The Liberty Boys in the drowned lands, or, Perilous times out west

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The Liberty Boys in the drowned lands, or, Perilous times out west

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The Liberty Boys in the drowned lands, or, Perilous times out west
Series Title:
Liberty Boys of "76"
Moore, Harry
Place of Publication:
New York
Frank Tousey
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1 online resource (28 p.) 28 cm.: ;


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Dime novels. ( lcsh )
History -- United States -- Revolution, 1775-1783 ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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025745119 ( ALEPH )
72801842 ( OCLC )
L20-00283 ( USFLDC DOI )
l20.283 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Ben bent on the oars, and aa tbe boat glided up to-the tree lucklesa boy hl,lng, Dick and. Bob J'eaohed out to release him. l'aul raised . iusket. and dred ____ _,,,at the retre tin O[Y'.__, _____ _ ..


The Liberty Boys of Issued Weekly-Subscription price, ' 3.50 per year; Canada. Foreign, $4.ISO. Frnnk Tousey, Publlsher, 161 West 23 d Street, New York, N . Y. Entered ao Second-Class Matter Januar y 3 1 , 1913, at the PoatO filce a t New York, N. Y .. under tile Act of March 3, 1879. No. 1089 NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 11, 1921. Price 7 cents The Liberty Boys In the D rowned Lands OR, PERILOUS TIMF.S I OUT :WEST By HARRY MOORE CHAPTER !.-Trouble With the Indians. Crack-crack-crack I Whiz! zipp I There was a sudden rattle of musketry and a whirling and whizzing of arrows, followed by a chorus of fierce yells. Two boys in a dugout on the Ohio river, about half-way between the present sites of Louisville and Cincinnati, heard the sounds, and ceased firing. ''That's the work of Indiams, Dick,'' declared • one, in a pensive tone. "There can be little doubt of it. Bob. Paddle in, rapidly but cautiously. T here may n o t be many of them." • "It d oes n o t seem as if there were by the sound of the yells, Dick," answered B o b Estabrook, who was the first lieutenant of the Liberty Boys, a band of brave young patriots fighting for American independence. "No; but there may be too many for us, Bob," replied Dick Slater, the handsome young captain of the Liberty Boys, as he thru;;t his paddle deep into the water, and sent the usually clumsy craft ahead with great speed and dexterity. The dugout under the management of Dick and Bob became as light as a canoe, being much safer besides, as it was almost impossible to upset it. "I shouldn't wonder if Mark and some of the boys were on the river, and they will be sure to hear the sounds of firing and yelling,'' muttered Bob, as he paddled in perfect time with Dick. "In that case we will have help." "Yes, but we must not depend upon that, Bob." The firing and yelling continued, and now the boys smelled smok,e and then saw it as it came floating through the woods and out upon the river, showing that the Indians were doing more than firing upon some settler's cabin. "The red rascals have set fire to the cabin or a shed, Dick," sputtered Bob, who was of an impetuous nature. "They are making all the trouble they can, apparently." The boys soon reached the bank, hurriedly tied up the dugout, and ran off in the direction of the sounds, holding their long ready to fire at the first notice. They were not in uniform just now, but wore suits of well-tanned buckskin as soft as velvet, with coonskin caps on their heads, and in this guise might have been taken for young backwoodsmen. In a short time the boys came upon a log cabin in a little clearing a short distance. back from the river, and here they saw seven o r eight half-naked and painted Indians dancing about, yelling, and now and then Jiring rifles or muskets, and shooting blazing arrows at the cabin. A little shed at one side of the cabin had been set on fire, and was now blazing furiously, and it was the smoke from this which the boys had seen upon the river. Crack-crack-crackcrack! The boys presently opened fire upon the Indians, first with their long rifles and then with the heavy pistols they carried in their belts, each being provided with four or five of these. When the Indians suddenly realized that their c omrades were falling all around them, and that some of these fell without a groan and lay mo tionless, they were seized with a panic. Other shots rang out, not fro m the cabin, but from the woods upon one side, and then o f a sudden there was another discharge of muskets in another direction, and, with a ringing shout, seven or eight gallant boys in blu e and buff dashed out, and began firing their pistols with great rapidity and with good effect. The Indians took to their heels, and then Dick and Bob stepped out, the latter saying to the leader of the new arrivals, a boy in the uniform of a second lieutenant; "You came in good time, Mark. Bob thought that you might." The boys were now trying to p .ut out the fire at the shed, and Mark Morrison, the second lieutenant of the Liberty Boys, replied: "We heard shots and yells, Captain, and suspected that Indians were at work, and, as we were on the lookout for such, followed the sounds and sent in a volley. You saw them first, didn't you?" "Yes, Mar k, but there were only two of u s , and we were not ready to show ourselves just then." The door of the log cabin was now thrown open and the settler, his wife, four sons, and three girls came out. "I reckon you come when you was most wanted, Captain," said the settler to Mark. "We uns was having it putty hot, an' I reckon we'd be burned out right quick when you come up." "We are glad we did, sir," answered Mark, "but I am not the captain, only second lieutenant. This is Captain Slater," pointing to Dick. "I want to know! Gosh! do secon' l ootenants wear better duds than captains?" "Not usually, sir," laughed Dick; ''but we were out scouting; the li eutenant and I did not want to wear our uniforms. Lieutenant M orriso n and his boys were ou t looki n g abo u t and heard t h e "'


