The Settlers - A Tale of Virginia
by William H. G. Kingston
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The keel of a pinnace had already been laid in Gates's Bay, the name bestowed on the harbour on the shore of which the settlement was situated. Some progress had been made with her, when Sir George Summers proposed going over to the chief island, where there was an abundance of timber, and taking with him two carpenters and a party of men in order to build another vessel, it being evident that the first would not contain the whole of the shipwrecked company. The governor willingly agreed to the proposal, and Sir George and his followers set off. The settlement was thus deprived of many of the most trustworthy men.

Of many events which, occurred on the island after this period we omit the account. Evil-disposed persons among the passengers and crew, forgetful of their merciful deliverance and of the supply of provisions afforded by their bountiful God to them, disregarding the exhortations of the chaplain, Master Hunt, to live peaceable lives, formed conspiracies against the governor and admiral with the intent of compassing their deaths. Happily, from want of union, these plots were discovered, but order was not restored until their ringleader had been seized and shot—a warning to the rest.

This state of things caused much alarm and anxiety to Mistress Audley and Lettice. Months passed by, the long-boat did not return. Had she arrived at the colony, they felt sure that, should the Rainbow have escaped, Captain Layton would have forthwith sailed in quest of them. Thus, to their minds it was clear that either the Rainbow or the long-boat had been lost. Happily for Mistress Layton and her children, they trusted in One mighty to save, who orders all for the best, and they could bow their heads in submission to His will, and say from their hearts, "Thy will be done."

While the admiral and his party were working away on the main island at the vessel he had undertaken to build, the governor and the carpenters who remained at Gates's Bay laboured on at the pinnace. Already great progress had been made with her; oakum sufficient to caulk her was formed from old cables and ropes. One barrel of tar and another of pitch had also been saved. This however was not sufficient, and Vaughan, who had much scientific knowledge, invented a mixture composed of lime made of whelk shells and a hard white stone burned in a kiln, slaked with fresh water and tempered with tortoise-oil, with which she was payed over. She was built chiefly of cedar cut in the island, her beams and timbers being of oak saved from the wreck, and the planks of her bow of the same timber. She measured forty feet in the keel, and was nineteen feet broad; thus being of about eighty tons burden. She was named the Deliverance, as it was hoped that she would deliver the party from their present situation and carry them to the country to which they were bound.

The Deliverance was now launched, and found to sit well on the water. Shortly afterwards the pinnace built by Sir George Summers was seen coming round into the bay. She was smaller than the Deliverance, measuring nine-and-twenty feet in the keel, fifteen and a half in the beam, and drawing six feet water. Her name was the Patience, and truly with patience had she been built, the admiral having used such timber alone as he could cut in the forest, the only iron about her being a single bolt in the keelson. As no pitch or tar could be procured, she was payed over with a mixture of lime and oil, as was the Deliverance. All hands were now employed in fitting out the vessels and getting the stores on board. At dawn on the 10th of May the admiral and captain put off in their long-boats to set buoys in the channel through which the vessels would have to pass, for the distance from the rocks to the shoals on the other side was often not more than three times the length of the ship.

A cross had been made by order of the governor of the wood of the wreck, having within it a coin with the king's head. This cross was fixed to a great cedar tree in memory of their deliverance. To the tree was also nailed a copper plate with a fitting inscription.

About nine in the morning, the wind being fair, the whole of the company went on board. The Patience led the way, with the admiral and those who had built her on board. The Deliverance, in which Mistress Audley and her family were passengers, followed.

While all were in high spirits at finding themselves once more at sea, a severe blow was felt; the ship quivered from stem to stern, and a cry was raised, "We are on shore! we are on shore!" But the captain ordering the helm to be put up to larboard, and the starboard head-braces hauled aft and the after-sails clewed up, she glided on, carrying away a portion of the soft rock on which she had struck. The well was sounded, but no leak was discovered, though for some time it was feared that, after the many months' labour bestowed on the ship, they might have to return. For two days the vessels were threading the narrow channels amid those dangerous rocks, feeling, as it were, every inch of their way, with the dread each instant of striking.

Happily the weather remained calm, but even thus the time was one of great anxiety to all on board. At length, to their infinite joy, the captain announced that they were clear of all danger. The ship and pinnace shaped a course west and north to Virginia. Seven days after leaving the islands the colour of the water was seen to have changed, and branches of trees and other objects from the shore floated by. Sounding the next day, the ship was found to be in nineteen and a half fathoms of water. Lettice and Vaughan had remained late on deck, their hearts filled with anxiety, for on the morrow they might know whether those they loved were among the living or dead. Each tried to encourage the other, and as they stood watching the bright stars overhead and the calm ocean suffused with the silvery light of the moon, or gazing towards the land which they hoped ere long to see, they became sensible of a delicious odour of fruit and flowers wafted by the night breeze from the shore. The sails flapped against the masts, the vessel was taken aback, but the yards being braced round she stood on once more.

"To your cabin, Mistress Lettice, to your cabin," said Captain Newport, "we will, in God's good providence, take you in safely to-morrow; and now go to rest and dream of those you hope to meet, and the beautiful land to be your future home. Come, Master Audley, urge your sister to take my good advice."

Vaughan, knowing that the captain was right, led Lettice to the cabin.


"Land! land!" was shouted from the masthead just before the sun rose above the horizon, and Vaughan and Gilbert, with many others who hurried on deck, soon saw, just emerging from the ocean to the westward, two blue hummocks. In a short time the land was discerned, stretching away to the northward. The captain at once recognised the hummocks as landmarks to the southward of Chesapeake Bay, towards the mouth of which magnificent estuary the ship was now steered. The day was far advanced when they entered between two capes, since known as Cape Charles on the north and Cape Henry on the south of the bay, about twelve miles apart. Their destined harbour was still far away, and it was not till nearly two days more had passed that, early in the morning a small fort was seen about two miles south of Cape Comfort, at the entrance of James River. A gun was fired, and the English flag flying from the fort showed them that it was garrisoned by their friends. Captain Newport therefore sent a boat on shore to inform the commandant who they were.

While the vessels came to an anchor those on board eagerly looked out for the return of the boat, when they hoped that their many doubts and fears would be brought to an end. At length she came, bringing a stranger seated in the stern-sheets. The eyes of all on board were directed towards him. As the boat approached, he stood up and waved his hat, gazing eagerly at the ship.

"It is Roger Layton," shouted Gilbert, whose vision was one of the keenest of all on board.

"Yes, yes! it is he! it is he!" echoed Lettice, forgetting the presence of bystanders. The boat came alongside, and Roger sprang on deck; he, too, at first seemed not to recollect that there were others besides Lettice lookers-on, and, advancing towards her, he took her hand and pressed it to his lips, afterwards greeting Mistress Audley in the same manner.

"My father and sister are well," he answered to Audley's eager queries, as they warmly shook hands. He was quickly, however, plied with eager questions by many others, to which he could but briefly reply. The fleet had arrived safely, the ketch Susan excepted, which had foundered during the gale. The smaller vessels had gone up the river as far as James Town, where a settlement had been formed, and the larger, including the Rainbow, lay at anchor in Hampton Roads, whence he had come over to visit the commander of the fort. No great progress had been made in the settlement, for the commanders had disputed among themselves; the only true man among them being Captain Smith, who was the life and soul of the enterprise.

"And my husband, Captain Audley, have you gained any tidings of him?" asked Mistress Audley, in a trembling voice.

"Alas! Mistress Audley, we have not," answered Roger; "as yet we have had a hard matter to hold our own, surrounded as we have been by savages, whose friendship is doubtful. Notwithstanding this, our brave friend Captain Smith, Rolfe, and I, have made excursions in all directions, and, whenever we could, have communicated with the Indians, making inquiries for a white man residing among them. Even now, Captain Smith is away up the country, and he promised me that he would continue his inquiries. I, indeed, should have accompanied him, but my father is disheartened with the way affairs have been carried on, and poor Cicely is so much out of health that we were on the point of sailing for England. I trust that your arrival will cause him to change his plan, and you may depend on it that I will use my influence to induce him to do so."

"Of course you must," exclaimed Gilbert, "why, I have been looking forward to all sorts of adventures with you, and Vaughan there will greatly object to your going."

"Indeed shall I," said Vaughan, "and I propose, with your leave, going on shore with you, and proceeding overland to where the Rainbow is lying, concluding, as I do, that we shall get there sooner than the ship."

"You are right, and I shall be glad of your company," said Roger; "it will be the best proof to Cicely that you are not fathoms deep below the ocean, as she has been inclined of late to believe."

"What, has the long-boat with Master Raven not arrived?" asked Vaughan.

"We have had no tidings of her," answered Roger; "it is too likely that all on board have perished."

