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The Devil's Own A Romance of the Black Hawk War   By: (1858-1923)

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A Romance of the Black Hawk War



Author of "Contraband," "When Wilderness Was King," "Beyond The Frontier," Etc.

With Frontispiece by the Kinneys

[Frontispiece: "Tell me please," she begged. "Is the man dead?"]

A. L. Burt Company Publishers New York Published by arrangement with A. C. McClurg & Company Copyright A. C. McClurg & Co. 1917 Published October, 1917 Copyrighted in Great Britain Printed in the United States



I At Old Fort Armstrong II On Furlough III History of the Beaucaires IV The End of the Game V Kirby Shows His Hand VI Into the Black Water VII Picking Up the Threads VIII I Decide My Duty IX The Home of Judge Beaucaire X A Girl at Bay XI To Save a "Nigger" XII We Capture a Keel Boat XIII Seeking the Underground XIV The Dawn of Deeper Interest XV The Cabin of Amos Shrunk XVI The Trail of the Raiders XVII We Face Disaster XVIII The Loss of Rene XIX On Board the Adventurer XX The Story of Elsie dark XXI The Landing at Yellow Banks XXII My Friend, the Deputy Sheriff XXIII A New Job XXIV Kirby and I Meet XXV The Fugitives XXVI The Island in the Swamp XXVII We Choose Our Course XXVIII A Field of Massacre XXIX The Valley of the Bureau XXX We Accept a Refugee XXXI The Valley of the Shadow XXXII The Trail to Ottawa

The Devil's Own



It was the early springtime, and my history tells me the year was 1832, although now that seems so far away I almost hesitate to write the date. It appears surprising that through the haze of all those intervening years intensely active years with me I should now be able to recall so clearly the scene of that far off morning of my youth, and depict in memory each minor detail. Yet, as you read on, and realize yourself the stirring events resulting from that idle moment, you may be able to comprehend the deep impression left upon my mind, which no cycle of time could ever erase.

I was barely twenty then, a strong, almost headstrong boy, and the far wilderness was still very new to me, although for two years past I had held army commission and been assigned to duty in frontier forts. Yet never previously had I been stationed at quite so isolated an outpost of civilization as was this combination of rock and log defense erected at the southern extremity of Rock Island, fairly marooned amid the sweep of the great river, with Indian haunted land stretching for leagues on every side. A mere handful of troops was quartered there, technically two companies of infantry, yet numbering barely enough for one; and this in spite of rumors daily drifting to us that the Sacs and Foxes, with their main village just below, were already becoming restless and warlike, inflamed by the slow approach of white settlers into the valley of the Rock. Indeed, so short was the garrison of officers, that the harassed commander had ventured to retain me for field service, in spite of the fact that I was detailed to staff duty, had borne dispatches up the Mississippi from General Gaines, and expected to return again by the first boat.

The morning was one of deep blue sky and bright sunshine, the soft spring air vocal with the song of birds. As soon as early drill ended I had left the fort enclosure, and sought a lonely perch on the great rock above the mouth of the cave. It was a spot I loved. Below, extended a magnificent vista of the river, fully a mile wide from shore to shore, spreading out in a sheet of glittering silver, unbroken in its vast sweep toward the sea except for a few small, willow studded islands a mile or two away, with here and there the black dot of an Indian canoe gliding across the surface. I had been told of a fight amid those islands in 1814, a desperate savage battle off the mouth of the Rock, and the memory of this was in my mind as my eyes searched those distant shores, silent now in their drapery of fresh green foliage, yet appearing strangely desolate and forlorn, as they merged into the gray tint of distance... Continue reading book >>

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