Front Matter At Boonesborough Beginning of the Story Boone on the Yadkin Boone Moves his Family Ready for the Journey What we Wore Driving Cattle and Sheep Camping at Nightfall The Long Halt Jimmy Boone Goes to Clinch Murder of Jimmy Boone A Time of Mourning The Faint-hearted Return A New Home Making Moccasins Tanning Leather Governor Dunmore Our Home on the Clinch Household Duties Attacked by a Wildcat Fighting the Wildcat Boone and Father Return The Wilderness Road Building the Forts Boonesborough Gathering Salt Boonesborough Precautions Our Home in the Fort Ready for Cooking Furnishing the House The Hominy Block The Supply of Water Sports Inside the Fort Wrestling and Running Religion of the Indians Indian Babies Colonel Callaway Arives News from Eastern Colonies Venturing Outside the Fort Dividing the Land Who Owned Kentucky? Ready to Build a Home Billy's Hard Lot Preparing Flax Spinning and Soap Making Broom Making More Indian Murders Indian "Signs" Woodcraft and Hunting Pelts Used as Money Petition of the Settlers Making Sugar Building Fences Capture of the Girls My Willful Thoughts Finding the Trail The Pursuit The Story Told by Jemima Elizabeth's Heroism Rescuing the Girls Alarm Among the Settlers Indians on the Warpath The First Wedding The Wedding Festivities The Brides Home The Housewarming Attacks by the Indians Besieged by the Savages In the Midst of the Fight The Assault by the Indians Failure of the Assault Watchfulness of the Indians The Sortie My Father Wounded Our Wounded

Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis

Sports Inside the Fort

I believe Jemima and I enjoyed the sports almost as much as did Billy, for it was really fine to see those men, on whose marksmanship our lives might depend, shooting so straight at a target. That which interested us most was when they drove an iron nail into one of the logs of the stockade just far enough to hold it in place, and then, standing forty paces away, each shot to hit, the nail directly on the head, thus forcing it yet farther into the wood.

It was exciting to see each man, as he came up in turn, clean carefully the barrel of. his gun with the bit of greased tow which every hunter carries in the bosom of his hunting shirt, then put a bullet in the palm of his hand and pour out enough powder to cover it, being careful to use no more. Afterwards, he would brush with rough fingers every black particle carefully into the barrel of the rifle, then drop upon it the bullet wrapped in a bit of oiled nettle-bark linen, and ram the whole down as if everything depended on the work being done deftly.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

Then the taking aim! Each marksman raised the barrel of his weapon over a forked stick, having due care not to press hard on it with his fingers lest the re-coil of the powder should cause it to move ever so slightly out of range. Even Billy Could hit the nail squarely on the head twice out of every three times, as I had seen him do many a time before we came to Boonesborough.

I should not praise my own brother, and yet I must say that he can use a rifle very nearly as well as father, for again and again I have seen him bark a squirrel; that is, kill the little creature by hitting the bark of the limb on which he is crouching, thus taking away his life by the wind of the bullet without actually inflicting a wound.