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The Escape Of Knight And Slover
by [?]

When the Indians made a raid on the settlements, they abandoned even victory if they had once had enough fighting; as when they had a feast they glutted themselves, and then wasted what they had not eaten. They seemed now to have had such a surfeit of cruelty in the torture of Crawford that they took little trouble to secure Knight for a future holiday. They promised themselves that he should be burnt, too, at the town of the Shawnees, but in their satiety they left him unbound in the charge of a young Indian who was to take him there from Sandusky. It is true that Knight was very weak, and that they may have thought he was unable to escape, though even in this case they would probably have sent him under a stronger guard at another time, when they were not gorged with blood.

His Indian guard was armed and was mounted on a pony, while Knight went on foot; but Knight had made up his mind that he would escape at any risk rather than be burned like Crawford. His face had again been painted black; and he had Simon Girty’s word, given him before Crawford was put to death, that he was to be burned at Old Chillicothe. But he pretended not to know what the Indians were going to do with him there, and he easily deceived his guard, who seems to have been a good-natured, simple fellow. Knight asked him if they were going to live together like brothers in the same wig-wam, and the Indian answered they were, and they went in very friendly talk. At night-fall when they camped, Knight let his guard bind him, but he spent the hours till daybreak trying secretly to free himself. At dawn the Indian rose and unbound his captive. Then he rekindled the fire, at the same time fighting the gnats that swarmed upon his naked body. He willingly consented that Knight should make a smoke to drive them from his back, and Knight took a heavy stick from the fire as if to do this; but when he got behind the Indian he struck him on the head with all his strength. The Indian fell forward into the fire, but quickly gathered himself up and ran off howling. Knight wanted to shoot him as he ran; in his eagerness to cock the rifle he broke the lock, and the Indian escaped. He got safely to the Shawnee town, where he described the fight in terms that transformed the little doctor into a furious giant, whom no amount of stabbing had any effect upon.

The other Indians, who seem to have understood this cowardly boaster, received his story with shouts of laughter. But Knight was very glad to make off with his gun and ammunition, and leave them to settle the affair among themselves. When he came to the prairies he hid himself in the grass and waited till dark before venturing to cross them, and by daybreak he was in the woods again. He could kill nothing with his broken gun, and he lived for twenty-one days on wild gooseberries, with two young blackbirds and a tortoise, which he ate raw. He reached the Ohio River on the twenty-second day, and crossed in safety to Fort Mcintosh.

The tragic adventures of the Indian captives must often have been relieved by comic incidents like those of Knight’s escape from his guard; but there is very little record of anything except sorrow and suffering, danger and death. Certainly in the captivity of John Slover, another of Crawford’s ill-starred and ill-willed crew of marauders, there were few gleams of happier chance to distinguish it from most histories of the sort. He had been captured by the Indians when a boy of eight years, and carried from his home in Virginia to their town of Sandusky, where he was adopted into their nation, and where he lived quite happily till his twentieth year, when he was given up to his own people.