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By and by they shall marry; and there will be plenty of children!"

Then stood Pecksuot forth, self-vaunting, insulting Miles Standish:

While with his fingers he patted the knife that hung at his bosom,

Drawing it half from its sheath, and plunging it back, as he muttered,

"By and by it shall see; it shall eat; ah, ha! but shall speak not!

This is the mighty Captain the white men have sent to destroy us!

He is a little man; let him go and work with the women!"

Meanwhile Standish had noted the faces and figures of Indians Peeping and creeping about from bush to tree in the forest,

Feigning to look for game, "with arrows set on

their bow-strings, Drawing about him still* closer and closer the

net of their ambush. But undaunted he stood, and dissembled and

treated them smoothly; So the old chronicles say, that were writ in the

days of the fathers. But when he heard their defiance, the boast,

the taunt, and the insult, All the hot blood of his race, of Sir Hugh and

of Thurston de Standish, Boiled and beat in his heart, and swelled in

the veins of his temples. Headlong he leaped on the boaster, and,

snatching his knife from its scabbard, Plunged it into his heart, and, reeling backward, the savage Fell with his face to the sky, and a fiendlike

fierceness upon it.

Straight there arose from the forest the awful

sound of the war*whoop, And, like a flurry of snow on the whistling

wind of December, Swift and sudden and keen came a flight of

feathery arrows* Then came a cloud of smoke, and out of the

cloud came the lightning, Out of the lightning thunder; and death unseen ran before it. Frightened the savages fled for shelter in

swamp and in thicket, Hotly pursued and beset; but their sachem,

the brave Wattawamat^ Fled not; he was dead. Unswerving and swift

had a bullet Passed through his brain, and he fell with both

hands clutching the greensward, Seeming in death to hold back from his foe the

land of his fathers*

There on the flowers of the meadow the warriors lay, and above them,

Silent, with folded arms, stood Hobomok, friend of the white man.

Smiling at length he exclaimed to the stalwart Captain of Plymouth:

"Pecksuot bragged very loud, of his courage, his strength, and his stature, —

Mocked the great Captain, and called him a little man; but I see now

Big enough have you been to lay him speechless before you!"

Thus the first battle was fought and won

by the stalwart Miles Standish. When the tidings thereof were brought to the

village of Plymouth, And as a trophy of war the head of the brave

Wattawamat #

Scowled from the roof of the fort, which at

once was a church and a fortress,

All who beheld it rejoiced, and praised the

Lord, and took courage. Only Priscilla averted her face from this spectre

of terror, Thanking God in her heart that she had not

married Miles Standish; Shrinking, fearing almost, lest, coming home

from his battles, He should lay claim to her hand, as the prize

and reward of his valor.

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