Vol. 16-3, Page 9
...face of Bo-nah. who dragged him out of the wegiwa and over to the council-house, Bo-nah raised Simon's arms up and shouted, Cut-ta-ho-tha!"
Drumming and whoops filled the air. Simon's spirits sank. Bo-nah painted Simon's face black - which was the sign of the condemned man.
"When," Simon asked Bo-nah. "When will I d Ins eyes and awaited his late lays ol ie.1 and upaii loi Simon, led with linn loi ...
...Wapatomica - eight miles away. The warriors had become more watchful. He was kept haltered, driven on foot in front of Bo-nah's horse and given no opportunity to even think of escape.
Before dawn, Simon was aroused from sleep. He was given a bowl of corn soup, then marched forward at breakneck speed. Soon the dreaded roll of the drum filled the chill morning air. The warriors gave the prisoner yell. They were answered by a fierce din of hundreds of whoops as they arrived at Wapatomica. Simon was compelled to run another half-mile long gauntlet. He did not wait for the starting drum beat, but took a tremendous leap before the surprised natives got assembled, then ran at top speed down the line. He had gone about a tenth of a mile, thinking that the switches, clubs and thorn branches were not too bad today, when a young buck brained him with his pipe tomahawk.
When Simon came to he found Bo-nah working over him. A cool and soothing salve covered his sore head. He rested on a blanket and was tied to a post in the huge council house, It was dim inside and appeared to be no less than sixteen feet high and 75 feet wide. It's length disappeared into the gloom.
Bo-nah shook his head.
"You have second hole in head. I was afraid we had been cheated out of the pleasure of torturing our prisoner."
Bo-nah scowled down at him, but his hands were surprisingly gentle.
"How you live amazes me! You have hardest head ever of any while man!" He laughed. While he continued to apply the cooling ointment made from leaves to Simon's many injuries, Simon dared to ask, "What will happen now?"
"Soon we have grand council to decide when we burn you." Bo-nah put down the salve, picked up a pot of black paint and carefully painted Simon's face black.
After Simon had eaten, he was sitting quiet and dejected, tied in the council-house, when the door opened and a victorious war parly entered carrying seven scalps, along with the renegade Simon Girty and his brother, James, and eight prisoners; one woman and seven children. Simon was instantly removed, to be tied outside, while more warriors arrived to see the fresh drove of prisoners...
At length, he was taken to the council-house. The short, dark form of Simon Girty appeared out of the crowd throwing down a blanket, on which he ordered to sit. When the order was not immediately complied with, Simon Girty roughly seized his arm and pushed him down upon it.
"How many men are there in Kentucky?"
"It is impossible for me to answer that question," replied Simon, "but I can tell you the number of officers and you can judge for yourself."
"Do you know William .Stewart?"
"Yes, lie is an old in & ; r," -uI Simon Ihioiigh blai kem d lips
"What is nan mum V"
"Simon Kenlon "
(Jirly sprang up m slunk and honor, lean came into his eyes as he dragged his friend (oUl (eel and embrai ed him He gae.l in surprise al Simon.
"My pool old friend! Von are so< hanged! So thin and with llial black on your face... YcnI It is indeed my old friend!"
Then mining to the assembled warriors, who were watching in amazemenl. he said, "This is my an. nut comrade and lx...un Irien.l! We traveled the same warpath together at Fort Pitt and al I'oinl Pleasant, slept under the same blanket, and dwelt in the same wcgiwa! I entreat you lo have compassion on my feelings' Spare me the agony of witnessing the tor ture ol some one dear tome. After all .haven't I. by three years of faithful service, proved thai I run sum erely devoted to your cause? Whose tomahawk is bloodier than mine? Haven't I just brought in eight prisoners and seven scalps?"
When he finished, there were several grunts of approval, but some of the younger warriors bad objections. They insisted that he had shot at one of their young men and stolen their horses, it was impossible to think that so bad a man could ever become an Indian at heart. Besides, the Kentuckians were all alike - very bad people - and ought to be killed as soon as they were taken.
At length the war club was produced and the final vote was taken Simon watched in ever-increasing thankfulness as it passed from hand to hand with only three people striking the ground!
Many a captive had spoken of the speed with which the Indians could pass from enmity to friendship, but few men have come as close to death as Simon Kenton and instead received kindness.
