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Love And Treason


Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

The tribes that inhabited Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard before the
whites settled the country were constantly at war, and the people of the
western island once resolved to surprise those of Nantucket and slay as
many as possible before they could arm or organize for battle. The attack
was to be made before daybreak, at an hour when their intended victims
would be asleep in their wigwams, but on rowing softly to the hostile
shore, while the stars were still lingering in the west, the warriors
were surprised at finding the enemy alert and waiting their arrival with
bows and spears in hand. To proceed would have been suicidal, and they
returned to their villages, puzzled and disheartened. Not for some years
did they learn how the camp had been apprised, but at the end of that
time, the two tribes being at peace, one of their young men married a
girl of Nantucket, with whom he had long been in love, and confessed that
on the night preceding the attack he had stolen to the beach, crossed to
Nantucket on a neck of sand that then joined the islands, and was
uncovered only at low tide, sought his mistress, warned her of the
attack, that she, at least, might not be killed; then, at a mad run, with
waves of the rising tide lapping his feet, he returned to his people, who
had not missed him. He set off with a grave and innocent face in the
morning, and was as much surprised as any one when he found the enemy in

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