After much more information had been exchanged, Roger, with Vaughan Audley, returned on shore. Others would have done so, but the captain hoped to sail in the evening, and it was the object of all to reach James Town as soon as possible. Lettice was unwilling so soon again to part with Roger, but now, knowing that he was safe, her spirits revived, and the colour once more returned to her cheeks.

The wind proving favourable, the Deliverance and Patience got under way, and proceeded round to Cape Comfort, where they came to an anchor in the roads, not far from where the Rainbow and two other ships lay moored. Scarcely had their sails been furled than the wind, which had for some time been increasing, began to blow a perfect hurricane; the thunder roared, the lightning flashed, and the rain came down in torrents. Truly, they had reason to be thankful that they were in a safe harbour instead of being out on the stormy ocean. So fiercely did the hurricane rage that no boats could venture to pass between the ships. It was hoped that Vaughan and Roger had already safely reached the ship, but even of that they were uncertain. Hour after hour the storm raged on; the surface of the harbour was broken into foaming waves, which rolled hissing by. The tall trees on shore bent before the blast; huge boughs were seen torn off and whirled far away through the air.

All night long the hurricane continued. Towards morning it broke. When daylight returned, the clouds disappearing, the sun shone forth, brightly sparkling on the tiny wavelets, which now danced merrily on the bosom of the harbour. Early in the morning Gilbert, accompanied by Fenton, pulled on board the Rainbow. As he stepped on deck, Captain Layton, who was standing near the gangway, started on seeing him; for a minute or more it seemed that he could not believe his senses.

"Who are you, young man?" he exclaimed, scanning his features. Gilbert briefly told him who he was, and what had occurred.

"Heaven be praised!" exclaimed the captain; "I fully believed that you and all on board the Sea Venture had perished, or I should long ere this have gone in search of you. The news that your brother has escaped will restore life to my daughter Cicely, who has been mourning him as lost. I will at once go below and break the intelligence to her, or it may reach her too suddenly. Can I tell her that your brother is well?"

"I believe so," answered Gilbert. "He but yesterday landed with your son, and I expected to have found them on board the Rainbow. Why they have not arrived I cannot tell, as they were to have set off immediately from Fort Algernon."

"Possibly they may have been detained by the storm, but I would rather they had been here," observed the captain. "The state of the whole country is unsatisfactory, for the natives are often hostile, and it is dangerous for a small party to move far from the settlement, although it was understood that the Indians in this neighbourhood were friendly. However, we will not anticipate evil, but hope for the best."

While the captain was below, Gilbert and Fenton talked over the non-appearance of Vaughan and Roger, and agreed, should they not soon arrive, to set off in search of them with as many men as they could obtain. After some time the captain summoned them into the cabin. Cecily had been weeping tears of joy; she was anxious to make inquiries about Mistress Audley and Lettice. After they had replied to her many questions, the captain proposed visiting the Deliverance. Lettice and Cicely were delighted to meet each other, but their happiness would have been greater had Vaughan and Roger been present. They had already begun to feel anxious at their not having arrived on board. Captain Layton tried to conceal from them his own apprehensions, but he expressed them to the admiral and governor, who, at his request, agreed to furnish him with a party of men to go in search of them should they not soon appear. Gilbert, Fenton, and Oliver Dane obtained permission to join the expedition.

The party amounted to nearly a score, and with their firearms, provided they acted with due caution, had no need to fear any number of hostile Indians. Captain Layton's intention was to proceed to the fort, and should Roger and Vaughan have left it, follow their trail with the aid of a friendly Indian who was, he said, living there with the white men.

The country was in most parts open, but at times they had to proceed by a narrow path cut through the dense forest, where hostile natives might have attacked them to great advantage, as they could not have been seen till close upon them, and thus their firearms would avail them but little. Oliver Dane kept near the captain, who remained at the head of the main body, while Gilbert and Fenton went on some little way ahead with Ben Tarbox and another man, peering into the forest at every step to discover whether it harboured a foe. They had got within nearly a mile of the fort when Gilbert, who was looking through some bushes on the right, beyond which the forest opened out somewhat, caught sight of a figure moving rapidly in the direction of the fort. He signed to his companions to remain concealed while he more carefully surveyed the stranger, whom he soon knew, by his dress of skins and the feathers which adorned his head, to be an Indian. Gilbert watched, supposing that others would follow, but the Indian was apparently alone. He was doubting whether he should advance or allow the Indian to proceed on his way, when the keen eye of the latter caught sight of his face amid the foliage. Gilbert now observed that, instead of a bow and quiver of arrows, he carried a musket in his hand. He knew, therefore, that he must have intercourse with the English, and was probably a friend. Signing to his companions to remain quiet, he advanced beyond the shelter of the bushes, and made a sign that he wished to speak with him. The stranger, showing no signs of fear, immediately came forward and inquired who he was and whither he was bound. Gilbert at once replied, that he and his companions were searching for two Englishmen who had come from the fort and were on their way to the ships in the roads.

"Then we are engaged on the same errand," said the Indian. "Know me as Miantomah, a friend of the pale-faces. I was in the fort when the ships arrived, and a young stranger came on shore. He and another officer immediately set off to the harbour. They had gone some few hours when one of my people, who had been out scouting, brought word that the Monacans, who are at enmity with the pale-faces, were out on a war-path, and would too probably fall in with the trail of our friends and pursue and scalp them. I at once offered to follow and warn them of their danger, and to lead them by a path round by the shore which the Monacans were not likely to approach. I hoped to have come upon them at their encampment, but they travelled more rapidly than I had expected; and while still on their track, night overtook me. Next day, at dawn, I pushed forward; but when I reached the spot where I calculated they must have encamped, to my dismay, I came upon the trail of the Monacans, who must, knew, have espied them. I went on, however, desirous of learning what had happened. I soon afterwards came upon the Monacan camp, and beyond it I found the trail of the two pale-faces. Could they by rapid travelling still have kept ahead? I feared not.

"Going on, I reached their camp; and now I learnt what had befallen them. They were still asleep on the beds they had formed of leaves, with their camp fire at their feet, when the Monacans had pounced on them before they could rise to defend themselves. There were no signs even of a struggle,—no blood was spilt; thus I hoped that their lives had been spared. I immediately followed the trail of the Monacans and their captives, which turned away to the west. I had not gone far when a fearful storm began to rage, and I knew well that those I was following would seek for some place where they might obtain shelter from the rain, which came down in torrents, and from the boughs of the trees falling around, torn off by the wind. I, nevertheless, pushed on; but the rain and wind had obliterated their trail, and I could only guess the direction they had taken. Before me, at some distance, was a rocky region in which several caverns existed, where the Monacans, should they be acquainted with them, would, I knew, fly for shelter. It was now necessary for me to advance with the greatest caution, lest I should be discovered by my foes, from whom I guessed that I could be at no great distance. I was compelled, for the sake of concealing myself, to travel through the forest; but I kept to those parts where the trees were of less height and the branches smaller, thus not being so likely to be torn off by the wind. The Monacans had, as I expected they would, escaped from the forest, and continued through the more open country, and I at length caught sight of them as they were making towards one of the caverns I have spoken of. I watched them till they took shelter within it, and then, crouching down under the trunk of a fallen tree which afforded me some slight protection from the tempest, I remained till nightfall. I knew that they would kindle a fire at the mouth of the cavern, the light from which would guide me to it; I was not disappointed, and, creeping cautiously along under shelter of the rocks, I got near enough to hear their voices. Close to the mouth of the cavern was another, with a small entrance, penetrating deeply into the hill, and communicating with the large cavern. I did not hesitate to enter, hoping to have an opportunity of speaking to the two palefaces, and, perhaps, even of rescuing them. I waited till I supposed that all the Monacans were asleep; then, groping my way, reached the end of the cavern, and found myself, as I expected, at the inner end of the large one.

"The Monacans had, I suspected, placed their prisoners at the inner end for greater security. The cavern was in perfect darkness, for the light of the fire at the entrance did not extend thus far, though it enabled me to see the people sleeping round it. The noise of the tempest, the crashing of rocks as they rolled down the hillside, the huge boughs torn off from the trees, and the ceaseless rattling of the thunder, drowned all other sounds, and I had no fear of being heard. Cautiously I crept forward, with my head bent to the ground, till I found myself close to a man, as I knew by his loud breathing. I felt his dress, and I thus knew that he was one of the prisoners. I put my mouth to his ear and whispered till I awoke him. He was the young sea-captain whom I knew. I told him that I had come to set him at liberty. He replied that he could not go without his friend, whose foot was hurt so that he could not escape by flight. That mattered not, I replied, as I could conceal him till the Monacans had got tired of looking for him.

"Without loss of time, I released my friend, and we quickly set his companion at liberty. Helping him along between us, we crawled up to the hole by which I had entered. The Monacans, not suspecting what was going on, slept soundly. We crawled through the hole into the further end of the small cavern; here I believed that we were safe, as the darkness would prevent the Monacans from discovering our trail; and not aware, as I concluded, of the existence of the hole, they would be unable to guess by what means their prisoners had escaped."

