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Author: William R. Eyster
Excerpt from Free Trappers Pass, or the Gold-Seeker's Daughter While these things were transpiring, the main body was marching steadily toward the cabin Simultaneously with the report of Howell's rifle, the band halted in front of the dwelling. In front, mounted before a sturdy-looking brave, was a noble-looking white man. Although his hands were tied, yet from time to time they had not scorned to eye him with anxious glances, seemingly fearful that by some Sampsonian attempt he might free himself. Thus, when the party halted, men closed around him, upon either side, guarding against such a catastrophe. The young girl still stood in the shadow of the door, with the fairy hand shading her eyes; but her face was pale as ashes, and her heart must have throbbed at whirlwind speed, to have corresponded with the way in which her bosom rose and fell. It was very sudden. A single horseman in sight, and he a friend then to see in a moment more a half a hundred yelling savage foes! For a moment she looked at them, but, as her gaze rested on the captive, she raised the other arm, and stretching forth both, feebly cried: "Father!" then slowly sunk to the floor. The prisoner, too, caught sight of the girl, and with a violent wrench sought to free himself from his bands. Strong as is a father's love, the cords of the savage proved yet stronger, and he found himself, perforce, compelled to act as best suited bis captors. They, evidently fearing something of an ambuscade, were slow to enter, and with weapon poised with eager eyes, they glanced through the open door. Finding that their fears had no foundation, they dismounted, even allowing and assisting their captive to once more set foot upon the ground. At this close approach the girl somewhat revived. First consciousness of existence came back, then recollection, then strength, and she sprung to her feet, rushed between the two Indians who led the van, and throwing her arms around the neck of her father, exclaimed: "Father, father! What does this mean? Why are you thus a captive?" In the background, gazing with a look half inquisitive, half scowling upon these two, was a man, who, though dressed in the garb of the tribe, and his cheek deep tinged by exposure, still gave evidence of being of the white race. He was a short, stoutly-built man, of perhaps thirty years of age. His hair, dressed in the Indian style, was black, eyes small, and set deeply in his head, and the brow, though broad, was low and retreating. From some cause, the end of his nose was wanting, and this, with the wide and disproportionate shape of his mouth tended to heighten the outlandish expression of his physiognomy. Toward this person did Major Robison - the captive - turn his eye, and, raising as best he could, his bounds hands, pointed with them, at the same time saying, bitterly: "For this, I may thank you, you renegade, Tom Rutter. It was through his means I was taken; and now that it is done, let him take good care of himself, else I may be speedily avenged." "Look a-hear," interrupted the man thus addressed, a dark scowl sweeping over his brows, "I don't care about havin' you or yer daughter; ain't no interest of mine: 'twon't do me no good. It am accordin' to orders. I don't know as they wants you partiklar bad either. Whatever they wants, they're going to hev - you hev to go 'long now: and when yer free to locomote again, by-and-bye, we squar accounts. Don't go to sayin' hard words agin me an' them redskins, if you don't want to be purty affectually rubbed out. Jist keep a cool, civil tongue in that are head o' yours, make yer tracks in the right manner, and you'll fare well." Major Robison, considering that to bandy words at that time would be dangerous and effect nothing, turned to his daughter, and in a low tone inquired what had become of her brother, Hugh. The answer was given in an equally low voice. "He