Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis

My Willful Thoughts

They went away, and I watched them drifting down the creek, thinking mother was unreasonable not to let us go wherever we pleased, as long as there was nothing to be feared from the Indians. I was not allowed to do as the other girls in the fort did, and I was feeling quite wronged by the time Billy came back to say that mother was not willing we should go.

"She thinks we are still babies and can't be trusted out of her sight," he said angrily, and straightway in a fit of the sulks threw himself down on the ground by my side.

We remained there until father came up from the plantation, and then I was forced to help mother cook supper.

The girls had not come back at that time, although it was within half an hour of sunset; but I was so occupied that I gave little or no heed to the matter until Mrs. Boone came in, long after we had eaten supper, to learn if Jemima had told me where she was going.

Then, as can well be supposed, there was an exciting time. It seemed certain some accident had happened, otherwise the girls would never have stayed away from the fort after dark, and I began to realize that perhaps one's father and mother knew what was best, while Billy whispered to me that we hadn't been wronged so much after all.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

It was while the women were running to and fro in distress, and the men were getting ready to go in search of the missing ones, that Samuel Henderson, who expected some day to be married to Elizabeth Callaway, came running into the stockade with the very worst news that could have been brought.

He had been on the river locating some land which his brother had sold to John Holder, and had come back by way of the creek. When he was within less than a mile of the fort, he found an overturned canoe which he recognized as Colonel Callaway's, and on the bank of the creek were marks of a struggle, the footprints showing that some of those who made them were white women.

Half frantic with fear and apprehension, he hurried on to the fort, for it was by this time too dark to follow the trail.


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