- Summaries (1)
One of the always popular Indian subjects, but novel in that the scene is laid in the colony of Massachusetts, shortly after the landing of the Pilgrims, instead of the Western plains in the modern day. Onawanda was a member of a small tribe, who regarded as their own the territory north and east of Boston and who resented the intrusion of the white settlers. His own attitude is changed when one bitter night he staggers to the door of the Rev. John Elkins and implores food and shelter. These are given unquestioningly by the man of God, and the grateful Onawanda attaches himself to the household, where he makes deerskin garments for the little ones and keeps the family supplied with game. The neighbors protest at the presence of an Indian in the little village, believing him to be no better than a spy, but the minister has faith in his protégé, and his only reply to their excited charges is to take the Indian by the hand and declare his disbelief of the stories. Some little time later he gives an even greater proof of his confidence. He is called to Boston and Onawanda is left to take care of the house. He is away on a hunt when a sortie is made by a little band of Indians from a strange tribe. The preacher's house is despoiled and set on fire. The children, a boy and girl, are carried off, but the wife is left for dead amid the blazing ruins of the home. Slowly she revives and makes her way to the church, where the neighbors have gathered to unite in defense of their lives, but the Indians are content with their spoils and have retired. To the pitying mothers and relentless fathers she tells her sad story, and as she finishes Onawanda arrives upon the scene. Mrs. Elkins is too upset to appreciate what is transpiring and it would have gone badly with Onawanda but for the opportune arrival of the preacher, who again asserts his belief in the Indian's innocence and demands that he be set free. This is done and Onawanda takes the trail after the retreating band. He comes upon their camp and is given shelter for the night. When all is quiet he goes to the children and hurries them away, but his departure is soon noticed and the braves start in pursuit. Rapidly they gain upon the little trio, for the children cannot move rapidly, and the fleetest of the hostiles is almost upon them. Onawanda creates a diversion by hurrying the children on and remaining behind to give attack. He kills his pursuer and rejoins the children. A precious ten minutes has been gained. They reach the settlement, but the Indians are again at their heels. Capture appears to be inevitable, hut the alarm has been raised and the settlers hurry to Onawanda's aid. He is a hero now in the eyes of all, but he has paid dearly for his justification and he falls dead at the feet of his benefactor, happy at having proven his good faith.
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