Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you. — Pericles

Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis

Woodcraft and Hunting

He hoped to become a mighty hunter like Colonel Boone, and would spend the evenings telling me what he had learned of woodcraft. I soon came to know that one must not go for deer after the leaves have fallen and while they yet lie dry upon the ground; nor should he hunt while the snow is falling, for then he can neither track the animals nor follow their course by the blood if they have been wounded.

The best time for such work, so Billy declares, is when the snow lies two or three inches deep, when the frost is sharp and the air calm. In stormy weather deer seek the sheltered places on that side of a bill which is protected from the wind, while in rainy weather and when there is no wind, the hunter must look for them in the open woods on the highest ground.

Billy claims, and father says it is true, that one can tell direction by the bark on the trees, because on the north side it is thicker and rougher than on the south; also moss grows on the north side.

I surely hope Billy will be a great hunter and that he can hold his own with all the others in wrestling, running, leaping, and shooting, else he is likely to make a poor sort of man here in Kentucky, where strength and skill are needed if one would live and support a family.

Billy likes to tell of the night when he and father went to a salt lick three miles down the creek and built there a tiny hut of branches, in which they hold until day-break, when the deer came to drink. They killed three fine bucks and two does; on the way home Billy "called" a wild turkey within rifle range. I really wish some of the, folks on the Yadkin could hear him "gobble"; he does it so naturally that you would surely think an old turkey was strutting around close at hand. Father declares that Billy will stand at the head of our hunters when he is man grown.

[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