The Vision Of Rescue

: 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
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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.