Miantomah had got thus far in his narrative when Captain Layton and the rest of the party came up, and the Indian had to repeat what he had said, which, as he spoke in broken English, took some time. Gilbert, meantime, was very impatient to hear what farther had happened to his brother and Roger.

"And when you got into the end of the cavern, what did you do?" he asked at last. "Are they there still?"

"I found that the young stranger, though unable to walk, could limp along with the assistance of his friend and me," continued Miantomah; "I knew of another cavern a short distance off, higher up the hill; if we could reach it, while the rain continued to pour down as it was still doing, we should be safe. I persuaded him to make the attempt. By remaining where we were we should too probably be caught, like burrowing animals in a hole, as the Monacans were not likely to go away without thoroughly searching both the caverns. The young man resting on our arms, we set out; the influence of the tempest, as before, prevented the sound of our footsteps reaching our enemies. At length we reached the mouth of the cavern, the position of which I well knew. Thick bushes grew in front of it, so that no strangers were likely to find us, but in case any of the enemy might pass by, I led my companions higher up the hill and then down close to the rock inside of the shrubs. Here we might be secure, though our enemies would not fail to search for us. There was but one way to draw them off the scent; I undertook to adopt it. I would get to a distance and let them see me, when they would to a certainty follow in my trail. Being fleet of foot, I knew that I could keep ahead of them. I waited till nearly daylight, when I knew they would discover the escape of their prisoners.

"Then descending the hill, I took my post at a distance from the cavern, where I could be seen by the Monacans as they issued forth. I was soon seen as I knew by their gestures, and uttering a loud shout and waving my gun over my head, I darted off. Being fast of foot, I knew that they could not overtake me; and they probably thought that my object was to lead them into an ambush of the palefaces, for in a short time their cries no longer resounded through the forest, and I felt confident that they had turned back. I was even now on my way to the fort to obtain assistance, but if you will accompany me much time will be saved and we may the sooner reach your friends."

The meaning of this address being fully understood, Captain Layton at once agreed to Miantomah's proposal. Notwithstanding the long run he had had, he did not beg for a moment's rest, but led the way at a speed which taxed the strength of all the party. Gilbert especially was anxious to go to the rescue of his brother and Roger, for notwithstanding the assurances of the Indian, he could not help fearing that they were in the most perilous position. Should the Monacans discover them, they would in all probability instantly put them to death.

"They know what they are about," observed Fenton, "and depend upon it they will not allow themselves to be taken."

"Had they their arms they might defend themselves," observed Gilbert, "but of those the Indians are sure to have deprived them."

They asked Miantomah: he laughed. "I forgot to say that I secured both their weapons as well as their powder-flasks, and should their ammunition last, they would be able, from the mouth of the cavern, to keep at bay any number of assailants."

The party pushed on, stopping but a brief time to refresh themselves, till at the close of the day their guide told them that in a couple of hours more they might arrive at the caverns. Their leader's intention was accordingly to set off before daybreak, so as to reach the neighbourhood of the caverns soon after dawn, when the Indians, if still there, would be taking their morning meal. There was still much cause for anxiety, for should they suspect the trick that had been played them, and cunning as they were they were very likely to do so, they would certainly search every place in the neighbourhood in which the escaped captives were likely to have taken refuge; for they well knew that Vaughan Audley was unable to walk, and that his companions could not have carried him far on their backs. A strict watch was kept by Captain Layton during the night, lest the natives might discover them and attempt an attack. The night however passed over quietly, and at the hour proposed, Miantomah, rousing up the party, led the way towards the hills. The birds were saluting the early dawn with their tuneful notes, when, just as the hills came in sight amid the trees, a shot was heard, followed by another.

"On! on!" cried the Indian guide. "Our friends have been discovered, as I feared, and are defending themselves; but, though they may hold out for some time, their ammunition must soon be expended, when the Monacans will, to a certainty, not spare their lives."

These remarks were not required to hasten the steps of the party. Gilbert, incited by love for his brother, dashed on at the top of his speed, followed by Fenton, Oliver Dane, and Ben Tarbox; even the Indian could scarcely keep up with them. The sound of shots continued to reach their ears; it encouraged them, showing that their friends were still holding out. In a short time they could hear even the shouts and cries of the Indians, as they climbed the hill, endeavouring to reach the mouth of the cavern; but, as yet, their approach had not been discovered. Miantomah now signed to them to keep to the left, and to crouch down as he was doing, following one after the other so that they might get close to their enemies before they were seen. His advice was followed, and the whole party were within gunshot before the Monacans were aware of their approach. For some seconds no shots were heard from the cavern, towards the mouth of which the Indians were seen shooting clouds of arrows, and then making their way up the hill as if they no longer expected resistance. On this, Miantomah, raising a loud war-whoop, signed to the English to fire. He was obeyed: as the smoke cleared off, several Indians were seen stretched on the ground, while the rest went rushing down the hill. Gilbert and several others were about to follow them, when Captain Layton shouted—"Keep together, my men, and reload, for the savages are more numerous than we are; and should they get among us with their tomahawks our firearms will be of no avail."

It was fortunate that this order was given, for the natives, incited on by one who appeared to be their chief, quickly rallied, and observing the small number opposed to them, drew their bows and sent a flight of arrows among them, which slightly wounded two men. They were then about to dash forward to meet the pale faces, uttering loud war-whoops, and flourishing their tomahawks, when Captain Layton ordered his men to fire and quickly to reload, directing several to aim at the chief. A loud shout reached their ears; the Indians were still rushing on, when his tomahawk was seen to fall from their leader's hand, and the next instant, while still in advance of his men, he came heavily to the ground. His followers were still advancing, when another volley was fired into their midst, which brought several down and put the rest hastily to flight, at a rate which would have rendered pursuit fruitless. Miantomah was about to rush on, Indian-like, to take the scalp of the fallen chief, when Captain Layton shouted to him to desist, and dashed forward in time to stop his uplifted knife.

"Let us show mercy to our enemies," he exclaimed, as he stooped over the chief, who, resting on his arm, looked defiantly at those who surrounded him. In the mean time Gilbert, who was looking towards the cavern, caught sight of Roger Layton, who trampling aside the bushes, appeared at the entrance. Roger beckoned to him eagerly, and with several others he hurried up the hill.

"You have arrived opportunely," he exclaimed, "for Vaughan is sorely wounded, and I am but in little better plight."

Gilbert, making his way through the bushes, saw his brother lying at the mouth of the cavern with his musket by his side, the blood flowing from a wound caused by an arrow in his side, but which he had with much courage extracted, while Roger showed the places in his dress where two others had passed, one through his arm and another in his leg; a large number also sticking in the ground around them. Gilbert, with the assistance of Ben Tarbox, quickly bound up his brother's wound, Fenton and Oliver attending to Roger. More men being summoned to their assistance, their two wounded friends were borne down the hill.

Captain Layton had attended to the wounds of the Indian chief, which his experience told him were not likely to prove mortal. He deemed it important, however, to get at once surgical assistance; and as Roger informed him that that could not be obtained at the fort, he determined, though the distance was greater, to return forthwith to the ships. Litters were accordingly formed for the conveyance of the wounded men, and the party immediately set off, under the guidance of the friendly Indian. As they advanced, a vigilant watch was kept in case the defeated Indians should venture to follow and attempt the recovery of their chief. No natives, however, were seen; yet it was possible that they might be near at hand, keeping themselves carefully concealed.

"This country may be a very fine one, and supply a fellow with as much tobacco as he can want to smoke," observed Ben Tarbox; "but to my mind it isn't the pleasantest to travel in, when a man doesn't know when he goes to sleep whether he will get up again, not to say without his nightcap, but without the scalp on the top of his head."

From the judicious precautions taken by their leader, the party escaped attack, and arrived safely at the harbour. Vaughan and Roger were carried on board the Rainbow, which afforded more accommodation than the other ships, and here, by Captain Layton's invitation, Mistress Audley and Lettice removed, that they might assist Cicely in taking care of the wounded men. The captured chief was also carried on board the Rainbow, for want of room in the other ships. He was here carefully tended by the surgeon and by Mistress Audley, Lettice and Cicely also paid him frequent visits; he thus quickly recovered, and seemed grateful for the care bestowed on him. His name, he said, was Canochet, chief of the Monacans; he had formed a wrong opinion of the pale-faces, believing that they were cruel tyrants, instead of kind and humane people, as he had found them. To Mistress Audley especially he seemed greatly attached, and he declared that he would willingly give up his life for sake of doing her a service.

