Boys And Indians

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Writing my renewal cheque for external membership of the University of Sussex Library, I wonder, as I do each 6 mths, if I can continue to justify the annual expense [which goes back to the 1980's when I used the library to research my Melville/Hawkthorne novel and Tennyson biography] - but just now, browsing in S. T. Coleridge's Notbebooks v.2 1804-1808 ed. Kathleen Coburn, I get my answer:

"OCTOBER 1804
Two Boys now on board Decatur's ship, 1 of 11, the other of 9 - relations robbed &c &c &c waylayed surprized & one by one massacred by two Indians who saved the Boys for prisoners - found wine - drank went to sleep - the eldest put up the musket to the ear of one of the Indians, & placed his little Brother there, to fire it off when he made the signal - himself took the Indian's Tomahawk, went, killed with it the Indian, making at the very stroke the sign/the younger let off the musket & killed the other at the same moment/they then went off, the eldest using the Tomahawk to bark the Trees, & cut & scatter twigs to find the way back--..."

These little shots across the bow are worth their weight in tomahawks.

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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on May 26, 2003 11:30 PM.

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