Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis

Driving Cattle and Sheep

Father decided to take with him two cows and five sheep; the other men had more or less live stock, all of which were to be driven in one herd, with us children to look after them. It was pretty hard work to keep the animals together after we came upon the mountains, where the road was just a narrow trail, or trace, as Mr. Boone calls it.

There were nine cows and twenty sheep, and only twelve children to drive them. From morning till night we ran into the thickets, first on this side and then on that, to keep them on the trail, climbing, climbing all the time, until it seemed to me now and then as if I could not take another step even though the whole herd were lost.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

Sometimes mother got down from the horse, and I took her place in the saddle. But Billy had no such chance to rest his legs nor would he have taken advantage of it no matter how weary, because he wished to show that he was already a hunter and trapper.

Jemima Boone declared that she wouldn't ride a horse while her mother walked, and during the first four days of the journey she followed the cattle until her dress was actually in rags, and she had lost her only sunbonnet into a stream that whirled it away before she had time to cry out.

I noticed that after the sunbonnet had gone she seemed to lose courage, although the trail was no more difficult than might have been expected, but from that time, I think, she rode as often as I did.


Front Matter

At Boonesborough
Beginning of the Story
Boone on the Yadkin
Boone Moves his Family
Ready for the Journey
What we Wore
Driving Cattle and Sheep
Camping at Nightfall
The Long Halt
Jimmy Boone Goes to Clinch
Murder of Jimmy Boone
A Time of Mourning
The Faint-hearted Return
A New Home
Making Moccasins
Tanning Leather
Governor Dunmore
Our Home on the Clinch
Household Duties
Attacked by a Wildcat
Fighting the Wildcat
Boone and Father Return
The Wilderness Road
Building the Forts
Gathering Salt
Our Home in the Fort
Ready for Cooking
Furnishing the House
The Hominy Block
The Supply of Water
Sports Inside the Fort
Wrestling and Running
Religion of the Indians
Indian Babies
Colonel Callaway Arives
News from Eastern Colonies
Venturing Outside the Fort
Dividing the Land
Who Owned Kentucky?
Ready to Build a Home
Billy's Hard Lot
Preparing Flax
Spinning and Soap Making
Broom Making
More Indian Murders
Indian "Signs"
Woodcraft and Hunting
Pelts Used as Money
Petition of the Settlers
Making Sugar
Building Fences
Capture of the Girls
My Willful Thoughts
Finding the Trail
The Pursuit
The Story Told by Jemima
Elizabeth's Heroism
Rescuing the Girls
Alarm Among the Settlers
Indians on the Warpath
The First Wedding
The Wedding Festivities
The Brides Home
The Housewarming
Attacks by the Indians
Besieged by the Savages
In the Midst of the Fight
The Assault by the Indians
Failure of the Assault
Watchfulness of the Indians
The Sortie
My Father Wounded
Our Wounded