Miantomah having performed his duty, returned to Port Algernon, promising ere long to visit his new friends at James Town. The arrival of Mistress Audley induced Captain Layton to change his intention of returning to England, and the Rainbow, accompanied by the Perseverance and Patience, proceeded up to James Town, situated about fifty miles from the mouth of the river.

The settlers had expected to see a well laid-out town, with broad streets and good-sized houses, instead of which rows of huts alone were visible, with here and there a cottage of somewhat larger size; the whole surrounded by stockades. It was situated on the borders of the river, which here made a sharp angle, another stream running in on one side. Thus the land on which it stood was almost an island, and consequently protected from any sudden attack by foes not possessed of boats or canoes.

The owner of one of the larger cottages was willing to dispose of it to Mistress Audley; and Captain Layton having concluded the arrangement for her, she and her family took up their abode there. It faced the river, with a garden reaching to the water in front. On each side there was a broad verandah, affording shelter from the hot rays of the sun. Mistress Audley, as might be expected, invited Cicely to reside at the cottage, while Captain Layton and Roger were engaged in building a house near at hand; they, in the mean time, living on board the ship. The unfriendly disposition of the natives compelled the settlers thus to concentrate themselves in a town, instead of forming farms scattered over the country some distance from each other, by which means corn and other productions might, in that fertile region, have quickly been obtained. As it was, they had to depend on the chase, and on such provisions as they could purchase from the natives, who, though at first willing enough to part with food in exchange for the articles brought by the English, had of late brought in but a scanty supply. The state of the settlement also was in other respects unsatisfactory; the chief persons in authority had quarrelled with each other, and Captain Smith, the only man who had exhibited wisdom and energy, had lately started on an exploring expedition up the country, in the hopes of forming friendly relations with the chiefs and some of the more powerful tribes to the northward. It was hoped, however, that Sir Thomas Gates, aided by the energetic admiral, would bring things into better order.

The spirits of those who left England with bright hopes of soon becoming possessors of magnificent estates in the New World were thus at a low ebb, and had they not either embarked all their property in the enterprise or come out because they possessed none in England, the greater number of the settlers would ere this have returned. Vaughan and Roger had completely recovered from their hurts, and even the chief Canochet, though so severely wounded, was almost well again. He had been offered his liberty, but he replied that after having been so mercifully treated by the English he would not leave them till he had learned more of their language and religion. In this he was especially instructed by good Master Hunt, the chaplain, who had ever proved himself a friend to the Indians, and to his own countrymen, whose unseemly disputes he had been instrumental in settling.

Vaughan and Gilbert, having seen their mother established in her new home, were eager to set out in search of their father. She, however, knowing the dangers to which they would be exposed, was very unwilling to let them go until they had become somewhat acquainted with the language of the natives and the nature of the country. The two seamen, Tarbox and Flowers declared their belief that the spot where they had taken Batten on board was less than fifty miles to the north of the entrance to James River, and that consequently the place where he had met Captain Audley could not be much farther off than that distance from James Town. Captain Layton, however, who examined the men, was somewhat doubtful of the accuracy of their statements; still, although the distance might really be very much greater, he hoped in time by means of friendly Indians to hear if a white man was living with any of the tribes in that direction. At present no one in the settlement possessed a sufficient knowledge of the interior of the country to lead a party, especially among savages who would probably prove hostile. Roger and Gilbert wished to set out by themselves, but Captain Layton positively forbade his son going, and Mistress Audley, by his advice, put the same prohibition on Gilbert. They had therefore to restrain their impatience; Mistress Audley praying that God in His good providence would in time point out the way by which their object might be attained.


Some time had elapsed since Canochet had left his new friends, promising that the war-hatchet should be for ever buried between his tribe and the English. The settlers had begun to grow corn and tobacco, as well as to form gardens in which vegetables of all descriptions were produced. The surrounding natives visited them occasionally, but exhibited much want of confidence, which it was the object of the governor to overcome. He issued strict orders that all the Indians appearing among them should be treated with courtesy and kindness, and any chiefs coming to James Town were invariably sent away with presents and assurances of the good-will of the colonists. Still it was a hard matter to do away with the ill-feeling which existed in consequence of the hostile meetings which had previously occurred between the colonists and the Indians, in which many on both sides had been slain. At this juncture, one evening, as the settlers were returning to their dwellings, the labours of the day being over, the sentry posted on the look-out tower at one of the corners of the stockade, gave notice that an Indian in hot haste was approaching the town. As he came near he was recognised as an Indian named Pomaunkee, who had frequently been at the settlement, and who appeared to have a friendly feeling for the whites, although many disputes had occurred between them and his people, in which several, of the latter had been killed.

He brought, he said, disastrous intelligence. Captain Smith and his followers had been attacked by a large body of Indians, who had murdered all but the captain, who having been overcome after a desperate struggle, had been carried captive to Powhattan, their chief. He also, probably, Pomaunkee declared, would be put to death, unless Powhattan would agree to receive a ransom for him.

The news, which was generally believed, created much dismay and excitement among the colonists. Pomaunkee was conducted to the governor, who examined him by means of an interpreter to satisfy himself of the truth of his report. The Indian, however, persisted in his statement, and at length the governor was convinced of its correctness. Those attached to Captain Smith expressed a desire to send out a party to rescue him, and all were ready to pay any ransom demanded. Among his warmest friends was Master Rolfe, Lettice Audley's old admirer. He had been prevented by an attack of illness from accompanying him, and was now most eager to set off; Vaughan, Gilbert, and Roger begged that they also might go. It was an opportunity not to be lost. Neither Captain Layton nor Mistress Audley could withhold their consent. As they were getting ready, Fenton and Oliver Dane came and offered their services; they were aware of the risk, but they could endure fatigue as well as older men, and such danger as was to be encountered they did not dread. Gilbert was very glad to find that they were to go. As the two seamen, Tarbox and Flowers, were supposed to have some acquaintance with the natives, they were also selected to form part of the expedition which was placed under Master Rolfe's command. Pomaunkee offered to act as guide; and though the governor somewhat doubted his fidelity, his services were accepted.

The party, thoroughly armed and confident in their numbers, set off in high spirits, glad to have escaped at length from the daily routine of the settlement. Mistress Audley, Lettice, and Cicely could not see them depart without feeling much anxiety. Captain Layton would gladly have accompanied them, but a long tramp on shore did not suit his legs, he observed; and he had moreover to look after the ship and to be ready to protect Cicely and Mistress Audley and Lettice. The expedition had been kept as secret as possible, that the natives might not hear of it and give information to the neighbouring tribes.

Roger, Fenton, and Oliver had been up for some time, eager to set off, and at early dawn the whole party filed out of the town, taking a course to the north-west. They proceeded rapidly, as it was important to escape the observation of any of the natives visiting the town who might carry information of their approach to Powhattan. As far as they could discover, they were observed by no one, and several miles were accomplished without a native being met with. The country through which they passed was in some parts open and level, in others covered by dense forests, many of the trees being totally strange to them. They had to cross numerous limpid streams, so that they were in no want of water. Several deer started from their coverts in the forest and bounded away over the plain, sorely tempting the travellers to follow them; but Master Rolfe, like a wise leader, forbade his men to separate in chase, lest the natives might take occasion to attack them. Gilbert and Fenton generally marched together and brought up the rear; it was the post of danger, but they were both known to be active and intelligent, and would keep as bright a look-out as any of the party. As they marched on, they held converse together.

"What think you of our guide, Pomaunkee?" asked Gilbert; "I watched him when we halted for dinner, and it struck me that I had seldom seen a less attractive countenance, or one more expressive of cunning. I expressed my opinion to my brother Vaughan, but he replied that Master Rolfe has perfect confidence in the man, having had frequent intercourse with him."

"I agree with you," answered Fenton. "I too watched him when he did not observe me; and it will be well to keep a look-out on him, though we must take care not to let him discover that he is suspected."

Evening was now approaching, when Rolfe, who had a soldier's eye, was looking out for a fit place for encamping. At a little distance he espied a rocky knoll rising out of the plain, with a stream flowing round its base on all sides. He at once saw that it would be a good spot for camping and might serve at some future time for the establishment of a fort. Pomaunkee, however, to whom he pointed it out, urged that they should continue on a mile or two farther, observing that the forest would afford greater shelter and warmth during the night, and that he would conduct then to a more fitting spot on the bank of a river.

"I am very sure that your proposal, Rolfe, is the best," observed Gilbert, who overheard the Indian's remark; "we shall be the better for a cooler air at night, and moreover free from mosquitos on the top of the knoll. Allow Fenton and me to explore it, and we will quickly bring you word whether it is likely to prove as suitable for encamping as you suppose."

