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Richard Harding Davis in Cuba

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The French & Indian War Novels: 3

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The French & Indian War Novels: 3
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Author(s): Joseph A. Altsheler
Date Published: 2009/01
Page Count: 424
Softcover ISBN-13: 978-1-84677-589-5
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-1-84677-590-1

The French and Indian War—the collision between Britain, its provincial troops and Indian allies against France and its own allies during the eighteenth century in America is fascinating to many students of the period. It gave rise to famous characters such as Robert Rogers of the Rangers who have found their way into literature and the cinema. Of course, the famous Hawkeye and the novel ‘The Last of the Mohicans' which takes place within real historical events of the time has also become an American classic. Author Joseph Altsheler has taken this well loved subject for a series of novels of high adventure. In these six novels the chronology of the war, which of course includes many of its true life characters, is told through the adventures of its principal characters. Young Robert Lennox, the hunter Willet-also known as the Great Bear and his Indian companion Tayoga travel through intrigues, dangers, battles and many trials and setbacks as the story unfolds. Leonaur has brought the entire collection together in substantial three volumes. In this third volume are ‘The Lords of the Wild’ & ‘The Sun of Quebec.’

Light clouds floated before the moon, and the surface of the lake was ruffled by a southern wind. As no attack was anticipated from the south, the guard in that quarter was comparatively small, but it was composed, nevertheless, of good men, the boat builders mostly, but all experienced with the rifle and under the direct command of Carson. But the main force was always kept facing the forest, and, there, behind the logs, Colden stood with the four—Black Rifle again being outside. The hooting of the owls had not been repeated and the long wait had become hard upon the nerves of the young Philadelphia captain.<br>
"Do you feel sure that they will attack to-night?" he asked Willet. "Perhaps St. Luc, seeing the strength of our position, will draw off or send to Montcalm for cannon, which doubtless would take a week."<br>
The hunter shook his head.<br>
"St. Luc will not go away," he said, "nor will he send for cannon, which would take too long. He will not use his strength alone, he will depend also upon wile and stratagem, against which we must guard every minute. I think I'll take my own men and go outside. We can be of more service there."<br>
"I suppose you're right, but don't walk into danger. I depend a lot on you."<br>
Willet climbed over the logs. Tayoga, Robert and Grosvenor followed.<br>
"Red Coat buckled on a sword, and I did not think he would go on a trail again," said Tayoga.<br>
"One instance in which you didn't read my mind right," rejoined the Englishman. "I know that swords don't belong on the trail, but this is only a little blade, and you fellows can't leave me behind."<br>
"I did read your mind right," said Tayoga, laughing softly. "I merely spoke of your sword to see what you would say. I knew all the time that you would come with us."<br>
The stumps, where the forest had been cut away, stretched for a distance of several hundred yards up the slope, and, a little distance from the breastwork, the dark shadow of Black Rifle came forward to meet them.<br>
"Nothing yet?" asked the hunter.<br>
"Nothing so far. Three or four good men are with me among the stumps, but not a warrior has yet appeared. I suppose they know we'll be on watch here, and it's not worth while taking so great a risk."<br>
They advanced to the far edge of the stump region and crouched there. The night was now quite dark, the moon almost hidden, the stars but few, and the forest a solid black line before them.<br>
"Why can't Tayoga use his ears?" said Grosvenor. "He'll hear them, though a mile away."<br>
"A little farther on and he will," replied Willet, "but we, in our turn, don't dare to go deep into the forest."<br>
A hundred yards more and the Onondaga put ear to earth, but it was a long time before he announced anything.<br>
"I hear footsteps fairly near to us," he said at last, "and I think they are those of warriors. They would be more cautious, but they do not believe we are outside the line of logs. Yes, they are warriors, all warriors, there is no jingle of metal such as the French have on their coats or belts, and they are going to take a look at our position. They are about to pass now to our right. I also hear steps, but farther away, on our left, and I think they are those of Frenchmen."<br>
"Likely De Courcelles and Jumonville wanting also to look us over," said Willet.<br>
"There is another and larger force coming directly toward us," continued the Onondaga, "and I think it includes both French and warriors. This may be the attack and perhaps it would be better for us to fall back."<br>
They withdrew a little, but remained among the stumps, though hidden carefully. Robert himself could now hear the advance of the large force in front of them, and he wondered what could be St. Luc's plan of battle. Surely he would not try to take the sawmill by storm in face of so many deadly rifles! <br>
Black Rifle suddenly left the others and crept toward the right. Robert's eyes followed him, and his mind was held by a curious sort of fascination. He knew that the scout had heard something and he almost divined what was about to occur. Black Rifle stopped a moment or two at a stump, and then curved swiftly about it. A dusky figure sprang up, but the war cry was choked in the throat of the Huron, and then the knife, wielded by a powerful arm, flashed. Robert quickly turned his eyes away, because he did not wish to see the fall of the blade, and he knew that the end was certain. Black Rifle came back in a few moments. His dark eyes glittered, but he had wiped the knife, and it was in his belt again.