,.r 2 THE LIBERTY BOYS IN THE DROWNED LANDS shots, the same as we did, and came to the res cue." "Waal, you did for sartin, captain. There ain't no need to try an' put out the fire in the shed, boys. Better let it burn. The Wind ain't blowin' our way, an' I reckon it won't do no harm." "I think we had better tear it down," returned Dick. "The wind may change and then the s mell of smoke may attract other Indians, as the smell of blood draws wolves, and you do not want a visit from any more, I fancy." "I reckon we don't!" declared one of the sons, a strapping young man over six feet in height. "They're too pesky troublesome." The boys were pulling down the shed, and now the settler's sons gave them some help, the girls looking on. "Is this your family, sir?" asked Dick. "Not all on it. Two o' my boys is in the army, an' one o' my gals is married an' livin' in Vir ginny. That is a right good piece from here, I reckon." "Pap's got a lot o' mouths to feed," said the younges t boy, who was about fourteen, 'but strong, tall and sturdy, "an' I done told him that I'd join the army too and make one less, but he reckoned that the sogers wouldn't want me. You're sort o' sogers, ain't you?" "Yes, we have seen a good deal of fighting," with a s mile. "You uns are all boys?" "Yes, we are the Liberty Boys." "Would you take me, think?" eagerly. "I wouldn't be surprised," smiling. "Ho. w old are you?" ."Fifteen, next plantin' time, but I know boys o' sixteen who ain't as big as me . " "Can you shoot, run, ride, swim, use ;:m axe, climb trees, do as you are told, and help the qthers without complaining?" "He can do all them things, Rube can," said the • "An' he can do as he's told, too, an' never growls at havin' to do chores," added the woman. "Rube is a good boy, but all o' my children have been brought up in the fear o' the Lord an' of etarnal punishment, an' you won't ftnd a likelier lot in Kentucky, if I do say it." And are you willing that Reuben should join the Liberty Boys?" "Waal, I reckon I am if he wants to. Do you want to go with the capting, Rube?" "Can I?" asked the boy, looking eagerly at Dick. "I think so, if your people are willing. You might be killed in the first fight, though, you must understand." "And then I might not. You don't always lose some o' 'the boys when you fight?" "No, we don't, and we have lost comparatively few of them, considering how long we have been fighting. Some of the boys have been in the troop three or four years." "I reckon there wouldn't be any more danger of my bein' wiped out than any of the rest?" "No, not .if you took care of yourselef," with a smile. "Of course, none of us runs into danger unnecessarily." "An' there's danger everywhere. A tree might fall on me, or a bear m lgnt kill me. I got t o loo!< out ror myself." '"l'ha1 is JUSL 1t, " smiling. h Anu you uunk I wouia do?" ' ' l naven t tne st1gll'Lest aoubt of it. " "Would you wane me now, \Jap•.:11n?" "Now 1s as good a time as any, Keuoen. What is your name' ! " ";:)argeTI"L. '!'here's Zeke and Obatiiah and Sam, and J pnaihan and Silas are in the army. Then there s Bess and and Charity, but strn don't seem io 111rn 1,ne fellow what wants lier." "Neither do you, Ruoe Sargent," said one o f the girls, w110 was two years or more older. "He's a i ory and a bad man besides." "And i reckon 1:1' I catch him hangln' around here he' ll be wuss!" declared the se.1;1er. "He's wuss'n a Tory; he's a renegade, an' if the In, juns hereabouts are stlrrin' u)l trouble, you can make sure that he's got something to do with It." "Who Is he, sir'!" asked Dick, llstenlng, for he thought he heard suspicious sounds. "l-i1s name is Dan Westbrook, an' he's mo s t as bad as Sime Girty an' them fellers. He makes out he ain't a renegade, but some o' the nelgh bo1 s says they seen him mak!n' bargains with. tile lnjuns to burn out one or t'othe1 ' , an' they's no use o' his denyin' of It, 'cause they're all good honest men what seen hlm." "Better reload, If you have not, boys," said Dick quietly. • am of the opinion that the Indians are returning, and with a larger force." The Liberty Boys never neglected to keep their muskets and pistols loaded, as they neve1 knew when they nught need them, and they had already attended to this duty. The shed had been pulled down and the burning en: 1bers put out, so that the flames would not spread, and the timbers might be used again. Dick sent the girls in the cabin, he and the Liberty Boys gathering in front, keeping a lookout for the enemy, whom many of them could now hear coming on, some through the woods and s ome by the river, where Mark and two or three of the Liberty Boys were posted. The cabin was large enough to h old the boys if they were hard pressed, but Dick did not s eem to take to it unless he was, preferring to engage the redskins in the open where he could see them. Mark and his two companions, Harry Judson and Harry Thurber, saw Indians on the river before the boys at the cabin saw any, and prepared to dispute their landing as long as they could. • The reds, seeing the boys on. the river bank and not knowing how many more of them there might be, hesitated about landing, and began to look for some other point where they might get on shore unmolested. Then a score of painted Indians came suddenly rushing out of the woods, uttering horrid yells and shooting blazing arrows at the boys. The plucky young patriots were not to be frightened away by a mere noise, however, and they stood firm, withholding their fire until the Indians should come near enough to make their shots all the more effective. "There's plenty o' room in the cabin, Captain," said the settler, "if the red varmints push you too hard." "I know that, sir," Dick replied, ''but we won't go in till we are obliged to. I think there are more of the Liberty Boys on the river or in the