Rolfe having consented to this, Gilbert and Fenton set off. They quickly came to the conclusion that a better place for camping at night in an enemy's country could not be found, as, with proper vigilance, they were not likely to be surprised; and, if attacked, could easily defend themselves against vastly superior numbers, especially if they had time to erect stockades at the more assailable points. The river, which flowed round three sides, was too deep to be forded; while rough rocks, a dozen or more feet in perpendicular height, formed the greater portion of the remaining side. They hurried back with this information, and, encountering Vaughan, who had come to meet them, persuaded him to induce Rolfe to act as he proposed, in opposition to the Indian's suggestions. Pomaunkee could scarcely conceal his annoyance; he, however, being unable to offer any further reason for proceeding, was compelled to follow the commander. Preparations for camping were soon made: some brushwood at the foot of the knoll was cut down to supply fuel. Gilbert, whose suspicions of Pomaunkee were increased by the opposition he had offered to the selection of the place, suggested that some stout stakes should be cut, and fixed on the side of the hill where the slope, being less abrupt than in other places, might be more easily mounted.

While these arrangements were being made, Gilbert and Fenton, who had been, according to their intention, watching Pomaunkee, saw him descend the hill and go in the direction of the forest. In a short time they lost sight of him among the trees.

"We ought not to have allowed him to go," observed Gilbert; "and even now I would advise Rolfe to send some men after him to bring him back, in case he may purpose to desert us altogether."

"The sooner we do so, then, the better," said Fenton; and together they went to Rolfe, who was at the time on the other side of the hill, and told him what they had observed.

"The Indian, I know, is faithful," he answered; "and I cannot suppose that he has any intention of playing us false."

Vaughan, however, agreed with Gilbert, and at length persuaded Rolfe to send Tarbox and Flowers, with two other men, to follow the Indian and to bring him back, should it appear that he was deserting them. Meantime, the fires were lighted, pots were put on to boil, huts formed with boughs were set up to serve as a shelter from the night air, and all other arrangements for the night encampment were made. It was nearly dark when Tarbox and the other men with him returned, stating that they had once caught sight of Pomaunkee in the distance, but before they could get up to him he had disappeared, and that after having searched in vain, they had judged it time to return.

"His disappearance without telling me of his intention, looks suspicious," observed Rolfe, "and I thank you, Gilbert and Fenton, for the warning you gave me. He may intend treachery, or he may simply have grown weary of guiding us, and, Indian fashion, have gone off without thinking it necessary to tell us of his intention. In either case, we will strengthen the camp as far as time will allow."

"For my part, I am glad to be rid of him," observed Gilbert; "and, aided by our compass, we can find our way without his guidance."

Supper was over; the watch was set, the officers were seated round their camp-fire, discussing how they should proceed on reaching Powhattan's village on the morrow, when the sentry gave notice that an Indian was approaching from the side of the forest.

"After all, we have wronged Pomaunkee, and he is returning," observed Rolfe.

"Not so certain of that," remarked Vaughan, who had now begun to entertain the same opinion of the Indian as his brother; "he may have been absent on an errand not tending to our advantage, and it will be well, if we do not hold him in durance, that we watch him even more narrowly than before."

"Let us, at all events, learn what he has to say for himself," observed Gilbert, rising, Vaughan and Fenton accompanied him. The Indian ascended the hill, and the sentry, believing him to be their guide, allowed him to pass without challenge. As he got within the ruddy glare of the fire, instead of the forbidding countenance of Pomaunkee, the far more pleasant features of the Monacan chief, Canochet, were brought into view. Vaughan and Gilbert greeted him warmly.

"I am thankful that I have arrived in time to warn you of intended treachery," said the chief. "He who undertook to be your guide, has formed a plot for your destruction. I gained a knowledge of his intentions, and instantly followed on your trail to warn you. On passing through the forest, I found that you had come hither, and was following you when I caught sight of the traitor. I tracked him, unseen, till I found he had joined a large body of his tribe, who are lying in ambush about a mile from this. On discovering them, I had no doubt that he intended to betray you into their hands. As I thought that even now he might hope to attack you unawares, I hastened to bring you warning, that you might be prepared, should he attempt to surprise you. I myself would remain, but my single arm could not avail you much, and I should render you more aid by returning to my people, who, though they are still at a distance, I may yet bring up in time to assist you."

Rolfe, on hearing this, thanking Canochet for the warning he had given, begged him to hasten on his tribe, though he doubted not that he could hold out against any number of savages Pomaunkee might collect to attack him.

"You call them savages," observed Canochet; "but remember, except that they do not possess firearms, they are as brave and warlike as you are; and as they know the country and are full of cunning, they are not to be despised. Take my advice: do not be tempted to quit your present position till I return with my people. Depend on it, it will be their endeavour to draw you away, so that they may attack you when you are encamping in the forest or open ground."

"Your advice seems good, my friend," answered Rolfe; "but suppose you are delayed? We shall starve here, unless we can procure food."

"Trust to my return before that time arrives," answered Canochet; "I will endeavour to supply your wants. I must no longer delay, as every moment is precious. It is my belief that you will be attacked this night, so be on the watch. However hard pressed by numbers, do not yield."

"You may depend on our holding out to the last," answered Rolfe; and the Indian, without further remark, descended the hill, making his way down among the rocks, so that, had any one been watching at a distance, he could not have been discovered. Almost before he had reached the bottom of the hill he had disappeared, and even Gilbert's keen eyes could not detect him as he rapidly penetrated into the forest.

"If Canochet has spoken the truth, we have had a narrow escape," observed Vaughan. "We shall do well to take his advice and to remain here, whether we are attacked or not, till his return."

To the wisdom of this, Rolfe and Roger Layton agreed, eager as they were to hasten to the rescue of Captain Smith. Having completed their fortifications as far as their materials would permit, six of their party were told off to keep watch, while the rest lay down to sleep.

Roger took command of the first watch, for he suspected that the Indians would attack them during the early part of the night. On going round to the sentries, he found them standing upright, their figures clearly discernible against the sky to any one approaching on the plain below. Pointing out to them the danger to which they thus exposed themselves, he directed them to crouch down, so that an enemy might have no mark at which to aim.

"I fear, sir, that some of our fellows may be apt to fall asleep," observed Ben Tarbox, who was one of those in the first watch.

"Do not trouble yourselves about that," answered Roger; "I will take good care that they keep awake. If any one of you catch sight of a moving object, do not fire till you hail, and then, if you get no answer, take good aim, and do not throw a shot away."

The men promised obedience. There was little chance, while Roger Layton was on watch, of the fort being surprised. The first watch went by without the slightest sound being heard, or an object seen outside the camp. The second was drawing to a close, when Ben Tarbox exclaimed: "Who goes there? Stand up like a man, or I'll fire at you!" His shout caused all the sleepers to raise their heads. The shot which followed made them seize their weapons and start to their feet! Scarcely had the sound of the shot died away, when the most terrific cries and shrieks rent the night air, followed by a flight of arrows which whistled over the heads of the garrison as they hurried to the stockades, and a hundred dark forms showed themselves endeavouring to make their way amid the rocks up the hill.

"Let each of you take good aim," cried Roger, "and load and fire as fast as you can."

The order was obeyed; the officers, who had also firearms, setting the example. The Indians, who had expected to surprise the white-faces, found themselves exposed to a blaze of fire from the whole side of the hill, up which they were attempting to climb. Still, urged on by their leaders, they mounted higher and higher, in spite of the many who fell, till they reached the stockades. Some of the more daring, attempting to hack at the English with their tomahawks, were pierced with pikes and swords wielded by the stout aims of Rolfe, Roger Layton, the Audleys, and Fenton; while their men kept firing away as rapidly as they could reload their weapons. The Indians fought bravely, but unprepared for so determined a resistance, they at length gave way, and retreated, one driving back the other down the hill. Some were hurled over the rocks by the victorious garrison, who, led by Roger, sprang out beyond the stockades, and in another minute not a living Indian remained on the hill.

"Hurrah, lads! we've beaten them!" shouted Ben Tarbox, giving a hearty hurrah, such as he would have raised on seeing the flag of an enemy come down in a battle at sea.

"Let no one go beyond the stockades," cried Rolfe, "we know not what trick they may play us; let us not lose the advantage we have gained."

