Betty Zane HTML version

Chapter 10
It was near the close of a day in early summer. A small group of persons surrounded
Col. Zane where he sat on his doorstep. From time to time he took the long Indian pipe
from his mouth and blew great clouds of smoke over his head. Major McColloch and
Capt. Boggs were there. Silas Zane half reclined on the grass. The Colonel's wife stood
in the door-way, and Betty sat on the lower step with her head leaning against her
brother's knee. They all had grave faces. Jonathan Zane had returned that day after an
absence of three weeks, and was now answering the many questions with which he
was plied.
"Don't ask me any more and I'll tell you the whole thing," he had just said, while wiping
the perspiration from his brow. His face was worn; his beard ragged and unkempt; his
appearance suggestive of extreme fatigue. "It was this way: Colonel Crawford had four
hundred and eighty men under him, with Slover and me acting as guides. This was a
large force of men and comprised soldiers from Pitt and the other forts and settlers from
all along the river. You see, Crawford wanted to crush the Shawnees at one blow. When
we reached the Sandusky River, which we did after an arduous march, not one Indian
did we see. You know Crawford expected to surprise the Shawnee camp, and when he
found it deserted he didn't know what to do. Slover and I both advised an immediate
retreat. Crawford would not listen to us. I tried to explain to him that ever since the
Guadenhutten massacre keen-eyed Indian scouts had been watching the border The
news of the present expedition had been carried by fleet runners to the different Indian
tribes and they were working like hives of angry bees. The deserted Shawnee village
meant to me that the alarm had been sounded in the towns of the Shawnees and the
Delawares; perhaps also in the Wyandot towns to the north. Colonel Crawford was
obdurate and insisted on resuming the march into the Indian country. The next day we
met the Indians coming directly toward us. It was the combined force of the Delaware
chiefs, Pipe an Wingenund. The battle had hardly commenced when the redskins Were
reinforced by four hundred warriors under Shanshota, the Huron chief. The enemy
skulked behind trees and rocks, hid in ravines, and crawled through the long grass.
They could be picked off only by Indian hunters, of whom Crawford had but few--
probably fifty all told. All that day we managed to keep our position, though we lost sixty
men. That night we lay down to rest by great fires which we built, to prevent night
"Early next morning we resumed the fight. I saw Simon Girty on his white horse. He was
urging and cheering the Indians on to desperate fighting. Their fire became so deadly
that we were forced to retreat. In the afternoon Slover, who had been out scouting,
returned with the information that a mounted force was approaching, and that he
believed they were the reinforcements which Col. Crawford expected. The
reinforcements came up and proved to be Butler's British rangers from Detroit. This
stunned Crawford's soldiers. The fire of the enemy became hotter and hotter. Our men
were falling like leaves around us. They threw aside their rifles and ran, many of them
right into the hands of the savages I believe some of the experienced bordermen