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Peeping and creeping about from bush to tree in the

forest, Feigning to look for game, with arrows set on their bow-strings,

790 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,

795 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,

800 And, like a flurry of snow on the whistling wind of

December,

Swift and sudden and keen came a flight of feathery

arrows.

805

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,

810 Silent, with folded arms, stood Hobomok, friend of

the white man. 808, 804 What is the meaning of these lines? This was the only actual battle which the Pilgrims fought with the Indians for over half a century.

809 It is possible that even at this early day the Indians had decided that the white men were come to deprive them of their land. It became their fixed idea in later times.

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!”

815

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 Wat

tawamat 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.

820

do now,

818, 819 Trophy of war: this would be thought a horrible thing to

but the English people were then so used to it that it did not shock them. Much later than this, in 1660, when Charles II was restored to the throne, the body of the great Cromwell was torn out of its grave and hung on a gibbet.

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 re

ward of his valor.

VIII

THE SPINNING-WHEEL

Month after month passed away, and in autumn the ships of the merchants

825 Came with kindred and friends, with cattle and corn

for the Pilgrims. 825 Ships: the Anne and the Little James which really came in 1623.

826 Cattle: no cattle came to the colony till 1624, though the Pilgrims had dogs, swine, and poultry. It was necessary that cattle should be brought as soon as possible. The lack of domestic animals was one reason why the Indians did not attain to a higher civilization. How did the original inhabitants of America happen to be called Indians ? How do you suppose they came to be in America ? Look at the map and see if they could have come from Asia ? How do domestic animals help to civilize?

Corn: this must mean wheat or oats, etc. They would not be likely to obtain Indian corn from England. Before the discovery of America, the word “corn ” meant any kind of grain.

All in the village was peace; the men were intent on

their labors, Busy with hewing and building, with garden-plot and

with merestead, Busy with breaking the glebe, and mowing the grass

in the meadows, Searching the sea for its fish, and hunting the deer in the forest.

830 All in the village was peace; but at times the rumor

of warfare Filled the air with alarm, and the apprehension of

danger. Bravely the stalwart Standish was scouring the land

with his forces, Waxing valiant in fight and defeating the alien ar

mies, Till his name had become a sound of fear to the nations.

835 Anger was still in his heart, but at times the remorse

and contrition Which in all noble natures succeed the passionate out

break, Came like a rising tide, that encounters the rush of a

river,

885 Nations: name two great Indian nations which at that time held the eastern part of America.

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