How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg does not make it a leg. — Abraham Lincoln

Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis

Wrestling and Running

When those who were displaying their skill with the rifle had burned as much powder as they could afford to use in mere play, there were other sports.

Some of the younger members of the company, who thought they were wondrously strong, dared others to wrestle with them, but I cannot watch such rough play with any pleasure, for one can well believe they are truly fighting, so savagely do they kick and bite in the hope of gaining the victory.

There was one young man who had come on a visit from Harrodstown, and who believed himself a great dandy. His hair was so long that the ends fell in little curls on his shoulders, and his hunting shirt was embroidered with colored porcupine quills until it was so stiff that, as Jemima said, it would have stood alone. On his leggings was buckskin fringe at least three inches long, colored most fancifully, while his moccasins were quite as gorgeous as the shirt.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

He seemed to think there were none in the stockade who could run quite so fast, or jump so high as he, and in order to let this be known he stood on a stump waving his arms and crowing like a cock.

Israel Boone said he would cut the comb of that rooster, and straightway dared him to run a race twice around the inside of the stockade. To the great pleasure of Jemima and me, the dandy from Harrodstown was beaten by a full yard, whereupon Israel mounted the stump and crowed so loudly that several women looked out from their houses to learn what had caused all the disturbance.

It seems to me, instead of writing about the way in which our men and boys amused themselves, I ought to set down something about the people who are at this moment besieging us in the fort.


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