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Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete

Page: 184

His captors admired him for this act of honor, and had he so willed he could have been then and there received into their tribe. As it was, they allowed him to remain unbound. Hardly had the sun gone down when a number of boats drew up at the beach with another lot of prisoners, and with yells of rejoicing the Indians ran to the river to drive them into camp. Francois's opportunity was brief, but he seized it. In the excitement he had been unobserved. He was not under oath now, and with all speed he dashed into the wood. Less than a minute had elapsed before his absence was discovered, but he was a cunning woodman, and by alternately running and hiding, with gathering darkness in his favor, he had soon put the savages at a distance.

A band of English went to Angelique's home, thinking that he would be sure to rejoin her; but he was too shrewd for that, and it was in vain that they fired guns up the chimneys and thrust bayonets into beds. Angelique was terrified at this intrusion, but the men had been ordered not to injure the woman, and she was glad, after all, to think that Francois had escaped. Some days later one of the Hurons came to her door and pointed significantly to a fresh scalp that hung at his belt. In the belief that it was her lover's she grew ill and began to fade, but one evening there came a faint tap at the door. She opened it to find a cap on the door-step.

There was no writing, yet her heart rose in her bosom and the color came back to her cheeks, for she recognized it as her lover's. Later, she learned that Francois had kept to the forest until he reached the site of Walkerville, where he had found a canoe and reached the American side in safety. She afterward rejoined him in Detroit, and they were married at the end of the war, through which he served with honor and satisfaction to himself, being enabled to pay many old scores against the red-coats and the Indians.





THE OLD LODGER

In 1868 there died in Detroit a woman named Marie Louise Thebault, more usually called Kennette. She was advanced in years, and old residents remembered when she was one of the quaintest figures and most assertive spirits in the town, for until a few years before her death she was rude of speech, untidy in appearance, loved nothing or respected nothing unless it might be her violin and her money, and lived alone in a little old house on the river-road to Springwells. Though she made shoes for a living, she was of so miserly a nature that she accepted food from her neighbors, and in order to save the expense of light and fuel she spent her evenings out. Yet she read more or less, and was sufficiently acquainted with Volney, Voltaire, and other skeptics to shock her church acquaintances. Love of gain, not of company, induced her to lease one of her rooms to a pious old woman, from whom she got not only a little rent, but the incidental use of her fuel and light.


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