He spoke in good time, for Roger and Gilbert were on the point of rushing down the hill in pursuit of the flying enemy. The wild uproar which had lately reigned suddenly ceased; not a sound was heard—even if any of the wounded Indians lived, they did not give vent to their sufferings by uttering a single groan; and, as far as the garrison could discover, the whole body of their foes had retreated to a distance. The young leaders of the English, aware of the cunning of the Indians, were not to be deceived; every man continued at his post, watching all sides of the hill beneath them on which the attack had been made, as well as the others round which the river flowed. Gilbert and Fenton had gone to a rock overhanging the stream, a few bushes growing amid the crevices of which afforded them shelter. Thence they could look down into the dark water almost directly below them. Their muskets rested on the rock, so as to command the passage; the only sound heard was the occasional cry of some night-bird, which came from the neighbouring forest. Harry Rolfe, Vaughan, and Roger continued moving round the hill, to be sure that the sentries were keeping a vigilant watch. They knew that the enemy they had to deal with was not to be despised. Although there was no moon, the stars shone down from a cloudless sky, casting a faint light over the plain. Two hours had gone by; the third was drawing on; Gilbert and Fenton occasionally exchanged a few words in a low whisper, to assist in keeping each other awake. At length Gilbert was looking out directly ahead of him, when he caught sight, amid the tall grass, of an object slowly approaching. It seemed at that distance like a huge serpent making its way towards the river; now it stopped, and the grass almost hid it from view; now it advanced, getting nearer and nearer the river. Gilbert, afraid to speak, touched Fenton's arm, and pointed it out to him.

"Is it a panther?" asked Fenton.

"No," answered Gilbert; "that is the head of a band of Indians; I can trace them following one after the other. Wait till their leader reaches the bank; I will aim at him, and you take the second. Their intention is to swim across and attack us unawares; if they persevere, we will raise a shout which will quickly bring our comrades to oppose them."

Whether or not Gilbert's voice reached the keen ears of the Indians it was difficult to say. The dark line remained perfectly quiet, and he almost fancied that he must have been mistaken. At length, however, it again moved on, and he could distinguish the form of an Indian crawling along the ground, followed closely by another advancing in the same manner. The first reached the bank, when, without even raising himself, he glided down it, and, sinking noiselessly into the water, began to swim across. The next followed in the same manner.

"Now," whispered Gilbert; and aiming at the swimmer, he fired. Fenton did the same. A cry rang through the night air: it was the death-shriek of the second Indian. The first disappeared, and Gilbert concluded that he had sunk, shot through the head, beneath the surface. Rolfe, with Vaughan and Roger, came hurrying to the spot, followed by several other men. Gilbert, pointing to the opposite bank, exclaimed, "There they are!" A volley was fired. Whether or not any of the Indians were hit, it was impossible to say; probably, finding themselves discovered, they had dispersed on all sides, and crouching down beneath the grass, fled to a distance.

"We have foiled them again!" exclaimed Gilbert, exultingly; "they will not venture another night attack, I've a notion."

"We must not trust to that," observed Rolfe; "they are as persevering as they are cunning, and, though defeated half a dozen times, they may hope to succeed on the seventh. That was but a small party who have just now retreated, and it may be that the main body are watching their opportunity to attack us on the other side."

"I believe that you are right," said Vaughan; "we must make up our minds to keep on the watch till daylight, for even now the enemy may be lurking round us, though we cannot see them."

Vaughan, while speaking, was standing up on the higher part of the knoll, whence he could view the plain on every side.

"If there should be any Indians near, you are affording them a good mark, brother," exclaimed Gilbert. Just as he spoke an arrow whistled through the air close to Vaughan's head and flew completely over the knoll. It was evidently shot by a person at the base, close down to the river.

"I thought that I had killed the Indian," exclaimed Gilbert, "but he must have found his way to the shore. If we are quick about it, we shall take him prisoner—who will follow me?"

"I will! and I will!" cried Fenton and Tarbox, leaping down the hill.

"Stay, stay," exclaimed Rolfe, "there may be others lurking near."

Gilbert and his companions did not hear him, and in an instant had reached the bank of the river at the spot from whence they supposed the Indian had shot his arrow. They searched around, however, on every side, but could find no one. Rolfe, still fearing for their safety, again more peremptorily summoned them back. They returned much disappointed at not having made the capture they expected. It was scarcely possible, they thought, that the Indian could have crossed the river, and if so, he must still be lurking concealed beneath a rock or bush on the side of the hill, and might at any moment appear among them, and strike a blow in revenge for those whom they had killed. To escape this fate, Rolfe ordered the men to stand with their swords drawn and their eyes on every side. Thus a single Indian had the power of keeping the whole camp awake and wearing out their strength.

It still wanted nearly an hour to dawn, and before that time they might be engaged in a more desperate conflict than the first. They could only hope that Canochet would soon arrive to their relief. They would not fear to encounter ten times as many as themselves in the open ground during the day, but it would be madness to attempt to march through the country when they would be certain to be attacked at night by overwhelming numbers. With grateful hearts they welcomed the appearance of the dawn, which as it rapidly increased exposed to their view the surrounding country and the hill-side, on which lay the bodies of four Indians, who had been shot dead during the attack. On the opposite side of the river they discovered the body of the native shot by Fenton; none of the bodies, however, as far as could be judged from their costume, appeared to be those of chiefs.

As soon as it was broad daylight, Rolfe allowed Gilbert and those who had accompanied him at night to continue their search for the Indian who had shot his arrow at Vaughan. He could nowhere, however, be found, and they concluded therefore that he must have floated down the river, and landed at some distance from the hill. Not wishing to allow the dead bodies of the Indians to remain near them, they were dragged to the bank and allowed to float down with the current.

As their provisions were running short, they anxiously looked out for the arrival of Canochet, who, they hoped, would ere this have come to their assistance. Something, they concluded, therefore, had detained him. The fire was now lighted, and they cooked their morning meal.

"Should the chief not soon appear, I propose that we set out without waiting for him," said Roger; "not finding us at the fort, he will follow in our trail, and after the lessons we have given the Indians, they are not likely again to attack us."

Rolfe and Vaughan, however, thought it would be more prudent to remain where they were.

"Provided we had food, I should agree with you," answered Roger, "but starvation is a tough foe to fight against, and for my part I would rather face a whole host of Indians."

Still, as Canochet might certainly be expected in the course of the day, Rolfe was not moved from his purpose. The party did not fail to keep a bright look-out from their hill; chafing, however, at the delay to which they were subjected. Gilbert and Fenton especially, with most of the men, were eager to go on. Their last piece of venison was consumed, and they were growing very hungry. As the two young men were seated together on the top of a rock whence they could look out round them on every side, Fenton exclaimed, "See, see, Gilbert! yonder is a deer—she just showed her head from behind that thicket on the borders of the forest—there is some sweet grass there probably on which she is browsing. If we could steal up from to leeward, we might get close enough to shoot her before she discovers us."

Gilbert looked in the direction Fenton pointed, and he too seeing the deer, agreed that the opportunity of obtaining a supply of venison was not to be lost. Slipping down from the rock, they made their way round the base of the hill till they reached a spot directly to leeward of the thicket near which they had seen the deer browsing. From thence they advanced cautiously amid the high rocks and bushes till they got close to the forest, believing every instant that they should see the animal before them.

"She must have gone round to the other side," observed Fenton; and they crawled on further. On looking back, Roger observed that they were almost out of sight of the hill. Still, eager to get the deer, they went further on, when they again caught sight of the head and shoulders of the animal, grazing not where they expected, but a considerable distance off in the forest. They might hit the creature, but should they miss, it would certainly be lost to them; they therefore determined to get nearer. At last, Gilbert was rising to his feet to fire, when he heard Fenton utter a cry; bitterly had they cause to regret their folly in having quitted the shelter of the fort.


Tarbox and Flowers had been on the watch on the side of the hill looking towards that part of the forest where the seeming deer had appeared, and had observed the young officers making their way in that direction. Remembering the proverb, that "too many cooks spoil the broth," they were afraid that were they to go also, the deer would escape, and they might lose their share of the venison. They waited, therefore, with much eagerness, for the return of the sportsmen. When, however, time went by and they did not appear, Tarbox, calling to Roger Layton, told him what had happened.

"Can you nowhere see them?" asked Roger.

"No, sir; maybe the deer has led them a long chase," answered Tarbox.

"The Indians may be lurking about," observed Roger to Vaughan, who just then joined him. Vaughan naturally felt anxious, and at once proposed taking half a dozen men and going in search of the two lads. Roger insisted on accompanying him. Rolfe charged them to be cautious, for, knowing the guile of the Indians, he feared greatly that Gilbert and Fenton had fallen into their hands, and that they themselves also would run a great risk of being surprised.

"We will keep our eyes about us," said Roger, springing down the hill to the side of Vaughan, who, with six volunteers, had already reached the bottom. They hurried on, keeping their firearms ready for immediate use; for, though they still hoped that Gilbert and Fenton had really gone in chase of a deer, they knew that at any moment they might fall in with the Indians. On reaching the forest they advanced more cautiously than at first, every now and then stopping and shouting out to Gilbert and Fenton; but no reply coming, they pushed on still further.

"The lads would scarcely have been so foolish as to have chased the deer further than this," said Roger. "I very much fear that the Indians have caught them."

"I fear the same," answered Vaughan, with a sigh, as if unwilling to acknowledge the truth; "but if so, would they not have slain them at once rather than have carried them off prisoners?"

