William Drannan was born to be a pioneer, hunter, trapper and wagon train guide during the momentous days of the Great American West. Drannan left us two substantial volumes of memoirs which have both been published by Leonaur. These accounts are brim full of action, adventure, encounters and warfare with the hostile Indian tribes of the Great Plains. This book includes a host of illustrations and photographs of Drannan's exploits together with the principal characters of the period.
We ran for about two hours, when we stopped and made another fight and killed two more Indians. This was kept up until late in the afternoon, which made two days and one night that we had been chased by these savages, with not a bite to eat during the whole time, and we were getting so tired that we could scarcely raise the trot.
We were now running down a long slope, when I looked at Mr. Hughes and could see a change in his countenance. There was an expression different from that which I had ever seen on his face before. Just about a half mile ahead of on down a little flat, was a wash-out, and Mr. Hughes said:<br>
“Right down there by that little bunch of willows, at that wash-out, is where I intend to make my last fight. Now you boys can do as you please, but I am exhausted and can go no further.”<br>
Before we got to the wash-out, Johnnie West told Mr. Hughes to run straight for the patch of willows, also telling me to turn to the right, while he took to the left, and as soon as we were in the wash-out for me to run to where Mr. Hughes was. This was to be done to cause the Indians to scatter so they would not all be on us at once, there now being seven of them in the gang.<br>
Johnnie West told me to take a bandy-shanked-fellow on the left and he would take one who had two feathers in his hair.
“All right,” said Mr. Hughes, “and I’ll take the leader.”<br>
We all took good aim and each of us brought down his Indian, but we did not have time to load before the others were upon us, and it ended in a hand-to-hand fight, besides it got to where each man had to look out for himself.<br>
One of the Indians came straight for me and dealt me a desperate blow with his tomahawk, but I threw up my left hand and received a severe cut in my wrist—the mark of which I carry to this day—at the same time I struck him with my knife and almost cut him in two As he was falling he threw his tomahawk at me with all the vengeance in him, but missed my head and struck a rock just behind me. I sprang at once and picked it up.<br>
Mr. Hughes was fighting one of the Indians; the other two had attacked Johnnie West, who was on his back with his head against the bank of the wash-out, and they were trying to get a chance to deal him a blow, but he was kicking at them with both feet and was striking so fast with his knife that they had not yet been able to get a lick in on him.<br>
They were so busily engaged with Johnnie that I sprang at once, unseen by them, and buried the tomahawk so deep in the head of one of them that I was unable, for the moment, to recover it. As soon as my Indian was out of the way, Johnnie was on his feet, quick as the twinkling of an eye, and stabbed the remaining one through the heart with his hunting-knife.<br>
In the meantime Mr. Hughes was having a hard fight with his Indian. He succeeded in killing the red fiend but got badly used up. He had a severe wound in the shoulder, also one in the thigh. I received a cut in the wrist, and Johnnie West did not get a severe wound, in fact but little more than a scratch.