Betty Zane HTML version
escaped but most of Crawford's force met death on the field. I hid in a hollow log. Next
day when I felt that it could be done safely I crawled out. I saw scalped and mutilated
bodies everywhere, but did not find Col. Crawford's body. The Indians had taken all the
clothing, weapons, blankets and everything of value. The Wyandots took a northwest
trail and the Delawares and the Shawnees traveled east. I followed the latter because
their trail led toward home. Three days later I stood on the high bluff above Wingenund's
camp. From there I saw Col. Crawford tied to a stake and a fire started at his feet. I was
not five hundred yards from the camp. I saw the war chiefs, Pipe and Wingenund; I saw
Simon Girty and a British officer in uniform. The chiefs and Girty were once Crawford's
friends. They stood calmly by and watched the poor victim slowly burn to death. The
Indians yelled and danced round the stake; they devised every kind of hellish torture.
When at last an Indian ran in and tore off the scalp of the still living man I could bear to
see no more, and I turned and ran. I have been in some tough places, but this last was
"My God! it is awful--and to think that man Girty was once a white man," cried Col.
"He came very near being a dead man," said Jonathan, with grim humor. "I got a long
shot at him and killed his big white horse."
"It's a pity you missed him," said Silas Zane.
"Here comes Wetzel. What will he say about the massacre?" remarked Major
Wetzel joined the group at that moment and shook hands with Jonathan. When
interrogated about the failure of Col. Crawford's expedition Wetzel said that Slover had
just made his appearance at the cabin of Hugh Bennet, and that he was without clothing
and almost dead from exposure.
"I'm glad Slover got out alive. He was against the march all along. If Crawford had
listened to us he would have averted this terrible affair and saved his own life. Lew, did
Slover know how many men got out?" asked Jonathan.
"He said not many. The redskins killed all the prisoners exceptin' Crawford and Knight."
"I saw Col. Crawford burned at the stake. I did not see Dr. Knight. Maybe they murdered
him before I reached the camp of the Delawares," said Jonathan.
"Wetzel, in your judgment, what effect will this massacre and Crawford's death have on
the border?" inquired Col. Zane.
"It means another bloody year like 1777," answered Wetzel. "We are liable to have
trouble with the Indians any day. You mean that."