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Myths and Legends of our Own Land, by Charles M. Skinner, [1896], at


Surmounting Red Banks, twelve miles north of Green Bay, Wisconsin, on the eastern shore, and one hundred feet above the water, stands an earthwork that the first settlers found there when they went into that country. It was built by the Sauks and Outagamies, a family that ruled the land for many years, rousing the jealousy of neighboring tribes by their wealth and power. The time came, as it did in the concerns of nearly every band of Indians, when war was declared against this family, and the enemy came upon them in the darkness, their canoes patroling the shore while the main body formed a line about the fort. So silently was this done that but one person discovered it—a squaw, who cried, "We are all dead!"

There was nothing to see or hear, and she was rated for alarming the camp with foolish dreams; but dawn revealed the beleaguering line, and at the lifting of the sun a battle began that lasted for days, those within the earthworks sometimes fighting while ankle-deep in the blood of their fellows. The greatest lack of the besieged was that of water, and they let down earthen jars to the lake to get it, but the cords were cut ere they could be drawn up, the enemy shouting, derisively, "Come down and drink!" Several times they tried to do so, but were beaten back at every sally, and it seemed at last as if extermination was to be their fate.

When matters were at their darkest one of the young men who had been fasting for ten days—the Indian custom when divine direction was sought addressed his companions to this effect: "Last night there stood by me the form of a young man, clothed in white, who said, 'I was once alive, but I died, and now I live forever. Trust me and I will deliver you. Be fearless. At midnight I will cast a sleep on your enemies. Go forth boldly and you shall escape.'" The condition was too desperate to question any means of freedom, and that night all but a handful of disbelievers left the fort, while the enemy was in a slumber of exhaustion, and got away in safety. When the besiegers, in the morning, found that the fort had been almost deserted, they fell on the few that remained to repent their folly, and put them to the knife and axe, for their fury was excessive at the failure of the siege.



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