The party that took us consisted of six Indians and four Frenchmen, who immediately commenced plundering and took what they considered most valuable, consisting principally of bread, meal, and meat. Having taken as much provision as they could carry, they set out with their prisoners in great haste, for fear of detection, and soon entered the woods. On our march that day, an Indian went behind us with a whip, with which he frequently lashed the children to make them keep up. In this manner we traveled till dark without a mouthful of food or a drop of water, although we had not eaten since the night before. Whenever the little children cried for water, the Indians would make them drink urine or go thirsty. At night they encamped in the woods without fire and without shelter, where we were watched with the greatest vigilance. Extremely fatigued and very hungry, we were compelled to lie upon the ground, supperless and without drop of water to satisfy the cravings of our appetites. As in the daytime, so the little ones were made to drink urine in the night if they cried for water. Fatigue alone brought us a little sleep for the refreshment of our weary limbs, and at the dawn of day we were again started on our march in the same order that we had proceeded the day before.
About sunrise we were halted, and the Indians gave us a full breakfast of provision that they had brought from my father’s house. Each of us, being very hungry, partook of this bounty of the Indians, except Father, who was so much overcome with his situation—so much exhausted by anxiety and grief—that silent despair seemed fastened upon his countenance, and he could not be prevailed upon to refresh his sinking nature by the use of a morsel of food. Our repast being finished, we again resumed our march, and before noon passed a small fort that I heard my father say was called Fort Canagojigge. That was the only time that I heard him speak from the time we were taken till we were finally separated the following night.
Towards evening we arrived at the border of a dark and dismal swamp which was covered with small hemlocks, or some other evergreen and other bushes, into which we were conducted; and having gone a short distance, we stopped to encamp for the night. Here we had some bread and meat for supper, but the dreariness of our situation, together with the uncertainty under which we all labored, as to our future destiny, almost deprived us of the sense of hunger, and destroyed our relish for food.
Mother, from the time we were taken, had manifested a great degree of fortitude and encouraged us to support our troubles without complaining; and by her conversation, seemed to make the distance and time shorter, and the way more smooth. But Father lost all his ambition in the beginning of our trouble, and continued apparently lost to every care—absorbed in melancholy. Here, as before, she insisted on the necessity of our eating; and we obeyed her, but it was done with heavy hearts.
As soon as I had finished my supper, an Indian took off my shoes and stockings, and put a pair of moccasins on my feet, which my mother observed, and believing that they would spare my life, even if they should destroy the other captives, addressed me as near as I can remember, in the following words:
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