Love And Treason





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

arms.





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