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Fifty-Five Years Ago in the Wilderness - Page 3

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show in their wigwams, as they had never seen a red-headed person.  They believed, also, that her red head would keep  their lodges warm; and finding her out gathering berries, grabbed her and made for their village.  They camped near our cabin, in Clay county.  We didn't know the child, but saw it was a white child.  We pled with them to give her up; they, in great fury, refused to do so.   Man, if you have a soul, listen!  Oh, take me from these ugly men--they have red stripes on their faces, feathers in their heads.  I want to see my poor ma;  I wasn't a naughty girl; I was only picking some berries.  That was no harm, was it?  By this time the soul of the white man had swelled to a giant.  He looked at the little boy that was with him, and with one simultaneous bound, he screamed fire!  It was a solid fire; but while his clothes were on fire, from the muzzle of their guns, the stock shot off his gun, he caught the naked barrel in his hands with a giant's grip, his eyes blazing as a wounded tiger.  A few steps before him was the little shivering weeper kneeling, with the Osage hatchet coming down upon her little devoted red head; the child threw up her right hand and caught the hatchet, severing her hand from her thumb and wrist.  With one bound, as a wild beast and an un-earthly scream, his gun-barrel high lifted in the air,--"I'm the Ringtail Panther of Missouri!" (he was ever after called the Ringtail Panther of Missouri), and, as a thunder bolt from the upper world, it fell upon the head of the Osage brave, which sank him at his feet, there yet were five more with hatchets striking at him, giving him three little wounds, but they fell before him as snow would melt before  the noon-day sun; they were all dead at his feet, except the one the boy shot---he got off a short distance, stopping the bullet-hole up with leaves, and died.  And, as one went to spring his bow at the beginning of the fight, and broke the string and ran to the Nation, the little shivering, maimed, bleeding captive babe of the wilderness was returned to its frantic mother, to tell her it didn't know it was acting badly to pick berries.  It has now been fifty-two years since the morning of that day, and yet, to me, it is as yesterday!

As I mentioned in the outset, I am passing away ! and, being the only one living that witnessed this glorious little fight of the wilderness, I have thought, for twenty years I, would write it down; but I never had confidence in my ability to do so, as I am a rough bear-hunter and an old Texan

Compilation and transcription by Kameron Searle.  Copyright 2005 by Kameron Searle.

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