• THELIBERTY BOYS IN THE DROWNED LANDS woods, and if they hear the sound of firing, they will c om e up." The redskins, seeing the determined stand of the Libet-ty Boys, evidently feared tha t there were more behind , and hesitated about c o m i n g on, as d i d those on the river. The settler and his family, e x cept Reuben, remained in the c a bin, the boy seemi n g. t o feel that he was h alf a Liberty Bey, and therefore entitled to stay with them . H i s brothers a n d sisters, as well as hi s father, had rifles or muskets , and the' gir l s knew how to use them a s well as the boy s , and wer e as well prepar e d to do so. "They are trying to g e t around behind u s ,'' s aid D icR:, in a few minutes . "I can see them si1ea k ing through the wo o d s . Pass the word to your father, R eube n. You can go in without exciting any s u s picion." "All r ight, Captain," said the boy, proud to do a nything for the captain of the Liberty Boys. CHAPTER II.-Still More Trouble. The Indians, unsuspecting danger in that quar ter, presently m a de a dash at the rear of the cabin, thinking to surpris e the fami ly, carry the pla ce, and l eave the Liberty Boys without a s h e lter. Whe n the settler and all his family open e d fire upon them, however, they discovered that t h e whites were better prepared for them than they supposed. A s soon as the firing began at the rear of the cabin, the Indians in front rushed forwar d expecting to catch the boys between two fire s , but they were as much disappointed as were thos e in the rear. listenin' to all sorts o' lies about me, and so I thought it w a s b etter to show a flag, thinkin' he might h a ' been s a y in' some t hin' about me to youuns . I can s end t h e Injuns away, and I will, if you' ll let me hav e 'Lisbeth for my wife. The •I njuns know me and will do what I tell 'em if I give 'em a few presents, and I will. What do you say?" " I cannot give you anybody for your wife," replie d Dick. "You'll have to a s k the young wo man herself, or her father at all events." At that moment there was the sudde n sound of firing from the rear of the cabin, and then a ringing cheer from a score of lusty young throats. "Liberty forever I Give it to the red Liberty Boys! Down with the skulking wretches!" "Hallo! there are some more of the boys, just as we expected!" cried Bob. "They did come, after all, and just as we needed them." Instantly the white messenger hurried away, and then Indians were seen running into the woods back of the cabin to join those at the front. Then the newcomers came around to the front of the cabin, and Dick said to their l eader, a dashy boy somewhat younger than himself: "Take your boys to the river, Jack. Mark may need you." "All right, Captain," and Jack Warren took. the boys away in haste, finding that the Indians at the river had been reinforced and were just about to attempt to land in spite of Mark and his two boys. Then muskets and pistols began to rattle and crack, and the Indians received a warmer reception than before, and retired greatly discouraged. The other Indians, hearing the firing at the river and thinking that their allie s were suc c eedi n g , now charged again on Dick, and time the Tory was with them, cheering them on. The boys at the river, seeing that their assailants had fled, and hearing the firing at the cab i n, now joined the boys there, and with the settler's family gave the redskins a rough h andling , causing them and their white leader to b eat a hasty retreat. The boys poured in one volley after another, and many of the reds fell and were carried from the field b y their comrades , the fire proving too hot for the m. The Indians. on the river, hearing the firing a t the cabin, attempted to land, but were fired u pon so energetically by \iark and the two Harr y s that they gave it up, three or four of their men being tumbled over into the river from the canoes, and one or two others b adly w ounded. The Indians on shore retrea t e d, and t h e boys lo s t no time in reloading s o a s to be "If we . k eep on,'' l a u g hed "w.e will h a ve ready for the enemy when next the y c ame o ii. In all. the Libert y Bo y _ s engaged m fightmg the reda few minutes a white man came ou t of t h e skms, and the y wi ll find that we can do e ven wood s , and, waving a white handkerchief, said in -more than we h a v e alread y done." a loud tone: " W here are the Indians on the river , Lie utenshoot! I ain't a Injun, an' I hain't got ant?" ask e d Dic k o f Mark. nothin' to do with 'em, but I reckon I kin manage "Some o f them are a t the bo t tom, Captain,'' 'em if you will li sten to me." grimly. "The rest h a v e gone a wa-y." Reuben S a r gent came out of the c abin and said It was 'v e ll t h a t M:ark did return, for the Into Dick quietly , so that the man could not p ossibly di a n s were c o m i n g back i n greater numbers, hop hear him: ing to d o b ette r at the s hore tha n the c:ibin , "Th a t's D a n Westbrook, the Tory and rene-and makin g a d etermine

