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Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete

Page: 158

One by one the lights of the village went out, and when it seemed locked in sleep the red marauders crept toward the nearest house—that of Joist Hite. They arose together and rushed upon it, but at that moment a gun was fired, an Indian fell, and in a few seconds more the settlers, whom the girls had not failed to put on their guard, were hurrying from their hiding-places, firing into the astonished crowd of savages, who dashed for the woods again, leaving a dozen of their number on the ground. Aaron remained quietly standing near his father's house, and he was captured, as he hoped to be. When he saw how his parents had aged with time and grief he could not repress a tear, but to his grief was added terror when his father, after looking him steadily in the eye without recognition, began to load a pistol. "They killed my boys," said he, "and I am going to kill him. Bind him to that tree."

In vain the mother pleaded for mercy; in vain the dumb boy's eyes appealed to his father's. He was not afraid to die, and would do so gladly to have saved the settlement; but to die by his father's band! He could not endure it. He was bound to a tree, with the light of a fire shining into his face.

The old man, with hard determination, raised the weapon and aimed it slowly at the boy's heart. A surge of feeling shook the frame of the captive—he threw his whole life into the effort—then the silence of three years was broken, and he cried, "Father!" A moment later his parents were sobbing joyfully, and he could speak to them once more.


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