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Harper's Young People, September 14, 1880 An Illustrated Weekly

Kilburn and her daughter and four children


were only the two men, the two boys, Mrs. Kilburn and her daughter and four children, in the house, with three hundred Indians attacking them, but John Kilburn was not in the least frightened--not he. Neither was Mrs. Kilburn, nor her son or daughter. They had several extra guns; Mrs. Kilburn and her daughter knew how to load them. They would rather die than be taken prisoners. The Indians had no cannon, and their bullets would not go through the stout timbers. Only by burning the house would they be able to get in.

"Get you gone, you rascal, or I'll quarter you!" was the defiant answer that John Kilburn shouted through one of the loop-holes to Captain Philip, as the latter went back to the dark crowd of savages, who set up the war-whoop.

"They yell like so many devils," said John Kilburn; but he was not in the least disturbed by the howling.

Then the bullets began to come through the shingles on the roof, and strike against the timbers.

The Indians surrounded the house, but there were loop-holes on each side. Mr. Kilburn and Mr. Pike took two of the sides, and the two boys the others. Bang! bang! went the guns of Mr. Kilburn and Mr. Pike. Bang! bang! went the boys' guns. They could fire at a rest, and take deliberate aim. The Indians could not see the muzzles of the guns, and the moment one of the red men peeped from behind a tree his skull

was in danger.

One by one they fell, which enraged them all the more, and they crept nearer, firing rapidly, riddling the shingles, hoping, quite likely, that a bullet might glance down from the roof, and hit those inside.

"The roof looks like a sieve," said John Kilburn, as he looked up and saw the holes.

Mrs. Kilburn and her daughter were loading the extra guns the while, and handing them to the men and boys, who kept up such a rapid fire that the Indians came to the conclusion that there were a large number of men in the house.

"We shall soon be out of bullets," said Mrs. Kilburn.

A thought came: why not catch the bullets that were coming through the roof? The balls had nearly spent their force when they came through, and they hung up a blanket, with thick folds, which stopped them entirely; and the girl, gathering them as they fell harmlessly upon the floor, put them into a ladle, melted them, and ran new bullets, which soon were whizzing through the air, and doing damage to the enemy.

All through the afternoon the fight goes on, the Indians aiming at the loop-holes. Their bullets pepper the logs around them. One comes in, and inflicts a ghastly wound in Mr. Pike's thigh, but the Indians do not know it, and the brave defense is kept up till the Indians, foiled in all their efforts, defeated, with several of their number dead and many wounded from the volley fired by Colonel Bellows and his men, and by those in the house, set Mr. Kilburn's wheat on fire, kill his cattle, bury their dead, and slink away, not having taken a scalp or a prisoner. They have only wounded one man.

When everything goes well with the Indian he can be very brave, but when the tide is against him he quickly loses courage and becomes disheartened, and so Captain Philip made his way back to Canada, very much crest-fallen at the repulse received at the hands of two men, a woman, two boys, and a brave-hearted girl.




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