4 THE. LIBERTY BOYS IN THE DROWNED LANDS retired, and at the end of an hour nothing was seen or heard of them. "I don't think we shall be troubled with them any more, Dick,'' declared Bob. "They would have come back by this time if they had been going to attack u s , don't you think? " "Very likely, but we might take the dugout, Bob, and go along the river s ome little di stance. Remain here, Mark, for it i s pos s ible that the marauders may come from another direction. " Dick and Bob then got in the dugout again and went down the river a s before, keeping reasonably well out from shore s o a s to avoid a sur prise from their wily red foe s. Bob paddled s i lently and swiftly, while Dick with his rifl e across his knees kept a lo.okout along the shore for any suspi cious signs , li stening no w and then, his ears being exceptionally sharp. Dick Slater . was a well-built, manly-looking boy, with brown hair, blue gray eye s , pleasant features, and a look of great determination, and, whether in buckskin or his captain's uniform, presented a figure not to be forgotten. He and Bob E s t abrook were of the same age and were friends and like b rothers , which they were likely to be s ome day, a s the sister of each was the sweetheart of the o ther. Both boys, as did many of the Libe rty Boys , hailed from Westchester, in New York, but at this time the troop was on the Ohio , watching the Indians and getting ready to Join Colonel George Rogers Clarke, a noted Indian fighter, in an ex pedition against their red foes. As they now glided rapidly down the river, Dick kept his eye s on the bank, while Bob attended strictly to man aging the dugout, knowing that when Dick needed him he would say so. They had gone a mile or more, when Dick, glancing under the overhang ing branches, being at that time somewhat clo ser to the bank on account of the trend of the cur rent, saw the feathered topknots of a number of Indians at a little d istance. Dick's eyes were as sharp a s his ears, and he noticed many things which would e scape the at• tention of others. The Indians were not watch ing the bank, but had their backs to him and were seate d around a fire, it being well on into the autumn now, and approaching sunset as well, s o that a fire was grateful. Dick had an idea that the fire had not been built for comfort entirely, howev e r , and he now gave Bob a quick signa l to send the dugout clo s e in to the b ank under the branches , the bank o v e r h a n ging s om e what at t hat. po in t. When the y were we ll under the bank and e ntirel y h i dde n from the g a ze of cha n ce prow lers , Dic k said softly, fe aring that he m i ght be o verheard even at t h a t di s t a n ce: "You saw t h em, B o b ?" "Ye s, b u t I did not s a y a nything . I knew you w ould signal w hatever yo u wanted d on e , Dick. " "Tha t i s a c ouncil fir e , Bob. T ho s e fello ws a r e d e liberating s ome m o ve again s t u s . We ou ght t o know w hat i t i s . " " Ye s, b u t we d on't unde r s t and the lang uage of the redskins , and w e w ouldn ' t know a w o r d of what they said. " "I would not be surprise d if t here were whites with them, Bob, this f e ll o w W e stbr ook and per haps others ." "You did not see any?" eagerly. "No; but the whites have be e n with them, and I thin k they are likely to be there no w , or s oon. I think I will try and overhear s ome of their con fab. " Dick then made his way up the bank, leaving his rifle behind him in the dugout, as it was likely to impede his motion if h e took it with him through the wood s . Creeping stealthily along with no noise, and taking care not to expos e hims elf, he shortly heard the sound of v oices , and knew that only Indians were talking by the sounds. He went on rapidly, m aking a sligh t detour so as to get behind a thick clump of bus h e::; he had seen, and at length he reached it and crept up under it, peering through at the s e v e;1 o r eight Indians who s a t on a little knoll a r oun d the fire. Presently he heard the sound of foot and then a h a il, the Indians springing to their feet and look ing in the direction of the s ound. In a few m oments thre e white men cam e up, one of them being D a n We stbrook, the rene gade and Tory. D ick did not know the others , but he took a good look at them s o tha t he would know them again when he saw them, and als o noted their voi c e s well, for he never forgot either face o r voice onc e it was well impres se d upon hi s me m ory. The three whites sat among the Indian;; around the fire, and Westbrook said: "Holdin' a pow-w ow, a r e you ? Well, that's a ll right, but I've got a word or two to say." "Injun g o away," declared one of the redskins . "Long knives come, white boy braves too plenty much, shoot many times, kill many Injuns , more better go. Bimeby more long knives , more white boy no more Injuns left, all go to happy huntmg grounds." "So you think you better go into your own country, do you?" "Huh! More better! Go up Wabash, redcoat take fort, stay dere, no lose any more brave." "They mus t mean Vincennes or s ome of the fores t forts ," thought Dick. "Well, pe:iohaps you're right, and I'm willing to go with you, but fir s t I want to get the white gal. I ' ve made up my mind to marry her and I'm go,ing to it. Y?u help me get the gal, and the n Ill go with you Just as s oon as you like. " " "Blackheart get .squaw. himself!" with a grunt. P a leface s hoot, kill, white boy brave kill much b r a v e l ie , g o to happy hunting ground, get gal, then we g o." "The y are taking no more ris k s ," was D i ck's "They are lo s in g heart, it is quite plain to s ee. I w on de r wha t Westbr ook will say to that?" " You do n't want to g o rig h t u p open li k e anrl. say you want the g a l ,' ' spoke u p o n e of the othe r white s . "You w a n t to do it q u ie t a n d sne a k y lik e , jus t like yo u d o things , in the dark , w hen they're a ll i n b ed. We don't want to get kill ed an'' more'n we want to get killed oursel v e s , but more s neak y'n we are an' can do it better. I recko n Dan ' ll be willin' to give you a rifl e a n d " jug o' rum if you do the thing proper , w on't y ou, D an?" "Of course I will!" answered the renegad'.! p r ompt l y . " I don't expect a n y on e t o d o m e ii good turn like that w ithout givin ' him a g o o d present for it." "The rascal is too careful of his own skin." thought Dick. "He is too well aware of the ris k •


