Life remains hazardous for the pioneers of the Ohio River settlements. Colonel Zane and Jonathan Zane with Lewis Wetzel—the Death Wind—maintain their vigilance and tenuous dominance over Fort Henry and the surrounding wilderness of the great forest. Still the savage Indians of the deep woods remain a constant danger—as do the white renegade bands who live among them. If these threats were not test enough a new danger has arisen and the blockhouse walls may not be enough to protect the pioneers. There is a traitor among them who puts them all at risk. This final volume of Zane Grey’s Ohio River Trilogy is a gripping finale to a great series—another thrilling story of life and death on the early American frontier and a classic in the tradition of Drums Along the Mohawk.
Volume 1 Betty Zane and volume 2 The Spirit of the Border are available in Leonaur editions now!
A loud report followed; then the whistle and zip of a bullet as it whizzed close by his head.
“Shawnee lead!” muttered Jonathan.
Unfortunately the tree he had selected did not hide him sufficiently. His shoulders were so wide that either one or the other was exposed, affording a fine target for a marksman.
A quick glance showed him a change in the knotty tree-trunk; the seeming bulge was now the well-known figure of Wetzel.
Jonathan dodged as some object glanced slantingly before his eyes.
Twang. Whizz. Thud. Three familiar and distinct sounds caused him to press hard against the tree.
A tufted arrow quivered in the bark not a foot from his head.
“Close shave! Damn that arrow-shootin’ Shawnee!” muttered Jonathan. “An’ he ain’t in that windfall either.” His eyes searched to the left for the source of this new peril.
Another sheet of flame, another report from the windfall. A bullet sang, close overhead, and, glancing on a branch, went harmlessly into the forest.
“Injuns all around; I guess I’d better be makin’ tracks,” Jonathan said to himself, peering out to learn if Wetzel was still under cover.
He saw the tall figure straighten up; a long, black rifle rise to a level and become rigid; a red fire belch forth, followed by a puff of white smoke.
An Indian’s horrible, strangely-breaking death yell rent the silence.
Then a chorus of plaintive howls, followed by angry shouts, rang through the forest. Naked, painted savages darted out of the windfall toward the tree that had sheltered Wetzel.
Quick as thought Jonathan covered the foremost Indian, and with the crack of his rifle saw the redskin drop his gun, stop in his mad run, stagger sideways, and fall. Then the borderman looked to see what had become of his ally. The cracking of the Indian’s rifle told him that Wetzel had been seen by his foes.
With almost incredible fleetness a brown figure with long black hair streaming behind, darted in and out among the trees, flashed through the sunlit glade, and vanished in the dark depths of the forest.
Jonathan turned to flee also, when he heard again the twanging of an Indian’s bow. A wind smote his cheek, a shock blinded him, an excruciating pain seized upon his breast. A feathered arrow had pinned his shoulder to the tree. He raised his hand to pull it out; but, slippery with blood, it afforded a poor hold for his fingers. Violently exerting himself, with both hands he wrenched away the weapon. The flint-head lacerating his flesh and scraping his shoulder bones caused sharpest agony. The pain gave away to a sudden sense of giddiness; he tried to run; a dark mist veiled his sight; he stumbled and fell. Then he seemed to sink into a great darkness, and knew no more.