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The Vision Of Rescue


Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

Surmounting Red Banks, twelve miles north of Green Bay, Wisconsin, on the
eastern shore, and one hundred feet above the water, stands an earthwork
that the first settlers found there when they went into that country. It
was built by the Sauks and Outagamies, a family that ruled the land for
many years, rousing the jealousy of neighboring tribes by their wealth
and power. The time came, as it did in the concerns of nearly every band
of Indians, when war was declared against this family, and the enemy came
upon them in the darkness, their canoes patroling the shore while the
main body formed a line about the fort. So silently was this done that
but one person discovered it--a squaw, who cried, We are all dead!

There was nothing to see or hear, and she was rated for alarming the camp
with foolish dreams; but dawn revealed the beleaguering line, and at the
lifting of the sun a battle began that lasted for days, those within the
earthworks sometimes fighting while ankle-deep in the blood of their
fellows. The greatest lack of the besieged was that of water, and they
let down earthen jars to the lake to get it, but the cords were cut ere
they could be drawn up, the enemy shouting, derisively, Come down and
drink! Several times they tried to do so, but were beaten back at every
sally, and it seemed at last as if extermination was to be their fate.

When matters were at their darkest one of the young men who had been
fasting for ten days--the Indian custom when divine direction was sought
addressed his companions to this effect: Last night there stood by me
the form of a young man, clothed in white, who said, 'I was once alive,
but I died, and now I live forever. Trust me and I will deliver you. Be
fearless. At midnight I will cast a sleep on your enemies. Go forth
boldly and you shall escape.' The condition was too desperate to
question any means of freedom, and that night all but a handful of
disbelievers left the fort, while the enemy was in a slumber of
exhaustion, and got away in safety. When the besiegers, in the morning,
found that the fort had been almost deserted, they fell on the few that
remained to repent their folly, and put them to the knife and axe, for
their fury was excessive at the failure of the siege.

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