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The Warriors Part 3: Civilization or Death: The Warriors, #3

The Warriors Part 3: Civilization or Death: The Warriors, #3

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The Warriors Part 3: Civilization or Death: The Warriors, #3

Longueur:
221 pages
3 heures
Sortie:
Feb 3, 2021
ISBN:
9781734843064
Format:
Livre

Description

The Warriors Part 3, Civilization or Death The American settlers considered the native American Indians savages. The Indians considered the settlers invaders bent on taking their land, something that had been going on for almost two hundred years. The new President, George Washington, in order to protect the borders of the new country against both European and indigenous enemies, sent army after army against the Indians in the Ohio country, only to see them annilated. The British ceded the Indian land, the land of their allies, to the Americans at the end of the Revolutionary War even though the Indians had been triumphant. Would the tribes just walk away? To where?

Sortie:
Feb 3, 2021
ISBN:
9781734843064
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

Norbert Aubrey is the author of the trilogy, The Warriors, which explores the role the native Americans played in the Revolutionary War on the western frontier, something usually left out in stories of this period.It was a crucial period for the Ohio valley tribes. He lives in Gualala, California. An avid meditator and practitioner of Tang Soo Do and Tai Chi

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The Warriors Part 3 - norbert aubrey

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Civilization or death to all American savages.

~Toast by an American officer of the 1st American Regiment (which replaced the Continental Army after the Revolutionary War)

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"So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none. When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home."

~Tecumseh, Shawnee Chief

Ohio Indian country with villages and trails  and surrounding British and American forts.

1  Lewis’ Revenge

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One day, Lewis was hanging around with his friend, Billy Boggs. Lew, I gotta tell you something. Billy put his arm around Lewis’s wide shoulder. You’re getting to be a real blunderbuss. Spending all your time killing people.

They ain’t people. Them’s ignorant savages. They killed Pa and George. One of these days, I’m gonna give ‘em payback. What do you think about that?

You’re gonna get yourself killed if you keep cutting didos, that’s what I think.

Naw, I ain’t got nothin’ to worry about. They don’t even know I’m there ‘cause they wake up dead.

What? You can’t . . ., Billy burst out laughing. Shoot, Lewis! You’re funny!

You shoulda been with me this one night. I started hooting, real softly. Lewis cupped both his hands over his mouth and hooted like an owl. They was scared to death. I had to let them go. They wouldn’t go to sleep, and they ran around with their weapons, ready to kill the first thing that moved. I didn’t have a chance to pull my tricks.

Gol darn! You must've had them buggers scared half to death.

I did! It was the funniest dang thing. I laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants. I wanted their scalps, too, but I just couldn’t get ‘em.

What did they think you were? An owl? A cougar?

Naw, they ain’t scared of cougars. It ain’t that. I think it’s ghosts. They’re scared of the boogeyman.

How do you know that?

My brother Martin told me. Says they’re superstitious. They talk to animals, and they sprinkle tobacco on an animal when they kill it.

What for?

Beats me. Like I said, they’re superstitious. Dang waste of good tobacco.

A month after his father’s and brother’s deaths, Lewis had done nothing about his oath to kill more Indians. He was nineteen years old. He was at the Rosencranz’s cabin, and he’d been pacing up and down all morning.

Are you going? Bertha asked when she saw him stuffing his various pouches with pemmican, lead, and powder. She wrapped her arms around him from behind and hugged him.

Gonna git me a varmint or two.

Because of your Pa and George?

Yep. It’s payback time.

You worry me, Lewis, Bertha told him. She hugged him and stroked his hair with her hands. I am so sorry about your father and brother. It’s awful. I worry about you, too. One of these days, I’m afraid you’ll push your luck too far.

No need to worry ‘bout me, he said. Them varmints is the ones who need to worry. They can’t touch me. I have my Grandpa’s charm on me. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. That’s what the Bible says. George Wetzel is worth three of them varmints. Pa, ten.

After the Moravian Massacre, in which nearly a hundred Christian Lenape had been slaughtered, mostly women and children, many of the Lenape were scared and at a loss what to do. One of the better-protected villages was on the Black Fork of the Muskingum River and had been used off and on by various tribes for generations. The only approach to Greentown was by water as it was surrounded by swamps. It was a quiet village with a fairly large population of one-hundred-fifty families, many of them Christian.

