Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis
Before breakfast was cooked, and I well remember that the last of our store of meal was used for the journey cake that morning, Jemima Boone came to tell us that her oldest brother, Jimmy, and two of the men were to ride over to the Clinch River, in the hope of being able to buy some meal from the settlers.
"Father says that Jimmy must now do the work of a man, and surely you never saw a prouder boy than he was when he rode off at the head of the little party."
"Will they be away long?" Billy asked, and Jemima replied with a laugh.
"No; so we need not feel lonely. Father has given orders that they come back by sunset, whether they buy any meal or not."
"Is he afraid the Indians may be near?" Billy asked, and Jemima laughed as if he had said something comical.
"While we are here in the valley there is no fear that they will bother us. To tell the truth, Hannah, I am beginning to believe so much has been said about the danger in order that we might keep sharper watch over the cattle and sheep. Surely if there were any Indians this side of the Cumberland Mountains, we should have seen them days and days ago."
Then Jemima left us to tell the other children where Jimmy had gone, for she enjoyed spreading news.
When night came once more, Jimmy Boone and those who had ridden with him had not returned, and I asked Mrs, Boone if she was afraid some trouble might have come, or whether he had not lost the trace?
She laughed at such a foolish question, declaring that Jimmy was nearly as well able to take care of himself as was his father, and that she would be ashamed of him if at his age he could not ride from Powell's Valley to the Clinch River without going astray.
But the poor boy had mistaken the trail, as we were soon to learn. Next morning a white man and a negro rode into camp at full speed, as if the Indians were dose at their heels, and then we heard this most cruel story: