Friday, March 16, 2007

Chapter 10: After the dust settled and the smoke cleared

I slipped on snow this morning. While I love looking at snow, especially falling snow and snow on mountain tops, my ability to traverse snowy patches is limited. I routinely slip.

Thankfully, this time I did not fall. I made my way into the lobby of the Goldminer's Daughter lodge, a ski resort above Salt Lake City, and sought out a wireless hot spot.

When I couldn't connect using my laptop, the staff quickly gave me a loaner lap top to use.
I'm not even a registered guest. Amazing. Gracious hospitality in the northern climes.

While my husband and son carve the rapidly melting ski slopes, I am happily ensconced in an overstuffed chair, wearing a light tee shirt, and ready to tackle the next phase of the Dustin family saga.

The part which later includes snow.

Chapter 10

Eventually Thomas Dustin ventured out of the garrison house. Smoke enveloped the area, eight houses were burning and fields were aflame.

Twenty-seven people lay dead, gruesomely tomahawked, their blood soaking the ground about them. Among of the dead were the children of Thomas Kingsbury. The band of twenty Abenaki Indians had impacted the community greatly.

This had not been the first Indian raid upon Haverhill. Lives had been lost before, people had been taken captive before. Some of the captives escaped, others integrated into the Indian tribes, others simply died of the ordeal. Some had been sold into slavery to the French, later to escape and return to their home.

The entire region has suffered great loss during the proceeding ten years of the King William's War

"During its continuance, the north-eastern tribes had taken and destroyed all the settlements in Maine, with three exceptions, killed more than seven hundred persons, and carried off two hundred and fifty captives, many of whom never returned."

Seven hundred people had died. Not soldiers. Simply people who had settled the area seeking religious freedom.

One of the eight houses engulfed in flames was the home of Thomas Dustin.

There was no sign of Hannah, Mary or the babe.

The town people must have been in shock. It had only been a few years since the last Indian raid, and the garrison houses and troops were presumed to afford some safety. Perhaps they did, for who knows how many lives would have been lost had the garrison houses not been near at hand?

But for now Thomas and his children could only look at their home, and consider their loss: All that the family had owned, the bed, the loom, the spinning wheel, bowls, benches, quilts, grain, books, clothing, all were lost. And worse. Where was Hannah? What had happened to her?

It must have been difficult to grasp for the children. For now it appeared they were both homeless, and apparently motherless.

Chapter 11: Hannah's story

(Check back shortly...it will be posted today as well)

1 comment:

Lovella said...

Woah, Glad you are OK. You need those new slip preventers that are able to be slipped over any shoe.

It sounds invitingly cozy there.

What a horrific scene that must have been, and to bury all those bodies must have been so awful.

I'll be back, she is OK right?