Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis

The Sortie

The Indians waited just beyond rifle range until so many of their allies had joined them that it seemed certain they could overcome us; even then, instead of coming out into the open to fight, they tried one of their tricks.

Our watchmen saw five or six warriors steal out of the forest toward the fort as if bent on trying to climb over the stockade; but they did not know that half a hundred or more had crept up toward the gate through the weeds and were lying there hidden from view.

When Colonel Boone saw these few savages coming toward the fort, he ordered the gate to be thrown open, and out he ran, followed by Simon Kenton, my father, John Todd, and four or five others.

Jemima and I were watching from one of the big houses and saw, to our horror, when Colonel Boone and his followers were a short distance from the gate, all the hidden savages rise up from among the weeds and begin shooting.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

It seemed as if our people were doomed, for I could not believe even such mighty hunters could prevail against so many, and I shut my eyes. When I looked again, I saw our men, few though they were, standing there fighting for life, while the cowardly savages, who outnumbered the white men eight or ten to one, held off.

Then I heard Colonel Boone shout to our people at the big gate to stand ready when he made a dash, and almost in the same breath he called out for every man to run toward the fort.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis


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