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Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete

Page: 258

On the same island of Mackinac the English had a fort, the garrison of which was massacred in 1763. A sole survivor—a young officer named Robinson—owed his life to a pretty half-breed who gave him hiding in a secluded wigwam. As the spot assured him of safety, and the girl was his only companion, they lived together as man and wife, rather happily, for several years. When the fort had been built again, Robinson re-entered the service, and appeared at head-quarters with a wife of his own color. His Indian consort showed no jealousy. On the contrary, she consented to live apart in a little house belonging to the station, on the cliff, called Robinson's Folly. She did ask her lover to go there and sit with her for an hour before they separated forever, and he granted this request. While they stood at the edge of the rock she embraced him; then, stepping back, with her arms still around his neck, she fell from the cliff, dragging him with her, and both were killed. The edge of the rock fell shortly after, carrying the house with it.

Matiwana, daughter of the chief of the Omahas, whose village was near the mouth of Omaha Creek, married a faithless trader from St. Louis, who had one wife already, and who returned to her, after an absence among his own people, with a third, a woman of his own color. He coldly repelled the Indian woman, though he promised to send her boy—and his—to the settlements to be educated. She turned away with only a look, and a few days later was found dead at the foot of a bluff near her home.

White Rocks, one hundred and fifty feet above Cheat River, in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, were the favorite tryst of a handsome girl, the daughter of a well-to-do farmer of that region, and a dashing fellow who had gone into that country to hunt. They had many happy days there on the hill together, but after making arrangements for the wedding they quarrelled, nobody knew for what. One evening they met by accident on the rocks, and appeared to be in formal talk when night came on and they could no longer be seen. The girl did not return, and her father set off with a search party to look for her. They found her, dead and mangled, at the foot of the rocks. Her lover, in a fit of impatience, had pushed her and she had staggered and fallen over. He fled at once, and, under a changed name and changed appearance, eluded pursuit. When the War of the Rebellion broke out, he entered the army and fought recklessly, for by that time he had tired of life and hoped to die. But it was of no use. He was only made captain for a bravery that he was not conscious of showing, and the old remorse still preyed on him. It was after the war that something took him back to Fayette County, and on a pleasant day he climbed the rocks to take a last look at the scenes that had been brightened by love and saddened by regret. He had not been long on its summit when an irresistible impulse came upon him to leap down where the girl had fallen, and atone with his own blood for the shedding of hers. He gave way to this prompting, and the fall was fatal.


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