THE LIBERTY BOYS IN THE DROWNED LANDS 5 t o take any chances. The idea of a present, especially of the rum, will take the Indians ." "Huh! lnjun get gal, then we go?" "Of course. I am as anxious to get out'n here as you are,, Chief. Do it to-night. If you get a dozen more scalps , I don't care, but we must have the gal." "And I shall do my best to prevent you!" thought Dick. Just at that moment something startling happened. CHAPTER !IL-Keeping a Lookout on the Enemy. Having heard all that he cared to hear, Dick was about to creep away as quietly as he had come and make his way to Bob and return to the camp, first stopping at the settler's house to warn him to be on the lookout for Westbrook and the Indians.• Cautious as he u sually was, Dick nevertheless stepped upon a twig and snapped it with a sharp s ound, which was at once heard by the Indians and by the whites as well. Dick started back in haste and loo sened the earth at the foot of the bushes on the oppo site side, sending earth and pebbles rolling down the bank with a great clattering. " J erushy ! there's a spy listenin' to us!" yelled the renegade, leaping to his feet, the redskins having already arisen. Dick was on his feet in a moment, hurrying away toward the river. In an instant he was seen, and a number of the redskins fitted arrows to the notches in their bows and let drive at him. Twang-zipp ! An arrow passed through the top of Dick Slater's coonskin cap and carried it away in a trice. Another passed through the s leeve of his hunting shirt, narrowly missing his arm. Two others struck trees close behind him and remained there quivering, being'buried so deep that it would take a considerable effort to pull them out. Dick quickly put trees between himself and the pursuing Indians, and then turned and fired two or three rapid shots at them, bringing one to the grourid with an ugly scalp wound, and giving another a flesh wound in t.he arm. He knew that the shots would ahH'm B'.lb and bring the plucky fellow to hi s rescue, and he now ran on without sending any more shots after the Indians. Bullets and arrows came hi s way, but none hit him, and he ran rapidly on . presently seein g Bob at the top of the bank. The impetuous young lieutenant discharged both rifles and then threw them into the dugout, firing two shots with his pistols, all taking effect and causing the enemy to halt. The rapidity of the shots fired made them think that there were several of the boys coming to Dick's aid, and not mel'ely one, and they had no desire to run into a nest of the plucky young patriots, who se ability as sharpshooters they had already seen demonstrated to their cost. "Hurry, Bob!" cried Dick. "Into the boat with you! There are too many of these fellows to trifle with." Bob hurried down the bank' and into the dugout, therefore, and the young captain lost no time in following him.. By the time the cautious red skins arrived at the bank the boys were safely out upon the stream, and Dick was reloading, while Bob was paddling swiftly and sending the dugout farther out and upstream. A number of the redskins fired, and Westbrook and the other whites did the same. Then Dick laid down the rifle he was loading, seized one of his pistols, and gave Westbrook a bad wound in the.arm. Then he snatched the pistols Bob had not yet discharged, and sent i._n two more shots, toppling two of the redskins into the river. They presently clambered out, but there were no more shots sent after the boys, and the I:qpians took precious good care to keep out of sight and no t expose themselves to further danger. "You need not go quite so fast now, Bob," observed Dick quietly, contihuing his loading of the rifles and pistol s . It was not far from sunset when the boys reached the cabin and joined the boys, who were still waiting for them. "The Indians are going away, Mr. Sargent," said Dick, "but Westbrook wants to take your daughter Bess with him, and the Indians and a few whites are coming to your cabin to-night for that purpose. Perhaps I had better leave some of my boy s here to help you defend the place?" "Just as you say, Captain," returned the settler. "I ain't refusin' any help o' that sort, though I kin tell Dan Westbrook that ef I get sight o' his ugly phiz, I won't impr ove it, not by a durned sight!" "I doubt if he will come. I gave him an ugly scratch in the arm which, while not all dangerous , will keep him at home to-night, 1 fancy." "I'm mighty glad you did, Captain, an' I only wish it had been his bull neck." "By your talk you and the lieutenant must have had a lively time during your absence, Captain," remarked a jolly-looking fellow, one of the live liest of them all, of the name of Ben Spurlock. "You could not expect anything else, Ben," laughed Sam Sanderson, who was Ben's chum. "The captain never goes out that he does not meet with s ome adventure." "Not often, at' any rate," observed George Brewster, another of the Liberty Boys standing near. "Remain here with a dozen or t'.venty of the boys, Mark," added Dick. "You can fix up a camp and make yourselves comfortable. I will return to the camp and send some supplies, as we don't want to put our good friends to the trouble of feeding s o many hearty boy s , and all of them with good appetites." Dick and Bob and all of the bays except fifteen now set off up the river in canoes. dugouts, and boats, the young captain asking the son of the settler to go with them, an invitation which the boy gladly accep t ed, being anxiou s to see the camp and make the acquaintance of the res t of the Libertv Boy s . .He went in the dugout with Dick and Bob, the young captai n wishing to talk with and _obser ve him more than he had already done, having taken a fancy to him and wishirig to i;ee more of him. "You better let me paddle, captain," said Reuben. "I am u s ed to a dugout, and it's better for me to paddle than you, 'cause you're the captain, and I'm just a boy." "That's all right," laughed Bob. "But you • t•' -• • _, ' \ >,