"We will, at all events, make a further search through the forest," said Roger. "We must not give up all hopes of finding them."

Though aware that they were acting imprudently, they could not resist the temptation of going on farther, the whole party looking out among the trees; but nothing could they discover to enlighten them on the subject. They were about to turn back, when Ben Tarbox, who was a little way off on the extreme right of the line, shouted that he saw a deer feeding at some distance ahead, and, holding his gun ready to fire, he ran on in the direction he pointed. Presently the report of his gun was heard, and the rest of the party hurrying up, saw the deer, which, strange to say, had not moved. On reaching it, great was their surprise to find only the head of the animal supported by a stick in the ground, with the skin of the back fastened to it.

"Why, this is the very deer we caught sight of," exclaimed Tarbox; "it shows pretty clearly the sort of trick the Indians have played the young gentlemen, and tells too truly what has happened to them; though why their decoy was left behind is more than I can say."

Vaughan and Roger knew that Ben was right; the only question now was, whether they should try to overtake the Indians and endeavour to rescue their friends, if still alive, from their hands. Vaughan soon came to the conclusion that they could not hope to do so, and, with a sad heart, acknowledged that they must at once return to the camp.

"We shall have to fight our way to it, then," exclaimed Roger; "see there!"—and he pointed in the direction from whence they had come, where, amid the trees, appeared a large body of savages. As soon as the Indians found that they were discovered, they set up a fearful war-whoop, their cries and shouts echoing through the forest; while, drawing their bows, they shot a flight of arrows, by which, happily, no one was wounded.

"Reserve your fire," exclaimed Roger, "till we get near enough to make sure of our men: their shouting and shrieking will do us no harm."

Again the savages uttered a war-whoop, and seemed about to rush forward to attack the small party of whites with their tomahawks, when their shouts were replied to from the opposite part of the forest.

"Was that an echo, or are those the voices of another party of Indians?" exclaimed Vaughan; "if so, between the two we shall have a hard fight of it to make our way back to the camp."

Another war-whoop sounded from behind them, and looking in the direction from whence it came, they could distinguish a still larger party than that in front coming quickly towards them.

"Keep together, lads, and we'll cut our way through those between us and the camp," exclaimed Roger; "and if the others follow, we must turn round and keep them at bay till we can get the assistance of our friends."

Drawing their swords, Roger and Vaughan led the way towards their foes. Greatly to their surprise, the Indians, instead of stopping to receive their charge, turned round and fled away through the forest to the westward; while, from the opposite side, the other party was seen advancing rapidly. Roger and Vaughan, determining either to defeat them or to sell their lives dearly, ordered their men to be ready to fire when they should give the word. As they were about to do so, they saw a tall Indian whom, even at that distance, they knew by his dress to be a chief, advance some way ahead of the rest, holding up in his hand a branch which he waved to and fro.

"Stay," exclaimed Roger, rushing before the men. "Do not fire—they are friends."

As the Indian advanced they recognised Canochet, whom they now hurried forward to greet. In a few words they explained what had occurred, and entreated him to give chase to their late opponents, whom they could not doubt had carried off Gilbert and Fenton. On looking round, however, they found that the whole band, whom they had just before seen at the end of the forest, had disappeared. Canochet immediately waving to his men, ordered them to advance in pursuit of the foe, and no sooner had he uttered the word of command than a hundred warriors, bow in hand, were rushing through the forest at a rate with which the party of English found it a hard matter to keep up. Every instant they expected to come in sight of their flying foe, but on reaching the border of the forest, not an Indian was to be seen. Canochet, with some of his men, sagacious braves, searched in vain for the trail of the enemy; it was evident that they had turned off either to one side or the other, and that they had missed it, while eagerly pushing forward in pursuit. He was of opinion that they had made for the stream, and having followed it up where the shallow water allowed them to wade, they had crossed to the opposite side and made their way to the northward.

The question whether they had got hold of Gilbert and Fenton still remained unsettled till Canochet heard of the discovery of the deer's head, when he had no longer any doubt about the matter.

"The youths were deceived by the seeming deer, and have been entrapped by their foes—an Indian would have been too wise to be caught by so simple a trick," remarked the Monacan chief.

"They were indeed foolish," observed Vaughan, with a sigh; "but have their captors put them to death, think you?"

Canochet considered an instant: "Revenge is sweet," he observed; "but an Indian can be moved by other motives. They may have deemed it prudent to preserve their lives, either to exhibit them to their tribe as trophies of victory, or to exchange them for any of their own people who may be captured—though I must not conceal from you that the women and relatives of those who have been slain will certainly demand their death. It is believed, however, that our great chief Powhattan, from having preserved the life of Captain Smith, is favourable to the English; and they may dread his vengeance more than that of the whites, should they injure their young captives."

This information afforded but doubtful comfort to Vaughan and Roger; they would be ready, they said, to pay any amount of ransom for their friends, if Canochet could manage to communicate with their captors. He promised to do so, and at once sent off a party to discover their trail and to follow them up; though he acknowledged that he had no great hopes that they would be overtaken. In the mean time, he and the rest of his band, accompanied by Vaughan and Roger, proceeded to the camp. They had now still more reason than ever to hasten their visit to Powhattan, in the hopes that he might assist in the recovery of the captives should their lives have been spared.

Rolfe ordered his men to get into marching order, and, accompanied by the Monacan chief, they proceeded on their journey. The day was already far spent, so that they had gone but a short distance before it was necessary to camp, in order that the hunters might go out in search of game. There was no slight danger to the huntsmen, for Pomaunkee's people might possibly have followed them, and be on the watch to cut off any one leaving the camp. Hunger, however, overcame their fears, and the huntsmen returned in safety with three deer, sufficient to afford food both to the English and natives. The fires had already been lighted, and the cooks at once set to work to roast the joints of venison, on spits formed of wood, supported on forked sticks; while the rest of the Indians squatted round with eager eyes, watching the process.

The Indians, confiding in their numbers, seemed to consider that no attack would be made on them, but Rolfe, after the experience he had gained of the treachery of the natives, deemed it prudent to place sentries round his part of the camp. He advised Canochet to do the same. "We are not so careless as you suppose," answered the chief; "we have men on the watch, but we deem it unwise to allow them to stand up so that they may afford a mark to the enemy. We conceal our watchmen from the foe approaching the camp, so that he never knows when he may be discovered; we have men on guard outside your sentries, so that if it pleases you, they may lie down and rest."

After hearing this, Rolfe and the other leaders slept far more soundly than they otherwise would have done. The night passed away without interruption, and the next morning they proceeded on their way. Vaughan anxiously inquired of Canochet when he expected the return of his people. He had directed them, he said, merely to follow the trail to ascertain the direction the enemy had taken, and to gain as much other information as they could pick up. It was not, however, till late the next day that the party overtook the main body of the Monacans. They had discovered a trail which led towards the north, and that two white men were with the party, they were from the first certain. That this was the case was confirmed by a slip of paper which had been found fastened to a tree by a thorn. It contained but a few words, signed by Gilbert; Vaughan eagerly took it. "We are both alive, but our captors glance at us unpleasantly. We will try to escape; follow if you can, and help us."

Vaughan explained the meaning of the words to Canochet. "Wonderful!" he exclaimed; "can so small a piece of white material with a few faint strokes on it say so much?"

He promised to follow the Indians, as Gilbert had desired; Vaughan wished to set out at once with him, but he recommended that he should first communicate with Powhattan, and get his assistance. Vaughan, though still very anxious, was somewhat relieved, and agreed to follow the chief's advice.

Towards the evening, as they were proceeding along the banks of a broad stream which fell in a succession of cascades over its rocky bed, Canochet informed them that they were approaching the abode of the great chief. He had sent on before, as in duty bound, to announce their coming. Rolfe and Vaughan, accompanied by Canochet, were marching ahead of their party, the English following them, and the Indians at a little distance behind; they had just turned an angle of the river, beneath the shade of some lofty trees which stretched their branches far over the water, when they saw standing before them a man of tall stature and dignified mien, clothed in rich skins handsomely ornamented, a plate of gold hanging on his breast, and an ornament of the same precious metal on his head. By his side was a young girl who could scarcely, from her appearance have seen seventeen summers. The pure blood which coursed through her veins and mantled on her cheeks gave a peculiarly rich hue to her skin, while her features were of exquisite form; her eyes large, and of a lustrous blackness. On her head she wore a circlet of feathers; her raven locks, parted at her brow, hung down in long plaits behind her slender waist. Altogether, Rolfe thought he had never seen so beautiful a creature. Though Vaughan could not fail to admire her, the blue eyes and fair face of Mistress Cicely were more to his taste. Fortunately for Rolfe, he had no difficult diplomatic duty to perform, or he might perchance have been tempted to yield too easily, won by the bewitching graces of the lovely savage.

