Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis

Precautions Against an Attack

While mother and I stood silent, father went forward where he could be seen plainly by those in the fort and waved his cap to attract attention.

Instantly the big gate fronting the creek was opened wide enough for a company of twelve men to come out, after which it was closed again, and I heard some one say that the Indians must lately have been seen near Boonesborough, because those who defended the stockade seemed to fear lest an attack be made at the moment of our arrival; but father thought there was nothing strange in such precautions.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

When the men from the fort came up, they said that savages had been seen lurking about that very morning, and that it was necessary to have a large force ready to stand on the defensive when the gate was opened again. While we advanced I could see men, in the watch-houses and on the top of the stockade, watching keenly the surrounding forest. Not until the animals had been herded near the gate, was it opened, and then every creature, as well as the women and children, was urged through on the run, while the men stood, rifles in hand, ready to open fire in case the Indians should appear.

Only when we were inside, with the gate closed and barred once more, did I draw a long breath, and at the same time I found myself in Jemima Boone's arms. She had been watching our march across the cleared ground, trembling with anxiety lest some misfortune befall us.


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