6 THE LlBERTY , BOYS IN THE DROWNED L AN DS won't see the captain shirking work if it's necessary for him to do it, and he will never ask any of us to do anything that he won't do himself." "I reckon not," Reuben answered. "But don't you think I'd better?" "There is no harm in it, certainly," with a smile, and the boy took the paddle and handled it with great de":ftness. At the camp they met a number of -the boys, who, having heard the sound of distant firing, had been interested and were now most eager to hear the news. Dick put on his uniform, and then, some tf the boats being loaded with supplies for the boys at the cabin, went back with them, leaving Bob to look after the camp. Dick returned to the cabin with Reuben and three or four of the boys, Patsy remaining in camp, as he always had supposed he would. Meantime the boys had made a temporary camp and built a. fire, some of the number having shot some small game, while others had drawn water and brought wood and done other necessary things. Ben and Sam acted as cooks, assisted by the two Harrys, things going on smoothly by the time Dick and the rest .had returned, by which time it was growing dark. Reuben Sargent had supper with the boys, seeming to enjoy the novelty the boys themselves taking a great fancy to him. After supper the boys occupied themselves in various ways, sentries being posted on the river and out the little camp to keep an eye on the red skins and give timely warning of their approach. "The Tory may think that I have give n warning and rtot make his intended visit," remarked Dick to Mark, "but I think it is just as well to be prepared for them, and if they don't come, no harm will be done." "No, and it will be a pleasant change for the boys," replied Mark. "They like to see new faces now and then." Time wore on, the settler's family retired, many of the boys rolled tlIBmselves up in their blankets by the fire and went to sleep, and at last all was dark and still in the little camp. The settler had offered Dick a room in the cabin, but the young captain said that he would remain with the boys so as to be ready in case anything happened, and he slept in a rude shack that had been erected at one side. It was well along toward midnight, the fires had died down to the merest glimmer, and everything was quiet in camp, when Ben Spurlock, on guard at the edge of the woods, heard suspicious sounds, and gave warning to the boy nearest him by :imitating the chirp of a cricket. The boys had many such signals, and could communicate with each other in the presence of a n enemy without a single word being exchanged. Ben had heard stealthy footsteps and suspected that Indians were appr. oaching, listening attentively after giving the signal, which was repeated, shortly going all around the camp. Ben shortly heard the sound again, and then the sound o:f' whispering voices, the latter being those o:f' whites. "There's been a camp," said one, the whisper being heard farther than a low tone would have carried. "Do you suspect the young rebels are here now?" "I donno, but I wisht Dan had c o me hisself. It's his business more'n it is ours, an' he orter 'tend to it. I've no notion o' gittin' a shot in the arm or leg just for lookin' out for him an' stealin' his gal." Just then a puff of wind fanned one of the. dying fires into a blaze and revealed the shacks and the boys lying around the fires in their blankets, but none of the sentries, these being hidden by the trees. "Jerushy! there is a camp!" exclaimed one . "Maybe we'd better get around back o' the cabin an' get the gal away without arousin' the young rebels.''. "All right; let's get back to the Injuns." Then the two men crept away, and Ben signaled the fact to the next boy, who passed the word on till all knew it. Dick was awake, and, coming out cautiously, made his way to Ben's post and asked: ' "What is it, B en?" -"Renegades, two of them. Westbrook is not here. There are Indians. The two scouts are going back to get them. They mean to break into the cabin at the rear and steal Bess. They think they can do so witl10ut alarming us." "You didn't hear or see any Indians?" "No; but these men spoke about them, and have gone to bring them up.'' All the boys in the little camp were awake by this time, but made no sound and did not stir, knowing that they would be aroused in time to defend themselves. "The Indians w ill want to make a sudden attack so as to throw the camp into confusion and thus get away with the girl," declared Dick, "but the whites will want to be more quiet. It is likely that the Indians will have their way, as there are more of them." There were boys at the rear of the cabin, and Mark now got those at the river up to the cabin, Dick making his way there through the woods so quickly and noisele ssly that none of the Indians, had they been on hand, w1mld have noticed him. At length the sentries deteG:ted the presence of Indians, and Dick signaled to all the boys t o be ready to spring up at a moment's warning. Then, as he supposed would be the case, the Indians made a sudden attack, rushing in with a chorus of yells, expecting to carry everything be fore them. To their amazement, the fires suddenly blazed up, and they were met by a rattling volley from the brave boys, who discharged muskets, rifles, and pistols in rapid order, and with disastrous effect to their red foes. Then the settler and his sons appeared and joined in the at tack on the Indians with great vigor. CHAPTER IV.-The New Recruit Shov:s l\'Iettle. The Indians, instead of taking the settler and the Liberty Boys by surprise, had b een more than smprised themselves, and beat a hasty re treat, carrying their dead and. wounded with them. Mu skets and pistols rattled and cracked in all directions, and it seemed as if there were boys everywhere, and that they coula not go in any direction without meeting them. There was no attempt made to rush in on the cabin, which seemed to be deferrded at all points.


