities, he was ready to strike.


"Adams!" Mayberry yelled for his sergeant.

"Sir!"

"Run back to the stockade and fetch my pistols, I think I'll do some shooting today."

"But Sir..." Sergeant Josiah Adams began to remonstrate with his officer.

"Now Sergeant, don't try my patience."

"Sir!"

Adams began to walk the hundred or so yards back to the stockade, as he did so, he looked around, wanting to make sure there were no Indians in the vicinity. Some of the sentries claimed to have seen a native boy in the area, he seemed to be watching the fort both day and night. He had been concerned, then he relaxed, the Ensign did have his sword, which he was very good with. After all, what danger would be posed by a mere boy?


Little Hawk shadowed the man in the fancy red coat, when the other man left and returned to the stockade, Little Hawk decided to make his move. Fancy Coat, as Little Hawk called him, was moving down to the river. The man seemed to have not a care in the world. He probably felt that he'd solved his Indian problem by destroying Little Hawk's village. How little he knew.


Mayberry was watching the sunlight reflecting off the waters of the river. It was a very lovely day he thought, he had made plans to settle here in this area when his time with the New Hampshire militia was over. Once he and his soldiers had pacified the natives, he thought. If the village they had destroyed was any indication, he didn't foresee a problem with that.

"Bloody savages are good against defenseless civilians I suppose, no match for a properly trained soldier though," he mused aloud.

Mayberry watched the water for a bit longer then he heard something behind him. Thinking that his sergeant was returning he turned and said, "About bloody time Adams, what did you do, crawl back from the fort?"

He was confused when he didn't see the sergeant, even more confused when he heard a hissing sound. In the very next instant Mayberry was doubled over with an arrow embedded in his belly. The pain was immense.

As he dropped to one knee, desperately fighting the pain, he saw a figure rushing towards him. An Indian youth, his chest painted red, his face painted black, his tomahawk raised in the air, and the most menacing scowl one could imagine on his painted face.

Mayberry felt no fear, just a deep sense of confusion. He was being attacked by a boy!


Sergeant Josiah Adams was some time in returning from the fort, two of the men had gotten into a fight, one badly injuring the other. He had had to discipline the corporal on duty, remand the uninjured man to confinement, and see to the injured man's treatment. No doubt Ensign Mayberry would give him Hell for the delay, but what else could he do?

As he walked out to the river bank he saw no sign of the ensign. He began to get nervous, he sensed something was wrong. Experience on a dozen battlefields in Europe had developed his instincts to the point where he could almost feel danger as a physical presence. He sensed that now.

He ran back to the stockade and gathered a party of men, all fully armed. Detailing the corporal of the watch to have all of the men fall in and to close the gate behind him, he led the party out of the stockade. The men marched in line, firelocks at the ready.


Little Hawk watched from a distance as the soldiers marched from the fort. The way they moved fascinated him, they moved nearly as one, each man an image of the one next to him. They dressed the same, they held their firesticks the same way, they even moved in step.

What an odd way to fight, Little Hawk thought as he disappeared into the forest, proudly wearing the fancy red coat of the man he had killed, the man's long knife carried in one hand, the man's scalp attached to his belt, still dripping blood.

Little Hawk knew, that even though he was a boy of only thirteen winters, he would now be seen by his people as a warrior.

It felt good.


"Sweet Jesus..." Adams muttered when they found the ensign's body. The man was splayed out next to the river, scalped, an arrow protruding from his lower belly, a deep wound in his head discernable even though the scalp was gone and the head was a bloody mess. Mayberry's coat and sword were nowhere to be found, Adams had to assume that the boy lurking near the fort had done this, or he had led someone else here to do the deed.

No matter how it had happened, Sergeant Josiah Adams realized that he now commanded the small garrison. He also realized that they were now isolated in this position, there was no way to send a messenger through the wilderness back to Portsmouth. A single man would never make it alive, in fact, even if everyone in the fort went, they would still probably be overwhelmed in the forests by the natives.

All they could do was wait, keep the gate closed and half the men, or more, on watch at all times. They were alone and in grave danger.

He would wait and, though he'd never been a religious man, he would pray.

Pray for deliverance.




Link to all of the Chant's fiction.

26 comments:

  1. Hey AFSarge;

    Little Hawke got his revenge, and rightly scared the crap out of the NCO who knows a bit about war and battle and that the Indians fight differently than the Europeans do. Now makes you wonder how much supplies and shot the garrison has if they can handle being isolated for so long and when will they get resupplied. Excellent story.

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    1. As to your last, Sgt. Adams is wondering the same thing.

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  2. Revenge is sweet sometimes...not for the recipient however!

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    1. Indeed he did, Sarge! Murdering innocent women and children is a war crime. Interesting that is was "just a boy" who acted as judge, jury, and executioner. He was well informed as to the facts of the case, as he was an eye witness to the crime.

      Unfortunately, acts of revenge tend generally to escalation of the conflict, and many more will likely die, on both sides.

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  3. Great story Sarge! I look forward to each episode. Keep up the good work, and don’t forget about publishing the other book. We’re all looking forward to that day.

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    1. Thanks!

      The WWII book is in what I like to call "post-production." I actually spent a lot of time working on it during my trip to Maryland. I'm planning on adding more to it as I never finished the story for the British characters, and I need to. Re-reading the early episodes has made me realize that I can't just leave them hanging, which I did on the blog. So the finished product will be "more complete" than the blog version.

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    2. MartinFromGermanyJune 3, 2021 at 3:23 PM

      And please do not forget about the Germans! "Für Dich ist der Krieg vorbei!" -- but what came afterwards for them?

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    3. StB - As Kowalski's outfit is under British command, of course his story will be continued.

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    4. Martin - Wie könnte ich die Deutschen vergessen?

      An addendum might make it in, sort of a "Where are they now?"

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  4. One wonders if Mayberry had a rather long period of time to consider his previous decisions...

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    1. I'm sure that Little Hawk would have liked to have made Mayberry's death a long and unpleasant one, but that close to the fort, he knew that haste was necessary.

      No doubt Mayberry's last few moments of life felt like an eternity to him.

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  5. The arrogant ones in your stories do seem to have karma catch up with them eventually.

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  6. (Don McCollor)...A minor quibble Sarge. If Mayberry heard a sound behind him, how did he get an arrow in his belly (presumably from the front)?...

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    1. Remember, he turned to see what the noise was.

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    2. (Don McCollor). Sorry Sarge, missed that....

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    3. No problem, I do miss details at times.

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  7. Reading this I am wondering if we developed so many guerilla tactics used against the British - learned from the Indians.

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  8. It has been said that Benjamin Church was criticized for fighting like an Indian during King Philip's war. Old Guns

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    1. Criticized? I'd take that as a compliment!

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  9. Off topic here Sarge but you and Juvat might be interested in a pair of these...

    https://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.com/2021/06/sometimes-jokes-write-themselves.html

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