Saturday, 30 March 2013


By Robert Griffing.

The next day was the 9th day of April, and thirteenth day that I had been their prisoner. The chief Indians and warriors that day held a general council, to know in what manner and way to dispose of me. They collected in the cabin where I lived. While they were in council their dinner was cooking. There were about ten in number, and they all sat down on the floor in a circle, and then commenced by their interpreter, Nicholas Coonse.
 The first question they asked me was, "Would I have my hair cut off like they cut theirs?" I answered "No." The second question they asked me was, "If I would have holes bored in my ears and nose and have rings and lead hung in them like they had?" I answered "No." The third question they asked me was, "If I could make hats?" (I had a large bag of beaver fur with me when they took me prisoner; from that circumstance I suppose they thought I was a hatter.) I answered "No." The fourth question they asked me was, "If I was a carpenter?" and said they wanted a door made for their cabin. I answered "No." The fifth question they asked me was, "If I was a blacksmith; could I mend their guns and makes axes and hoes for them?" I answered "No." The sixth question they asked me was, "If I could hoe corn?" I answered "No". The seventh question they asked me was, "If I could hunt?" I answered. "No. I could shoot at a mark very well, but I never hunted any." Then they told Coonse to ask me how I got my living; if I could do no work. I thought I had out-generalled them, but that question stumped me a little. The first thought that struck my mind, I thought I would tell them I was a weaver by trade, but a second thought occurred to my mind, I told Coonse to tell them I made my living by writing. The Indians answered and said it was very well. The eighth question they asked me was, "If I had a family?" I answered "Yes, I had a wife and three children." The ninth question they asked me was, "If I wanted to go home to see my wife and children?" I answered "Yes," They said, "Very well, you shall go home by and by." The tenth question they asked was, "If I wanted a wife then?" I answered "No," and told them it was not the fashion for the white people to have two wives at the same time. They said, very well, I could get one if I wanted one, and they said if I staid with them until their corn got in roasting ears, then I must take a wife. I answered them yes, if I staid that long with them. They then told me that I might go anywhere about in the town, but not go out of sight of the town, for if I did, there were bad Indians round about the town and they would catch me and kill me, and they said they could run like horses; and another thing they said, don't you recollect the Indians that took you prisoner and cut a lock of hair out of the crown of your head. I told them yes. Then they told me in consequence of that, if you attempted to run away, you could not live eight days. If you will stay with us and not run away, you shall not even bring water to drink. I told them I wanted to go home to my family, but I would not go without letting them know before I went. They said, very well. They appeared well pleased with me and told me again I might go anywhere about in the town, but not go out of sight of the town. 

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