Friday, June 4, 2021



The column had halted for some reason and Captain Samuel Jenkins was moving to the head of the column to find out why. They had sighted the river two days ago, then he had assumed that they were a day's march away. At the end of the first day after the sighting, they had yet to reach the river. Now on this, the second day, he expected to arrive beside the waters of the Cannitticutt at any moment.

They seemingly had not.

"Sergeant Major! What seems to be the holdup?" Jenkins called to his sergeant major as he approached the head of the column.

"You need to see this Sir." Sergeant Major Edward Jacobs was walking back to find the company commander just as Jenkins had called out. 

Jenkins and Jacobs made their way to the head of the column, the captain saw what the sergeant major was talking about, it was a river.

"Can't be the Cannitticutt, it's too bloody narrow. Wide enough to keep us from crossing but not wide enough to be the Cannitticutt. Damme!" Jenkins pulled his map out, it was blank in many areas, very rudimentary, but it didn't show any tributaries of the Cannitticutt in the vicinity of where he thought they were.

"What now Sir? It's getting late. This area is defensible, even though we'd have our backs to the river. Best thing is, they can't get at us from behind." Jacobs asked his commander.

"Right Sarn't Major, see to it, I'll have a look around. You there, you two men, come with me!" He said as he pointed to the nearest two privates. "Your firelocks are loaded, yes?"

"Course Sir, I wouldn't be out here with an empty piece, no Sir. Are we going to have a look see up the river, past this island?" The older of the two men was named Rutland and he had asked the captain the question.

"Island?" Jenkins asked, one eyebrow cocked.

"Certainly Sir, see through those trees on the left, there's the main channel of the river. This is the Cannitticutt is it not Sir?" Rutland pointed and Jenkins looked in that direction. Now he saw it, there was water on the other side.

"Well done, what's yer name lad?"

"Rutland Sir, Edward Rutland."

"Well Rutland, nicely done, very observant of you. Thank you lad, return to the ranks. Sarn't Major!"

"Sir?" Jacobs came over and shook his head in disbelief when the Captain pointed out that this was a channel, there was an island, and to the westward of that was the great river itself. "Well damme, I should have seen that meself, sorry Sir. I'll be more observant next time."

"Not to worry Sarn't Major, I didn't see it either. We'll camp here and press on northwards in the morning."

Short Bear realized too late his peril, it was only through instinct and quick reflexes that he was able to conceal himself in the underbrush. But the girl, Ma-LEE, though used to hard work, was exhausted from their trek. She was unused to sleeping in the open and moving as long as it was light and all that on a diet of pemmican and whatever berries Short Bear had found.

As Short Bear turned to warn her, he knew it was too late. One of the Mohicans, for he was sure they were warriors from that Confederacy, raised a shout when he spotted the yellow-haired girl. Short Bear was certain that Ma-LEE would be killed on the spot.

Will Jefferson turned when he heard Lazy Fox shout out. What he saw amazed him, a white woman with yellow hair, her clothing ripped and torn, just standing there. She screamed, "Oh dear God!" when she saw a warrior striding towards her, reaching for his knife.

"Hold Standing Wolf! She is English!" Jefferson called to the warrior in Mohican.

Standing Wolf stopped and turned to Jefferson, "You know this woman, Blue Eyes?" Which is what the Mohican called him.

"No, but she is of my tribe, of my nation."

Molly Henderson reckoned herself to be a dead woman, she had cried out in anguish when the warrior had spotted her. Then there was an exchange between two men in a language which seemed vaguely familiar. (Molly did not know that the language of the Mohican was in the same family of languages as Abenaki, some words of which she had learned from the man she knew as Awasosis¹.)

Then she realized that one of the men speaking was white, oh no, what if he was French? She felt she was doomed. She fell to her knees and sighed aloud, then she shouted, "Please spare me!"

"We mean you no harm, dear girl. Please stand up, how do you come to be in this wilderness by yourself?" Jefferson saw the look of relief on the girl's face.

"You, you... you're English?"

"Yes dear, I'm an officer in the British Army. How did you come to be here?"

"I was captured in a raid on my town, which is, I'm sorry, was near the Cannitticutt. Though whether north or south I do not know. My captor and I crossed the river by floating on a log two days ago. I don't know what he intended to do with me, or to me."

Jefferson turned to Standing Wolf, "A raid on an English village, near the Great River, do our scouts know of this?"

"Yes, we know of this. It is the same Abenaki war party we have been tracking I think."

Jefferson turned back to Molly, "Where is your captor now, girl?"

"In truth Sir, I do not know. He must be near, I was following him when you spotted me."

"Standing Wolf, search the brush, there must be an Abenaki warrior nearby!"

Before the Mohican could move, they all heard Short Bear's piercing war cry as he leapt from the underbrush and struck down Lazy Fox with a tomahawk. In a flash, the Abenaki was off running, back into the woods. Standing Wolf started to pursue but Jefferson stopped him.

"Blue Eyes, he will escape!"

"We are on the path of a war party, not a single man. We let him go for now. We must continue on this trail." Jefferson told the tall Mohican.

"Very well Blue Eyes, you are wise. It is better to find and destroy the main threat, the little threat can wait. Though I doubt Lazy Fox's woman and child will appreciate that." Standing Wolf looked over at the corpse of Lazy Fox. No, his woman and child would wail when they heard of their man's death.

Jefferson looked back at the woman, "Can you travel girl?"

"Yes, I believe so. It's all I've been doing for days now, do you have any food, English food?"

Jefferson reached into his haversack and unwrapped a heel of bread, "This is all I have, other than pemmican. Do you know of pemmican?"

"Lord yes, it is all I've eaten since I was taken. But if it's all you have?"

Standing Wolf cleared his throat and looked at the English officer.

"Yes my friend, we must be moving," Jefferson said in Mohican. He then handed the bread to the girl, and the party began to move.

Molly was happy to have been rescued, she was also, surprisingly, happy that Awasosis had gotten away. He had not treated her badly.

He could have killed her, or worse, but he had actually seen to her welfare. She could almost admire the man.


The Mohicans and their English companion were moving, and not slowly. Molly sighed, hitched up her skirts and began to follow. She wasn't quite out of danger yet.

¹ Short Bear's name in Abenaki.

Link to all of the Chant's fiction.


  1. Ah......out of the frying pan into the.........Sarge?

  2. Still at least two groups (if not three) in motion, if not play.
    Good stuff, Sarge
    Boat Guy

    1. Thanks BG!

      (Hopefully I won't get too many balls in the air and forget some!)

  3. Makes you want to ask, “Who’s on first?”

    1. I will tie it all together, eventually.

      I haven't forgotten our two French lads on their canoe trip!

  4. Somebody's gonna have to make somewhat of a map, and put all the characters in their proper places (more or less!). It's all well off my turf, and I'm starting to get confustigated! (chuckle)

    1. There was a map of the area in this post. If that helps.

    2. When the story started mentioning towns and the river I pulled up a map & took a look to see what/where these things were happening. The map is contemporary but it's neat to look at where this all took place.

    3. Bigtime! Thanks, Sarge. Copied it and pasted it to my desktop, for future reference.

    4. Rob - It is nice to have a frame of reference.

  5. In real life, things seem to happen that abruptly. It is only in our imaginations and our "controlled" versions they do not.

    1. Real life is random and often haphazard. War even more so.

  6. Did you get out the white board, pens and stick it notes yet, or are you using post it notes, string and pushpins ? Enquiring minds need to know.

    1. Spreadsheet works well. Most of it is in my head though.


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Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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