Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis

Venturing Outside the Fort

Every man and boy, except two who were to remain on watch, were to go boldly out as guards, and in case the Indians made an attack it would be the duty of the women and children to drive inside as many of the cattle as possible, while our fathers and brothers fought to protect us.

Of course there was great danger that we might lose some of the animals if there should be a real battle; 'but even that would be better than to have to kill the poor things simply to save them from starvation.

It was the first time I had been through the gate since the day we entered the stockade, and how good it did seem to walk on the grass! Our mothers joined us, making it seem much like some merrymaking on the Yadkin, save that we were constantly watching for a glimpse of feathers among the trees on the edge of the forest, or listening for the watchman's cry, which would give warning that the Indians were about.

However, not one of them dared show himself while our men and boys stood ready to shoot down the first who appeared, and before the day had come to an end we had nearly forgotten our fear.

While the men stood on guard, I could hear them talking about the location of the plantations they expected to lay out the next spring, and it pleased me much when father, pointing to a rising piece of ground overlooking the creek, and not more than a mile from the fort, said to Colonel Callaway that there he hoped to build a home when he should be able to work with safety in the forest.

From that day until a certain time, of which I shall tell later, the horses, sheep, and cows were driven outside the fort each morning, with a guard of men and boys to watch them; after a week had passed we girls began to think there were no longer any savages about, even though the hunters claimed to see fresh signs every time they went into the forest in search of game.

[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