| America First|
|by Lawton B. Evans|
|Collection of one hundred action-packed stories, covering the range of American history, from the first visit of Leif the Lucky to the exploits of Sergeant York in World War I. In relating the long, thrilling story of the trials and triumphs of the pioneers and patriots, the author aims to gratify the love of children for the dramatic and picturesque, to satisfy them with stories that are true, and to make them familiar with the great characters in the history of their own country. Ages 8-12 |
AN INDIAN TRICK THAT FAILED
THE Indians were full of all kinds of devices to deceive their enemies; and they would often resort to many
methods to get within striking distance of their victims. They could imitate the sounds of the forest, the
call of birds, the cry of wild beasts, the very noises of nature herself; one could scarcely tell the
During the Revolution, a regiment of soldiers was so placed that a large guard was needed to
 protect the main body from surprise. There was one special post where sentinels were placed on guard, and
where a most singular mystery occurred. The sentinels were constantly found missing, leaving no trace behind
them, not even firing off their guns as an alarm.
For several successive days, a sentinel was placed at this post, and told to give warning of the slightest
approach of danger. When the time came for him to be relieved, there was no sign or trace of any one having
been on guard. The sentinel had vanished, leaving the entire regiment more mystified than ever.
At first, many of the soldiers thought the sentinels had deserted, while others thought the Indians were
At last, when three men had disappeared in succession,—men, whose patriotism and courage were not
doubted,—the soldiers became stricken with superstitious terror.
"If it were the Indians, our men would have fired off their guns, or fought them, or run back to camp. We
cannot believe they deserted. It may be the devil is after us," some of the soldiers said. None of them wanted
to be assigned to the strange post.
At last, the Colonel declared, "I will ask no
 man to guard that post against his will. If there is any one here who is not afraid, let him come with me."
Only one soldier stepped forward. He saluted the Colonel and said, "I will not be taken alive by the Indians.
I am not a deserter. I do not believe the devil has anything to do with it. You shall hear from me at the
least sound. I will fire my gun if a crow chatters or a leaf falls."
They went to the mysterious post, and the Colonel left him standing by a tree, his gun in hand and his eyes
watching in all directions. He was a brave man, but he could hardly keep from feeling a sensation of dread,
wondering what was going to happen to him.
For an hour nothing occurred. At every rustle in the bush the soldier raised his gun, at every falling leaf he
was ready to fire. He took no chances. But, as time wore on, he began to think he would escape undisturbed.
At length he saw, not far away, a hog feeding on some acorns. There were plenty of hogs in the neighborhood,
and especially around the camp. He had seen many of them rooting in the ground, and had often heard them
grunting and munching acorns. This hog was like all the others, and he paid no attention to it.
 In a few minutes the hog began to make his way back of the sentinel to a small clump of bushes where there
were plenty of acorns. He grunted and rooted and munched as he went, always getting a little nearer the
sentinel, of whom he seemed to take no notice. Still the soldier thought he was just a big hog, and kept his
eyes on other sights, his ears on other sounds.
But, as the hog gained the clump of bushes back of the post, not more than twenty feet away, the sentinel
suddenly turned, and thought he saw some unusual and ungainly movement on the part of the animal.
"I may as well kill that hog. We need meat anyway, and if the camp comes running it will do no harm." So
saying, the sentinel raised his gun and fired at the animal standing sideways towards him. The bullet struck
him full in the side. What was the sentinel's surprise to see the hog leap into the air, hear a dreadful
Indian yell, and then to see a painted savage, with a tomahawk in his hand, fall dead at his feet.
In a short while, the soldier's comrades arrived. He showed them the Indian—explanation of the
mysterious disappearance of the other sentinels. The crafty Indian, acting so like a wild hog that no one
could fail to be deceived, had gradually
ap-  proached the sentinels, and, while they were not looking, had tomahawked them and borne them away before they
could cry out or even fire off their guns.
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