Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 112 of 894
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INDIAN IV A4IS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
ings and labored assiduously in opening up a
permanent home. Like thousands before them,
they finally fell into a state of fancied security
and became careless, till on one occasion, the
father and son both left home to be absent till
Late in the afternoon of the ill-fated day, the
two little girls went to the spring, about a hundred
yarlds from tlhe cabin, for a bucket of water. But
as they started on their return to the house, a party
of eleven lurking savages sprang from the brush,
shot one of the children to death and seize(l the
other so suddenly that neither made the slightest
noise. Scalping the slain child and holding fast to
tile other, they noiselessly approached the cabin,
unheard and unseen till they sprang into the (loor
and there, in the presence of the captive, mercilessly
killed and scalped her mother and killed,
without scalping, the negro woman. As speedily
as they could they pluntlered the house of all they
could carry off and left at dark, of course bearing
away the child prisoner.
Before they had passed beyond hearing young
Hunter reached home and hallooed for some one to
come out. The Indians increased their pace, a
stout warrior carrying the child on his shoulders.
Receiving no answer the young man entered the
house and before he could strike a light, stumbled
over his dead mother. The light, when struck,
revealed the dead bodies an(l the (lestruction otherwise
wrought. IIe lost no time in mounting and
hastening for help, but the people were too few and
scattered to make any effective pursuit. Arriving
at the place next (lay the dead little girl was found,
and this led to grave apprehensions as to the fate
of the other. It had rained all night, rendering it
impracticable to rapidly follow the trail of the
Subsequent developments showed that the Indians
traveled all night in the rain, but during the next
day slackened their pace and thereafter traveled
slowly for several lays to their villages. At night,
before the fire, the little captive was compelled to
work in dressing her mother's scalp. Months
passed ail(n no tidings came of the missing one;
but perlaps a year later the father and son learned
that a party of Choctaws had bought such a child
from wild Indians. The son hastened into the
country of those friendly people and after three or
four days' travel, found and recovered his sister.
lie hastened her back to the embraces of her
stricken father and sister, to cherish through life,
however, an everpresent recollection of the ghastly
scene she was compelled to witness.
Captivity of the Simpson Children
The Murder of Emma and
the Recovery of Thomas
Among the residents of Austin in the (lays of its
partial abandonment, from the spring of 1842 to
the final act of annexation in the winter of 1845-6,
was an estimable widow named Simpson. Iuring
that period Austin was but an outpost, without
troops and ever exposed to inroads from the Indians.
Mrs. Simpson had a daughter named Emma,
fourteen years of age, and a son named Thomas,
aged twelve. On a summer afternoon in 1844, her
two children went out a short distance to drive
home the cows. Soon their mother heard them
scream at the ravine, not over 400 yards west
of the center of the town. In the language of Col.
John S. Ford, a part of whose narrative I adopt:
"She required no explanation of the cause; she
knew at once the Indians had captured her darlings.
Sorrowing, and almost heartbroken, she rushed to
the more thickly settled part of the town to implore
citizens to turn out, and endeavor to recapture
her children. A party of men were soon in the
saddle, and on the trail.
"They (liscovered the savages were on footabout
four in number -and were moving in tile
timber, parallel to the river, and up it. They found
on the trail shreds of the girl's dress, yet it was
difficult to follow the footsteps of the fleeing red
men. From a hill they descried the Indians just
before they entered the ravine south of Mount Bonnell.
The whites moved at a run, yet they failed
to overtake the barbarians. A piece of an undergarment
was certain evidence that the captors had
passed over Mount Barker. The rocky surface of
the ground precluded the possibility of fast trailing,
and almost the possibiiity of trailing at all.
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/112/: accessed April 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .