Scoffed At Him For Being Frightened By The Trampling Of A Herd Of
Colter checked his uneasiness and paddled forward.
They had not gone much further when frightful whoops and yells
burst forth from each side of the river, and several hundred
Indians appeared on either bank.
Signs were made to the
unfortunate trappers to come on shore. They were obliged to
comply. Before they could get out of their canoe, a savage seized
the rifle belonging to Potts. Colter sprang on shore, wrestled
the weapon from the hands of the Indian, and restored it to his
companion, who was still in the canoe, and immediately pushed
into the stream. There was the sharp twang of a bow, and Potts
cried out that he was wounded. Colter urged him to come on shore
and submit, as his only chance for life; but the other knew there
was no prospect of mercy, and determined to die game. Leveling
his rifle, he shot one of the savages dead on the spot. The next
moment he fell himself, pierced with innumerable arrows.
The vengeance of the savages now turned upon Colter. He was
stripped naked, and, having some knowledge of the Blackfoot
language, overheard a consultation as to the mode of despatching
him, so as to derive the greatest amusement from his death. Some
were for setting him up as a mark, and having a trial of skill at
his expense. The chief, however, was for nobler sport. He seized
Colter by the shoulder, and demanded if he could run fast.
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