Posted by Timothy on April 02, 2000 at 08:10:00:
Seamus has escaped! Last night the war party encamped on the Little Mahoning Creek, near the falls, and as Deux Chemises and I watched from a nearby hill where we could look down upon their camp, one by one the Shawanese fell asleep. M. du Ranck had gone ahead earlier in the day, for what reason, I cannot say, and had not returned as of sunset. The savages built a fire and cooked something which looked like a corn meal gruel, and after they ate, gave the leftovers to Seamus, who devoured the meager rations and licked out the burl they used as their vessel. When he finished, they laughed at him and re-tied his hands behind him and secured the line to a tree. We had a good vantage point, with the fire silhouetting Seamus. Afterwards, it having become quite dark, Seamus apparantly feigned sleep, and after all the others had slipped into slumber, we were surprised to see him slowly bring his hands from behind his back and roll to a crouched position. He stayed that way, low to the ground for a few moments, and then quickly and cat-like, slid into the darkness and away! Apparently the noise of the falls muffled any sounds he might have made. Unfortunately, he did not come toward us, but headed in the opposite direction, to the south and east. We slipped from our seclusion and made a circuitous route away from the encampment and are attempting to pick up his trail. Seamus is crafty! He is testing all of Deux Chemises's skills in tracking and sign reading! I am sure that by now the Shawanese have discovered he is missing and they will be like mad hornets in their pursuit, not to mention M. du Ranck...he will be livid, and may attempt to kill Seamus on the spot if they catch up to him before we do. We must be extra cautious, as they are behind us and will be moving fast. We must, more than ever, watch our backtrail, but at the same time, continually be alert for sign. Perhaps we can make some false trail for the pursuers to follow...that will slow their game!
Malcolm, there is no sign of Many Flags, Three Tales or Sign Talker yet. With the direction Seamus is heading, he may run smack into them. If it is at all possible, could you get word to Nancy and Gloria at Fort Augusta? It is going to difficult for me to get them word, as we need to be on alert at all times, even in the night, alternating sleep and watch. We dare not risk any kind of fire,not even a candle, therefore, there is no light to write by after dark. Ask them to employ a scout to bring them to Ft. Morris, so when we get back we will not have to go by way of Augusta to be gather them to join us at Ft. Frederick. There is but one to trust...that is Dway Miller, the duck hunter. He can usually be found just up the West Branch, huddled in a blind, watching the ducks as they go about their daily business. It is said he almost knows them by name. I am sure he will consent to escort the ladies to Ft. Morris. Tell Gloria not to fret...I love her and will soon see her again, and assure Nancy that Seamus is alive and well.
Keep us all in your prayers, Malcolm.
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