One winter day, one of the older men, Bull Elk, offered to take his two young grandsons on a hunt and show them some of the country of the Lenape. Both their parents were dead. They paddled by canoe downriver, past the confluence of Black Fork and Clear Fork, down the Mohican past the Kokosing. They camped there, just to enjoy the sound of all the owls at night. They headed down the Muskingum to where Bull Elk hoped that the boys would get a chance to hunt wood buffalo and elk.

They camped here and there, not going anywhere in particular. The hunting was good, and they dried and salted meat, hoping to get enough to last them through the winter.

Lewis Wetzel’s behavior was unusual, even by frontier standards. His major occupation had been hunting Indians for several years now. With the death of his brother and father, though, he got even stranger. He crossed the river late that afternoon, bundled up in a bearskin coat. He no longer just went Indian hunting at night. He was confident of his abilities and knew his way around the Indian territory.

He hid his canoe in the bushes and headed up the hill. He ran quietly along the hilltops, making his way towards the Indian villages. He planned to spend the night looking around. Perhaps he would get lucky and find a lone hunter, or even two or three. Five was his limit. More than that, he felt he was at a disadvantage. He wasn’t blindly looking. He had a plan. He knew where the Indians liked to camp. It was wintertime, so there was a good possibility he might come across a hunting party. He had roamed these hills for years and knew the country as well as anyone, Indian or white. This was still Indian territory, regardless of what any treaty said, and there would be nobody but Indians bold enough to build a campfire out in the forest.

It was just starting to get dark when he spotted the glimmer of light at a spot with a spring. It was a favorite of his. He liked to camp near there, too, though he never built a fire. He never wanted to attract attention, knowing how dangerous that could be.

He slowly snuck up to the spot, loading as he went. He plopped half a dozen lead balls in his mouth. His eyes were accustomed to the fading light, and he could see fairly well in the dark forest. He followed the light of the fire. As he got closer, he could see the fire was unattended. The hairs on the back of his neck rose. His stomach churned. Could he be the prey rather than the hunter? Cautiously, he backed up towards a big maple tree and pulled out his tomahawk. He looked around carefully, stopping at each darkening object, looking for any movement. If he was going to be attacked, they had better be quicker than he was.

He leaned against the tree, looking, listening, and sniffing. There was still no sign of anyone. He was good at waiting. As a hunter, he often had to wait for hours. After he was convinced he was alone, he relaxed, slid the tomahawk back in its sheath, and breathed so quietly he could hear the wings of owls. Perhaps whoever had built the fire had gone to relieve themselves.

He heard them before he saw them. There were three of them. An old man, carrying a rifle, and two young boys with bows and arrows shouldering a heavy load of meat hanging between a pole.

Lewis watched them carefully, anxious to see if there were more, but also waiting for the proper time to do the killing. The boys settled around the fire, roasting meat. He could smell it, and his mouth watered. It was the first time he realized he was hungry. He hadn’t eaten all day. He knew he could walk right up there and they would feed him. Indians always had an open hand with their food, but he hadn’t come here to eat.

When the old man set his gun down at the far side of the camp, out of reach, Lewis knew the right time had come. He leveled his musket at the old man’s forehead and squeezed the trigger.

Boom! His shot went true.

Lewis leaped towards the camp, his musket in one hand and tomahawk in the other, yelling as he always did to confuse the Indians and make them think there was more than just him, Get 'em boys!

The two boys took off, running in opposite directions. Lewis went after the bigger boy, a lad of twelve or thirteen years old, slipping his tomahawk back into the sheath to free up his hands. He reloaded his musket as he ran. He poured powder from the horn into the barrel and spit a ball down. He then tried a new trick he’d been practicing. He bounced the butt of the musket on the ground to set the ball rather than take the time to use the ramrod. He could easily outrun the boy, and, as he got close, he aimed and fired, hitting the boy in the back at chest level.

The boy stumbled, then stopped and grabbed ahold of a tree. He slid to the ground.

He turned and looked up at Lewis. Blood came from his mouth as he begged, in broken English, Please, sir. I beg thee. No kill.

Lewis sneered as he whipped the tomahawk from its sheath. Like you did with Pa? You savage! Lewis whacked the sharp tomahawk across the boy’s neck, nearly severing his head. Then, he grabbed the boy’s hair and sliced it off, taking a patch of scalp with it.