The chief received the strangers with dignity as they advanced towards him. He had heard of their coming, he said, and gave them welcome. His wish was to be on friendly terms with them, and the people of their nation, one of whom, a great chief he seemed and full of wisdom, was even now his guest. Rolfe, who already spoke the native tongue with considerable fluency, replied, in suitable language, that he was grateful to the chief for the words he had let fall; that his guest was indeed a man of renown—his more than father and friend—and that it was with the object of visiting him, as well as to pay his respects to the mighty Powhattan, that he and his followers had made the journey into his country. The English had come, he added, with no hostile intentions: the land was large enough for the natives and themselves; and their desire was to live on friendly terms with all around them. He invited Powhattan to come to the town they had built and to judge for himself.

The Indian seemed well pleased with this address. "And now," he said, "come with me to my home; such entertainment as I can give is prepared, and my wish is that when you go hence you may say that Powhattan has treated you in princelike fashion."

Rolfe now made further inquiries about Captain Smith. The chief replied that he was in safe keeping, though he acknowledged that he had not hitherto thought fit to allow him to go abroad.

"In other words, he keeps him a strict prisoner," observed Vaughan; "we must insist on his being forthwith set at liberty, or he may think fit to detain him when we wish to take our departure."

"I will not fail to follow your advice," answered Rolfe, who then turning to the chief, remarked that his heart yearned to see his honoured friend, and that he begged he might without delay be brought into his presence.

"My daughter, Pocahontas, shall conduct you," said the chief, after some consideration. As they proceeded on, he spoke a few words to his daughter. "He is in her charge," he remarked, "for as she preserved his life, she demanded that he should be placed under her protection."

"I could not desire a better guide," answered Rolfe, bowing to the chiefs daughter. They had now arrived before a village composed of houses of a more substantial character than those of the Indian villages hitherto seen. While the chief proceeded towards the largest, in the centre of the village, Pocahontas, taking Rolfe's hand in obedience to her father's command, led him towards a hut on one side, before which, hatchet in hand, was a sentry. Meantime Canochet drew up his warriors on the open space in front of the chief's house, while Vaughan ordered his men to halt also near the same spot, in the neighbourhood of which a number of women were congregating with baskets full of provisions.

Each moment that Rolfe was in the company of the Indian maiden, he was more and more struck by her beauty, her graceful carriage, and modest manners and intelligence.

"You are the second paleface only I have seen," she observed, artlessly; "your brave chief was the first. I saw the gallant way in which, when attacked by my countrymen, he defended himself, seizing one of our most noted warriors and holding him before himself as a shield; till slipping on the moist soil he fell, with numbers surrounding him. Before he could recover himself he was overwhelmed and bound, and led captive to my father. I felt horror at the thought that so brave a man should be put to death, and such as would have been his fate had I not at the moment our braves were about to strike, thrown myself before him and prayed my father to spare his life."

"Bless you, lady, for the merciful act," exclaimed Rolfe, gazing at the young girl with greater admiration even than before, "my friend must bless you too, and my countrymen, when they hear what you have done, will endeavour to show their gratitude."

"They can best show it by remaining at peace with my people," answered the maiden, looking up in his face, though, as her eyes met his glance of admiration, she turned them again to the ground. She opened the door of the hut; Captain Smith, who was seated on a mat on the floor, started up, and on seeing Rolfe, sprang forward to meet him.

"I was sure that, should you hear of my captivity, you would not rest till you had made every possible effort to rescue me," said the captain; "were it not for this fair lady, your efforts would, however, have been useless." He took the hand of Pocahontas and raised it to his lips. She smiled at the act of courtesy, so unlike any to which she had been accustomed.

"She has already told me that she was the means of saving your life," observed Rolfe, "and I have been endeavouring to tell her how grateful I and all those who esteem you feel to her. She has now come to set you at liberty, and the chief will raise no objection to your returning with us. Whether he gives us leave or not, we have determined to carry you off. I will try to induce him to accompany us; it will be of much importance to get him to visit James Town, where he can see our houses, and ships, and great guns, and other things wondrous to him. It will give him a proper notion of our power, and the means we possess of defeating our enemies should they attack us."

Rolfe, as they walked through the village, explained to Pocahontas their purpose, and by his descriptions of the wonders possessed by the English he raised an ardent desire in her mind to go and see them. The banquet provided by Powhattan need not be described: it was somewhat of a barbarous kind, though the viands were not to be despised. Contrary to the Indian custom, Pocahontas was present, seated on a mat near her father, with Rolfe next her; while Captain Smith and Vaughan sat on the other side. Vaughan being unable himself to converse with the chief, got Rolfe to tell him of the loss of their two companions, and to beg that he would use his power to recover them.

"They must be far away by this time to the northeast, and though those who have captured them own my sovereignty, they are wont at times to act independently of me. However, I will take steps to recover your friends." Such was the substance of the answer given by Powhattan. Vaughan then reminding Rolfe of his main object in coming to the country, begged him to inquire of the chief whether he knew of any Englishman held captive for many years by his nation. Powhattan replied that rumours had reached him of palefaces having been seen in different parts of the country, but that none of them having been brought before him, he could not at present give his guests any exact information on the subject; but he would on that point also, he promised, make inquiries. He seemed pleased at the confidence they showed him, when they expressed their readiness to occupy a part of his dwelling, separated from their men. After the fatigues they had gone through, they slept soundly.


Although the object of their expedition had been gained, Vaughan's heart felt sad as he thought of returning to James Town without his brother. Powhattan had expressed his intention of accompanying the party, with his daughter, to visit the English governor; no longer, therefore, were difficulties or dangers to be apprehended, as no foes would dare to attack the powerful chief; while his hunters would bring in an ample supply of game. Had Gilbert and Fenton not been missing, he would still have felt that his great object—the discovery of his father—seemed no nearer than before; for neither from Powhattan nor Canochet had he been able to obtain any information about him. Canochet gave him hopes that Gilbert and Fenton were still alive, and would be recovered; but till the appearance of the party sent in pursuit of their supposed captors nothing certain could be known.

The chief having made up his mind to visit the English, was eager to set off; he was attended by fifty of his braves, dressed in their gayest costume; he marching, however, on foot, while his daughter was conveyed in a litter, cushioned with skins, and canopied with boughs to shield her from the hot rays of the sun. Very different was her lot from that of the other women of the tribe, who were, the Englishmen observed with no little disgust, compelled to labour hard from morning till night, while their lords and masters lolled in the shade and smoked their pipes.

While Captain Smith marched in front with the chief, Harry Rolfe often found himself by the side of Pocahontas, with whom in her own language he managed to converse. He told her of the wonders of the ocean, of the mode by which the ships found their way across it, of England, of its great cities, its magnificent palaces, its superb temples, its armies of horse and foot, with their guns, dealing death and destruction among their foes, and capable of battering down strong walls. The Indian maiden listened with wondering ears; for some time she spoke not, at length she sighed. Rolfe inquired what grieved her.

"That I can never hope to see the wonders you speak of. Till now, I thought my father the most powerful king on earth, and you have shown me that our people are but children compared to those existing beyond the mighty ocean."

To the latter remark Rolfe made, no reply, as he did not wish further to wound the maiden's vanity. "Would you desire to visit those distant lands and see the wonders I have been describing?" he asked.

"I cannot leave my father and my people," she answered. "But go on— tell me more about your country—I will try to bring the scenes you describe so well before my eyes."

Rolfe continued, as desired; and the Indian girl seemed never weary of listening to him. Thus, whatever others might have done, he found the journey too speedily brought to an end. The governor received the Indian chief in a becoming manner, with all the pomp he could assume. Banners were flying, music playing, and guns firing. The sound of the artillery especially seemed to affect the chief; and when he saw a shot fired across the river strike a tree and tear off a large branch, he lifted up his hands in wonder, and exclaimed, "Who can stand against a people so armed?"

Vaughan had hastened home with a sad heart to break the intelligence of Gilbert's loss to his mother. At her house he found Captain Layton, who had already heard through the forethought of Roger what had occurred.

"Do not be cast down, Mistress Audley," he said, after Vaughan had given her the account; "we have certain notice from Gilbert himself that the Indians did not kill him and Fenton when they were first seized; and the savages well know that it will be more to their interest to preserve their lives than to take them; and as they tell me that the great chief who has just come to the settlement has no small power among the people of this country, we may trust to his being able to recover them before long. I have much hope, also, that with his assistance we may at length find your husband. I had determined, on the return of my son, to sail along the shore of the Chesapeake, and to make inquiries among all the natives I can meet with. Should Powhattan not be able to help us as we hoped, I shall forthwith carry out my plan. My two seamen have now come back; I will question them afresh. And now that they have seen more of the country, they may be able to say whether it was here or elsewhere they met with the poor wretch Batten: would that he had lived—he would have helped us more than they have done, or are likely to do."

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