"You are a free man, my friend!" Girty cried. They hugged each other. Bo-nah and other waniois came over and lieailily shook Simon's hand, each calling him brother. They expressed admiration lor his bravery, his running and leaping, and his cunning.
"You is no more white man but an Indian and
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AUGUST 1997 INDIAN ARTIFACT MAGAZINE 9
a brother!" Ro-nah said, giving him a mighty hug He beamed at Simon with what appeared to be genuine fondness, his teeth looking very while in his dark face.
Girty took his rescued friend to his own quarters, where Simon had the first good bath he'd had in a month, and ate his fill at the table of Girty's Indian family He slept that night for the first time in several weeks without the threat of death hanging over him
The following morning Girty outfitted Simon from the small trading post he operated. Simon received a pair of moccasins, leggings, a breechclout. a hat. a coat, and a horse and saddle
During the next three weeks. Simon Girtv showed every kindness to Simon, feeding him. treating his wounds, not the least of which were the bums inflicted by the Indian children whtic Simon was tied up in their villages.
Girty and Simon traveled throughout the countryside. following the Bullskin Trace, a primary Indian trail. They visited Btoejkct's Town, McKee's Town. Roundhcv T n and others.
Simon s young body made a quick recovery from his injuries. Though he felt unev living in the midst of the Shawnee Nation, he did net van! to cause trouble for his friend, Simon Girty, by escaping now. Simon decided to wait another month and then disappear
The two young men had just had a meal of the haunches of a young deer, one of Simon's favorite foods. They were staying ently at Solomon's Town with Red pole, who was showing them the area, when another Indian came toward them uttering a whoop of peculiar intonation. Girty told Simon it was a distress halloo and that they must all go to the council house at Wapatomica. Simon's heart fluttered at this information, for he dreaded all whoops and hated all council-houses. However, he had no choice except to go along.
At the council house. Girty and Redpole shook hands with a warrior who was standing just outside the door, but he would not shake hands with Simon. When a like refusal was made by six more warriors inside the council-house, Simon knew he was in trouble. He turned aside with gloomy forebodings and sat down apart from the others.
He listened to the numerous speeches and observed many fierce looks in his direction.
Girty stood up and defended his friend, but his eloquence seemed wasted upon the chiefs who were here today, one of whom had just been severely beaten in Wheeling. West Virginia.
Several warriors lost their lives there and four were wounded.
At length Girty turned to Simon and embraced him tenderly.
"Well, my friend, you must die. I have done all I can. At least I have had them postpone your death until they get to Sandusky. This will give us a little more time."
Simon was at once seized, pinioned and luil Icrcd His five guards, including Ro-nnh, were on horseback, while the poor prisoner wnn drivcn Inrfote (hem on foot. In this manner Ihcy had marched about 2-1/2 miles, when Ciitly passed them on horseback, informing Simon flint he was going to hurry to the Mingo village and nsk ('hicf Logan to do something for Simon
Chief Logan walked gravely up to the place where Simon stood, exhausted, still haltered to Bo nail's horse l.ogan's village, which was situated at I he head of the Scioto ; >to River. was large with a beautiful view of the liver meandering siKei coid in the distance. However, Simon's tale of pain and fatigue that he had no eyes for the fair land around him.
"Well, young man. these Shawnee; seem very mad at you," Logan said in perfect English; CU 1 : fell tatm was striking, his face calm and noble.
"Don'tbedJtCOUiaged,"hecontinued."! arna great chief. You arc iu go to Sandusky: they speak bull will send two raanera tomorrow to tyvk good of you."
Hf thankyvxi k) Simon gasped. "We recently passed a Mitt!! village. A woman was chopping firewood while he: husband watched.
from he.- and attacked me. He broke both my arm and my collar bone before they stopped him."
Logan nodded. "Come with me and I will have my woman set your bones and feed you. She is an excellent medicine woman."
On the following morning two runners were sent to Sandusky, as the chief promised and until they returned Simon remained the guest of the benevolent chief, while Bo-nah and his guards camped nearby. When the runners returned, Simon felt a burning curiosity to know the result of their mission, but Logan did not talk to him about it except to say that he was to be carried to Sandusky. Then he gave him ootnt road jnd meat, and wished him Simon's spin as before throng h upper Ohio. After a 5 again heard the distance, announcing Sandusky Plain he was m sjc but he was in men pi on him. He was tt morning, and they did want...
62 INDIAN ARTIFACT MAGAZINE AUGUST 1997