THE LIBERTY BOYS IN THE D ROWNE D L ANDS 7 and reds and whites made a hasty departure and did not again attempt to attack the place. "Those fellows seem to think that we are nothing, but a lot o f little boys who don't know how to keep watch, and that they can run in on u s and surprise us without the slightest troubl e," sputtered Mark, "and it only serves them right to lose a lot of their men." "They should have had a better opinion of us l:;y this time surely," added Dick, with a dry laugh, "but I think this has been a lesson to them 11, and that they will not again trouble us. " He was right, for the night passed and morn;ng dawned without any further alarm, and the Loys arose greatly refreshed, and began to pre-1 .are for the day. Search was made for the In ,; am; for some distance, but nothing was seen of L'em or of thl:l, renegades, some of the boys going far as Dick had been the day before. "They may have gone away," observed Dick, "Lut it is as well to be on our guard for a time, :..s I believe Westbrook will endeavor to carry off the girl, having made up his mind that he wants her." "Pap will shoot him on sight," said Reuben to a number of the boys, "and I don't believe sister Bess would. let him carry her off without giving him a lot of trouble. She can shoot a rifle or a pistol as good as any of u s , and she never goes out without one or t'other." "Your sister is a very clever girl, Reuben," said Jack, which caused Mark, who was a bit of a tease, to say with a laugh: "Better look out, Jack, or Ben will cut you out. I saw him making sheeps' eyes at Mis s Bess this morning, and if he thinks you are going in for a--" "How do you know that I am?" asked Jack, with a noncommittal air. "But aren't you?" asked Mark, who was eager to find out, $C that he could tease Jack, which, by the way, he never managed to do. "Keep guessing, l\Iark," laughed Jack, who was the other's particular chum and very fond of him. "It will be a good brain exercise." "But aren't you, Jack?" persisted Mark. "You will have to keep on guessing," with a laugh. "But you said that B ess was very clever." "Well, what of it?" with provoking coolness. "Do you think B en is?" asked Mark, changing his tactics. "ls what?" as if he did not know. "Fond of Bess ?" "You had better ask him," laughing. "He will tell you, of course." "Oh, you are incorrigible," and Mark went off to see if he could tease so me one else. The boys went back to camp at length, taking Reuben with them, the boy being sworn in as one of the Liberty Boys and fitted out with a mu sket, uniform and horse soo n after his arrival. llick had warned the settler to keep a sharp lookout for the renegades, and not to allow Bess to go away from the cabin without one of the boys or some one who could take care of her until it was certain that Westbrook and his confederates had left the neighborho od . There was no further trouble reported from the Indians anywhere in the district, and the probability was that they had g one away as they had said they w oul d, but whe ther the evi lminded whites had gone with them or not c oul d n o t b e determined at o nce. W h ile the boys were resting Dick took t h e dugout, which had been brough t along, and went out upon t h e .r iver, taking Re u ben with him, to reconnoiter and see if h e .coul d learn anything from some of the scattered settlements a long the bank. The new recruit paddled, which he did very well, and Dick sat in the stern with a rifle over his knees, keeping a watch along shore. In case an enemy should attack them or they should see game along the river, the rifle would be more effectual than pistols, Reuben having his musket alongside him, ready to catch up at a moment's notice. It was late in the season now, and the trees, except the occa sional fir s , were bare and brown, the view being much less interrupted than when the trees were in full leaf. There were stretches of country here and there where there was a great deal of water, the lowlands b ing flood ed and the river seeming much wider than usual. Later in the season and far ther on their journey there would be more of these watery stretches, when they reached what we r e known as the drowned lands of Illinois and Indiana, along the Wabash and its tributaries, there being many low places where the water always overflowed in the winter and spring. These flooded regions were comparatively

8 THE LIBERTY BOYS IN THE DROWNED LANDS splash, and in another moment a cone was seen disappearing in the submerged forest, rapidly propelled by a man in buckskin and wearing a c oonskin cap. "Jove, there is the Tory himself!" ejaculated Dick, suddenly turning and looking that way. "Yes, I reckon he meant to do for you, captain; and I didn't wait for orders, but just plugged away the minute I set eyes on him. There wasn't much time, either, for he was drawing trigger the minute I saw him, and something had to be done right sudden." "Did you hit him, Reuben?" "I donno, captain. Anyhow, I knocked his rifle out'n his hand, and it went off before it fell into the water. He give a yell, but that might have been 'count o' the stinging he got from the rifle's being hit so sudden." "I thank you, Reuben," quietly. "I had see n nothing of the fellow, and had heard nothing. There will be little use to pursue him, for the water leaves no scent no:r trail, and the trees are thick and very leafy where he went." "I reckon we better go out on the river now, captain?" asked the boy. "Yes; but reload while I take the paddle, Reuben. You may need it for another shot before you know it, and this is a duty which the Liberty Boys never neglect. " Reuben relOb.ded while Dick sent the dugout toward the open water, managing it with great dexterity. Suddenly Dick saw a deer standing knee-deep in the wate:r under a heavy fir, and whispered to Reuben as he held water with his paddle: "Do you see that fellow there, my boy? Can you hit him? You will delight Patsy's heart if you take a fine bit of game like that home to him." "I reckon I can, captain," returned the boy quietly, and then he raised his musket, took careful aim, and fired. The shot was a good one, for the buck was brought down without the waste of another, and when Dick and the new Liberty Boy reached him he lay floating on the water, dead. "We will h?.ve to tow him," declared Dick. "He is a big fellow, and would pretty well fill the dugout, besides being some trouble to get in." They secured a rope about the creature's horns, and towed him across the river and to the camp. "I couldn't do anything else, boys,'' he said modestly, while they were all praising him, shak' ing his hands and him on the back. "I done tQOk an oath to help any of the Liberty Boys that it, and if I shouldn't help the captain, I donno who I should." "I had no idea that Westbrook would be anywhere about." declared Dick, "and it is not likely that we shall see him again, nO"w that he is aware t hat we are in the neighborhood, for he realizes the danger of being within range of us." "I'd like to have been there," sputtered Bob, "to help the new boy out with another shot." "It would have done no good to kill the fellow, B ob," auietly. "We want to rescue Bess, and if w e kill this fellow before we do so, we might never see her again." "Yes, I suppose it would be better to capture hill} first, but the temptation to finish the scoun• drel would have been very great if I had been along, I know." "I don't doubt it, Bob," quietly. The boys went on after dinner, continuing till dark, when they rested for the night, having made good progress during the day. The next day and the next they kept on at good speed, but saw no signs either of Indians or of the renegades. They heard from time to time of depredations having been committed by the Indians, the people being ver'y bitter against them, and being ready to jcin in any expedition into the country of the marauders. Then for days they still found no trace of Westbrook, and some of the boys doubted if they would see him-again, Dick and others stating positively, however, that they were sure to do so eventually, as the man would want to take revenge upon him and upon Reuben, as well as to run off with Bess. "He knows that it is not safe for him to show himself," declared Bob, "but you need not think that he is going to keep away from us if there is any chance for him to get even with Dick, and you will find him hanging about our camp some of these nights watching for a chance to do some one a mischief." "And if he is not careful he will receive a hurt that he won't get over as easily as he has -recov ered from his other wounds," replied Ben. They were resting in camp one night, some days later, there being signs of rain, and the boys having made many miles that day, the fires being lighted and giving out a grateful warmth, as well as adding to the cheerfulness, the boys occupying themselves in many ways. There were woods all around them, right down to the rivel', and the darkness was most dense beyond the reach of the firelight, the cry of wolves and sighing of the wirid making the boys all the more grateful for being in a comfortablP. camp, and not exposed to the dangers of the wilderness. The pickets were set, for one never knew when enemies of one sort or anotner might appear among su ch surroundings, and the Liberty Boys were always vigilant whether they expected enemies or not. Ben Spurlock and Paul Benson, another of the Liberty Boys, bad their beats next to one another, and often met on their monotonous march to and fro, sometimes exchanging a few words, and then parting without a word. It was quite late, and the fires had nearly burned out, there being only a glimmer from them when the boys met, and Ben said in a l<>w tone which only Paul could hear: "There is some one lurking about the camp. Have v-0u heard him?" Paui listened for a few moments, and then said in a tone which could not •be heard six feet distant: "I hear them now, Ben, but I did not hear them before. There are two of the prowlers." "Yes, and they mean mischief, I am sure. I heard only one before, but now I know there are two." "If there were a hundred we would be ready for them. " "Yes," and Ben imitated the hooting of an owl as a signal to the boys nearest that there were prowling a bout the camp.