He wiped the blade off on the boy’s leggings, then walked back to the camp, reloading as he went. He walked into the woods the way the other boy had gone and looked all around, making sure he hadn’t come back. The boy had no gun, and he’d run off without his bow and arrows, so Lewis was convinced he was safe. The boy couldn’t be more than nine or ten years old. He scalped the old man, then took the man’s musket and went through his belongings, looking for anything of value. He took the man’s lead pouch and powder horn and tossed it in a pile with the musket. He liked one of the blankets they had, a white, English trade blanket with blue stripes at both ends, so he tossed that in the pile, too, as well as a silver bracelet the man had on his forearm. He piled all the loot in the blanket, wrapped it up, and threw it over his shoulder. He laughed to himself at the thought that he looked like Santa Claus. He grabbed a leg of venison still cooking at the fire and walked happily off into the forest, chewing on the bone.

When he got back to his cabin early the next morning, Bertha asked him, Any luck, hon?

Yep. Got two of them varmints. One got away. He pulled the two scalps out from his shot bag and held them up proudly to show her. Then, he spread out the trade blanket to show her the loot he’d taken.

She tried on the bracelet.

You can have that.

Oh, you’re so sweet! She kissed him on the cheek.

2  Knotche and Goose Have Success

The Indian raids on the frontier continued. After the Sandusky debacle, in which the American militia army had been sent running, with their commanding officer burned alive, followed by the attack on Fort Henry, Knotche and Goose decided they’d had enough. Each had his own agenda. Knotche was anxious to stay on the Lakes to provide for Corn Tassel and their young daughter, as a father should. Goose had a new plan to try to win back Danelle. He would hunt for winter furs and take them to Fort Detroit for a good price. There, he hoped he might be able to learn English. He figured that his people would have to live with the English or the Americans one way or another. Either way, he needed to speak that language.

When winter came, Goose headed to the hills. It was cold, lonely work, and he rarely stayed more than one night. Slowly, the winter beaver and raccoon skins mounted up. On each trip back home, he fished and kept an eye on Danelle’s cabin. Occasionally, he brought her and her husband, the trader, Pierre Pelletier, fish or beaver tails. They were always happy to get them, and Goose hung around their cabin as long as he could. He always made sure Pierre was at home so he couldn’t be accused of anything other than being a helpful friend. But, luckily for Goose, as spring got closer, Pierre was often away, traveling around to the various towns buying winter furs. He had a trading store to the west, at the rapids of the Miami. Before heading off to Detroit with his furs and his plan to learn English, Goose decided to try another time to win Danelle.

One day, he called out from outside her cabin. Pierre! Pierre! It is Goose! I’ve brought you a nice pike.

Come in, Danelle replied.

Goose ducked in the doorway carrying the big fish. The cabin was warm with a fire going. Where’s Pierre? He asked, looking around innocently.

She shrugged. He’s gone. He had business to do.

Goose looked over and saw the baby girl bundled up sleeping in a cradle. Where should I put this? He looked around. The cabin was a mess, with clothes lying all over the floor.

She pointed to the butcher block table. Just set it there. I’ll take care of it later.

Goose gently set the fish down and stood back, admiring it. It put up a fierce battle. A nice, fat fish like that’ll be good eating.

Yes. Thank you, Goose. You are a true friend.

It’s cold out. Perhaps you could make us some tea, and we can talk, Goose suggested.

She nodded and hung a tea kettle over the fire.

They talked for a while, with her occasionally getting up to adjust the blanket on her baby. He told her about his plans. She told him she thought it was a good idea.

The whites aren’t going away, she agreed. That’s smart, Goose. You’re always thinking ahead.

If I was a rich man like your husband, perhaps I could have a wife like you.

Oh, you’re so nice. She kissed him on the forehead as she stood up.

After that, Goose started coming over regularly when Pierre was gone. He thought he would eventually win her over, and he often gave her presents and trinkets for the baby, too, but she never showed him any warmth.

He asked Knotche for advice about women. Knotche had never known another woman before Goose introduced him to his sister Corn Tassel. Knotche told him he thought Goose was doing the right thing but suggested that giving her a horse would be far better. You can’t lose with that, he declared. That was something he had heard from others his whole life. "Women like horses...I’d like to

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