THE LIBERTY BOYS IN THE DROWNED LANDS 9 CHAPTER V.-The New Boy Captured. Dick was awake as soon as the first signal was given, being a very light sleeper, and easily awakened when there was any danger threatening the camp. The boys were in the habit of saying that he slept with one eye open, in fact, he was always so alert. In a few moments he emerg ed from his tent noiselessly, and made hj.s way in 'the direction of the sounds, which were repeated shortly, and soon reached Ben and Paul, who were standing in the shade of the trees listening intently. He listened a moment, and heard footsteps com i n g on stealthily, and then heard in a faint whisper: "Do you see anything of the young rebels, Dan?" . The fire near the two boys flared up for a moment, but revealed a few tents only, al}d not the boys on guard. "Huh! there it is now, Bill! I don't see any of the young rebels, though. They must be all asleep." "H'm! you don't want to !be sure o' that, Dan. That's just the time to look out for them." "I'd like to find out where the rebel captain's tent is, and put a half dozen bullets into him!" growled Westbrook. "I'd like to catch the other young rebels that fired at me t'other day, too, and do for him as well." "Suppose we raise an alarm and then, when the young fellow comes rushing out to see what's the matter, fill him full o' bullets and get away." "We might, if we had more of us, but you can't depend on the Injuns, and the rest are too fur off." "What you want to come here fur, then, if you're afraid to do the job?" with a growl. Dick was creeping cautiotsly through the woods so as to spring upon the Tories, who were advancing slowly, wishing to get a bette1 look at the camp, the fire having died down again. Night hawks were crying, but the two prowlers paid no attention to these sounds, having no idea they meant, and Dick stol e nearer and nearer, the men havingnot the slightest knowledge of his pres ence . Other boys were approaching, and the t wo renegades were in great danger of being sur• prifet enough to accommodate them all, but they had their horses ,


--10 THE LIBERTY BOYS IN THE DRQWNED LANDS and .these \\ould be of great service. Captain Rogers went away, and Colonel Clarke completed his arrangements, these taking several days, but at last everything was ready, and the expedition set out. All went well for a .time, but at last they came to a stretch of wet forest where the water was two or three feet deep, wit]J here and there a bare trunk rising gaunt and above the water, and now and then an old stump just sticking up above the floor. They stopped on a goodly sized stretch of rising ground, where they made a camp, it being high and dry here, and well sheltered bleak winds, which drove the rain and snow in their faces. A good dry spot was picked out for a fire, and Patsy and his assistants were soon busily engaged getting a meal ready, others putting up the tents or g-0ing for dry wood, g-0id drinking water and other things needful. The new Liberty Boy and another named Lishe Green set -0ff in a dugout to find a good spring which was not under water, and at the same time shoot what small game they might c:0me across. They made their way through the flooded forest, and were at some little distance from the camp, when Reuben said, p-0inting to jl. bit of a knoll, standing well above the water: "There's a spring there, and I think it's good water. It has the look -0f it, at any rate." "I guess it has," ag1eed Lishe, who was from the Mohawk vall

THE LIBERTY B O YS IN THE DROWNE D LANDS 11 arms, he pass ed the rope about his body at the height of his armpits, and p a s sed both ends a r ound the tree again, crossing them and making them fas t behind. The boy was now left hanging to the tree, the strain cotning upon his chest and arms, for whenever he tried to eas e it by holding on b y his legs, it only increased it and >:eemed to tighten the rope. " Yo u can hang there till you die, for all of me!" growl e d the Tory, "and y

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